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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

GPSA acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional and current custodians of the land upon which we work. We respect that this land always was and always will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples sovereignty has never been ceded. We particularly acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung and the Taungurung Peoples of the Kulin Nation, the traditional owners of the lands where our head office is located. We pay our respect to Elders past and present, as well as all Aboriginal people who have fought, and continue to fight, for equality, self-determination, culture, Country and community

GP Supervisors play a valuable and important role in promoting and supporting GP registrar’s cultural competence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. It is the role of GP supervisors to promote the cultural competence of GP registrars. Below are links to valuable resources and dates of significance relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health that will assist you in building the cultural competence of GP Registrars.

Resources

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ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER HEALTH IN GENERAL PRACTICE

This guide sets out how GP Supervisors can strengthen teaching and learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Download PDF
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Indigenous history playing cards

It was the great hope of Moree elder Val Dahlstrom that a better understanding of Indigenous culture and history could help close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, particularly when it came to health. She came up with the idea of designing a set of playing cards and a solitaire app that could help increase that knowledge. The cards feature Indigenous artwork and provide players with insights into events that have shaped the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Flashcards link
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Telehealth and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Patients

Telehealth has been identified as a particularly effective method of delivering health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients living in remote rural locations. With teleconsultations now being undertaken more widely across Australia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the experiences of GPs caring for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in places like Arnhem land have never been so valuable. Download Link

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

A comprehensive site providing links to a wide range of educational and training resources and research relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. Key areas of this site relevant to GP Supervision are listed below:

Guide to General Practice Training in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

This guide was produced by the Australian Government Department of Health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services who train medical registrars as part of the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program. It outlines national principles in delivering culturally-safe general practice training.

The Five Steps resources

Compiled by the RACGP, the five steps towards excellent healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a suite of resources that provide a clear and concise summary of the programs and funding options available to support care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Significant dates

January 26 – Survival Day

A significant date for all Australians but for varying reasons – it is Australia Day, Survival Day and also sometimes referred to as Invasion Day.

April – National Close the Gap Day

Commemorates the launch of the campaign on 2 April 2007, and gives people the opportunity to show their support for closing the 17-year life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.

26 May – National Sorry Day

Commemorating the day in 2008 when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd moved a Motion of Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples in the House of Representatives apologising for past laws, policies and practices that devastated Australia’s First Nations Peoples – in particular members of the Stolen Generations.

27 May – 1967 Referendum

The 1967 referendum made history: Australians voted overwhelmingly to amend the constitution to include Aboriginal people in the census and allow the Commonwealth to create laws for Aboriginal people. This referendum saw the highest YES vote ever recorded in a Federal referendum, with 90.77 per cent voting for change.

27 May to 3 June -National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week is celebrated across Australia each year. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the anniversaries of the successful referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

3 June – Mabo Day

Mabo Day is marked annually on 3 June,  commemorating Mer Island man Eddie Koiki Mabo and his succesful efforts to overturn the legal fiction of terra nullius, or ‘land belonging to no-one’.

NAIDOC Week – first full week of July

NAIDOC week is held in the first full week of July. It is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.

4 August – National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day

Children’s Day is a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities and all Australians to celebrate the strengths and culture of our children. It is an opportunity for us to show our support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that culture, family and community play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child

9 August – UN International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This event also recognises the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection

“GP supervisors are vital in building a skilled GP workforce to improve health outcomes into the future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It is valuable to train registrars at Indigenous health services, however supervisors in mainstream practices also have a vital role to play in helping to Close the Gap.”

Prof Noel Hayman

Professor Noel Hayman

Clinical Director
Inala Indigenous Health Service, Queensland