The Croakey Blog by Melissa Sweet @croakeyblog
Declaring a Twitter day of action – and listening – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
Declaring a Twitter day of action – and listening – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
A full program of Indigenous health discussions coming your way for #IHMayDay
#IHMayDay: 1 day of Twitter action, 15+ hours on Indigenous health issues, 26m impressions, trending No 1 nationally
#IHMayday G’day I’m Dameyon Bonson. I’d begin by acknowledging all traditional owners across the many nations.
#IHMayday & pay my respects to all elders & ancestors. Shout out to @croakeyblog @LynoreGeia @IndigenousX
#IHMayday I am of the Mangarai people and those of the Western Islands of the Torres Strait. I am also of Caucasian heritage. I am proud.
#IHMayday First up I’ll be tweeting about Indigenous Social Work, followed by Indigenous males and then often forgotten (cont’d)
#IHMayday Indigenous LGBQTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy community. RT’s are encouraged. Muting is a last resort :)
#IHMayday All Indigenous people born prior to 1967 were classed under the plant and animal act (flora and fauna)
#IHMayday The 1967 referendum Indigenous peoples were voted to be included as citizens of Australia, not plants or animals.
#IHMayday By the early 1970s there were only 18 Aborigines known to be undertaking tertiary studies throughout the country (Bin-Sallik 2003)
#IHMayday Uni’s are “White colonial environments that was devoid of any sort of cultural safety provisions for Indigenous Australians”(Bin-Sallik 2003)
#IHMayday Williams (1999, p. 213) defines cultural safety as an environment that is spiritually, socially and emotionally safe, as well as (cont’d)
#IHMayday physically safe for people; where there is no assault challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are & (cont’d)
#IHMayday what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience of learning together.
#IHMayday "The training of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals - doctors,nurses,psychologist,social workers (cont’d)
#IHMayday has landed in the hands of universities who are still mainly governed & taught by non-Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people.
#IHMayday It makes it difficult for our people to go through this environment to get qualified to work with our people appropriately.
#IHMayday We need more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in governance leadership, senior staff and lecturers within (cont’d)
#IHMayday universities who will operate in ways cultural appropriate to make it culturally safe for our people to go through (cont’d)
#IHMayday university to be qualified to work in health.
#IHMayday The sad reality is that despite all the rhetoric & fancy rec plans etc, we are still excluded from employment in universities.
#IHMayday The latest figures show that the number of Indigenous academics employed in universities is falling and (cont’d)
#IHMayday most of the jobs are short term contracts or low ranking jobs that do not make use of our qualifications.
#IHMayday We are told that “education is the answer”, but that is a bit of spin, when there are no jobs.
#IHMayday Its as though it is impossible for them to consider that we are capable of more than being liaison staff.
#IHMayday In terms of tertiary institutions providing specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health concepts within their (cont’d)
#IHMayday course structures, it is not believed they are providing students of any degree enough learning, information, concepts or (cont’d)
#IHMayday paradigms that showcase culturally specific models of health engagement.
#IHMayday need more of our mob in higher positions however; there is also a definite need 4 those people to push our agenda through (cont’d)
#IHMayday that level and that system; and not be demeaned or dissuaded in the pursuant of a completely embedded (cont’d)
#IHMayday Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander paradigm, within all course structures. We continue to reside in an environment (cont’d)
#IHMayday that is deeply embedded within a mainstream perspective of engagement.
#IHMayday The likelihood of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander paradigms within the tertiary sector (cont’d)
#IHMayday is piecemeal at best and is added as electives and not integrated into the overall course structures of individual tertiary institutions.
#IHMayday Until us as indentured Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people have the ongoing will, strength and conviction to walk the talk,
#IHMayday stand alongside our countrymen and battle for the inclusion of our ways of engagement, we will be continuing to (cont'd)
#IHMayday support a tokenistic methodology of engagement. Unless we are strong within ourselves and staunch to the (cont’d)
#IHMayday Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, traditions and law, the likelihood of any change is negligible.
