Five health experts from around Australia led a robust conversation at this year’s David Maddison Memorial Lecture, held on Monday 16 November in Newcastle, NSW.

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The discussion centred on one pertinent question: Increasing the number of Indigenous medical professionals in Australia: how far have we come and what barriers remain?

Watch the video here.

Led by UON Laureate Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher, the panel members opened up about their experiences of studying medicine as Indigenous students and how individuals, universities and governments can help eliminate racism and identify opportunities for Indigenous people to enter tertiary education.


Professor Sanson-Fisher was joined on the panel by Associate Professor Peter O’Mara, Head of Discipline – Indigenous Health at UON; Professor Ngiare Brown, UON graduate and passionate researcher in Indigenous health and social justice; Dr Sarah McEwan, UON graduate, Medical Officer and recipient of a Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine; and Mr Joel Wenitong, fifth year medicine student, respected leader and mentor in Aboriginal communities across Australia and recipient of the Indigenous Collaborations Excellence Award from UON’s Faculty of Health and Medicine.

Professor David Maddison was the Foundation Dean of Medicine at the University of Newcastle, and a passionate supporter of quality teaching and equal access to education. To honour his memory, the 2015 lecture assisted in raising funds for UON’s Shaping Future Scholarships, to help all Australians access education regardless of their background or circumstances. If you would like to help, please donate now.