Reflecting on our first steps: integrating Indigenous Australian content across a physiotherapy degree

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Aim: To review and reflect on the processes used at a university level to integrate Indigenous Australian content into a Physiotherapy degree.Design: A qualitative, iterative reflective cycle was used to review processes used, challenges identified and outcomes achieved.Method:A university-wide course design, implementation and course performance process was used to review the physiotherapy course. As part of this process, Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics formed partnerships to integrate Indigenous content in subjects across the degree with the aim of transforming practice and supporting staff and students on their cultural competency journey. The effectiveness of this process, and lessons learnt, were reviewed by an inter-disciplinary team of academics. Results: This process identified where the integration and assessment of graduate cultural capabilities – respect, communication, safety and quality, reflection, and advocacy - will occur across the physiotherapy course. Effective implementation requires changes to underlying models of practice and teaching approaches across the entire curriculum. Racism, invisible whiteness, decolonisation, and cultural competence are central conversations necessary to enable development and implementation of physiotherapy specific Indigenous curricula, facilitated through education and culturally competent leadership. There were challenges inherent in this process, requiring a willingness of stakeholders to participate in difficult conversations in order to move forward. Key Practice Points:* A university level, structured process is needed to integrate Indigenous content across physiotherapy degrees. * Respectful and successful integration of Indigenous content requires a willingness of parties to actively participate in difficult conversations.* Critical self-evaluation and reflexivity by academics is key.


ConferenceAustralian Physiotherapy Association National Conference
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