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  1. Using the “Gibbs model of reflection” and the “cultural assessment tool” ABCD to underpin your answer discuss your own Attitude, Beliefs/ Values, in Context of this subject.
  1. Reflect on your values and beliefs and how this impacted on your decision making when interacting with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people before commencing this subject.
  1. Now review and analyse this subject and state how your decision making has been changed by doing this subject. Giving examples of Three (3)specific weeks of the yarning circle activities you participated in and how this impacted on you. g. the debates (naming the debate and what your involvement was) and the home visit to Judy, and your involvement with these activities.
  1. In conclusion how will this impact on your future nursing practice for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people, embedding the Graduate Attributes and the RN standards, UTS Indigenous graduate attributes into your reflective essay. 

Preconceived Notions about Aboriginals

In this essay I would discuss about my beliefs and values about the aboriginals and the Torres Strait Islanders and how that belief influenced my communication with the Aboriginal people.

Before commencing this subject, I had a different belief about the aboriginal people.  It appeared that they have any fixed habitation and that they used to sleeping in a cave or rocks. The relationship of smoking and drinking among the aboriginals, are prevalent from time immemorial and I had a predetermined notion that most of the aboriginal adolescents are addicted to drugs and alcohols without even knowing the predisposing factors. As per the Alcohol and Drug foundation, the prevalence of alcohol consumption and drug addiction among the aboriginals were much greater than that of the aboriginal counterparts. Hence, these data findings also fuelled by conception about the aboriginal culture ( ADF. 2017). 

I have felt that the aboriginal people are oppressed and had been discriminated in every aspects of life.

Before participating in the activities, I did not have an idea that the problem of the aboriginal people with alcohol began with the invasion. Furthermore, contrary to the perception, only fewer aboriginals drink alcohol than the non- aboriginal counterparts. Aboriginal alcohol consumption totally changed after the European invasion, as many of the aboriginal laborers were paid in alcohols or tobacco instead of money(Reading and de Leeuw 2014).

I was unhappy that I still do not possess enough knowledge about the Australian aboriginal history. It is not that, I have not learnt about their colonization history before and the how they have faced with racism and discrimination throughout the history. Since, I never had any one-on one encounter with an aboriginal people or really lacked the inquisitiveness to learn about aboriginal culture, I never had a true idea about the aboriginal life. In spite of knowing the colonization history, I was drawn by the myths associated with the aboriginal people.

It is when I encountered them or participated in a debate where I get to know several facts about the aboriginal culture from my peers participating in the debate, who were placing their arguments for the Aboriginal people.  The unemployment among the aboriginals varies from community to community. Unemployment among the aboriginals and the Torres Strait Islanders has been found to be four times than the national average. The more remote is the aboriginal community, the higher is the rate of the employment. This reflects low market opportunities. I have come to know about the different factors contributing to the high levels of unemployment – the past limited educational and the lingering prejudices among the non-aboriginal employers about the aboriginal employees.

Activities that Changed Author's Perception of Aboriginals

Hence, my predetermined notion was changed after these activities and I really feel how they have been deprived of their basic rights and to compensate them, the government is thriving to close the gap.

I intend to study more and research more on the aboriginal culture and their colonization history in order to understand the root cause of the discrimination, racism and deteriorated health condition of the aboriginals.

The different yarning circle activities have actually changed my concept or perception about the Aboriginal people.

One of the yarning circle activity was a debate held between two groups and the main topic of the debate was whether Australia was colonized or invaded. I was the first speaker of the debate and thus had to do a lot of research about the colonization history of Australia.

I felt that it is necessary to recruit more aboriginal nurses in order to assimilate them in every aspects of life. Although the government is taking many initiatives for “closing the gap” to address the inequalities, the first nation community nurses are still facing discrimination just because of their origin and are not judged by their talents (Schinke et al. 2015).

Due to the unavailability of the invasion history, was confused and failed to express my ideas during the debate. I had very less knowledge of the colonization history.

While At the time of debate, about the aboriginals, I was surprised to know how the British colonization affected the aboriginal people. Between 1788 and 1900, the aboriginal people were reduced to about 90 % and these were due to the introduction of the new diseases, loss of land and loss of people through direct fighting with the colonizers (Sherwood 2013). Another consequence of the British settlement that I realized was the reduction in the access to land and the water sources (hackrah and Thompson 2013). The settlers had the perception that the aboriginal people lived a nomadic lifestyle and that they could be easily driven from their land. While the debate was taking place I was very surprised to hear the history of introduction of alcohol and in what way did the introduction of alcohol posed threat to the aboriginal people (Sherwood 2013).

After hearing others discussion I came to know a lots of surprising facts about the aboriginal history.

The second activity of the yarning circle is that we were divided in to groups and each of the group were allocated with an articles where each of the group had to find a similar articles for the main article. I felt that the experiences shared by the aboriginal nurses were much different from that of their aboriginal counterparts.

Simulation Exercise with Aboriginal Patient

The second activity of the learning is to search for evidences based papers, naturally I have to brainstorm through a lot of databases in order to find suitable articles in relation to articles supplied to us. Selection of the paper was quite time consuming as a large number of papers came up in the first search. The papers before the year 2012 and those that were not in English were excluded.

In the paper by Nielsen, Alice Stuart and Gorman (2014) it is stated that in spite of the repeated efforts to remove racial discrimination, the whiteness of nursing still remains. In a similar paper by Vukic et al. 2012). It can be seen that the aboriginal people are significantly less represented in the health care profession. This is partly due to the biasness that they often witness at the workplace (Gair et al. 2015).

