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Townsville artist helps map opportunities to enhance healthcare

31st July 2018


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

Time: 10 am, Tuesday July 31

Venue: Third floor, Clinical Practice Building, JCU Townsville campus

Attendees: JCU Dean of the College of Medicine and Dentistry, Professor Richard Murray, will launch the web page and unveil the artwork. Artist Nicky Bidju Pryor will also be present.

A new James Cook University (JCU) online initiative, designed to help close the gap, will feature the work of Townsville artist, Nicky Bidju Pryor.

The Aboriginal artist’s vibrant acrylic painting, With In Community, 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 Tuesday July 31 at JCU’s Townsville campus.

JCU Director of General Practice Training (GMT), Associate Professor Peta-Ann Teague, said the new web information 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.”

Mr Pryor, who is related to both the Juru and Gunggandji people, said his painting depicted the flow of knowledge between communities and healthcare providers.

“The orange circle with the dots and lines represent the traditional knowledge that has always been surrounding the community,” he said.

“The dark orange circle with the red and black dots represent the people from the community who have branched out and got the outside healthcare knowledge.

“The black and red circle represent the outside healthcare. The black and white wavy line that runs through the middle and the two circles represent the outside services that come in and out of the community, giving more knowledge to the community.”

Dr Teague paid tribute to the University’s cultural mentors in Townsville, 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. 


Interview opportunity: JCU Dean of College of Medicine and Dentistry, Richard Murray, and artist, Nicky Bidju Pryor will be available for interview on the day. To organise an interview please contact:

Tianna Graham                               0428 442 633

Nicky Bidju Pryor                           0448938282 

Image Caption

Image 1: The Aboriginal artist Nicky Bidju Pryor’s vibrant acrylic painting, With In Community, will form the banner for a new web page on JCU’s Generalist Medical Training (GMT) website.

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