I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land I am currently working on, the Arrernte people in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). I recognise the relationship between First Nations people and the lands in which we work and grow on every day.
With the welcoming of our first years and now junior committee, FMSS has been able to start running many of our pre-clinical events. Starting off with our MD1 vs MD2 sports night, the rivalry continued with our annual netball game held on campus. The MD1s came in very enthusiastically, with home made banners and lots of crowd support, however for the first time in two years the MD2s took home the trophy. A great way for the two cohorts to get to know each other and find common interests outside of medicine.
Our VPE, Angelina Arora, organised an International Women’s Day Stall in the library, handing out purple ribbons and bringing awareness to the day and what it means not just for women in medicine, but women everywhere. We have also welcomed the new cohort of Clinical Science students, working to orientate them to Flinders medicine and university life, a daunting adjustment from high school. Finally, working with the Australian Medical Student Association (AMSA), Tom Cliffe has marked the start of our annual Vampire Cup. Here, medical schools across Australia compete to donate the most blood and plasma from 1st of April to 28th of May. Red Cross visited the library to encourage students to donate and answer any questions they had, as well as helping them book their next visit. Blood donations are something that are relied on in healthcare, with 1 in 3 Australians needing blood products. This initiative has been a great way to encourage students and their families or friends to donate, sometimes for the first time and hopefully not the last. We encourage anyone who is eligible to donate.
As mentioned previously, FMSS also focuses on student advocacy, with one of our goals for the year being better integration with the NT medical students and a focus on First Nations Health. With it being my 14th (and final) month in the NT, we have been able to work closely with the FMSS NT students and come up with a better plan for integration of resources and student integration, most to come into practice for 2024. We are excited to be running more online academic and information nights together, as well as better integration for advocacy. With First Nations health being our focus, we were excited to work with our Indigenous reps releasing Closing The Gap merchandise that students were able to purchase. We are also proud to announce better representation within the FMSS committee with four First Nation students assisting us with advocacy and events this year.
I am very excited to be returning to what sounds like a vibrant campus in Adelaide, with lectures and placements as well as social events in full swing. I am also sad to be leaving the NT which I have been lucky enough to call home for over a year now. My experiences here have been like no other, reshaping the way I view medicine and healthcare, but also how my own values sit within them. With the help of FMSS NT, I hope to share my learnings with the students in SA.
President – Flinders Medical Students’ Society