March 14, 2021
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples is a person who identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and is accepted as such by the community in which he/she lives.
Closing the Gap acknowledges the ongoing strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in sustaining the world’s oldest living cultures.
Closing the Gap is underpinned by the belief that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a genuine say in the design and delivery of policies, programs and services that affect them, better life outcomes are achieved. It also recognises that structural change in the way governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is needed to close the gap.
All Australian governments are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their communities, organisations and businesses to implement the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap at the national, state and territory, and local levels.
This is an unprecedented shift in the way governments have previously worked to close the gap. It acknowledges that to close the gap, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must determine, drive and own the desired outcomes, alongside all governments.
This new way of working requires governments to build on the strong foundations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have, through their deep connection to family, community and culture.
At Western Health this means tailoring and creating an environment that achieves Best Care and the best health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and their, families, and community.
Why is this important:
What does Closing the Gap mean to you and your role in the department?
- Being culturally awareness
- Asking the question – ‘Are you of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Origin?’ at admission to plan for the right services and supports to provide best possible patient care.
- Clear communication
- Importance of identity
- Understanding Kinship arrangements
- Aboriginal Health Ambassadors
- Aboriginal Health Unit
- “Place of Connection” in Woi Wurrung language
- Offers cultural support and assistance to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that attend Western Health
Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers
- Provide emotional, social and cultural support patients of the hospital
- Support patients with their rights and responsibilities
- Help patients to participate in decisions about their care
- Provide information about hospital services
- Attend appointments if patients would like their support
- Help with basic material aid e.g. cafe vouchers, car parking costs
- Help with referrals to Aboriginal and other community services
- Help patients prepare to get home