Launch of the new MDHS Indigenous study space

A new Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences for Indigenous students to study and connect with mob in a culturally safe space, was officially opened 1 September 2023, Level 1, Brownless Library.

Set up by Jess Sturk, Indigenous Student Success Coordinator and Alice Reid, Manager Student Experience this space was officially opened by Professor Sandra Eades, Associate Dean Indigenous.

Professor Eades said that even though it was a small event, it was a big celebration of the first Aboriginal study space in the faculty and reflected on the value of having such a space, when she was a student.

Launch of the MDHS Indigenous student study space “When I was an 18–20-year-old, on campus, I loved the space that I had that was like it. I hope it means as much to our current students and that it signals to them that they mean so much to us, that we care for them and are invested in their success.”

Jess Sturk said they were motivated by the desire to create a culturally safe space for MDHS students, in the Medical Precinct, where they could meet and study.

“We wanted a mix of contemporary and traditional Indigenous arts. In traditional art there are symbols that are recognizable by First Nations people and there are strong messages such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ included in the more contemporary pieces,” said Ms Sturk.

“Approximately half the artworks were sourced from The Torch, a not-for-profit initiative that supports incarcerated Indigenous people, with 100 per cent of profits going to the artist,” she said.

Since June 2011 The Torch has been providing art, cultural and arts industry support to Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria through its Indigenous Arts in Prisons and Community program.