The LIMElight Awards recognise the significant and outstanding work that staff, students and medical schools undertake in teaching and learning of Indigenous health, as well as student recruitment and support.  The LIMElight Awards were held at The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, on Thursday 7th November 2019.

LIMElight Award Winners for 2019

WINNER: The C3 Team (Cultural Competency Curriculum Development), John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

For the past 13 years, the C3 team at JABSOM has focused on building an integrated cultural competency curriculum, centred on Native Hawaiian health.

From the origins of a single cultural immersion weekend for students that used a strengths based approach to learning about Native Hawaiian health and culture, it has expanded to also include (for all first year students):  an introductory lecture, three mandatory workshops, and a cultural standardized patient that is a integrated into a longitudinal problem based learning (PBL) case. The team has also developed “Orientation to Native Hawaiian Health” curricula for the Family Medicine and Internal Medicine residency programs.

WINNER: Candice Mckenzie and Joleen Ryan, School of Medicine, Deakin University

Over the last 5 years, Candice McKenzie has driven excellence and constant innovation as Coordinator of Indigenous Medical Education, with an exciting and solution-oriented approach now featured throughout all years of the program. All students engage with important content spanning Indigenous cultural immersion, class-based learning, interprofessional study tours and online modules alongside novel assessment practices.

Over the last 2 years, Candice, Joleen and the team have developed an encompassing Indigenous Health Model (IHM) which embeds cultural safety, cultural humility and tackling racism  and health inequalities into the program with the goal that all graduating Deakin Medicine students will be culturally proficient doctors.  In 2020, the IHM will be customised and rolled out into two further clinical courses (Optometry and Medical Imaging).

WINNER: MIHI – Māori/Indigenous Health Institute, University of Otago, Christchurch

MIHI has strived over the past 15 years to be leaders in Indigenous health professional education.  Over this period, MIHI has contributed to Indigenous health professional education through publication of original research including the Hui Process and Meihana Model, its application to clinical Psychology training, several pieces of research based on teaching innovation and a systematic literature review that was an outcome of the first Indigenous medical education focused PhD.

MIHI has also worked collaboratively to publish the Educating for Equity Consensus Statement (2019). MIHI has built into the unit a research structure that ensures that all innovative curriculum developments can be evaluated and potentially published.  MIHI has supported several Summer Studentships and a Masters Thesis exploring the role of online learning in Indigenous medical


WINNER: Dr Rhys Jones, The University of Auckland

Dr Rhys Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu) led a large multidisciplinary, multinational team in a 4 year research project called Educating for Equity. He was the international lead and grant holder and also led the team from Aotearoa. The project produced a number of research outputs including an international consensus statement which included authors from four nation-states, Australia, Aotearoa, Canada and Hawai’i, and synthesised evidence of research, evaluation, collective wisdom and experience and described foundational measures that limit Indigenous health development in medical education.

With this evidence, the team describes foundational measures that limit Indigenous health development and the role for medical education institutions and professionals. Further, highlighting that medical education institutions, that occupy stolen Indigenous lands, must have a formal commitment to Indigenous health and equity and, to be effective and meaningful, this commitment must be expressed institutionally and within curricula. The Educating for Equity research project provided an important opportunity to build collaborative networks among Indigenous academics working in medical education.


WINNER: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Students’ Selection Committee, James Cook University

The JCU “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Students’ Selection Committee” was established along with the JCU School of Medicine in 2000 and developed a comprehensive application and selection process for Indigenous students  into medicine. Unsuccessful candidates are counselled in relation to either building their academic skills and knowledge to reapply for medicine in the following year or advised on other options in the health field.

From the inception of the medicine program at JCU in 2000 The Committee has overseen 19 selection processes and a total of 34 students have graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. More recently a review of committee procedures has resulted in a closer collaboration with the IERC around assessment of academic skill, knowledge and preparedness for university.


