Nurses/midwives acknowledge white privilege
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We the undersigned nurses, midwives and members of the general public wish to express support and solidarity towards the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia in its recent inclusion within its Code of Conduct the requirement to acknowledge and challenge white privilege within the healthcare setting. This is, as the NWBA points out, an essential part of a much-needed process of decolonisation in this country.
Graeme Haycroft from the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland has called for the sacking of Associate Professor Lynette Cusack, Chairwoman of the NWBA over the changes. We as professionals and community members have responded with this petition to demonstrate that Graeme’s opinions and demands are not shared by us.
Colonisation inherently creates institutional disadvantage for oppressed groups. It is premised on the basis of superiority and inferiority, both in terms of culture but also between people themselves. Australia today is a product of a violent colonial past, and many of the legacies of that history live on today. Healthcare as a public institution reflects, at least in part, the dominant cultural attitudes that exist in society at large, and therefore is not exempt from discriminatory practices. The very fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have life expectancies more than a decade less than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait people, and that this gap is widening still, is a glaring indication that not all people are treated equal nor have the same access to culturally appropriate and comprehensive health care.
It is critical that people employed in the public service take a lead in what needs to be a national discussion about how best to overcome the very real disadvantages that people in our community face, and what solutions are needed at the social level to ensure equality for all into the future. We thank the AWBA for its contributions so far to this national discussion and encourage it to promote this just issue into the future.
For a more comprehensive understand of how privilege and racism can occur acknowledged levels in workplaces and interpersonally, please see the attached link
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