The Medical School welcomed 30 young Indigenous students to the campus to give them a taste of what it's like to study medicine at ANU as part of a program to bolster numbers of Indigenous health professionals.
The program, called Murra Mullangari - Pathways Alive and Well, is led by the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association and aims to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in years ten to twelve to pursue careers in health. The two-part program involves a week-long residential in Canberra followed by a five-month mentoring program when the high schoolers return home.
The students completed the residential part of the program in early April, where they met with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders, getting practical advice on pursuing a career, and visited national institutions such as Parliament House, the National Museum of Australia, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations. The students also attended sessions at ANU and the University of Canberra, to learn more about health related tertiary programs.
Gaye Doolan, Indigenous Health Project Officer with the ANU Medical School who has been instrumental in coordinating the students' visit to ANU says "while visiting us on campus the students visited the Tjabal Centre to learn about the kind of support offered to Indigenous and Torres Strait Island students at ANU. The group then toured the campus before meeting current students at the Medical School and doing some interactive activities."
"Programs like these are important because they offer students the opportunity to experience life at a university and what they have to offer. It also allows the students an opportunity to network and build relationships with like-minded students and their mentors."
In a few years' time, the campus might see these future leaders in Indigenous health again, this time as ANU students on the road to a rewarding career in health.