YOUNG DOCTORS: Ingrid Elvy, Corinne Watson and Alexandra Henry from University of Wollongong at Byron Lighthouse for their Indigenous Cultural Awareness Day.
YOUNG DOCTORS: Ingrid Elvy, Corinne Watson and Alexandra Henry from University of Wollongong at Byron Lighthouse for their Indigenous Cultural Awareness Day. Christian Morrow

Medical placements start with Indigenous education session

THIRTY nine lucky young medical students kicked off their 12 month placements at North Coast medical facilities with an Indigenous Cultural Awareness Day at Cape Byron Lighthouse.

The students will be training in Murwillumbah, Tweed, Mullumbimby, Byron Bay, Bangalow, Casino, Lismore, Goonellabah, Lennox Head and Grafton. The placements are facilitated by the University Centre for Rural Health in Lismore and during their time here the students complete clinical training and receive additional education on rural and remote public health and multidisciplinary teamwork.

One of the students, Corinne Watson from Wollongong University said placements in the Northern Rivers were highly sought after by medical students.

"It a privilege to be placed up here, the region has a great reputation for teaching," she said. "We had so much fun at today's orientation, it's given us a great sense of place and a feeling that we are really being welcomed to the area."

The UCRH is collaboration between University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, University of Western Sydney and Southern Cross University and the Local Health District. Director of Education, Dr Michael Douglas said one of the organisation's aims was to improve the health workforce in the North Coast region by recruiting students to experience the diversity of services available in the region.

"The benefits of training student doctors in the region reach deeply," he said. "Our experience has shown that it is frequently the seed that germinates for a lifelong commitment to rural health."

Yesterday's session highlighted the cultural significance, history and heritage of Arakwal Country.

"It's great to meet the students and share our connection to Country though stories and bush tucker," said Delta Kay, National Parks education officer.


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