Indigenous Spirituality and health Care: Yarning with the Elders


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This research project is focused on a holistic patient care approach of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the health care system and has interviewed Six Elders from the local community a semi-structured questionnaire.

Fr Darryl Mackie & Rabbi Professor Jeffrey Cohen OAM

It has been examining several dimensions of Indigenous spirituality applied within hospital procedures such as St Vincent’s Hospitals and beyond. The study has looked at how can facilities recognise Country not only in word but symbolically especially with the inclusion of Indigenous art and language; the need for expansion of Indigenous workers at all levels of the hospitals, especially in places with high visitor/patient visibility; as well as the importance of re-building patient trust; asking individuals how they would like to be addressed and looking at organising frequent cultural ceremonies such as a smoking ceremony.

The study discovered that the issues around the Stolen Generation clouded the opinions of the Elders and it is recommended all future studies need to be extended to those identified Leaders of Aboriginal communities with a minimum of 20-30 individuals and not only from the Sydney region.

This work has begun but has been suspended due to Covid-19.