This project was recently granted funding from Education Queensland. The project involves developing close relationships with local schools, community representatives , Indigenous medical and dental students (current and past), AIDA/IDAA, Elder/s and parents/carers to assist Indigenous school pupils to aspire for and realise the realistic potential for a career in Medicine and Dentistry. Indigenous students attending local high schools will take part in interactive school-based activities and an activity day at The Centre for Medicine and Oral Health enabling the seed to be sown as early as possible in their educational journey.
During the first 6 months of this project an Indigenous outreach worker has been employed to visit schools and promote the real potential of a career in Medicine and Dentistry. In addition we have run a very successful activities day and plan for further such days. The inaugural day consisted of activities involving high levels of student engagement, including treatment of a simulated shark attack victim, making plaster casts of arms, CPR and doing mock dental check ups at dental chairs equipped with phantom heads. All the activities were conducted by the school students dressed in full scrubs and each station was coordinated by volunteer staff and students. Current Indigenous Dental and Medical students David Baker and Karen Taylor gave excellent and frank presentations in the form of a staged interview about their journeys so far and answered many questions from the attending school pupils. The combination of ‘real life’ examples of successful Indigenous students in Medicine and Dentistry and practical hands on experience of scenarios and using medical and dental equipment will undoubtedly have generated a positive effect and help to breakdown the barriers not only to careers in Medicine and Dentistry but to advanced education in general.