Culturally respectful and safe care

Culturally respectful and safe care: Education for non-Aboriginal healthcare providers working with Aboriginal people with dementia

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety emphasised the need for older Aboriginal people to receive culturally respectful and safe, high-quality trauma-informed, needs-based, and flexible services regardless of where they live – and to receive such services form staff who are educated about and trained in culturally safe and trauma-informed care. While older Aboriginal people prefer aged care provided by Aboriginal services, the capacity of existing services is limited. Older Aboriginal people who can access mainstream home, community, or residential care receive it from 120 aged care organisations across Australia and primarily from non-Aboriginal healthcare staff. We must educate non-Aboriginal healthcare providers about culturally respectful and safe care for Aboriginal people with dementia and change the conversation from a focus on deficit to one on strength, resilience, and holistic approaches.

We have received MRFF funding through which Aboriginal Elders in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, and Western Australia will co-create a 12-week online unit to be embedded in the Diploma of Dementia Care, starting in Semester 2, 2024. This Diploma has waived tuition fees for domestic students, supported by University scholarships. Most enrolled students live and work on the mainland.

This project will focus on non-Aboriginal healthcare providers in Tasmania, particularly those in the North and Northwest. It builds on the Wicking Centre's partnerships with residential care centres in these areas. Healthcare providers at these centres will be invited to enrol in the new unit. The impact of these healthcare providers' new knowledge about culturally respectful and safe dementia care will be measured through: (i) analysis of quantitative and qualitative pre and post assessments, (ii) changes in their professional practice over time, documented through analysis of quality indicators, and (iii) analysis of interview/yarning data with Aboriginal people with dementia (and their family members or carers) who are receiving care.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Lyn Goldberg


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional details regarding the project for consideration:

  • Aboriginal students are strongly encouraged to apply

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact A/Prof Lyn Goldberg to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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