IAHA Student Stuff - April 2015
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Message from the SRC Chairperson

Hi everyone! I hope 2015 uni year has kicked off to a great start for you all! I’m really happy to be back on the SRC as the chairperson again this year and looking forward to another great year with a bigger team and more fabulous ideas. For those that are new to IAHA and don’t know who the SRC members are be sure to check out everyone’s bio here.

Quick line on what I’ve been up to this year so far… Started back to uni in early February; do holidays ever last long enough?! But it was so good to get back into the clinical stuff and warm up for my big year of placement.

Then in mid-February I went to the IAHA Leadership workshop in Alice Springs. This was my first time in the Northern Territory and it was absolutely amazing, and I’m so glad I got to share this experience with a bunch of culturally involved people, including many of you. 

On another note, I’d like to remind all students that all members of the SRC are here to support you on your IAHA journey and also if you just need someone to vent to – we are your IAHA family! So please always feel free to contact any one of us whenever you want at or you can ask Uncle Larry to pass a message on.

Also don’t forget about the IAHA mentoring program here - there are lots of mentors to choose from so check it out!

Hope you all have a great year and hope to hear from you soon!

Sophie L'Estrange
SRC Chairperson

CONF_BOX_HFTC3_2IAHA 2015 HFTC - Applications opening 1 May 2015

The 3rd Indigenous Allied Health Australia HealthFusion Team Challenge (IAHA HFTC), will be held 28 – 29 November 2015, at the Pullman Cairns International in Cairns, Queensland.

All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tertiary health students are eligible to participate, however participants must be (or become) a full or associate member of IAHA (membership is free – click here to join).

CONF_BOX_CONF3Call For Abstracts Open Now!

IAHA is now seeking abstracts for the 2015 IAHA National Conference, ‘Allied Health – Stepping into Action’ being held at the Pullman International Cairns, 1-2 December 2015 from our members and stakeholders for concurrent sessions of 20 minutes each.

Presentations that are action oriented, strengths-based and solution focussed will be highly regarded. And you don't have to be a graduate to submit an abstract!!! Click here to read more or to submit an Abstract...

CONF_BOX_AWARDS3Do you know someone who is awesome and deserves to be rewarded??? 

If so, consider nominating them for an IAHA National Indigenous Allied Health Awards after 1 May 2015 here.

The purpose of the Indigenous Allied Health Awards is to recognise the contribution of IAHA members to their profession and/or improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

There are two awards specifically for student members:

Future Leader in Indigenous Allied Health Award

Prize: $1,000

This award is open to all current IAHA Full Members (Student) enrolled in an entry level allied health degree who demonstrate leadership capabilities, a commitment to their studies and leadership journey and are an inspirational role model for other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Indigenous Allied Health Student Academic Achievement Award

Prize: $1,000

This award is open to all current IAHA Full Members (Student) currently completing their two final years of an entry level allied health course. They must have demonstrated consistently high academic progress throughout their allied health course; contribution to university life and/or community and/or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health; and evidence of being an inspirational role model for other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

IAHA Scholarships available from 1 May 2015

Limited scholarships are available to assist IAHA student members to attend the 2015 IAHA National Conference, HFTC, National Indigenous Allied Health Awards and AGM. Scholarship applications will open Friday 1 May 2015 and close 31 July 2015. Successful applicants will be notified by 21 August 2015.
Click here to find out more and read the guidelines.

Other Scholarships

Click here to search over 300 scholarships available to Australian Indigenous Students for undergraduate study at Australian universities as well as more than 100 postgraduate scholarships for study in Australia and overseas.

Are you an Off Campus Student? If so, read on...

Here are some tips from Vin, an IAHA student member studying social work off campus at IKE (Institute for Koori Education) at Deakin University in Geelong...

"As an off campus student I would like to share my experience in making the most of the university libraries. I found their staff always so willing to help and their information sessions very helpful in navigating databases and information in general and it also gave me a better perspective on how much literature was available to me through the online library. Another very handy service for off campus students is an on line delivery service. So you order your text through the online library service and they send it out to you via mail with a return paid envelope for you to send it back when you're done. Not sure if this is available at every uni but definitely worth asking about. Lastly I just wanted to share that studying by correspondence can be isolating so finding study mates, a tutor and/or keeping in regular contact with your lecturer helps. Hope this is helpful, Vin."

Blog - Maintaining Sanity At University

Nathan Canuto, IAHA student member, shares some insights into how to he maintains his sanity in his final year of a Psychology degree...

