I ThinkTank – Therefore I AMSA

The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) is the peak representative body for medical students in Australia. Each of the 20 medical schools in Australia elects a representative to sit on AMSA Council, which is the primary decision-making body of the Association. The key mandate of AMSA is to connect, inform and represent Australia’s 17,000 medical students.

The policy adopted by Council guide AMSA’s representation of medical students and advocacy to governments, universities as well as relevant medical and medicopolitical bodies. AMSA has a strong grass-roots approach to policy development whereby AMSA ThinkTanks have a central role in the production and review of policy.

ThinkTanks provides a forum for medical students to engage with pertinent issues affecting medical students and health at a local, national and global level. Through this engagement, AMSA ThinkTanks aim to equip medical students with the knowledge and skills required to affect change.

Strong student engagement through AMSA ThinkTanks enhances the development of policy, which forms the basis of AMSA’s advocacy efforts on a national scale. ThinkTanks are able to provide direct two way communication between AMSA and medical students that is invaluable to the advancement of AMSA’s mission to connect, inform and represent medical students in Australia.

ThinkTanks can run in a number of ways, such as face-to-face, through forums, email discussions or online surveys. Regardless of how they’re run, they aim to provide an accessible platform for students to engage with AMSA and vice-versa. Further to this, they’re a great way of getting to know what is happening on key issues on a national level, provide vital feedback about what YOU would like to be done, and debate pros and cons of contentious issues with some of the brightest students around.

The role of your local AMSA Representative is to be a conduit between your views as students at UWA, and AMSA Council. Every year, there are three face-to-face meetings where nationally important issues are discussed, policy is debated and ratified, and future actions are decided upon. These three meetings are spaced throughout the year, and form key deadlines for getting your ideas and your issues heard about on a national level. The first meeting is early in the year, usually mid-March, the second is held immediately prior to AMSA Convention in July, and the third at the end of the year in October. Keep these dates in mind and make sure you discuss things important to you with your AMSA Rep sooner rather than later.

If you want more information or want to get involved you can:

  1. Get in touch with your AMSA Representative: [email protected]
  2. Check out the list of AMSA official policies: http://www.amsa.org.au/advocacy/official-policy/
  3. Ask your AMSA rep or any member of the WAMSS committee to find out about WAMSS official policies
  4. Keep an eye out for notices of upcoming ThinkTanks, or
  5. Ask the AMSA Rep to host a ThinkTank on an issue important to you

Get involved and make your voice heard. After all, it is YOUR AMSA!