I see my role as providing another viewpoint in the Board's decision-making. I am not the representative of any particular group. My responsibility is to ensure that in any decision-making there is input from a community perspective. That said, the Board makes its decisions in a collegiate way, and takes account of a wide range of views and inputs.
I have really come to an understanding about the role and how important it is not only in community-controlled sector but how the role could actually enhance patient safety within other settings. Aboriginal members can provide lens to the functions and actions and all parts of the Board. But also, we can break down some of those barriers and stigmas and stereotypes to some of the perceptions are about Aboriginal People.
Being a board member affords board members the unique opportunity to be involved in the health sector at a National level. It gives you an opportunity to contribute and participate in matters within the health sector, and within the National Scheme that affects all of us at some time or somebody that we know as end-users of the health system. You are afforded the opportunity to participate in matters of governance and decision making within the framework of the health sector on a National level. Note the underlying reason that we are all here is to ensure that the public does have adequate protection in terms of public health and safety. I get most satisfaction out of sharing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island perspective with the Board and Ahpra in general.
I learned on the Board that our main role is the protection of the public rather than promotion of the profession. We protect the public by supporting practitioners to practice safely by setting standards. There is certainly a way of supporting the development of the profession through making sure that the public can trust practitioners, but our primary focus is and always must be on protecting the public.