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Monash partners with three prominent Asia Pacific universities for RISE

20 March 2018

Monash University has signed partnership agreements with three of the Asia Pacific’s most highly regarded universities - Hasanuddin University (UNHAS) in Indonesia; and, Fiji National University (FNU) and The University of the South Pacific (USP) in Fiji - for the Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) program.

These partnerships are the first of their kind, strengthening research ties between Australia, Indonesia and Fiji as all three countries work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  Driven by the need for a stronger evidence base on the link between human health and the environment in the Asia Pacific, the collaboration is in line with the emerging discipline of Planetary Health.

RISE Program Director, Professor Rebekah Brown highlighted the importance of these partnerships in ensuring the success of the program, noting “RISE is very fortunate to have the depth of experience and local insight that UNHAS, USP and FNU bring to the team.”

“These partnerships have expanded our networks and ensured we gain the full support of communities, local leaders and government ministries. We thank our valued partner universities for assisting us in laying a strong foundation, and look forward to long and meaningful collaboration.”

UNHAS Faculty of Public Health will lead the health and environmental assessment in Makassar, while the Faculty of Engineering will support implementation of the water sensitive infrastructure.

UNHAS Vice Rector for International Collaboration, Professor Budu, said, “UNHAS is excited to be part of the global RISE team, collaborating on an ambitious program with the potential to significantly improve the lives of thousands of people in Makassar.”

Dean of the UNHAS School of Public Health, Professor Zulkifli, echoed Professor Budu, saying: “RISE presents a great opportunity for our School to collaborate with many reputable universities and institutions globally, working in an interdisciplinary manner to improve the health of people in Makassar.”

USP School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment will support community co-design and implementation of the water sensitive infrastructure, while also monitoring the effects of the environmental change on individual and community well-being.

Camari Koto, Assistant Lecturer from the School at USP said, “It is wonderful to be working with such a highly regarded, interdisciplinary consortium on this important global issue.”

FNU’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will play an integral role in the health and environmental assessment of RISE in Suva, including set-up and operation of the laboratory.

“FNU welcomes the opportunity to work with the RISE team to try to solve one of Fiji’s greatest challenges, particularly as we see the increasing effects of climate change and rapid population growth,” noted Associate Professor Donald Wilson, Head of FNU’s School of Public Health and Primary Care.