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Hervey Bay artist helps map opportunities to enhance healthcare

23rd August 2018

Event:                        Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health webpage launch and art unveiling

Time:                         12:00pm-1:00pm, Thursday, August 23

Venue:                       Suite 12, Madsen Medical, corner of Madsen and Urraween Roads, Urraween                        

Attendees:                Artist, Kutcha B Blackman, Fraser Coast Regional Councillor, Darren Everard, JCU GP Cultural Educator, Henry Neill, JCU Regional Medical Training Head of Operation, Carol Kahn

A new James Cook University (JCU) online initiative, designed to help close the gap, will feature the work of Hervey Bay artist, Kutcha B Blackman.

The Aboriginal artist’s vibrant acrylic painting, 'Caring for Our Mob', will form the banner for a new web page on JCU’s Generalist Medical Training (GMT) site. The web page will enable doctors undertaking specialist general practitioner training to explore training opportunities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services throughout Queensland.

The web page and original artwork will be unveiled on Thursday August 23 at the JCU office in Hervey Bay.

JCU Director of General Practice Training (GMT), Associate Professor Peta-Ann Teague, said the information on the website would be a valuable tool in recruiting General Practice (GP) registrars to training posts, where they would have the opportunity to develop both the cultural and clinical expertise required to address specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues.

The training posts are available within a range of accredited Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, non-community controlled Aboriginal health services, and Queensland Government health services.

“These training posts are able to equip GP registrars with the skills to contribute to closing the gap in healthcare outcomes,” Dr Teague said.

“The new web page will assist them to take that first step. It includes an interactive map detailing the location of all our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander training posts, as well as access to videos which feature the personal and professional experiences of GP registrars who are already working in partnership with communities to improve health outcomes.”

Ms Blackman of the Budtjala People of K’gari (Fraser Island) and Wide Bay said her painting depicted how healthcare services collaborated to care for communities.

“The 'meeting place' symbols surrounding the centre image represent the range of services which link and work together in supporting our family and community health,” she said.

“The connecting 'travel dots' represent forming bridges and strategic alliances between services.

“The surrounding layer lines represent the urban, rural and remote areas covered, while the centre image depicts families and community, individuals and groups.”

Dr Teague paid tribute to the university’s cultural mentors in Hervey Bay, who work with GP registrars to develop an understanding of the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the region – and the impact of that history on the delivery of effective healthcare services.

“These mentors help our GP registrars to learn the most appropriate way to relate to patients from different cultural groups. They enable us to provide healthcare in a culturally safe environment for patients, which optimises the opportunity to achieve the best health outcomes,” she said. 

ENDS

Interview opportunity: JCU Regional Medical Training Head of Operation, Carol Kahn, JCU GP Cultural Educator, Henry Neill and artist Kutcha B Blackman will be available for interview on the day. To organise an interview please contact:

Andrea Hedges                              0437 815 520

Kutcha B Blackman                      0437 525 330

Tianna Graham                               0428 442 633

Image Caption

Image 1: The Aboriginal artist Kutcha B Blackman’s vibrant acrylic painting, 'Caring for Our Mob', will form the banner for a new web page on JCU’s Generalist Medical Training (GMT) website.

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