ASPIRE is UNE’s Australian Medical Student Association (AMSA) Global Health Group. There is an AMSA global health group in every medical school in Australia. All groups are networked through AMSA and are able to create policies and instigate change on a local and national level.
ASPIRE was founded in 2010 by a few dedicated students and has grown substantially in the years since. Each year we present to the local community several opportunities for education and skills that relate to global health.
What does ASPIRE do?
Our primary goals are to educate UNE students and the wider community about global health issues and the positive steps that they can take to promote global health equity. Through our fundraising events in 2015 we raised money for the Barbara May Foundation, as well as for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and TB.
We hope we can continue to increase our fundraising capacity and reach a more diverse audience.
What events does ASPIRE hold?
There are a number of annual events that ASPIRE runs every year.
Maternal Health Weekend
This event is held over two days – Maternal Skills Day and Birthing Kit Assembly Day. At Maternal Skills Day, UNE medical students are given the opportunity to engage with local medical professionals and develop their knowledge and skills surrounding maternal health. In 2015, we had stations on neonatal resuscitation, shoulder dystocia, postpartum haemorrhage and birthing kits.
At Birthing Kit Assembly Day this year we compiled 1000 birthing kits, a personal best for ASPIRE! The birthing kits contain simple tools to minimize risk during childbirth for both the mother and the child. They are sent to developing countries with high maternal mortality. This year we also had a chance to hear from Dr David Browning, the founder of the Barbara May Foundation on both days of the event. Money raised from the weekend and the raffle that we do is donated to the Barbara May Foundation.
International Speaker Night
This is a night for UNE’s medical students and the wider community where we invite someone with history working in an international setting to speak about their experiences. It is a great opportunity to hear about first hand experiences of global health issues and find out the answers to any questions they might have.
This year we heard from Dr Geraldine Duncan, a GP in Wagga Wagga who auspiced the local refugee health clinic and Harry Birrell, a UNE graduate who has spent time in Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea.
Red Party is the biggest party in Armidale and ASPIRE’s biggest event of the year! It’s a night held to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS support and research. We decorate the venue and everyone dresses in red, recognising the international colour of AIDS. We have themed drink deals, free condoms and a photobooth. In 2014 we raised $5620 from Red Party, a record effort in ASPIRE’s history!
We also hold a lot of other events like movie nights and bake sales that raise money for causes like the Barbara May Foundation and increase awareness around issues like climate change, asylum seeker rights and health and the health of those in developing countries. Info about these events is released on our Facebook page.
A bit about the Barbara May Foundation
The Barbara May Foundation was founded by Dr David Browning, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, in 2009 to raise funds to support his sister, Valerie Browning, and son, Dr Andrew Browning in their work in maternal health, particularly obstetric fistulas, in Ethiopia.
How can I get involved in ASPIRE?
We encourage involvement from all medical students at our events. The best way to get involved is to attend our meetings. All of our meetings are open to everyone so to stay up to date with the details of the next one and our upcoming like our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/ASPIREUNE
If you have any questions you can contact any of our committee members:
President – Stormie De Groot – firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice-President – Lucinda Logan – email@example.com
Secretary – Jananee Myooran – firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer – Dan Jewiss – email@example.com
Promotions Officer – Felicity Goodes – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsorship Officer – Laura Millican – email@example.com
AMSA Global Health Rep – Cia Ostman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Code Green Rep – Miriam Zweck - email@example.com
Crossing Borders Rep – Tessa Tan - firstname.lastname@example.org
Maternal Health Coordinator – Taha Jamnagarwalla - email@example.com
Red Party Coordinators – Sri Ragupathy and Megan Adams - firstname.lastname@example.org