USC takes action to 'Close the Gap'

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USC takes action to 'Close the Gap'


22 March 2016

Close the Gap events at the Gympie and Fraser Coast campuses of the University of the Sunshine Coast will hear how alternate reality games could improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths.

USC Lecturer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Melody Muscat will share her research with educators, health service providers, students and community elders as part of a wider presentation on improving Indigenous health outcomes.

Close the Gap is a national campaign to significantly boost the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within a generation.

The USC Fraser Coast event will be held today 22 March, starting at 11am, with a Welcome to Country followed by an address by the head of USC’s Indigenous Services Dr Keane Wheeler.

The same program will be held at USC Gympie on Wednesday 23 March.

Dr Wheeler will outline steps being taken within higher education to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through engaging students and communities in identity and belonging programs.

Ms Muscat will talk about her work in co-designing alternate reality games with a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths as a way of tackling important social and health issues such as bullying and depression.

“The key part of my address will cover strategies to improve health outcomes by attracting people to allied health and population health programs, such as USC’s new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health specialisation program,” she said.

Ms Muscat will also highlight the successes that some local communities are having in ‘Closing the Gap’ and the introduction of a national curriculum framework to develop culturally capable Indigenous and non-Indigenous health graduates.

— Clare McKay


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