Professional Development Workshops

Pre Forum Workshop 
Tuesday 29 November 2016 – 9:00am – 4:00pm


Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in health curricula

This workshop aims to investigate and innovate models, curricula and teaching practices to build a culturally responsive allied health professional workforce; and understand the importance of implementing the Universities Australia’s national cultural competency framework to enhance allied health graduate attributes and improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s experience of health care.


  • Discuss how to bring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and perspectives into allied health and incorporate these into course best practice standards
  • Understand how to implement a culturally responsive curriculum framework through coordinated whole-of-faculty strategies, separate to a course-by-course approach.
  • Build a culturally responsive allied health course in resource-limited settings.
  • Transform University’s understanding of why they need to build culturally inclusive allied health core curricula, in addition to Indigenous specific elective subjects.
  • Marry teaching resources with marketing arrangements to promote cultural change in Universities.
  • Identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders across the allied health field who can support students and staff engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s content in allied health.

Facilitator – Professor Kerry Arabena

Kerry ArabenaProfessor Kerry Arabena is Chair for Indigenous Health and Professor and Director, Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, and formerly the Professor and Director of Indigenous Health Research in the School for Indigenous Health, Monash University. A descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait, and a former social worker with a doctorate in human ecology, Professor Arabena has an extensive background in public health, administration, community development and research working in senior roles in Indigenous policy and sexual health. Her work has been in areas such as gender issues, social justice, human rights, access and equity, service provision, harm minimisation, and citizenship rights and responsibilities. She was a founding Co-Chair of the new national Indigenous peak body, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, a collective voice to lobby governments on Indigenous issues.

Day 1 Forum Workshops
Wednesday 30 November 2016

Please click on the workshop titles below to reveal more or less information about the professional development workshops.

Cultural Responsiveness in Action Training - 9:00am – 4:30pm

IAHA is pleased to provide participants with an opportunity, in a safe environment, to engage in self-reflection and practical activities that will enhance their leadership capacity and ability to take culturally responsive action. Based largely upon Cultural Responsiveness in Action: An IAHA Framework, this three hour workshop is for allied health professionals, managers, academics, policy makers, support staff and others interested in providing culturally safe and responsive care with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and communities.

Participants will be able to: 

  • Explore the diversity and centrality of cultures to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • Engage in self-reflection about personal beliefs, assumptions, values, perceptions, attitudes and expectations – and how they impact on relationships;
  • Increase understanding of how effective leadership can facilitate change and transform Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing outcomes; and
  • Explore ways of knowing, being and doing that will enhance ability to be cultural responsive.

Facilitated by Kylie Stothers

Kylie StothersKylie Stothers is a mother of two children and a Jawoyn woman who was born and raised in Katherine, NT. Kylie comes from a large extended family with strong ties in Katherine and surrounding communities. Kylie is the Workforce Development Officer at Indigenous Allied Health Australia and is a social worker who has worked throughout the Northern Territory for over 17 years. She previously worked for the Centre for Remote Health at the Katherine site and her interest areas are in child and maternal health, working with families, health promotion, child protection and health workforce issues. Kylie is passionate about education and issues that relate to remote and rural Australia and coordinates a local social work network group, K-Town Social Workers, whose main aim is to keep Katherine region social workers connected and supported whilst practicing in remote NT.

Your health in your hands – self-care within a cultural framework - 9:00am-12:30pm

This session will give workers an understanding of the concept of Acceptance, as part of a broader framework of positive lore, from an Aboriginal perspective.  Highlight the dangers of engaging in, absorbing or producing the negative lores of denial and rejection and how this impacts on wellbeing. Allow workers to see how acceptance has always been used as part of our ways of maintaining wellbeing and healing and to recognise how to practice acceptance in their everyday lives.  Practicing acceptance can help us to maintain our own wellbeing, to keep us strong and deadly while undertaking the hard and often tolling work that we do.

Facilitator Clinton Schultz

Clinton SchultzClinton Schultz is a Gamilaroi man and registered psychologist with a keen interest in holistic wellness, particularly the wellness of workers. Clinton is undertaking is a PhD candidate, researching factors of holistic wellbeing for members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce.  He is a senior teaching fellow with Bond University medical school and a Director of Marumali Consultations. Marumali Consultations specialises in: providing holistic counselling services for Aboriginal workers; in specific men’s and women’s wellbeing; cultural competence auditing and training; cross cultural psychological and business management services; Employee Assistance counselling (EAP) and wellness focused mentoring and professional supervision.

