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Contemp Nurse. 2006 Sep;22(2):296-316.

The Yapunyah project: embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the nursing curriculum.

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School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


The Yapunyah Project is an initiative of the Faculty of Health at Queensland University of Technology. It was instigated to further improve the development of cultural competence in health graduates with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives. The project was informed by the cultural competence in healthcare delivery models of Campinha-Bacote (1998a) and Cross, Bazron, Dennis and Isaacs (1989) and by the cultural safety reforms to nursing curricula in New Zealand. The Yapunyah Project involved extensive consultation and collaboration with Indigenous staff and health experts in the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. A core curriculum, and associated graduate transcultural competencies, were informed by these discussions and earlier reforms in health curricula by the Committee of Deans of Australian Medical Schools and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Although the overall project involved four separate schools within the faculty, this paper details the experience of embedding Indigenous perspectives within the undergraduate nursing curriculum. The experience has been a challenging and positive one, and the reforms have been supported by a sustainable framework. This paper outlines how one university faculty is endeavouring to educationally prepare nursing students to practice with evidence-based transcultural nursing knowledge based on culture care values, beliefs, and traditional lifeways of Indigenous people of Australia. As such, the project aims to contribute to the improvement and promotion of the health and well-being of Indigenous Australians in culturally and ethnohistorically meaningful ways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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