Informed, engaged communities for health

Search
Generic filters
Filter by Categories
@WePublicHealth2021
#CroakeyLIVE #Budget2021Health
#MHReform
#OutOfTheBox
#QldVotesHealth
#RCIADIC30Years
#RuralHealthJustice
#TRIPSwaiver
Budget2020Health
Bushfires
Co-design
community control
COVID-19
Croakey Conference News Service
#16nrhc
#2020ResearchExcellence
#21OPCC
#BackToTheFire
#FoodGovernance2021
#GiantSteps21
#Govern4Health
#GreenHealthForum21
#GreenHealthForum22
#Heal2022
#HealthClimateSolutions21
#HealthReImagined
#HearMe21
#ICEM22
#IndigenousClimateJustice21
#NAISA22
#NNF2021
#NNF2022
#RANZCP2021
#RANZCP2022
#RethinkAddiction
#RTP22
#SAHeapsUnfair
#ShiftingGearsSummit
#ValueBasedCare
#WCepi2021
#YHFSummit
Choosing Wisely National Meeting 2022
Equally Well 2022 Symposium
GiantSteps22
Croakey Professional Services
#CommunityControl
#COVIDthinktank21
#KidneyCareTogether
ACSQHC series
ACSQHC series 2019
ACSQHC series 2020
ACSQHC series 2021
ACSQHC series 2022
CATSINaM 25 Years
Lowitja Indigenous knowledge translation series
NHLF series
Croakey projects
@WePublicHealth
@WePublicHealth2020
@WePublicHealth2022
@WePublicHealth2023
#CommunityMatters
#CoveringClimateNow
#CroakeyFundingDrive 2022
#CroakeyLIVE #USvotesHealth
#CroakeyREAD
#CroakeyVOICES
#CroakeyYOUTH
#HealthyCOP26
#HealthyCOP27
#HousingJusticeAus
#JusticeCOVID
#LookingLocal
#MRFFtransparency
#OutOfPocket
#PHAAThinkTank 2022
#SpeakingOurMinds
#TalkingTeeth
#WorldInTurmoil
AroundTheTraps
Caring for the Frontline
COVID SNAPS
COVIDglobalMHseries
Croakey longreads
CroakeyEXPLORE
Gavin Mooney
ICYMI
Inside Story
Journal Watch
Summer Reading 2019-2020
The Conversation
The Health Wrap
TOO MUCH of a Good Thing
CroakeyGO
#CroakeyGO #NavigatingHealth
#GamblingHarms
#HeatwaveHealth
Mapping CroakeyGo
CroakeyNews
Cultural determinants of health
Digital platforms
Donor-funded journalism
Donor-funded journalism – 2020
Donor-funded journalism – 2021
Donor-funded journalism – 2022
Donor-funded journalism – 2023
Elections and budgets
#NSWvotesHealth2023
Federal Budget 2019-20
Federal Budget 2020-21
Federal Budget 2022-23
Federal Budget October 2022
Federal Election 2022
SA election 2022
The Election Wrap (2022)
Victorian election 2022
Federal Budget 2021-22
Floods 2021
Global health and climate change
2019-20 climate bushfire emergency
asylum seeker and refugee health
Climate emergency
disasters
Ebola
extreme weather events
Floods 2011
Floods 2022
Floods 2023
Global health
NHS
NSW 2022
NZ Election 2017
WHO
health
Healthcare and health reform
abortion
adverse events
Aged care
Allied healthcare
Australian Medical Association
cancer
cardiovascular disease
child health
Choosing Wisely
Chronic conditions
co-payments
Cochrane Collaboration
complementary medicines
conflicts of interest
death and dying
diabetes
digital technology
disabilities
e-health
emergency departments and care
Equally Well
euthanasia
evidence-based issues
general practice
genetics
health & medical marketing
Health and aged care workforces
health and medical education
health and medical research
Health Care Homes
health ethics
health financing and costs
Health reform
health regulation
HIV/AIDS
hospitals
HRT
infectious diseases
influenza
international medical graduates
journal articles
LGBTIQ
medical marijuana
Medicare Locals
men's health
Mental health
MyHospitals website
National Commission of Audit 2014
National Health Performance Authority
