The strongest/weakest link of building connections

Krystle Lingwoodock


Reflection upon this years mantra, Embrace! Diversity! Build strong connections! Allows us to believe that we need to improve, grow, trust, build a rapport- now lets be honest that’s the basis of our work within Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities. If we peel back the layers within a health service, all of us can identify that we can improve on each of these areas. At the core most services, are the Aboriginal Health Workers / Practitioners – as nurses come and go, these AHW/Ps are the constant – so why is this the most under-utilised, inconsistent workforce – no state is the same!

What are some barriers that are impacting AHWs

– lateral violence

– disconnected

– disempowerment

– organisational policies and procedures

– social and environmental issues

As managers, clinical leads, CEOs – all round game changers that are in the room today what can we do? How can we address, support encourage, empower this workforce? Do I have all the answers, definitely not – more so I have years of trial and error, frustration and heartache.

– are the AHW/Ps all the same throughout the states and territories?

– consistency around nursing staff

– models of care


– traineeships and pathways

– QLD Health structure

– the dynamic and intricate social structures within Aboriginal communities

– finished training, what now?

For each of the frustrations we’ve experienced, please keep in mind, behind our angst there is a workforce that lives, breathes culture and community which are imperative to provide the highest standard of culturally appropriate health care. In order for us to build stronger connections with the community that we work in, we first must start with the workforce which will support and facilitate this.