Garma 2023: Flinders’ Immersive Experience in Yolngu Culture

Flinders University and the College of Medicine and Public Health had a notable presence at the Garma Festival, underlining its ongoing commitment to the Northern Territory and Indigenous cultures. A diverse cohort of MPH staff from various departments collaborated to support the event.

The university’s involvement was evident through a dynamic exhibition booth, where students, staff, and local Elders engaged visitors, narrating Flinders’ impressive 25-year journey in the region. Richard Fejo, Flinders Elder on campus, reflected on the festival’s significance, “Garma 2023 was and will remain an event that presents Yolngu culture at its finest.”

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Crowd at Garma Flinders stall for Bush medicine presentation

Learning how to listen

Our culture and health are intertwined.
Getting to know how our patient understands their health, is part of our learning in health professional training.
We are guided in this when we open our eyes, ears and hearts to the experience of learning.
We are grateful to have our students learning as one of community through clinical placements.
Shared decision making is necessary for the knowledge and knowing we have as health professionals, to be most helpful to our patient. 
We enable shared decision making with effective communication and especially listening.
Garma has been an opportunity to connect with colleagues in a culture of learning that reinforces our diversity as people with different backgrounds, and our shared concerns and paths as people in our country.
Reconciliation is our journey.

– Associate Professor Emma Kennedy –


Garma Festival Programme booklet 2023, p 87

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