APY Exchange #

The AMSS APY Exchange is a student-run program that offers medical students the chance to experience life in the APY Lands. The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands are a remote area in the far north of South Australia comprised of over 11 small Indigenous communities with strong cultural ties to the land. The AMSS APY Exchange is a week-long program in the June/July school holidays, during which groups of medical students visit the lands to run a health-focused school holiday program.

School holidays are a 'high risk' time for young people living in APY communities, without the structure and continuity of school days. Our role is to assist resident youth workers with providing engaging activities that are open for all young people to participate in. These may include sports, arts, cooking, discos and dance parties (#bushdoof), with a little bit of health education along the way. We visit the lands in groups of four medical students, and generally fly in to Alice Springs before some hectic 4WDriving out to the lands.

The key philosophy of this program is to provide medical students with valuable, hands-on experience in a unique cultural setting, with the aim of preparing them for future practice in Indigenous health. While developing your awareness of Indigenous health and culture, you will forge strong friendships with students from other year levels, meet loads of insanely energetic and talented kids and stretch your leadership capabilities beyond the bounds of city life. Medical students in all year levels, regardless of prior experience, are encouraged to apply. It is our great privilege to visit these remote communities, and to engage with a way of life that is a sacred, complex and fundamental part of Australian identity.

Key Points

  • The program is comprised of 3 groups of 4 medical students, each visiting a different community in the APY Lands.
  • The program usually runs for 9 days, with 5 days in community and a couple days of travelling either side. There will be two teams heading out in the mid-year pre-clinical holidays (middle of July), and one more team in the mid-semester 2 holidays (start of October)
  • For clinical students, we will provide a letter of support for your application for leave. You should expect to miss 5-6 days of hospital placement.
  • The program cost is $200 per student, to contribute to costs of flights and accommodation. The program is also heavily subsidised by generous sponsors. If you are unable to contribute $200, please still apply and note this in your application form. We will aim to support you wherever possible.

How to Apply

  • Applicants are expected to attend the Insight Cultural Communications workshop as a prerequisite for the trip (more information to come)
  • Applications for the 2019 program are now open! Please fill out the application form below, and email it to apyexchange@amss.org.au by Sunday 24th March at midnight

Apy Exchange Application 20190201

Who to Contact

For more information, please feel free to email us at apyexchange@amss.org.au if you have any questions!

Cheers (Palya!),

Bianca Kennedy, Chloe Borgas & Henry Shaw



With a history of supporting Australian communities by providing a skilled and sustainable GP workforce, GPEx is proud to partner with the Adelaide Medical Student Society (AMSS) to deliver the APY Lands project. If you want the opportunity to become an exceptional doctor, GPEx should be your first choice. Visit the website for more information.

NPY Women's Council

The program is facilitated by the NPY (Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara), Women’s Council Aboriginal Corporation, an organisation based in Alice Springs.


We are grateful to the AMSS for their ongoing support of the program.