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Spotlight on... awareness weeks

Awareness weeks guide

National Sorry Day (26 May 2024) & National Reconciliation Week (27 May - 3 June 2024)

National Sorry Day

26 May 2024

National Sorry Day is a significant day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and particularly for Stolen Generations Survivors and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. National Sorry Day is a day to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generation survivors and reflect and play a part in the healing process as people and as a nation. Sorry Day asks us to acknowledge the Stolen Generations, and in doing so, reminds us that historical injustice is still an ongoing source of intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Islander families, communities, and people. Healing Foundation

National Reconciliation Week

27 May – 3 June 2024

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The National Reconciliation Week theme for 2024, Now More Than Ever, is a reminder to all of us that no matter what, the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will —and must —continue. Reconciliation Australia


Online resources








“Listen with your ears and eyes and heart and your minds and your soul”: Implications for decolonising consultation and occupational therapy from case studies on “Closing the Gap” policy implementation
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are often asked to give advice or share ideas on how health and education services are provided to community. We asked people in Southern Adelaide what this was like when the Closing the Gap strategy was first introduced in the region. People explained that Aboriginal leaders were not really listened to, and even when there are meant to be partnerships, it often does not work out as planned. There are lessons we can take from this for occupational therapy so that we stop making the same mistakes over and over. Health and education services need to really listen and respond appropriately, so that services are safer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. Aboriginal leadership must be valued and respected if we are to close the gaps in health and education. This is important for the future of occupational therapy. Australian occupational therapy journal 8 May 2024

The First Nations experience of accessing rheumatology services in a metropolitan hospital: A qualitative study
The current model of care perpetuates access challenges for First Nations Australians within rheumatology. Barriers to care include the delayed referral process, limited cultural responsivity in the clinic environment and poor cross‐cultural communication. There is a need for models of care that are codesigned with First Nations Peoples to address these barriers. Health expectations 16 April 2024

Effects of a culturally informed model of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with acute coronary syndrome in a tertiary hospital in Australia: a pre-post, quasi-experimental, interventional study
Clinical outcomes for Indigenous patients admitted to a tertiary hospital in Australia improved after implementation of a culturally informed model of care, with a reduction in the disparity in incidence of primary endpoints that existed between Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients before implementation. The Lancet global health 3 March 2024

An opportunity to transform Australia’s neo-colonial health system
The ‘modern’ value-based healthcare (VBHC) movement provides an opportunity to not only reform health care towards a more equitable, community-centred system, but to also acknowledge, honour and learn from global Indigenous knowledge, systems, and ways of valuing knowing, being and doing. For Australia as a settler-colonial state, efforts to implement VBHC here are doomed to fail until the continued legacy of settler-colonial violence and systemic racism pervading Australia’s healthcare system is acknowledged, addressed and ameliorated. Australian health review 2 March 2024

Attendance at, and experiences of, urban hospital outpatient appointments: informing a new model of care for urban-dwelling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
Some barriers faced by Aboriginal patients in attending hospital outpatient appointments in urban areas can be addressed through implementation of enablers suggested by participants. Data have informed the development of a tailored, inclusive, culturally and consumer-focused appropriate hospital outpatient service model of care. Australian health review 27 January 2023

Clinical yarning education: development and pilot evaluation of an education program to improve clinical communication in Aboriginal health care - participant, and health manager perspectives
This study offers preliminary support for the Clinical Yarning education program and provides a foundation for further development of this training approach. A future priority is implementation research to investigate the impact of the Clinical Yarning education program on health care and patient outcomes. BMC medical education 30 November 2023

Insights from the scale-up and implementation of the Deadly Liver Mob program across nine sites in New South Wales, Australia, according to the RE-AIM framework
The data emphasise the need for interventions to be adaptable and flexible, altering elements of the program to suit local and community needs, such as by offering mobile and outreach services to enable access across regional and rural areas. The findings of this evaluation have been used to develop tools so that the learnings from The Deadly Liver Mob (DLM) can be shared with others who may be hoping to implement DLM or other similar programs. Harm reduction journal 20 October 2023

If not now, when? Implementation failure of a rights- and value-based policy agenda for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
(Editorial) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people sustain the oldest living culture on the planet. Yet our health is in a state of emergency. Health targets are not on track – our people die early from communicable and non-communicable diseases; they are not partners in their health; health systems do not meet needs; provide seamless patient journeys or quality patient-valued safe care. The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights espouses rights only a few Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people enjoy – access, safety, respect, communication, participation, privacy and comment. Despite health being a fundamental human right, Australia continues down the path of paternalism that breaches human rights standards. Australian health review 2 February 2023

Reconnecting with the Warrior Within: Australian Indigenous perspectives on the development of a social and emotional wellbeing program
Acknowledging Australian Indigenous methods and ways of knowing are essential to the development and delivery of culturally appropriate group problems for addressing the psychological needs of this population. The methods used in this study could be used by others seeking to legitimise cultural ways of knowing. Health promotion journal of Australia 9 October 2023

Priority setting: Development of the South Australian Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium RoadMap for Action
Widespread implementation failure in the past across the health system and health services implementation and research translation highlights the value of the Consortium approach and its commitment to implementing the state-wide chronic disease plans in a collaborative manner. The Consortium relies on and fosters cross-sectoral alignment, with all key players including all public, private and Aboriginal Community Controlled health services, to progress its priorities and aspirations to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people using evidence-based strategies. Health promotion journal of Australia 11 April 2024

Corporate sector engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: an analysis of stakeholder submissions
The commercial determinants of health are an emerging area of inquiry; however, a comprehensive understanding of commercial activities impacting Indigenous peoples remains elusive. In 2021, an Australian parliamentary inquiry was initiated to examine how the corporate sector can better engage with Indigenous consumers. This study examined the commercial determinants of Indigenous health and social wellbeing by analysing submissions to the Inquiry. Twenty-five submissions were analysed: seven from Indigenous actors, five supplementary submissions, and the Inquiry’s interim report. Findings revealed exclusion of Indigenous leadership from the commercial sector, supply of harmful products, misleading branding, and predatory lending. This meant increased stress and reduced access to essential services for Indigenous consumers, despite affirmative corporate social responsibility strategies towards Indigenous peoples. Government policy should prioritise ongoing collaboration with Indigenous peoples in the development of regulatory mechanisms to mitigate the negative impact of commercial practices on health and social wellbeing. AlterNative: An international journal of indigenous peoples 21 May 2024

Words to deeds: localising the vision of Uluru
This article reports on the outcomes of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community–led project which sought to build a pathway to reconciliation through formulating a localised community response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart. AlterNative: An international journal of indigenous peoples 29 April 2023



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