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Local Wisdom, Global Impact: Lessons from the World Health Summit 2024 Regional Meeting

Connection to self, to each other and to country -  the tone of the World Health Summit 2024 Regional Meeting in Naarm/Melbourne was beautifully set by Wurundjeri community elder Dr Mandy Nicholson.  The clarifying smoke from the burning gum leaves of Dr Nicholson’s Welcome to Country provided an atmosphere of invitation, anticipation and excitement for the conversations to come. 

As 2024 Global Health fellows, attending the first day of the Summit was a fantastic opportunity for us to reflect on the universality of striving for good health, spoken compellingly by President of the World Health Summit, Professor Axel R. Pries, but also focus on our regional context of the Asia-Pacific.

Having begun my career in positions across the international development and federal government context, I have always been deeply fascinated by multisector and multidisciplinary collaboration. Throughout the day’s proceedings, the necessity to elevate these partnerships to support meaningful and holistic programs, policies, initiatives and strategies were evident. 

Four main themes stood out to me from the sessions: building the health workforce, ensuring sustainable health financing, striving for equity in global health systems, and developing processes that are socio-culturally relevant to the respective locality. I particularly enjoyed the way panellists navigated the supposed dichotomy of the broader narrative of “global health” against the need for health advances to be locally contingent .

On this, the World Health Organisation’s Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Saia Ma’u Piukala eloquently expressed that “local is not the antithesis of global”. I believe this truly speaks to my earlier point, that harnessing dynamic partnerships through trust and sharing of knowledge are foundations to outcomes that favour better health and wellbeing for all. 

Learning more about how these partnerships for change play out tangibly through an advocacy perspective has been enjoyable and I am excited to continue building my knowledge with Results Australia and beyond!

Danni Kim is a 2024 Results Australia Global Health Fellow. She is an early career professional with previous experience in non-government and government positions. She holds a Bachelor of International Studies from the University of New South Wales.


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