The research, published in the Australian Health Review, analysed a customised model of learning support developed by the University’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.
Under the model, 380 qualifications have been awarded to Aboriginal students in oral health, allied health, counselling and heath assistance through TAFE. The training model has yielded a 96 per cent completion rate, the paper’s lead researcher and Poche Centre research director Dr Kylie Gwynne found.
Dr Gwynne’s paper scrutinised the first cohort of students who enrolled under the Poche Centre’s training model. Her analysis proves the effectiveness of seven key factors which improve outcomes for Aboriginal students.
The enabling factors discussed in Dr Gwynne’s paper were varied and include:
“Vocational training is an important pathway into the health professions for Aboriginal people but completion rates for Aboriginal students are typically poor,” said Dr Gwynne.
“It is possible to improve completion rates if vocational training is designed to meet the cultural and familial needs of Aboriginal students.
“We’ve called this initiative Project5000, as we ultimately want 5000 Aboriginal people to be qualified and in local secure jobs. We are eager to offer the program to more communities and more scholars.
“Preliminary economic analysis undertaken by the Australian Social Investment Trust estimates a cost-benefit of more than $27,000 for every job secured. This is largely attributed to a decrease in welfare and increase in tax, ” she concluded.
The latest Closing The Gap report reveals Australia's failure to meet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health targets. Could a system engaging local communities inspire more effective ways to deliver much needed services?