The University of Sydney's Australia Awards Fellowship program, titled "Strengthening Health Security Capacity in Vietnam," celebrated its successful conclusion on 1 November 2023, in Hanoi.
Australia's Ambassador to Vietnam, His Excellency Andrew Goledzinowski, attended the graduation ceremony, where he congratulated the 15 Fellows on their remarkable achievement.
During the ceremony, Mr. Goledzinowski praised the impressive presentations of the Fellows, commending their dedication to improving health security in Vietnam.
These individuals return to their home country equipped with a newly developed vision, enhanced knowledge, skills, and valuable relationships, positioning them as future leaders in the One Health sector.
“This fellowship program provided a valuable opportunity to strengthen our relationships with long-standing partners and forge new connections while collectively addressing the significant challenges that both Australia and Vietnam share." reflected Professor Greg Fox, the Program Lead of the Fellowship and the Director of Sydney Vietnam Academic Network on the Fellows' Fellowship journey in Australia.
This prestigious eight-week Fellowship program was sponsored by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and delivered by the University of Sydney's Sydney Vietnam Academic Network and Faculty of Medicine and Health.
The facilitators were a group of research, industry, and policy leaders from across the university and Australia, including Professor Greg Fox, Professor Joel Negin, Associate Professor Justin Beardsley, Professor Thu-Anh Nguyen, Professor Tiho Ancev, Professor David Guest, Professor Ben Marais, Ms Leanne Howie and Professor Ruth Zadoks.
The Fellowship was managed by an experienced Program Manager Ms Xing Jin.
Along with health security experts from the University of Sydney, Professor Thu-Anh Nguyen, recently appointed as the Executive Director of the University of Sydney Vietnam Institute, also mentored the Fellows and served as the key facilitator for the pre-departure program.
Through the Fellowship, the Network will work closely with Professor Nguyen to build upon the University’s significant and long-standing academic partnerships in Vietnam, aiming to improve the well-being of individuals and communities.
The Fellowship program brought together 15 emerging leaders from various sectors in Vietnam for a 6-week intensive training program in Australia, including site visits and field trips, as well as a two-week in-country component.
Throughout the Fellowship, the program embraced a 'One Health' approach, recognising the interconnectedness of human health, animal health, and the environment.
Its overarching goal was to strengthen collaborations in health security between Australia and Vietnam while building capacity within Vietnam's healthcare workforce.
This aligns with the priority areas of both the Vietnamese Ministry of Health and DFAT, focusing on "Health and Health Security."
The program concentrated on controlling antimicrobial resistance, reducing emerging infectious diseases, and improving food safety—addressing the top regional health security priorities.
In response to the needs of Vietnamese partners, it also included training on health economics, health policy analysis, and leadership skills to address health security challenges.
Through structured modules, the Fellows engaged with the University of Sydney's research leaders and experts in Australia's health sector, focusing on areas such as antimicrobial stewardship, emerging infections, food safety, health systems, health policy, and leadership.
The program also included several fact-finding field trips to Australian laboratories, hospitals, field stations, and more, providing valuable insights for the development of reports to be shared with their home institutions.
The Fellows represented a variety of multidisciplinary organisations, including the Vietnam Ministry of Health, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City; Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry; Hanoi University of Pharmacy; Can Tho University of Medicine and Health, and others.
This Fellowship coincides with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam this year, underscoring Australia's commitment to building partnerships with Vietnam and Southeast Asia.