Indonesian health professionals learn together through the Transform Leadership Program

Posted on March 20, 2018

Health Transform Leaders Program

Over eight days in Melbourne at the Royal Children’s Hospital, nine delegates participated in the intensive Transform Leadership Program, focusing on non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention in Indonesia.

Funded by the Australia-Indonesia Centre, the program was developed by Andrea Krelle – from the Centre of Adolescent Health, The University of Melbourne – in concert with Dr Bernie Medise – Paediatrician, Universitas Indonesia – and the leads from the AIC’s Health Cluster.

The program featured an impressive range of experts from organisations including the University of Melbourne, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Burnet Institute, Victorian Cancer Council, Obesity Policy Coalition, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Monash Business School, Deakin University, and ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Service.

Delegates were guided through workshops and seminars on leadership, adolescence, youth development frameworks, NCD prevalence and trends, prevention strategies in tobacco and mental health, evidence-based health promotion, program development, youth engagement, and advocacy including the role of social media.

The early- to mid-career delegates were selected from over 150 applicants to represent a range of disciplines and sectors, each bringing with them expertise, including clinical care and teaching, policy development, NCD research, program development, communication, youth participation, and community development and capacity-building.

The programming stimulated a dynamic learning environment with delegates engaging in discussion and debate, adding a whole new dimension to their learning experience.

“If this group is any indication, then there is a tremendous commitment to securing a healthier future for Indonesia’s youth and future generations“, said Program Manager Andrea Krelle.

A highlight of the program was a visit to the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), where the dedication to evidence-based strategies and innovation was remarked upon by a number of delegates.

Organisers and delegates alike were thrilled to be joined at the Transform Dinner by the recently appointed Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia to Victoria and Tasmania, Ibu Spica A. Tutuhatunewa, accompanied by Mr Zaenal Arifin, the Consul for Economic Affairs.

“We were both honoured and delighted that the Consul General could join us and meet the delegates. Our delegates felt very valued by understanding the extent that Ibu Spica appreciated the importance of preventing NCDs by focusing on children and adolescents. It was also apparent how much she appreciated the particular challenges facing young Indonesians with mental health issues” said Professor Susan Sawyer, AIC Health Cluster Lead.

Throughout the program, delegates integrated their prior and new knowledge to develop an NCD prevention proposal. Delegates decided the priority was to build knowledge and develop the required partnerships to broaden understanding of NCD prevention in adolescents. Their proposal is for a two-day training course that they plan to deliver in Indonesia in April 2018, drawing on content from the Transform Leadership Program. This plan was applauded as a strategic next step in advocating for the prevention of NCDs in Indonesia.

“To support their ongoing efforts in Indonesia, we also plan to link delegates with local experts in mentoring relationships,” said Ms Krelle.