Pathways Into Health and Community Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Males Workshop


By Samara Erlandson

On the 21st of October 2021, the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) and the Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Wellbeing Northern Territory (FCMHW-NT) based at the Menzies School of Health Research co-convened an Aboriginal and Torres Strait male-only workshop at Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Australia.

The workshop’s objectives were to build aspirations and ignite a deeper understanding of health and community services career pathways for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males aged between 15 and 25.

Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) was proud to be a key stakeholder in partnering and supporting this inaugural event in Darwin.  IAHA recognises that local workforce and training solutions are essential to increasing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce and improving the cultural safety and responsiveness within the health care system.

IAHA works across the health, education, training, and employment pipeline to promote, develop and deliver culturally safe and accessible pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into health careers.   One such initiative is the IAHA National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Academy, delivered in Darwin by the IAHA NT team.

IAHA Darwin based staff member, Gabe Oth, was a vital supporter of the event, ensuring that the young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men attending had a chance to celebrate their cultural identity and engage in meaningful. He further provided the opportunity to have culturally safe conversations about a career in the health (and related) sector.

Gabe is a proud Torres Strait Islander with a degree in Exercise Sports Science. The IAHA National Academy (Northern Territory) is honoured to have him on the team as a Project Support Officer.  During the event, he was able to showcase his health career journey with participants and provided the opportunity for the local Torres Strait Islander dance troupe to perform. 

“Strengthening leadership and confidence for our young men are central to me. As a trainer for the IAHA National Academy in Northern Territory, my role allows me to support our young Aboriginal males in the classroom. In addition, my role allows me to teach dance Torres Strait Islander males from around Darwin to encourage and showcase their Torres Strait Islander heritage through cultural dance performance.” 

This event was an excellent leadership opportunity for our current Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males with the IAHA National Academy (Northern Territory). It provided them with a unique chance to network, meet local health workforce role models, and connect with others to support their individual career aspirations.  It also gave IAHA a platform to interact with other participants and have culturally safe conversations about a career in the health (and related) sector.

IAHA is a member-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health organisation. IAHA leads sector workforce development and support to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is essential to support these Aboriginal-led initiatives to ensure that our next generation has access to employment, education and training programs that support their future endeavours.  Building a local health workforce that is dynamic, diverse and a cultural match to our community needs is vital for ensuring that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and future generations are thriving in ongoing connection to self, spirit, and place.

The energy from the dancing during the event created a positive atmosphere and uplifted spirits. We were proud to be a part of this event, where we could witness the next generation continue their cultural learnings in the form of music, dance and a good yarn.

Photos below :

Torres Strait Islander Performers ( Moses Niki, Gabe Oth, Caleb Niki, Iothemo Boyd), IAHA stall (Jovian Dalywater and Sonny Wauchope) and Smoking Ceremony (Larrakia Elder Tony Lee and Gabe.)

 


October 28, 2021

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Posted by: Renae Kilmister