Sharing expertise across borders

18 November 2013

(L-R) Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, Sydney Medical School, and Suresh Shetty, Minister of Public Health, Government of Maharashtra, India.
(L-R) Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, Sydney Medical School, and Suresh Shetty, Minister of Public Health, Government of Maharashtra, India.

A senior lecturer at the Sydney Medical School, Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, was a panel member at the 2013 Regional Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, an annual forum bringing together the knowledge, expertise and skills of the Indian community in Australia and the Pacific.

The forum was hosted by the Ministry of Indian Affairs of the Government of India in Sydney last week, and was supported by the University of Sydney as part of its ongoing focus on international engagement and collaboration in the South Asia region.

Shailendra appeared in the breakout session 'Sharing Experiences: Scientists and Academics', where panellists shared experiences about their work in Australia and engagement with India.

"The panel discussed the important role education and research have in developing linkages between Australia and India, and the need to have programs for mobility of staff and students, to strengthen the knowledge partnership between these two nations," he says.

At the session, Shailendra shared the work that academics at the Sydney Medical School are conducting with Indian institutions in important areas of cervical cancer, maternal and child health and HIV.

Shailendra has been involved in coordinating the Master of HIV, Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs) and Sexual Health Program at the University and has led the development of short courses in HIV for a diverse range of healthcare providers. He currently leads the AusAID-funded program with the Public Health Foundation of India to develop and coordinate a professional program in STIs and HIV.

"While there is a large demand for skilled professionals to prevent, control and treat STIs and HIV, the training programs to support and strengthen the skills of these professionals are ad hoc or inadequate," he says.

"The AusAid-supported program aims to develop a certificate course to meets the needs of students working in a range of disciplines related to sexual health and STIs/HIV, including public health professionals, medical doctors, nurses, counsellors, educators and program managers. It will provide an online teaching and learning environment where students across various professional backgrounds come together to solve complex problems in a cross-disciplinary team environment."

Shailendra is just one of more than 60 University academics involved in research collaboration with South Asian institutions. Their research tackles real-life issues in agriculture, medicine and health sciences, engineering and IT, business and science.

The University delegation is about to visit India - the fifth delegation to go to India in the past three years. Professor Duncan Ivison, Dean of Arts and Social Sciences, together with key staff, will meet potential research partners and give public lectures in political science at St Xavier's College, Mumbai, and Jamia Milla University, Delhi.

Follow University of Sydney Media on Twitter

Media enquiries: Alex Wise, 90367526