Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

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Find a surgeon

The Find a Surgeon directory is a listing of active Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who meet the requirements of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program and have opted to be on the list. This list excludes retired or inactive Fellows.

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

The RACS Reconciliation Action Plan 2016-2017 

RAP 2016

RACS' first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) (PDF 2.71MB) is about building better relationships between RACS, the Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for the benefit of all Australians. The RAP provides a framework and supporting activities in four key areas:

  • Relationships - Improve and extend our relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations to enable us to better equip the surgical workforce to meet the needs of all Australian communities.
  • Respect - Engender respect and enhance cultural competency amongst the surgical workforce.
  • Opportunities - Promote an increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellows, Trainees and staff by creating an organisational culture that values and encourages opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Tracking progress and Reporting

For a summary of our RAP, download a 2-page  PDF (3MB)

Indigenous Motif Opt This motif symbolises the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons commitment to help Close the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage across Australia. Symbolic of medicine, the two snakes winding around the winged staff symbolise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous people coming together.

 

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Action Plan 2014-

2016 (PDF 1.7MB) has four key areas:

  • Leadership, excellence and advocacy
  • Increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Specialists
  • Educate the workforce
  • Increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff

The Plan seeks to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander surgeons to help Close the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage in Australia.

It also aims to enhance recognition and awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, promote excellence of care, and improve understanding of culturally-appropriate treatment through education and advocacy.

Activities

Advocacy

RACS, in association with the Australian Society of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and other partners in the  #EarHealthForLife network are advocating for the establishment of a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Hearing Health Taskforce that can provide evidence-based advice to Government.  The prevalence of ear disease starting within the first few weeks of life has a devastating impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, is deeply rooted in the social determinants of health  and has significant negative impacts in terms of educational achievement, employment and incarceration. The EarHealthForLife Booklet (2.3 MB) provides an overview of existing approaches to monitoring ear health in Australia. 

Scholarships

RACS and the Foundation for Surgery are pleased to announce  a new Career Enhancement Scholarship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students and junior doctors. The scholarships aim to support eligible applicants in the acquisition of new knowledge and skills which strengthen their career portfolios.

RACS Career Enhancement Scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Students. Applications for 2018 are now closed.

RACS Career Enhancement Scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Junior DoctorsApplications for 2018 are now closed.

SET Scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island SET Trainees - Applications for 2018 are now closed.

Awards

RACS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Medal is an annual award to acknowledge significant contributions by Fellows to Indigenous health advocacy and health outcomes in Australia. Applications for 2018 are now closed.

Foundation for Surgery Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ASC Award is available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander final year medical students and doctors with an interest surgery to attend the College's Annual Scientific Congress (ASC). Applications for 2018 are now closed.

Learning resources

RACS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Learning Modules promote a multi-disciplinary approach of care for Indigenous patients.

JDocs Framework is a competency framework aimed at doctors in their prevocational years. It provides a suite of learning and assessment resources for those interested in surgery.

Other resources

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet is an innovative Internet resource that aims to inform practice and policy in Indigenous health by making research and other knowledge readily accessible. In this way, we contribute to 'closing the gap' in health between Indigenous and other Australians.

Network for Indigenous Cultural and Health Education (nicheportal.org) provides a central information point for educational resources for Medical Specialists who care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and patients.

Additional Indigenous Health resources

Interviews

Kelvin Kong - the first Australian Aboriginal person to become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Currently practicing ENT surgery in the Hunter and northern New South Wales, he's passionate about equality in access and outcomes of all patients. Mr. Kong is the former Chair of the College's Indigenous Health Committee.

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David Murray - the second Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who self-identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander decent.

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Donate to the Foundation for Surgery

The Foundation for Surgery supports the increase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander surgeons by providing scholarships and funding other related projects.

If you would like to support this important work please donate today.