UQ medical students promote Indigenous health through song and dance

Medical students from the University of Queensland attended the Biennial Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival with a focus on promoting health and inspiring future health professionals.

The festival is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and showcases the people of the Cape York Peninsula through song and dance ceremony.

UQ Medical School
UQ med students at the Biennial Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival (Photo credit: UQ)

The medical students were representing TROHPIQ (Towards Rural and Outback Health Professionals in Queensland) and RHINO (Rural Health in Northern Outback).

Ms Sarah Ayles said their main objective for the weekend was to engage with the youth of the Cape York and promote health careers.

“We hope that we have inspired some future health professionals,” Ms Ayles said.

“Most importantly, as future clinicians, we had the opportunity to learn and participate in Indigenous culture.

“We were truly blown away with the level of engagement of everyone at the festival.

“Our booth was frequently visited by people who were willing to have a yarn about their experiences with the health system from Weipa to Thursday Island,” she said.

“We were interviewed for the National Indigenous Radio Service and one of the most consistent messages being broadcast over the weekend was that of healthy starts for children and ongoing involvement with health professionals.

“Our UQ Frisbees, casts for the children, apple Slinkies, and anatomy game were very popular, not to mention our free sunscreen and hats in the thirty-degree heat.”

As well as attending the festival, the students had the opportunity for some sightseeing, visiting the Split Rocks with famous rock art in the Laura area, and also got to spend an afternoon at Mossman Gorge.

“We would like to thank TROHPIQ for their support and allowing students to have these experiences and UQ Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences for their generous donations of merchandise for the weekend,” Ms Ayles said.

About the UQ Medical School Program

The UQ Medical School conducts a four-year, graduate-entry medical program, the Doctor of Medicine (MD). The School of Medicine is a leading provider of medical education and research in Australia, and with the country’s largest medical degree program, they are the major single contributor to Queensland’s junior medical workforce.

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Next available intake: January 2017
Duration: 4 years

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