Podcast: Addressing the Cultural Safety Gap with Catherine Ivanfy and Helen Macukewicz

NMS Podcast
Catherine and Helen share insights on how an NSWNMA reference group is advocating for the wellbeing of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) nurses and midwives.
This episode deals with sensitive issues related to racism and other forms of discrimination. If this topic raises sensitive or triggering emotions for you, now may not be the right time for you to read it. Give us a call on Nurse & Midwife Support on 1800 667 877 if you would like to talk about what you are feeling.

Podcast Addressing the Cultural Safety Gap

Podcast details

Episode: 36
Guests: Catherine Ivanfy and Helen Macukewicz
Duration: 42:02
Tags: Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD), discrimination, racism, xenophobia, cultural safety
Soundcloud: Listen to Episode 36


Our Summer Newsletter is all about supporting culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) nurses, midwives and students. We’ve partnered with the New South Wales Nurse & Midwives Association (NSWNMA) to offer you two podcasts with six passionate nurses committed to empowering CALD nurses and midwives. This is the first of two episodes, Episode 36.

In this episode of the Your Health Matters podcast we speak to nurses Helen Macukewicz and Catherine Ivanfy, NSWNMA Professional Officers who coordinate the organisation’s CALD reference group, which advocates for culturally and linguistically diverse nurses and midwives on a range of issues.

In 2019 the NSWNMA released the Cultural Safety Gap report based on a survey of the experiences of CALD nurses and midwives working in NSW. We discuss the survey’s important findings, the subsequent formation of the CALD Reference Group, and how you can get involved to tackle this problem by starting or joining a CALD support group in your workplace. You can also participate in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Racism: It Stops with Me campaign, which the NSWNMA also supports.

Helen and Catherine are committed advocates for fairer, more equitable and safer workplaces. We’re grateful they joined us to share their insights and help us all work towards Cultural Safety in our workforce.

You can also check out Episode 37 where we discuss the lived experiences of four members of the NSWNMA CALD Reference group: Podcast: Calling Racism Out with Julie, Merilyn, Bukwa and Marty.

If you need to chat about any of the issues raised in this podcast, we’re here 24/7 on 1800 667 877, or you can email us.

About our guests


Helen Macukewicz, RN, Msc SCPHN

Helen qualified as a registered nurse in 1989 and has worked in a variety of nursing roles including hospital and aged care management, regulation of health, aged care and children’s services and as a Health Visitor in the UK. She has been a Professional Officer at the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association since 2015, having moved to Australia in 2014. Helen is passionate about social justice and working to ensure all nurses and midwives receive a fair go.

If you’re a nurse or midwife in NSW, you can contact Helen about joining the CALD reference group. 


Catherine Ivanfy, RN

Catherine is a Professional Officer with the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association. Catherine is responsible for coordinating education and ensuring that nurses and midwives have the right knowledge to work safely in their contexts of practice. Catherine is a registered nurse and has worked and educated in a wide variety of clinical settings such as intensive care, neurology, gastroenterology and whole of hospital. Catherine is passionate about the nursing and midwifery professions and has a keen interest in education. Catherine’s goal is to bring education on topics of interest and allow easily accessible education for all nurses and midwives.


Mark Aitken [0:09] Welcome to the Nurse & Midwife Support podcast: Your Health Matters. I'm Mark Aitken, the podcast host. I'm the Stakeholder Engagement Manager with Nurse & Midwife Support, and I'm a registered nurse. Nurse & Midwife Support is the national support service for nurses, midwives and students. The service is anonymous, confidential and free, and you can call us anytime you need support. 1800-667-877, or contact us via the website: nmsupport.org.au.

Welcome to today's episode of the Your Health Matters podcast brought to you by Nurse & Midwife Support. Today, I'm on Ngunnawal country as I'm in Canberra. I wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land I'm recording this podcast on, the Ngunnawal people. I wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging. 

