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New program to give a leg up to future leaders

Published:  28 April 2023

The future leaders of the Townsville Hospital and Health Service will be given the tools they need to build rewarding careers in health as part of a new First Nation’s leadership program.

The program, known as Integrating Two Worlds, was co-designed by the Townsville Hospital and Health Service and the Centre for Leadership Excellence to support First Nations staff to identify and grow their leadership potential.

Principal of organisational development Nick Steele said the program was designed to equip First Nations staff with the skills and opportunities needed to become leaders within the health service.

“The health service recently launched its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy and one goal was to develop an educational program which could shape the skills and expertise of our First Nations staff,” Mr Steele said.

“We partnered with the Department of Health and consulted with our First Nations colleagues to design this program which aims to help these emerging leaders succeed.

“We want our First Nations staff to thrive and have a voice in improving our service not just locally, but across the state.

“Our first two-day iteration of the workshop was a success and I’m looking forward to seeing more of our staff participate, grow and thrive as future leaders.”

Indigenous liaison officer Niskarski Kina said she participated in the program because she wanted to pave the way for future First Nations leaders in health.

“I always come back to my why, and I do this for my mob and my community,” Ms Kina said.

“Networking is important because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people work throughout this health service as doctors, nurses, health workers and as managers.

“We need to communicate with one another and understand how we can better help First Nations people and I’d like to see us less separated and coming together more often to share our experiences.”

Indigenous liaison officer Marayah Taylor said the program was valuable for her professional development.

“The program was really good, and I love that there was value and emphasis placed on our history,” Ms Taylor said.

“We need to understand the history of our land to understand the behaviours which present today and interact with our patients on a one-on-one level.

“To me, health equity is about seeing each person as an individual and each situation for what it is and responding appropriately, but also strengthening the system for future generations.

“As a parent, it’s important to me to know my children will have a strong and bright future and won’t be held back.

“This is why I want to see Indigenous leaders standing alongside non-Indigenous leaders and driving the health service forward for all our patients.”

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