naturopathy
NDIS
NHMRC
non communicable diseases
Nursing and midwifery
oral health
organ transplants
out of pocket costs
pain
palliative care
paramedics
pathology
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
pharmaceutical industry
pharmacy
Pregnancy and childbirth
Primary Health Networks
Primary healthcare
private health insurance
Rural and remote health
Safety and quality of healthcare
screening
sexual health
Social media and healthcare
Strengthening Medicare Taskforce 2022
suicide
surgery
swine flu
telehealth
tests
TGA
trauma
women's health
youth health
Indigenous health
#CTG10
#NTRC
Acknowledgement
cultural safety
Indigenous education
Lowitja Institute
NT Intervention
social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
WA community closures
News about Croakey
Public health and population health
#PreventiveHealthStrategy
#UnmetNeedsinPublicHealth
air pollution
alcohol
consumer health matters
COVIDwrap
environmental health
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
food and nutrition
gambling
Government 2.0
gun control
health communications
health impact assessment
Health in All Policies
Health inequalities
health literacy
human rights
illicit drugs
injuries
legal issues
marriage equality
Media Doctor Australia
media-related issues
Mpox
nanny state
National Preventive Health Agency
obesity
occupational health
physical activity
plain packaging
prevention
Public health
Public interest journalism
road safety
sport
sugar tax
tobacco control
transport
vaccination
violence
Web 2.0
weight loss products
Royal Commission
Social determinants of health
commercial determinants of health
discrimination
education
Housing
justice
Justice Reinvestment
NBN
Newstart/JobSeeker
poverty
Racism
social policy
Summer reading 2020-2021
Summer reading 2021-2022
Summer reading 2022-2023
Tasmanian election 2021
The Croakey Archives
#cripcroakey
#HealthEquity16
#HealthMatters
#IHMayDay (all years)
#IHMayDay 2014
#IHMayDay15
#IHMayday16
#IHMayDay17
#IHMayDay18
#LoveRural 2014
Croakey Conference News Service 2013 – 2019
2013 conferences
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation Forum 2013
Australian Health Promotion Association Conference 2013
Closing the Credibility Gap 2013
CRANAplus Conference 2013
FASD Conference 2013
Health Workforce Australia 2013
International Health Literacy Network Conference 2013
NACCHO Summit 2013
National Rural Health Conference 2013
Oceania EcoHealth Symposium 2013
PHAA conference 2013
2014 conferences
#IPCHIV14
AIDA Conference 2014
Congress Lowitja 2014
CRANAplus conference 2014
Cultural Solutions - Healing Foundation forum 2014
Lowitja Institute Continuous Quality Improvement conference 2014
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2014
Racism and children/youth health symposium 2014
Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium 2014
2015 conferences
#CPHCEforum
#CRANAplus15
#HSR15
#NRHC15
#OTCC15
Population Health Congress 2015
2016 conferences
#AHHAsim16
#AHMRC16
#ANROWS2016
#ATSISPEP
#AusCanIndigenousWellness
#cphce2016
#CPHCEforum16
#CRANAplus2016
#IAMRA2016
#LowitjaConf2016
#PreventObesity16
#TowardsRecovery
#VMIAC16
#WearablesCEH
#WICC2016
2017 conferences
#17APCC
#ACEM17
#AIDAconf2017
#BTH20
#CATSINaM17
#ClimateHealthStrategy
#IAHAConf17
#IDS17
#LBQWHC17
#LivingOurWay
#OKtoAskAu
#OTCC2017
#ResearchTranslation17
#TheMHS2017
#VMIACConf17
#WCPH2017
