CRANAplus Refutes Insulting “White Trash” Comments

17 Nov 2008

For a start the term, used in an arti­cle in the Week­end Aus­tralian, is racist, and if used in the reverse con­text would quite right­ly attract the wrath of the entire Indige­nous community.

CRANAplus also rejects the com­ment that peo­ple are hid­ing out in remote com­mu­ni­ties because they could not get a job else­where. Remote Health Pro­fes­sion­als who deliv­er health ser­vices to remote com­mu­ni­ties work tire­less­ly, with under resourced clin­ics, trans­port and infra­struc­ture to ensure the best pos­si­ble health out­comes for their clients. Many remote area nurs­es are active, long-term res­i­dents of the com­mu­ni­ty in which they work.

There is no ques­tion that the health sta­tus of Abo­rig­i­nal Aus­tralians is a dis­grace, but I shud­der to think what it would be like with­out the sup­port of remote health pro­fes­sion­als recruit­ed from out­side the com­mu­ni­ties, work­ing along­side the local Abo­rig­i­nal and/​or Tor­res Strait Islander health work­ers” said Christo­pher Cliffe, Pres­i­dent of CRANAplus.

Car­ole Tay­lor the CEO of CRANAplus said she was sad­dened at the way the press release from Chris­t­ian Sara was word­ed. I have met Mr Sara, and heard him speak on edu­ca­tion and his suc­cess­es at Cher­bourgh, He has always been a per­son I admired. But to make such a gen­er­al­ist and racist out­burst as was report­ed, either indi­cates an extreme lev­el of frus­tra­tion at many of the inad­e­qua­cies in the sys­tem or a lack of under­stand­ing of what some peo­ple are actu­al­ly try­ing to achieve.”

My con­cern is that state­ments like the one made, can so under­mine the already frag­ile health work­force that it will make it even hard­er to retain good staff” she added.

CRANAplus mem­bers are peo­ple who have cho­sen to leave the com­forts of main­stream Aus­tralia to work in a dif­fer­ent cul­ture in often extreme­ly iso­lat­ed loca­tions. They gain enor­mous­ly from work­ing in such a unique health envi­ron­ment, but their moti­va­tion always includes the fact that they CARE!

The answer is not to be found derid­ing the efforts of those who try. The answer is to work togeth­er to make it bet­ter, using addi­tion­al non-local” staff as required to meet the needs.

CRANAplus agrees with Mr Sara’s com­ment that peo­ple who work with Indige­nous Aus­tralians need to be the best’ avail­able. That is why CRANAplus offers cours­es for health pro­fes­sion­als who intend on work­ing in remote and iso­lat­ed loca­tions. Remote Nurs­es have a stag­ger­ing­ly diverse skill base and are called on to per­form tasks that would make the aver­age urban GP ter­ri­fied” said Mr Cliffe. We take remote health very seri­ous­ly, and I sup­port the sug­ges­tion that some of the funds attached to the inter­ven­tion in the NT be used to scru­ti­nise the per­for­mance of ser­vice providers brought in as a part of the process. As a pro­fes­sion­al group we must reflect on our per­for­mance and ensure we are self-crit­i­cal and always doing the best pos­si­ble job for our communities.”

Let’s recog­nise our strengths and work towards reduc­ing our weak­ness­es togeth­er. If we don’t the health divide will nev­er shrink and we MUST close this gap!” said Ms Taylor


Christo­pher Cliffe Pres­i­dent CRANAplus 0427 826 409
Car­ole Tay­lor CEO CRANAplus 0429 649 226