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Forum event - Displaced Women, Double Challenge

11 March, 2014

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Naomi Steer presenting at the Displaced Women, Double Challenge forum

On Saturday 8th March, the University of Sydney co-hosted a successful International Women's Day forum entitled Displaced Women, Double Challenge, in partnership with the humanitarian medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières. The forum attracted over 250 participants who registered for the event to hear about the significant challenges that migrants and refugees face when settling in another country, including access to the most basic health care services.

The Displaced Women, Double Challenge forum was moderated by the ABC’s Fenella Kernebone and consisted of two panels; the first addressing the health needs and access to health care for women once they have arrived and resettled in Australia and the second panel highlighting the international issues, such as access to health care for women in their home country, whether health needs are a determining factor in leaving a country, as well as cultural issues.

Two South Sudanese refugees Ms Aduk Dau Gideon Duot and Ms Elizabeth Adau and Afghan Hazara refugee, Ms Sajida Ashrafi, shared their personal stories of resilience and the health issues that faced them in leaving their home countries and resettling in Australia.

The panelists included stimulating presentations from Naomi Steer (National Director, UNHCR Australia), Tane Luna (Médecins Sans Frontières), Mitchell Smith (NSW Refugee Health Service), Nooria Mehraby (NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors), Bronwen Blake (NSW Refugee Health Service) and Lyndal Trevena (University of Sydney and Asylum Seekers Centre).

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Sydney University visits Indonesia for Australia Awards

11 March, 2014

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Ms Danielle Somers (Director, Office for Global Health) and Ms Senice So (International Relations Manager, Office for Global Health), joined colleagues from the International Student Office (Ms Amy Wan, Australia Awards Manager) and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Dr Mark Melatos, Associate Dean Postgraduate Coursework) in Indonesia last week, as part of the Australia Awards Scholarships Information days in Jakarta and Bali. The team met with several prospective Australia Awards scholarship awardees, interested in studying postgraduate coursework and research degrees at the University of Sydney. The Australian government, through its Australia Awards scholarship program, is providing 519 awards to Indonesia as part of the 2014/2015 round (which is now open, and closes on 18th July 2014.

Following the scholarships event in Jakarta, the team met Mr John Leigh, Director (Health), Development Cooperation from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and discussed several concurrent projects in Indonesia, including primary health care (and the Indonesian government’s plans to build capacity in this sector), the use of mobile technologies to deliver key health messages to improve child and maternal health in the districts currently part of the pilot project managed by Coffey International).

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The University of Sydney team hosted an alumni dinner at the Ritz Carlton and invited Associate Professor Titi Savitri Prihatiningsih, from the Faculty of Medicine Universitas Gadjah Mada to this event to further plan the itinerary for her Endeavour Executive Award, to be undertaken in Sydney. This award will provide the opportunity for Associate Professor Prihatiningsih to focus on the organisational underpinnings of clinical schools and teaching hospitals associated with the University of Sydney. Reconnecting with alumni is an important strategy of the Sydney Medical School in Indonesia.

Following the event and briefings by the Australia Awards Scholarship team in Jakarta, the University of Sydney staff explained the options available for the core and elective units of study in the Masters of International Public Health and the Master of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health/Master of Philosophy with students at the scholarship event at the Mercure Sanur in Bali, followed by an alumni dinner in Seminyak, Bali.