The LIMElight Awards are given in recognition of the significant and outstanding work staff, students and medical schools undertake in the teaching and learning of Indigenous health in medical education and Indigenous student recruitment and graduation.

LIMElight Awards

LIMElight Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

This award recognises innovation and outstanding work in the area of Indigenous community engagement in medical schools.This year the award goes to the Aboriginal Health Team at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle.

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The Aboriginal Health Team at the School of Medicine, Fremantle has had a long-term community engagement program which has built in scope and complexity over the past six years, working closely with representatives from local Aboriginal nations, in particular with Wadjuk, Balladong, Bindjareb, and Yawuru peoples. The focus of its community engagement has been with Aboriginal people and communities who provide medical students with opportunities to learn about and engage with the histories, cultures, diversities and initiatives of Aboriginal peoples and communities. What started out six years ago as a Welcome to Country at the beginning of the course has expanded to a three-year program where all students are exposed to a meaningful on-country learning that is guided by and delivered by local elders with an opportunity for some students to engage in intensive immersion learning opportunities via elective/selectives.

The Aboriginal Health Team have consolidated long term relationships and partnerships with community elders and traditional owners which has led to increasing learning and teaching opportunities that are now embedded as core curriculum within the medical program. This has contributed significantly to a shift away from a deficit approach to Aboriginal health teaching to a strengths-based approach. In collaboration with local elders, The Aboriginal Health Team have also developed two films, Nih Manjaree, which document and celebrate the continuing importance of the land on which the University is situated. 

A number of structural changes have enabled these achievements, including the School’s commitment to Aboriginal health programs as core business with the provision of necessary resources. Since 2013, the number of Aboriginal staff has increased from one to four, all of whom are traditional owners with strong connections and relationships in the South West, Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia. Whilst some of the initiatives were initially brokered by personal relationships, they have been founded on long term, ongoing relationships that have now not only developed into partnerships but have transformed into organisational relationships. 

Community support for the award was provided by: 

  • George Walley, Regional Communications Manager for Aboriginal Health Services Nidjalla Waangan Mia Health and Wellbeing Centre
  • Marie Taylor, Wadjuck-Balardong Nyungar Elder and Chairperson Yelakitj Moort Nyungar Association Inc.
  • Margaret Quartermaine, Director Marr Mooditij Training Inc.


The LIMElight Award for Excellence in Indigenous Health Curriculum Implementation  

This award recognises outstanding and innovative approaches to the implementation of Indigenous health content in medical curricula. This year the award goes to MIHI the Māori Indigenous Health Institute from the University of Otago, Christchurch.

The LIMElight Awards Committee acknowledge the team at MIHI for their recent innovations in curriculum implementation including strengthening collegial links through the Māori Health Journal Club, and joint teaching sessions with other university departments; collaboration with community; and the integration of the updated Meihana Model into their teaching initiatives.

The Indigenous health curriculum developed by MIHI is conceptualised as an interaction between learner, faculty, and Indigenous health, which defines appropriate and flexible pedagogical techniques embedded within an Indigenous worldview. Learners experience multiple teaching strategies that are specific to Indigenous health and are aimed at maximising clinical relevance. Relevant Indigenous health content, faculty knowledge, and strengthened peer support and relationships combine to enable learners to interact with simulated Indigenous patients and Indigenous patients in clinical placements in a way that builds clinical confidence and self-reported Hauora Māori competencies.  This has also led to the development of new teaching initiatives that encourage students to take a role in addressing health inequities and encourages transformative education.

New developments in the MIHI curriculum include:

  • The development of a 6th year curriculum that includes simulated patient scenarios that cover breaking bad news to whanau, the impact of clinical bias on Māori patients and whanau and the impact of bias in clinical decision making.  
  • The development of teaching sessions that challenge 4th year students to consider their influence/role on patient understanding/ health literacy when providing health education. Including students delivering health education to simulated Indigenous patients utilising the Meihana and Hui Process models.
  • The introduction to 5th year students of a palliative care and Hauora Māori session taught collaboratively with palliative care specialists and includes case based problem solving in a simulation environment. 
  • The introduction of the Meihana Model and Hui Process to PGY1 training within the Canterbury District Health Board training. To encourage on going professional development in Indigenous health at a CME level.
  • The implementation of the Meihana Model and Hui Process into professional colleges as well as national health workforce organisations such as Plunket. 
  • The development of a clinical guide and investigation guide that provides students and clinicians with a stepwise guide to completing effective clinical practice with Māori patients and whanau that is aligned with the Calgary Cambridge model and clinical reasoning. 
  • The development of a Māori language App specifically tailored for Indigenous health curriculum (including medicine and all Allied Health Professionals) (AKIHauora)
  • The development and implementation of a Hauora Māori high stakes OSCE station incorporated in the overall 5th year-end of examinations.