WINNER: Indigenous Engagement Team, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University

The Indigenous Engagement Team have created an innovative strategy to build the capacity of non-Aboriginal staff to assist with the recruitment and retention of Indigenous medical and allied health students. Having a visible and confident ‘Koorda’ network has resulted in more positive, culturally secure, personalised experiences for current and prospective Indigenous students. In the Balang Djurapin (we/us happy in Nyoongar) 2018 project 25 staff underwent three training sessions—including an on Country experience.

With increased numbers of Indigenous health students (83% increase since 2015, currently 134) the team extended the network of Koordas (friend/mate in Nyoongar). The Faculty now has 10 Koordas selected for their capacity for cultural security across six Schools. In partnership with the Indigenous Engagement Team, Koordas are assisting students to navigate university systems, and advocating for change at the School level thereby improving responsiveness and accessibility.

A key success factor is that the training and overall network is grounded in Nyoongar ways of being, doing and knowing and led by Aboriginal people.


WINNER: Danielle Soucy, Director, Indigenous Students Health Sciences Program, McMaster University

Danielle Soucy has developed numerous initiatives across the Faculty of Health Science (FHS) programs to assist Indigenous students to overcome barriers to succeed. These include the Medical School Entrance Interview Workshop, an Elder In Residence program, a Health Careers Workshop, Indigenous Health Task Force, an Indigenous Mentorship Program and a Facilitated Indigenous Admissions Policy.  Launched in 2018, FIAP has already seen an improvement in admissions outcomes for Indigenous applicants and is now also being implemented in other faculties across McMaster University.

The acceptance rate for MSEI Workshop participants is significantly higher than general applicants. The initiatives developed by Danielle have resulted in sustainable change in the FHS at McMaster University to ensure that the support of students during the application process, throughout their education and for graduates continues on. The development of the Task Force, the involvement of Elders across the faculty and passion she has instilled in students and faculty help ensure that these changes are sustainable and will continue to grow into the future.

To maintain the excellent work that Danielle has pioneered at McMaster, she continues to fight the battle of having the faculty dedicate a visible space for Indigenous students. This space will have a presence within the faculty that will demonstrate that Indigenous health and students are valued and a priority. This space is scheduled to launch by the end of this academic year and will be a launching pad for continued excellence in Indigenous recruitment, student support and graduate initiatives.


WINNER: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medicine Strategic Working Committee, College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University

James Cook University strives to create opportunities and enduring benefits for communities through engaging with and partnering with communities through collaborative planning, education and research. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Medicine Strategic Working Committee is responsible for the provision of advice on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island Health curriculum for the College of Medicine & Dentistry. Membership of the Committee is made up of academic, technical, assessment, student support and student representatives.

Ongoing development, delivery and evaluation of curriculum is done in collaboration with community members, ACCHOs and input from students to ensure cultural integrity of curriculum. The Rural, Remote, Indigenous and Tropical Health (RRITH) module has a strong focus on culturally acceptable community engagement when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Students participate in mock “community meetings” with community representative to negotiate implementation of a health program.

Community partners expressed satisfaction with the community meeting activity as it helps to demonstrate the strengths of communities and to recognise and acknowledge formal engagement processes when doing business.

WINNER: Miriam Cavanagh, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney

Miriam Cavanagh has led new and innovative health curriculum, in a sustained cultural mentoring role, from 2011, across the Schools of Medicine and Nursing. Over the past 8 years, Miriam has been the only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff member on the Darlinghurst Schools of Medicine and Nursing Campus. Miriam is guided by her cultural beliefs and values, maintains cultural connections and has effective respectful Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community engagement, providing a platform in her academic role to reflect community needs and voices.

Miriam has provided leadership and cultural mentoring towards curriculum design, implementation and review, Cultural Awareness Workshops and Student Clinical Placements. All of these projects have received student evaluation – and are highly evaluated across quantitative and qualitative measures. Students have demonstrated increased cultural awareness, cultural competence, and commitments towards cultural safety.

