Binan Goonj

3rd Edition

Bridging cultures in Aboriginal health


  • Anne-Katrin Eckermann
  • Toni Dowd
  • Ena Chong
  • Lynette Nixon
  • Roy Gray
  • Sally Johnson
  • Key Features

    completely updated to reflect major Indigenous health policy changes since the second edition
    an in-depth exploration of the collaboration between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people
    the use of Aboriginal health case studies and critical incidences to bring academic discussion and analysis to life
    processes that have been successfully incorporated into 18 years of cross-cultural workshops

    Table of Contents



    About the authors


    1 Background to Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal interactions in Australia

    2 Aboriginal communities today

    3 Coping with change and violence

    4 Cultural vitality

    5 Culture shock

    6 People Centred Care

    7 Empowerment in Aboriginal health



    No. of pages:
    © 2010
    Churchill Livingstone
    Print ISBN:
    Electronic ISBN:

    About the authors

    Anne-Katrin Eckermann

    Anne-Katrin Eckermann is Professor in the School of Professional Development and Leadership, Director of the Centre of Research in Aboriginal and Multicultural Studies, and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Education, Health and Professional Studies, University of New England. Eckermann has worked with Aboriginal communities for over 30 years. She has established a national reputation in social anthropology and the anthropology of education and health. She has been heavily involved in consultation with Aboriginal communities and government departments and has submitted major submissions to national inquiries in Aboriginal Affairs as well as Aboriginal Health and Education. In her previous capacity as the Head of the Department of Aboriginal and Multicultural Studies at UNE she pioneered within the tertiary sector negotiations for accredited units such as Binang Goonj: Bridging Cultures in Aboriginal Health to be offered off campus to health professionals through Rural Health Training Units.

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Associate Dean, Faculty of Education, Health & Professional Studies; Director Centre for Research in Aboriginal & Multicultural Studies, University of New England, Australia

    Toni Dowd

    Toni Dowd has received national/international academic awards such as a Kellogg Nursing Scholarship (1983- 1985) and a Public Health Training and Development Award from the National Health and Medical Research Council (1988 – 1992). She was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA) in 1985 and served on the executive the Council of Remote Area Nurses, Australia (CRANA Inc.) from 1985 to the present. She was invited by the Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Council (AHMAC) Working Party to convene the Remote Area Nurse Working Group, to review the Roles and Interrelationships of Nurses, Indigenous Health Workers and Doctors in remote Australia. She has been a reviewer for several Federal and State bodies (eg Australian Local Government Association, Australian Community Health Accredited Standards Program (CHASP), NSW Aboriginal Housing Association, Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Forum). Toni Dowd has led the Binang Goonj Team and has been responsible for cross-cultural education and facilitator training (1994 to the present). She is currently a Senior Research Fellow, a joint appointment between Queensland University of Technology and Queensland Health, Community Child Health Services.

    Ena Chong

    Ena Chong grew up in northern Queensland, on the Atherton Tableland, first at Millaa Millaa and later at Innot Hot Springs on the Great Western Highway. Ena and her husband and small family of four moved south nearly twenty six years ago in search of work and spent a couple of years in Victoria as seasonal workers. Their travel finally brought them to Ipswich where they settled and two more children were added to the family. Ena worked for the Ipswich Aboriginal and Islander Community Health Service for close to ten years and is currently the Personnel Officer for the Woolloongabba AICHS. In this capacity she has supported many community initiatives e.g. the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Forum, community initiated health reviews and prison visiting programs. Ena has faced issues related to cross-cultural understanding for many years by conducting in-services on Aboriginal perspectives for police and medical officers. Over the past 10 years she has been involved in many cross-cultural education workshops as part of the Binang Goonj Team.

    Lynette Nixon

    Lynette Nixon is a Gunggari woman who has lived all her life in S. W. Queensland. After working on properties throughout the area, she raised seven children. Over the past 15 years Lynette has been involved in community development through the Mitchell Aboriginal Housing Company, the local Aboriginal education committee, women’s health groups and the Nalingu committee. Lynette studied at UNE (Armidale) where she completed the Associate Diploma in Aboriginal Studies. She has worked as a full-time researcher for the Nalingu Aboriginal Corporation as well as on the evaluation of the Queensland Aboriginal Health Program and a number of ARC Grants. Most recently she has been recording the stories and language of Gunggari people who were taken away from their country after the turn of the 20th Century. She is currently employed as a Research Fellow at The Centre for Research in Aboriginal and Multicultural Studies, UNE. Over the past 10 years she has been involved in many cross-cultural education workshops as part of the Binang Goonj Team.

    Roy Gray

    Roy Gray belongs to the Yarrabah Community in Northern Queensland. After leaving primary school he worked on stations and in factories. Roy served on the Yarrabah Council 1982-1989 and, as its Chairman 1984-1986, became one of the initiators and negotiators for the Yarrabah Deeds in Trust. At the same time he chaired the Queensland Aboriginal Co-ordinating Council. Roy has chaired the Yarrabah Health Committee; he has been studying at UNE (Armidale) and has worked full-time as the curator of the Yarrabah museums. He fills his "spare" time with researching and co-authoring a book on the history of Yarrabah. With the support of a loving family (a wife and seven children) he has been fighting for Aboriginal issues. He is totally committed to ensure that his people are given the right to function as equals in Australian society. Over the past 10 years he has been involved in many cross-cultural education workshops as part of the Binang Goonj Team.

    Sally Johnson

    Sally Johnson has been a remote area nurse in Australia for 25yrs. She is nationally recognised as a leader in Primary Health Care and Cultural Safety. She worked on Nguiu, Normanton, Yarrabah and came out of the bush to help write the Cairns Health Worker Diploma Course. In Alice Springs she helped to develop and deliver a course built on the principles of Binang Goonj, which takes health professionals on a journey through which they discover more about themselves, and the theory of power against the background of Aboriginal experience. Sally was a foundation member of The Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia (CRANA) an organization of which she was president for some years. She managed the CRANA Locum Relief Support Project in North Queensland, was a co-researcher in the Remote Area Nurse Competency Project, curriculum writer for the Remote Health Practice Program at the Centre for Remote Health in Alice Springs and represented CRANA on many working parties and projects. Committed to a partnership approach to remote primary health care Sally always led by example. She was infamous for stepping aside to leave the space for Aboriginal Health Worker colleagues to take the lead in the team. Sally was recognised for her contribution to Aboriginal health and her dedication to remote area nursing when she was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1995. A Binang Goonj facilitator for many years, Sally has worked tirelessly to influence nurses to provide culturally safe care to their clients in whatever location they work.