The 2023 IAHA Ultimate Student Leadership Challenge Applications are NOW CLOSED!

The IAHA USLC is a three-day cultural and professional leadership program that is designed to support students in the development of a wide range of skills and leadership in a health context. Working collaboratively, the students will bring their cultural and professional knowledges to the fore as they develop a management plan in response to a complex case study. The challenge will empower them and fellow health student peers to lead in providing holistic, culturally safe, and multidisciplinary care.

The USLC program is underpinned by IAHA’s Cultural Responsiveness in Action: Theory of Change and IAHA’s Cultural Responsiveness Capability Framework which acts as a tool to support all people working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families, and communities in a strengths-based and culturally responsive way.

The USLC is a learning experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health students designed to educate the nation’s next generation of health care professionals.

USLC enquiries – email or ph (02) 62851010

Support the 2023 USLC and become a Sponsor!

IAHA is inviting you to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to participate in an exciting clinical and cultural exchange of knowledges. 

The IAHA USLC will be promoted through various sectors, including academia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services, allied health and other health professional associations, governments, community organisations, and allied health stakeholders.

A range of sponsorship opportunities is listed in the sponsorship prospectus for consideration. However, specific or tailored packages can be negotiated. The 2023 IAHA USLC and events provide many opportunities for sponsorship participation and are in no way limited. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your marketing objectives and any further ideas you may have on individual sponsorship.

View our 2023 USLC Sponsors below!

Barrandhang (Koala)



Biladurang (Platypus)

Wandayali (Echidna)


Guguburra (Kookaburra)


Scholarship Sponsors





Formally known as the Health Fusion Team Challenge, the name has now changed to the Ultimate Student Leadership Challenge (USLC) and is completely run by IAHA. The cultural and leadership development program is delivered face-to-face, in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health students work with culturally and professionally diverse peers to respond to a complex, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health case study in a strengths-based and culturally informed way.

The 2022 IAHA USLC brought together 23 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health students from multiple disciplines, including: nursing, physiotherapy, psychology, occupational therapy, social work, paramedicine, speech pathology, mental health, diagnostic radiography, counselling, nutrition and dietetics, optometry and dental surgery. 

There were five deadly teams competing this year: Nomo Yorga’s, JETTT BRH, Tiddas on Tour feat Cale, Deadly TARJ, and CLAAN.

Kicking off the USLC was an inspiring Welcome to Country from Paul Girrawah House, which culturally grounded the students and staff. Following some ice-breaker activities and student introductions to each other and IAHA, the students received their (fictional) complex case study: A 30-year-old Barkindji woman named Tamara who was from Wilcannia. Tamara had acute rheumatic fever which caused rheumatic heart disease. Tamara had to have mitral valve replacement surgery and the students case management plans had to centre around Tamara’s recovery, her family and any other issues that may arise.

The students were fortunate to have access to professional mentors from a range of disciplines where teams would ask up to three questions per mentor to build their case management plans. This year, IAHA introduced online mentoring for the students, similar to a time-slot schedule like telehealth. Importantly, we also had three cultural mentors to help guide the students in terms of the cultural factors to consider when developing their case management plans. The mentors challenged the students to make them think, how is culture centred in practice.

The final day of USLC is the heats. All teams presented their case management plan to a panel of expert judges (Nicole Turner, Associate Professor Karla Kanuto, Dr Stephen Corporal and Tracey Brand), as well as their peers, mentors and participants from the IAHA Leadership Program. Each team had seven minutes to present their case management, followed by an extension question disclosed in a sealed envelope. As we know in health care, things happen, and plans can change very quickly. The extension question is a curve ball where the teams have five minutes to develop a response, and five minutes to present their response.

Each team did an amazing job at their case management plan and extension question but only two teams could make it to the Final Knockout where they’d present at the IAHA National Conference. Those two teams were the Nomo Yorga’s and JETTT BRH. They both received feedback from the judges around how they can strengthen their management plan, and over the next few days the teams would work together around the conference to incorporate the judges’ feedback.

The Final Knockout was presented on the Wednesday of the National Conference, in front of a full packed room of students, mentors and IAHA conference delegates. The first team to present was the Nomo Yorga’s, followed by the JETTT BRH. It was evident that the teams incorporated the judge’s feedback as their case management plans and presentations were taken to another level.

In alignment to the heats, both teams also had an extension question. Again, both teams did a deadly job, but there only can be one winner… 

We congratulate the 2022 winning team, NOMO Yorgas and our runners up, team Jettt BRH.

As the USLC is a student leadership challenge, the mentors and staff observed the students throughout the three-day challenge and presented four Student Leadership Awards. Congratulations to the 2022 Award winners: Cale Burge, Latisha Sykora, Tyran Hill and Alexis Short. 

The future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals is in good hands with all the USLC participants, and we look forward to supporting their journey into the workforce. 

Check out the 2022 USLC video below.

We thank our major sponsor Flinders University and all those who supported our students in this important development opportunity, including our amazing cultural and professional mentors.

For more information on the IAHA Ultimate Student Leadership Challenge, please email or call the IAHA Secretariat on (02) 6285 1010.