healthcare racism

Equity In Our Health System

19 October, 2020

Professor Roianne West is on a mission to achieve equity in our health system. In this article from Hospital and Healthcare Magazine Roianne, winner of the  2020 Lowitja Institute Cranlana Award, talks about the immense task of unravelling racism in Australia’s complex health system.

Why do vast gaps exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians when it comes to health outcomes? What would you say if someone told you that racism is embedded in Australia’s healthcare system, and that the system itself was perpetuating inequities?

In Conversation provides a glimpse into the life of an ‘outlier’ — an exceptional person going above and beyond to improve outcomes in their field. Professor Roianne West is an inspiration, taking on the immense task of unravelling racism in Australia’s complex health system through innovative training and education, and inspiring a generation of healthcare workers to understand the impact of racism on the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In addition to her role as Foundation Professor of First Peoples Health and Foundation Director of the First Peoples Health Unit at Griffith University, Professor West is also an invaluable member of the Lowitja Institute Research Advisory Committee, and her contributions in this role have shaped the direction of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research throughout Australia.

Born and raised Kalkadoon on her grandmother’s ancestral lands in North West Queensland and with connections to the Djaku-nde peoples in South West Queensland, Professor West’s pioneering work in Aboriginal health research and health workforce reform began 25 years ago as an Aboriginal health worker at an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.

Awarded the 2020 Lowitja Institute Cranlana Award for her outstanding research leadership, Professor West’s ultimate mission is to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by focusing on boosting the number of Indigenous Australians in the health workforce and finding the right training and educational frameworks that positively impact on retention and completion rates. This process involves rigorous assessment of educational and training models — to find the best way to teach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and prepare them for the health workforce.

Hospital and Healthcare Magazine, Jane Allman, 16 October 2020. Read the full article here.

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Photo by Markus Frieauff on Unsplash