Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives respond to the National Apology from the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery Australia
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Australia is in a time of remarkable political and social change. The voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people resonate in their call for social justice reforms for safer health care. The nation is on the cusp of an extraordinary opportunity of a referendum for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament (From the Heart, 2022) affording Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a coherent political position to exercise our sovereign voices regardless of the government in power. Respectively nursing and midwifery have been involved in movements of change since the first five Irish Sisters of Charity arrived and disembarked at Sydney Cove in 1838, later joined by Nightingale nurses in 1868. Their introduced Eurocentric model of nursing and midwifery obscured the pre-existing knowledges and practices of traditional Aboriginal health care and birthing. Now these previously adversarial streams of Western and Indigenous health knowledges and practices are joint protagonists to the genealogy of the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery, Australia's (CDNM) formal Apology.