Honour for Lime Network Project
Melbourne School of Population Health’s LIME Network Project won the 2011 inaugural Rio Tinto Award for Excellence and Innovation in Indigenous Higher Education.
LIME (Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education) is hosted by the Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, within the Centre for Health and Society and is a project of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand Inc.
This University-wide award recognises the LIME Network’s many achievements in supporting greater recruitment and retention of Indigenous medical students, and the development of best practice in Indigenous health curricula within medical schools.
The award was sponsored by Rio Tinto Australia in its role as the foundation corporate partner of Murrup Barak Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development, at the University of Melbourne.
The corporate partnership, launched in November 2010 at the Narrm Oration, is laying pathways of opportunity that reach from Murrup Barak into Australia’s most remote communities through such activities as professional placements for graduate students and research into Rio Tinto’s on-site knowledge needs.
Murrup Barak has strong links with the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. The Institute’s Director, Professor Ian Anderson, achieved a distinguished career within the School as a former Director of the Centre for Health and Society and Onemda. His efforts contributed to the School establishing one of the largest concentrations of Indigenous staff and Indigenous research projects at the University.
Ellen Day, Manager of Partnerships and Development for Murrup Barak, says Murrup Barak’s partnership with Rio Tinto Australia is mutually beneficial in business terms. “As a business that operates in remote Australia, Rio Tinto has a very strong motivation for increasing the numbers of qualified indigenous people among its employees and for investing in the viability of the communities in which it works.” she says. “And the University sees the partnership as supporting its core teaching and learning goals by increasing both the number of indigenous graduates and graduates who are skilled at working with indigenous communities and by enabling the University to reward staff who are striving for excellence in Indigenous teaching and learning.”
Rio Tinto’s sponsorship of the annual Narrm Oration, which profiles leading international indigenous thinkers, is also an important aspect of the partnership program, as is the new Rio Tinto Award, won by the LIME Network.
LIME’s Program Manager, Margo Collins, says, “Traditionally, medical schools have tended to work in isolation. The LIME Network Project shows unique leadership in that it actively promotes, encourages and engages medical schools in supporting and collaborating with each other to improve the teaching and learning of Indigenous health.”
Among the achievements of LIME and its predecessor projects, Ms Collins cites the Critical Reflection Tool, an internal quality review tool designed to assist medical schools to implement, monitor and sustain the nationally agreed Indigenous Health Curriculum Framework. The LIME Network website, newsletter and biennial conference were among the resources and activities it had developed.