Indigenous Community Placements

Contribute to improving Indigenous health with local Aboriginal communities

Two students talking in a courtyard

A unique part of your experience while studying with us will come from the opportunities we offer to develop cultural competence and sensitivity while gaining experience with community organisations.

There is a great need for health professionals to build upon cultural competence before they engage with Aboriginal families and communities as health professionals in a wide variety of contexts.

One of our latest initiatives to address this is the Indigenous Community Placement program, which is available as an elective for senior undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students.

Once you have completed the first two years of your undergraduate degree, or are in the midst of your postgraduate coursework degree, you can apply to take part in a four-week community fieldwork project. If you are approved to participate in the program, you will work with a non-profit community service organisation, working in Aboriginal health, disability or community services.

You will work as a full-time staff member of a community organisation, beginning with an introduction to philosophies and practices of cultural competence in an Aboriginal community service environment. You will learn key concepts of Aboriginal health service delivery, and then apply these concepts on a short-term community development project.

Structure

This program will function as an elective, 6 credit-point unit of study within your degree program. If you are an eligible undergraduate student, you will enrol in HSBH3013. If you are an eligible postgraduate coursework student, you will enrol in HSBH5002. You must apply for permission to enrol via the Unit of Study Coordinator, Josephine Gwynn, before completing the online enrolment process in Sydney Student.

After a series of workshops introducing you to to the philosophies and practices of cultural competence in an Aboriginal community service environment, you will work as a full-time staff member of a community organisation. You will learn key concepts of Aboriginal health service delivery, and then apply these on a short-term community development project.

Please note however that this unit of study will not count towards your clinical placement requirements, or towards any requirements to undertake placement in a rural or remote region.

Preparation

Your cultural awareness training will begin before you go into the field. You will also need to pass a criminal record and working with children check. Depending on your particular placement, you may be required to get certain immunisations, and may need a current CPR certificate.

Reporting requirements

Your time spent with the community will allow you to document and report on your experiences, culminating in a 10-15 minute presentation at the conclusion of your placement.