November 2020

Issue 26 - November 2020


    Chair's message

    Hello, and welcome to this special edition of our newsletter. Its focus is on cultural safety which is a key capability for all medical radiation practitioners.

    This year NAIDOC Week will be held from 8-15 November. With World Radiography Day on 8 November we thought it would be great to bring together these celebrations of the profession and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture to launch our new video on cultural safety.

    The development of the video was led by an Indigenous practitioner and community members and their message is that all medical radiation practitioners have a great opportunity to be leaders in this space. We must acknowledge the past and understand the ongoing effects that continue today. Now and into the future, medical radiation practitioners will have the greatest impact.

    We are fortunate to have Donisha Duff as a community member on the Board. Donisha is a great advocate for cultural safety as part of safe healthcare, and as a minimum capability for all medical radiation practitioners.

    Enjoy.

    Mark Marcenko
    Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia

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    Board news

    Video on cultural safety released to mark World Radiography Day and NAIDOC Week

    The Board has published a new video on cultural safety.

    The video, launched to mark World Radiography Day held every year on 8 November and NAIDOC Week which this year runs from 8-15 November, reminds all medical radiation practitioners that cultural safety is an important aspect of safe patient care.

    This is the third video in the series to support practitioners and stakeholders to understand the revised Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice. The two other videos cover the topics ‘See something, say something’ and responding to deteriorating patients.

    Board Chair Mr Mark Marcenko said the Board wanted to share the important message that the way patients are treated and the environment they are treated in can have a large, positive cultural and health impact.

    ‘Putting patients at the centre of care and providing culturally safe health services is a key component of good contemporary practice,’ he said.

    ‘We can build and maintain trust by respecting and listening to differing cultural perspectives and reflecting on our practice, acknowledging our biases, and supporting the rights and dignity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples,’ he said.

    The professional capabilities came into effect earlier in the year and ensure that the medical radiation practice workforce is ready for, and adaptable to, technological change while continuing to provide safe, contemporary care.

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    Board profile – meet Donisha Duff, community member

    Image of woman: Donisha DuffAdjunct Associate Professor Donisha Duff is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. She has familial links with Moa and Badu Islands (Torres Strait) and is a Yadhaigana/Wuthathi Aboriginal traditional owner (Cape York).

    Donisha has been a community member on the Medical Radiation Practice Board since January 2018 and is also a Board Director of the Metro South Hospital and Health Service. 

    She has over 20 years’ experience working in health policy, planning and management with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

    Donisha, who lives in Brisbane, is the Chief Operations Officer at The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Brisbane and holds an Adjunct Associate Professorship at the Kurongkurl Katitjin Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research, Edith Cowan University.

    Recently, Donisha has been part of a Board committee advising on the development of our video on cultural safety.

    Tell us about your experience being on the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia and the recent video project you have been advising on.

    I joined at an exciting time in the development of the National Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy 2020-2025.

    It’s been very satisfying to be part of the Medical Radiation Practice Board and give input to the changes in the professional capabilities. The new requirements around cultural safety and what it means for practitioners is a first in Australia and unique.

    The video we have recently developed will help to introduce the concept of cultural safety and why it’s important. Receiving culturally safe care will greatly improve the healthcare experience of many First Nations Australians.

    What are three things you think practitioners should be aware of?

    1. There isn’t one First Nations culture in Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures are diverse and different. There is a richness of culture, practice, and experience in each location.
    2. As a community member and health consumer, it’s very intimidating having any type of scan or procedure. As a practitioner, you can change the whole experience by your conduct and practice.
    3. Cultural safety and practice is a continuous development cycle. There is so much to learn. Listening is the best way to engage.

    What are you passionate about?

    I am passionate about health and education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I’ve worked in the healthcare sector for over 20 years now, specifically in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

    I am Chair of a not-for-profit organisation, Stars Ltd, which is a school-based engagement program for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls. Having an education and finishing high school can dramatically change the trajectory of your life as a young First Nations woman. It’s my lived experience and I want to support other young women to realise their potential.

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    Cultural safety and continuing professional development

    The Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice include cultural competence and culturally safe care because medical radiation practitioners in Australia must be able to work effectively with people from various cultures that may differ from their own.

    There are over 500 different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clan groups or 'nations' around Australia, many with distinctive cultures, beliefs and languages. It is important that medical radiation practitioners have a working knowledge of factors that contribute to and influence the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. These factors include history, spirituality and relationship to country, and other social determinants of health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    The National Board will be participating in the Moong-moong-gak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural safety training in 2021 to develop our culturally safe practice. This is a crucial part of the National Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy 2020-2025.

    Doing professional development that focuses on the history and customs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is an important and useful step in developing skills and knowledge that support culturally safe practice.

    There are a range of sources that will help you further develop your culturally safe practice. In many cases state or territory government departments for health or communities have published material about cultural safety that is relevant for their geographical area. In other cases, you can seek out information from organisations that provide information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history.

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    Keep in touch with the Board

    • Visit our website for the mandatory registration standards, codes, guidelines and FAQs.
    • Visiting the website regularly is the best way to stay in touch with news and updates from the Board.
    • Lodge an enquiry form via the website by following the Enquiries link on every web page under Contact us.
    • For registration enquiries, call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9285 3010 (for overseas callers).
    • To update your contact details for important registration renewal emails and other Board updates, go to the Ahpra website: Update contact details.
    • Address mail correspondence to: Mark Marcenko, Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

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      Page reviewed 6/11/2020