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Safer Healthcare for Australia's First Peoples

Learn how to work in a culturally safe way when caring for Australia's First Peoples to deliver safer healthcare.

1,791 enrolled on this course

Aboriginal art representing elements of the First Peoples Health Unit graphic
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Understand the need for cultural safety in caring for Australia's First Peoples

In this course, you’ll learn to provide safer healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by developing your cultural capability. You’ll explore 5 cultural capabilities - Respect, Communication, Safety and Quality, Reflection and Advocacy.

You’ll learn and apply knowledge of local community in a range of health and human services areas. You’ll also gain an important insight into how colonisation continues to affect the health of Australia’s First Peoples.

Ultimately, you’ll understand how to build relationships and work in true partnership to deliver safer healthcare services.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds Do you work or study in the field of health or human services? No matter what area you’re in, chances are you’ll provide care and services to Australia’s First Peoples, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and you have an important role to play in improving and transforming healthcare services. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are strong, resilient, and proud, but did you know?… In terms of health, education and employment, our people are more disadvantaged. It is well known that our people are more likely to get sicker and die earlier than other non-Indigenous Australians. To help close this gap, the Australian government has developed an educational framework consisting of five cultural capabilities to equip you in providing safer healthcare for Australia’s First Peoples.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 seconds In this course, we’ll help you develop these capabilities so you can apply them in your workplace, and you’ll learn why building relationships and working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is foundational to providing culturally safe health care. You’ll be guided by leading academics in Aboriginal health, Professors Roianne West and Gregory Phillips, as well as industry experts from various areas of the health and human services industry. Learn why social determinants of health are important, why history’s important, why communication styles and cultural community protocols are critical to good healthcare delivery and good health outcomes.

Skip to 1 minute and 46 seconds Dedicated to closing the gap, Griffith University’s First Peoples Health Unit is an influential leader with a health plan to improve the well being of First Peoples. We’ve been doing a piece of work which ensures that all of the health graduates at Griffith University have the necessary skills and attributes to be able to work effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. We also focus on ensuring we increase Indigenous people coming out of the university system. The best learning that can happen in any environment is an Indigenous and non-Indigenous working alongside each other. Take this important step with us in becoming more culturally capable. Join now, and together we will work towards providing safer health care for Australia’s First Peoples.

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What topics will you cover?

  • An introduction to the five cultural capabilities required by health and human services workers, including:
    • Respect: recognising and respecting the diversity of First Peoples’ cultures and the impact of history on First Peoples’ contemporary health status.
    • Communication: learning how to build respectful relationships and partnerships by communicating in a culturally safe way.
    • Safety and quality: exploring best practice approaches to promote culturally and clinically safe healthcare.
    • Reflection: reflecting on the influence of your cultural identity and the impact of racism, stereotypes and power relations on culturally and clinically safe healthcare.
    • Advocacy: learning the importance of promoting and advocating for equity, human rights and social change for Australia’s First Peoples to support improvements in health outcomes.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the five cultural capabilities required by health and human services workers to deliver culturally safe care.
  • Explore Australia’s First Peoples’ knowledges including ways of knowing, ways of being and ways of doing.
  • Engage in culturally safe communication with Australia’s First Peoples.
  • Apply a strengths-based, best practice approach to First Peoples’ healthcare, recognising the whole health system is responsible.
  • Reflect on your own culture and biases and identify how this may influence your perceptions and interactions with First Peoples.
  • Contribute to social change by advocating for equitable outcomes and social justice for First Peoples.

Who is the course for?

This course has been designed and developed for students and employees in health and human services, working in a range of areas. These areas include Aboriginal Community Controlled Services, comprehensive primary health care, primary and maternal health, chronic disease, child safety, youth services and aged care.

Who will you learn with?

I am a Kalkadoon woman from North West Queensland and the Director of the First Peoples Health Unit. I am passionate about educating health professionals in culturally and clinically safe care.

I am a descendent of the Kamilaroi and Wonnarua Aboriginal Peoples of North West New South Wales. I am a Senior Lecturer, First Peoples Health Program Lead at Griffith University.

I am Gregory Phillips from the Waanyi and Jaru Aboriginal Australian peoples. I'm a medical anthropologist, professor and interested in cultural safety, race, whiteness and structural reform.

Who developed the course?

Griffith University

Griffith University was created to be a different kind of university—challenging conventions, responding to trends and pioneering solutions through innovative teaching and research.

  • Established

  • Location

    Queensland, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 210Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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