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Cultural knowledge providing a lifeline for Indigenous patients

13 June 2024

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Coordinator Luke Richardson is improving the journey of First Nations patients through Metro South Health.

"Growing up off Country, I've seen first-hand the impacts of disconnect from land, culture, and community," he said.

Luke said he was connected to Kamilaroi and Burrada Kallbarra Yeitimaria peoples on his mother's side*.

"Our connection to these elements is crucial for our mental and physical wellbeing, and it's something that can't be easily replaced.

"It's about more than just healthcare; it's about fostering a sense of belonging and community among our patients," Luke said.

"First Nations knowledge is not just a resource, it's a lifeline that helps our people navigate complex systems and achieve better health.”

His efforts have led to positive outcomes.

Senior Social Worker at Bayside Community Care Unit Natasha Liddington said having cultural support on site for her clients had been incredibly valuable.

“Already, there have been positive outcomes, such as residents connecting with each other and accessing necessary healthcare services," she said.

"Luke is making a difference in the lives of First Nations patients.

“His work supports individual patients and strengthens the community.

“Integrating Indigenous knowledge into our work helps us to provide a better service for our patients,” she said.

The Bayside Health Service community recently marked National Sorry Day and NAIDOC week is coming up. 

Luke said these important events were an opportunity to reflect on the healing process for Indigenous people and the nation.

"I take great pride in the work I do," he said. “I feel forever grateful that I am in a position to assist First Nations Mental Health consumers across Metro South Health.

*Please note place name spelling may vary.

Last updated 14 June 2024
Last reviewed 13 June 2024

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