Let’s talk about feet… What’s your role? - 9:00am-12:30pm

Effective diabetic footcare is NOT just the domain of podiatrists – we can all play a part in education and promotion of good foot health. Taking an interprofessional approach, this practical and interactive workshop aims to build participants’ skills and knowledge around the management of the diabetic foot, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The knowledge gained during the workshop can be applied to all members of the community; not only those people who have diabetes. This workshop will assist health professionals from any discipline to better provide information to people about how to look after their feet and when to seek further advice.

Participants will:

  • Explore the knowledge, skills and tools required to effectively undertake a basic diabetic foot check
  • Engage in practical activities to screen for diabetic foot risk factors
  • Identify red flags and know when to refer to another health professional
  • Explore self-care footcare practices

Facilitator – Jason Warnock

Jason WarnockIn May 2015, Jason moved from Townsville to the ‘big smoke’ of Brisbane, to take up the position of the Director of Podiatry for the Metro North Hospital and Health Service. Whilst in Townsville, he provided a monthly podiatry service to the Palm Island community from 1994 to 2014.

Jason was the inaugural Chair of the Podiatry Board of Australia (2009-2012) and ANZPAC (2008-2009) after many years of service with the Podiatrists Board of Queensland. He has published in the Medical Journal of Australia as part of the Australian Diabetes Foot Network.

As a Churchill Fellow (2008) he was able to expand on his extensive work in Aboriginal health by investigating foot care services for diabetic feet in the Indigenous communities of USA and Canada.  He has developed a range of educational resources to assist in the management of diabetic feet for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, These resources are available from the Indigenous Diabetic Foot program,

Trauma Informed Practice - 1:15pm-4:30pm

This practical workshop explores the use of Trauma Informed Approaches and applying a Trauma Theory framework when you are providing services and care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients with trauma histories. The workshop adopts an interprofessional approach and will be relevant for any participants who are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This workshop explores:

  • what is trauma
  • the different elements of trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • the important first steps in creating an environment of safety
  • relevant neuroscience theory that informs good practice principles and leads to effective interventions
  • managing when people are triggered “putting on the brakes” for containment, safety, and regulating hyperarousal
  • a culturally trauma informed approach when working with clients with trauma histories

Facilitator – Kelleigh Ryan

Kelleigh RyanKelleigh Ryan is a descendant of the Kabi Kabi people of South-East Queensland and the Australian South Sea Islanders with connections to the people of the Loyalty Islands on her mother’s side. Kelleigh is a registered psychologist with a Behavioural Science Degree and a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons) from Griffith University. Kelleigh uses her experience in counselling, therapeutic intervention, critical response work and psycho education to deliver quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation. Kelleigh is the Portfolio Lead with the Healing Foundation and has been supporting agencies responding to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

NDIS and Best Practice: “What does it mean for you the Indigenous Allied Health professional”? - 1:15pm-4:30pm

This workshop is interactive, culturally safe and culturally inviting and will provide a shared space for participants to develop a better understanding of the NDIS and their profession. There are no dumb questions, no dumb statements, and no dumb ideas.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will:

  • develop awareness of what the NDIS means within an Indigenous Disability context.
  • develop understanding of the NDIS and their client base’s Rights to “Choice and Control “under the NDIS structure.
  • develop strategies of engaging their clients who have an NDIS package.
  • develop communication strategies for clients accessing the NDIS for the first time.

Facilitated by Jody Barney, Deaf Indigenous Community Consultancy Pty Ltd

Jody BarneyJody is from Queensland (Birri-Gubba/Urangan woman) and now lives in Victoria.  As a leading Aboriginal disability consultant in her own business Deaf Indigenous Community Consultancy Pty Ltd, she works on the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities with her expertise in cultural sign languages and visual communication strategies.

