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LIME Network Newsletter 33 - July 2020

Welcome to the 33rd edition of the LIME Network Newsletter. In this edition we update you on the LIME Network Survey Report, Reference Group meeting, Specialist Medical Colleges Workshop and Pathways to Specialisation video project developed by LIME.

Our member profile for this edition features LIME Reference Group Member Brett Biles.

We welcome Dr. Shayne Bellingham who joins us as the Project Manager of the LIME team. We also farewell Tina Takagaki and Tarneen Callope. Thank you both for your hard work and contribution to the LIME Network. Welcome to our new reference group members Dr Christine Clinch, University of Western Australia, Dr Clinton Schultz, Bond University and Dr. Maree Toombs, the University of Queensland.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge all aspects of LIME Network activities. The LIME Network team continue to work from home and endeavour to maintain our activities as much as we can, whilst complying with  federal and state government directives.

The LIME Network stands in solidarity with all who have rallied and continue to advocate that Black Lives Matter. The systems that perpetuate these inequities contribute to the inability to close the health and life expectancy gap for Indigenous people. Our work in Indigenous Medical Education aims to address the systemic racism that is at the heart of poorer health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

You can find all newsletters archived on our website. We welcome any feedback via Please join the LIME Network on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or visit the LIME Network website to keep up to date with the latest information.

LIME Connection Activity Member Survey

LIME Connection Activity Member Survey can be found here.

Reference Group Meeting

A LIME Reference Group meeting was held on 5-6 May 2020. The meeting was originally planned to be held in Perth but due to current COVID-19 travel restrictions members were able to attended via Zoom. Of course, we miss the face to face opportunities. However, with Reference Group members between Perth, Western Australia, and Aotearoa - it saved a lot of travel time! The meeting was also attended by Helen Craig, CEO of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand (MDANZ). 

Key discussions at the meeting included: Community of practice - Reflections on current work, Connection IX 2021 planning, partner organisation updates from AIDA, TeORA, AMC and Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand (MDANZ) and updates from the LIME team regarding core business and projects. 

We are looking forward to our next Reference Group catchup in August, which will be a short online meeting, to keep in touch and start planning our strategy for the future of LIME. Our next two-day meeting is expected in late November.  

Specialist Medical Colleges Workshop

On 1st and 2nd June 2020 we held the third of our Specialist Medical Colleges Workshops: "Thinking About Race, Colonisation And Medicine". There have been significant challenges running this workshop, during the pandemic. In general, participants felt that online was not preferred. However, they were generally surprised that it was such a good experience. There were some technical difficulties that were frustrating, but everybody was patient and respectful. As we plan for the future workshops, we are weighing up the pros and cons of face-to-face and online, as are our participants.

The LIME team would like to thank A/Prof Bond and Dr Mukandi for their outstanding work and Prof David Paul for his invaluable advice. 
View Specialist Medical Colleges Workshop evaluation here

Pathways into Specialisation Video

The following video shows the experiences of Indigenous Doctors including supports, challenges and information regarding the pathways available.
The video was produced by Caden Pearson.

View Pathways into Specialisation video here

Welcome Dr. Shayne Bellingham to the LIME Team

We would like to welcome Dr. Shayne Bellingham to LIME Network as Project Manger.

Dr Shayne Bellingham is a proud Wotjobaluk man from the Wimmera region in Victoria. Shayne has a PhD in Genetics from The University of Melbourne and worked as a research scientist in fields of neurodegenerative disease, biomedical genomics and biomarker discovery; and as a Senior Project Officer at the Lowitja Institute in Indigenous health research project management. Shayne has a passion for genomics, Indigenous health and medicine and provides strategic advice on the development of a Reference Genome for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. Read more

Welcome to our new Reference Group Members

Dr Christine Clinch - The University of Western Australia

Christine is from the Badamia people of the Yamatji Nation. She was born and raised in Perth and has been a part of the Noongar community most of her life. She has had the great privilege of working alongside many strong Aboriginal men and women both in Perth and throughout the state and country. Read more.

Dr. Clinton Schultz - Bond University

Dr. Clinton Schultz is a Gamilaraay man and father of three. He obtained his PhD from Griffith University School of Medicine, is an Assistant Professor of Aboriginal health at Bond University and is a registered psychologist.

