July 1, 2022

NAIDOC Week 2022: Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! 

Next week is NAIDOC Week – an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories, and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.

This year’s theme is Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! Here’s a video on this year’s theme:

This year, in addition to the display in the foyer at Northern Hospital Epping and at our other sites, we also have for the first time a Video Gallery, as part of our online display.

Narrun Wilip-Giin, Aboriginal Support Unit, has also put together a quiz that will test your knowledge and reward you with exciting prizes. Click here for the NAIDOC Week quiz.

On Thursday, 7 July at 8 am, the speaker at our Grand Round will be Jack Bulman, a Muthi Muthi man, and Chief Executive Officer of Mibbinbah Spirit Healing. Jack has extensive hands-on experience in social-emotional wellbeing for Indigenous males, through to the development of culturally appropriate traditional and therapeutic programs. Click here to join the Grand Round.

Here at Northern Health, another cause for celebration is the Narrun Wilip-giin Cultural Space, which is to be opened shortly.

Anecdotal evidence tells us that Indigenous people find hospitals uncomfortable, alienating, stressful, and not culturally safe. Negative experiences can lead to reluctance to access services, disengagement with clinicians and care in these settings, and high rates of discharge against medical advice. These can, in turn, affect the health and wellbeing of our indigenous patients.

During recent Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) consultations, one community member said, “When you’ve got people looking you up and down, it makes you feel bad. All eyes on you, makes you ashamed always, like you shouldn’t be there.”

Karen Bryant, Senior Aboriginal Liaison Officer and proud Gunditjmara woman, says, “Culturally appropriate, high-quality care is of primary importance in the delivery of health services.”

“Indigenous patients attract larger numbers of carers and visitors, whether in maternity wards, outpatient clinics, intensive care, or in palliative care. The stories confirm hospital design and culturally safe environments matters to Indigenous patients and their families.”

A cultural space for Indigenous consumers and patients “allows them to come and make a cuppa, sit, relax, read or have a cry.”

“A welcoming environment is about creating a place where Indigenous people feel safe, comfortable, accepted and confident that they will be respected, will be listened to and will receive high quality care,” Karen said.

“Northern Health also displays Aboriginal artwork, Acknowledgement to Country plaques and showcases multiple areas with an Indigenous influence, another way of being more inclusive and welcoming.”

“Welcoming spaces enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and employees to uphold their cultural practices and beliefs. The physical, emotional and personal aspects of spaces are all critical components of creating welcoming environments.”

Happy NAIDOC to all! We hope you all have the opportunity to join in the spirit of this very significant week.