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Valuable resources for Indigenous health professionals

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Health professionals working with Indigenous communities now have a valuable new resource to help them to provide the best healthcare and planning in order to improve the health of Aboriginal Australians.
The book, ‘Indigenous Australian Heath and Cultures: An introduction for health professionals,’ will be officially launched by the first Indigenous Australian elected to the Australian House of Representatives, Mr Kenneth Wyatt MP AM JP at 1pm on Friday 18 February at Curtin University’s Centre for Aboriginal Studies.

Editors Rosalie Thackrah, Kim Scott and Joan Winch created the book following a ‘life-cycle’ approach, with early chapters on new life and childhood progressing to chapters on older Aboriginal people and ‘sorry business’.

The book is unique in it has involved a strong collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous contributors from throughout Australia in both the authorship and the editorial team. This alliance further highlights the strong need for partnerships between health professionals and communities.

“The book includes scenarios to encourage health professionals to reflect critically on their own practice in productive ways,” co-editor Kim Scott, Associate Professor of the Centre for International Health at Curtin University said.

“It is hoped that they will draw conclusions based on rigorous research in the area by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and community members.”

Associate Professor Ted Wilkes, of the National Drug and Research Institute at Curtin University states in the foreword that having knowledge of the social and cultural determinants of Aboriginal Australians’ health is crucial for strategic health planning and reducing that disadvantage.

“It is imperative that the connection of culture and history to the health of Aboriginal Australians is recognised,” he said.

The idea for this book arose from a desire for practitioners to think critically about Indigenous Aboriginal health.

“Indigenous perspectives feature strongly in this book,” co-editor Rosalie Thackrah, Senior Lecturer at the Curtin School of Nursing and Midwifery said.

“It celebrates the contribution and strengths of Indigenous culture.”

The book has also received praise from Professor Fiona Stanley AC, Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.

This publication makes a significant contribution to the field, not least because it allows Indigenous voices to be heard.


Kim Scott, Associate Professor, Centre for International Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University Tel: 08 9266 4287 Email:

Rosalie Thackrah, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University Tel: 08 9266 2737 Email:

Bonnie Ripper, Public Relations, Curtin University, Tel: 08 9266 4364; Email:, Web:

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