Oral Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

Creating and sustaining cultural change in psychology education and representation: the outcomes and future of AIPEP (#42)

Pat Dudgeon 1 , Tom Brideson 2 , Jacky Cranney 3 , Dawn Darlaston-Jones 4 , Jillene Harris 5 , Jeannie Herbert 6 , Judi Homewood 7 , Katrina Newnham 8 , Susan Page 9 , Sabine Hammond 8 , Gregory Phillips 10
  1. School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia
  2. Western NSW Local Health District, Orange, NSW, Australia
  3. University of NSW, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  4. University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, WA, Australia
  5. Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, Australia
  6. Charles Sturt University, Dubbo, NSW, Australia
  7. Macquarie Unviersity, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  8. Australian Psychological Society, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  9. University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  10. ABSTARR Consulting, St Kilda, Vic, Australia

Background: In 2013 the Federal Office for Learning and Teaching funded the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP) in recognition of the mental health crisis facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the important role that psychology must play in closing the gap. This three-year project aimed to develop recommendations and guidance for increasing the capability of psychology graduates to work appropriately and effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and increasing the recruitment, retention and graduation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychology students.

Aims/objectives: This presentation will discuss the significant findings of the AIPEP research and the collaborative approach by stakeholders in psychology education and regulation affecting real and sustainable change.

Method: A multi-pronged approach was used to gather information, insights and experiences from a range of key stakeholders and data sources to inform the development of a curriculum framework, best practice examples and professional development. AIPEP was informed by a multi-disciplinary national reference committee and guided by Indigenous governance, values and partnership.

Implications/conclusion: The AIPEP research found great interest and support for change. However, what little is being done is often ad hoc, dependent on individual champions and without a clear strategy for sharing and learning across the discipline. AIPEP concluded that the confidence and competence to develop and implement strategies, particularly in relation to curriculum; must be supported by guidance that is endorsed and sustained by a collaborative approach involving key stakeholders of psychology education and regulation, stipulating the expectations of curriculum and competence and supporting professional development.