Hello, and welcome, everybody. We're going to talk today about supporting culturally and linguistically diverse nurses and midwives. I can't think of a more important topic. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and reading a lot about it. There are so many dimensions to this. Today, we're lucky to have two wonderful guests, Helen and Catherine, who are both professional officers with the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives' Association, and they're doing some incredible work with members in this space. We'll talk about that throughout the podcast. 

Hello, and welcome, Helen and Catherine. 

Helen Macukewicz [2:11] Hello. Thank you for having us. It's a real pleasure.

Catherine Ivanfy [2:15] Yes, thank you so much for having us here today. We're really, really excited to be here and talk about the work that we've been doing. 

Mark Aitken [2:23] Terrific. We're looking forward to the discussion. You both work for the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives' Association, as I said. Helen, would you tell us about the work the Association does, and a bit about yourself?

Helen Macukewicz [2:38] Yes, thank you, Mark. I'd like to acknowledge that I'm joining you today from the lands of the Darginung Guringai peoples and pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging as well. 

The Nurses and Midwives' Association is the New South Wales branch of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation. Consisting of nurses and midwives who are employed in all sectors of health and aged care, and comprise of registered nurses, enrolled nurses and assistants in nursing who are sometimes referred to as Care Workers in Aged Care Services. 

I'm one of the professional officers at the association. As well as industrial support, we also provide professional support and education for our members. Part of the work that we've been doing, through the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Reference Group that we'll be talking about today, has been part of the professional support that we offer for our members.

Mark Aitken [4:04] Thanks, Helen. Catherine, did you want to add anything there and talk a little bit about your background?

Catherine Ivanfy [4:10] Yeah. I have a background in education. As Helen said, we do run a bit of education at the association, so that's one of my primary roles here. I'm very passionate about the area that we're talking about today, coming from a CALD background myself, and it's just a real great body of work and I just feel so connected to what we're doing. It's wonderful to work at an organisation who is able to talk about these subjects and bring this to the forefront of discussion.

Mark Aitken [4:48] Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Catherine. Well, I'd like to congratulate the Association and both of you for the incredible work that you're doing supporting culturally and linguistically diverse nurses and midwives. It's really vital that we amplify this conversation and the issues. So congratulations once again, and please tell us about the work and how it started and perhaps the need that you identified that led you to set up the CALD Reference Group.

Helen Macukewicz [5:21] Yes, thanks, Mark. The work for us started around four years ago, what we wanted to understand a little bit more was around our members' experiences in the workplaces. There's a definite lack of data around the diversity of the nursing and midwifery workforce. I think that's quite telling in itself, the fact that nobody's actually shining a spotlight in this area and monitoring the demographics of the nurses and midwives, who they are, and how diverse a workforce they are. 

The information that we did have was around the fact that approximately one in four nurses are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, as a rough estimate. But we also know from speaking with our members and working with them, that we are a culturally diverse and linguistically diverse workforce. You only have to walk into a hospital or an aged care facility to see that, but the fact that nobody was actually examining their experiences, nobody was actually collecting any data around how they were faring compared to their non-CALD counterparts in the profession, was an oversight that we felt was just so obvious. 

We're very, very fortunate in the association that we have some fantastic leadership really committed to understanding the experiences of our CALD nurse and midwife members, and also working with them to improve their experience in the workplace. The starting point for us was to grow our own body of evidence about what they were experiencing, so that we could do our bit as a union representing them to further their issues. 

We put out a survey to all members in 2018, because we didn't have a good understanding of the diversity within our own membership. We asked members to self-report on their cultural and linguistic diversity and we had over 1200 responses, which was really good for a survey of such a small cohort in New South Wales. The findings that we identified through that survey told us a clear story of widespread racism, bullying and disadvantage for our CALD members in both health and aged care workplaces. 

Those experiences weren't restricted to particular sectors in particular areas in New South Wales, this was a widespread and systemic problem. In terms of the more specific information that they told us, about half of those who responded to the survey had experienced some kind of stereotyping, and that was closely followed by having offensive language aimed at them and isolation in the workplace. These are really big issues, as you know through Nurse & Midwife Support, the impact of those issues on people's psychological and physical wellbeing is huge. 

