DEA Queensland students are spread across four universities; University of Queensland, Bond, Griffith and James Cook Universities. Each year we collaborate between universities for some major events including Moreton Island trips involving conservation work and fund-raising with the Brisbane or Gold Coast Marathon, as well as smaller events run across universities. Last year we focused on a couple major campaigns; in the lead up to the Queensland state election we wrote letters to politicians, met with our MPs and ran a social media campaign to show our support for environmentally-friendly policies. DEA also offered support for the STOP ADANI movement by attending protests, door-knocking and publicly delivering letters to Commbank in relation to the funding for the mine. Other ongoing environmental issues we face include the devastating land clearing occuring in Queensland and the dredging and bleaching occurring on the world heritage site, The Great Barrier Reef.
(Events: Moreton Island trips, the Brisbane/Gold Coast Marathon and a couple other events. Environmental Issues: Coal mining and Adani specifically, land clearing and dredging/bleaching on the GBR.
Campaigns: Letter writing to politicians and article publication in the lead up to the election last year. Attending friendly protests, door-knocking and publicly delivering a letter to Commbank in the lead up to the Adani mine.)
DEA has a large and growing student presence in NSW split amongst seven undergraduate and postgraduate medical schools, including the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales, Western Sydney University, the University of Newcastle, the University of New England, the University of Wollongong, and the University of Notre Dame Sydney. DEA NSW is involved in campaigning against the coal mining and land clearing projects in the state, reaching out to state and federal MPs, maintaining a presence at environmental rallies and marches, and this year will hold the 2018 annual iDEA conference in Newcastle. Individually, the medical schools in the state hold many events throughout the year including social events, film screenings, and information evenings.
Students from the University of Melbourne, Monash and Deakin are actively involved with DEA, and this year are uniting to form a stronger presence across Victoria.
Each university group is actively involved in organising site-specific events for their students, involving both social and educational components. These range from speaker sessions and petition signings to movie nights and vegan lunches. Events like these help to educate fellow peers on how environmental issues impact the public and our future patients, as well as grow the DEA community and help build relationships across year levels.
In 2018, DEA Victoria is planning on bringing students across all three universities together for social events as well as increasing political engagement. With the upcoming state election, our priorities for the year include talking to our local members, and thus a focus of our year will be on upskilling to engage in the political environment with the support of our fellow doctor members.
We also have a strong presence of members each year at the Melbourne Marathon (with varying fitness levels) and encourage students to come along!
DEA SA students comprise of medical students from the University of Adelaide and Flinders University. This year we will focus on having combined events, forging friendships between the two cohorts. We are planning initiatives that are university-specific, as well as collaborative with the DEA SA committee of doctors, and even the national body of AMSA Code Green. This will include documentary screenings, action nights, panel discussions, and perhaps the occasional dinner and drink.
After the success of the SA Indian Medical Association Gala Dinner in 2017, we will be connecting with other professional medical bodies in the state, including AMA SA and other cultural medical associations. This will enable us to promote DEA, raise funds and awareness about climate health, and connect with medical professionals on a personal and organisation level.
We are also hoping to get the state-of-the-art new Royal Adelaide Hospital onto the list of Global Green and Healthy Hospitals, which will be a wonderful credential and a testament to the hard work and passion of our team.
In WA, the DEA student base is growing, with representatives from the three medical universities: The University of Western Australia, the University of Notre Dame Freemantle and Curtin University. Major issues that face the environment in WA include mining, population growth and urbanisation, and invasive species. As students, we aim to connect like-minded future doctors who are passionate about the environment and encourage everyone to make their own small, but effective contribution to the environment.
In 2018, DEA events will involve students from all three WA universities, focusing on building up a solid student base for the future. These include hikes and discounted tickets for various environmentally-related experiences around Perth. DEA would also like to increase collaboration with AMSA’s Code Green, which currently is represented at UWA and UNDF, and has a strong handhold in the medical student community.
DEA Tasmania students are actively involved in the state-run DEA, meeting with DEA doctors once a month to discuss potential strategies, actions and events.
Recently DEA Tasmania was very busy with the state election; we published articles, prepared an issues paper on multiple key election policies, met with politicians, and wrote and distributed a media release.
After the state election we held a film screening, with more to come. These are open to anyone, and are a great way to foster discussion between a range of people and personalities.
Tasmania’s issues at a state level that are discussed and acted upon are: Sustainability of the Tasmanian Health Service, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Active transport, Aquaculture, Coal seam gas exploration and mining, and Forests and biodiversity (with particular attention to Takanya).
The Australian National University is the only university in the ACT that offers medicine as a program. Thus the student DEA body in the ACT is quite small compared to other states. The ANU committee has two main projects that they will be running this year with the aim of increasing awareness about what the DEA is amongst the student body and also increasing education about the impact of climate change on human health. The first project is to get students to work in small groups to develop a set of educational, evidence-based cards that outline the relationship between specific disease states and the environment. The second project is part of one of the NSC’s national campaigns, “Greening Hospitals”. We are specifically hoping to introduce recycling into operating theatres at our local hospital.