IAHA presents at Indigenous Educations Symposium – Sunshine Coast


In mid-October, IAHA CEO Donna Murray and Student Representative Committee (SRC) Chairperson Tracy Hardy took to the stage at The Collaborating with Community Symposium (Indigenous Education Symposium at University of the Sunshine Coast).

This year’s theme was ‘Meaningful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Empowerment’ and Donna and Tracy spoke about the positive impact that IAHA student support initiatives, including the IAHA HealthFusion Team Challenge and Student Representative Committee, can have on building and strengthening the future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce.

Here is a reflection from Tracy on her participation in the event:

“As part of my leadership development with IAHA, I recently had the privilege of co-presenting with our inspiring CEO Donna Murray, at the 10th Annual Indigenous Education Symposium: “Collaborating with Community”, held at the University of the Sunshine Coast.  The annual symposium is an event where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students, Elders and community members come together with non-Indigenous colleagues to celebrate, discuss and learn about significant contributions that academics and community members have worked to achieve with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

This was my first year as a presenter and it was wonderful to see a good mix of interested students, academics and community members attend.  There was a diverse choice of keynote speakers, including Professor Martin Nakata, Uncle Graham Tanner and Ms Leah Armstrong, and concurrent session presenters; who shared their insights into how Indigenous Education in Australia could be improved and maintained through the creation of strong, supportive networks and community, government and academic collaboration.

I found attending this event very insightful and motivating as I am a strong advocate for more Indigenous Australian health students studying to become knowledgeable professionals, and vital contributors to multi-disciplinary teams within the Australian health workforce. I believe that within these roles, we will not only have the opportunity to contribute to supporting and building strong, healthy Indigenous Australian communities, families and individuals; we will also have the potential to act as future mediators of change. In light of this, I found Professor Marin Nakata’s presentation of particular interest.

Something I took away from listening to his presentation was the need for us to prepare to be competitive members of the Australian health workforce, and the opportunities we have to act as cultural interfaces and contribute unique perspectives rather than being defined by them. Given I am a massive advocate for IAHA and their role in building future leaders within the Allied Health space, to have had the opportunity to promote IAHA at an event such as this, was something I felt extremely proud to do.

I am enormously grateful to have had the opportunity to have Donna attend this event, and to have the opportunity to introduce her to key stakeholders within USC as well as some of my amazing peers who attended.”

November 1, 2016


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