10 May 2013

The Faculty of Health Sciences hosted an information evening last month aimed at promoting support for the FHS Abroad program, with a specific focus on India.

The event was attended by Mr Arun Kumar Goel, Indian Consul General in Sydney, along with a number of Sydney based Indian business and community leaders.

Professor Patrick Brennan, Associate Dean International, presented on the alignment between the faculties research strengths and India's healthcare priorities. According to the 20-20 Vision for India paper, the most challenging dilemmas the Indian healthcare system will face are ageing, disability, exercise, nutrition and cancer, all areas of strength within Health Sciences.

Prof Brennan's presentation was followed by an engaging talk by students featured in the India Link story (page 26), both of whom have recently returned from their placements within the FHS Abroad program. The attendees were interested in the potential for positive health outcomes in India, and also on the transformative experience that a placement in Indian can have on a student. The enthusiasm of the students, their experiences, and the friendships they forged, captured the imagination of the attendees, one of who has pledge support for the program.

In its first year the FHS Abroad program had five participants. Today, we have over 40 students enrolled to take part in an international placement and a strategic goal to have 100 students per semester enrolled in placements by 2015.

Following the event the FHS Abroad team has continued discussions with community leaders to explore opportunities for additional scholarship funding aimed at increasing the capacity of the program and ensuring that access to FHS Abroad is available to students regardless of their circumstances.