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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status

Speech pathologists should routinely check Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status in clients' health records and with the clients themselves.

Reference: N/A
NHMRC level of Evidence: GPP

People of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background  cannot necessarily be identified on the basis of physical appearance.  It is important to be aware of a client’s ethnic/cultural background in order to provide culturally safe and appropriate services and to understand potential linguistic/pragmatic behaviours. Without knowledge of the client’s cultural background, particularly in terms of linguistic issues in the context of speech pathology (e.g. languages/dialects spoken), misdiagnoses are possible.


+61 7 3365 2891

Professor Linda Worrall
The University of Queensland
ST LUCIA QLD 4072   



The University of Queensland
La Trobe University
Macquarie University
The University of Newcastle
The University of Sydney
Edith Cowan University