Indigenous health focus

May 07, 2018

Graduates Chana Orloff and Shannon Drake.

Associate lecturer Gwenda Freeman, Proffesor Lisa Bourke, Chana Orloff, University of Melbourne's Melissa Russell, Shannon Drake, Department of Rural Health head Julian Wright and deputy head Bill Adam.

Local indigenous health is set to expand with two masters graduates using their new skills in the community.

Shepparton’s Chana Orloff and Shannon Drake recently graduated with a Masters in Public Health from Melbourne University’s Department of Rural Health.

The pair were honoured at a special celebration at Shepparton’s Department of Rural Health campus on Thursday, following a graduation ceremony in Melbourne.

The indigenous women were just the second cohort to graduate with their studies, including health promotion, epidemiology and specific indigenous health subjects.

Department of Rural Health’s associate lecturer in Aboriginal health education Gwenda Freeman said the university had been putting more focus on indigenous development, particularly in the area of health.

She said the course built on the knowledge and skills within the Shepparton community.

‘‘We are proud of our graduates and we are committed to connecting with indigenous leaders and engaging with the community to work with them to improve health and wellbeing,’’ she said.

Department head Julian Wright echoed Ms Freeman’s statements and said it was a faculty-wide responsibility to enhance indigenous development.

‘‘It is a priority for us to design and deliver appropriate courses to attract and retain indigenous students,’’ Mr Wright said.

‘‘This is critical for driving practice and change for encouraging students to consider a career in health.’’

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