NAIDOC Week: 8 – 15 November 2020

The 2020 NAIDOC Week theme – Always Was, Always Will Be – acknowledged that First Nations peoples have occupied and cared for our continent for over 65,000 years. 

EV acknowledged and celebrated NAIDOC Week with a virtual get together on Thursday 12 November where Professor Marlene Drysdale delivered a terrific presentation on the history of NAIDOC Week and other significant events occurring in Australia that evolved to positively influence the lives and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Events such as the 1967 Referendum, The Apology delivered by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2008 and the Closing the Gap Campaign, to name a few. 

Did you know that new Closing the Gap targets were agreed to in July 2020?  You can view a snapshot of the new targets here.

Cultural Safety Training Research Project - Cultural Safety Framework Document: Audit Report 

The Aboriginal Health Team thanks all the EV people who took the time to respond to the recent Cultural Safety Training Audit questionnaires. Your beliefs, comments, views and recommendations are important to us and the audit results are making a key contribution to the EV Cultural Safety Framework Document and training modules that are currently under development.  

In summary, most audit respondents thought EV was doing cultural awareness and safety well at a theoretical level but that more could be done at a practical level. Respondents named different groups that should take the lead in this action but overall people thought that cultural safety was everyone’s issue – a responsibility for all of us every day.  

Our team learnt a lot from the audit responders about their learning preferences and the information sources they relied on.  

We are proud to say that at EV we are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities, alongside governments, health bodies and health education providers to improve health and wellbeing, eliminate racism and help everyone to understand the importance of trauma informed health care. A full report on the audit will be available to all in the New Year.

Registrars on placement in Aboriginal Health Services and remote supervision

Four registrars are on placement in Aboriginal Health training posts in Semester 2 2020 and placements going well for all parties.  Five will take up training posts in 2021.  

All registrars placed in an Aboriginal health service work under an RACGP approved remote supervision model and we once again thank our small dedicated group of remote supervisors – both primary and secondary supervisors – who take on this important role.  

Registrars on placement in an Aboriginal health post are usually part time and also work part time in a mainstream clinic. The registrar’s mainstream clinic supervisor also makes an important contribution to the remote supervision model and we acknowledge and thank them also. 

Our partner Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services continue to provide a rich training experience for our registrars and we particularly thank and commend their efforts always and particularly during COVID-19 related restrictions and challenges. 

Dr David Iser has provided remote supervision at EV for the past three years and prior to that provided remote supervision in Gippsland Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services since 2014.  All the while working in his clinic in South Gippsland and providing locum services to remote Aboriginal communities in various locations across Australia.  David’s commitment, enthusiasm and expertise in supporting registrars to provide culturally safe supervision to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients will be greatly missed. David’s knowledge and skills continue to be harnessed in other ways at EV. 

Aboriginal Health Team activity

Our small but enthusiastic and highly skilled team of cultural advisors and cultural educators continue to make a significant contribution at a strategic level and across the education and training program at EV.  Staff members – Professor Marlene Drysdale, Nicole Cassar and Brian Stevens – co-designed/delivered/presented at numerous registrar, supervisor and practice manager workshops during semester two.  Our ongoing focus on exploring and fostering culturally safe practices at all levels of training has seen increasing rich conversations between registrars, supervisors and EV staff, highlighting both the value and challenge of confronting inequity with compassion, respect and reciprocity. 

Dr Liz Wearne has been part of the Aboriginal Health Team for many years, as an Aboriginal Health specialist ME, providing leadership and expertise to the workshop program and strategically through the Aboriginal Health Training Advisory Group, not to mention advocating on behalf of the Team and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, patients, practices and communities always. Liz formally stepped down from this role in July when she was appointed EV’s Deputy Director Medical Education and Training – Rural Pathway. We acknowledge Liz’ significant contribution and note that her level of commitment to the work the Aboriginal Health Team and all things Aboriginal health at EV remains the same.

Walk the Talk in Aboriginal Health State-wide Forum 

The Forum, a joint initiative of EV and our neighbour Victorian RTO MCCC, postponed in 2020 due to COVID 19 restrictions, will not go ahead in March 2021.  The Planning Committee made this decision recently on the basis of stakeholder feedback via a survey and uncertainty about a March gathering. We are now looking at alternatives re timing and delivery mode.  

Coming soon – EV Cultural Protocols – a resource for our EV community about customs, codes of behaviour, respectful language and much much more in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.