University of Sydney Cultural Immersion

University of Sydney Cultural Immersion

Seventeen 3rd  Year Medical students from University of Sydney travelled to Evans Head at Camp Koinonia to spend two days in UCRH’s Cultural Immersion Program.

The two days were jam packed with sessions such as Putting History into Context – the past 116 years and its effects of Aboriginal people, Cultural Load and the Stolen Generation. Students wove individual fish traps with a local Bundjalung weaver, Monica Kapeen, and meet and talk with some Elders, Aunty Irene and Uncle Greg Harrington, and Aunty Nancy Walke over dinner and in a corroboree style circle in the evening. On day one, a kayaking trip up the Evans Head river gave the students an opportunity to be in the air and have time to reflect on the information they had learned that day.

While talking about the status of Aboriginal health, students also heard from some great programs in the region including Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Corporation and the Solid Mob – Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.

Initial feedback from the students has been very positive with some comments such as:

“The video about the Stolen Generation was particularly insightful. The Yarn circle with the Elders was a great way to understand the Aboriginal culture and sense of community.”

“It was a good mix of listening to lectures and physical activities”

“Really appreciated the effort put into this extremely insightful two day. I was embarrassed by my ignorance, I am grateful that I better understand the Aboriginal history and culture which will greatly assist in not only my medical future but also for integrating into the community.”

“This was by far the best indigenous health learning I have received. Please continue these sessions”