Visit of Indian delegation to the University of Melbourne to progress collaborative programs and disability initiatives
On Tuesday 18 April, the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne welcomed officials from the Government of India and six Sister Dr Mary Glowrey Scholars to a reception at University House, ahead of a week of activities and leadership training.
The delegation, from the Department of Empowerment of People with Disability in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, included Sh Rajeev Sharma, Joint Secretary of the Department, Sh Vineet Singh, Director of the Department, Sh Sandeep Tambe, Assistant Director of the Department, Sh Santanu Kumar Agrahari, Principal Secretary to the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, and Sh Srinivasulu, Assistant Professor at the National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (Divyangjan).
Other key guests included Mr Girish Singh Kavia, Indian Consul (Commerce) to Australia, The Hon Lisa Singh, CEO of the Australia India Institute, Professor Bruce Bonyhady, CEO of the Melbourne Disability Institute and Chair of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Review, and Professor Adrian Little, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International).
“The reception welcomed the delegation from the Department of Empowerment of People with Disability and a group of non-government disability leaders who are undertaking a Sister Dr Mary Glowrey Scholarship. The partnership between the University of Melbourne and the Indian Government now spans six years and has generated a number of major joint initiatives,” said Nathan Grills, a Professor at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.
Officials from the delegation and the six Sister Dr Mary Glowrey Scholars, Jubin Varghese, Manoj Kumar, Vinakshi Singh, Raj Kumar, Bright Luke and Prerana Singh, attended a joint leadership program delivered by Rob Moodie, a Professor in Public Health at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, a session aimed at progressing competency-based training initiatives in India, and undertook a co-design program under the VirtuCare initiative. They also met with various government and non-government leaders.
“This visit and reception strengthens the University’s growing partnership in disability research and program delivery with the Government of India and non-government institutes under the Melbourne-India Disability Research Initiative,” said Professor Mike McGuckin, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.
“It was unique to have such high-level government officials and NGO leaders learning together. We now have some very good friends to continue and grow our various disability partnership activities with India,” said Professor Nathan Grills.
Professor Grills works closely with the Government of India to facilitate a network of programs to help train community health workers to better serve marginalised communities in India.
Over the course of the week, the scholars also met with Sharon Barry, Executive Director - Inclusive Education at Department of Education & Training, Victorian Government and other executives with key portfolios related to disability in the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing as well as Professor Sarath Ranganathan, Head of Head of Department of Paediatrics at the Royal Children’s Hospital at the University of Melbourne, Associate Professor Adam Scheinberg, statewide medical director of the Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (VPRS), Head of Department Rehabilitation and Honorary Fellow in Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Mr Gordon Baikie among others.
The week ended with a joint event hosted by the Melbourne Disability Institute, the Nossal Institute for Global Health and the Australia India Institute on the India-Australia Disability Partnership, where the economic case for investing in disability, the VirtuCare project and Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) were discussed.
The Sister Dr Mary Glowrey Scholars program is a joint program funded through the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne and St Vincent's Health Australia.
The Sister Dr Mary Glowrey Scholars Program was formally launched in December 2016. It has supported over 256 Indian scholars to study at the University of Melbourne, with more than 85% of these scholars being women.
The University of Melbourne's Sister Dr Mary Glowrey Scholars program provides world-class leadership training and support for emerging leaders from the Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) and their partners.
The Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) is at the forefront of providing affordable healthcare to vulnerable groups at the margins of society.
CHAI was founded by University of Melbourne graduate, Dr Mary Glowrey, in response to the health needs of the poor across India.
Sister Dr Mary Glowrey devoted her life to improving healthcare in India, where she expanded a small mission into a full hospital that cared for 637,000 patients between 1927 and 1936. She went on to establish health care systems and institutions that now look after more than 21 million people annually.
Today, CHAI is one of the world's largest health networks and is the largest non-government provider of healthcare in India. Their 3,520 member institutions provide affordable services to more than 20 million people each year, including the most marginalized groups in India and those who live in rural communities.
CHAI strategically selects scholars who can increase the reach, impact and quality of its health services. Scholars undertake short courses, subjects and degrees at the University of Melbourne. They also receive support to apply their learnings while at the University of Melbourne to initiate and implement novel approaches to deliver health care at the margins of society.