Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Hub

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Hub

 
 

LEARN

inmotion

Podcast

Media statements

Traditional Custodians

The APA recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples of Australia, who have been the custodians of these lands and waters for millennia. Wherever you are in Australia you are on the lands, waterways and seas of Australia’s First Peoples.

To explore the Traditional Custodians of the land you’re on, and to view a map of Indigenous Australia, visit the AIATSIS website, or your local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander land council or cultural centre.

 

Professional Development

cpd4physios your home for online learning

APA's online learning platform includes a Cultural Capability category dedicated to educating all physiotherapists on cultural safety and reconciliation, including the highly recommended Close the Gap on-demand lecture. 

 

This free online program provides a ‘scaffold’ to help health professionals deepen their understanding of Aboriginal cultural values, beliefs and practices. It consists of five self-directed learning modules:

  • Culture, self and diversity
  • Aboriginal history
  • Working with Aboriginal people
  • Providing clinical services
  • Improving cultural security.

The Australian Physiotherapy Council developed an online Cultural Safety Training for Physiotherapists course in partnership with The University of Melbourne for internationally-trained physiotherapists becoming registered in Australia. This well-received course was developed under the guidance of a First Nations Advisory Committee, and has been adapted for the Australian profession. The APA are very proud to make this available through the APA’s PD catalogue from November 2022.

Cultural Safety Training for Physiotherapists course information and registration.

 

The Deadly Physios

Join proud Kamilaroi man and APA member, Cameron Edwards, as he has a yarn with Deadly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander physiotherapists from around Australia. 

Experience the wisdom and guidance of these Deadly physios as they share their personal stories about truth-telling, connection to Country, culture and language, the power of yarning, Reconciliation and Closing the Gap. 

Featuring:

  • Music from Lowendjeri Boonwurrung Kulin man, Rudi Louis Taylor-Bragge.
  • Artwork by Emma Bamblett, a descendant from Wemba Wemba, Gunditjmara, Ngadjonji and Taungurung people. 

Explore the seasons now.

 

 

CONNECT

Yarning Sessions

Each year, the APA's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (the Committee) hosts yarning sessions to support our community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander physiotherapists and physiotherapy students, and offer a safe environment to connect, debrief and grow alongside each other. 

The sessions also offer the opportunity to express the positives, negatives and all of the in-between. 

 

Mentoring

Interested in finding a mentor or mentoring others? the APA's Mentoring Programs facilitate the connection between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander physiotherapists and the broader membership. 

Get involved. 

 

Facebook Group

The official APA Facebook group that represents the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee within the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

This group has been established to allow members to share and discuss information relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and physiotherapy, including sharing of articles, blog posts, social media content, professional development opportunities, and discussion of issues that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the physiotherapy profession in Australia.

Request to join. 

EVENTS ACROSS AUSTRALIA

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week (NRW), which occurs between 27 May–3 June, offers us an opportunity to reflect on our individual and collective commitment to reconciliation.

The date of NRW each year commemorates two significant milestones in our reconciliation journey—the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. Visit Reconciliation Australia for more information.

You can also visit the get involved webpage for ideas and to see what activities are planned in your local area to commemorate the NRW.

How you can get involved:

  • participate in the APA’s free online cultural awareness training and encourage your staff and co-workers to also take part
  • find who the traditional owners are of the land on which you practice and invite local elders to speak with your staff
  • talk to your staff about the importance of culturally safe practice
  • celebrate and participate in Close the Gap Day (15 March) and National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) and create opportunities to build and maintain relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • learn about events near you and how you can get involved, by visiting Reconciliation Australia.

NAIDOC Week

National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. You can support and get to know your local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities through activities and events held across the country. 

Learn more about NAIDOC week:

Close the Gap

The APA supports the Close the Gap campaign and calls on all Australians to recommit to a long-term vision for health equality. We are also calling on governments to commit to a long-term multi-party focus on health equality, to adequate resourcing for health and to genuine partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations. 

Find out more about Close the Gap Day and how to get involved.

GRANTS, SPONSORSHIP AND SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

The APA recognises the importance of a strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander physiotherapy workforce, and the significant contribution that physiotherapists make to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

APA has developed several opportunities that aim to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander physiotherapists and grow the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people entering the profession.

What is it?

