Developing NTMP placement opportunities in the Tiwi Islands

Last week, Flinders Rural and Remote Health NT staff including Dr Emma Kennedy, Brian Hylands, Gill Paynter, Sarah Bevington and Dr Josie Tchia visited Bathurst Island and the Wurrumiyanga community on the Tiwi Islands, just north of Darwin.

They were accompanied by Elisabeth Heenan (Cultural Educator) from the NT General Practice Education.

The purpose of the trip was to visit the Julanimawu Health Centre and meet Dr Justin Coleman (Clinic GP) and Felicity Keppie, (Registered Nurse and the Clinic Manager) and members of the local Wurrumiyanga community.  The discussion centred around the logistics of hosting medical students in the community, their learning objectives, and ways in which the students can give back to the community. The delegates also met with Sister Anne Gardner who has very kindly offered to accommodate the students in her home.  Without this commitment from Sister Anne the placement would not be able to go ahead.

Flinders NT aims to strengthen relationships with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to facilitate future collaboration to improve healthcare outcomes and, as part of the future partnership, is working towards placing two NTMP Yr 3 medical students on ten-week placements in the Tiwi Islands within local healthcare practices.

Clinic in the Tiwi islands

“This is a fantastic, exciting opportunity for our medical students to learn medicine in an environment that blends traditional culture with the university curriculum.” – says Gill Paynter, The NTMP Program Manager. The first placements are projected to commence next year.

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Flinders NT Flinders NT Medical Program (NTMP) Student Placements