by Sarah Weir
From student to teacher
The pain of watching so many loved ones pass away early in life from health-related conditions inspired Natalie Thaiday to change careers and become a health professional.
Ms Thaiday said the desire to care for others has always been in her bones.
“When I finished Year 12 I came to TAFE Queensland to study childcare, and I worked in the industry for around a decade before I became a stay at home mum to my four children,” Ms Thaiday said.
“When my youngest child started school I decided to re-enter the workforce, but I was faced with the realisation that I had been out of the childcare industry for too long, and would need to do further study to bring myself up to industry standards.
“With that in mind, I decided to pursue a whole new career path; one that would allow me to better support my loved ones who, at the time, were facing very serious health concerns,” she said.
Giving back as a qualified nurse wasn’t enough for Ms Thaiday, and she returned to TAFE Queensland once more to gain skills in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care - a study area she’s now teaching.
“My family comes from a multicultural background, but my Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage mostly stems from Bowen and Thursday Island,” Ms Thaiday said.
Queensland will celebrate World Teachers’ Day on 25 October, and Ms Thaiday said teaching fulfils her desire to pass on her industry experience to others.
“My students and I are here to achieve the same goal and that’s to change the health statics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Ms Thaiday said.
“I am so proud of all of my students, and I tell them they are the ones who can make great happen and make a difference for themselves, their families and their community.
“I think I am most proud of students who come to TAFE Queensland to learn with no past history or prior knowledge of health like myself – when I started I didn’t know anything about health!”
Ms Thaiday said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care professionals are vitally important to our health system.
“Primary health care focuses on the whole person, and it covers health care that is not related to a hospital visit including, health promotion, prevention, early intervention, treatment of acute conditions and management of chronic illnesses,” Ms Thaiday said.
“I have always said that health workers are the keys to the community in terms of health care.
“Health workers know who lives in the community, who is unwell, what the family structures are and who will need support and access to certain services,” she said.
TAFE Queensland student Levina Dixon, a descendant of the Kunja and Wangkamurra people of South West Queensland, is studying a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice under Ms Thaiday’s guidance.
“I have been a health worker for almost nine years with the Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Primary Health Care Service in Mareeba, and I’m studying at TAFE Queensland to upskill and get some extra knowledge and information so I can help my people,” Levina said.
“Natalie is a wonderful teacher, she’s hands-on and supportive and very knowledgeable in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health,” she said.
In Queensland, a push is underway to increase the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce across the public health system.
Ms Thaiday said working as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care professional can be incredibly rewarding.
“If you strive to make a difference in someone’s life today, don’t hesitate; take up the challenge you won’t ever regret it, you can make a difference in someone’s life and they will thank you for it,” Ms Thaiday said.
WA community pushes to evict Outback Stores over 'unconscionable conduct'
[Matt Bamford, ABC]
The community claims it has not been given sufficient financial information to understand how much net profits are available for distribution, and how quickly these amounts will be returned to the community.
Water supply failure in Kakadu triggers emergency review
[Jane Gibson, ABC]
A five-day water outage at the largest Aboriginal homeland in Kakadu National Park has sparked an urgent audit of water contingency plans in 500 outstations across the Northern Territory, emails obtained by the ABC have revealed.
CDU’s Indigenous undergrad numbers pass 1000
by Jon Taylor
Since 1996 when identifying records began to be kept, graduates take the total number of Indigenous people who have graduated from CDU to 1025 in higher education and 12,103 in vocational education and Training (VET).