Through these curriculum projects, the School of Nursing has taken steps towards cultural safety within its organisation and its teaching practices. Individually and collectively, key staff are developing their awareness and their networks. The reporting has modestly shown what can be achieved and done, when strong cultural mentoring and curriculum leadership and engagement takes place. Miriam has the ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to engage with change.

As part of her role she has recruited and supported a number of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander medical graduates, produced significant improvements in learning and teaching quality, and established a collegial working environment.

WINNER: DejaAnne Clanton, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle

DejaAnne Clanton is an impressive student who demonstrates a strong commitment to Indigenous health and social justice. Deja consistently has shown support, mentorship and leadership within the student cohort at Notre Dame and more broadly implementing informal catch ups with, and running a series of lunchtime workshops for Aboriginal students.

During her medical student journey Déjà has also been an AIDA student rep for the SoMF and in that role connected with and supported students not only locally but also nationally.

Educating others on Aboriginal culture and health is important to Deja. Her confidence means she is not afraid to speak up. She names racism and holds others to account. Last year she played an integral role in organising the 2018 Australian Medical Student Association Global Health conference. Deja was named the 2018 Medical Student at Notre Dame (MSAND) – “Student of the Year”. This award is student nominated for a peer who has made the greatest, positive contribution to the educational experience of fellow students – highlighting the impact Deja has had on the broader medical student cohort and the respect they have for her.

Deja has demonstrated the importance of ‘giving back’ in recognition of those Elders and leaders who fought long and hard for better treatment and opportunities, including access to higher education, for Aboriginal people.

As a student, Deja has educated non-Aboriginal staff and students on Aboriginal culture and Aboriginal health allowing School of Medicine staff to be more culturally aware, both in their teaching and professional practise and therefore fostering a more culturally safe learning environment for Aboriginal students. More culturally aware medical practitioners equates to a better health experience for Aboriginal patients and an increase in the number of Aboriginal people accessing health care. In the long term, these initiatives play an important role towards further embedding culturally secure learning and working environments.


WINNER: Chayce Glass, University of Otago

Chayce Glass, a trainee intern, demonstrates excellent leadership at University, national and local levels, including the 2018 United Nations University Scholars Leadership Symposium, as Tumuaki of Te Oranga, and on the board of Te ORA. He is an excellent educator, runs popular tutorial sessions for Māori students, helps plan new Hauora Māori teaching initiatives, and has developed an analysis of the educational gaps and opportunities to improve training in Hauora Māori. He will continue to teach with the University of Otago and contribute to research on Hauora Māori practice in the postgraduate years.

Chayce shepherded through a Memorandum of Understanding between Te Oranga and NZMSA, leading to greater partnership between the two associations and the establishment of Māori representative seats on the regional medical student associations. He successfully advocated for and helped negotiate the lifting of the EFTs cap for medical students that prevented them receiving financial support in their final years.

He has assisted in the work of Te ORA and the Medical Council of New Zealand on cultural competency, cultural safety and health equity that is currently out for consultation and will strengthen the cultural safety requirements of postgraduate training programmes and accreditation processes. In his new role as the junior doctor representative on the board of Te ORA board, Chayce will ensure Māori junior doctors are supported to practise medicine aligned with good practice in Hauora Māori, and in line with the tikanga and reo that they may value.

His excellence in leadership will contribute to further Māori health workforce development with the Colleges and the Medical Council. While continuing to maintain a national leadership role, he will also be working at a Northland DHB where he will be able to get involved in Māori health development with his own iwi and communities.

Within all roles, Chayce has demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and also respect for and alignment with Māori values including whakawhanaungatanga (supporting collectives), manaakitanga (caring and hospitality) and whakamana (upholding the mana and the integrity of others).

You can see previous winners in the LIMElight Award categories, via the LIME Network website.

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