Meet Lilian Abbew, Bijaya Pokharel and Sumina Shrestha, PhD candidates in the School of Nursing and Midwifery.
Lilian Abbew is in her first year of our Professional Doctorate degree.
“I come from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, and I am committed to the aged care and disability sector. I have worked in roles including social work, and as an assessor in the aged care sector. There, I observed that older Africans face issues accessing and participating in aged care services in Australia, and I was concerned for the wellbeing of my community.
As an African, I am keen to promote initiatives which encourage participation in services that improve health and wellbeing. I am now undertaking a Professional Doctorate degree in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, researching the needs of older Africans who are predisposed to cognitive decline and mental illness, and whether those needs are being met in Australia’s aged care system.
I hope that my research will establish whether advocacy, education, and policy changes could help address the accessibility of aged care, and ultimately, improve the health and wellbeing of my African community.”
PhD candidate, Bijaya Pokharel, is investigating how staff in general practice settings can better assist women from immigrant or refugee backgrounds who are experiencing family violence.
“My research identifies how culturally competent family violence responses can be adopted at all levels in general practice settings,” says Pokharel. “These responses include understanding a patient’s cultural background and how to interact respectfully, designing clinics with welcoming physical settings, and the kinds of training that could be provided to enable culturally competent care.”
“I want to ensure that primary care providers can be a source of support for culturally diverse women experiencing family violence in our community.”
PhD candidate, Sumina Shrestha, is exploring how the migration status of workers influences the care offered to residents in aged care settings.
“The aged care workforce is very multi-cultural, as are the residents,” says Shrestha. “Caring behaviours provided by workers, and the expectations of the residents, are heavily influenced by cultural beliefs and values.”
“My study will inform policymakers and aged care providers about the caring self-efficacy and behaviours of migrant and non-migrant care workers. I hope this will help enhance the quality of care provided by aged care workers.”