Earlier this month I participated in my work’s indigenous immersion experience which involved spending a week with two different Indigenous families in Central Australia. It was a privilege to be able to spend time with our First Peoples in remote and regional Australia and to learn about their cultures, and their societal and health challenges.
We were able to visit a number of health services that provide care to our First Peoples. A common theme from the health services was a focus on cultural sensitivity and delivering care within communities, rather than requesting patients to travel vast distances to regional or urban hubs to receive healthcare. This has improved compliance and patient outcomes, but there’s still a long way to go with Indigenous patients.
It was impressed on me by one of the families that a stable family unit provides a strong foundation for individuals to have healthy and fulfilling lives, as well as allowing them the opportunity to embark in what mainstream Australians would consider successful professions. Of course, success does not mean aligning to what mainstream Australians consider success. I also observed from another family the richness and connectedness of an extended family.
We met a young Indigenous woman who took us on a tour of Uluru and shared stories of this sacred site which have been passed down through generations. It was an exceptional experience seeing this world icon that I learnt about when I was a child and hearing the meaning of Uluru from our First Peoples.
Health information management plays an important role in supporting indigenous healthcare. I know a number of our members have worked in remote communities and encourage you, if you have the opportunity to experience life in remote Australia. The people and landscape are uniquely Australian.
Dwayne took on the Victorian Branch convenor role when the branch was in a period of hiatus. Unfortunately Dwayne has resigned due to new work commitments and I would like to thank him for his efforts in invigorating the Victorian Branch during his tenure as convenor. Even during the COVID lockdown periods, online events ensured that Victorian members stayed connected. Wishing Dwayne the best in his future endeavours.
Onwards and upwards!