Australian Palliative Care Conference
2018 conferences
#6rrhss
#ACEM18
#AHPA2018
#ATSISPC18
#CPHCE
#MHED18
#NDISMentalHealth
#Nurseforce
#OKToAsk2018
#RANZCOG18
#ResearchIntoPolicy
#VHAawards
#VMIACAwards18
#WISPC18
2019 Conferences
#ACEM19
#CPHCE19
#EquallyWellAust
#GiantSteps19
#HealthAdvocacyWIM
#KTthatWorks
#LowitjaConf2019
#MHAgeing
#NNF2019
#OKtoAsk2019
#RANZCOG19
#RANZCP2019
#ruralhealthconf
#VMIAC2019
#WHOcollabAHPRA
Croakey Professional Services archive
#CommunityControl Twitter Festival
Croakey projects archive
#IndigenousHealthSummit
#IndigenousNCDs
#JustClimate
#JustJustice
Croakey register of influence
Croakey Register of Influencers in Public Health
Croakey Register of Unreleased Documents
Naked Doctor
Poems of Public Health
Summer Reading 2016-2017
Summer Reading 2017-2018
The Koori Woman
Wonky Health
CroakeyGO archive 2017 – 2018
CroakeyGo 2017
#CroakeyGO Adelaide 2017
#CroakeyGO Melbourne 2017
#CroakeyGO Newcastle 2017
#CroakeyGO Sydney 2017
CroakeyGo 2018
#CroakeyGO #QuantumWords 2018
#CroakeyGO #VicVotes 2018
#CroakeyGO Albury 2018
#CroakeyGO Callan Park 2018
#CroakeyGO Carnarvon 2018
#CroakeyGO Marrickville 2018
#CroakeyGO Palm Island 2018
Elections and Budgets 2013 – 2019
#AusVotesHealth Twitter Festival 2019
#Health4NSW
#HealthElection16
Federal Budget 2009-2010
Federal Budget 2010
Federal Budget 2011
Federal Budget 2012-2013
Federal Budget 2013-14
Federal Budget 2014-15
Federal Budget 2015-16
Federal Budget 2016-17
Federal Budget 2017/18
Federal Budget 2018-19
Federal Election 2010
Federal Election 2013
Federal Election 2016
Federal Election 2019
NSW Election 2015
NSW Election 2019
NT Election 2016
Qld Election 2015
Victorian Election 2014
WA election 2021
Support non-profit public interest journalism
Search
Generic filters
Filter by Categories
@WePublicHealth2021
#CroakeyLIVE #Budget2021Health
#MHReform
#OutOfTheBox
#QldVotesHealth
#RCIADIC30Years
#RuralHealthJustice
#TRIPSwaiver
Budget2020Health
Bushfires
Co-design
community control
COVID-19
Croakey Conference News Service
#16nrhc
#2020ResearchExcellence
#21OPCC
#BackToTheFire
#FoodGovernance2021
#GiantSteps21
#Govern4Health
#GreenHealthForum21
#GreenHealthForum22
#Heal2022
#HealthClimateSolutions21
#HealthReImagined
#HearMe21
#ICEM22
#IndigenousClimateJustice21
#NAISA22
#NNF2021
#NNF2022
#RANZCP2021
#RANZCP2022
#RethinkAddiction
#RTP22
#SAHeapsUnfair
#ShiftingGearsSummit
#ValueBasedCare
#WCepi2021
#YHFSummit
Choosing Wisely National Meeting 2022
Equally Well 2022 Symposium
GiantSteps22
Croakey Professional Services
#CommunityControl
#COVIDthinktank21
#KidneyCareTogether
ACSQHC series
ACSQHC series 2019
ACSQHC series 2020
ACSQHC series 2021
ACSQHC series 2022
CATSINaM 25 Years
Lowitja Indigenous knowledge translation series
NHLF series
Croakey projects
@WePublicHealth
@WePublicHealth2020
@WePublicHealth2022
@WePublicHealth2023
#CommunityMatters
#CoveringClimateNow
#CroakeyFundingDrive 2022
#CroakeyLIVE #USvotesHealth
#CroakeyREAD
#CroakeyVOICES
#CroakeyYOUTH
#HealthyCOP26
#HealthyCOP27
#HousingJusticeAus
#JusticeCOVID
#LookingLocal
#MRFFtransparency
#OutOfPocket
#PHAAThinkTank 2022
#SpeakingOurMinds
#TalkingTeeth
#WorldInTurmoil
AroundTheTraps
Caring for the Frontline
COVID SNAPS
COVIDglobalMHseries
Croakey longreads
CroakeyEXPLORE
Gavin Mooney
ICYMI
Inside Story
Journal Watch
Summer Reading 2019-2020
The Conversation
The Health Wrap
TOO MUCH of a Good Thing
CroakeyGO
