Photo from left to right (Back): Allen Stanley – Indigenous Liaison Officer St George. RJ Landers – Indigenous Liaison Officer Roma. Rodney Landers – Indigenous Health Co-Ordinator. Tina Jackson – Nurse Navigator Cunnamulla. Donna Hooper – Senior Health Worker Dirranbandi.
Left to right (front): Dana Lawton – Indigenous Liaison Officer Charleville. Louisa Dufty – Service Director St George. Amy McNamara – A/Executive Support Officer Community and Allied Health.
The South West Hospital and Health Service acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as
the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country and recognise their connection to land, wind, water
We pay our respect to them, their culture, and to the Elders both past and present.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Leadership Advisory Council (ATSIHLAC) was established to strategically support the South West Hospital and Health Service to become an innovation leader of cultural capability and cultural safety. The Queensland Government, in 2008, committed to closing the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders and non-Indigenous Queenslanders on a range of health, education and employment measures. The health system is starting to respond to the challenge of closing the gap, however, the ten year Closing the Gap Review Report 2017 identified that more effort is needed to close the gap. The disproportionately high burden of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart, kidney and lung disease, significantly contribute to the greater morbidity and premature mortality in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. There are a range of factors which contribute to chronic health conditions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. These factors, although well documented, are complex and often result in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people presenting to health services late in the course of their disease, which in turn leads to significantly higher rates of complications and death. The statistics for every chronic condition in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people populations requires a rethink in the way we identify and respond to barriers to institutional racism that include organisation’s cultural safety and delivery of culturally safe health care models of care. Chronic disease in Aboriginal people brings with it cultural and complex issues that challenge our current health care models.
In response to these challenges, SWHHS established the framework for ATSIHLAC in late 2017 and has expanded in 2018 to be a collaborative partnership advisory model. ATSIHLAC is a peak advisory group reporting directly to the Health Service Chief Executive. Members of ATSIHLAC work in roles that include Indigenous Health Coordinator; Indigenous Liaison Officer; Indigenous Health Worker; Nurse Navigator; Administration and Operational Services, SWHHS Executives, Services Director Community and Allied Health and Executives from the three Community Controlled Aboriginal Services, Goondir Health Services, Charleville and Western Areas Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Health; Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health. Members work together to ensure that extensive community consultation and collaboration supports SWHHS strategic decision making in relation to what we do and how we do it to ensure that all interactions with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feels culturally safe; that the patient journey is patient centred where all communication and follow up care follows the patient amongst multiple service providers and that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people trust us and want to engage with us to improve their health and well being that will over time close the gap in health inequities.