Health career pathways improve by degrees

The Australian National University is opening a new pathway for Indigenous and rural students to become doctors and health professionals.

From 2018, the ANU Medical School will offer a new Bachelor of Health Science program, with a minimum of 15 of its 50 positions reserved for Indigenous and rural students.

The degree has been designed to help address the shortage of health professionals in remote and rural communities.

ANU Medical School Associate Dean of Medical Education Associate Professor David Kramer said the degree aimed to produce graduates who wanted a career in health, health research or health professional education.

“As Australia’s national university, we want to ensure we have a strong representation of graduates from all parts of Australia, including rural areas and Indigenous communities,” Dr Kramer said.

Meanwhile, peak science body CSIRO is calling for applications for its Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Science and Technology program.

ASSETS is part of a joint project by CSIRO and BHP Billiton Foundation that gives 105 Indigenous Year 10 students the chance to participate in an all-expenses paid, nine-day summer school held in Townsville, Newcastle or Adelaide and an ongoing leadership and support program as they complete Years 11 and 12.
ASSETS focuses on how Indigenous knowledge and science go hand-in-hand.
Program manager Jen Parsons said students would have the opportunity to conduct scientific inquiries within an Indigenous context.

“We recognise the incredible contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have made to the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and aim to improve the engagement and participation of Indigenous students in these fields to create a more diverse workforce that benefits Australia,” Dr Parsons said.

Applications close on June 16.

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