Research Student Overview

In 2022 the Wurru Wurru Health Unit supported three Doctor of Medicine students & two Masters of Public Health students to complete research projects relating to First Nations health and curriculum development.

Grace Ewers

Master of Public Health Student Grace Ewers completed a scoping review protocol paper on ‘Reviewing First Nations Sexual Health Campaigns’. This project was focused on developing a scoping review protocol exploring culturally safe First Nations sexual health campaigns through identifying and describing past & current campaigns and evaluating how the campaigns align with cultural safety frameworks.

This important work laid the foundations for a scoping review to inform the development of a Rainbow Mob Health Discovery subject available to MD3 students and resources for use at VACCHO in 2024.

Grace Speter

Master of Public Health Student Grace Speter’s completed a project that led the development of the Rainbow Mob Health Discovery subject in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) Sexy Health team in 2023.

Despite being a fundamental aspect of health, sexual health is not comprehensively taught as a core part of the curriculum for Doctor of Medicine students in tertiary education. Additionally, given that there are so few guidelines for culturally safe sexual health for those working with First Nations communities, it is important that curriculum is developed which specifically addresses the intersection of culture, sex, sexuality, gender, and health.

The purpose of Grace’s project was to establish a culturally appropriate design process to develop an e-module for Doctor of Medicine students at the University of Melbourne on First Nations sexual health, which includes content on sexuality, gender, LGBTQIAS&B+ health and First Nations cultural connections and practices of health.

Indah Cox-Livingstone

Doctor of Medicine student Indah Cox-Livingstone completed a secondary analysis of a data set collected by the Wurru Wurru Health Unit. The project was titled “It Forces the Reflective Practice”: An Exploration of the Perspectives and Insights of University Staff and Students Relating to On Country Learning Programs for the Education of Healthcare Students”. The findings from the project aimed to guide the development and implementation of an On Country for Health subject that will be delivered to Doctor of Medicine students to further development their skills in working with First Nations patients & communities.

Catherine Nesbit

Doctor of Medicine student Catherine Nesbit completed a narrative review titled “Exploring the need for embedding First Nations voices in Australian university teaching models and curriculum: A Narrative Review”. 

This project aimed to examine the literature of embedding First Nations voices in university curricula across Australia through the co-teaching model. This project will contribute to the transformation of teaching within tertiary education, with a focus on the collaborative processes involved in co-delivery of content between First Nations and non-First Nations tutors, and their students.

Laura Bland

Doctor of Medicine student Laura Bland completed a protocol to guide the future development of alternative model of clinical placement in Aboriginal health for medical students in Victoria. This project will describe a three-phase protocol for the co-design of an alternative model of clinical placement, that will be implemented in Aboriginal healthcare and will be available to Doctor of Medicine students at the University of Melbourne.

The aims of the project are;

  1. Explore alternative models of tertiary student placements that have been implemented in Aboriginal healthcare contexts within Australia.
  1. Establish medical student and Aboriginal healthcare context representative beliefs and expectations of alternative models of clinical placement in Victoria.
  2. Increase the number of medical student placements in Aboriginal healthcare contexts for Doctor of Medicine students at the University of Melbourne.

This project will contribute to the limited and emerging evidence about alternative clinical placement models. It will provide a culturally safe, alternative clinical placement model that will increase the number of medical student placements in Aboriginal healthcare.

Kristina Fantenberg

Doctor of Medicine student Kristina is completing a Narrative review as part of the broader Scoping Review that is being done for the Rainbow Mob Health Discovery Module. She explores the specific health priorities of Rainbow Mob in Victoria, with a focus on sexual health, Kristina’s work will look at  the impact and nature of health care services for Rainbow Mob on sexual health, and how the disparities in literature affect the determinants of health with specific reference to the social and cultural determinants of health for the Rainbow Mob.

The specific aim of the project is to:

  1. To understand the extent and type of evidence in relation to the diversities in First Nations LGBTIQASB+ sexual health.
  2. Contribute to the development of the Module through a narrative review of literature as a snapshot of the reality of Rainbow Mob Health care.

Eliza Grbac

Doctor of Medicine student Eliza is completing a literature review- phase 1 of the research protocol designed in 2022. Eliza’s literature review will look at research questions;

  1. What are the considerations for alternative models of placement in Aboriginal contexts?
  1. What are the outcomes of alternative models of placement in Aboriginal contexts? 
    • Health outcomes
    • Student feedback
    • Student outcomes
  2. What alternative models of placement have been successfully implemented in Aboriginal contexts?
  1. What are the barriers and enablers to better healthcare and teaching for healthcare students in alternative models of placements?

The project aims to

  1. Increase number of students working in First Nations health due to successful student placements in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health contexts
  1. Ensure culturally safety for First Nations community members and organisations.