Building a foundation for working in remote and Indigenous communities

The first Framing Indigenous Health course since the COVID-19 disruption began in March, was held in Alice Springs from the 10 – 14 August, and was very successful with 10 students from Northern Territory, South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA) attending.

This week-long postgraduate award course offered by Flinders University and the Centre for Remote Health,  provides health professionals with a foundation for working effectively in remote and Indigenous communities. It examines significant issues faced by remote communities and the subsequent impact on service delivery, and it places an emphasis on understanding health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The week began with a Welcome to Country by Native Title holder, Patricia Dodd of the Irlpme group.

Topics covered by various facilitators during the course:

  • Stolen Generation and inter-generational trauma caused to families who was removed from their mothers and country
  • Cultural safety principles
  • Social determinants of health and Indigenous health statistics
  • Indigenous health and wellbeing
  • History of Indigenous / Australian policy
  • Mental health / social and emotional wellbeing
  • Cultural practice, protocols and kinship system and languages
  • Primary health care
  • Racism, power, Whiteness and institutional racism

A special thank you to our invited guest speakers from the Alice Springs Hospital Aboriginal Liaison Support Unit, for their valuable input into communicating across languages and how to communicate and work with Aboriginal patients.

The cultural day activity for students to experience cooking kangaroo tails, making damper, and billy tea was enjoyed by all.

The group also visited the Purple House, a renal dialysis centre based in Alice Springs where CEO Sarah Brown and staff gave a brief history of how the Purple House was established and its expansion into other remote communities throughout the NT and WA.

Purple House staff also demonstrated the process of making ‘bush medicine’, identifying the significant plants that are used, and explaining ailments and their treatment using bush medicines Arrethe and Aratja (made from the Eremophila plant).

The Framing Indigenous Health course is offered as part of the Remote Health Practice Program as well as a stand-alone short course.

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Centre for Remote Health (CRH) Flinders NT