Healthy demand for ATSI primary health
by David Manning
ropical North Queensland TAFE (TNQT) has responded to demand for skilled health care workers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, providing training for 25 community residents. People from communities throughout Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait have begun their first week of training in TNQT’s new Certificate III in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care course. The course is designed to upskill workers who currently provide health care services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients.
Once people in communities learned that TNQT was about to run the course at the Cairns campus, the class was quickly filled with enrolments Faculty Manager, Ms Sue Jenkins-Jones said. “Our courses are always industry relevant and are programmed to meet community needs,” Ms Jenkins-Jones said. “This primary health care course is extremely practical and valuable for anyone wanting to work with Indigenous clients in hospitals, medical centres and health care services in urban, rural and remote communities. “Already plans are in place to deliver the courses on site at Iama Island in the Torres Strait. The training is so flexible and
needed that we are prepared to send teachers to communities that indicate to us that they have workers wanting to take their existing training to the next level.” Councillor Ron Enosa from Saibai Island said the course would be extremely beneficial for future health workers in his community of more than 300 people. “A new primary health care centre is currently under construction on Saibai Island and we need trained health care workers. So after 20 years working in Quarantine, I myself have made a career change and am pleased to be studying the primary health care course at TAFE,” Councillor Enosa said.