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July 30, 2018 | by  | in UniQ |
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UniQ: The Queer Agenda

The Outreach Nurse service is available to students enrolled with Mauri Ora (Student Health). This service is dedicated to International, Pasifika, Māori, and gender diverse students. It provides help for a range of things, including support for mental health needs, sexual health check-ups and contraception, immunisations and travel vaccines, among other things. Each appointment is 30 minutes, so there’s no rush.
Tara Lewis is one of the Outreach Nurses, working between Kelburn and Te Aro campuses. She has been a nurse for eight years, and before then was a teacher, so she’s worked with many different people over her career. She acknowledges that as a white woman with a Welsh accent, she might seem an interesting choice for the position. But, in our chat for this column, it was easy to see how incredibly passionate she is about helping those who might otherwise feel healthcare and support services are not accessible.
She saw how those in her family in the LGBTQIA+ community struggled with getting equal healthcare and their struggles in general and wanted to make a difference, so she has both a personal and professional interest in advocating for equal care regardless of gender, sexuality, or ethnicity. She is very open to learning from student’s perspectives, offering a safe environment built on trust, mutual respect, and confidentiality. She said there was great interest and feedback in the first year of the service, and hopes this service is seen as a welcoming, all-inclusive, safe space that can help with a variety of issues.
For Māori students, Outreach Nurse Mykie Sagar is available on 0220358130 or mykie.sagar@vuw. ac.nz. For International, Pasifika, and gender diverse students, Outreach Nurse Tara Lewis is available on 0220358131 or tara.lewis@vuw.ac.nz. You can also book an appointment at Student Health reception.

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