#IHMayday It is believed we are up against an industry that will pull out all the weapons they have to halt our ways of engagement (cont’d)
#IHMayday into tertiary education, unless of course it is a specific Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander subject.
#IHMayday there has been movement to integrate our ways into social work, medical, psych, nursing etc but it’s not near enough (cont’d)
#IHMayday The reason we are where we are at this point is because of the fight and the work that many of our older mob have done.
#IHMayday We wouldn’t be where we are without the fight and strength of these people and our forebears.
#IHMayday We need to implement the same and now. A lot of us who have completed social work degrees have (cont’d)
#IHMayday looked at employment position that contributed to making a difference (cont’d)
#IHMayday in our place of work and communities we become involve with not much thought given to pursuing academic careers (cont’d)
#IHMayday we are also not encouraged to pursue this career pathway. What is needed is for us is to get into positions or on (cont’d)
#IHMayday committees where we can have input into curriculum development and course structure, I think in some instances students (cont’d)
#IHMayday are in prime position to generate changes; speaking engagements provides a platform to be constructive and (cont’d)
#IHMayday having a voice to insight possible changes. As Indigenous social workers we need to get into the academic sphere, but (cont’d)
#IHMayday there is fear there are systemic biases that are (cont’d) active in keeping Indigenous social work academics (cont’d)
#IHMayday any Indigenous Australian academics - out of academia, with part time, (cont’d)
#IHMayday lower ranked positions being the norm for those trying to gain full time tenured positions. (cont’d)
#IHMayday At the moment there is far too much tokenism and too few opportunities. (cont’d)
#IHMayday Fancy words and statements are bandied around, but that does not transfer into anything meaningful. (cont’d)
#IHMayday For example, how many Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders are employed in full time tenured positions in Australia's (cont’d)
#IHMayday 26 schools of social work? Are any taking affirmative action? (cont’d)
#IHMayday If the very places that educate our countries' professionals can't be inclusive, there leaves little hope for various other employers.
#IHMayday Often ignored is that when an Indigenous Australian gains a degree or post grad qualification, these are in (cont’d)
#IHMayday mainstream education. That is, they are as qualified as any other graduate, but because of the cultural knowledge (cont’d)
#IHMayday our graduates have much more qualifications. This is not being recognised, instead, too often, Indigenous graduates (cont’d)
#IHMayday are being relegated to support roles and are often assumed by colleagues and employers as having less qualifications. (cont’d)
#IHMayday Employment and valueing our knowledge are serious issues that we need to address as a national group.
#IHMayday It is believed that there is sometimes a lack of support for Aboriginal staff who ask to study their Phd even (cont’d)
#IHMayday if it is an area relevant to their employment by some government agencies. This means that is Aboriginal people (cont’d)
#IHMayday would like to complete further studies they need to do it completely in their own time even people who complete (cont’d)
#IHMayday other degrees are able to have up to six hours a fortnight paid study leave.
#IHMayday Government agencies should be encourage to be supportive of Aboriginal staff who are completing research (cont’d)
#IHMayday into a relevant area as it is highly likely that this would increase the pool of Aboriginal staff capable of taking on (cont’d)
#IHMayday leadership positions within Universities. Uni's have to be more proactive to recruit Indigenous staff and to value our (cont’d)
#IHMayday qualifications, experiences and cultural knowledge. Unless we are included in governance and lecturing as Social Workers (cont’d)
#IHMayday at universities we are leaving the cultural safety of our students to the mercy of people who have limited or (con’t)
#IHMayday no understanding of our people and cultural ways. We have experienced this lack of cultural safety both as staff members (con’t)
#IHMayday and students at university, especially when you mention any cultural awareness training of staff to be culturally competent (cont’d)
#IHMayday or that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people should be involved in governance meetings. (cont’d)
#IHMayday It is believed there are limited to no Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Social Worker lecturers employed at any of the universities. (cont’d)
#IHMayday Even though there is discussion about Indigenous curriculum being included in all health courses many people think (cont’d)
#IHMayday they can just deliver this without including Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people as lecturers in each of the (cont’d)
#IHMayday specialised professional areas.The discussion of training up Aboriginal &Torres Strait Islander (cont’d)
#IHMayday health professionals workforce at universities goes back to the NAHS 1989 Report. This is an ongoing issue for many (cont’d)
#IHMayday trying assist any of our people through any Social Work or other health related courses. Sometimes it is very isolating
#IHMayday when you are the only black fellow there amongst all white people telling them what they should do to help your mob. (cont’d)
#IHMayday They give you that look.
