Welcome James! Why do you feel podiatrists will benefit from reading this section, regardless of whether they are directly involved in Indigenous issues or not?
There is so much fantastic work being done in this space that doesn’t always translate into research published within the Western academy. This section in STRIDE is a means of promoting such work so that podiatry can benefit from the combined knowledge of two worldviews to progress our profession towards improved and safer care. Podiatrists reading this section of STRIDE will learn so much from First Nations Peoples and those who live with, and work closely with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The benefit to all of us is that the principles of cultural safety are applicable to all cultural backgrounds; promoting inclusion of diversity in religion, sexuality, ethnicity and more.
Why do you feel strongly about creating a section in STRIDE which is dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and related issues and topics?
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help introduce and to work within this new section of STRIDE magazine.
This section will be devoted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, their cultures, First Nations foot health, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander worldviews, ways of knowing, ways of being and ways of doing. I feel so strongly about being involved in this section of STRIDE. When learning with, and from, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples we (as well-intentioned podiatrists) can develop skillsets that result in actions that change practice and systems, and promote health outcome equity.
Who do you see being involved in the creation of this section and why is their involvement key here?
As section editor of this section, I will work with First Nations authorship and input to bring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices to all STRIDE issues. This is key because the experts in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health are, of course, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Okay, now tell us some more about yourself?
I consider myself an average Australian podiatrist. Currently, I am a podiatry PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle and a lecturer at La Trobe University within the discipline of podiatry. I am currently very lucky to be involved in research with First Nations Peoples that develops mutually beneficial relationships, fosters reciprocity, advocates self-determination, and delivers results that benefit communities.
What themes would you like to discuss over the coming months?
I am excited about covering a lot of themes, not just in the coming months, but beyond that as well. Topics such as self-reflection, unconscious bias, racism and self-determination will hopefully spark impetus for improvements in a lot of us across Country; but presenting First Nations lived experiences and expert opinions relevant to podiatry clinical practice, education and research will definitely be covered too.
Anything else to add?
I would love to add that anyone can contact me at any time regarding wanting to contribute within this space, or on topics they would like to learn more about. I’m at J.Gerrard@latrobe.edu.au