Griffith Indigenous students help ‘close the gap’

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Griffith have been helping to ‘close the gap’ in a partnership with Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THSS).

Six Bachelor of Midwifery students have been working at the Townsville Hospital on behalf of Queensland Health, as part of their program requirements whilst also completing residential study components at Griffith University’s Logan campus.

The students include Gillian Wilson, Helen Brockwell-Callaghan, Katherine Townson, Lisa-Marie Davidson, Heather Lee and Raylene Dean.

Closing the Gap is a commitment by all Australian governments to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, and in particular provide a better future for Indigenous children.

The Townsville Hospital and Health Service has been instrumental in improving Indigenous healthcare by aiming to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers in its hospitals to ensure that it is practicing in a culturally appropriate way.

“In the past year THHS has continued to progress its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwifery program with the help of Griffith University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery,” said Adjunct Associate Professor Jenny Kelly. “This continues to be a wonderful opportunity for Griffith as traditionally, there have been so few Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwives to service the community.

“It’s important to remember that if we are to make improvements to Indigenous health then we need more Indigenous health professionals.

“At the end of this year we will be proud to say we have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander registered midwives in Townsville and that is a fantastic achievement.”