The original painting which has appeared on the front cover of the Central Australian Rural Practitioner’s Association (CARPA) Standard Treatment Manual since 1992, will soon be displayed at Centre for Remote Health where the team coordinating the revision and production of the manuals is based.
The artwork was commissioned by Dr Steve Skov, a District Medical Officer for the communities, and a member of the editorial committee for the first edition of the CARPA Manual along with Sabina Knight, Nick Williams and Penny Silwood.
Kumantjai Tjampitjimpa Nolan a practising ngangkari, established artist and senior elder in the Papunya, Mt Liebig and Haast’s Bluff areas was asked to paint something of his choice for the first edition.
The painting tells the story of some women who are unwell from having their kurrunpa or ‘soul’ displaced and a ngangkari restoring their kurrunpa to them. The concept of kurrunpa is central to Western Desert people’s understanding of health and well-being. Disturbances in kurrunpa are very common causes of illness and reason for people to seek the assistance of a ngangkari. The painting also underscores the importance of recognizing that Aboriginal people maintain their traditional concepts and practices concerning health and illness as well as making use of the health clinic and the need for health care practitioners of a different paradigm to understand and respect those beliefs and work in with them.
The CARPA Standard Treatment Manual forms part of the Remote Primary Health Care Manuals suite, designed to support good clinical practice in primary health care in central, northern and remote Australia.
The suite of manuals includes:
- CARPA Standard Treatment Manual, 6th edition
- Minymaku Kutju Tjukurpa Women’s Business Manual, 5th edition
- Clinical Procedures Manual for remote and rural practice, 3rd edition
- Medicines Book for Aboriginal Health Workers, 3rd edition
- Reference Book for the Remote Primary Health Care Manuals
The organisations that have collaborated to produce this suite of manuals are:
- Central Australian Rural Practitioner’s Association Inc (CARPA)
- CRANAplus Inc
- Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Alukura Branch
- Centre for Remote Health