This year’s Indigenous Health Mayday Twitter event, #IHMayDay18, trended nationally on Twitter throughout the day, and involved almost 1,500 participants, with 20 guest tweeters joining from across Australia, as well as from England and Denmark.
The event was co-hosted on Palm Island by the Palm Island Centenary Committee and local TAFE, in conjunction with Croakey. The Bwgcolman Indigenous Knowledge Centre and Joyce Palmer Health Service also supported the event.
Dr Lynore Geia, who leads the event, and Summer May Finlay, who together moderated an immersive 15-plus hours of Twitter conversations on 31 May on the theme, Stepping out into our future, provide a reflection below on the wide-ranging discussions.
Below their comments are summaries of the guest tweeters’ contributions, followed by some wider discussions from the day, and the Twitter analytics.
Q: Are there any general themes or overall messages that emerged from the guest tweeters’ comments and related discussions?
Dr Lynore Geia: The general theme that emerged from the guests was that culture was strong, and informed vision, passion and heart for the work they are all involved in; pushing boundaries and building new frameworks of Indigenous leadership. The guests demonstrated a wide-ranging holistic perspective of practice that all linked with some aspect of Indigenous health. Guests presented the Indigenous world view perspectives of health to wider Australia, Indigenous perspectives that are not restricted by silos of practice. There was also a strong youth voice engaging and sharing their dreams of Indigenous leadership and what it meant for them. The mature and experiences tweeters brought a depth of knowledge and wisdom for some critical thinking for all of us on how we can shift in our thinking to make way for diversity and change in thought, beliefs and practice.
Summer May Finlay: For me one of the common elements across #IHMayDay18 presenters is how personal their work is for them. They recognise that the health issues affect people, families and communities. Its an important reminder for researchers, program coordinators and policy makers. There are people behind the numbers.
Q: Are there any calls to action arising from either individual sessions or the overall day? If so, what are these and to whom would you direct them?
Dr Lynore Geia: The main call to action is to support the Uluru Statement for all of us as a nation. Furthermore, to acknowledge and support Indigenous connection to community and family; privileging Indigenous voices and their perspectives of leadership as key to developing solutions to building in areas identified by the people and community.
Summer May Finlay: Megan Williams talked about policy accountability. Accountability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy often lands on our people or organisations. I support Megan’s call for greater policy accountability and would extend that to calling on governments to work with us to determine what that looks like.
Q: Any other general comments or calls to action you’d like to make?
Dr Lynore Geia: A call to action to all health professions, medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health to endorse the Uluru Statement, to work with their Indigenous colleagues, respecting their leadership. Collaborating in developing cultural safety in health education, research and health practice in traditional health organisations, and on social media platforms. And finally to our non-Indigenous colleagues, friends, allies I reiterate what we call for every #IHMayDay; that is to listen, truly listen to the Indigenous person leading, and respecting their leadership and voice.
Summer May Finlay: For me a call to Action is for Non-Indigenous People to extend the “listening” beyond #IHMayDay18. This includes listening to the Uluru Statement from The Heart. #IHMayDay18 demonstrates the passion, skill and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Tap into all this goodness!
Listening to the guest tweeters
See the program in full.
(And make sure to check the #IHMayDay18 coverage from Dr Chelsea Bond and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Queensland for @WePublicHealth – scroll to the entry for 28 May).
Dr Lynore Geia – Introductions
(Tweeting as @IndigenousX)
Summer May Finlay – Indigenous leadership in global public health
Dr Megan Williams – A future without prisons
Professor Peter Radoll – When education steps up?
The Hon Linda Burney, MP – Envisioning political futures
Romlie Mokak – Creating healthier futures.
Associate Professor James Ward – A future free of STIs
Minister Ken Wyatt – Stepping Out into Our Future
Kristy Pursch and David Field – Stepping into a smoke free future
Jennifer Ketchell – Bwgcolman futures are stepping up
Donnella Mills –Health Justice Partnerships
National Indigenous Cancer Network – Screen for your life: cancer prevention for our mob
Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association – Focus on social and emotional wellbeing, and strengths-based psychology
Banok Rind – The future is ours
Jyi Lawton – Cultural knowledge to inform our future
Dakota Feirer – Yarning up prevention strategies
Dr Tess Ryan – Leadership for health and change
Dr Robin Barrington, Kathleen Musulin, Bob Dorey – Hearing Our Past, Healing Our Future
(Kathleen and Bob tweeted from @lockhospitals)
Associate Professor Rhonda Wilson – Digital steps forward in mental health
Luke Pearson – What does it take to move forward?
Views from Palm Island
A general practice conference screened the #IHMayDay18 tweets, and Senator Pat Dodson also joined the conversation.
Others shared snaps and news.
Thanks to all tweeps
Warm thanks to all who participated in tweeting, retweeting and engaging with the conversations and discussions. The hashtag trended nationally most of the day, with the screenshot below from 10pm.
According to Symplur, there were almost 70 million Twitter impressions with the hashtag between 12 May and 11 June. Read the Twitter transcript here.
Bookmark this link to track all Croakey articles on #IHMayDay18.
We acknowledge and warmly thank Professor Andrew Day for providing funding support for Melissa Sweet and Mitchell Ward’s travel and accommodation costs, to participate in #IHMayDay18 on Palm Island.
We also acknowledge all previous #IHMayDay guest tweeters and participants, as well as previous co-hosts of #IHMayDay, including:
• #IHMayDay17 was supported by Professor Peter Radoll, Dean of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy; the University of Canberra Collaborative Indigenous Research Initiative (UC CIRI); the Faculty of Arts and Design (Associate Professor Kerry McCallum); and the Faculty of Health (Dr Holly Northam).
• #IHMayDay16 was supported by Professor Bronwyn Carlson and Dr Tanja Dreher at the University of Wollongong.
• #IHMayDay15 was supported by James Cook University School of Nursing and Midwifery.
And a special thanks to Tamara Power, who not only tweeted tirelessly all day (as per the analytics above), but also provided a wonderful stream of GIFs throughout the day.