A/Prof. Maree Toombs - the University of Queensland

Associate Professor Maree Toombs is the Associate Dean (Indigenous Engagement) for the Faculty of Medicine. From her experience teaching Indigenous students, Maree observed a pattern in young Indigenous Australians disengaging from education and has worked ever since to understand and help bridge the gap. Maree’s expertise is in the mental health of Indigenous Australians and exploring the interface between Indigenous and Western research methodologies. Read more.

Brett Biles, Director of Indigenous Health Education, University of New South Wales

My name is Brett Biles, I am a Murrawarri man living and working on Wiradjuri country and also working on Bidjigal country. I work for UNSW Faculty of Medicine. My dad is from Brewarrina and my mum has Scottish heritage.

I am the Director of Indigenous Health Education and have been in this role for 12 months. My primary role is to ensure the 6 year undergraduate medical degree has Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing scaffolded throughout the degree to ensure that our graduates are providing culturally safe care, but also to ensure that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students are culturally safe during their degree. Read more.

Slice of LIME Seminar 12.5: LIME Connection VIII - Dr Nadine Caron Keynote Address

View Slice of LIME 12:5 LIME Connection VIII - Dr Nadine Caron Keynote Address here

Call for Expressions of Interests - Slice of LIME Seminars

The LIME Network are seeking content for Slice of LIME seminars.

The LIME Network hosts Slice of LIME Seminars on topics regarding learning and teaching of Indigenous health in health professional education, and /or the recruitment and graduation of Indigenous health professional students.

The seminars aim to contribute to sharing knowledge and strengthening capacity amongst the LIME Network membership. Seminars are often co-hosted by the LIME Network and partner universities or organisations. Seminars are streamed live online where possible and recorded and uploaded to YouTube for later viewing.

For an example of content please view - Slice of LIME Seminar 11: Assessment in Indigenous Health Education by A/Prof Suzanne Pitama and Dr Maira Patu, University of Otago, Christchurch.

For more information please contact Shanel Cubillo on 

See online application form here

NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) Indigenous medical student COVID-19 scholarship

In 2020 the NSW Rural Doctors Network (NSWRDN) is offering a scholarship to enable Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander medical students in their study and related practical support such as internet data, study materials, and making the student’s study environment safe.

The scholarship is open May – October 2020 and captures purchases foreseen or made between these dates. Each applicant is capped at $500.

The recipient/s will be required to:

  • Submit a short 300-word overview of why they need the funds and why they chose their specific item/s
  • Identify supplier for the items that AIDA can liaise with for the purchase or
  • Submit receipt for purchase for items

The scholarship is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students at NSW universities and applicants must be a current member of Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) by the application closing date.
For more information see here.

NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) Indigenous Cadetships

Are you a medical student interested in a career in rural NSW?
NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN), on behalf of the NSW Ministry of Health, is offering up to two NSW Rural Resident Medical Officer Cadetships to Indigenous medical students.
You will receive a scholarship of $30,000 during the final two or three years of your medical degree and in return, commit to spending two of the first three years of your hospital training at a base hospital in Tamworth, Dubbo, Orange, Wagga Wagga or Albury.
Your cadetship includes a grant to relocation to a rural town, subsidised attendance at RDN conferences and the annual RDN cadet weekend. You will also be mentored and supported by RDN and its vast network of experienced rural health professionals.
Practising medicine in rural NSW is an exciting and rewarding career. Apply now to join this incredible program, meet other students aspiring for careers in rural health, and join the rural health community of NSW.
Applications close 3 August 2020.
For more information see here or contact Melissa Michael on 02 4924 8000 or email

Scholarships and Grants


Australian Scholarships and Grants More scholarships are listed in the Indigenous Scholarships Portal on the Aurora Education Foundation website. 

Aotearoa Scholarships and Grants

A Structure to Support the Growth of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander General Practitioner Workforce

General Practice Training Tasmania (GPTT), in collaboration with the University of Tasmania has developed an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Registrar Support Policy (the Policy).

Increasing participation of the GP Indigenous workforce provides more equitable outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In the context of health services, increased participation of the Indigenous GP workforce also strengthens self-determination by increasing opportunities for Indigenous people in all layers of decision-making design, delivery and control of health services. Recognising the need to grow the Indigenous GP workforce, General Practice Training Tasmania (GPTT), in collaboration with the University of Tasmania has developed an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Registrar Support Policy (the Policy). 