Interestingly and at the same time concerningly, around 5% of those members had actually been physically abused at work, which could be directly attributed to racism in the workplace. These are really concerning statistics that we're dealing with. In terms of more systemic issues within the workplaces around equality of opportunity, around 20% of the respondents said they felt they'd been passed over for promotion, and around 5% were actually being paid less than their colleagues. 

We know that this is not restricted to New South Wales or Australia. We know this is a globally recognised issue that there are layers of disadvantage for culturally and linguistically diverse healthcare workers in multiple settings, but to have that information to hand for us, painted a really stark picture of the state of play in New South Wales. 

In terms of how often the members were experiencing those issues, around a quarter of respondents were experiencing some form of racial discrimination monthly, but 10% were experiencing that every day. If you imagine turning up for your work shift every day with all the pressures in healthcare as a nurse, midwife or assistant to nursing ... all those pressures you already get, plus a COVID pandemic now over the past few years ... to then go to work and be racially targeted every single day must be an incredible burden for nurses and midwives to endure, and totally unacceptable. 

As a union, we felt there was a sense of urgency to step up and take action. But we needed to actually do this with our members and not for our members. To do that we had to create a platform for them, to have ongoing dialogue with us and lead our actions.

Catherine Ivanfy [11:09] Just to follow on from what Helen said, it was really important that we did establish this platform for our members to engage with us regularly, and that was through the creation of our professional Reference Group. This demonstrated for CALD nurses and midwives that there was a collective issue, as you could see from the statistics and the information that Helen brought up, within the professions, which was very alarming. 

This group and the establishment of this Reference Group allowed the CALD nurses and midwives the opportunity to discuss and work together in a safe environment towards moving and improving their workplaces. It also led to some acknowledgement within the workplaces that there is that racial discrimination, and they were able to work together on what can be done to improve the environment, and their workplaces for future nurses and midwives. That led to the creation and where the group is now.

Mark Aitken [12:07] Thanks, Helen and Catherine, it's really powerful information and research. If our listeners want more information on the research or your findings or want to access it, is it publicly available?

Helen Macukewicz [12:23] Thanks, Mark. Yes it is, we produced a report called 'The Cultural Safety Gap', and that's available on the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives' Association website. You can just Google 'The Cultural Safety Gap NSWMA', it should take you directly to it. Otherwise, you can access our website on www.nswnma.asn.au, you can visit our website and you should be able to navigate through to 'Reports' and it will be listed there as one of the reports that we've produced.

Mark Aitken [13:02] Thanks, Helen. We'll also include the link to that report as part of the show notes and transcript for this podcast. You'll have access to that link via the Nurse & Midwife Support website. Nurse & Midwife Support is fully committed to supporting culturally and linguistically diverse nurses and midwives, because we know that experiencing racism at work or in life is harmful for people. People report that they experience long-term impacts of racism, for many over a prolonged period of time. I think if we unite as a group of nurses and midwives, we can finally stamp this out. 

It's always curious to me that people are experiencing racism, not only from people that they're caring for at times, but also sometimes sadly from their colleagues. That's curious to me, because the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has a code of conduct, and 3.2 of that code of conduct that we actually all sign on to as part of our registration states that culturally safe and respectful practice requires having knowledge of how a nurses or midwives' own culture, values, attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs influence their interactions with people and families, the community and colleagues. It goes on to outline our responsibilities in relation to that element of the code of conduct. 

So if you haven't connected with that, I would encourage you to do that. We will also put that link in the show notes and transcript of this podcast. But I guess it's a call to action today, if you're listening to this podcast, to do everything you can to call out racism if you see it, and to do your bit to be part of our movement to stamp it out in this profession which we hold dear. 

