A highlight of the event was our inaugural You Can’t Ask That panel where four clinicians took the stage to share what it is like living and working as a First Nations Clinician in Queensland. Heartfelt, emotional and insightful, all delegates exited the session inspired to be the allies our First Nations colleagues need to create and sustain change.
Members of the panel – Joe Tesiram, Kirsty Leo and Gary Torrens – and panel chair Alicia Veasey spoke about institutionalised racism and how unconscious biases mean some people don’t even realise they are being racist. Dr Veasey said the burden of calling out racism – which she witnesses and experience multiple times on every shift – took a huge emotional toll and was very traumatic.
Dr Veasey also had the crowd applauding when she said her vision was to see care moved to the community regardless of whether patients are black or white.
Kirsty Leo also flagged the new key performance indicators set out under the Health Equity Strategy and encouraged audience members to familiarise themselves with the KPIs and identify how they could be applied and achieved in their own areas.
The panel encouraged other healthcare workers to become allies, by educating themselves on institutionalised racism, actively getting involved in (and understanding) events like Reconciliation Week and finding the confidence to say ‘that’s not right’.
“It’s not up to us to ‘build resilience’. It’s up to all of us. This is an issue for all of us,” Dr Veasey said.
As always, the Clinical Excellence Showcase event wrapped-up with our annual great debate with city and country battling to decide whether more money for the cities mean better healthcare for everybody. Who took out victory, though? You’ll have to wait and see when the session is published online next week!