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TAFE Digital and GP Synergy deliver unique training for Aboriginal medical practitioners

TAFE Digital

TAFE Digital and GP Synergy deliver unique training for Aboriginal medical practitioners

GP Synergy CEO John Oldfield, Anita Dwyer and Anthony Paulson

7 November 2019

TAFE Digital and GP Synergy have collaborated to develop and deliver a nationally accredited Diploma of Practice Management for Aboriginal Medical Services for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) employees.

The diploma supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals in managing the operations of professional medical practices, including accreditation for general practice training, as an important step towards closing the gap in the health disparity experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Wollongong-based Anthony Paulson, GP Synergy Aboriginal Cultural Education Unit Manager, said, “As the provider of the Australian General Practice Training Program in NSW and ACT, GP Synergy works closely with ACCHSs who are accredited to train doctors wishing to specialise as GPs.”

TAFE Digital customised the Diploma of Practice Management for joint delivery to Aboriginal Medical Services based on the needs of practice managers working in the community controlled sector as improved administration can play an important role in enhancing the quality of training experiences for GP trainees, and builds capacity for the Aboriginal Community.

“The previous experience of TAFE Digital staff in the ACCHS sector was invaluable in developing the curriculum,” said Mr Paulson.

“Competency units such as work, health and safety, and legal and ethical compliance are complemented with culturally-specific content such as ACCHS-specific Medicare billing, cultural safety and corporate governance.”

Trainees appreciate the practical nature of the course and delivery of units by TAFE Digital subject matter experts, which are directly relevant to Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their needs.

“The need and design of the course originated with our CEO, John Oldfield, and our Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Aunty Val Dahlstrom,” said Mr Paulson. “The aim was to develop a culturally unique training course to support the NSW and ACT ACCHSs by providing a qualification based on the education, skills and knowledge required to be an effective and culturally sound practice manager in an ACCHS.”

The diploma certainly has been a success story, with nearly 90 ACCHSs staff graduating from the annual course since its inception in 2015.

“The high completion rate, positive feedback from participants, and number of applicants each year all influence GP Synergy’s ongoing support of the diploma,” Mr Paulson said.

“GP Synergy provides the administrative and coordination support for the diploma, and facilitates a core part of the teachings around the art of leadership and choice. TAFE Digital provides the skilled teachers to continually fine-tune and deliver the training.”

This year GP Synergy has also engaged with the Aboriginal Unit at TAFE NSW Campbelltown who deliver the ‘Away from Base’ program that assists participants with financial support for travel costs.

“We are incredibly honoured to have provided training to some well-known graduates who are happy to share their practice management journey with current trainees,” said Mr Paulson.

“Karl Briscoe, who is now the CEO of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association in Canberra and Lisa Orcher, CEO of Tobwabba Aboriginal Medical Service in Forster, inspire and set a tremendous example for our current students.”

Media contact: Bonny Gunn, TAFE Digital Media and Communications Business Partner. M: 0419 134 048.