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CQ artist helps map opportunities to enhance healthcare

5th December 2018

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY

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

Time:                         4.30pm, Wednesday December 5

Venue:                       Rockhampton Sports Club, 1 Lion Creek Road, Wandal

Attendees:                Artist, Belynda Waugh (Bindi), 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, features the work of Central Queensland artist, Belynda Waugh (Bindi).

The Aboriginal artist’s vibrant acrylic painting, Caretakers, has taken pride of place as a banner for a new web page on JCU’s General Practice (GP) training site (gmt.edu.au). The web page will enable doctors completing specialist GP training to explore training opportunities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services throughout Queensland.

The web page and original artwork will be unveiled at 4 pm on Wednesday, December 5, at the Rockhampton Sports Club.

JCU Director of GP training, Associate Professor Peta-Ann Teague, said the information on the website would be a valuable tool in recruiting GP registrars to training posts. There 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,” Associate Professor 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 Waugh of the Iman and Bundjalung People said the ‘Caretakers’ theme is one she has revisited in her artwork many times.

“The figures in my painting represent Indigenous and non-Indigenous standing together and working together while connecting to Country,” she said.

“Every one of us has the ability and an obligation to be a Caretaker. It can be caring for Country, caring for each other or caring for culture. It can be something that provides a common ground that will unite us all and it should transcend race, religion and politics.”

Associate Professor Teague paid tribute to the University’s cultural mentors in Central Queensland, 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, Bindi Waugh will be available for interview on the day. To organise an interview please contact:

Rachael Hopper 0437 492 132
Belynda Waugh 
0438 166 834
JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry Communications 07 4781 6987

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