This year ANU Rural Medical Students Society (ARMS) opened up the Cultural Immersion Trip which is compulsory for Indigenous stream medical students, to all medical school students across the four years. Ten ARMS members travelled down to Narooma for the 3 day trip. Many students didn't know what to expect but were keen to learn more about Aboriginal culture and the community. The students found it an enriching experience and thoroughly enjoyed their time with the Yuin people of the South Coast.
On the Friday afternoon we started our three hour drive down to Narooma where we were greeted by the community with a welcome ceremony and dance. The dancers showed some of the elements of the land and animals of the area. Following the welcome, dinner was provided by their family and afterwards we all sat down for a yarning circle. ARMS students were part of a bigger group of visitors. Some had come from the Australian Museum in Sydney and were filming for an exhibition. Others had come from Canberra to share the experience, and some were from Victoria.
An early start on Saturday involved a ceremony at sunrise to greet 'Grandfather Sun' and thank him for everything that he provides. Some of the things mentioned were; life, food, warmth and light. The morning ceremony was followed by viewing land around the Tilba area and we were told some stories explaining the mountains and the region.
Uncle Max, Dwayne and their family are very welcoming people and it was amazing to be included n their ceremonies. It brought us all together and we were able to feel like part of their community. The students would recommend this experience to others and hopefully ARMS can make this an annual trip dependent on funding.
Danielle Dries - Year 2