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  Keynote speakers: Associate Professor Helen Milroy
  Photo of Helen Milroy

Helen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia but was born and educated in Perth. She studied medicine at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and worked as a General Practitioner and Consultant in Childhood Sexual Abuse at Princess Margaret Hospital for children for several years before completing specialist training in child psychiatry. Helen is a member of the RANZCP (Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry) committee for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and has contributed to the development of position statements, guidelines and curriculum on Indigenous mental health for the college. She is also a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Committee. Helen has also been on both state and national policy committees including more recently the Social Health Reference Group that developed the National Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2004-2008.

At present Helen works as a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Bentley Family Clinic and Families At Work residential programme. Helen is also an Associate Professor and Director for the Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health (CAMDH) at UWA. The Centre for Aboriginal Medical & Dental Health won the Premiers Award 2005 for Aboriginal Health Initiatives within the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Science in the category People and Communities: Education & Skills Development. Helen looks forward to increasing the number of Indigenous medical graduates and providing support and mentoring to students and graduates as they pursue their careers in health.

ABSTRACT - BRIDGING THE GAP: Indigenous Higher Education

This paper explores the current status of Indigenous education within the broader context of Indigenous disadvantage as well as highlighting the many strengths and successes of Indigenous programmes. It also considers the impact of the Indigenous health curriculum as an example of the potential long-term benefits of teaching Indigenous studies to the entire student group. Future implications for education are discussed.