Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), who is a key partner of Flinders University NT, runs the Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy (NTAHA), which is a part of IAHA’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Academies. The National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Academy is an innovative, community-led learning model that is about re-shaping and re-designing how training and education is delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in high school, embedding the centrality of culture and a holistic approach to health.
The NTAHA currently has 19 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander High School students from across 7 different High Schools in the Darwin Region. Students in the program are either current year 11 or 12 students who are keen to pursue a health career. The students are currently undertaking a Certificate III in Allied Health Assistant and the program aims to engage students in appropriate career pathway opportunities and expose students to the varied employment opportunities in the health and related sectors including acute care, primary healthcare, private practice, community health services, aged care and disability.
The students were taken on a tour of the NTMP facilities at CDU Casuarina campus on the 16 September. Rikki Fischer, from IAHA says “All the young ladies enjoyed it, and we have possibly three or more students interested in the NTMP course, I have been asked by the students to follow up with who is the best person for them to talk to about pathways into the program”.
NTMP’s Second year medical students, Karlie James and Melissa Rosas (who is also an IAHA Member), met with the students and supported the tour and session. Rikki Fischer says “Melissa and Karlie engaged extremely well with the students in the lab and explained everything well. Both ladies told their journey into medicine and inspired our young ladies to achieve whatever it is they want”.
Associate Professor Buddhika Weerasundera delivers interactive sessions to middle and high school students visiting NTMP at the request of schools. These sessions are a wonderful way of showcasing our fantastic facilities and promotes pathways to Medicine to the younger generation. The NTAHA is about pathways into health careers and having the high schools students met and spend time with local students studying in the NTMP, enables Flinders University students to engage with and inspire the next generation of health and medical students.