Morning all. For the next three days I'm part of the #beyondtheroom effort at #Quality2021.

In 15 minutes it's Leslie Arnott and Mary Waria on a new way forward for partnering with consumers in health care.

Live stream will be here: Image
A bit of background about our speakers. Leslie Arnott is co-founder of The BEAR Program, Lamaze; Australia. Leslie Arnott has over 19 years’ experience as a consumer advisor and advocate in maternity services.

Mary Waria also co-founded The BEAR program. She is a Torres Strait Islander with over 15 years’ experience working in Indigenous Student Engagement roles at various universities for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.

FYI - Birth | Equity | Advocacy | Research. The BEAR is a consumer-led initiative that focuses on advancing evidence-based, person- and family-centered maternity care

This session promises to demonstrate that by educating the maternity health sector through consumer-led initiatives, a paradigm shift towards woman-centred, culturally appropriate, evidence-based care can be achieved.


Starting in 2 minutes, live stream up thread Image
They promise “professionalized” consumer activism in bringing #equity into maternity care. Can’t wait to find out more.

Leslie's story began with a course in "Power and Privilege" as part of her Masters degree. This revealed to her unconscious #racism in the all-white environment, a cathartic moment.

Self-exploration is an imperative for person-centred care.

This is great stuff.

Mary is a veteran of cultural awareness courses, and was questioning whether they were effective.

She and Leslie bonded over a desire to highlight these hidden biases.

They focused around the higher maternal death rate and infant death rate amongst indigenous people in Australia.

Why aren't culturally appropriate interventions available as a matter of course? They are an imperative, not an option. #equity

Diversity and cultural sensitivity training is only effective when training is accompanied by broader changes.

System managers need to be just as committed as the trainers!

Also, this means EVERYONE. #equity

#Quality2021 Image
Community engagement is infused right across health services in Adelaide Women's & Children's Hospital.

This includes strategic and board level involvement.

They hold a monthly cultural round table, with 50 participants.

#Quality2021 Image
"Sitting shoulder to shoulder while looking at the horizon is far less confrontational for some indigenous groups than sitting across a table"

We need to go beyond the post-colonial models of engagement.

Communities need to invest in the process.

What does #leadership look like? Fluid!
- Be a leader who empowers
- No-one is wiser than the other
- Ebody wisdom and ethical practice
- Be competent and skilled
- Depend on each other, but look to her to be in charge

Five qualities of leaders: Clarity, Decisiveness, Courage, Passion, Humility.

#Quality2021 Image
What if our administrators had the courage to fund engagement in the community?
- conduct a Racial Quity Impact Analysis
- start working with consumer reps
- uphold respect and humility, and step up!

#Quality2021 Image
Many thanks to Leslie and Mary for a brilliant double-act. We're now onto questions:
- the 8-week training period MUST include meaningful broader change
- further details about the Power and Privilege programme:…

Q: I'm a white consumer advocate, how do I create spaces for diverse voices?

A: Get out into your community, look for organisations and groups. Don't be scared to introduce yourself. Put some "bait in the water" and people will come. Use social media.

#Quality2021 Image
Other tips for consumer advocacy:
- Step out of your leadership role after 3 years and let others lead
- Courage means being afraid! (But you do it anyway.)
- Don't cater for the culture of the system, serve a nice hot dish of evidence!

Brilliant, many thanks


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