Postgraduate studies in Adolescent Health and Wellbeing
After not being able to meet for a couple of years, it was delightful to meet with colleagues and friends for a special occasion. On April 5th, the Science Gallery rolled out the red carpet for the University of Melbourne’s Department of Paediatrics and the Centre for Adolescent Health, to welcome our new students to our Adolescent Health and Wellbeing course, to celebrate our graduates, to (finally) meet with our colleagues, and to explore the MENTAL exhibition.
The MENTAL exhibition is billed as ‘a welcoming place to confront societal bias and stigma around mental health’. The venue is the Science Gallery Melbourne, an inter-disciplinary initiative of the University, ’where art collides with science’. Read more here: https://melbourne.sciencegallery.com/
The Centre for Adolescent Health has, for 27 years, been running a postgraduate program, through the University of Melbourne, focusing on building capability in the sector for Adolescent Health and Wellbeing. We have graduated over 700 students, all professionals who work with young people, such as doctors, nurses, teachers, and police. Much of the magic is in the cross disciplinary conversation, and the linking of research and practice. In 2021 Dr Monika Raniti partnered the course’s Mental Health subject with the Science Gallery Melbourne, and its MENTAL exhibition, and this year we are starting to build on that collaboration through our other subjects. A feature of the gallery, and this exhibition, is not just the art installations that provoke audiences to think differently, but the process by which they are curated. Those with lived experience work with scientists and artists to create each exhibit, and then University of Melbourne Student Mediators engage with visitors to engage with the art work. This practice echoes the gallery’s principles of cross disciplinary understanding, crossing the research practice divide and the young people having an active role in mediation and translation.
Of 60-70 engaged in the course each year, 20 students graduated this year, with either Masters, Graduate Diploma or Certificate. At our celebration event, Prof Sarath Ranganathan joined the panel on stage, to congratulate the graduating students near and far, and reflect on their part in a wider university strategy of leadership and innovation. Sarath highlighted the significance of nurture within a course, and invited students to recognize their engagement in a process of life long learning.
Dr Ani Wierenga
Academic Coordinator, Adolescent Health and Wellbeing