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 TownsvilleHospital on behalf of Queensland Health, as part of their program requirementswhilst also completing residential study components at Griffith University’s Logancampus.

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

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

The Townsville Hospital and Health Service has been instrumental in improvingIndigenous healthcare by aiming to increase the number of Aboriginal and TorresStrait Islander health workers in its hospitals to ensure that it is practicing in aculturally appropriate way.

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

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

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