An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce is integral to a health system that can meet community needs. This presentation will share key findings from the Career Pathways Project (CPP), a research partnership between academics, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and Local Health Districts. The CPP was a nation-wide project, funded by the Lowitja Institute, to examine the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the health workforce to identify how to enhance the capacity of the health system to retain and support their development and careers. The study involved a literature review and used mixed methods including an analysis of secondary data, a national online survey, yarning circles at workplaces and individual career trajectory and key stakeholder interviews.
About the presenters
Dr Sally Nathan is a researcher in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine who uses mixed methods to understand complex individual and social change, including research approaches which engage and partner directly with consumers and communities. Sally’s current research includes this Lowitja Institute funded study, partnering with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, and an ARC Linkage Grant with the Ted Noffs Foundation focussed on young people referred to residential drug and alcohol treatment.
Ms Telphia Joseph is a Wajarri Yamatji and Noongar woman from Western Australia. Telphia is an Associate Lecturer in the SPHCM and has a qualitative research base. She was previously in a liaison position for the National Immunisation Committee and service providers offering immunisation programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Her Master of Philosophy involved an evaluation of immunisation activities provided by Aboriginal Medical Services within NSW and their reporting procedures to the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. Telphia’s area of interest has recently widened to investigate what supports the retention and career development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce in Urban New South Wales as part of the CPP.
Dr Lois Meyer is Senior Research Fellow in Education and Development in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine and Associate Dean Postgraduate Coursework in the Medicine Faculty. Lois teaches and researches in the area of professional learning and workforce formation in population health and health services, focusing particularly on the role of health leadership. She uses longitudinal research methods to interpret educational and career trajectories in the health professions. Lois’s current research includes this Lowitja Institute funded study as well as research tracing the learning and career trajectories of our postgraduate students and the implications of their studies for strengthening capacity in health systems locally and internationally.
Artwork by Joanne Nasir 2017. The Spirit People Dreaming from my great grandmother’s songline, Borroloola. Each figure represents a state or territory. The purple and blue lines represent the career pathway (purple) of the worker and their professional, personal and spiritual journey by the blue. The cream circles at the bottom of the figures represent the Stone Dreaming to keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers strong, resilient and spiritually connected to their cultural identity.