Health for all in a growing and mobile world

by Erin Ablett

The Global Ideas Forum (GIF) sets itself aside from other conferences in that the goal of the forum is contribution and collaboration as opposed to just learning. Attendees and experts in the field of global health are encouraged to interact and to discuss current initiatives and innovations in global health, with strong encouragement to share experiences and develop new ideas. Instead of just being lectured at, attendees were required to break out into groups and discuss their ideas on how to solve the world’s problems. Simple right?


The GIFis held over 3 days and occurred on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of August this year. Topics covered in this year’s GIF included:

  • how does population growth impact global health
  • how to deliver effective aid
  • how to formulate effective projects
  • asylum seeker and refugee health
  • human trafficking: abroad and on our shores
  • lots more 

Throughout the 2.5 days, attendees experienced cultural performances, inspiring speakers, plus an insight into current health initiatives happening in Australia and internationally with project presentations.

Dr Linny Phuong (founder and chair) and Dr Caitlin O’Mahony (deputy chair) from the Water Well Project spoke at the GIF on the Water Well Project and its successes to date.

Their 10 minute presentation gave audience members an understanding of the Water Well Project. Beginning with the fantastic healthy eating day picnic video that received great feedback, Linny and Caitlin then went on to discuss the project and its simplistic, yet effective strategy.

The Water Well Project provided a stall at the GIF which allowed for interested attendees to find out more about the project. Many people wanted to know more about the project, and to find out how they can be involved. The enthusiasm of the attendees was fantastic and I’m sure the Water Well Project has just recruited some amazing volunteers!

The GIF is an inspiring collaboration of students, academics, health professionals and all those in between who are interested in global health. It is an excellent conference to network with likeminded folks, and to find volunteer or other opportunities to become involved in beginning to solve the world’s problems!