If indeed any of the issues we talk about today raise issues, concern or trigger you, then Nurse & Midwife Support is available to support you. We're anonymous, confidential and free. We're available 24/7 no matter where you are in Australia, and you can contact us on 1800-667-877, or via our website, nmsupport.org.au. 

Now, we talked a bit about the resources that have been developed as part of the important work that the Reference Group and the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives' Association have done, and I'm really privileged to say that I was able to contribute to that suite of resources. I'm very grateful that Nurse & Midwife Support were asked, but Helen would you please talk about those resources and how people could access them?

Helen Macukewicz [16:11] Thanks, Mark. Happy to do that. Before I move on to that, I'd just like to, if I may, talk a little bit about what you were saying around professional obligations in terms of conduct and practice for registered nurses and midwives. That's a really important issue that we do focus on a lot with our education around racism and appropriate workplace behaviours. But there's a couple of things there, one is ... this has come out with the work that we've been doing, around lack of support for nurses and midwives in terms of how they can be good allies and good bystanders. Workplaces can be really hard, clique-y environments for nurses and midwives and what our research found was that often it's management's who people are signposted to report issues are actually people who may be perpetrating the racism and bullying and harassment. 

So we have to be mindful that people need more education and support around how can they safely be a good bystander, take bystander action and be a good ally. But also, we need to acknowledge that there's a whole lot of structural barriers for nurses and midwives to step in where they see racism happening with their colleagues. It's definitely a multi-pronged approach that we need. 

I know at the association, we've been developing some bystander training, and that's available on our website as well. I'd encourage people to go onto the website of ours and have a look at that bystander education. We're signed up to the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign that the Australian Human Rights Commission facilitates, we have a page on our website dedicated to the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign work, all our resources are on there. Also, there's a series of webinars on there, one of which does focus specifically around bystander reaction, and that is so important that we all step up. 

I'm not a person of colour myself, but I do work to become actively anti-racist, and an active ally for my colleagues. It's really important that we have the right skills and knowledge and security to know what action we can take, and to acknowledge our own internal biases and the biases in which we operate within society more generally. So yeah, it's a huge issue, Mark. Not one I'm sure that we're going to be able to cover today. 

But to bring it back to the resources and promotional materials that the group have developed ... this is just one part of a whole strategy because we know we can put a poster up somewhere, it doesn't mean anything unless you've got all the other structures around that make that powerful and impactful. As a group, one of the things that they have done is to develop some resources to support CALD nurses and midwives in the workplace, but also to raise awareness that racism exists. It's been very important for us to actually talk about racism openly, not shy away from it, and acknowledge that it is present in workplaces. It's present, of course, throughout society, but those prejudices and biases don't leave themselves at the door when you enter a health and aged care workplace, so of course, we acknowledge that racism exists in those workplaces. 

These are resources that are on that webpage of our website I mentioned, but they've been validated because they have actually been developed by members, tested by them, and now they're promoted by members from CALD backgrounds. They are practical advisory leaflets, as well as posters that acknowledge racism exists. There's also practical leaflets on there, which talk about how to be a good bystander, what to do if you experience racism, which talks them through the processes and avenues within their workplaces that are available to them, including union support. 

More importantly, a leaflet has been developed ... and this was an idea from the members themselves. There are a lot of nurses and midwives out there who don't feel validated and unless they know that there's other people there that are also experiencing the same issues, it's very difficult to have validation, especially if you're the only CALD person in your workplace. It's a leaflet that's called 'Navigating Unacceptable Workplace Behaviours', and it really just gives some of the more commonly experienced scenarios for CALD nurses and midwives in the workplace, and some strategies on how they can manage those. That's been really well-received and rolled out. So I would encourage people to access our website and download those resources and communicate them in every workplace.

Mark Aitken [22:05] Thanks, Helen, that's really useful information and you make some excellent points. What would you suggest to somebody who was experiencing racism at work right now? What would you suggest they do?

Helen Macukewicz [22:19] Initially, it depends on whether it's something that's got a sense of danger to it, or if it's something that's happened that they're reflecting on. There's various approaches that are needed, depending on the circumstance at which the racism has happened. 

