Welcome to 2020, I hope you and your family and friends are safe and well.
This summer has been a sad and shocking time for many parts of Australia, with fire devastating the landscape across the nation. We have all seen the overwhelming loss of human life, property, wildlife, and vegetation. I extend my sincere condolences to all who have been impacted by the bushfire crisis. I would also like to acknowledge the tireless work of the firefighters and emergency service personnel who have gone and continue to go above and beyond.
I believe that there is much to be learned from Indigenous elders and experts who have talked about and practiced traditional fire practices long before recent events. Aboriginal ranger programs have managed fires by traditional methods for many years, not only have these programs protected our country from such devastation, caring for country programs provide sustainable employment for our people. Further investment in caring for country programs and the revival of traditional fire practices should form an integral part of a national solution to bushfire disasters.
Moving in to 2020 the Secretariat team has been busy finalising project plans for the year, serving our members continues to be a high priority. The start of the new decade presents many opportunities for AIDA and our members and we want to hear from you. During this year AIDA will be conducting a number of member fora and webinars across the country, a schedule of events will be circulated in late February so please register and have your say.
AIDA will also be holding member events throughout the year with the first event in Adelaide on March 6th. Further details about the guest speaker, venue and how to register will be out shortly.
Our SRC meeting will be held in February, this year we are trialing a new format with the addition of capacity building activities such as cultural responsiveness and leadership training. I look forward to spending time with our SRC and can’t wait to hear details of the 2020 project.
It was an honour attend the Australian of the Year breakfast hosted by Reconciliation Australia where I got to meet amazing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I was fortunate to catch a few minutes with medical student Yarlalu Thomas, it was very inspiring to hear about Yarlalu’s language project translating medical terminology into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Congratulations to Aboriginal finalists, Katrina Fanning, Uncle Archie Roach, Banduk Marika, Corie Tutt, Ziebeon Fielding (commencing medicine this year!) and Young Australian of the Year Ash Barty. I would also like to congratulate Dr James Muecke AM and Professor, Australian of the Year and Professor Newnham AM, Senior Australian of the Year.
Names left to right: Heather Calma, Kartrina Fanning and Monica Barolits-McCabe at the Reconciliation Australia Australian of the Year Breakfast
Yarlalu Thomas and Monica Barolits-McCabe at the Reconciliation Australia Australian of the Year Breakfast
After a review of our cultural safety program, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in Clinical Practice in December 2019, AIDA is ready to rollout the program in 2020 with up to 15 workshops being offered throughout the year. For more information about our program please contact the Secretariat Office.
AIDA looks forward to working with IGPRN and Colleges on implementing the recommendations from the Strong Futures: Strengthening the Path to Fellowship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Graduates report. Our aim is to increase relevant and appropriate support structures for our members during their journey to Fellowship.
I would like to congratulate all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical graduates from 2019 and wish you all the best on your journey, I look forward to seeing you receive your stethoscope at AIDA2020 on the Gold Coast.
Finally, I would like to remind our members that renewals for 2020 membership is now due. For further information on how to renew your membership please see here
Thank you to all for welcoming and supporting me during my settling in period. I have been made to feel very welcome and look forward to working with the team and membership to continue the important work of AIDA in 2020 and beyond.