#IHMayday Dr. Tom Calma was appointed Chancellor of Uni of Canberra in January, the first male Indigenous Chancellor in 164 years and (cont’d)
#IHMayday the second after Dr Pat O'Shane at UNE a decade ago. Dr Calma strongly advocates cultural competence, proactively (cont’d)
#IHMayday engaging our mob on Uni governance councils, initiatives like the HWA & Getting it right SW framework & signing (cont’d)
#IHMayday on to the Recognise Campaign & Reconciliation Action Plans.
#IHMayday *Indigenous SW reflection - I look back on my experience when undertaking studies for my degree in 1992 (cont’d)
#IHMayday I noted there were no Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people teaching in the SW or community welfare courses (cont’d)
#IHMayday to teach Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students or help to prepare potential non-Aboriginal social work graduates (cont’d)
#IHMayday to work with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. Also I questioned if, in some places, Aboriginal & (cont’d)
#IHMayday Torres Strait Islander people are going to be a high percentage of clients through poverty, housing, racism, etc (cont’d)
#IHMayday then why weren't there a core course on Aboriginal affairs and why are their were not Aboriginal or (cont’d)
#IHMayday Torres Strait Islander people available or involved in the teaching of such a course. It seems not much as changed? (cont’d)
#IHMayday I acknowledge that some of us are associated with and teaching at universities. Nevertheless the point of the discussion is that (cont’d)
#IHMayday there needs to be more Aboriginal and Torres Strait social workers teaching social work theory and practice (cont’d)
#IHMayday methods or employed in a senior position within the university. We have the concerns and experience as students (cont’d)
#IHMayday of being isolated, having no leadership or mentors, having to understand and make sense of unfamiliar (cont’d)
#IHMayday theories and method of practices. What we need are solutions. We are starting to get high profile and experience people (cont’d)
#IHMayday at Pro Vice Chancellor, Head of School etc in universities around the country and hopefully there to insight changes. (cont’d)
#IHMayday I think we need to begin to ask the reason why (cont’d)
#IHMayday Why don't we have Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people employed as senior lectures in social work. (cont’d)
#IHMayday What steps or thoughts if any are being processed to employ or engage Aboriginal or (cont’d)
#IHMayday Torres Strait Islander people; in this instance social work graduates? *End.
#IHMayday From the Getting It Right Project. 5 social work programs said they had 1 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander staff member (cont’d)
#IHMayday and 1 program said they had 2. However, the survey did not ask if these staff members were social workers or not. (cont’d)
#IHMayday 23 programs responded to the survey. There are currently 26 social work programs in the country. (cont’d)
#IHMayday Many programs have attempted to employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social workers, but generally it is in Academic A (cont’d)
#IHMayday positions and requires the person to have already completed their PhD and have publications and have been successful in (cont’d)
#IHMayday obtaining research grants. They then wonder why they can not get anyone to take up the position.