One of the most important things that people can do is have allies in the workplace. Seek out like-minded people, seek out people who you feel safe to discuss your issues with. Of course, people can contact the union, but the union is a phone call away, or an email away, and people often need support there and then. 

So it's important to have people around you and in the workplace who you can go to immediately, who you know will give you that backing and support, and validate that what is happening is actually happening. Because often people can get undermined in the workplace, especially if there's a bullying culture within that particular environment. People can be disbelieved or made to relive the stories or asked to go and sort it out themselves, because people lack the skills and knowledge to be able to assist. It's not a 'one answer fits all', I'm afraid, Mark, but we have got the resources there that people can access. Of course, in New South Wales, people can also join the Reference Group and seek some validation through others who have also had similar experiences in the workplace.

Mark Aitken [23:57] Thanks, Helen, that's very useful. If you are experiencing racism and you need to talk, Nurse & Midwife Support is listening. So contact us anytime: 1800-667-877. 

Catherine, who are the members of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse referencing group? And how can people listening get involved?

Catherine Ivanfy [24:22] To follow on from what Helen said, you can contact the Association as a first point if you do experience that racism within the workplace. Just to add on, I always say that possible documentation is important as well. Having a list of what has gone on, I'm a big advocate for documentation within the workplace and just having notes so then you can refer to this at a later point to jog your memory. That's something else to add on there. 

You asked who were the members of the CALD Reference Group. They're an amazing, amazing bunch of members. They come from a range of Nursing and Midwifery areas across New South Wales, and they come together to collectively discuss what's occurring in the workplace. As Helen said, you don't have to be of a CALD background to join the group. There are people there who are interested in assisting and allying to stop this racial discrimination, stereotyping and racial isolation within those workplaces, and it's just amazing to watch. 

The nurses and midwives who are part of the CALD Reference Group are experts in this area. This is their specialty area, this is what hits home to them. This is what they experience on a daily basis, and they're the ones who have lived and experienced and witnessed what has gone on in regards to racial discrimination. I've said it, but members of the CALD group are such an inspiration. When we listened to their stories and experiences, I'm in awe of their resilience and their drive to improve the Nursing Midwifery professions. 

So that's who the members are, I know that you might possibly talk to them at a later stage, Mark, but they are just amazing people, and I'm always so happy to be involved in this group. So if you are listening, and you would like to get involved in the group, you have to be a member of the Association, but that would just mean getting in touch with us. This can be done through the New South Wales NMA website, and filling out a contact or query form, or by emailing [email protected]

We're stronger together, and we always welcome new members of the CALD Reference Group.

Mark Aitken [26:53] Thanks very much, Catherine, really important points that you make. I've met with several members of the CALD Reference Group, I was lucky enough to be invited to a group meeting and talk to the group about Nurse & Midwife Support when I was at the recent New South Wales Nurses and Midwives' Association Conference. I can reinforce that that group is incredibly engaged, passionate, and committed to doing this work and supporting culturally and linguistically diverse nurses and midwives, and amplifying these important messages and points. As part of this podcast and series, I'm going to speak to four members of that group, that's a companion podcast to this one. You'll be able to hear from four members of the Reference Group themselves if you listen to that podcast, and there's a link to that podcast in the show notes and transcript for this podcast. 

So thank you very much. It's really exciting work that you're doing, and I'm incredibly humbled, actually. I'm listening to you both speak, and I'm thinking there must be other people listening to this because we have a national audience who want to get involved but aren't in New South Wales or aren't part of the Association and [want to] do their bit. How would you suggest somebody listening from outside New South Wales start something like this up in their region or their health service?

Helen Macukewicz [28:37] Another important question. People can always reach out to the Nurses and Midwives' Association so that we can share some of the experiences and learnings that we've had through the development of this group. Like I said, we've got excellent leadership in the Nurses and Midwives' Association, and I know they are fully committed to this group and to the elimination of racism in Nursing and Midwifery workplaces. I'm sure that they would have no hesitation for people to reach out to us so that we can share our experiences.

