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Deadly Start


This could be your deadly start to a career in healthcare. Mater Education, in partnership with Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS) and Brisbane North West Trade Training Centre, is proud to offer this customised program, which gives school students who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander the opportunity to explore a range of exciting healthcare career pathways.

Over six months (two school terms) program participants are working towards the nationally recognised HLT23215 Certificate II in Health Support Services qualification, gaining an incredible tool kit of skills, knowledge and confidence along the way.

Key areas of learning and skill development in the Deadly Start program include:

  • infection control and safety
  • first aid and CPR
  • delivering quality healthcare to patients
  • communication in the health industry
  • roles and duties of an assistant in nursing
  • career options within the health industry.

Deadly Start and beyond: The Deadly Start program is a springboard to further career development with Mater Education. On completion of the program students have the option to continue their studies with the Deadly Start Traineeship Program (an 18 month traineeship exploring a nursing, dental, allied health, patient support services or health administration career) or the Mater Education Gap Program (a 10 week program to obtain a HLT33115 Certificate III in Health Services Assistance).

Who should enrol?

Our Deadly Start program is designed for senior school students who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and are interested in pursuing a dynamic career in healthcare.

Course information

  • The initiative
    Deadly Start is a pilot program that has been developed by MNHHS to attract, engage, train and employ young Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander peoples into the Health Industry by providing Traineeship opportunities in Assistant in Nursing, Allied Health Assistant and Dental Assistant in 2019; with a view to expanding the program into the future.

    The young, Indigenous Traineeship program sits within an overall ‘Grow Your Own Work Force’ (GYOworkforce) strategy called Education2Employment Pathways, developed by Queensland Health Workforce Strategy Branch.

    These health career pathways are structured through career inspiration days, vocational education, training and practical learning experiences to support entry level employment or university course selection and completion.

    Why has it been created?

    1. To reach a target of three per cent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment by 2022

    As at October 2018, a little more than one per cent of MNHHS’s current workforce identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, which equates to just 201 staff.

    However, our target is three per cent, which equates to approximately 540 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs). 

    Without a targeted and proactive approach, this target won’t be realised - Deadly Start is an additional strategy to help us meet our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

    2. To provide culturally-appropriate care

    Culturally-appropriate care is two-fold – it is about increasing success through the practical, as well as the experiential, elements of our patients’ treatment.

    • Patient experiences of health care services impact, directly, on their health-related behaviours and health outcomes
    • Indigenous Australians are much more likely than non-Indigenous Australians to leave hospitals without completing treatment.
    • People who take their own leave from hospital are far more likely to re-present to emergency departments, and to have higher mortality rates.

    Being able to connect our patients with staff who understand and address the fears they may be experiencing, is crucial to reducing the level of Discharge Against Medical Advice (DAMA) among Indigenous patients.

    Culturally-appropriate care means having staff our patients trust through a shared cultural heritage, who can take the time to explain the situation, talk them through areas such as their treatment options and what they can expect, as well as help them to understand why they are being given certain medications and how to make sure they are effective, is an important step toward Closing the Gap on health outcomes for Indigenous patients.

    3.To be the catalyst for generational change

    Access to education, employment and healthcare influence the quality of life, and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, however to lift these rates, we need to work toward longer-term approaches, that focus on generational change.

    Deadly Start address all three of these challenges from the ground up, by creating a program that takes students from recruitment all the way through to employment outcomes, with incredible support structures from simple things like access to transportation to attend training and work, through to quality mentorship with a strategic focus on higher retention rates.