Fourteen Aboriginal students have graduated with a Certificate IV Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (Practice). The graduation ceremony was held in Dubbo last Thursday.
The students were enrolled in a brand new course and are among only 20 TAFE students across NSW to have graduated with this qualification. The course has been designed to provide Indigenous workers with the clinical skills and knowledge to assess and treat Aboriginal people in their own communities.
TAFE NSW - Western Institute Director, Adrian Mitchell said, "This represents a remarkable achievement for these students and also an outstanding partnership between Greater Western Health Service (GWAHS) and TAFE NSW - Western Institute".
"For both TAFE and GWAS there is a determination to improve educational opportunities and health outcomes for Indigenous people across Western NSW. GWAHS have set out to increase the number of Indigenous employees in Health."
"We are grateful to the key health providers who have contributed significantly to the training and development of these students. Most notably Aboriginal Medical Services at Orange and Condobolin, and age care facilities such as Calare Nursing Home in Orange."
The workers were recruited by GWAS into positions at Gulargambone, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Warren, Walgett, Coonabarabran, Orange, Dubbo, Bathurst, Cowra, Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo and Parkes in March 2007 and then their TAFE training commenced.
Over the next eighteen months, TAFE NSW training has been delivered by block release in Dubbo and between the blocks students attended "Pods", participated in clinical placements and had tutorial support in their home towns. The Pods enabled students to receive intensive tuition in small groups at Gilgandra, Orange and Condobolin. At the same time the students were also working for a local hospital or health centre.
Part of the course delivery involved placing students at local hospitals and health centres, multipurpose Centres, Aged Care facilities and Aboriginal Medical Services at Condobolin, Murrum Bridge, Orange and Dubbo. Students also had exposure to services at Aboriginal Medial Services at Walgett and Coonamble.
"The students are to be congratulated on their tremendous achievement in attaining this qualification" said Mr Mitchell.
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