Indigenous Engagement for Students

Ashley Brown1



The National Rural Health Student Network (NRHSN) Indigenous Community Engagement Activity program provides opportunities for Rural Health Club (RHC) students to play a role in improving the health and education of rural communities. Each Rural Health Club must organise and participate in at least one Indigenous Community Engagement Activity each year

The aims of the Indigenous Community Engagement Activities program are to:
• Inspire Indigenous rural students to pursue health careers.
• Increase your knowledge of rural community health.
• Gain skills in working in a rural community.
• Gain further connections with rural health workers and communities.
• Gain positive rural experiences.
Types of activities
Indigenous Community Engagement Activities could include:
• Attendance at Indigenous Family Days.
• Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through youth clubs, Indigenous Community Health Services or other organisations.
• Indigenous Community Festivals.
• Assisting schools with a predominantly Indigenous student population with a series of health workshops including healthy eating, skills based sessions and highlighting health careers as options for future study.
The 2018 Executive Committee is in the process of creating an Indigenous Engagement Activity Guide to be published by August. It is headed by Rebecca Fatnowna, a woman of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander decent and our Indigenous Officer. This guide will include the following components to be presented on:
• Welcome to, and acknowledgement of country
• Cultural Responsiveness
• Strategies for engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Events
• Dates of significance
• Case studies


Ashley Brown, Community & Advocacy Officer of the NRHSN