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Powering the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers

July 29, 2022

Michael Woods and Josiah Little have made major progress in their studies since receiving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Study Grants from the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN.

The grants provided financial support to eight students currently studying in Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care at TAFE Toowoomba.

Following the completion of his Certificate IV, Josiah plans to build a career as an Aboriginal Health Worker with a focus on advocacy and mental health support.

“I always had an interest in helping people, I was raised to look after people, young and Elders alike. Health is a good place for me to work so I can help my Mob,” said Josiah.

Meanwhile, Michael is looking forward to completing his Certificate IV following an upcoming two-week practical placement at Kingaroy Hospital.

“My focus is on preventative health and supporting people to transition out of hospital and back into the community,” said Michael.

Both men are passionate about the availability of culturally safe care.

“Most of our Mob feel more comfortable with an Indigenous health staff, we are more likely to open up, there’s that shared understanding,” said Josiah.

Josiah and Michael both agree this is their motivation for building careers in the health sector.

“The grant has been great, but it’s not our motivation because we are already motivated. It has fuelled the fire to keep going with our studies,” said Michael.

Josiah and Michael have used the funds to cover travel and transport costs, study-related subscriptions, and stationery. Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN will continue to support all the study grant recipients as they complete their studies and build careers in the health sector.

Image: Michael Woods (R) and Josiah Little (L) stand proudly at the Toowoomba TAFE campus.