Improving Indigenous Health learning in the MD and recent graduates

The inaugural graduating cohort of students who completed the intercalated Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health (MD/MPH) included Dr Ngaree Blow and Dr Tara Purcell, two Aboriginal students who wore their Indigenous sash for the occasion. Ngaree and Tara, alongside other Indigenous students, have been instrumental in assisting Dr Jacinta Tobin in her role as Senior Lecturer Medical Education in Indigenous Health. During the first week of MD1, this involved taking students on Billibellary's Walk which looks at the Melbourne University campus through an Aboriginal lens. Ngaree has also recently completed the Aurora Leadership program where she visited a number of universities in the USA.

Ngaree and Tara have both participated in initiatives for improving Indigenous health learning in the MD including OnCountry4Health. This program was developed by Yorta Yorta Elder Uncle Wayne Atkinson in partnership with the MSS, and is an ‘On Country learning’ experience where MD2, MD3 and MD4 students study on traditional lands in the Goulburn Valley. They explore the history, culture and policies which have led to the current poor health of Australia’s First Peoples. As well as this, they see firsthand the self-determination responses from Aboriginal-controlled organisations, Elders and Leaders who are transforming lives and require investment from all Australians.