In a nutshell, what actually is AMSA?
The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) is the peak representative body
for medical students in Australia. The key mandate of AMSA is to connect, inform and represent Australia’s 17,000 medical students from each of the 21 medical schools.
Let’s be honest, medical students are a diverse bunch with our own passions, needs and interests. Whatever yours are, the Australian Medical Students’ Association has a platform to help you pursue it.
So, how does AMSA do this?
AMSA is a strong voice advocating for Australian medical students, meeting regularly with politicians, universities and relevant medical and medico-political bodies, and engage the public through the media. AMSA has played a key role in a number of advocacy wins in recent years, including millions of dollars of government investment into Regional Training and Commonwealth Medical Internships. AMSA has a broad policy base and can advocate for any topic related to health, medical students or student interest. Our policies are developed by students like you, then reviewed at each university’s ‘ThinkTanks’, and finally passed at our National Councils.
So how can you get involved?
1. Respond to a policy team callout
2. Attend a Griffith AMSA ThinkTank
3. Have a chat with Griffith’s AMSA Rep (firstname.lastname@example.org)
4. Attend AMSA National Council
5. Contact the Policy Officer at email@example.com to find something that fits your interests
6. Have a look at our policies on our website- if there is something you are passionate about, write an article, and we can help you try to publish it
Don’t forget to check out our Orange Guide for more details on how AMSA advocates!
2017 AMSA Advocacy wins:
● COAG commitment to review mandatory reporting requirements in each state
● Establishment of working groups on medical student mental health by Orygen and MDANZ
● Appointment of a Rural Health Commissioner
● Consistent and successful opposition to the Murray Darling Medical School proposal
● Support of marriage equality, on the background of years of policy development and encouraging AMA support
● Funding for 26 Regional Health Training Hubs
● Establishment of the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund
● Support in principle for voluntary assisted dying
● Announcement of development of National Training Survey of Junior Doctors
● Ensuring good outcomes for international students throughout the 457 visa changes
If you’d like more information on previous advocacy wins you can find them here: https://amsa.org.au/node/832
AMSA events are something special. Renowned for their unique blend of educational talks, social nights and leadership development, they are not to be missed!
The events calendar kicks off in May with AMSA’s premier academic event; the National Leadership Development Seminar (NLDS) in Canberra. NLDS brings together about 90 of Australia’s future leaders, focusing on upskilling, leadership, advocacy and political engagement.
Next up in early July we have the famed National Convention in Perth. Since its conception in 1960, Convention has grown to see over 1,200 students and become the largest student run conference in the southern hemisphere. This week long event flawlessly blends together academics and social to help inspire all of Australia’s medical students.
In late August, we see AMSA’s Global Health Conference come to life in Melbourne. This event hosts over 700 delegates and tackles the current issues we face. Focussing on innovation and equity in global health, learn what you can do to make a positive difference in the world.
Finally, the Rural Health Summit in Albury (on the NSW – Victoria border) helps draw the event calendar to a close. Scheduled for mid-late September, it focuses on all things rural, with uniquely engaging speakers, workshops and networking opportunities.
2018 is jam packed all these exciting opportunities and experiences. Make sure you don’t miss out!
Projects + Committees
AMSA Academy is a way that you can learn more about medicine outside the classroom.
Created for medical students, by other students in conjunction with expert guest lecturers, AMSA Academy is AMSA’s online learning platform, with courses in global, sexual and mental health.
Vampire Cup is the inter-medical school blood donation competition that is run across Australia and New Zealand, as a part of the larger Health Students Blood Challenge through the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
Run between April 16th – June 10th, it is an 8 week competition with the number of whole blood, plasma and platelet donations are tallied per university to decide which few will gain glory and bragging rights for the coming year.
AMSA recognises that medicine is not immune to gender inequity, despite the 50/50 split you’ll see in your university cohorts. Along the lines of #thisiswhatasurgeonlookslike campaigns, our gender equity project is here to break down gender stereotypes, increase the visibility of female leaders, and to tap into the wisdom and pragmatism of those women who’ve gone before us.
The LGBTIQ Project aims to educate medical students on LGBTIQ issues and create a supportive network for LGBTIQ medical students across Australia.
In 2018, we are aiming to:
– launching an LGBTIQ National Network for students
– Releasing AMSA’s first LGBTIQ specific education resource for medical students, and
– Series of LGBTIQ workshops for medical students in collaboration with the Ally Network
AMSA Mental Health
2018 sees the launching of the Activ8 campaign – with a focus on preventative mental health through the 8 pillars of mental health. Check out the AMSA Mental Health Facebook page for ways to get involved, top tips, the latest research and inspiration to embrace the pillar of each month.
The 8 pillars are:
AMSA Global Health
Comprises of representatives from all the universities’ global health groups that is dedicated to advancing the global health interests of Australian medical students. Initiatives run in conjunction with AMSA Global Health include:
– Red Party: aims to engage students with issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, particularly global health issues e.g. impact of HIV/AIDS on endemic areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa.
– Crossing Borders for Health: network of medical students who aim to help remove barriers to healthcare for refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants.
– Training New Trainers’: three-day workshop, aimed at empowering participants who want to become further involved in Global Health. Participants will be equipped with the skills needed to train others in global health and professional development topics.
– Code Green: aims to provide a platform to allow medical students to educate, engage and inspire colleagues and the wider community to act now to prevent the worst health consequences of climate change.
AMSA Rural Health
AMSA Rural Health supports and facilitates medical students’ engagement with rural health and advocates for students on rural issues. Throughout the year, the Committee coordinates a series of national projects, campaigns, and publications.
International Students’ Network
In Australia, 1 in 5 medical students are international students. The international students’ network (ISN) is the peak representative body for these students at a national level. As one of AMSA’s committees, we provide a voice for international medical students, ensuring their concerns are heard by AMSA executives, as well as all levels of government and other relevant stakeholders. We advocate on behalf of international students to all levels of government on important matters such as internship shortage and new visa regulations.
AMSA also works closely with the Student Representative Council of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) to collaborate on projects and advocacy.
It’s your AMSA, so get amongst it!
If you wish to become a member please head to https://www.amsa.org.au/join
You are able to join as a member for the whole of your degree for $30 or for the year for $10. As a member you will have access to register for AMSA’s premier events, voting rights at AMSA Council, be added to AMSA advocacy database and receive information on opportunities within AMSA.
For more information contact:
Tereza Stillerova- firstname.lastname@example.org
Griffith AMSA Representative 2018