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Jul 14 14

Upcoming Projects: Code Green Week and Zonta Birthing Kit Assembly

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Code Green Week

TIME is extremely excited to present to you Code Green Week for the very first time! Our main aim in Code Green Week is to promote and raise awareness about the environment and environmental health in our medical community. Whether you are passionate about the environment, want to learn more about environmental health and understand how climate change relates to the medical profession and what WE as future doctors can do to help the environment, this week is for you! 

  • JULY 22nd: ‘ Theory of Change’ Workshop
  • JULY 23rd/24th: Seminar with Associate Professor Grant Blashki
  • JULY 26th:  TIME GreenMed, DEA, and Manali Medical Aid Project Movie Night “Green Gold”.
  • JULY 27th:   Plant a Tree with National Tree Day

For more details about each event please visit

The Birthing Kit Assembly Day

The Birthing Kit Assembly Day is back and the Zonta Birthday Kit Foundation is hosting TIME volunteers to help in the Brisbane assembly on the 13th and 16th of August! Don’t miss this opportunity to help provide a clean birthing environment for women in third world countries to reduce infant and maternal mortality. It’s a fun filled day and an opportunity to learn what essential items are needed for a hygienic delivery. For more details please visit our event page at or for more details

For specific inquiries, please contact

Jun 24 14

Volunteers needed for Refugee Detention Centre Visits.

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Dear TIME members, we are seeking keen volunteers with an interest in issues related to refugees and asylum seekers to take part in regular visits with our Refugee Health Conveners to the Detention Center in Brisbane. This is a rare and unique opportunity to meet refugees and hear their background and stories about their journey to Australia, their stay in Manus Island/Nauru and their experience here in Brisbane. In return, we hope to provide residents of the center with clothing, toys and food as well as sharing their story and experiences. If you are interested, please send an email to with a short statement of why you are interested. Please note that the people we meet at the Detention Center greatly appreciate our visit and it is important that you are able to commit to visiting on a monthly basis. If you have any questions, please contact the above email!

Jun 1 14

Bairo Pite Clinic – visited by TIME Manager of Projects

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A 11 hours at the clinic today and its really not that unusual here at Bairo Pite in Timor Leste. Its long, arduous and not that pleasant weather wise with temperatures in the 30s and a very high humidity. But in the end, it is medicine that excites and reminds us of the rewarding nature of the profession.

Tuberculosis is by far the most common condition seen at the clinic and its presentation ranges from pulmonary TB to Potts disease, facial lesions, abdominal TB, TB meningitis to the Scrofula (look it up!). Besides that, everything else imaginable crops up ranging from emergencies to unexplained hepatomegaly, ENT masses, Rheumatic fever and malnutrition. It all reinforces the importance of having excellent clinical skills as well as understand the socioeconomic background of your patients.

Timor isn’t the richest nation but it has a colorful history and is worthwhile for everyone to visit at some point of their career!


Jun 1 14

The TIME Charity Fashion Show Is Back!

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The TIME Charity Fashion Show will return this July for its 8th year, showcasing some of Brisbane’s most up-and-coming creative talents in the fields of fashion, music and photography. Designer Line-Up to be announced soon!

Date: Friday 25 July 2014

Doors open: 8pm

Location: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley

Musical Talent: The Dashounds

The 2014 show will also feature a musical performance by Indie Pop band: The Dashounds. The Dashounds are a Brisbane based band that has recently launched their EP this past April, and was recently featured on Triple J Unearthed. This local band has tickled the fancy of audiences, be it at local venue or festival stages with their Indie Pop tunes in the recent past, and continue to please our ears with their delightful sounds.

Proceeds from the show will be donated in support of Operation Smile Australia, as well as the global initiatives of Towards International Medical Equality (TIME).

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Check out more of last year’s show pics at

May 11 14

TIME member shares their experience of visiting the BITA Detention Center

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BITA Detention Center

Refugee and asylum seekers have been an extremely topical issue for Australians and is an important issue medical students should be familiar given the likelihood of encountering a refugee or asylum seeker as their patient. The BITA Detention Center, located in Pinkenba, Brisbane is among the many centers in Australia.

Below is one of our student’s recent experience visiting the detention center:

Visiting a detention centre has been very high on my list of things to do for a long time now, due to my interest for asylum seeker and refugee issues. I wanted to see what the conditions were like; I wanted to meet those who have risked their lives to come to Australia for safety; and I wanted to hear their stories. Recently, I have had the opportunity to visit the detention centre based here in Brisbane, the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA), to experience everything for myself.

BITA currently houses around 40 people and has the capacity for 70 people. Due to the Australian government’s immigration policy, asylum seekers who arrive after 19 July 2013 are only transferred to BITA from Manus Island or Nauru if they have complex health problems. Once in BITA, they will hopefully be able to gain medical advice and help from the hospitals in Brisbane.  However, when their medical condition stabilises, they are sent back to Manus Island or Nauru.

The BITA centre is apparently one of the more comfortable detention centres in Australia. It has a common area with a television, books, and even computers with internet. There is a playground for the children, as well as places to play volleyball and soccer. While meals are prepared for the people in BITA, I got the feeling that many of them would have preferred to be able to make their own food. There is also a doctor and a nurse on site for minor medical problems.

In BITA, the adults receive English language classes everyday and they prove to be very fast learners of the English language. Within a few months, many people are now able to hold simple conversations in English. This is in addition to their many other previously acquired languages. While people in the BITA are not allowed to leave the centre as they wish, they are allowed to leave for doctors’ appointments and the occasional excursion.

One of the best things I learnt during my visit to BITA was the fact that children in the centre receive education in Brisbane. If they are of primary school age, they go to Nundah State School, and if they are of high school age, they go to Milpera State High School.  The children in BITA seemed to love visitors, and they will come up and introduce themselves to visitors enthusiastically. They also love to read books, play games and draw pictures (as evident from the pages of my notebook that they drew all over!).

As a visitor to the centre, I have heard some very heartbreaking stories during my visits. Most of the people in BITA have had an extremely difficulty life and a horrible journey trying to seek asylum in Australia. I have also heard many stories of traumatic experiences and the horrible conditions on Nauru or Manus Island. I have heard stories of extremely hot conditions, 5 minute showers in the morning only, lining up and waiting for basic things such as water, food and medication. I have heard stories of people unable to sleep at night as others are screaming and yelling out. And I have also heard stories of unhelpfulness of the guards and other personnel in the centres.

While many people put a brave face for visitors, the impact of these traumatic experiences on the mental health of the people in BITA is obvious. You can hear in their voices and the way they tell their story that they are sad, angry and that they feel isolated, forgotten and helpless. Their lives are in limbo as they wait, and wait for the outcome of their application to be recognised as a refugee. They tell me that they want to start planning for their futures, but for now, they have no futures. They desperately ask if there are news from the current government and whether the government has said anything new regarding the settlement of asylum seekers and refugees.

We as visitors cannot do much other than to listen to their stories and be there for them. We can bring them food (e.g. spices), clothes and other household things that they are unable to get themselves. We are also able to bring books, toys and drawing tools for the children. We are able to bring other people who also care about refugee and asylum seeker health and issues. Most importantly, we as visitors can give the people in BITA our support – letting them know that we care very much about their plight and their wellbeing.

Please check back on this page for future opportunities on how you can help!