#CroakeyGO #NavigatingHealth
#GamblingHarms
#HeatwaveHealth
Mapping CroakeyGo
CroakeyNews
Cultural determinants of health
Digital platforms
Donor-funded journalism
Donor-funded journalism – 2020
Donor-funded journalism – 2021
Donor-funded journalism – 2022
Donor-funded journalism – 2023
Elections and budgets
#NSWvotesHealth2023
Federal Budget 2019-20
Federal Budget 2020-21
Federal Budget 2022-23
Federal Budget October 2022
Federal Election 2022
SA election 2022
The Election Wrap (2022)
Victorian election 2022
Federal Budget 2021-22
Floods 2021
Global health and climate change
2019-20 climate bushfire emergency
asylum seeker and refugee health
Climate emergency
disasters
Ebola
extreme weather events
Floods 2011
Floods 2022
Floods 2023
Global health
NHS
NSW 2022
NZ Election 2017
WHO
health
Healthcare and health reform
abortion
adverse events
Aged care
Allied healthcare
Australian Medical Association
cancer
cardiovascular disease
child health
Choosing Wisely
Chronic conditions
co-payments
Cochrane Collaboration
complementary medicines
conflicts of interest
death and dying
diabetes
digital technology
disabilities
e-health
emergency departments and care
Equally Well
euthanasia
evidence-based issues
general practice
genetics
health & medical marketing
Health and aged care workforces
health and medical education
health and medical research
Health Care Homes
health ethics
health financing and costs
Health reform
health regulation
HIV/AIDS
hospitals
HRT
infectious diseases
influenza
international medical graduates
journal articles
LGBTIQ
medical marijuana
Medicare Locals
men's health
Mental health
MyHospitals website
National Commission of Audit 2014
National Health Performance Authority
naturopathy
NDIS
NHMRC
non communicable diseases
Nursing and midwifery
oral health
organ transplants
out of pocket costs
pain
palliative care
paramedics
pathology
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
pharmaceutical industry
pharmacy
Pregnancy and childbirth
Primary Health Networks
Primary healthcare
private health insurance
Rural and remote health
Safety and quality of healthcare
screening
sexual health
Social media and healthcare
Strengthening Medicare Taskforce 2022
suicide
surgery
swine flu
telehealth
tests
TGA
trauma
women's health
youth health
Indigenous health
#CTG10
#NTRC
Acknowledgement
cultural safety
Indigenous education
Lowitja Institute
NT Intervention
social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
WA community closures
News about Croakey
Public health and population health
#PreventiveHealthStrategy
#UnmetNeedsinPublicHealth
air pollution
alcohol
consumer health matters
COVIDwrap
environmental health
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
food and nutrition
gambling
Government 2.0
gun control
health communications
health impact assessment
Health in All Policies
Health inequalities
health literacy
human rights
illicit drugs
injuries
legal issues
marriage equality
Media Doctor Australia
media-related issues
Mpox
nanny state
National Preventive Health Agency
obesity
occupational health
physical activity
plain packaging
prevention
Public health
Public interest journalism
road safety
sport
sugar tax
tobacco control
transport
vaccination
violence
Web 2.0
weight loss products
Royal Commission
Social determinants of health
commercial determinants of health
discrimination
education
Housing
justice
Justice Reinvestment
