Advocacy Report – December 2017
It was my absolute privilege being the advocacy officer for 2017 and being able to serve the student body at Griffith Medical School. My job was made easier by the wonderful advocacy portfolio team made up by our Year 1 Representative (Wadie Rassam), Year 3 Representative (Nicholas McKay-Parry), Year 4 Representative (Stephanie Jones) and our rural Representatives (Siobhain Williamson and Lynsey Cochrane).
This year we developed and distributed a school wide pastoral care survey which allowed us to collect an incredibly valuable understanding of how our students view pastoral care across all year levels and zones. In addition to collecting information on how students access pastoral care, this survey also served to inform our students of the support services available to them, which many were previously unaware of. Using the data as important evidence, GUMS advocacy has presented this data to the relevant groups within the School with the aim of instigating changes for our students. One such change has been the appointment of our Contact Officer Ms Eve de Silva who is independent of the assessment process, a barrier which students felt previously caused them to refrain from seeking pastoral support.
With the help and assistance from Ms Eve de Silva, GUMS has worked with the School of Medicine in collaboration to release the Bullying and Harassment Survey, the data from the survey is currently being analysed with the goal of producing interventions that address the issues and concerns brought about from this survey.
Finally, an issue that remains pertinent to the Advocacy Portfolio is that our students are generally unaware of what we are doing within Advocacy. Instigated by our previous head of School Professor Broadley, GUMS Advocacy has created a list of Advocacy Priorities which is a continual working document where we have issues currently faced by the students along with what we and the School are doing to address this issue.
Nathan Hui – 2017 Advocacy Officer