Creating Cultural Empathy and Challenging Attitudes through Indigenous Narratives is a two-year project which commenced in May 2010. This project is supported by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council which is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Professor Cobie Rudd, Professor Colleen Hayward, Associate Professor Moira Sim and Ms Toni Wain from Edith Cowan University lead the project, in collaboration with The Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health, Curtin University of Technology, The University of Notre Dame, The University of Western Australia and Health Consumers’ Council (WA). However, the success of the project will depend on the enthusiasm and involvement of health educators through Australia.

The project has two primary aims: 
• to positively influence the health and wellbeing of Australian Indigenous people by improving the education of health professionals; 
• to engage students with authentic stories of Indigenous people’s experience of healthcare, both positive and negative, which enhance the development of deep and lasting empathy.

The project activities include:
• Collection of 50 multimedia Indigenous stories, available to National Network members; 
• Creation of a National Network of educators who are interested in developing and trialling learning resources;
• Mapping of potential learning from narratives to curricula; 
• Creation of learning materials by National Network members; and
• Piloting learning activities with multidisciplinary health students across universities.

The National Network is the powerhouse of the project. It is a web-based community of self-identified health educators with a shared commitment to respond to the national priority of “Closing the Gap” between the health outcomes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people through challenging attitudes and developing empathy to positively influence future health graduates. The library of stories will be available to everyone in the Network for the development of learning materials and activities. Collaboration between Network members will be encouraged and all contributions will be acknowledged. We expect the early stories to be available on the website in November this year. We encourage Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators from all health disciples to register as Network members.

For more information:
Email: altc.betterhealth@ecu.edu.au