NBN
Newstart/JobSeeker
poverty
Racism
social policy
Summer reading 2020-2021
Summer reading 2021-2022
Summer reading 2022-2023
Tasmanian election 2021
The Croakey Archives
#cripcroakey
#HealthEquity16
#HealthMatters
#IHMayDay (all years)
#IHMayDay 2014
#IHMayDay15
#IHMayday16
#IHMayDay17
#IHMayDay18
#LoveRural 2014
Croakey Conference News Service 2013 – 2019
2013 conferences
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation Forum 2013
Australian Health Promotion Association Conference 2013
Closing the Credibility Gap 2013
CRANAplus Conference 2013
FASD Conference 2013
Health Workforce Australia 2013
International Health Literacy Network Conference 2013
NACCHO Summit 2013
National Rural Health Conference 2013
Oceania EcoHealth Symposium 2013
PHAA conference 2013
2014 conferences
#IPCHIV14
AIDA Conference 2014
Congress Lowitja 2014
CRANAplus conference 2014
Cultural Solutions - Healing Foundation forum 2014
Lowitja Institute Continuous Quality Improvement conference 2014
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2014
Racism and children/youth health symposium 2014
Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium 2014
2015 conferences
#CPHCEforum
#CRANAplus15
#HSR15
#NRHC15
#OTCC15
Population Health Congress 2015
2016 conferences
#AHHAsim16
#AHMRC16
#ANROWS2016
#ATSISPEP
#AusCanIndigenousWellness
#cphce2016
#CPHCEforum16
#CRANAplus2016
#IAMRA2016
#LowitjaConf2016
#PreventObesity16
#TowardsRecovery
#VMIAC16
#WearablesCEH
#WICC2016
2017 conferences
#17APCC
#ACEM17
#AIDAconf2017
#BTH20
#CATSINaM17
#ClimateHealthStrategy
#IAHAConf17
#IDS17
#LBQWHC17
#LivingOurWay
#OKtoAskAu
#OTCC2017
#ResearchTranslation17
#TheMHS2017
#VMIACConf17
#WCPH2017
Australian Palliative Care Conference
2018 conferences
#6rrhss
#ACEM18
#AHPA2018
#ATSISPC18
#CPHCE
#MHED18
#NDISMentalHealth
#Nurseforce
#OKToAsk2018
#RANZCOG18
#ResearchIntoPolicy
#VHAawards
#VMIACAwards18
#WISPC18
2019 Conferences
#ACEM19
#CPHCE19
#EquallyWellAust
#GiantSteps19
#HealthAdvocacyWIM
#KTthatWorks
#LowitjaConf2019
#MHAgeing
#NNF2019
#OKtoAsk2019
#RANZCOG19
#RANZCP2019
#ruralhealthconf
#VMIAC2019
#WHOcollabAHPRA
Croakey Professional Services archive
#CommunityControl Twitter Festival
Croakey projects archive
#IndigenousHealthSummit
#IndigenousNCDs
#JustClimate
#JustJustice
Croakey register of influence
Croakey Register of Influencers in Public Health
Croakey Register of Unreleased Documents
Naked Doctor
Poems of Public Health
Summer Reading 2016-2017
Summer Reading 2017-2018
The Koori Woman
Wonky Health
CroakeyGO archive 2017 – 2018
CroakeyGo 2017
#CroakeyGO Adelaide 2017
#CroakeyGO Melbourne 2017
#CroakeyGO Newcastle 2017
#CroakeyGO Sydney 2017
CroakeyGo 2018
#CroakeyGO #QuantumWords 2018
#CroakeyGO #VicVotes 2018
#CroakeyGO Albury 2018
#CroakeyGO Callan Park 2018
#CroakeyGO Carnarvon 2018
#CroakeyGO Marrickville 2018
#CroakeyGO Palm Island 2018
Elections and Budgets 2013 – 2019
#AusVotesHealth Twitter Festival 2019
#Health4NSW
#HealthElection16
Federal Budget 2009-2010
Federal Budget 2010
Federal Budget 2011
Federal Budget 2012-2013
Federal Budget 2013-14
Federal Budget 2014-15
Federal Budget 2015-16
Federal Budget 2016-17
Federal Budget 2017/18
Federal Budget 2018-19
Federal Election 2010
Federal Election 2013
Federal Election 2016
Federal Election 2019
NSW Election 2015
NSW Election 2019
NT Election 2016
Qld Election 2015
Victorian Election 2014
WA election 2021