As per the experiences of the nurses, blatant discrimination still exists and it was very unfortunate to find that non- indigenous patients also thinks twice before receiving care from these indigenous nurses. For this student, the indigenous nurses often develops their own sort of network of support as very little support is obtained from the non- indigenous counterparts.

In order to improve my cultural sensitiveness and knowledge, I believe that I need to study and research more, interact with the peers for developing suitable communication skills.

In the third yarning circle activity, we were conduct a patient safety simulation where we interrogated an aboriginal patient named Judy. In this activity I had been an observer and provided feedbacks about how inter-professional communication is necessary among the RNs to deal with aboriginal patients. Initially, a visit was made to Judy’s place, for the conduction of a cultural assessment. The process involved assessing Judy’s cultural beliefs and the values, Judy’s previous life experiences. Judy was asked to provide feedback about the RN’s role in the verbal communication and development of therapeutic relationship with Judy.

I was really thrilled to hear the aboriginal stories from Judy but was affected by the biasness and the tortures that they face in every aspects of life. Being a nursing student, I understand how it feels to be discriminated and secluded at your main workplace where you want to work dedicatedly or want to chase your aspirations. However, I have learnt how the aboriginal nurses talk about fitting in or belonging or being accepted. Some have found acceptance with the peers while others might have been judged by the instructors (Freeman et al. 2015).


The simulation process was conducted successfully. Special attention was paid, such that any question does not hurt her feelings and culture.

From the simulation process, I came to know about the real life experiences of the aboriginal people, about their traditional healing procedure and how they still rely on them as they often face discrimination in the westernized model of treatment or how they are still treated badly by the non-indigenous health care workers.

During the simulation process, I have understood that it the Aboriginal people are strongly rooted to their spiritual beliefs and hence their beliefs should be respected. The nurses should try to establish care plans or collaborate with the spiritual healers for establishing care plans for the aboriginal patients (Casey 2012). Analysing the answers of Judy, I have learnt about the legal and the ethical issue that arise. In most of the cases the codes of ethics are breached while providing care to the aboriginal people.

However, in conclusion it can be said that this simulation has changed my perception about the aboriginal, which I believe, would help me in my future nursing profession. The cultural assessment done with Judy had arisen my cultural sensitiveness towards the aboriginals.

It is necessary that as an RN, I should always thrive to preserve the basic human rights for the patient, irrespective of their case and creed.

The indigenous graduate attribute ensures that all the students develops indigenous professional capacities. While working conducting the simulation with Judy I made it sure that adhere to attributes of nursing, such as professional disposition where I had participated in the activities to explore our personal values. While assessing Judy I made it sure that I adhere to the professional practice, codes and the ethics. As per the standard 4 of the NMBA standard, a nurse in liable to conduct an assessment comprehensively and provide an appropriate and responsive quality of nursing. As a nurse I have actively participated in the activities, which I feel would help me to develop the non – clinical skills like communication, teamwork and leadership. I made it sure that I demonstrate my professional cultural competency contributing to the health and the wellbeing of the aboriginal patients.  These activities have made me understand that I should Students having profound interest in the indigenous contents can apply for a role in the Indigenous graduate attributes. The primary need is to provide all the Australian student with an understanding of the aboriginal culture and traditions.  They also provide a critical premise for the development of the cultural competence of the future lawyers and the advocates for the indigenous people.  

Communicating with the aboriginals had always been a challenge for the non-indigenous nurses, as most of them lack culturally safe communication skills (Hayden and Jalla 2015) I need to learn more about communicating with the aboriginals in a more culturally sensitive way, hence I need to conduct more evidence based research and seek feedback from my seniors to improve my communication skills.


ADF. 2017. Drug facts. Access date: 20.1.2019. Retrieved from:

Casey, M., 2012. Telling Stories: Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander Performance. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Freeman, T., Edwards, T., Baum, F., Lawless, A., Jolley, G., Javanparast, S. and Francis, T., 2014. Cultural respect strategies in Australian Aboriginal primary health care services: beyond education and training of practitioners. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 38(4), pp.355-361.

Gair, S., Miles, D., Savage, D. and Zuchowski, I., 2015. Racism unmasked: The experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in social work field placements. Australian Social Work, 68(1), pp.32-48.

Hayden, G. and Jalla, C., 2015. Communicating for quality and safety in Aboriginal health care. Communicating Quality and Safety in Health Care, pp.230-244.

Nielsen, A.M., Alice Stuart, L. and Gorman, D., 2014. Confronting the cultural challenge of the whiteness of nursing: Aboriginal registered nurses’ perspectives. Contemporary nurse, 48(2), pp.190-196.

Reading, C. and de Leeuw, S., 2014. Aboriginal experiences with racism and its impacts. Technical Report. National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.

Roberts, S.H., 2013. History of Australian land settlement. Routledge.

Schinke, R.J., McGannon, K.R., Parham, W.D. and Lane, A.M., 2012. Toward cultural praxis and cultural sensitivity: Strategies for self-reflexive sport psychology practice. Quest, 64(1), pp.34-46.

Sherwood, J., 2013. Colonisation–It’s bad for your health: The context of Aboriginal health. Contemporary Nurse, 46(1), pp.28-40.

Thackrah, R.D. and Thompson, S.C., 2013. Confronting uncomfortable truths: receptivity and resistance to Aboriginal content in midwifery education. Contemporary Nurse, 46(1), pp.113-122.

Vukic, A., Jesty, C., Mathews, S.V. and Etowa, J., 2012. Understanding race and racism in nursing: Insights from Aboriginal Nurses. ISRN nursing, 2012.

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