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The 2017 RDWA Annual Student Conference was held 19 May.
The RDWA University Students Rural Health Conference this year focused on understanding culture and building connections with First Peoples.
Better healthcare begins with a welcoming and safe environment, where health professionals are able to build respectful and effective relationships with Indigenous Australians. Indigenous Australians are not a single group, but a group of many that have their own distinct languages, histories, territory and customs. By increasing your understanding, this assists you in building rapport and being able to deliver quality healthcare to this diverse group of the population.
The interactive program we put together highlighted the importance of understanding your own culture and how you can work effectively to build relationships in cross-cultural settings. The program was also to increase your knowledge of the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia and the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.
About the key presenters:
A Wati (initiated Man) John Lochowiak has strong ties to many language groups throughout Australia, including the Pitjantjatjara, Kaurna, Ramindjeri and Arrernte.
Chris Connelly has lived in mid north SA and has been a Clinical Psychologist in rural and remote northern SA since 1990. Chris considers himself to be privileged to have been working in the Social and Emotional Well-Being team at Pika Wiya Aboriginal Health Service in Port Augusta.
Diana Murphy is a registered nurse currently working as the Community Engagement and Well Being Team Manager at the Moorundi Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in Murray Bridge.
Shane Mohor has worked in Aboriginal Health as a Registered Nurse and Senior Executive in government, university and non-government organisations for more than 28 years.