8 May 2020

Millennium Fellow Christine Yen: Getting to Know Traditional Chinese Medicine

United Nations Academic Impact and the Millennium Campus Network (MCN) are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship, a semester-long leadership development program that helps students design and implement community-level initiatives to promote sustainability and help others in need.

Over 7,000 young leaders on 1,209 campuses across 135 nations applied to join the Millennium Fellowship Class of 2019; 69 campuses worldwide were selected to host the 1,092 Millennium Fellows. The Class of 2019 is bold, innovative, and inclusive, and their work is projected to positively impact the lives of nearly 1 million people worldwide this year.

Christine Yen, a Millennium Fellow for the Class of 2019, provides a credible and effective platform for students of her university and the local community to access up-to-date information on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Her Millennium Fellowship Project focuses on SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being.

Christine talks about her project and why she decided to focus on better health through integrating different medical approaches.

I was exposed to the use of modern and traditional modalities of medicine from a very young age. Both my parents are western pharmacists. My mother is also a registered Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physician in Singapore. My parents have always advocated for both forms of medicine, which showed me that it is possible to integrate both modalities into medical practice and multiply the benefits of different treatments.

When I first started my TCM studies at Western Sydney University, I saw a general interest in TCM from students from other health majors, with some students even taking a TCM course for their elective. However, a single course is insufficient to paint a complete picture of TCM and may cause misunderstanding or confusion. Therefore, I decided to create a platform where people can come together and share credible and reliable information on TCM.

Being a part of the 2019 Millennium Fellowship inspired me to start my project Getting to Know Traditional Chinese Medicine.  As a part of this project, I established a student club, the Western Sydney University Traditional Chinese Medicine Students' Association. The club has organized several university-based events including an herbal tea tasting event, meditative sessions with herbal tea, and soup kitchen and herbal tea, reaching a total audience of 200-800 people per event. The club also educates students, faculty and local communities on what TCM is, its role in modern healthcare and responsible use of herbs through the Campbelltown Fishers’ Ghost Festival 2019 and an herbal tea series on social media. Ultimately, my goal is to help people become more empowered with their health and well-being.

I would not have been able to start the student club without my team. However, in a team there can be several challenges such as communication. It is very important to convey the goals clearly with team members and to promote an inspiring and inclusive atmosphere. I initially had difficulties in this area, but I managed to improve with the advice that I received during the Millennium Fellowship programme on effective team communication.

No idea is too small. It is never too early to start. Maybe some of you have faced similar doubts like I have, but you will be able to find helpful resources, support, and inspiration from people around the world through the Millennium Fellowship program. Take your first step and apply Millennium Fellowship 2020!

To learn more about Christine and her work, visit her Millennium Fellow page or reach out to her through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Meet Christine Yen: Millennium Fellow at Western Sydney University

Christine Yen is advancing SDG 3 through her Millennium Fellowship project 'Getting to Know Traditional (Chinese) Medicine'.