Jimbelunga represents a leading approach to care

Connection through relationships, diversity, self-determination and healing are the four core values underpinning Jimbelunga’s Model of Care. In late November, Aged Care Operations Manager Belinda Charles explored what these values mean in practice, while on stage at the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives’ (CATSINaM) regional conference, where she spoke about her work at Jimbelunga as part of a panel discussion on models of care.

CATSINaM is the collective national voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives and every year, the body brings together stakeholders and thought leaders to share ideas, experiences and skills to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year’s theme was ‘Healing and Leadership equals strong Elders.’

Nurse practitioners Jo Burton and Vanessa Browne joined Belinda on the panel which aimed to increase awareness and understanding of culturally safe nursing models of care and approaches led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses, share information with nurses to promote the adoption, development or adaption of models of care in their own clinical settings and celebrate nursing models of care showcased.

Belinda spoke about how ATSICHS Brisbane and Jimbelunga collaborated with the Queensland University of Technology to develop their person-centred and trauma-informed Model of Care, which was launched in mid-2023. The Model serves as an example of how to effectively provide services in aged care.

“What I am most proud about is the way in which we have gained community trust in providing care to our most vulnerable Elders, this has been evident by the increase in residents that identify being admitted to Jimbelunga but also our contribution to developing a strong First Nations workforce,” Belinda said.

“Community see what we do, how we do it and they want to be a part of it.”

Belinda gave her perspective, as a nurse, on the implementation of the Model and associated core values in everyday practice, explaining the principles and importance of trauma-informed care particularly for those of the Stolen Generation.

“I am also hoping I was able to provide some of the many nursing students who attended a little inspiration in how they too can use these core values to guide the way in which they will deliver care as they commence their careers.”

The conversation was a large and diverse one, with Belinda also sharing her experience around workforce planning, developing a skilled First Nations workforce, job opportunities and pathways, supporting each other in the industry and contributing to discussion around important topics like dementia care and the impacts of systemic racism.

Jimbelunga, meaning ‘a place for friendship’ in the Yugambeh language, has continued to evolve and expand since opening its doors in 1994 and the fact its Model of Care is being showcased as a leading industry example speaks to the team’s commitment to providing the highest quality of life, for the 70 residents, in a nurturing and holistic setting.