Charles Darwin University (CDU), Western Sydney University and Menzies School of Health Research have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the establishment of the CDU Menzies School of Medicine, and growth of the Northern Territory’s medical workforce.
Western Sydney University – an Australian Medical Council accredited medical program curriculum partner – will collaborate with CDU to establish a high quality, relevant curriculum for the CDU Menzies School of Medicine. This is a critical step to enable the teaching of a medical program in the Territory and for the Territory.
The two universities will work together with Menzies to strengthen medical education, training, and research for the benefit of regional and remote communities. The MoU includes shared advocacy for commonwealth funded medical student places and promotes participation in medical education for First Nations, regional, rural and remote students.
CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman AO, Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Barney Glover AO and Menzies School of Health Research Director Professor Alan Cass AO announced the collaboration in Darwin and said the MOU would bring the three partners together to support medical workforce development.
“Western Sydney University, CDU and Menzies have a strong commitment to their local community and complementary values around improving health outcomes for regional Australians, so we’re delighted to announce this collaboration,” Professor Bowman said.
Professor Bowman said the MoU would help support the delivery of a CDU Menzies School of Medicine in the Northern Territory.
“The MoU with Western Sydney University is a major step forward for the CDU Menzies School of Medicine - as our program development progresses, it will provide an opportunity to draw on knowledge, experience and expertise that the university has in setting up a regional medical program focused on rural and remote medicine.”
“Western Sydney University is the perfect partner for CDU. They have experience in guiding another regional university through the process of establishing their own Medical School. Their Vice-Chancellor formerly served in the same role at CDU, meaning this is a partnership predicated on a detailed understanding of the unique health requirements of the Northern Territory.”
Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Glover, who was formerly the Vice-Chancellor at CDU from 2009-13, highlighted that the MoU would focus on supporting a much-needed increase in the regional medical workforce while providing additional opportunities for research, training and community engagement.
“Western Sydney University is proud to collaborate in pursuit of a Northern Territory-focused Medical Program based at the CDU Menzies School of Medicine. Together, our institutions will work to jointly develop a new approach to delivering medical education in the Northern Territory,” Professor Glover said.
“Importantly, the program will develop medical practitioners that have the skills and knowledge to serve their region, including rural and remote communities in northern Australia, providing a much-needed boost to the national medical workforce.”
Menzies Director, Professor Alan Cass said this is an important step forward to developing a local program that provides training specifically focussed to prepare doctors to work in the cross-cultural context of health service delivery in the Northern Territory.
“This partnership provides a clear pathway to an independent NT-led medical school. We want to enable and support Territorians to become the doctors we need to address the health and wellbeing issues that are the priorities for our community,” Professor Cass said.
The MoU will advocate for better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Northern Australia, the development of the knowledge economy, and strengthening of the region’s research capacity.