Many allied health university curricula integrate information about working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Some degrees also ensure students have ‘cultural awareness training’ prior to going on placement. However, student supervisors and clinical educators report that students often have insufficient understanding of health issues and culture before they start a placement.

Students can also feel under-prepared for these placements. In the report, 'I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now', students reflect on their clinical education experiences in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings, and suggest ways that the universities could more adequately prepare them for placement. The report also provides some simple and practical suggestions for students preparing for clinical placement in this type of setting.

Some questions supervisors and students could consider when determing their learning/professional development needs include:

  • Do you have a 'cultural mentor'?
  • Do you belong to any associations or networks such Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA)?
  • Do you participate in the Yarning Places on the Indigenous Health InfoNet, or profession-specific networks or list serves such as the Speech Pathology Paediatric Indigenous Network?

Think about which of these strategies might be appropriate or useful for you to encourage students to participate in.

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