CRANAplus Refutes Insulting “White Trash” Comments
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