This site may not work properly using older versions of Edge and Internet Explorer. You should upgrade your browser to the latest Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, or any other modern browser of your choice. Click here for more information.
This is where we tell your stories, cover topical issues and promote meaningful initiatives
CRANAcast taster: Episode five with Dallas McKeown
In episode five of CRANAcast, Dallas McKeown, Executive Director First Peoples’ Strategies at CRANAplus and proud Aboriginal woman of the Yuwaalaraay nation, shares her journey from EN to her current role at CRANAplus, along with the importance of a good cup of coffee.
Dallas: With all due respect, I would say that nursing is quite a militant, you know, very structured industry to be in.
We are carers but I think sometimes we miss the care bit, we actually become so entrenched in ‘this is what has to be done’, ‘when it has to be done’, that we miss a bit of that care and looking through a different lens.
So, when you meet somebody, and they say “this is the way it’s done” you can say ”but have you thought about it in a different lens?”
I think that here at CRANAplus, that’s the lens you’re looking through, but [I aim to bring another lens], which is my world views, which differ.
Sure, there are similarities, but there are differences as well. You know, being Aboriginal, having a real community and family focus; it’s a collective of people, not individuals.
I think that’s the difference, the work that we do here, when we look at a program it’s not black and white, there has to be [some adaptability] to make sure that it fits everybody.
The importance of cultural safety
Dallas: [One strategy includes] providing webinars and professional development to the staff here because not everybody has had a lot to do with Aboriginal people. If you were brought up in white-mainstream Australia, and that’s where you’ve nursed, et cetera, you might not have come across Aboriginal people or if you have, it’s one or two.
Whereas, in the areas that we work, which is rural and remote Australia, the majority of our clients are Aboriginal people, so understanding that is really important.
Some of the work that we do here is around that. We are currently developing in-house a cultural safety induction, so anyone who starts with us understands. I’m not talking about cultural awareness where it’s like ‘do this’, ‘don’t go there’, ‘wear this’.
I’m talking about Cultural Safety: ensuring that you self-reflect on [your self] and your attitude, which is really confronting for people. And, I don’t think there is anything wrong with confronting and having to think about the way you treat people.
On the horizon
Dallas: We [are developing one course] that will be focused on Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners and that is, looking at what is best practice.
We [are introducing] a new program called Mirii, and Mirii in my language the Yuwaalaraay people means star. So, Mirii is a guiding star for Health Workers and Health Practitioners to come and learn different pathways around care. That’s the sort of work that I really enjoy, developing new resources.
To listen to the full episode, or hear from other guests, head over to CRANAcast.