Guy Cameron

PhD, Bbiomedsci(hons), Bmedsci

Bridging Cultures in Biomedical Education: A Collaborative Journey between the University of Newcastle and the University of Waikato

November 01, 2023

In a landmark event on the 1st and 2nd of November 2023, the University of Newcastle played host to a delegation from the University of Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand. This collaborative initiative, centred on "Enhancing Teaching & Learning in Biomedical Science and Health," brought together Indigenous perspectives from both Aboriginal and Maori cultures, fostering a unique exchange of knowledge and experiences.

Day 1: Building Connections

The collaboration kicked off with a warm welcome and coffee at the Cadre Coffee area, setting the tone for a two-day exploration of innovative teaching and learning strategies in biomedical science and health. Distinguished speakers, including Professor Suzanne Evans, Professor Rohan Walker, and Mr. Luke Boulton, extended greetings, emphasising the significance of cultural integration in academic pursuits.

The day included a visit to the Wollotuka Institute, offering a firsthand experience of Indigenous health initiatives. Lunch at eateries near The House provided an informal setting for networking and discussions. The afternoon featured a tour of Anatomy and Physiology teaching laboratories, fostering potential collaborations between UoN and UoW staff. The day concluded with a session at the LD&TI recording studio, highlighting strategies for embedding cultural competency into teaching and learning.

The evening saw a camaraderie-filled UoN and UoW team dinner at Elementa Restaurant, fostering bonds beyond the academic realm.

Day 2: Interactive Workshop

The second day focused on an interactive workshop incorporating Indigenous perspectives and inclusivity into teaching and learning. Acknowledgement of Country by Ms Yali Windle set the stage, followed by a workshop welcome from Josephine Smith.

Sessions throughout the day included:
  • Institutional strategies and approaches, featuring insights from the Office of Indigenous Strategy and Leadership.
  • UoN Library Support and Resources for Staff and Students, presented by Ms Yali Windle.
  • University of Waikato perspectives on embedding Mātauranga Māori into large health courses, shared by Dr Joanna Hicks and team.
  • Progress updates from the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy.

The Yarning Mat Activity provided a platform for reflection and idea generation, fostering the creation of a School framework. Perspectives from Biomedical Research, Nursing, Sciences, and students further enriched the dialogue.

The day concluded with a panel discussion, Q&A, and considerations for future directions. A UoN and UoW Team meeting followed, emphasising the collaborative spirit that will continue to shape the future of biomedical education at both institutions.


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