I think even more importantly than that, organisations can get involved just by simply engaging with their membership. Let the people who are going through the experiences, living the experiences, be the voice and be the experts and be the consultants in this work. That's how we've done it. Not because we know all the answers, but by going to people that do have those experiences and know what needs to happen. Really, all we've done is facilitate them doing their own work in this space. As Cat said it's an amazing and humbling experience for us to be able to go through that journey with them. 

So yeah, do reach out to us. But firstly, listen to people who are going through the experiences and hear what they're actually saying and what assistance they need to work through those issues and to make improvements in workplaces. It is an area that when you talk to people about this issue, when you talk openly about racism, people will start opening up, and other organisations have. I know we're really committed and engaged to making a difference in this space, but we need to start talking about it, we need to start weaving these issues into every conversation that we have, and not being afraid to use the words of racism and the language of discrimination, because that's what's going to get this issue discussed around a table, not by covering it over, putting it in a too-hard box, or pretending it doesn't exist. 

My experience since working in this group is that there's a lot of people out there who really want to do a lot of good work in this space, and we're only going to achieve change if we all collectively work together to make that change. I'm so glad that Nurse & Midwife Support have been an excellent partner with us in this space. I'm sure we've got more fantastic work that we can do going forward, and anyone that wants to join us on that journey is more than welcome to come along.

Mark Aitken [31:31] Thanks, Helen, I actually can see in the future that we have a national conference where we explore this issue and bring all parties together and like-minded people together to hopefully come up with a national strategy for how we can stamp out racism within our profession. Really important work. No doubt many of our listeners are doing some great work themselves. If you are, thank you very much for what you're doing and we'd love to hear from you. So get in touch, [email protected]. I'd love to hear from you and amplify the great work that you're doing. 

I've done the cultural safety training that the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives provide, and I can highly recommend it, it's very important and informative training. I'd also like to acknowledge the really important work that CATSINaM are doing to put a spotlight on this issue, but also to raise the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives. We'll be recording a podcast in the future on it. I'll let you know when that happens. 

Catherine, why do you think a group like the CALD Reference Group is important, apart from the many reasons you've already outlined? Are there any other elements that you'd like to highlight, why you think this is important or what the members have told you they get out of the group?

Catherine Ivanfy [33:09] You know Mark, Helen has expanded on it beautifully how we have worked, and we've developed these tools and resources, but it is so important because it not only does that but it provides a safe space, where nurses and midwives can feel engaged with other clinicians who understand, really understand, what they're going through. 

You said 'amplifies'. It's important for us that we actually raise the volume of our members' voices through our association. A humbling thing is that we've been contacted by some members that have seen the posters of the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign, and they've seen a change within their workplace. So some people have previously not been nice to them, and when they see the posters coming around, they've changed their attitude. 

It fills me with so much pride, and this is what this group is about. This is why it is so important. Changing the landscape of the nursing midwifery professions, that's what the group's doing. It's highlighting that it's not okay to display this behaviour. As you put it, it's in our Code of Conduct, we sign to this when we register every year, right? But we agree to uphold the codes and guidelines, but it's important for nurses and midwives to know that the New South Wales NMA are behind them. Just like Nurse & midwife Support, we're there to support them. 

The collegiality within our group is just amazing. We get to meet new members, hear those stories and their experiences. Each story and each experience is very individual. I know I've noticed if someone in the group is going through a hard time particularly, we talk about it and support them. They're not isolated, which can happen sometimes within workplaces if you don't have that support network, which is very important as Helen put earlier on. Finding like-minded people within your workplace to support them if racism and discrimination is happening to them. 

So knowing that the Association supports not just CALD nurses and midwives but their allies as well is important. It allows them to have the freedom that they might not have been able to experience previously. That includes coming from an international background where that unionism isn't really explored or allowed within workplaces. 

