Medical students win national award for community project

Published 19 August 2010

trophyThe University of New England Medical Students’ Association (UNEMSA) has won a national award for its efforts in supporting the local Armidale community.

The National Council of the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) announced the award – for “Best Community Project by a Medical Students’ Society” – at its convention in Hobart last month.

The award was for the 2009 UNEMSA Charity Ball, which raised more than $9,000 for Armidale Hospital.

Rowan Walker, a third-year medical student at UNE and President of UNEMSA, said that the AMSA National Council had considered projects from each of the 20 medical schools in Australia. “To be recognised like this is a great honour,” Mr Walker said, “especially considering our relatively small number of students and small community.”

The 2009 UNEMSA Charity Ball brought together students and staff members of UNE and health care workers from the community as a way of acknowledging their efforts in training future doctors and providing support for the hospital that serves the community.

“As well as acknowledging the efforts of UNE medical students, this award helps bring the needs of the Armidale community to a national audience,” Mr Walker said. “It’s important that we support the hospital and find ways to ensure that it can meet the needs of the community and students in Armidale. The award will help us advocate for the improvements we need to see in local health infrastructure.”

The 2010 UNEMSA Charity Ball, held in May, once again raised $9,000 for Armidale Hospital.

UNEMSA represents the growing population of medical students (now 180) enrolled at UNE as part of the Joint Medical Program. UNEMSA representatives liaise with the Faculty on academic matters, and organise academic and social events.

THE PHOTOGRAPH displayed here expands to show UNEMSA officers (from left) Rowan Walker (President), Eliza Wziontek (AMSA representative) and Alexander Whitfield (Vice-President) with the “Best Community Project” trophy.