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 and October 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 with health education along the way. We visit the lands in groups of four medical students and fly in to Alice Springs to get ourselves organised before some 4WDriving out to the lands for 5 days.

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 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. We are looking for a team of students who are compassionate, hard working, flexible, friendly and open to new experiences.

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 our 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 Cultural Communications workshops as a prerequisite for the trip (more information to come), as well as pre-departure activities.
  • Applications for the 2021 program close on Sunday 14th March at midnight.
  • Application Form

Who to Contact

For more information, please feel free to email us at apyexchange@amss.org.au and check out our FaceBook page if you have any questions!

Cheers (Palya!),

Ayra Perakath, Claire Taranto, Elly Sarre & Raelene Emmanuel



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.