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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 132-137

The beyond borders initiative: Aboriginal, torres strait islander and international public health students: Engaging partners in cross-cultural learning

1 Indigenous Health, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
2 International Public Health Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Michelle Dickson
Room 326, Edward Ford Building, A27, University of Sydney, Camperdown, Sydney
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.143729

Background: The University of Sydney's Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion (GDIHP) and Masters of International Public Health (MIPH) students have expressed a consistent desire to engage more with each other through student tutorials or any small group activity. MIPH students have expressed an interest in learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanderpeople and their health issues recognising contextual similarities in health priorities and social-cultural determinants. A and TSI students enrolled in the GDIHP have traditionally had very little contact with other students and are often unaware of the innovative solutions implemented in developing countries. Methods: Through this inclusive teaching innovation the MIPH and GDIHP programmes utilised diversity in the student population and responded to the University's Strategic Plan to promote and enhance pathways for supporting Indigenous students. This innovation provided an opportunity for both groups to learn more about each other as they develop into globally competitive public health practitioners. Results: The 'Beyond Borders' initiative exposed MIPH and GDIHP students to problem-based learning that incorporated global perspectives as well as focusing on the very specific and unique realities of life in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Both student cohorts reported that the knowledge and skill exchange was highly valuable and contributed to their development as health professionals. Discussion: This simple yet effective initiative created a sustainable cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and community-oriented partnership that benefited all involved and assisted in addressing health inequities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and in developing countries.

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