USC student wins national health challenge

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Community Indigenous & Heritage University & TAFE

Jenna Perry, Emma Williams, Tracy Hardy, Daniel Chilly

It was a double celebration for USC student Daniel Chilly after winning a prestigious national health challenge and being elected as a representative of Australia’s peak body for Indigenous allied health professionals and students.

The 29-year-old Social Work and Criminology student from Morayfield was selected as a national student representative of Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) at the body’s recent national conference in Perth.

Mr Chilly and USC Paramedic Science student, Emma Williams, also made the finals of the IAHA’s Health Fusion Team Challenge, held in conjunction with the conference.

The highly-competitive, two-day challenge involved eight teams of five students from universities across Australia developing a management plan on best practice for a complex case study and presenting their outcomes to a panel of expert judges.

“Emma and I were members of two opposing teams selected by judges to progress to the final showdown, where we re-presented our management plans and responded to an extension question in front of delegates at the conference,” Mr Chilly said.

“While the win was an amazing validation of my team, the journey to make it to the end, and the valuable support and encouragement from all the participants in such a pressure cooker event, was a victory on its own.” 

Mr Chilly said he was looking forward to his role on the IAHA’s Student Representative Committee, and following in the footsteps of USC Nutrition and Dietetics student Tracey Hardy, who was the committee chairperson in 2016.

“My main priority will be to encourage all student members of IAHA to use their power to influence the organisation to meet its needs, and those of their communities,” he said.

“I also hope to use my position to help reduce any negative connotations that Indigenous people have of the health sector, and encourage them to engage with health and allied health services to attain better outcomes for our people.”

The former administration and hospitality worker also worked in native environmental revegetation before deciding his passion lay in community service and enrolling in USC’s dual Social Work and Criminology and Justice degree.

“My career goals are to complete a Master’s degree to advocate for positive and effective change on a systematic level with a focus on child protection, youth justice and restorative mediation. 

“I plan to utilise these tools as a front-line worker to fully understand the contemporary issues and barriers faced by clients and workers.” 

Applications are open to study at USC, starting Semester 1 on 26 February 2018. Details on how to apply can be found at

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