Book on indigenous midwifery earns Prof Fredericks a joint award

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Book on indigenous midwifery earns Prof Fredericks a joint award

CQUniversity Professor Bronwyn Fredericks and Dr Odette Best of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have been awarded the 2015 Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Teaching and Learning Resource award at the Educational Publishing Awards.

The book, titled Yatdjuligin Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nursing & Midwifery Care, is the first text written by Indigenous midwives and nurses and health professionals, addressing Indigenous health issues, but written for the broader audience of Australian nursing and midwifery students.

The title of the book was gifted to the authors from Rockhampton-based Aboriginal Elder Ivy Molly Booth. Yatdjuligin is from the dialect of the Wakgun Clan group of the Gurreng Gurreng Nation. It translates to ‘talking in a good way’.

For Wakgun people, the process of Yatdjuligin is deeply embedded in learning. It belongs to a two-part process in the traditional passing on of knowledge about Country, its resources, and the resources’ uses.

Prof Fredericks and Dr Best encouraged readers to embrace the learning that Yatdjuligin has to offer, in spite of (or because of) the discomfort it creates.

Some of the discomfort comes from a past lack of education that has had ongoing impacts on the health of Indigenous Australians. Nurses and midwives and other health professionals need to understand the health issues facing Indigenous peoples before they can begin to provide appropriate and respectful health services for their Indigenous clients.

“We were conscious of a clear gap in the nursing education literature: a lack of legitimate, current information that addresses the needs of nurses and midwives who work with and care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” said Prof Bronwyn Fredericks, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) and BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Ailliance (BMA) Chair in Indigenous Engagement.

“As editors of the book, we speak on behalf of the authors to invite you to embrace the content of this book, accept its voice and incorporate it into your practice in the spirit of Yatdjuligin.

“The Award is recognition for not just Dr Odette Best and I,” said Prof Fredericks, “but all of the contributors, the belief in us by Cambridge University Press, nursing scholars who supported the development of our work and it also reflects the need the book has within Australia”.

“The contributors to our text are all Indigenous Australians who collectively have over 100 years of clinical practice. The authors have a diversity of experiences and include: Mick Adams, Odette Best, Ali Drummond, Bronwyn Fredericks, Lynore Geia, Deannne Hellsten, Machelle Kosiak, Ray Lovett, Nicole Ramsamy, Juanita Sherwood and Raelene Ward.

To find out more about the book visit

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