Welcome to the Wurru Wurru Health Unit
The Wurru Wurru Health Unit acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Custodians of the lands, waterways and skies on which the University campuses and clinical schools are located. This includes the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Wadawurrung and Taungurung of the Kulin Nation, as well as the Yorta-Yorta Nation.
We extend respects to the Elders and Ancestors of these Nations and recognise the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (respectfully referred to as First Nations).
The Wurru Wurru Health Unit aims to advance the health of First Nations peoples in Australia to reduce inequity and create positive change. Our teaching and research is centred on the holistic view of health of First Nations peoples to promote wellbeing, underpinned by the principles of self-determination
The Wurru Wurru Health Unit (WWHU) is a part of the Melbourne Medical School and situated within the Department of Medical Education. The WWHU is dedicated to designing and delivering First Nations health, public health and preventative medicine curriculum to health professions students across the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS). The team are also passionate about qualitative and mixed methods research to ensure that all curriculum is informed by local First Nations communities and Elders of the Nations across Naarm (Melbourne) and Victoria.
The WWHU is comprised of First Nations academics; Senior Lecturer and Director of the team Dr Ngaree Blow, Lecturer Madelyne Hudson-Buhagiar and Associate lecturers Brooke Conley and Storm Henry, as well as First Nations professional staff members Kerrie Armstrong and Teaka Williams. In addition, the WWHU supports 20 casual Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander tutors.
Wurru Wurru Health Unit
Department of Medical Education | Melbourne Medical School | The University of Melbourne
The Wurru Wurru Health Unit designs and teaches First Nations health curriculum across all four years of the Doctor of Medicine (MD); including delivering cultural immersion programs such as Billibellary’s Walk and Bunjilaka program. Additionally, we arrange placement opportunities to allow for student exposure to First Nations peoples’ in a health environment.
The Social Determinants of Health
The Wurru Wurru health model is used as a teaching tool for health professional students to understand the complexity of all the social determinates of health and the influences biologically and across all levels of society including systemic influences. This model was created in collaboration with local First Nations Elders and community members, as well both First Nations and non-Indigenous staff and students both current and alumni from The University of Melbourne.
Cultural Immersion is described as “actively integrating into an unfamiliar community, interacting with local people, and seeking to understand the way others live in that community by being there and engaging in daily life activities.” (1) The diversity and geographical locations of communities around Victoria means it can be difficult to engage directly with each community. To address this, whilst recognising the importance of respecting this diversity, the First Nations health team at the University of Melbourne alongside the Bunjilaka team at the Melbourne Museum created a full-day immersive experience focused on the First Peoples exhibition.
Find out more here
The Wurru Wurru Health Unit provide tutor guides to support health professional students through their experience of the Billibellary’s walk on the Parkville Campus of the University of Melbourne in Naarm (Melbourne).
Billibellary's Walk is named after the Ngurungaeta, or clan head, of the Wurundjeri people at the time of Melbourne’s settlement. The walk is a cultural interpretation of the University’s Parkville campus landscape.
For more information please click here
Ways of Knowing Interprofessional Education Program
The aim of the ‘Ways of Knowing’ interprofessional curriculum activity is to bring students together from Audiology, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing , Optometry, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Population and Global Health, Social Work and Speech Pathology to engage with multiple knowledges and ways of knowing. This will be achieved by engaging with a series of 4 nested activities where students will have the opportunity to learn from, with and about students from other disciplines exploring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing, cultural safety and collaborative practice. The 4 learning activities will require students to critically reflect upon their own knowledges of health, biases and assumptions and aims to develop essential behaviours, values and attitudes required for collaborative and cultural safety practice.
Conducts predominately qualitative research related to: First Nations Health education and medical professionals, community engagement and relationship building with the university COVID-19 pandemic and chronic disease with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.