15 October 2019
Forty-five Nursing Science students from four USC campuses will complete clinical placements in Indonesia, starting from this month, with funding support from the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan Mobility Program.
The program is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and provides grants to Australian universities to support undergraduates to complete semester-based or short-term placements in 40 locations across the Indo-Pacific region.
Lecturers in Nursing Science Matt Mason of USC Sunshine Coast and April Martin of USC Fraser Coast will lead a cohort of 22 students this month, departing 25 October, and another group of 23 students in January.
Mr Mason said both groups would comprise future nurses from the Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, Gympie and Fraser Coast.
“This is the third trip I’ve gone on with students to placements in Yogyakarta and it’s such a great process to see them get a great grounding in the fundamental skills of community nursing, and also find out more about each other’s experiences as USC students,” he said.
“It’s powerful to see the students being immersed into a health system and culture they’re not used to and gaining that shared experience with fellow students regardless of which campus they’ve been studying at. It fosters some great cross-campus collaborations.”
The students will work alongside a local non-government organisation, Karima Health Care Community, assisting with health screening in local villages through activities like measuring cholesterol and blood pressure.
They will also visit schools in the region, delivering health promotion presentations on hand hygiene, oral health, and safe motorcycle riding practices.
“A lot of students choose to do this placement because they have an interest in doing humanitarian aid work when they graduate,” Mr Mason said.
“Some students realise that working in these locations perhaps isn’t for them after all, while others who may have never considered working outside of Australia gain a huge insight into what they can do with their nursing degree.”
The two Nursing Science placements are funded through a 2019 grant under the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program worth $511,500 over three years.
USC has also been successful in securing almost $580,000 in the 2020 New Colombo Plan Mobility Program application round to support 173 students to participate in nine projects.
Two of the largest grants include funding for 60 students to explore Chinese society and culture, and another for 30 students to investigate capacity building in Samoa through partnerships with a High Performance Student Athlete program.
Other projects that received grants include researching plastic waste options in Nepal, enhancing nutrition in Kiribati and assessing civil infrastructure in urban and regional India.