In a raw and honest conversation, the Australian Pharmacy Council's (APC) latest podcast offers an insightful discussion into the benefits of embedding cultural safety into pharmacy curriculum.

An APC initiative to embed cultural safety in pharmacy education has brought together a panel of First Nations women to explore the current and future state of health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

In conversation is:

  • Associate Professor Faye McMillan AM, a Wiradjuri yinaa
  • Ms Chastina Heck, a Nywaigi, Mamu, Bidjara woman
  • Dr Jane Havelka, a Wiradjuri yinaa

Listeners will hear from Dr Havelka who provided insight into her experience with racism in pharmacy as a patient and as a woman who is Aboriginal.

Assoc/Prof McMillan explained how change happens when institutions include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in pivotal decision making processes.

"We have people with that level of decision making capability saying 'I’ll come to the table', and not only that, 'I’ll make sure there’s space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the table'. Or they'll let us be in the drivers seat. They'll happily now get into a car, and allow us to steer," she said.

"What we need is a bottom-up, top-down approach."

A continuous journey of learning is a strong theme underlying the podcast. Assoc/Prof McMillan emphasised how challenging the journey ahead is.

“This is complex, this is challenging. We are on this cultural safety journey as well... It's a big ask. But no one runs a marathon the first time they tie up their shoe laces," she said.

"You’ve got to pace yourself, and have the sustenance you need to be on that journey. It will be hard, and it will hurt, and you think ‘it shouldn’t be hard' but it is.

"You’ve got to be preparing for it all the time, asking 'do I have the right resources and tools to be on that journey?' It's a constant evaluation of 'am I on the right path?' And if not, it's okay to go back and start again."

Listen to the podcast, Conversation 1: Who are we here for?

APC gives a special thanks to the speakers and the APC Indigenous Health Strategy Group, including John Briggs who created the didgeridoo music for the podcast.

The podcast forms the first piece of a 4-part series exploring the findings of APC's literature review, Approaches to implementation of cultural safety in the training and education of health professionals in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America

Registrations are now open for APC's webinar's, 'Conversation 2: What do we know?' and 'Conversation 3: What are we doing?'.

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