As a life long resident of the Northern Territory with strong ties to my Aboriginal background, lifestyle and culture, I have been continuously exposed to the shortfall in resources and cultural appropriate policies towards Aboriginal health. When choosing my career path, improving the health outcomes for my wider community has always guided my choices.
Whilst working as a registered nurse in the Northern Territory I observed a lack of culturally safe communications methods, a lack of consideration of language, culture and health education barriers. I have embarked on my current journey, studying the Doctor of Medicine to be in a position to improve this. These mishaps within the healthcare system are a direct result of policies developed without the input of Indigenous people with consideration of their specific health needs. There is a lack of training on culturally sensitive topics being taught by Indigenous people and this does not five the opportunity for healthcare workers to learn about Aboriginal culture. I strongly feel that having more doctors with ties to their Indigenous cultures can aid in bridging the gap and over time, set better examples for future generations, like myself, to have a voice in treatment, delivery of culturally safe healthcare and eventually be involved at a policy level.
I believe it is also important to recognise that by entering the workforce as a health practitioner, I will be increasing the number of Indigenous health care professionals in the Territory and the wider Australian community. This is also an opportunity to continue to be a positive role model in my community and I am hopeful tat it will encourage our Indigenous youth to continue their education and follow their aspirations whenever that may lead them.