The Northern Territory Aboriginal Palliative Care Model
The model was developed and designed by Beverley Derschow in 2004 following research into Aboriginal palliative care needs in the Northern Territory.
It considers the key components for a holistic approach to the provision of culturally appropriate palliative care to Aboriginal people. The six sections illustrate the links between an Aboriginal patient, their family and the palliative care service providers.
Section 1 – Palliative Care focus on family is just as important as the Aboriginal client. Both impact on each other.
Section 2 – Culture, kinship and country are priorities for Aboriginal people. Understanding of the importance of these is the basis of providing culturally appropriate care.
Section 3 – Artwork depicts the links between traditional Aboriginal culture, kinship and country.
Section 4 – Consideration of traditional cultural practices and personal western influences on an Aboriginal person and their family helps the service provider to better assess, identify and address needs with appropriate resources and support.
Section 5 – Service providers need to reflect on how they communicate, ensuring there is cross cultural awareness, using culturally appropriate resources and enabling service provider flexibility to engage Aboriginal people and their family to make informed choices.
Section 6 – Aspects of the two key areas of spiritual and practical need to be considered by the service provider. Both are closely interwoven and there is often no clear delineation between them.
Top Left – North & East Arnhem Land. Caring and sharing for the sick person makes the Yolngu connected and strong. Artist: Toni Barrapuy Wanambi & Dipililnga Marika & Wayawanga Marika.
Top Right – Tiwi people use of spears, armbands and pukumani pole for ceremony after someone passes away. Artist: Nina Puruntatameri.
Bottom Left – Katherine region; freshwater animals connected to the deceased person. Artist: Samuel M Assan.
Bottom Right – Central region and how the palliative care team works with the Aboriginal people and their families. Artist: Karina Penhall.
Top left corner
Location: North East NT, East Arnhem
Artists: Barrapuy Wanambi, Dipililnga Marika, Wayalwanga Marika.
Caring and sharing for the sick person make the Yolgnu connected and strong.
Top right corner
Location: Northwest Islands, Tiwi Islands
Community: Garden Point
Artist: Nina Puruntatameri Spears, armbands and pukamani pole for ceremony after the person has passed away.
Bottom left corner
Location: Mid NT, Katherine region
Artist: Samuel M Assan
Freshwater animals, crocodiles and fish, connected to the deceased person.
Bottom right corner
Location: Central Australia
Community: Alice Springs
Artist: Karina Napangardi Penhall
How the palliative care team works with the aboriginal people and their families.
Mundagada the Creator
This is the story of Mundagada the rainbow serpent our creator. The creator had created us all, the hills, mountains, rivers, trees animals and us people.
The hands represent our people reaching out to help us, which is also depicted by the circle of dots that are joined to u/shaped objects that represent people. The reason they are joined is this is the journey that is made by our people to help the ill or injured.
Original painting by Howard (Jo) Butler (Jo completed PEPA for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers in 2008)
The Beginning of our Journey: Spiritually, Emotionally &
Culturally Entering into the Dreaming
This particular piece of Aboriginal artwork has been titled by the artist: Kahli Luttrell, Yorta Yorta descendent of Northern Country Victoria and has been developed by the Victorian Palliative Care Program for use in Victorian Aboriginal Palliative Care.
"The Beginning of Our Journey"
As you twirl a piece of ribbon you don't know which way it will go and this, of course, applies to the paths and Journeys we can take in our lives, and how these paths can change as we go along in our life. The Road travelled together is easier than the road travelled alone, that's why the people in the art symbolise the support of our family, friends and community support services.
The cycles also symbolise that many people have travelled in and out of our lives and these people are taking the same path into our Journey of the Dreaming and the auras in the background are our ancestor & family members guiding us to the dreaming.
The Aboriginal Flag and Torres Strait Islander Flags
The Aboriginal flag
Designed by Harold Joseph Thomas, a Luritja man and was first flown in 1971 from Central Australia.
Description and Meaning: Black represents the Aboriginal people. Yellow circle represents the sun-the constant re-newer of life. Red represents the earth and Aboriginal people’s relationship with the land. Red also represents ochre which is used by Aboriginal people in ceremonies. Used with permission.
The Torres Strait Islander Flag
Designed in 1992 by the late Bernard Namok from Thursday Island.
Description and Meaning: Green represents the land. Blue represents the sea. White represents peace. The Dhari (headdress) represents Torres Strait Island people and the five pointed star represents the five major island groups. The star also symbolises navigation to represent the seafaring culture of the Torres Straits. www.dreamtime.net.au Used with permission.
Artwork by Dr Mick Adams
The following artwork was hand painted by our PEPA Indigenous National Coordinator – Dr Mick Adams. Mick is a descendent of the Yadhiagana people of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland having traditional family ties with the Gringji people of Central Western Northern Territory and extended family relationship with the people of the Torres Straits, Warlpiri (Yuendumu), and East Arnhem Land (Gurrumaru) communities. He has been creating commissioned artworks relating to Aboriginal health and wellbeing for over a decade. A brief description of artwork used in the PEPA module is included below:
Community connections (people are represented by blue dots)
Family and spiritual connection
Holistic health and wellbeing in community
Interconnections between people and land
Meeting areas connecting to each other
Men connecting with men
Women looking after women
Women nurturing women