NARI Director Associate Professor Briony Dow has recently visited Thailand to explore potential collaborations with the Mae Fa Luang University. She has also been teaching students on health and ageing at the university.
Together with Dr Supaporn Trongsakul, Dr Dow visited remote hospitals to determine whether NARI’s cultural exchange model, used successfully with Chinese older people in Melbourne, can be applied or adapted for the Hill Tribe people of Northern Thailand.
“Currently the hill tribe people experience considerable mental health issues but are rarely able to access social or medial services,” Dr Dow said.
Mae Fa Luang University in Chiang Rai is named after the mother of the late King of Thailand, Her Royal Highness Princess Srinagarinda. It means “royal mother from the sky” and was given to her by the Hill Tribe people of Northern Thailand. Mae Fah Luang is committed to the education and welfare of the Hill tribe people as well as preservation of their natural environment.
The university was established in 1998 with the dual vision of providing education to the people of Northern Thailand and preserving the environment for all.