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Podcast: Collaboration across professions

20 Oct 2020

The latest episode of the Taking care podcast highlights the importance of the role of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner profession in working with other professions to deliver holistic care.

In this insightful 30-minute conversation, Health Practitioners and their colleagues find out what this collaboration means to them and community, and the potential for the future.

Host Tash Miles is joined by Renee Owen, Program Manager, Aboriginal Health at Barwon Health, Mandy Miller, Midwife, Koori Maternity Service, Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, Dr Ed Poliness, GP, Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative and Damien Rigney, Registered nurse and Aboriginal Health Practitioner, Aboriginal Health Council South Australia. Each guest brings a range of perspectives, centred around a strong connection and acknowledgment of the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners in our healthcare system.

Dr Ed Poliness says Health Practitioners provide invaluable cultural awareness ensuring culturally appropriate treatment within the context of family and community. ‘There are complexities that takes a lifetime or multiple lifetimes to understand and its realising that there are resources, people we work alongside with, in parallel with, who have all these skills. As a GP you have the skills and you have the knowledge in chronic disease like diabetes or in the case of kids but it’s not working for whatever reason and it’s having a health practitioner you can go to and say ‘what are your ideas? Working in a place like Wathaurong or in an Aboriginal co-operative, the programs are developed by health practitioners and by the community and as a health professional you fit into that, and it’s such a rewarding job.’

Damian Rigney considers collaboration is ‘part of the collective that finds the solution’. ‘Every individual walks in with ideas and headsets and it’s about what those headsets mean to the application of care.’

Successful collaboration is about building rapport, trust and professional respect with one another, says Renee Owen. The best outcomes often come when practitioners are prepared to be challenged and put their hands up and say, ‘I don’t know, and I want to learn’, she says. ‘It’s about having that respect to work together collaboratively for the best outcomes. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box and be a bit flexible and creative.’

Mandy Miller says good collaboration between a community-controlled health organisation and a mainstream service often results in cultural champions who educate others. ‘You then start to have a mainstream service that is looking at how can we help the Aboriginal community here, what things do we put in place that make a difference.’

Download and listen to the latest Ahpra Taking care podcast episode today. Ahpra releases a new episode every fortnight, discussing current topics and the latest issues affecting safe healthcare in Australia. You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and by searching ‘Taking care’ in your podcast player.

For more information

• If you have questions or feedback about the podcast, email [email protected]

• For media enquiries, phone 03 8708 9200.

• For registration enquiries, please phone 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 8708 9009 (overseas callers).

Page reviewed 20/10/2020