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Emma Dole

Culturally responsive care earns honour

28 Apr 2022


Nepean Hospital senior pain physiotherapist, Emma Dole is committed to creating a service that is supportive and culturally responsive to the needs of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and staff.

This month, her efforts will be recognised at the NSW Health Excellence in Allied Health Awards where she’s a finalist for Aboriginal Allied Health Professional of the Year.

Emma is recognised for her confidence as an Aboriginal leader amongst her peers. Her passion for improving the cultural knowledge and personal growth of her colleagues has seen a significant increase in staff completion of cultural training and she’s also implemented in-service education.

Emma says, “In order to address long-standing health inequalities and inequities between our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the wider Australian population, and genuinely improve the health of our patients, we need to re-establish trust and collaborate together to build authentic and respectful relationships with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

“Fostering a health service that is inclusive and culturally responsive enables this. The positive steps that we take today serve to dismantle barriers so that future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander generations can have optimal health, wellbeing and safety.”

Emma is an outstanding mentor who’s demonstrated a creative approach to making sure that cultural education is not only received by staff, but understood and used to support the needs of our Aboriginal community.

She has also enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to provide mentorship to the Allied Health Service’s Aboriginal cadets and trainees, along with local high school students as part of Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District’s Koori Kids Futures program.   

Emma says the opportunity to mentor others has been a source of motivation as she endeavours to serve as a voice and advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in her workplace and local community.

“I’ve proudly served as a mentor to our Physiotherapy Cadets and new Aboriginal staff within the Physiotherapy department. Commencing a role in a new workplace can be confronting and overwhelming, and I endeavour to be a source of reassurance and support, and foster a welcome and culturally safe workplace for them to thrive in,” says Emma.

“To be able to provide this guidance to young Aboriginal people is invaluable and I hope that it assists them to thrive as they commence their careers in health.”

Emma is one of five finalists from Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District at the NSW Health Excellence in Allied Health Awards.

Congratulations to all our finalists: Sarah Gibson, Anwar Hassan, Emma Dole, Aaron O’Callaghan and Dr Laura Kirsten.