Profession-specific Indigenous resources

Resources for specific allied health professions working within an Indigenous context

 


This section suggests some resources and useful readings for physiotherapy, exercise physiology, speech pathology and occupational therapy students on clinical placement working with Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander people.


Physiotherapy

National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Physiotherapists (NAATSIP): The members of NAATSIP are Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and non-Indigenous physiotherapists, physiotherapy assistants and physiotherapy students who believe that physiotherapy can improve the current and future health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Physiotherapy Practice Issues in Indigenous Contexts: Clinical case studies developed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association Indigenous Health Sub-Committee to assist physiotherapy students or new physiotherapy recruits to consider issues of practice when treating Indigenous clients.

Physiotherapy for Indigenous Australians in Rural and Remote Areas: A Survey Report: In 2005, the Australian Physiotherapy Association Indigenous Health Sub-Committee presented a report examining the limited use of physiotherapy services by Indigenous people and identified factors that affect Indigenous people accessing physiotherapy services and perceptions of the influences affecting compliance.

Position Statement on Indigenous Health: Developed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association, this statement examines the role of physiotherapy in Indigenous health and strategies to improve access to physiotherapy.

Reconciliation Action Plan: The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has developed a plan to ensure the organisation creates meaningful relationships and sustainable opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Useful journal articles for physiotherapy students on clinical education placement

Cotter, P., and Maher, P. (2005) Why the silence on Indigenous health? Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 51, 211–212.

Gates, R. (2009) Physiotherapy: Keeping Your Mob 'Moving Well, Staying Well'. Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal, 33(1), 7.

Jamieson, R. and Tilley, L. (2008) Physiotherapists Give Up Their City Life for Arnhem Land. Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal, 32(2), 14.

 

Exercise Physiology

Indigenous physical activity web resource: This resource aims to provide quality information and resources about physical activity among Indigenous peoples. In particular, the Review of physical activity among Indigenous people (2013) might be a useful introduction to some of the issues relevant when working with Indigenous people.

Indigenous Youth Sports Program: This introductory video shows a University of Queensland program that involves exercise physiology students. There is also a similar Central Queensland University program. These programs also encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to consider university study options.

Tuguy Esgin: In this short video, exercise physiologist, Tuguy Esgin, explains how exercise can be used as medicine to close the gap in Indigenous health. A slightly longer radio interview with Tuguy Esgin is also available.

Be Strong With Your Health Team: The role of an exercise physiologist within the team of healthcare professionals at Wuchopperen Health Services in Cairns is explained at about the 20-minute mark in this video.

 

Speech Pathology

Speech Pathology Paediatric Indigenous Network (SPPIN): This national forum shares information, resources and professional support. SPPIN involves a listserve email group as well as regular videoteleconferences and an interesting SPPIN Newsletter. The forum welcomes student members.

Working With Aboriginal People in Rural and Remote Northern Territory:  Speech Pathology Australia  provide a very detailed Resource Guide to assist the provision of culturally safe practices.

Speech Pathology and Indigenous Children: Speech Pathology Australia provide a very succinct Fact Sheet.

Deadly Ears Program: Queensland Health's Statewide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ear Health Program for children raises awareness and provides information about the impact of ear disease in children. The multidisciplinary team also provides intervention and works with communities to help children hear, talk and learn. The website includes a lot of resources and information about Indigenous hearing and examples of the programs they provide.

Indigenous EarInfoNet:  This site provides very comprehensive information and resources about Indigenous ear disease and hearing. The regularly updated Reviews are particularly useful.


Useful journal articles for speech pathology students on clinical education placement

Cultural Diversity:  A special issue of ACQuiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, Vol 13(3), 2011 has some very relevant and interesting articles about speech pathology issues associated with working with Indigenous children:

  • Working with children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds: Implications for assessment and intervention – Cori Williams
  • Examining culturally valid language assessments for Indigenous children – Petrea Cahir
  • Partnerships: A service delivery option for speech pathology in Indigenous communities - Andrea Coleman, Tania Porter, Ursula Barber, Jillian Scholes and Helen Sargison

Gould, J. (2008) The Affects of Language Assessment Policies in Speech-Language Pathology on the Educational Experiences of Indigenous Students. Current Issues in Language Planning, 9, 299-316.

Gould, J. (2008). Non-standard assessment practices in the evaluation of communication in Australian Aboriginal children. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 22, 643–657.

Pearce, W. and Williams, C. (2013) The cultural appropriateness and diagnostic usefulness of standardized language assessments for Indigenous Australian children. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15(4), 429-440.

Simpson, J. and Wigglesworth, G. (eds.), (2008) Children's Language and Multilingualism: Indigenous Language Use at Home and School. Continuum Publishing Company, London.

 

Occupational Therapy

Position Statement - Diversity and Culture - developed by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Deadly Ears Program: Queensland Health's Statewide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ear Health Program for children raises awareness and provides information about the impact of ear disease in children. The multidisciplinary team also provides intervention and works with communities to help children hear, talk and learn. The website includes a lot of resources and information about Indigenous hearing and examples of the programs they provide.

Useful journal articles for occupational therapy students on clinical education placement

Hooper, K., Thomas, Y., and Clarke, M. (2007) Health professional partnerships and their impact on Aboriginal health: An occupational therapist's and Aboriginal health worker's perspective. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 15(1), 46-51.

Nelson, A. (2009) Learning from the past, looking to the future: Exploring our place with Indigenous Australians. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 56, 97-102.

Nelson, A. and Allison, H. (2007) Relationships: The key to effective occupational therapy practice with urban Australian Indigenous children. Occupational Therapy International, 14, 57-70.

Nelson, A., Allison, H. and Copley, J. (2007) Understanding where we come from: Occupational therapy with urban indigenous Australians. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 54(3), 203-214.

Nelson, A., Gray, M., Jensen, H., Thomas, Y., McIntosh, K., Oke, L. and Paluch, T. (2011) Closing the gap: Supporting occupational therapists to partner effectively with First Australians. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 58, 17-24.

Stedman, A and Thomas, Y. (2011) Reflecting on our effectiveness: Occupational therapy interventions with Indigenous clients. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 58, 43–49.

Watts, E. and Carlson, G. (2002) Practical strategies for working with indigenous people living in Queensland, Australia. Occupational Therapy International, 9, 277–293.