"There is beauty and strength in culture. Knowing, being and doing. This new experience is furthering my journey in cultural safety and understanding. Even as an Aboriginal woman myself, I am still on a journey," Chastina said.
IAHA represents First Nations people working in Allied Health disciplines. Mr Paul Gibson, IAHA, shared survey findings on their experiences regarding cultural safety, racism, and lateral violence within education, clinical placement, training, and employment. More than 100 IAHA members across a diverse range of sectors had responded to the open survey in 2022.
Anna Tiatia Fa’atoese Latu has a gift of sharing great learnings through beautiful lived experiences. She reflected on institutional systems and structures after a 5 day stint at the hospital for a family member.
"I saw lots of my students that I taught in medical school years back, who are now beautiful doctors, but not one of them said Kia Ora."
After teaching them everything about building relationships with patients, she was disappointed to experience a lack of engagement with her around her family. To which her husband responded with, 'The institution is still the same.'
"That was a really good lesson for me in that moment. We're so passionate about making a difference. I carry it everywhere I go. How can I shift those stats? How can I make a difference for my people? And I know that my colleagues are just as passionate.
"But until the institutions, systems, structures, and policies change, we're still going to be hitting our heads against a brick wall," Anna said.
"I hope we're inspiring people here to stretch, to change, to want to learn more, and say 'I’m going to make a difference in my lifetime'. Because the sooner we get more people onboard making small or big changes, the sooner we're going to see those statistics shift.
A challenge known to educators in the pharmacy space is changing the way that previously a very western institution and perspective of health was put forward and taught.
"Much of the time it was statistics about Indigenous versus Non-Indigenous rates of disease without any other real opportunity for context or discussion, and that's often what we talk about when we say a deficit discourse narrative," Chastina said.
Chastina emphasised the complexity of understanding deficit models and that it takes intentional research and practice to understand what we're doing that may not be best serving First Nations peoples.
A Strengths Based Approach may look like:
"It is not about minimising the disparity or ignoring the lived experience, reality and truth. It's just not the only story that should be told," Chastina said.
Acknowledging that NAIDOC Week had recently passed, Chastina asked us to reflect on the pledges we made in the first webinar, and the actions we had taken since.
In our break out rooms we responded to three questions:
Key highlights from the breakout rooms:
"The benefits of these sorts of networks is you can influence change across your profession. Having a group of people who are looking to take action within your own spheres of influences at individual, community, and institutional levels is a powerful thing," said Paul Gibson.
“As Indigenous people, we know who we are. We are those people every day. We do our healthcare business and we’d love you to be able to do it with us as well,” Chastina said.
"There is beauty and strength in culture. Knowing, being and doing."
The LIPPE at Noon webinars aim to bring together like-minded people wanting to see Indigenous voices in the delivery of pharmacy education. It's where we build the LIPPE Network!