Queensland doctor receives social equity Fellowship

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Dr Alicia Veasey, Co-chair of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clinical Network, was recently awarded an Atlantic Fellowship for Social Equity.

The Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity (AFSE) is a life-changing fellowship for Indigenous social equity in Australia, Aotearoa and the Pacific region. AFSE was established at the University of Melbourne in 2016 with funding from the Atlantic Philanthropies. Fellows are mid-career change-makers from a broad range of creative, professional, advocacy and educational backgrounds.

As part of the AFSE program, Fellows from Australia and Aotearoa complete a foundation year where they develop a social change project and complete a postgraduate qualification. Upon completion, Fellows graduate into the lifelong global Atlantic Fellows community.

For her social project, Dr Veasey, a proud Torres Strait Islander woman, will undertake a body of work that dismantles Australia’s secondary and tertiary hospital system and examines what is required to decolonise and truly embed Indigenous Knowledge into a responsive, culturally and clinically safe health care service.

“In particular, I want to examine the practicality of placing health equity and cultural safety as a core component of clinical governance,” Dr Veasey said. “I hope to contribute to health equity for Mob by working to disrupt healthcare through truth-telling and embedding systemic cultural safety.”

Deputy Director-General Clinical Excellence Queensland Dr Helen Brown said Dr Veasey’s work would be ground-breaking for delivering truly culturally safe care. “We know the difference culturally respective models and ways of working, like Waijungbah Jarjums, has on the health outcomes of First Nations people and their willingness and likelihood to engage with the health system, so it will be incredible to build on that knowledge. I congratulate Dr Veasey on this prestigious Fellowship,” Dr Brown said.

“But it’s also not just up to Dr Veasey, we all have a role to play in delivering safe care, and that starts with getting informed about what that means for First Nations people in your region,” Dr Brown.

As part of her role as Co-Chair of QATSICN, Dr Veasey is already actively working on broader system issues and barriers to achieving health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Queensland, providing leadership and strategic advice to address systemic racism and improve institutional cultural safety. Dr Veasey’s Fellowship project will link with, and support, one of the QATSICN’s priority areas of developing a cultural safety toolkit. The QATSICN aims to couple this with on-the-ground support for Hospital and Health Services to implement the toolkit.

Dr Veasey also led the incredibly popular You Can’t Ask That panel at this year’s Clinical Excellence Showcase which saw four clinicians sharing what it was like living and working as a First Nations Clinician in Queensland. Heartfelt, emotional and insightful, members of the panel spoke about institutionalised racism and how unconscious biases mean some people don’t even realise they are being racist.

For more information on cultural safety and capability, we recommend these websites:

Last updated: 6 December 2022