In support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander physiotherapy students, up to four scholarships valued at $5,000 (to be provided in one lump-sum payment) will be awarded in 2024.

Who is it for?

To be eligible to apply for this Scholarship, applicants must:

  • Be an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person; and
  • Be enrolled in a physiotherapy degree at an Australian university.

How do I apply?

APPLICATIONS CLOSED.

Applicants should ensure they have read the full Terms and Conditions before applying.

Please email your application to Firstnations.health@australian.physio

What is it?

The APA is offering a scholarship to support experienced and emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander physiotherapist leaders. One scholarship of up to $10,000 will be offered in 2024.

The scholarship is intended to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander physiotherapists to complete the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Directors or Foundations of Directorship course (for the awardee to decide). However other recognised courses in the areas of management, leadership and governance will also be considered.

The AICD Company Directors course is designed to help experienced directors, executives and leaders develop a deeper understanding of governance issues and improve their performance.

The AICD Foundations of Directorship course is designed to help aspiring and new directors learn the fundamentals of the boardroom.

The dates for both AICD courses are flexible, and are delivered through both online and offline learning formats.

Who is it for?

To be eligible to apply for this Scholarship, applicants must:

  • Identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person. 
  • Are a current financial member of the APA. 
  • Have leadership experience within an organisation. 
  • Have the ability and desire to contribute as a board member in the future.
  • Can outline the benefits of completing your chosen program for you, your organisation and/or your community; and 
  • Can provide letters of support from two referees.

How do I apply?

APPLICATIONS CLOSED

For enquiries about the scholarship opportunity please email the APA team.

What is it?

The APA has a vision of reconciliation in Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge and traditional ways of healing are recognised.

The APA has bursaries available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students studying physiotherapy or recently graduated physiotherapists, to attend the APA Conference. Each bursary will cover the cost of conference registration fees, return economy airfares (for the bursary holder only), accommodation, and incidental costs (including travel).

Who is it for?

To be eligible to apply for a conference bursary, applicants must:

  • Be an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person; and
  • Be a student in their final two years of a physiotherapy course OR a physiotherapist who has graduated within the last three years.
  • Have not previously received an APA conference bursary OR has received one bursary previously.
  • Not be a current member of the APA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee.

How do I apply?

applicants can complete the application form and return it to the APA via email. Application close 30 June 2024. 

What is it?

The purpose of this Grant is to assist Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander early-career physiotherapy researchers to undertake research that will contribute to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The overarching principle of this grant is that research is led by and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Applicants are required to complete an expression of interest (EOI) form, followed by a full application for those who are shortlisted. There is one $12,000 grant on offer in this round. Applications are considered predominantly on the basis of scientific merit, significance and positive impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health and wellbeing, as well as team track record. Read more at PRF News.

 

GET INVOLVED

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee

The Committee plays a significant role in guiding the APA's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander physiotherapists. The Committee comprises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous clinicians and researchers, and reports directly to the APA Board of Directors.  The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee has ex-officio membership of APA National President and proud Palawa man Scott Willis, a champion of the RAP, broad support from APA CEO Anja Nikolic, also a champion of our RAP, and additional members with experience or a passion in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.

Contact us to find out how you can get involved with the Committee. 

Chair

Cameron Edwards (2024 - present)

Cameron Edwards is the current Chair of the APA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee.

A proud Kamilaroi man, he currently works at Westmead Children’s Hospital in NSW in Burns and Mental Health. He has enjoyed rotating through approximately fifteen clinical areas within NSW Health, working with both adult and paediatric populations. He has been an invited speaker at the APA’s TRANSFORM2018 and FOCUS2022 Conferences, and has been awarded the inaugral NSW health Aboriginal Allied Health Professional of the Year, as well as the APA NSW Branch Award - Contribution to the APA by a Recent Graduate (2022). 

In addition to his physiotherapy career, he is an avid Christian, Rotarian, Athlete, and reader. He also seeks opportunities to advocate for, and give a voice to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s, as demonstrated through his hosting of the Deadly Physios.

 

Members

  • Adam Doyle
  • Brooke Conley
  • Cameron Edwards (Chair)
  • Carl Francia
  • Curtley Nelson
  • Jenny Setchell
  • Sarah Large
  • Victoria Quaini
  • Kristy Petrie 

     
The APA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.