I would like to acknowledge the Kaurna people, the original custodians of this land, and recognise the relationship between Indigenous people and the lands and waters of the Adelaide Plains, on which we learn and grow every day.
The FMSS calendar continues to be a highlight for the Flinders MD students. Our Clinical Science students had their annual cocktail night, one of the first opportunities for the new students to dress up and meet their classmates outside of University. A few of our FMSS executive members were lucky enough to be sponsored by MIGA to attend the AMA SA Gala ball. Our members were able to network with many influential doctors, meet the health minister and help congratulate the new president and award winners of the night. Coming up on our event calendar, FMSS have collaborated with our new Psychiatric Society to enter the Push Up Challenge for the Push for Better Foundation. This is a fundraising event run throughout June (1st-23rd) where the community is challenged to complete 3,144 push ups, which represents the number of deaths by suicide in Australia in 2021. Each day there is a new mental health fact, to help raise awareness and funds for mental health in Australia. I would encourage everyone to get involved! You can enter individually or as a group via their website.
Our educational event calendar has also been busy! FMSS successfully ran its annual AUSLAN Workshop two weeks ago. Here, students were able to learn some basics to assist with clinical communication, as well as gaining an insight into deaf culture and access to translation services. For our MD3s, their end of year oral exams (OSCEs) are beginning to feel close. Our incredible MD4 FMSS representatives, Rachel James and Will Burden, have created a whole new schedule of weekly teaching sessions and two full day practice runs with volunteer patients and assessors. This outstanding work is helping ease the minds of the MD3s, teaching them valuable knowledge and skills for their exam, from students who have just been through it.
With our annual focus continuing to be on First Nations health, we also hosted a First Nations communication workshop. This is a new event introduced this year, bringing together speakers with extensive experience working with local Aboriginal communities. The aim was to assist medical students with ways they can improve their communication skills through this shared insight. Due to its success we hope to continue hosting it in the years to come. This week being National Reconciliation Week – 27 May to 3 June, FMSS is working with the other societies to bring awareness to the shared history, culture and achievement of First Nations people, as well as exploring how we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
On our advocacy side, FMSS have been continuing to work closely with the MD course directors and year level representatives to ensure student issues are being raised, and information is being delivered effectively. Jordyn Tomba (Senior Vice President) and I were able to attend the College of Medicine and Public Health’s annual retreat, learning more about the goals in place and participating in various workshops. Our AMSA representatives were also able to represent FMSS at the council meeting. This was a national advocacy platform where we discussed national and international policies, and benefited from the opportunity to build connections with students from medical universities all across Australia.
Looking over all we have achieved these past few weeks, I feel very proud of the culture each of our volunteers foster within the student community. It has been wonderful to be back in SA and be closer to all of the wonderful work our students and staff put in, and the passion they have to improve the lives of our students.
President – Flinders Medical Students’ Society