Coming into my fourth year of university study, I have come to learn that there is that inevitable point in the semester where all my planning, calmness and thinking I am on top of my study goes out the window.  Every semester there is a point where it is panic stations, thoughts of quitting university go through my mind and my levels of stress are through the roof.  Although coming into each semester I think I have developed a new fool proof study plan, thinking this one is so good I am going to cruise through the semester, there always seems to be a hiccup.  Something unexpected will arise, friends will come into town, an essay won’t go as smoothly as anticipated, or family commitments will appear.
The first thing I find when university starts to get stressful is that I don’t stick to my daily plan, my healthy eating gets replaced with Mi Goreng or KFC, and my exercise gets put on hold as I think I don’t have enough time.  Last semester however I learnt that while sticking to my plan, eating healthy and exercise are the first to go, they are the things I benefit from the most.  Last year I made sure I ate healthy and engaged in at least 15-20 minutes of activity per day, whether that be walking, running, swimming, meditating, stretching, or whatever.  As a result I felt I was in a much better place psychologically and better able to cope with the pressure of university.  It was still fairly stressful, don’t get me wrong, I just felt I was better able to deal with it. 

So what was different last year, how did I stick to my plan, continue to eat healthy and exercise?
  1. Thorough day to day planning – Realising that the point comes where the semester and even weekly plan gets abandoned and my sleep pattern is all over the place, I plan each day on the night before I go to bed, whether that be 10 at night or 4 in the morning.  I write everything down I want to achieve for the day and tick it off as I go.  From waking up at certain time, to what I want to achieve study wise for the day, to the food I am going to eat at each meal.  I find ticking off even small goals gives me that sense of achievement, accomplishment and productivity.
  2. Having quick healthy meals on hand – The times I stray from healthy eating the most are when time is short and I have nothing easy in the fridge.  Last semester I ensured I had plenty of fruit around, I replaced my normal fresh veggies with frozen microwavable ones, kept 1 or 2 whole chickens from Woolies in the fridge, had a heap of tinned tuna in the cupboard, and when I had time to cook, cooked up enough of whatever for a few different meals. 
  3. Exercising first thing when I wake up – I know myself, and that if I gammon say I will exercise in the afternoon, I have a about 8 hours’ worth of excuses why I can’t exercise.  I find that if I get up and exercise straight away, sometimes I am halfway through my exercise before I even properly wake up haha.  In saying that though, when I do realise that I am exercising, I make sure I practice clearing my head, relaxing, and not having a thousand thoughts about what I need to do for the day go through my mind. 
  4. Keeping in mind that Uni is only intense for a fixed period of time – I find free monthly calendars online, put them above my desk and tick off every day as it goes by.  I find this allows me to keep motivated and keep pushing through.  Knowing there is an end date means I can push myself for ‘just another 6 weeks’, ‘just another 3 weeks’, ‘just another 3 days’, whatever it may be.
While everyone has their own style and ways of managing and coping with stress, I find these little tips have worked for me.  Another big part of helping me through the stress of university is having other students I can talk to, share experiences with and to help me realise, I am not the only one stressing out.  If you have any other little tips or hints for remaining sane and persisting through university it would be great if you could share them through the IAHA Facebook page or send in a blog and we will get it in the next newsletter.

Additionally if the stress of university does get too much, don’t be shame, be sure to engage with the counselling services of your university, see your local GP or contact an external counselling service such as Life Line on 13 11 14.  Lots of us students are going through the same thing. 

Wishing you all the best with your studies!

School Visits in Alice Springs

On Tuesday 17 February 2015, whilst in Alice Springs attending the IAHA Indigenous Leadership Workshop, our IAHA Student Representative Committee (SRC) members had a wonderful opportunity to visit two local secondary schools.

The purpose of the school visits was to encourage and inspire Indigenous students to complete yr12, to talk about allied health career options and pathways available to them and the support systems to help them succeed.

The first school visited was Yirara College, a boarding school for Indigenous students 12 years and older from remote communities in the Northern territory and beyond. Yirara College, for the first time ever, had eight students in their Yr 12 cohort -amazing role models to younger students. The SRC got to know the students and spoke to them about their journeys and why they love their professions which included Psychology, Oral Health, Social Work, Occupational Therapy and Mental Health. They stressed how important it was to complete yr 12 so that they have more opportunities in the future. 
IMG_1227SMALLThe next school we visited was Centralian Senior College where we met over 80 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students from years 11 and 12. They were split into four smaller groups and then rotated around and experienced fun interactive activities run by our SRC.

There was lots of laughter and learning and the students asked so many fantastic questions. The SRC were available to answer these questions and get the students excited about completing yr 12 and thinking about a career in allied health.

“As a caring mob that we are, sometimes we care for other people and forget about ourselves. Studying can be exhausting and stressful so we need to look after ourselves...” 
- Celeste, IAHA student member.

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