Levinia Crooks, CEO ASHM
Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.
Regional HIV Leadership and Mentoring Program a great success
Almost 200 delegates were supported through the Australia Awards Fellowship Program (and a small number of other donors) to attend an ASHM Leadership Course before and after the AIDS2014 Conference.
Participants were also provided with mentoring throughout the Conference and a dedicated mentoring space where they could meet with each other, hold impromptu meetings and hook up with their mentors either individually or in groups.
Most participants attended a short course before the conference as well and some are attending short courses now. They cover a range of topics from HIV Medicine, Community Advocacy, Research and Laboratory skills.
The two days before the conference were quite inspirational and gave participants an opportunity to experience how leaders develop their skills and nurture leadership values within their organisations and communities. The MH17 disaster gave participants an insight into how Leaders tried to make sense of such a thing and also provided an opportunity for immediate and subsequent discussion of this issue.
On Saturday, following the conference participants took learnings from the conference and their short courses and had an opportunity for hands on learning in a range of about 20 skills building workshops which spanned issues such as results based planning and management, through to setting up a face book page, quality improvement, preparing a manuscript for publication, harm reduction, improving abstract writing skills, research skills and techniques and developing a social media presence.
Sunday was the time for reflection and planning. Particularly, planning to make sure that the group develops into a network and continues its networking and mentoring once people return home. A full report will be compiled over the next month and the group will continue to communicate through the ASHM Partnership Platform which facilitates ongoing mentoring.
ASHM and collaborators from AFAO, ARCSHS, Burnet, Kirby, Monash, Sydney University and NRL came together to enhance the participation of these regional delegates. We did this by negotiating with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to prioritise round 14 of the AAF program to Conference related activities. Delegates were from 20 countries from Asia, Pacific and African regions.