#IHMayday Sometimes they drop the requirements of PhDs, publications and research runs, but the salary at academic A is lower (cont’d)
#IHMayday than what you can get in the public sector. As well the requirements upon the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academic (cont’d)
#IHMayday is not the same as an non)Indigenous person at the same level. Further to this the lack of support makes it very difficult to stay in (cont’d)
#IHMayday the position if someone is willing to go into it in the first place. We can get lucky & I have a fairly supportive workplace. (cont’d)
#IHMayday However, it does have quite a lot of limitations and many that the many do not even recognise, let alone acknowledge. (cont’d)
#IHMayday When you are the only Indigenous academic in the faculty we have had to fight to not have everything Indigenous dropped (cont’d)
#IHMayday on us and it can take a long time for people to start to back off with the demands for guest lectures, being on advisory panels (cont’d)
#IHMayday for their research and in general just being the token blackfella for everything. Many have I learn to say no and being (cont’d)
#IHMayday extremely assertive (or some might say aggressive) about it.
#IHMayday The lack of Indigenous SW academics is a very real issue as unless we have a place within the academy, we are unlikely to be (cont’d)
#IHMayday able to successfully rid the workplace of racism and tokenism. Even in so called 'respectable' organisations the issue of racism, (cont’d)
#IHMayday tokenism and patronisation are still the norm.
#IHMayday Essential #IndigenousX Social Work Readings “A Theory for Indigenous Australian Health and Human Service Work” Lorraine Muller
#IHMayday Essential #IndigenousX Social Work Readings “Indigenous Perspectives: Enriching Scholarship and Practice” Steve Larkin
#IHMayday Essential #IndigenousX Social Work Readings “Anti Racist Practice in Indigenous Education” Stephen Corporal
#IHMayday Essential #IndigenousX Social Work Readings (cont’d)
#IHMayday “Our voices: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander social work” Bindi Bennett Stephanie Gilbert and Dawn Bessarab
#IHMayday Thanks a bunch now the portrayal of Indigenous men in health/human service provision promotional materials, (cont’d)
#IHMayday and the impact of lack of the lack of positive/empowering imagery. (cont’d)
#IHMayday Also, how “behavioural change” programs contribute to negative stereotype and assumptions, (cont’d)
#IHMayday and how promoting programs as “behavioural enhancement” is more strengths based.
#IHMayday Most programs for Indigenous males are about changing their “negative” behaviours and advertised as such.
#IHMayday Programs that correct violent behaviours, or aim to sober them up from alcohol and other drugs.
#IHMayday When these programs are publicly advertised there is no balance for the men but also for the general population to see.
#IHMayday This contributes to the ongoing demonization of Indigenous males and further excludes as positive contributors in society.
#IHMayday How many Perinatal programs are targeted to new Indigenous Dads?
#IHMayday How many programs enhance the inherent strengths of Indigenous males?
#IHMayday When was the last time you sat in a waiting room and saw positive image of Indigenous males?
#IHMayday When was the last time you saw an Indigenous male being congratulated on buying their first home?
#IHMayday When was the last time you saw an Indigenous male being enticed into university?
#IHMayday When was the last time you saw an Indigenous male being positively portrayed on an Australian soap opera?
#IHMayday People wonder why so many Indigenous male youths are disengaged, well, society reflects that they are not part of it.
#IHMayday If you Indigenous males are not engaging in your services or programs then you’re not doing it right.
#IHMayday Black Rainbow supports Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI sistergirl & brotherboy & queer mob www.facebook.com/BlackRainbowAustralia
#IHMayday The voices of the Indigenous LGBQTI peoples are largely absent from both Indigenous & LGBQTI suicide prevention strategies & activities.
#IHMayday Challenges of providing Indigenous LGBQTI content in a suicide prevention strategy has been identified (Holland, Dudgeon, Milroy 2013).
#IHMayday Furthermore it has been indicated that more research needs to be conducted (National LGBQTI Health Alliance 2012).
#IHMayday However, exclusions of Indigenous LGBQTI people in suicide prevention activities are not believed to be a consequence of homophobia (con’td)
#IHMayday or racism but of structural heterosexism and eurocentric privilege. At the upcoming "Power Through Action" Human Rights Forum (cont’d)
#IHMayday in Darwin the voices of Indigenous LGBQTI peoples will be workshopped via an Indigenous methodology called "Yarning Circles" (Bessarab & Ng’andu 2010).