Developing cultural safety for graduate-entry podiatrists

Caroline Robinson (Presenter), Jay Phillips (Presenter), Anna Horn (Editor)

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The importance of educating culturally capable health practitioners should be perceived as a core responsibility for all health educators, whether in academic institutions or in clinical practice. Educating health practitioners to ensure culturally safe and respectful practice is fundamental to the National Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy 2020-2025 (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, 2020).

The overarching purpose of embedding an Indigenous health curriculum is to equip the next generation of podiatrists with the knowledge, skills, values and attributes to provide culturally safe and acceptable health services with a focus on quality of care; improve preventive health care in order to address chronic disease; and enhance health and wellbeing outcomes for Indigenous Australians (Bailie, J. et al., 2017). Podiatry practitioners have a responsibility to address current socio-cultural-political issues which influence institutional culture and practices, perpetuating the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as compared to non-Indigenous Australians. This is particularly relevant in regard to chronic disease such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome, management of the ‘high risk’ foot, and prevention of lower limb amputation. Additionally, health promotion and foot health is vital in enabling people to keep mobile and independent, which also reduces the prevalence of chronic disease and associated morbidity.

This presentation presents a whole-of-program approach to integrating Indigenous cultural competence with disciplinary content, in the podiatry curriculum at Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia. The intentional scaffolding of learning outcomes, learning experiences and assessment tasks through the course, culminates in a capstone subject co-developed by the School of Community Health (SCH) and the School of Indigenous Australian Studies (SIAS). This work has been achieved through the development of long-term and mutually respectful relationships between non-Indigenous academics in SCH and Aboriginal and non-Indigenous academics in SIAS.

The value of a whole-of-program approach – integrating Indigenous Australian content with disciplinary content – is to produce podiatry graduates with a critical consciousness to create change in their profession and transform institutions, who understand that the journey towards cultural competence is lifelong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventAustralian Podiatry Conference 2021 - Online, Australia
Duration: 03 Jul 202117 Jul 2021,%2Dbe%2Dmissed%20virtual%20event. (Conference website)


ConferenceAustralian Podiatry Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleInnovation through collaboration
OtherThe Australian Podiatry Conference 2021 brings together world-leading presenters from all over the globe – straight into your home, office or wherever you choose to experience this not-to-be-missed virtual event.

With an overarching focus of “Innovation through Collaboration”, Australian Podiatry Conference 2021 will give you the information, tools and expertise to enhance your patients’ experience.
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