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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
Closing the gap between the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians is a national priority.
At James Cook University (JCU), we acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters where we operate our business. We pay our respects to ancestors and Elders, past, present and future.
We honour Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters and seas and their rich contribution to the University and society.
JCU delivers a GP training
Two-thirds of Queensland’s approximately 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live within the JCU GP training region, which means there are a variety of opportunities for registrars to develop an extended scope of practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
What is reconciliation?
Reconciliation is an honest and critical understanding of Australia's shared history, and how it has informed the lives of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians today.
JCU's Reconciliation Action Plan
Our vision is to build strong relationships, increase respect and improve opportunities for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is important as within our region, a significant proportion of the population identifies as being of Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.
Strategic Initiatives in Medical Education project with QAIHC
Registrar Employment Guide
Model of Care
Doctor Training Guide
Cultural Education Requirements
JCU provides registrars with a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health educational activities including:
College Online Cultural Awareness Module
RACGP or ACRRM online Cultural Awareness modules must be satisfactorily completed within the first two months of commencing the term.
Cultural Awareness Training Workshops
Cultural Awareness Training Workshops are delivered locally within the JCU regions by our Cultural Educator.
JCU Clinical Case Modules
Registrars have access to a number of online learning resources in MyJCUGP. These resources include interactive and strengths-based clinical case modules in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Registrars must complete three of the clinical case modules.
Cultural Mentoring in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural mentors support registrars during their training in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services. They provide advice on a day to day basis on cultural and other matters in accordance with individual needs. They also work with cultural educators to formulate and deliver local cultural awareness and capability training.
‘Half-Day Release’ Education Sessions
Local medical educators conduct regular education sessions throughout the year. Many of these incorporate clinical applications to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health settings to extend registrar knowledge and understanding.
JCU offers registrars the opportunity to undertake training in a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service settings. Find out more about the training opportunities.
Partnerships and Engagement
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Training Program Forum
This is held annually for our key stakeholders to discuss JCU’s GP training program’s progress in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health over the last 12 months and plans for the future. At this forum, the key stakeholders (including representatives from all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander training posts in the region, JCU staff and Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council) provide direction in strategic planning activities and program development to assist JCU to further improve the health outcomes for those in remote and rural Queensland.
QAIHC JCU Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Masterclass
Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), in partnership with James Cook University (JCU), is delivering a medical education initiative to enhance the ability of JCU GP registrars to provide effective, culturally appropriate health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in Queensland. The unique model of care required to be delivered to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health sector will be enhanced by attending this masterclass. This Masterclass in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is about how to deliver patient-centred care in a comprehensive, patient-centred primary health care environment; how to recognise social determinants of health and illness and work in partnership to address them; and how to deliver quality care for patients with acute and chronic disease.
Communities of Practice – Cultural Mentors Meetings
These communities of practice workshops are held twice a year with the JCU cultural mentors across Queensland. This is an opportunity to collaborate, network and share stories of good practice and innovation in how the cultural mentors are engaging with the GP registrars. The cultural mentor guide and cultural mentor logbook evolved from these communities of practice workshops.
Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council
The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) is a leadership and policy organisation. Established in 1990 they are the peak organisation representing all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services (CCHS) in Queensland at both a state and national level. QAIHC are a key partner in the delivery of JCU’s GP training program.
National Cultural Educator and Cultural Mentor Network
JCU actively support participation of cultural educators and mentors in this national network. JCU are also represented on the governance committee.
Strategic Partnership Group
JCU participate in a collaboration with Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) and General Practice Training Queensland (GPTQ) to provide strategic direction and coordination at a policy level of training and workforce across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland.
JCU GP Training Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee
This committee is comprised of key individuals with diverse experience in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health training space. The committee meets regularly to provide direction and oversight of the various Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activities in the GP training program.
The following is a list of significant dates in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities:
- 26 January - Survival Day
- 13 February - Anniversary of Apology to Australia’s Indigenous People
- 18 March - National Close the Gap Day
- 21 March - Harmony Day. Coincides with United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- 26 May - National Sorry Day
- 27 May - Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum
- 27 May – 3rd June - National Reconciliation Week
- 29 May - Anniversary of the launch of the Torres Strait Islander flag
- 3 June - Mabo Day
- 1 July - Coming of the Light
- 3 - 10 July - NAIDOC Week (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee)
- 12 July - Anniversary of the launch of the Australian Aboriginal flag
- 4 August - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
- 9 August - International Day of the Worlds Indigenous People
In 2018 JCU commissioned Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from across North West Queensland to design artworks that were representative of a story about the provision of healthcare in the community, for the community and by the community. These artworks are now proudly displayed in our regional offices across Queensland and featured in JCU resources.