MEETING REPORT TUESDAY 10th MAY 2016
Posted by Paul FRASER
Visitors: Sarah Overton (membership application to come), Ian Bloomfield, both guests of Neville John
Chairperson: Peter Duras
Tony Thomas provided an update on his health indicating that the chemotherapy has been going well and that he is living a totally normal life.
President Elect Justine Murphy encouraged member participation in two coming events:
- The Club Strategy Review being held in the meeting on 24 May 2016
- Changeover on 1 July 2016, which is a bit different and hopefully lots of fun. Members were encouraged to be early in letting Roger know of their attendance.
Frank O’Brien noted two working bees coming up:
- DIK Saturday 28 May 2016
- Echuca Steam Rally 11-12 June 2016, noting that the Echuca club will probably have accommodation organised.
Roy Garret presented the club with a plaque received in recognition and appreciation from the Laotian Governor of the district where the club has facilitated the building of two classrooms at Ban Boum Aor school.
Kevin Walklate highlighted that few members had so far registered for ‘Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner’ on Saturday 21 May 2016.
President George noted that Tony Thomas is being interviewed by the ABC regarding Nauru and fertilizers. Apparently it was too difficult for the ABC to gain access and they had read Tony’s book, which includes a story about Nauru.
President George outlined the Board’s consideration of our club name and branding. Having found that many different and confusing names have been ascribed to our club, the Board is proposing a renaming supported by rebranding that:
- Is consistent with Rotary International guidelines
- Describes who we are
- Is simpler
George explained the process involved in changing the name, details of which will be forwarded to members soon for consideration.
The proposed name is “Rotary Central Melbourne”.
Discussion supported the need for change from the long name that leads to confusions such as the club being named as Sunshine or members having to explain “Sunrise”. Concern was raised that in Rotary tradition “Central” means lunch meeting and “Sunrise” means breakfast meeting. In response to this concern it was highlighted that the change was needed to make sense to non-Rotarians.
Guest Speaker – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gregory Phillips.
"The Australian Challenge in Health Education for Indigenous people"
Greg, acknowledged the traditional owners of this land and showed a photo of his country of origin in far north Queensland. He described the beginnings of his work in indigenous health curriculum development in Australia’s medical schools through to current progress and continuing challenges.
Greg started out in this field at the University of Melbourne working with the Deans of the 12 medical schools of the time. His work was to audit the curricula and develop a curriculum framework. The two main goals were to introduce learning programs on indigenous health for medical students and to increase indigenous participation in medical training. This led to a curriculum being endorsed by the Deans in 2004 and accredited in 2005 (CDAMS Indigenous Health Curriculum Framework).
A national review in 2012 showed that indigenous recruitment into medicine had reached parity with the population proportion of 3%. However, rates of graduation had not been at that level, raising questions of whether the curriculum is failing them or some are being admitted who should not have been. To understand more about the mixed success, Greg undertook a PhD using a case study approach.
While undertaking his PhD, Greg analysed what is really going on in medical schools, including the more recently introduced rural clinical schools. One case raised the question of whether indigenous health is seen as opportunistic or strategic, where a Dean requested a “5 minute chat” with Greg to write this component of their strategic plan. Another highlighted the sense of voice, who speaks for Aboriginal health. In a rural clinical school the head was a strong advocate for rural health but not paying attention to aboriginal health.
An aboriginal staff member was not included in meetings and when eventually a local elder was able to speak to the staff, the impact of colonialism on current health was described. The head of the school saw this as the elder just taking an opportunity to complain rather than giving real insights. Greg noted that the effects of intentional or unintentional racism on health can now be measured.
Findings from the case studies included:
- that there is a hidden curriculum of “accreditation and money”;
- a lack of staff capacity, with the need for staff and students to unlearn inadvertent learning in the absence of indigenous studies in primary and secondary schools;
- funding not coming through;
- motivations and values;
- confused definitions of ‘aboriginal health’ and ‘cultural safety’.
Regarding ‘cultural safety’, Greg described a curriculum reform process on Maori health in New Zealand that led to cultural safety being included in legislation, policies and strategies. Greg described cultural safety as beyond cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity, which are about “others” and a mono-cultural society. Cultural safety is about individual competencies plus organisational practice, policies and culture.
In conclusion, Greg highlighted “equality vs equity”. Equality being an “unseen value of whiteness” to treat everyone the same, while equity is treating people according to need. This was accompanied by an illustration of people standing on a step to see over a wall.
On the equality side all had the same size step but not view, while on the equity side they had different steps according to the person’s height and all had the same view.
When asked what would be the one big thing he would change, Greg unhesitatingly said a national K-12 curriculum [i.e. Prep year, prior to entering Primary school]. This was in keeping with his earlier expressed concerns about the negative responses of first year students to the indigenous health curriculum and the unlearning it takes before they finally greatly appreciate the curriculum.
Meeting was closed by President George.