42 Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences students volunteered with us last year, conducting 90 workshops for 223 students from 35 underrepresented schools from across Victoria. Our volunteers and mentors help our young participants in not only realising their aptitudes and potential but also encourage them to look inwards; to understand how they are no less capable than other students from more privileged social groups. Monash volunteers inspire our young high school participants and urge them to pause, reflect and take notice of their own agency. They see the brains, the capability, and the brilliance in our participants, and like mirrors, reflect that back on the students they work with. They remind them that they are capable of achieving whatever they aim for. They remind them that they are more.
Here are some of our Monash Volunteering Heroes, our points of light, and the cornerstone of Hands on Health who helped us run some extremely effective hands-on workshops in 2019.
(3rd year Bachelor of Biomedical Science Scholars Stream, Hospital Volunteer at Monash Health and FMNHS Student Ambassador)
‘I am Alexandra Churchill, a 3rd year Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Scholars) student at Monash University who is passionate about volunteering and getting involved in the community. My experience speaking to high school students from underrepresented communities about the Monash Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, and the Bachelor of Biomedical Science during Hands-on Health events has been extremely humbling and rewarding. I firmly believe that no extraneous social factors should impede on the ambitions and dreams of any high school student. Thus, it is my responsibility, and that of my peers, to share our journey studying at university, and ensure we are empowering and inspiring our younger generation. In this way, we give them the confidence that they need to strive towards an exciting future career in the health and medical sciences.
Charlotte Barber (Nutrition Science Student and First Year Representative of the Monash Nutrition and Dietetics Society)
’‘My name is Charlotte, I am originally from New Zealand but moved to Melbourne at the beginning of 2019 to study Nutrition Science at Monash University. I was involved as a volunteer at Hands on Health throughout the year 2019, delivering presentations to Year 10 students from underrepresented backgrounds about what a career in nutrition could look like. It was so rewarding to facilitate the opening of student’s eyes to the world of allied health professions and show them the plethora of options they have. I thoroughly enjoyed running these sessions and learning ways to get the students more engaged to maximise their experience’
Chrisdan Gan (Year 5 Medical Student)
"Volunteering with Hands on Health has been an invaluable experience. The program allows university students to promote further education to high schools students with examples of how our knowledge is applied in real-life settings. The team behind Hands on Health was very easy to work with, supporting all involved to ensure it was enjoyable for students and facilitators alike. I had the opportunity to develop skills in leadership and connect with students from many different backgrounds. I hope future volunteers also find it to be very rewarding as I did."
Christopher Hardy (Year 5 Medical Student)
‘I was a final year medical student in 2019 when I first volunteered with Hands on Health, and I can say without a doubt that it was one of the best experiences I have ever had whilst at university! I gained skills in medical education and working with young adults, whilst also having heaps of fun! Highly recommend anyone to get involved, whether that be as a volunteer or as a participant.’
Claire Shellard (Masters of Dietetics student)
‘I highly recommend volunteering for hands on health! It provides you real life skills in teaching children an area within the medical field. You are given guidelines around what the session should include however, you are allowed to tweak it to your teaching style. This allows for self-reflection after a session to determine how to improve your education sessions. Some of the students ask you questions at the end of your session this allows you to think on your feet. These sessions improved my public speaking skills and polished my ability to interact with and teach children about nutrition in a fun way. I was able to adapt sessions based on responses and body language from the pupils.’
Daniel Yan (Year 5 Medical Student)
"Hi I'm Dan, a current 5th year student at Monash. I came to be involved with Hands-on-Health in 2019. What I found rewarding was the engagement the students had with the content and the gratitude the students had for all the helpers in the program. I also enjoyed teaching and giving the students the opportunity to practice practical skills such as taking each other's blood pressure, or listening to each other's heart through a stethoscope (cleaned of course!).
For 2019, I was also the Hands-on-Health director with Embrace Education and had the unique opportunity to plan and organise a free UCAT information seminar for students from disadvantaged backgrounds or enrolled in the Hands-on-Health program to learn more about the UCAT and learn more about the medical course as well."
Zhi Shyuan Choong (Seraphina)(Year 3 Medical Student)
’Hi, I'm Sera and I have volunteered for Hands-on-Health in 2019. It was a fantastic opportunity for me as a medical student to be involved in community health engagement and education. I am very passionate about the cause of empowering students from underrepresented backgrounds and Hands on Health allowed me to do just that. I enjoyed every bit, from teaching high school students how to use a stethoscope to helping run the highly advanced simulation laboratories. I would definitely recommend my coursemates to sign up for volunteering next year if you haven't already because I truly enjoyed my time there and I'm sure you would too!’
‘I am currently in my fourth and final year of Physiotherapy at Monash, and am interested in working in paediatrics in the future. I’ve been involved in lots of different activities at Monash since I started, including the Physiotherapy society, Wildfire rural health committee, Access Monash, and university games. Outside of university I am a passionate surf lifesaving competitor, and work as a lifeguard and disability support worker.’