The Policy builds on work undertaken by the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA), Medical Colleges and the University of Tasmania to improve retention rates for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander medical students by providing a coordinated framework that includes support mechanisms for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander GP registrars within the GPTT training program.  This also addresses the need for continuity of support transitioning from medical school through to specialist training.

Mechanisms within the Policy include flexible training placements; access to national mentoring and networking; local mentoring; professional development; fee relief for college application and exams; and support for practices to allow registrars to take additional leave for cultural events and/or attend national Indigenous workshops and conferences.
Prior to commencement in the training program, registrars who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders are invited to meet with the Director of Education and Training to go through the Policy and develop a tailored plan based on individual needs.  Regular follow up meetings are then scheduled to review and update the plan throughout the training program.
The Policy provides a framework to reduce barriers and promote and support culturally secure practice environments to assist registrars to meet their learning outcomes.  The Policy is publicly available and has potential to assist in the development of similar frameworks for other training organisations and pathways.  While registrars who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders may have a range of supports in place, the provision of an overarching framework such as this not only promotes and co-ordinates support mechanisms available but demonstrates clear organisational commitment to reducing barriers to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander registrars through to successful Fellowship and into professional leadership roles.
Providing an environment that is culturally safe for registrars also increases safety and accessibility for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and practice staff in which in turn, leads to more equitable health outcomes.
The authors of this document wish to acknowledge Rosie Smith, Aboriginal Health Careers Promotion Officer at the University of Tasmania for her contribution in assisting to develop linkages with the University of Tasmania’s Aboriginal support policy

Kristen FitzGerald; Tanya Schramm; and Laurell Grubb

View Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Registrar Support Policy here

New Wellbeing Resource - ‘WellMob’

The inspiration for the WellMob website came from frontline health and wellbeing workers, who said they needed a one-stop-shop to easily access culturally relevant resources to use with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. WellMob brings together over 200 videos, apps, podcasts and other websites in the one place and is free to access. The website was developed by eMHPrac (e-mental health in practice) in partnership with the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet. The easy to use visual format will support those who work in mental health, family support, education and youth services.
View WellMob resource here

New Cultural Safety for Health Professionals Portal

In collaboration with the First Peoples Health Unit at Griffith University, the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has developed a new Cultural Safety for Health Professionals portal. The portal aims to support the teaching of health professionals to critically reflect on the concept of cultural safety and to deliver safe, accessible and responsive healthcare that is free from racism.

Links are provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural safety resources, which relate to the five capabilities of a refreshed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heath curriculum framework. The portal aims to assist health professionals to support the implementation of the The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

See Cultural Safety for Health Professionals Portal here

Call for Nominations - RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Awards

Nominations are open for the RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Awards.
Categories include: 
  • Standing Strong Together award
  • Growing Strong award
  • Medical Student award
Nomination forms are available to download here.
Nominations close 4 September 2020.
For more information please contact

Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, University of Melbourne - Podcast with Dr. Brett Shannon

Indigenous Doctor and 2018 Melbourne Poche Leadership Fellow, Brett Shannon, discusses his pathway into Medicine, his specialisation in Occupational Medicine, and his Board career.

Listen to podcast here.

Key Thinkers Forum - Registration for online panel discussion

Precision medicine involves tailoring medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient, based on their genetic makeup. It is poised to transform rare disease and cancer management - in the populations where sufficient genomic data exists - to inform diagnosis and is the gold standard treatment of rare disease and cancers. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples cannot access precision medicine in the same way as other Australians because there is no Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander genomic data in the international database gnomAD.

Aboriginal people have an average ten year shorter life expectancy than non-Aboriginal people. Access to the latest therapies is critical to closing the gap in health outcomes.

The esteemed panel will discuss and explore the potential benefits of genomic medicine, what is happening in Australia and internationally to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in genomic medicine and research and what role does government have to play to ensure all Australians can benefit equally from innovative medical interventions. Case studies will illustrate how to genuinely and respectfully engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to explain why precision medicine is important, how to collect and store samples and how people can become involved in genomics activities.

