A much-loved Tamworth doctor is in the running to be named NSW Indigenous Woman of the Year, but Dr Casey Sullivan isn't in it for the recognition.
The proud Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi woman wanted to give back to the community and family that had supported her dream.
Since opening MyGP in 2017, Dr Sullivan has become a leader and role model.
Her work in the practice and in the community has earned her the nomination in 2024.
"I feel really blessed and lucky to have been able to come back and work here," she said.
While honoured to have been be nominated for the award, Dr Sullivan admitted she was also quite surprised.
"I get up every day and do what I do for a few reasons," she said.
"I love it, and I see services that are needed in the community, and I just do it. I have a dream, and I get so much enjoyment from seeing it come to fruition."
Dr Sullivan is also a mum to four children, she sponsors community sporting groups, and mentors Indigenous students in Tamworth.
"The nomination is so lovely and kind, but I don't do this for recognition or awards. I do this because I want to give back to the community I grew up in," she said.
Dr Sullivan's practice focuses on increasing medical accessibility to regional communities. It was the first Indigenous privately owned and managed GP practice in the state.
She's had such a positive reaction since she opened the doors, that she intends to open another site.
"The new site will have a focus on preventative and integrated health. We want to try and get in front of disease instead of when it's at it's worst," she said.
"There will be a wide array of practitioners at the new site, such as life coaches, optometrists, naturopaths, physiotherapists, and more.
"We are covering all bases to limit people's travel to Newcastle to seek treatment."
There are also plans for a collaboration with her MyGP colleague, Dr Sarah Yarmand, to develop a neurodivergent clinic.
"She is the brainchild of this. We will be focusing on ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and all the behavioural things that kids need help with but have to travel a long way or wait years for treatment," Dr Sullivan said.
Along with running her own practice, Dr Sullivan takes the time to train and pass on her knowledge to the next generation of medicos.
"I have a real passion for teaching that I did not know that I had until I started teaching," she said.
"The way I teach, I break things down in a very simplistic manner. So, teaching was very natural, and everyone was responding to it. I had students saying, 'Can I be Casey's register?' or 'Can I be in Casey's group?'."
Dr Sullivan has taken on both domestic and international medical students, some of whom have returned to work at the local practice.
But most importantly, she said the life she has built for herself, is exactly what she always dreamed it would be.
The NSW Women of the Year 2024 recipients will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday, March 7 at the International Convention Centre, Sydney.