Jody is the only Deaf Aboriginal woman in Australia to hold a Bachelor of Applied Management Studies (BAMS) from University of Ballarat. She has completed her Murra Indigenous Leadership Masterclass at Melbourne Business School in 2014, and in the same year was awarded the 2014 Brenda Gabe Women with Disability Leadership Award for outstanding achievement in improving the leadership development of Aboriginal women and girls with disabilities. She was also the 2010-2011 Emerging Leader for the Victoria Indigenous Fellowship of Leadership on improving the lives and access to health literacy for Aboriginal people with disabilities.

Jody has represented Aboriginal people, Women, GLBTI, Disability and Deaf communities on many boards including the Victorian Equal Opportunity Human Rights Commission (DRG) the Victoria Disability Advisory Council (VDAC), the Victorian Department of Health GLBTI Ministerial Advisory Committee, Koori Women Mean Business and the Telstra Disability Forum. Jody is a member of the Australian Disability and Indigenous People’s Education Fund, as one of a few Aboriginal assessors.

Jody amongst her already established business, is currently working briefly with the Indigenous Health Equity Unit at Melbourne University delivering short courses on Aboriginal Disability Discourse in Service delivery and the Association for Children with a Disability on the Peer Connections NDIS project. She is also research committee advisory on Social Equity Unit Melbourne research project “Unfit to Plead”, supporting court support staff to assist Aboriginal adults during their court process.

As survivor of Breast Cancer in 2013, Jody has become even more determined to see improvements in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities across all areas of need.

Day 2 Forum Workshops
Thursday 1 December 2016

Please click on the workshop titles below to reveal more or less information about the professional development workshops.

How are you contributing to the targets? Finding your place in the (NATSIHP) Implementation Plan - 9:00am-12:30pm

The for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan implementation plan (NATSIHP IP) is more than just words on a piece of paper. With strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and action, the implementation plan holds the potential to transform the lives and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. But what is your role? How can you contribute? This interactive workshop will assist you to familiarise yourself with the implementation plan, across the lifespan, and identify areas of action for you and your workplace if applicable.

Participants will: 

  • Learn about the history and development of the NATSIHP and subsequent implementation plan
  • Examine how the NATSIHP IP links to existing frameworks, initiatives and funding mechanisms
  • Explore the domains and principles that inform the NATSIHP IP
  • Identify individual, program and organisational areas of action within a strengths-based paradigm
  • Determine how proposed areas of action can link to state/territory and national agenda

Facilitator – Romlie Mokak

Romlie MokakMr Mokak has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, since July 2014. Prior to this appointment, Mr Mokak was the CEO of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) in Canberra, building that organisation into a substantial and critical contributor to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

A Djugun man from Western Australia, Mr Mokak was born in Darwin and has extensive experience in medical education and workforce development. He has also worked at community, state and national levels in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy areas, including disability, ageing, population health, financing and substance use. He holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Special Education. He has also completed the Australian and New Zealand Health Leadership Program

Transform your thinking on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Development - 9:00am-12:30pm

This workshop aims to challenge and transform the participants thinking on working effectively, productively and in a culturally responsive manner in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities.

Participants will: 

  • Reflect on your understanding and practice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community development work
  • Engage with and learn from workshop participants to increase your knowledge and skills on what is required to successfully engage and/or working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • Be more effective, productive and culturally responsive in your area of practice when engaging and/or working with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities

Facilitated by Duane Vickery

Duane VickeryDuane Vickery is a highly respected and sought after Indigenous and South Sea Islander educator, coach, facilitator, trainer and mentor in the field of leadership, community engagement and community/corporate governance. Duane has worked in the public and private sectors for over twenty years and has developed an excellent reputation for his passion, commitment and desire to see others excel and reach their full potential by working alongside others to build their capacity through a ‘strengths-based’ approach.

Duane is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP Course 10, 2004) and effectively utilises his well-established leadership skills and networks to assist in the development of others. He successfully completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) course in 2003 and is a certified Cross Cultural Facilitator.

Duane is currently Managing Director of Education Training & Management Perspectives Pty Ltd (ETMP), a consultancy company specialising in leadership development and governance facilitation, education, training and research. He is an adjunct lecturer in Multicultural Studies at Avondale College, NSW and is a former Director of Worawa Aboriginal College in Victoria.