Panel Members (Facilitated by Prof. Tom Calma AO)

  • Prof. Alex Brown
  • Azure Hermes
  • Greg Pratt
  • Tiffany Boughtwood
When: Tuesday 27 October 2020, 9:30am - 12:pm
Register here.

Conferences and Events 

Choosing Wisely Means Choosing Equity 2020 - Council of Medical Colleges and Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa

Choosing Wisely Aotearoa New Zealand was launched in 2016 by the Council of Medical Colleges (CMC), and has been implemented by many district health boards (DHBs) and medical colleges. It is very important that a Choosing Wisely approach is not at the expense of equity. Unless equity is explicitly considered, new health care interventions or campaigns have the tendency to widen inequities, as they are taken up first by those in society with the most resources and the least need.

Although the health system in Aotearoa New Zealand acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles of partnership, participation, and protection, and aspires to health equity, Māori experience marked inequities in health outcomes, mortality, health care access, and satisfaction with health services. Read more.

Download Choosing Wisely Means Choosing Equity 2020 report here

Growing the Number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Specialists - AIDA

AIDA and specialist medical colleges collaborate on standards to recruit and retain more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specialist trainees.

Funded by the Australian Department of Health the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) has worked closely with specialist medical colleges to devise practical and achievable ways to increase the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors into specialties.

Read more here.
Download Growing the Number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Specialists report here

COVID-19 Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Professionals

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers Association (NATSIHWA), Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association (AIDA) and Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) have compiled this pack to assist and support Indigenous health workers in the changing environment. It includes tips and information to care for yourself, as well as, resources for distribution in your communities.
Download COVID-19 Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Professionals here

Getting Better - A Year in the Life of a Māori Medical Student Podcasts

In Getting Better - A Year in the Life of a Māori Medical Student trainee doctor and award-winning writer Emma Espiner (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Porou) travels to the front lines of healthcare in New Zealand, where life and death decisions are made every day and where the statistics clearly show Māori are suffering: Māori die younger, get chronic illnesses earlier and receive less care than non-Māori.

Listen to Getting Better - A Year in the Life of a Māori Medical Student Podcasts here

Ask the Specialist Podcasts: Larrakia, Tiwi and Yolnu stories to inspire better healthcare

Menzies School of Health Research have created  ‘Ask the Specialist’ podcasts. The podcasts provide cultural education which answers doctors’ questions about working with Aboriginal patients at Top End hospitals.

Across seven episodes, questions range from the practical, “Is it okay to make eye contact?” to cultural safety issues, “I want to know what Aboriginal people feel like when we talk to them, what makes them think that we're racist?”

Listen to Ask the Specialist Podcasts here

Racial Bias in Flexner Report Permeates Medical Education Today - Hlavinka & Elizabeth, MedPage Today

Landmark study forced all but two Black U.S. medical schools to close

The 1910 Flexner Report is accepted as an important turning point in medical education. However, it's genesis (funded by the Carnegie Foundation and the American Medical Association), and its consequences, particularly for Black medical schools in United States of America, are worthy of reconsideration.
See publication here

Hidden in Plain Sight - Reconsidering the Use of Race Correction in Clinical Algorithms - Vyas, Eisentein & Jones, New England Journal of Medicine

And whilst reconsidering assumptions, this article from the New England Journal of Medicine walks through some race correction within clinical algorithms. "Given their potential to perpetuate or even amplify race-based health inequities, they merit thorough scrutiny."
See publication here

LIME Network Resources Hub

The LIME Network Resources Hub has been developed to enhance information sharing, supporting LIME Network members to deliver initiatives in Indigenous medical and health education, and encourage the development of Indigenous health as a discipline in its own right. If you would like to add a resource to the Hub, please contact us via 

Other Publications

About The Newsletter

The LIME Network Newsletter is published in March, July and November. It includes information about Indigenous health and health professional education and is designed as a resource for Indigenous and non-Indigenous health educators, students, practitioners, policy makers, community members and all those interested in improving Indigenous health outcomes.

The Newsletter is a collaborative publication that encourages information sharing between LIME Network members and celebrates the many successes occurring in the field of Indigenous health. If you have an article, story, picture or information about a project or an event, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us.
Copyright © 2020 Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network, All rights reserved.

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