On Friday the 24th of March 2017 I had the great pleasure of attending a talk given by Valerie Albrecht to The Friends (Quakers) in Canberra. Valerie’s presentation centered on the need for acceptance of traditional healing practices and cultures when providing health services to indigenous people. She outlined her many roles as a senior speech pathologist working with Australian aboriginal peoples, especially in remote areas.
As her talk progressed she built a picture of the challenges she encountered which seemed to be primarily because services don’t always take into account aboriginal culture in all its’ varied aspects. It is a story we hear so often – that the health needs of people who are being offered services – are not listened to adequately, resulting in lesser outcomes from health initiatives.
Valerie used interesting visual materials to illustrate her talk and brought a wide range of written materials to further inform us. She also spoke of her experience with native North American people to add depth to her experiences and conclusion that traditional, as in Aboriginal, and western medicines each have their place in contributing to the health and welfare of aboriginal peoples…..and in fact, for all of us.
With her professional expertise in both western medicine based speech pathology, eastern health disciplines and through listening to and working with Aboriginal people, she was able to share with us her extensive wealth of knowledge and practical experience, delivered in an engaging and thoughtful way.
Attendee at event.