Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) welcome the announcement of $4.65 million in funding from the Commonwealth Government to support the expansion of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Academy Model.
The academy is a community-led learning model focused on academic achievement and re-shaping the way training pathways are co-designed and delivered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students. The model aims to embed culturally safe curricula and to be inclusive of local cultural aspirations for successful outcomes where social, cultural and environmental determinants are addressed with wraparound supports.
In announcing the funding, Minister for Indigenous Health, The Hon. Ken Wyatt MP, said:
“I am proud to support the IAHA National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Academy (which is) an incredible achievement in creating training and career pathways into the health sector. These pathways play an important role in improving health care for all Australians, and I acknowledge the work of IAHA in establishing the academy.”
The first academy, the Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy (NTAHA), was officially launched in early 2018 in partnership with Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT). Twenty-five Aboriginal students from five Darwin high schools enrolled in the first intake of the NTAHA, with the first cohort due to complete their Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance in December 2019.
IAHA will build on the successes to date and develop partnerships to expand the academy into new regions, including QLD, NSW and the ACT. Local communities and stakeholders will be critical to the future planning and implementation of the new academies, including universities where students can build their knowledge and understanding of the tertiary sector and potential pathways.
IAHA members, as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health graduates, have played an important role in providing mentorship and guidance to academy students. IAHA Chairperson, Nicole Turner, has been active in the formation and operation of the academy and said:
“Students are now on an educational and training pathway leading to long term careers in health and have shown interest in a broad range of professions including oral health, pharmacy, speech pathology, nursing, midwifery and medicine. The importance of this model is that it is about supporting students make informed choices and contextualise their opportunities to their local community and workforce needs.”
IAHA look forward to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, families, communities and other key stakeholders to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to pursue meaningful careers in health. Download media release HERE
Media Enquiries: Allan Groth
P: 02 6285 1010