Going for the Aboriginal Cultural Project was a once in a lifetime experience for me. Interacting with the Aboriginals and learning from their stories brings a whole new perspective to the way I viewed cultural diversity. I learnt to appreciate upfront the richness and diversity of the Aborignal culture that I could never have experienced from UWA or staying in Perth. One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS), an all-in-one medical clinical that provides a range of specialities for Aboriginal health. Despite its relatively small size, the impact GRAMS has is enormous as they service the entire Midwest region. Reaching out to the community via buses and satellite clinics, GRAMS brings health services right to the doorstep of the community and improves accessibility to health care in the rural region.
A fascinating perspective shared by an Aboriginal elder at GRAMS is that sometimes, physical health is not viewed as a priority by the Aborignals. In the case of a diabetic patient for example, compared to leaving his home to the city for dialysis treatment, being close to his family and the land may be more important to him and his spiritual wellbeing. These values revolving around family, community, and the land are something I admire, coming from a Chinese background myself.
Compared to college social events like annual balls and parties, I would highly recommend this cultural trip to anyone who wish to explore new cultures and perhaps even challenge your current values and beliefs that forms your identity.