Opening the door for men in nursing and primary health care

Aboriginal men in nursing

There are around 360,000 nurses and midwives registered in Australia, and the majority of Midwives and Child Health Nurses are women (98.6%).

At Marr Mooditj Mark Walters (Midwife) and Daniel Larranaga (Child Health Nurse) are all too familiar with being in a minority in the nursing profession. Daniel is an educator in the Enrolled Nursing team, and Mark in the Primary Health Care Practice team. Both bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their teaching, with the drive and enthusiasm that is critical to ensure there is diversity and strength in the health teaching field. Their role as educators and role models is essential in cultivating and sustaining more skilled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in nursing and primary health care.

Aboriginal men in nursingSocial stereotyping of the health professions is a barrier for some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in pursuing their ambitions in the nursing and primary healthcare sectors. However, the ageing population and the increase in obesity and chronic disease in men means that there is a need for both male educators, preceptors and mentors in nursing and health training, and practitioners in hospitals, healthcare facilities and the community.

At Marr Mooditj we aim to break down the barriers to men in the female-dominated health professions, offering male role models and mentors and providing support for young (and older) men seeking to gain qualifications in nursing and primary health care practice. We look towards new generations of men to create positive gender inclusion in the sector, become role models in the community for other men and to improve the access to health and mental health by men; the next step in closing the gap in Indigenous health and social and emotional wellbeing.