Within Australia, you can have that freedom to have your opinions heard and have action within your workplace. It's not only this, it's the added knowledge that there's a group available who are there to support them, and have similar experiences. So that's an add-on to why this group is so important, and why I'm sure Helen and I love being part of this group. 

Mark Aitken [36:14] Oh, I can hear that and I can hear your passion, Helen and Catherine and your commitment to this work. We're so lucky that you're doing that. Huge gratitude from us, and thanks. 

When I met with the group, and after listening to you both today, I know that the group has made huge achievements in the work that you've done and raising these important issues. (Thanks, Helen, that's great.) Do you have future plans that you're going into work towards?

Helen Macukewicz [36:50] Well, it's a really interesting time for us as a group, because we're actually looking at our future plans for the next 12 months. The group is a safe place for members to come, and a forum where they can express their views and share their experiences, but we also need to ensure that we're there for a purpose as well. Through that purpose, we develop actions as to how we're going to achieve that. 

So we've just met, we've just had a look at our range for the next 12 months. We've got some really, gosh, such exciting plans for the next 12 months. What I guess is the main thing for us to work on really is to continue to be a voice. Continue to attend podcasts like this and participate. Continue to ensure that the group is present, and that we continue to make people accountable if racism does occur, and ensure that we are creating some safe workplaces for our members. Definitely lots of little actions that are going to lead to those big end goals I guess.

It would also be amazing to have representation of more culturally and linguistically diverse nurses and midwives in the media, and also in top jobs within nursing and midwifery workforces, wouldn't that be great? Because we know that there's an inequity in terms of advantage in workplaces, and also that the top layers of management in many nursing, midwifery and aged care workplaces is definitely not reflective of the workforce in terms of its diversity and makeup. So definitely one of the future plans is to look at some of those systemic barriers within workplaces and build accountability into the health and aged care sectors.

Catherine Ivanfy [39:10] Yeah, and like Helen said, it's very important that we do have that appropriate representation of CALD nurses and midwives throughout those various outlets. A member put it really nicely that the work that we're doing now is to ensure future nurses and midwives don't have to go through the same negative experiences throughout their careers and that just really hit home. This is what the future is for us, and that's what we really want to do. By doing the hard work now we're just trying to improve our nursing and midwifery professions. Just as Helen said, it's so important that we do things like what we're doing today by talking to you, Mark, to raise that awareness of what we're doing in this space and bring it to the forefront of discussion to improve our professions as a whole.

Mark Aitken [39:57] Great points. Well, I can't believe we’ve gotten to the end of the podcast, we could talk about this really important issue and area all day no doubt. We're all so committed to it and passionate about it, but as I said, there's a companion podcast to this one where you get to hear from four members of this really excellent and amazing Reference Group. 

So just as we end, Catherine and Helen, I'd like to say a huge thank you for being such great guests and once again, congratulations for the important work that you and the Reference Group do. And indeed the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives' Association for amplifying and supporting this issue and doing this work. 

Any final words of wisdom before we finish?

Helen Macukewicz [40:47] I'd just like to thank you, Mark, for allowing us the opportunity to talk about the group. I'm really excited to hear what the group members are going to be talking about when you speak to them in the follow-up podcast. Thanks very much.

Catherine Ivanfy [41:02] Yeah, thank you so much for having us, and thanks to Nurse & Midwife Support for hosting us as well. I'd also like to thank our members because without them, we wouldn't be doing this work and raising this awareness. They're what keeps us, Helen and myself, driving in this area to move forward and they're just the wood beneath our fire making us hotter, getting us ready to tackle any new issues and move forward in a space.

Mark Aitken [41:32] Thanks once again, and thanks very much to all of those listening. Please help us spread the word about this important issue and area and share this podcast with others. By sharing it or liking us on your podcast platform it allows more people to hear about the podcast and to know about these important issues. So thanks again. Look after yourselves and each other. Your Health Matters. I'll speak to you next time.