Duane graduated from Avondale College with a Diploma of Teaching (1991) and Bachelor of Education (1993), before going on to complete a Masters in Professional Studies (Aboriginal Education) from the University of New England (1996). Duane successfully completed the Certificate IV in Indigenous Leadership and a Certificate IV Business (Governance) with the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC). In May 2013 Duane was awarded the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation bursary to study at the Harvard University, Boston USA, where he successfully completed the executive education program ‘The Art and Practice of Leadership Development’.

Understanding the needs of children and families impacted by FASD and Early Life Trauma (ELT). Adapting our professional practice to accommodate need - 9:00am-12:30pm

We will cover 

  • The Marulu Strategy , making FASD History. Sharing the experience of Fitzroy Valley Leaders and Communities.
  • Understanding FASD and the impact on children, young people and their families.
  • Developing a family centered approach that addresses complex individual and family needs and directs limited resources where most needed.
  • Reflecting on current practice and identifying how to make adjustments that have an impact.
  • Building our knowledge and capacity and developing a learning community to generate knowledge and increase understandings and impact


Jadnah Davies – Marulu Manager

Jadnah DaviesJadnah Davies is a 26 year old mother of 2 and has lived in Fitzroy Crossing since she was 3, she is connected to the Fitzroy Valley through her maternal grandmother, a Gooniyandi women who was removed from the Fitzroy Valley in 1934. Jadnah completed her secondary education in Fitzroy Crossing via Distance Education and has worked for Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre since 2012 in various roles. She started working on the final stage of the Lililwan Project, the FASD prevalence study, as a community navigator feeding back research findings to communities. The Marulu Strategy, designed to Make FASD History shapes the work of the Marulu Unit. The major focus of this work is to support children and families impacted by FASD and Early Life Trauma. Jadnah is very passionate and committed to progressing the work of the Marulu Strategy, knowing the ongoing benefits it has to her community’s future.


Ms June Oscar – AO FGR

June OscarJune Oscar is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre and a proud Bunuba woman from the remote town of Fitzroy Crossing. She is a Bunuba language speaker and is considered one of the most outstanding Aboriginal leaders in the Fitzroy Valley, and across Australia. She is a strong advocate and activist for Indigenous Australian languages, social justice, women’s issues, and FASD. Her courage and determination to address the most complex and sensitive issues affecting the lives of Aboriginal Australians is inspirational. She does this with little regard for the immense personal toll that such actions necessitate. Her focus on Aboriginal children, and her determination that we do not sacrifice the health of our children for the so-called ‘right’ to buy full strength take-away alcohol, makes her a role model for all Australia. In 2011, in an article appearing in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald (Weekend Magazines), June was named as one of the 50 most influential women in the world for her work in improving the lives of those living in remote Aboriginal communities. June has previously held the positions of Deputy Director of the Kimberley Land Council and the first woman to chair the Marra Worra Worra Resource Agency (Fitzroy Crossing). She is a Director on the Boards of Bunuba Films Pty Ltd and Bunuba Pty Ltd. She is the former chair of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and the Kimberley Interpreting Service. In 1990 June was an appointment of the Federal Government to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the University of Notre Dame, Broome, Western Australia, and is currently writing her PHD. June is a co-founder of the Yiramalay Wesley Studio School and is a Community member of the Fitzroy Valley Futures Governing Committee.

  • In 2012 June was appointed as an Ambassador for Children and Young People by the Western Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People, Michelle Scott.
  • June was a Chief Investigator on the Lililwan Project.
  • In 2013 June was awarded an Order of Australia and won the Westpac and Financial Review 100 Women of Influence, for Social Enterprise and Not for Profit Category.
  • In 2014 she was awarded the Menzies School of Health Research Medallion for her work with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
  • In 2015 June became an Ambassador for the National Organization for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
  • In 2016 she was awarded the Desmond Tutu Fellowship from the Global Reconciliation Foundation.

Sue Thomas – Marulu FASD and Early Life Trauma (ELT) Strategy Coordinator

Sue Thomas

Sue Thomas has worked and lived in the Kimberley as a teacher, principal, researcher and education consultant. She has worked on a number of national Indigenous education projects and is building a professional learning community raising awareness and connecting people working to address the needs of children and young people living with FASD. Sue is currently the Marulu FASD and ELT Strategy Coordinator working with key stakeholders to make FASD.