On the power of spirit, family, Country and optimism

Introduction by Croakey: “Healing the past, strengthening the future, recognising the power of spirit, family, Country and optimism.”

This was the theme of the Rural Health West Aboriginal Health Conference 2022, held on Whadjuk country in Perth from 19 – 20 November.

Croakey journalist Jade Bradford reports below on key conference discussions highlighting the importance for health of cultural safety, positive communications, spirituality and trusting relationships.


Jade Bradford writes:

Mutti Mutti, Yorta Yorta and Nari Nari songman Kutcha Edwards travelled from Victoria to Perth recently to deliver a keynote speech at the Rural Health West Aboriginal Health Conference.

Uncle Kutcha and his manager were kind enough to invite me along to report on behalf of Croakey at one of his performance dates, in addition to his keynote address at the conference. Both were incredibly moving and the lessons from the experience will remain with me.

Uncle Kutcha finds solace in combining his song writing with activism, something he has done since the 1990’s. It has taken him all over the world. He has worked with artists including Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter, Paul Kelly, Judith Durham, Christine Anu, and many more.

At his performance on November 17, Singer Sue Ray a Kamilaroi woman introduces Uncle Kutcha to the stage saying, “he will take your soul and replenish it.” And that is exactly what he did.

As Uncle Kutcha sings ‘Mrs Edwards’, he is telling you the heartbreaking reality of his lived experiences as a survivor of the Stolen Generations.

Uncle Kutcha’s courage and willingness to share the pain inflicted on him from a young age by the institutions drifts out to reach souls of the people within his audiences. He sings with pure and undeniable honesty.

By the end of Uncle Kutcha’s performance at Lyric’s Underground, the entire audience has surrounded him and are singing and dancing along with him.

In addition to his show at Lyric’s Underground, Uncle Kutcha performed at the Duke of George at Fremantle. The next day he delivered a keynote speech at the Aboriginal Health Conference, also held in Fremantle.

At the conference, Uncle Kutcha, a former health worker, says that health practitioners too often refer to statistics instead of getting to know and understand the people behind them.

“We hate being part of the statistic, yet that is what happens with us,” he said.

He reminds the audience that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the most spiritual people on the planet and that Aboriginal Health is all about spirit and not intellect.

“Ask an Aboriginal person about Country, culture and that spirit connected to that Country… we are the knowledgeable ones,” he said.

Speaking after the conference, Uncle Kutcha told me all health professionals need to be participating in cultural safety programs. He also agreed the language health professionals use is important because culturally unsafe communication can be triggering.

“Non-Aboriginal people just don’t understand that and they need to know the parameters,” he said.

“Health practitioners need to understand that we think differently and that we are different. It’s not that we want to be, it’s just that we are.”

Decolonise now

Conference participants also heard strong calls from First Nations people and health researchers for the decolonisation of health systems to eliminate increasing cases of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

First Nations communities in the Northern Territory and Queensland have some of the highest rates of ARF and RHD in the world. Roughly 90 percent of people on RHD registers are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

As reported by Four Corners earlier this year, ARF and RHD have been almost eliminated within non-Indigenous populations, but racism and systematic failures are seeing cases of ARF and RHD increase within Indigenous communities.

Epidemiologist Dr Judith Katzenellenbogen and sociologist Dr Emma Haynes are researchers from the University of Western Australia and worked on the End RHD in Australia: Study of Epidemiology (ERASE) Project.

Their research, along with the research support of others, including Bardi and Yjindjabandi woman Dr Dawn Bessarab and Dr Catherine Halkon, has helped inform the RHD Endgame Strategy.

The strategy was previously analysed for Croakey by Halkon and Dr Vicki Wade, both from the Menzies School of Health Research.

Dr Katzenellenbogen presents her research at the Aboriginal Health Conference.
Dr Katzenellenbogen presents her research at the conference. Photo by Jade Bradford

Katzenellenbogen opened the session, stating there is an ongoing RHD epidemic in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population with very high mortality rates.

She explained ARF begins with a group A streptococcal bacterial infection of the throat or the skin. If the infection is left untreated a minority of people will develop an auto reproduction where the body attacks itself.

Those who have had ARF have the predisposition to get it repeatedly – each time doing a little more damage to the heart which leads to RHD.

Dr Haynes. Photo by Jade Bradford

Experiences of the Yolŋu people

Following the strength-based approach towards research undertaken by Bessarab, Haynes spent 15 months with the Yolŋu people in north eastern Arnhem Land, embedding herself within their community.

During this time Haynes worked alongside Yolŋu researchers to better understand the impacts of ARF and RHD on Yolŋu people in an effort to decolonise health care approaches.

Haynes conceded: “We are still not seeing RHD adequately addressed, and this failure is being attributed in part to the failure to understand really what’s happening for people with rheumatic heart disease.”

Yolŋu people have a strong belief that negative emotions can cause disease and they will tend to walk away when they hear negative stories.

Haynes explained that when the Yolŋu people first heard messages in Yolŋu language about ARF and RHD on their community radio station, it felt really bad to them. This was because it brought back thoughts of lived trauma stemming from colonisation.

