Tackling global healthcare: HOPE4HEALTH
Imagine getting to sit down in a room with the likes of former High Court judge the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, surgeon and human rights activist Munjed Al Muderis, writer Clementine Ford, founder of the Asylum Resource Centre Kon Karapanagiotis and Senator Richard Di Natale… Just a few weeks ago over 700 medical students from around Australia were treated to just such an opportunity at the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) Global Health Conference from 18-23 August.

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With the support of the GUGC Student Guild, and led by Global Health Representatives, Gabriela Bran and Lauren Head, 20 Griffith students from HOPE4HEALTH headed to Adelaide to attend the conference. The inspirational line-up of speakers discussed topics such as refugee health and advocacy, climate health, the marriage equality postal vote, and Indigenous and developing world health.

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Students also got involved with interactive workshops, engaging them in debate and discussion on controversial areas in healthcare such as euthanasia and the decriminalization of sex workers. The AMSA Global Health Conference program was designed to inspire and empower students, to educate them on healthcare challenges in resource-poor settings and to provide them with the tools to return home and to act as advocates on a small and large-scale.

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A few of Griffith’s HOPE4HEALTH representatives arrived a few days early to attend a forum of Global Health Representatives from around Australia, the AMSA Global Health Council. HOPE4HEALTH shared their work over the past 12 months and heard from other students delivering health policy and advocacy projects on issues such as environmental, refugee and sexual and reproductive health.

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Attendees described the conference as an enriching experience that offered a unique opportunity to hear from some of Australia’s leading advocates for change, to meet and network students from around Australia and to develop their own professional and personal skills. They came away with new knowledge, friends and a broader perspective on global health and the challenges facing healthcare in Australia and abroad.