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A great BIG wrap of the news tweeted from the fifth annual IHMayDay

This year’s Indigenous Health Mayday Twitter event, #IHMayDay18, trended nationally on Twitter throughout the day, and involved almost 1,500 participants, with 20 guest tweeters joining from across Australia, as well as from England and Denmark.

The event was co-hosted on Palm Island by the Palm Island Centenary Committee and local TAFE, in conjunction with Croakey. The Bwgcolman Indigenous Knowledge Centre and Joyce Palmer Health Service also supported the event.

Dr Lynore Geia, who leads the event, and Summer May Finlay, who together moderated an immersive 15-plus hours of Twitter conversations on 31 May on the theme, Stepping out into our future, provide a reflection below on the wide-ranging discussions.

Below their comments are summaries of the guest tweeters’ contributions, followed by some wider discussions from the day, and the Twitter analytics.

Moderators’ reflections

Q: Are there any general themes or overall messages that emerged from the guest tweeters’ comments and related discussions?

Dr Lynore Geia: The general theme that emerged from the guests was that culture was strong, and informed vision, passion and heart for the work they are all involved in; pushing boundaries and building new frameworks of Indigenous leadership. The guests demonstrated a wide-ranging holistic perspective of practice that all linked with some aspect of Indigenous health. Guests presented the Indigenous world view perspectives of health to wider Australia, Indigenous perspectives that are not restricted by silos of practice. There was also a strong youth voice engaging and sharing their dreams of Indigenous leadership and what it meant for them. The mature and experiences tweeters brought a depth of knowledge and wisdom for some critical thinking for all of us on how we can shift in our thinking to make way for diversity and change in thought, beliefs and practice.

Summer May Finlay: For me one of the common elements across #IHMayDay18 presenters is how personal their work is for them. They recognise that the health issues affect people, families and communities. Its an important reminder for researchers, program coordinators and policy makers. There are people behind the numbers.

Q: Are there any calls to action arising from either individual sessions or the overall day? If so, what are these and to whom would you direct them?

Dr Lynore Geia: The main call to action is to support the Uluru Statement for all of us as a nation. Furthermore, to acknowledge and support Indigenous connection to community and family; privileging Indigenous voices and their perspectives of leadership as key to developing solutions to building in areas identified by the people and community.

Summer May Finlay: Megan Williams talked about policy accountability. Accountability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy often lands on our people or organisations. I support Megan’s call for greater policy accountability and would extend that to calling on governments to work with us to determine what that looks like.

Q: Any other general comments or calls to action you’d like to make?

Dr Lynore Geia: A call to action to all health professions, medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health to endorse the Uluru Statement, to work with their Indigenous colleagues, respecting their leadership. Collaborating in developing cultural safety in health education, research and health practice in traditional health organisations, and on social media platforms. And finally to our non-Indigenous colleagues, friends, allies I reiterate what we call for every #IHMayDay; that is to listen, truly listen to the Indigenous person leading, and respecting their leadership and voice.

Summer May Finlay: For me a call to Action is for Non-Indigenous People to extend the “listening” beyond #IHMayDay18. This includes listening to the Uluru Statement from The Heart. #IHMayDay18 demonstrates the passion, skill and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Tap into all this goodness!

Listening to the guest tweeters

See the program in full.

(And make sure to check the #IHMayDay18 coverage from Dr Chelsea Bond and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Queensland for @WePublicHealth – scroll to the entry for 28 May).

Dr Lynore Geia – Introductions

(Tweeting as @IndigenousX)


Summer May FinlayIndigenous leadership in global public health


Dr Megan WilliamsA future without prisons


Professor Peter RadollWhen education steps up?


The Hon Linda Burney, MPEnvisioning political futures


Romlie Mokak – Creating healthier futures.


Associate Professor James WardA future free of STIs


Minister Ken WyattStepping Out into Our Future