New degree launches to improve Indigenous health

Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda (centre) at the launch of the Bachelor of Primary Health Care. Full caption below. Picture by Anna Zhu

Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda (centre) at the launch of the Bachelor of Primary Health Care. Full caption below. Picture by Anna Zhu

In summary: 
  • A course designed for Indigenous students to make a difference in the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians has been launched by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda
  • UTS's new Bachelor of Primary Health Care aims to expand opportunities for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce to progress both professionally and academically

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda has launched UTS's new Bachelor of Primary Health Care – a course designed for Indigenous students to help make a difference in the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.

Mr Gooda spoke about successes and challenges across Australia in improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. He set the scene at a national level for the new degree, discussing progress towards removing health disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and the importance of valuing cultural competence and cultural security.

"Putting a value on cultural competence is really important, our mob will just exit if they're not comfortable… Give them the skills, make them proud. Valuing this course will place it where it needs to be," Mr Gooda said.

UTS Vice Chancellor, Professor Attila Brungs, confirmed UTS's commitment to improving Indigenous health outcomes and focus on embedding Indigenous cultural respect into health teaching, learning and research.

From left to right, prospective student Tenisha Lawrence, Bachelor of Primary Health Care course coordinator Rachel Smith, and Bachelor of Midwifery graduate and 2014 UTS Alumni Award recipient Leona McGrath. Picture by Anna Zhu From left to right, prospective student Tenisha Lawrence, Bachelor of Primary Health Care course coordinator Rachel Smith and Bachelor of Midwifery graduate and 2014 UTS Alumni Award recipient Leona McGrath. Picture by Anna Zhu

"Education is at the heart of everything; education has proven time and time again to improve health outcomes. Education gives people opportunities in life. Education helps with social justice and cohesive communities. One of the key things we can do at UTS is making sure [education] is available to all," Professor Brungs said.

The Bachelor of Primary Health Care has been developed in consultation with Community by UTS: Health to contribute to making a difference in health outcomes and expand opportunities for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce to progress both professionally and academically.

The course provides students who are currently working or planning a career in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care services with the knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based, culturally safe and appropriate primary health care for Indigenous Australians.

The Bachelor of Primary Health care also provides a pathway for students into other health related degrees and post graduate studies.

The course is an Australian Government away-from-base approved course and is taught in a mixture of distance and block attendance study modes.

Apply for the Bachelor of Primary Health Care through the UTS: Jumbunna Direct Entry Program.

Main picture caption: From left to right, Principal (CEO), Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and a member of the UTS Council, Russell Taylor, Professor Juanita Sherwood, Mick Gooda, Elder in Residence, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, Aunty Joan Tranter, Jumbunna Director Professor Michael McDaniel and UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs.