The Climate and Health Medical Student Challenge

The Armidale Climate and Health Project in conjunction with Sustainable Health Rotation, Med year 3.

Do you have ideas on how to tackle healthcare sustainability, improve environmental and human health, or have other great ideas related to addressing climate change and health in the local context?

As part of the sustainable healthcare rotation you will be doing an assessment presentation on the learning objectives. The Armidale Climate and Health Project is also offering you the opportunity to submit your presentation and win a prize!

If your project is thinking about how to address some of these environmental and climate related health issues on a local or grassroots level, we invite you to submit it both to the Unit for assessment and to us for the challenge.

The most innovative, practical or creative presentations and ideas will be selected to be published on the website (website currently under development) and showcased at the festival in Nov/Dec in Armidale. The winning presentation will also win a $100 gift voucher and a mentorship session with the project organisers.

To enter

Email your presentation with the subject
“Climate and Health Challenge Submission – SURNAME”
to sujata.allan@gmail.com and sujata.allan@gmail.com

Do so at the same time as you submit your assignment for the rotation.

This is a unique opportunity to take part in a project working with local health and community groups to address the related challenges of environmental health and human health!

What is The Armidale Climate and Health Project?

The health of the environment and Country, and the health of people are intimately connected. Health is so much broader than just physical health, it includes the social, emotional and cultural wellbeing of the whole community.

So how do we begin to improve both environmental health and human health at the same time, and put Indigenous knowledge at the centre?

Over the next year the Armidale Climate and Health Project will seek to answer this question by conversations, six workshops and a community festival.

The project is funded by an AdaptNSW Climate Resilience grant, and partners include Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, the University of New England, Community Weathering Station and Sustainable Living Armidale. It’s led by Dr Jennifer Hamilton (English lecturer at UNE) and Dr Sujata Allan (GP at Armajun) with core collaborators from the Aboriginal community and broader Armidale community.

Climate change impacts us all, but it doesn’t impact everyone evenly, and the great injustice of it is that across the world the price of drought, changing rainfall patterns, bushfires and sea level rise is being paid mostly by those who have contributed least to the problem. In Australia, in Armidale, we’ve already experienced drought and the threat of running out of water, the worst bushfire season and all that bushfire smoke pollution. All this directly impacts our health – air pollution from bushfires increases asthma and respiratory problems, heatwaves can be deadly especially to those with chronic health conditions, and we probably all have experienced some of the mental health effects of living with the imminent threat of running out of water in the drought last year, such as depression and anxiety.

The climate crisis also offers an opportunity to transform our society into a better and fairer world, we could address climate change in a way that improves people’s health at the same time and creates a more equitable society.

The project is:

  • Many community conversations and consultation
  • 6 ‘workshops’ or events that seek to address both environmental health and human health in practical, informative and/or creative ways.
  • These workshops are in development at the moment, but they are diverse and include unique gardening-related employment programs, lectures on land use and ecosystems, mental health workshops, community walks and screenings.
  • A community festival in Nov/Dec, linking community groups and organisations and raising
    awareness about climate change and health.

If you think your assignment engages some of these issues send it through to the challenge and see where it takes you!