Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander women
The Women’s provides culturally sensitive services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families at Badjurr-Bulok Wilam Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and Families Place.
Badjurr-Bulok Wilam meaning ‘home of many women’ in Woiwurrung, the language of the Wurundjeri Peoples provides support and advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Support may include providing easy access to hospital services, information and referral to services and practical assistance. Badjurr-Bulok Wilam provides a resting place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and families attending the Women’s, where women and families can yarn with the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Hospital Liaison Officers.
What we do
The Badjurr-Bulok Wilam team members:
- Ensure that a culturally sensitive service is provided
- Attend appointments with women when requested
- Provide support, care and advice
- Provide assistance with accommodation, transport and material aid
- Facilitate referral to other specialist services
- Link back to community and community services
- Provide information, education and training
- Plan for discharge from hospital that is culturally sensitive to the need of women and families
- Work within a multi-disciplinary team to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women understand their diagnosis and have a say in their care with respect to culture
- Provide secondary consultation
- Liaise with rural and interstate services in supporting patient referrals and transfers
Information for patients
The Women’s knows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a deep and continuous connection to their cultural lands and traditions. We understand that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culture is seen as a foundation upon which everything else is built. Culture underpins all aspect of life, and can be thought of as connections to family, extended family and community, connection to country, expression of values, practices and belief, and the many traditional and contemporary forms of cultural expression including language and storytelling, dance, music and art.
Asking the question
At the Women’s, everyone is asked: “Are you or your partner of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin?”
We would like to know if you are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander because we can provide more culturally-sensitive care and also alert you to services available here at the Women’s and in the community. Of course, it is your choice whether you tell us or not.
The Women’s has a complex history with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Victoria, in that—as a government agency at the time—it was tasked with the enforcement of the ‘Aborigines Protection Act (1869)’. This act enforced the removal of babies/children from their mothers, families, community and culture. For this reason, hospital environments foster reminiscence of historical issues associated with removal of children and maltreatment, and not as a place of healing and wellbeing. The reluctance to access early preventive health care subsequently results in presentation of more acute and complex health issues.
In 2008, the Women’s made an apology to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and affirmed our commitment to working and building a relationship of trust and partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations.