Every week, a different guest tweeter takes charge of Croakey’s rotated, curated Twitter account, @WePublicHealth, and uses the account to cover specific health issues or events.
Last week, Dr Summer May Finlay, took hold of the reins for the 16th World Congress on Public Health 2020 which was to have taken place in Rome but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, went online from 12-16 October 2020 and, according to organisers, “allowed for the most diverse representation and attendance in the congress’s history”.
Finlay is a Yorta Yorta woman, public health lecturer, post-doctoral research fellow, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vice president of the Public Health Association of Australia, and Co-Vice Chair of the Indigenous Working Group of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA).
The article below captures a selection of Finlay’s tweets over the five days, including from special panels on Indigenous health issues. You can follow the full discussions via Twitter at #WCPH2020.
Summer May Finlay tweets
Public health is never more important than now because of COVID-19. The World Congress on Public Health is happening this week. I’ll be tweeting across the week from the Congress. It’s fantastic that the organising committee could move it from Rome to online!
A bit about me. I’m a Yorta Yorta woman & I’m a lecturer in the Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Wollongong and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Canberra. I’m the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Vice President of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and Co-Vice Chair of the Indigenous Working Group of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA).
The @_PHAA_ have prioritised Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health as outlined in the constitution. There is also the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Special Interest Group co-convened by Michael Doyle & Yvonne Luxford @_Y_S_L: https://phaa.net.au/about-us/SIGs/aboriginal-torres-strait-islander-health
The @_PHAA_also have an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Terminology Guide which is recommend everyone reads. Referring to us appropriately is very important. Confession, I wrote it! Read it here: https://phaa.net.au/documents/item/2292
Working with Indigenous People in public health settings
This is article I wrote a few months ago will tell you more about the Indigenous World Congress on Public Health pre-workshop the @IndigenousWFPHA is hosting tonight. #WCPH2020; “Indigenous voices are needed to ensure that people are not speaking for us. https://bit.ly/3fsduj2
A fascinating pre-conference workshop. Ideally though there should have been Indigenous people presenting. #COVID has not impacted Indigenous people in Australia at the level anticipated & it’s likely due to Indigenous organisations actions. See: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1753-6405.13010
Quick recap: Allies don’t need to understand everything about our culture but need to stand with us at all times. Self education is the key to being an ally — Indigenous people have the right to speak for themselves.
The First Nations Wellbeing Statement was developed entirely by Indigenous people. It is important that if we are truly going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and tackle #NCDs (non communicable diseases) Indigenous people need to speak for their communities. #WCPH2020 #SDGs
At the 15 Congress on Public Health in Melbourne in 2017 @LeeVanessa2011 & I convened a World Leaders Dialogue on Indigenous suicide prevention facilitated by @RichJWeston. From that Dialogue the First Nations Wellbeing Statement was produced. https://phaa.net.au/documents/item/2319
(Listen to the highlights of the pre-conference day of the World Congress on Public Health #WCPH2020: https://soundcloud.com/user-575987593/yupt-podcast-day-1-euphaatwcph2020)
What happened to the Enlightenment?
Just in time for the World Congress on Public Health Plenary session on Enlightenment and fake news, the article I authored with @LeaMerone in @anzjph on this topic with a focus on #COVID19 treatments is available for early view! Check it out! https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1753-6405.13044
What is the impact of the US election on Public Health? Significant with @realDonaldTrump promoting unproven COVID19 cures. That’s the premise of the article authored by @LeaMerone & me. #USVotesHealth https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.11
“We always have to speak truth to power” @WRicciardi on whether researchers should be involved in politics.
“Public heath professionals need to invest in their digital skills.” @stefanbuttigieg
Couldn’t agree more #COVID19 has demonstrated the importance of information technology. It also means people who don’t have physical access have access! Equity in practice!
We then need to understand how to communicate to our target audience. We have a habit as professionals of not talking in a way that resonates with the people we are trying to communicate with. It’s so important to speak to our audience in a way they understand.
We also need be teaching public health students and some professionals to reflect in their standpoint & how that influences their work. People come from different perspectives & standpoints. We need to know ourselves before we know other people.
World leaders dialogue: @CarmenParter notes that Indigenous people often aren’t at the table when public health conversations are happening. We need to be part of the conversation so we can make sure our issues & solutions are given due consideration.
What is Indigenous Knowledge? “Indigenous knowledge is in your heat and in your head. You know it. You know it is years and years of wisdom.” Zoe Hawke #WCPH2020
What is Indigenous Knowledge? “Indigenous knowledge is ancient innovative ancestral knowledge.” Rihi Tenana
“COVID19 has exposed the cracks in our system” Dr Simon Lambert, University of Saskatchewan
“#COVID19 has demonstrated that health communication is the domain is everyone!” Sara Rubinelli
Absolutely! We can no longer have the knowledge holders and the general public! Access to information is equalising and helps people make informed decisions.
“Not all opinions are equals” on health opinions and health communication”. Sara Rubinelli
Absolutely true! Misinformation is driven by people who are not well informed but have strong opinions.
To communicate health info effectively & to cut through we need to be “persuasive” says Sara Rubinelli. There is so much information out there & health professionals need to make sure they are speaking to their audience in a way that resonates.
You need to build trust before a crisis” Health professionals need to be communicating to the public consistently so they are trusted when their is a crisis. Sara Rubinelli #WCPH2020
Sara Rubinelli raises the issue that online people can find evidence to support whatever it is that suits them, that is the health before of coffee! Health professions needs to build trust through commutation to counter poorly evidenced claims. #WCPH2020