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Around twenty five people attended a workshop in Adelaide recently to hear about the progress of an Indigenous health workforce development project.
The Flexible career pathways for the Aboriginal health workforce project is aimed at encouraging greater participation by Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the health workforce. The group listened to a variety of presentations from the project team led by Professor Dean Carson.
Professor Dean Carson the project leader presented evidence that the current Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce is undervalued and not diverse enough and that the industry is having difficulty retaining qualified people. He said, to date, the workforce had largely been about ‘jobs and careers' and that this needed to change by integrating mentoring systems and continuous education to foster long-term careers.
The Lowitja Institute's Kim O'Donnell described her personal journey through a number of different health careers and how this has led her to recognise the importance of long-term mentors and supervisors.
Courtney Ryder from Flinders University recorded a workshop presentation that focused on lessons learned from the university's Northern Territory medical program. She said the learnings included the need to take into account the life circumstances and challenges facing Aboriginal people while training and working, and how involving families and communities in the process helped create a safer and more accommodating environment for workforce participation.
A group session followed the presentation with a number of interesting ideas discussed, including:
The Flexible career pathways project is part of the Lowitja Institute's Enabling policy and systems research program.
Source: The Lowitja Institute