Inspiring First Nations students to become future health leaders

18 MARCH 2021

Three Rivers UDRH has collaborated with MLHD and Riverina Medical and Dental Aboriginal Corporation to develop a video to encourage First Nations people to study a health degree.

  • Charles Sturt’s Three Rivers UDRH develops video to encourage First Nations people to study a health degree
  • The video was produced in collaboration with Charles Sturt staff and students, the Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Riverina Medical and Dental Aboriginal Corporation

Three Rivers University Department of Rural Health (UDRH) have collaborated with Elders, Charles Sturt University students and clinicians to inspire prospective First Nations students through the power of film.

Three Rivers UDRH led the development of Caring for our mob, a short film highlighting stories about First Nations students, health professionals, and Elders, and the challenges, social deterrents and barriers they overcame.

The film, produced in collaboration with key stakeholders including Charles Sturt staff and students, the Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Riverina Medical and Dental Aboriginal Corporation, is aimed at building First Nations people’s aspirations to study a health degree and become future health leaders.

Three Rivers UDRH Director Ms Christine Howard said First Nations health professionals play a vital role in encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access health services.

“We were keen to develop a resource that tells the story of First Nations student success and the important role of First Nations clinicians,” she said.

“This resource has been produced with funding from the Australian Government’s Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program, and Three Rivers is committed to supporting First Nations health students and building the rural health workforce.”

Three Rivers UDRH First Nations Rural Health and Pathways Lead Ms Jayarna Kay said they engaged Desert Pea Media to produce the film.

“Using contemporary storytelling techniques and audio-visual media to capture the stories of Charles Sturt University First Nations health students and health professionals in community, we yindyamarra (Wiradjuri, respect) and acknowledge the inspirational body of work that Desert Pea Media have created,” she said.

“These stories of our deadly future health leaders are what is going to drive change towards improving the gap in Aboriginal health and education.”

Charles Sturt Pro Vice-Chancellor of Indigenous Engagement Professor Juanita Sherwood said telling these stories in an honest and culturally-safe way is what First Nations people want to see and hear.

“This film captures the strengths of our students and colleagues, and reminds us all that our ancestors are there to guide us and ensure we make it,” she said.

Filmed on Wiradjuri country in Wagga Wagga, Ms Kay said a special thank you to Uncle Pat Connelly who contributed his invaluable knowledge and wisdom to the film and welcomed the film crew and participants to Country with a Welcoming and Smoking Ceremony.

Caring for our mob is available to watch on YouTube.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Ms Christine Howard, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on 0429 217 026 or news@csu.edu.au

Photo courtesy of Desert Pea Media

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Charles Sturt University Health Indigenous Three Rivers