Kristy Tomlinson’s life changed when, as a student at Curtin, she travelled to India with the Go Global program. After getting the opportunity to see and work with people in need in West Bengal, the Speech Pathology graduate knew what she wanted to do with her life.
“It was an amazing learning experience for me,” she says. “I knew from that point I wanted to continue advocating for individuals with disabilities.”
An innovative teaching program, Go Global is making a major difference in communities across the globe. An initiative of Curtin’s School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, the program encourages students to work in partnership with local health staff in countries such as South Africa, India, Ukraine, and China, to offer direct health services to those in need.
Every year, 80 or more students undertake Go Global, living and working in another country to create sustainable health programs with a long-lasting benefit to these communities.
Recent projects completed have included setting up professional development programs for staff in Ukraine orphanages, and working alongside staff in China to build computer programs to help children access modern technology.
“The uniqueness of the program is that it extends beyond just a field placement program,” Go Global director Trevor Goddard explains. “Students are working alongside local staff, delivering local services for local people, to actually better the lives of people that we serve. And what’s more, when our students return, they can keep working on the same program that earlier students initiated.”
Go Global has been operating since 2001, and will soon expand to include students studying nursing, midwifery, social work, and public health.