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Karen

Karen MOLHUYSEN

Year of Award: 2002.2 Award State: Tasmania Education > General
Health And Medicine > General
To examine the relationship between school based sexuality education and adolescent sexual behaviour, in particular adolescent pregnancy and safe sex practices - U.K., Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands
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My Fellowship changed my life. The Trust gave me the world and said: ‘Go see what you need to see, talk to who you need to talk to, ask, explore, learn, soak it all up and come home and share it.’ What an extraordinary gift.

I learnt new skills and approaches. I witnessed and learnt about innovative programs, some tackling the same issues as we had in our region, some dealing with issues that were unique to them, some with issues that we in Australia would soon need to know how to deal with.

The interviews and meetings provided rich sources of knowledge that I was able to share on my return, and that I continue to draw on many years later.

However, the most valuable gift the Trust gave me was to be able to travel: to be there in person.

Some of the most valuable conversations, the most exciting exchanges of ideas, the most lasting of connections and beginnings of collaborations happened outside the interviews and meetings.

Sometimes while travelling together on the way to a meeting, or having a meal together, or at the conclusion of an interview someone would say: ‘I think you would be interested in this program’, or ‘Come and meet this colleague’, or ‘Let me take you to see this program’.

Had I not been there I would not have had some of the seminal experiences that continue to inform my professional practice today.

My Fellowship gave me professional knowledge, skills, resources and networks. It also gave me camaraderie and inspiration.

It taught me that the world is large and small: large with its array of inspirational practitioners and programs, and small enough that we are able to communicate and collaborate.

On my return I continued to work with homeless and at-risk young people and co-founded Hobart’s first youth-specific Sexual Health Clinic.

Since then I have worked on Professionals Education in Sexual Health; with the Australian Red Cross’s Young People Alcohol and Other Drug Service; in postgraduate medical education; and as a research assistant preparing recommendations for the Human Rights Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse.

My current focus is on raising a young family and studying toward a Master of Public Health, specialising in International Health.

I love to travel, cook for my family and friends, and plan my next project. 

Excerpt from “Bringing Knowledge Home” published by the Churchill Fellows Association of Tasmania (2016) 

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