Student evaluation of the Hauora Māori curriculum provide evidence of student acceptability of content as well as student perceptions of usefulness of the program. Audits of Māori patients who are involved with student patient interviews are also conducted, and patients have reported that they feel validated as a Māori patient by the students and would be happy to be seen clinically by the student again.   

With support of the Faculty MIHI has grown from an academic team of three (2013) to an academic team of five, with five further Clinical Lecturers. 


LIMElight Award for Excellence in Indigenous Student Recruitment, Support and Graduation  

This award recognises an outstanding and innovative program in the area of student recruitment and support through to graduation in medical schools, including student outcomes. 

This year the award goes to MAPAS – the Māori and Pacific Admission Scheme at The University of Auckland for their comprehensive, culturally appropriate, and evidence-based recruitment and support programme targeting Māori (and Pacific) students. The programme involves a speciality interview process; academic support through tutorials, workshops and learning villages; and pastoral care, all delivered within an Indigenous framework.

Key activities that MAPAS undertake to assist with achieving excellence in student recruitment and support through to graduation include:

  • MAPAS General and Specialty Interviews. The MAPAS interview process is a reflective, collaborative process where applicants are advised on their ‘best starting point’ for a career in health. Specialty Interviews assess a student’s cultural and academic readiness for entering the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences’ (FMHS) professional programmes.
  • Student academic support. Supplementary MAPAS tutorials, workshops and learning villages are provided to students where an expectation of academic achievement, is fostered and students are supported to achieve success. These tutorials are often facilitated by Tuākana (more experienced MAPAS students) from within the wider MAPAS cohort who have all attended tutor training.  
  • Pastoral support. Pastoral support is provided through actively promoting cohort cohesiveness and whakawhanaungatanga (collegiality or acting together as a family).  MAPAS does this by centralising these Indigenous values in events such as MAPAS 1-1 Meetings, MAPAS Wānanga, Cohort Meetings, and in our MAPAS-only Study Spaces. 
  • Continuous improvement of MAPAS systems and processes. The MAPAS student 1:1 screening process has been refined to comprehensively screen student information collected during the MAPAS Interview process for pastoral/academic issues. This “joined-up” information acts as a starting point to implement individual action plans for students. In addition, the development of the unique Vision2020 Database creates a centralised system where the MAPAS team can track a student’s journey throughout their studies. The ability to see this holistic picture provides more effective pastoral and academic support.

Evidence shows that the 83% of students who followed their MAPAS starting point recommendations achieved a GPA that was on average 1.1 points higher than those students who did not. MAPAS Specialty interviews assess a students’ academic and cultural competency for a career as an Indigenous doctor, ensuring that MAPAS produces culturally capable clinicians.


LIMElight Award for Excellence in Indigenous Health Education Research

This award recognises an innovative and outstanding piece of published research in the area of Indigenous health education.

This is the first time that the LIME Network have given this award, and this year it is being given to two outstanding researchers:

Dr Melissa Lewis from the University of Missouri for her research on the process of implementing Indigenous health content into a medical school in the USA including the article she coauthored with Amy Prunuske in Academic Medicine, titled The Development of an Indigenous Health Curriculum for Medical Students (2016).

And to 

Dr Elana Curtis from The University of Auckland 
for her research work associated with her Doctorate of Medicine thesis Kohi Maramara: The effect of tertiary recruitment, admission, bridging/foundation education and retention on Indigenous health workforce development. This recently completed thesis includes the findings from seven article publications, one book chapter and an article on Indigenous positioning.



LIMElight Award for Excellence in Indigenous Health Education Student Leadership

This award recognises a medical student who has been involved in Indigenous health leadership activity in medical schools.

This year the award goes to Kelly Langford from the University of Western Australia

Kelly contributes to deepening the understanding of Indigenous health education to her peers; promotes rural and remote health careers; and advocates for improvements to the health of Indigenous people in rural and remote communities. She has played an active role in organisations including AIDA; the National Rural Health Student Network; and Students and Practitioners Interested in Rural Practice, Health, Education Xetcetera.


LIMElight Award for Excellence in Indigenous Health Education Leadership

This award recognises outstanding leadership by an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to Indigenous health in health professional education.

This year the award goes to Professor Shaun Ewen from The University of Melbourne.

Shaun has a history of demonstrating excellence in championing Indigenous health and Indigenous leadership. His contribution to the field is evident through his work as Program Lead of the LIME Network; as the founding Director of the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health; and as an Investigator on the tri-nation Educating for Equity project. Shaun’s critical approach provides a platform for ensuring continual robust accountability of national and international academic institutions and their responsibilities to Indigenous health, development and leadership.


Congratulations to ALL 2017 LIMElight  Winners!