In Our Own Right: Black Australian Nurses' Stories


Through CATSIN's membership and networking, names of Indigenous nurses and assistant nurses were obtained. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses were approached to submit or tell their stories; several declined to do so. One assumes that for some, telling their stories would have been too confronting - painful issues would have opened up old wounds. Their right to refuse was respected.

To those who chose to share their story, thank you. It would have been quite painful for many of you as your stories are very powerful. It has taken great courage for you to speak and write about your memories, experiences and feelings.

Although the purpose of this book was to collect the stories of registered nurses, there are, however, stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women - excluded from undertaking nurse training - who worked as assistant nurses and untrained carers. These women are also recognized for their contribution.

This publication was initially funded by the Australian Government Office of the Status of Women (under the Women's Development Programme project grants 2003-2004). We are indebted to Caroline Oakley, from the Office of the Status of Women (OSW), who has provided invaluable support, guidance and great patience with this publication, assisted by Carolyn Paisley-Dew. Jeannine Bevan was the Senior Adviser at the time. Kerry Flanagan now heads up OSW as First Assistant Secretary.

CATSIN would also like to acknowledge Associate Professor Kim Usher, School of Nursing, James Cook University, Townsville, for her significant contribution [see also Contemporary Nurse 19/1-2 (2005) pp 17-31] and assistance in writing the proposal.

Kerrynne Liddle performed the invaluable role of structural editing, working on each story with each author, collating materials, facts and photographs, as well as their signed copyright permissions to reproduce them. As co-editor, we acknowledge Kerrynne for her expert guidance in preparing these materials for publication.

The editorial, design and promotions team at Contemporary Nurse has crafted these materials into expression as a book. In Our Own Right: Black Australian Nurses' Stories will be distributed by Contemporary Nurse free to every journal subscriber.

Acknowledgement and gratitude is due to all the Indigenous nurses who submitted their stories to make this publication a reality. To all those who were approached and did not submit their stories, thank you for considering doing so. We all appreciate your contribution to Indigenous nursing and health.

Sally S Goold, OAM
CATSIN, June 2005

Office of the Status of Women
Status of Women (OSW)

Dr Sally Goold OAM
Senior Australian of the Year 2006

Book Launch
By Peter Beattie MP
4 December 2005

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