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Towards (re)conciliation: (re)constructing relationships between indigenous health workers and nurses

Authors

  • Debra Jackson RN BHSc(Nsg) MN(Ed) MRCNA,

    1. Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Faculty of Health, UWS Macarthur, Campbelltown, Australia,
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  • Wendy Brady BA(Hons) PhD,

    1. Head, Indigenous Studies Unit, Koori Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia,
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  • Irene Stein RN PhD FRCNA

    1. Professor of Clinical Nursing, Director of Gerontological Nursing Research and Practice Unit, University of Newcastle/Baptist Community Services, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
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Debra Jackson UWS Macarthur, PO Box 555, Campbelltown, New South Wales 2560, Australia.

Abstract

Towards (re)conciliation: (re)constructing relationships between indigenous health workers and nurses¶ Currently in Australia, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians are attempting to reconcile themselves with a history of colonization/invasion, which resulted in human rights violations against Australia’s indigenous people. Australian nursing has to examine its past in relation to the treatment of Aboriginal Australians. Relationships between nurses and Aboriginal health workers are the most commonly occurring professional relationships between nurses and Aboriginal people and are of key importance to the successful delivery of health services to Aboriginal communities. This qualitative study, grounded in feminism, aimed to explore the professional relationships between Aboriginal health workers and nurses and to develop insights which could assist the Australian nursing profession through a process of reconciliation with Aboriginal Australians. Feminist analysis of narrative text revealed several key themes as being crucial to this process. These were: learning to know and understand; towards workplace equity; and skill sharing — learning from each other. Implications for nursing, in its journey toward reconciliation with Aboriginal Australians, are drawn from this study.

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