NEW PERSPECTIVE: USQ lecturer Raelene Ward has co-authored a new book.
NEW PERSPECTIVE: USQ lecturer Raelene Ward has co-authored a new book. Davd Martinelli

Health care story as told "our way"

A BOOK co-authored by University of Southern Queensland (USQ) lecturer Raelene Ward has been praised for its excellence and innovation as an educational publication.

Yatdjuligin: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nursing and Midwifery Care, edited by Dr Odette Best and Prof Bronwyn Fredericks, featured a range of contributors, including Mrs Ward.

The book won the 2015 Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Teaching and Learning Resource category in the prestigious annual Educational Publishing Awards.

Two chapters, 'Community controlled health services: What they are and how they work' and 'Researching with us, our way', were co-authored by Mrs Ward.

Mrs Ward, who works in USQ's School of Nursing and Midwifery, said the book discussed the healthcare of indigenous Australians using the vast knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals.

"We believe it's the first textbook of its kind - it's entirely from an indigenous perspective," Mrs Ward said.

Mrs Ward's contributions covered research, as well as the history of Aboriginal medical services in Australia.

"Within Australia, we have Aboriginal Medical Services, community controlled health organisations, which have been around since the early 1970s," she said.

"As it says in the book, it is difficult to understand the Aboriginal community controlled health sector of today without consideration of its complex history."

It's a topic Mrs Ward knows well, having spent years working in that space as a registered nurse and practice manager.

Originally from Cunnamulla in south-west Queensland, Mrs Ward moved to Toowoomba to complete her nursing at USQ and graduated in 1997.

She worked as a registered nurse and practice manager for years in a local Aboriginal medical service and is currently a lecturer of Indigenous Nursing at USQ.

"I explain to my students that throughout their studies and career, they will care for many people in the community - some will have additional requirements about culture, tradition, and even different understandings around health, therefore clinically preparing future nurses with the knowledge and skill to provide culturally appropriate nursing care is key," she said.

Yatdjuligin is from the dialect of the Wakgun Clan group of the Gureng Gureng Nation.

It translates to 'talking in a good way'.

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