Concerns over trauma from healthcare have also been raised by Wade, who recently spoke about the culturally unsafe phrases used in medical notes at an inquest into the deaths of three Aboriginal girls with RHD.

Trauma inflicted on First Nations people through use of culturally unsafe translation is just one of many complexities summarised by Haynes.

Haynes highlighted shame as an emotion felt much more powerfully among Indigenous people than among those who are non-Indigenous.

Haynes gave an example of an inquiry where she was called on as an expert witness. It involved a young boy who was suffering from RHD and died in custody.

“The boy was feeling such shame about having to go up to the doctor in handcuffs that he didn’t go,” Haynes said.

“When it was reported in the news you thought, ‘how bad could it be,’ but this is putting a context around it. It was that bad.”

Traumatic experiences when receiving healthcare, combined with traumatic lived experiences since colonisation can lead to broken relationships between First Nations people and health practitioners.

Haynes explained RHD children are required to have an injection, often every month, for at least 10 years. If health appointments are not set up as a positive experience for patients from the beginning, then it becomes a traumatic experience.

“There are some terrible experiences for some families around [getting] the injection, it’s in the guidelines [about] giving a pain-free injection,” she said.

“Also, from some health professionals we are hearing how traumatic it is for them to give the injection, so there is whole lot of good work that could be done in that space.”

Within Haynes and Katzenellenbogen’s research, one practitioner detailed how ‘increasingly aggressive’ contact from clinics to families has resulted in clinicians reporting families for child neglect because a child has not been brought in for their injection.

Worry, stress, fear and anxiety surrounding child removal is an ongoing impact of trauma which prevents Yolŋu people from listening to and seeking out health information.

Improving cultural safety

Haynes said that health practitioners need to be undertaking cultural safety programs to put an end to systematic racism and that staff participation needed to be supported.

“If you are not supported to do [cultural safety programs] in your organisation, it’s just making practitioners feel bad about the situation they are in,” she said.

Haynes acknowledged that reflective processes such as cultural safety programs may bring about feelings of discomfort for some, but said this can be a positive sign.

“Cultural safety programs are one of the key mechanisms to not only think about your own discomfort, but also what is happening structurally in terms of service provision, policy and government funding models,” she said.

Haynes, Katzenellenbogen and Bessarab have recently published a separate research paper that includes a chart which details continuous quality improvement measures which support cultural safety in healthcare and encourage two-way learning.

Image: “The world is so white”: improving cultural safety in healthcare systems for Australian Indigenous people with rheumatic heart disease.

Key themes

From Haynes’ collaboration with the Yolŋu people, three key themes emerged:

  1. Maintaining good feelings
  2. Creating clear understanding
  3. Allowing people to choose the path that they are going to take

Haynes said these findings affirm a world view among Yolŋu people that prioritises positive emotions and connections between family and Country.

Image: Living with Rheumatic Heart Disease at the Intersection of Biomedical and Aboriginal Worldviews.

For Yolŋu people, good feelings and the importance of feeling confident came up often. For communities raising children to be themselves in their truest form, building confidence was particularly relevant.

Haynes summarised that health professionals need to give clear biomedical knowledge which is not oversimplified and that using metaphors to explain information can help.

Haynes’ research showed it was important to Yolŋu people that they can build a relationship built on trust with the person giving them health information. The research also highlighted Yolŋu people want to feel encouraged by health practitioners that they can make their own choices, rather than being bossed.

• Jade Bradford is a proud descendent of the Ballardong Noongar people in Western Australia. She is a casual freelancer and a research fellow of the First Nations Messaging and Narrative Shifting Project. The research from the fellowship was used to inform the Passing the Message Stick online resource.


IIustrated discussions

These are published with permission, and credit is to Tuna Blue. https://www.tunablue.com.au/ 


Croakey thanks and acknowledges donors to our public interest journalism funding pool who have helped support this article.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Search by: Categories or tags

Search
Generic filters
Filter by Categories
@WePublicHealth2021
#CroakeyLIVE #Budget2021Health
#health
#MHReform
#OutOfTheBox
#QldVotesHealth
#RCIADIC30Years
#RuralHealthJustice
#TRIPSwaiver
Budget2020Health
Bushfires
Co-design
community control
COVID-19
Croakey Conference News Service
#16nrhc
#2020ResearchExcellence