Simone Ada (nee Ngātai) is a medical student at Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo, the University of Otago. Simone started at Otago Medical School in 2022 after a mid-career change from a career in management and a business background. Simone embraces this change as an opportunity to align her future career with her core values of equity, rangatiratanga, and service. In her future medical career, Simone hopes to contribute to improving health outcomes for Māori.
Simone has undertaken various volunteering roles alongside her medical studies. These include representing Dunedin medical students on the New Zealand Medical Student Association (NZMSA) in 2022 and this year serving as Tumuaki Tuarua on Te Oranga Ki Ōtākau (TOKŌ). In her role on TOKŌ, Simone was instrumental in implementing the inaugural alumni-stethoscope donation programme. She hopes this will become a legacy kaupapa built on each year so incoming tauria Māori are gifted stethoscopes from alumni. Simone is currently a co-opted member of the Carosika Collaborative Steering Committee, serving as the student leader. The Carosika Collaborative is a national transdisciplinary group that aims to achieve equity in pre-term birth rates.
Simone has also participated in summer research projects, including ‘Later School Start Times for Adolescent Health and Wellbeing’ in 2022. Her current research project is ‘Determining Predictors of Long Term Left Ventricular Function in Paediatric Patients after Rheumatic Heart Disease Surgery'.
Simone has a Bachelor of Business from Griffith University and a Masters of Business Administration from Bond University in Australia.