Hoc Mai Foundation Philosophy & History

Who we are | Our mission | What we do | How we work | Patron | History

Who we are

Học Mãi, the Australia Viêt Nam Medical Foundation, is a non-profit organisation which was established in 2001 to improve health outcomes through education and research in Viêt Nam. It is a foundation of the University of Sydney that brings together the collective health care knowledge and experience of Australia and Viêt Nam in an educational partnership. The Học Mãi Foundation has a distinguished Patron, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir, AC. CVO. Governor of New South Wales.

Our mission

The Học Mãi Foundation will improve health in Viêt Nam through the ongoing education and leadership development of health professionals through exchange and in-country support. We do this by:

  • Supporting a bilateral exchange of students and health professionals between Australia and Viêt Nam
  • Assisting to develop an understanding of the methods of teaching doctors and nurses in Viêt Nam by ‘Train the Trainer’ programs and the SCORPIO technique
  • Facilitating the development of knowledge of the Viêtnamese doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers to improve health care delivery to their people
  • Developing a strong network of Australian medical, nursing, technical and allied health staff who will provide ongoing assistance and training of Viêtnamese colleagues
  • Providing practical assistance with preventive, diagnostic and management problems in hospitals in Viêt Nam
  • Increasing research skills in Viêt Nam with the aim of using research to improve care

What we do

We facilitate:

  • Education and ‘Train-the-Trainer’ programs in Viêt Namese hospitals and universities
  • Delegations travelling to Viêt Nam to teach clinical skills and knowledge within various specialities in a number of hospitals in Viêt Nam
  • Young health professionals from Viêt Nam to come to Australia for advanced training
  • Medical, nursing, and health science students from University of Sydney to undertake clinical placements in Viêt Nam
  • Viêtnamese medical students to broaden their hospital experience in Australia
  • Students in the Masters of International Public Health from the University of Sydney to undertake their praxis in Viêt Nam
  • Support for medical research and training

How we work

Học Mãi relies on the goodwill of Australian health care professionals to host and train their Viêt Namese colleagues. We act as facilitators for Viêtnamese and Australian medical personnel to gain experience and understanding of issues in the developing world. We rely on grants and donations to support our program.


The Học Mãi Foundation has a distinguished Patron, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir, Governor of New South Wales. Professor Bashir, Chancellor of The University of Sydney and a psychiatrist, has a long-standing interest in and passion for medical education and health improvement in Vietnam.


The Học Mãi program was started after senior academics at the University of Sydney’s Northern Clinical School realised that medical graduates in the new millennium needed additional skills to practise medicine in the global environment. In 1998, as part of the University’s globalisation policy, a medical exchange program was launched with the Hanoi Medical University in Vietnam. This involved the exchange of medical students and young doctors between Australia and Vietnam for the purpose of enhancing their medical education. The focus was on young people so they would expand their horizons by exposing them to new experiences and develop collegiate relationships that would be sustained throughout their medical careers.
hospital scene

In 2001, this exchange program was formalised with the establishment of a charitable foundation called Học Mãi, the Australia Vietnam Medical Foundation under the auspices of the University of Sydney. The one of the major goals of Học Mãi, which literally translated means "forever learning", has always been to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and skills of young medical students and experienced health professionals between Australia and Vietnam, with a view to forming bonds and ongoing relationships.

The Học Mãi Foundation remains a not-for-profit organisation that fosters medical and healthcare education and knowledge between Australia and Vietnam.

Members of the founding Board
  • Professor Kerry Goulston
  • Professor Bruce Robinson
  • Mr John Fisher
  • Mr John Saunders
  • Mr Tom Uren
  • Major General Peter Phillips
  • Dr Meredith Burgmann
  • Professor John Young
  • Professor Ton That Bach
  • Ambassador Vu Chi Cong
  • Dr Thuy Mai-Viet