Cultural Immersion Experience Camp

Learn more about healthcare in an indigenous community setting.

The Cultural Immersion Experience Camp is an opportunity for medical students interested in general practice to gain experience indigenous health care and culture firsthand.

Each year, the camp selects GPSN applicants to travel to a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory. Here, they experience Indigenous culture, and Indigenous and remote healthcare.

Applicants must submit an application to the camp, outlining their special interest in Indigenous healthcare and health issues. Applicants are selected on the basis of their interest and commitment to these areas.

This trip is thanks to Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE). Scholarships are available for students unable to afford flight costs.

The Cultural Immersion Experience Camp is thanks to the support of the GPSN National Working Group.

If you're interested in the 2019 trip, please contact wgo@gpsn.org.a

About the 2018 Experience

The Cultural Immersion Experience Camp is an annual opportunity for medical students interested in general practice to experience in Indigenous healthcare and Indigenous culture first-hand.

Applicants are selected for their demonstrated interest and engagement in Indigenous health, remote medicine and general practice.

The 2018 camp selected six GPSN applicants to travel to a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory, Kakadu.

This camp was thanks to the support of Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE). Scholarships were available for students unable to afford flight costs.

“It was an honour to see sacred sites and such awe-inspiring parts of our country with the traditional owners,” said attendee Helena.

“Everyone has a role to play and choices to make that can help play a role in closing the gap of healthcare inequalities,” she said.

The traditional owners of the land warmly welcomed the attendees, which included GPSN members, NTGPE GP registrars and cultural educators to Kakadu National Park.

The days were hot, active, jam-packed and provided invaluable knowledge to inform the future medical career of each attendee.

The team camped, cooked and fished by the river at Billabong Safari Camp. Day trips were taken around Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land.

Attendees visited remote health centres and saw first-hand the environment where remote and rural medicine is practised and delivered to the local community.

Attendees visited places of significance to the local Aboriginal communities. Here, attendees ate bush tucker, dyed and wove their own jewellery and played the yadaki (didgeridoo).

Stories were shared between attendees and the local guides, giving a unique perspective into Australian Indigenous culture and history.

“On behalf of GPSN, thank you to Mandy and her family for welcoming us and sharing your land and stories, NTGPE for their ongoing financial and practical support, GPRA for travel assistance and everyone else involved in this incredible experience,” said GPSN National Working Group Officer Keshini Visvanathan.

“We look forward to the 2019 Cultural Immersion Camp and strongly encourage all GPSN members to apply,” she said.

Applications for the next Cultural Immersion Experience will open early 2019. 

By Helena Rann, 2019 GPSN National Working Group Officer and 2018 Secretary of GPSN Monash Univeristy.

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