Watch the episode here: The Drum ABC – Tuesday September 10th, 2019.

Host: Julia Baird
Panel: Ann Sudmalis, Isabella Kwai, Ming Long, Gregory Phillips, Mal Peters.
Guests: Greg Mullins
How much is climate change contributing to bushfires and drought?

The podcast discusses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge in the context of modern healthcare.

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Cultural safety refers to addressing racism and unconscious bias in the enabling environment delivering policy or services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The term originally comes from Maori nurses in Aotearoa, who identified the need for a decolonising practice among health professions and systems, based on the Treaty of Waitangi.

Put simply, cultural safety is not about culture, it is about racism and sovereignty. The Council of Australian Governments have committed to a health system free of racism and discrimination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Let’s see if they act and invest accordingly.

Consider, for example, who’s problem is it if an Aboriginal patient at hospital is confronted with a triage nurse who can’t say the word Aboriginal, and is then left to navigate an un-coordinated maze of hospital departments with instructions being delivered in loud and disrespectful English, instead of one of the Aboriginal languages a patient is used to? Health outcomes in this case are negatively impacted by a culturally unsafe health workforce, organisation and system.

Read the full article here…

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s third such national report, Better Cardiac Care measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, shows that while some improvements have been made, significant disparities continue to exist, as per the details below.

The findings prompted a call by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association for the Lighthouse Hospital Project to be expanded, and they follow the launch in Melbourne yesterday of a new push to embed cultural safety across the health system.

Thirty-seven health organisations have signed a National Registration and Accreditation Scheme Statement of Intent, committing to work together to ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to health services that are culturally safe and free from racism, with a culturally safe health workforce supported by nationally consistent standards, codes and guidelines across all professions.

Read the full article here…

The council will drive Aboriginal policy in Victoria, which community leaders said flipped the usual top-down bureaucratic model where policies that affect Aborigines are largely decided by non-Aborigines.

It will influence government decision-making on issues such as education, health care and housing and help to develop a plan to support Aboriginal self-determination.

Esme Bamblett​, chief executive of the Aborigines Advancement League, said the new council would give Victorian Aborigines a bigger say in policies that affect them.

“The executive council will enable what we are saying to be heard and put into practice,” Dr Bamblett said.

Read the full article here…

Dr Phillips analyses the motivations of mainstream organisations in ‘doing’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and business. He calls out how racism and power inequalities can sometimes hide behind the word ‘inclusion’, and reveals a stronger and more socially just vision of Australia.

Watch the video on YouTube…