Place of learning (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People)

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Launching Place Yarra River

Place of learning is an initiative within the Indigenous Development Action Program using Indigenous leadership to develop modules for emerging and practising health professionals. These modules are intended to assist professional practice, helping to ensure people have a capacity to be knowledgeable and respectful of the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities generally, and in terms of public health specifically.

Module 1

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Welcome to Country

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An introduction to the program, and orientation to Indigenous Australia. Videos and readings, connection to tutors and a wider community of practice...

  1. Watch a video of Jack Bulman, Chief Executive of, introduce this program
  2. Watch a video introducing and explaining Indigenous Australian general history, present status, and etiquettes
  3. Locate a map of Australia that depicts the traditional country of original Australians. Determine the countries which you have visited, and where you now live and work.
  4. Create a folder for your personal reference that contains a range of information about Aboriginal Australia, the Countries you have walked, and a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services in your selected area.

Acknowledging Country

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In this project you will prepare an Acknowledgement of Country. Acknowledging the country of indigenous Australians is a strong sign of respect and awareness. It is especially impact that public service professionals who are seeking a connection with Indigenous communities make a deep and concerted effort in their acknowledgement. An Acknowledgement of Country is often called upon at openings of public gatherings, and is sometimes greeted with a Welcome to Country by local elders or custodians. In this project you are going to prepare an acknowledgment to the best of your ability. In it you are going to recognise details of the country you are acknowledging, show your respect for elders and custodians, explain your own connection to land, and make a statement of your intentions.

  1. Read through the examples of Acknowledgement of Country (TBA)
  2. Select a Country from your map of Indigenous Australia and research more about that Country. Find out about the Traditional Owners, Custodians, Elders past and present, historical events, significant places, traditional language and the status of that language, and any past or present health projects and services developed in the country
  3. Write and/or record a spoken Acknowledgement of Country that includes hyperlinks to the various specifics. In your acknowledgement, include:
    1. An acknowledgement of the Country, clans and tribes by name, and an awareness of geographical features and boundaries.
    2. A description of your own country and culture of origin and how you have come to be Acknowledging Country this day.
    3. A recognition of the Elders living (preferably by name) and an acknowledgement of those past (not by name) and those still to come.
    4. A recognition of the current custodians, their family and people and well wishes for them into the future.
    5. A Statement of your purpose - to establish relations and partnership in health work, acknowledging existing and past projects, and an indication of the sorts of things you may bring to new work.
    6. Limit your acknowledgement to around 500 words.
  4. Submit your folder and Acknowledgement of Country by ### date to the assessing panel.

Finding Aboriginal Services

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Aboriginal Australians already provide services for their communities. It's important for you to build upon that work and not assume that services don't exist. In the second module you will go further in your investigation of Indigenous health projects, helping to develop and maintain a directory of services. You will collect up information on a range of past and present Aboriginal health projects from Countries you are focusing on. You will work cooperatively to produce a directory and historical account of these services, and help maintain the accuracy of existing entries in that directory. From this work, you are beginning to think about your practical placement in the third and final module.

  1. Collect information on 6 distinct Aboriginal services in a Country you have walked, are walking, or plan to walk. These services can be from the present or the past.
  2. Create a simple page of information for each service containing a brief description of the service, contact details and location, and the wider sponsoring program, if applicable.
  3. Use the information you have gathered to contribute to the Directory of Aboriginal Health Services

Module 2

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In this module you will find and review a successful Indigenous health project and explain the wider context of its inception, such as the overall program that the project was a part of.

Review an Indigenous health project

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  1. Select and review a successful Indigenous health project. If you need guidance, refer to the following reviewing criteria (TBA).

Explain the context of the project

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  1. Identify ad explain the wider program context for the project you have reviewed...

Module 3

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Practical placement

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In the third module you will arrange for your practical placement with an Indigenous health service, working out what you can offer that service to help sustain and promote that service. Based on the work you contributed to the Aboriginal Health Service Directory (Module 2), you will select a number of candidates that you will approach for practical placement studies. You are to work out what you can offer the service, pitch that offer and negotiate a useful and meaningful placement project.


Select a program agency, pitch self for practical placement...