Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Colonisation: the Experience of a Psychiatric Nurse Through the Lens of Reflective Autobiography

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posted on 2021-11-03, 00:36 authored by Ramsamy, Krishnasamy

The oppression of colonization lives on in the daily lives of colonized people. It is vital for us as nurses to understand the effects of that oppression, as well as the restrictive impacts, and dislocation from one's land and culture to-day. Nurses come from both the descendants of colonisers and the colonised. This thesis is a journey and a quest for insights into the impacts and significances of colonisation by looking at historical and socio-political contexts that have bearing on the health of colonised people who remain mostly powerless and marginalized. It is prompted in response to a cultural safety model which advocates that nurses should become familiar with their own background and history in order to be culturally safe in practice. This reflective autobiographical account is a personal effort and provides the foundation for an exploration of issues during nursing practice encounters, from a colonised ethnic minority perspective. The method was informed by Moustakas research approach and Johnstone's Reflective Topical Autobiographical process. The selection of specific events are deliberate, to make visible some of the many barriers that exist within our health structures as pertinent issues for non-dominant cultures that remain on the margin of our society. Maori issues provide a contrast and became a catalyst for me as the author while working for kaupapa Maori services in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The intention of this thesis is to generate new knowledge about what it means to be a nurse from an ethnic minority working in a kaupapa Maori mental health service, and to encourage other nurses to explore these issues further. Some recommendations are made for nurses in the last chapter, as I believe that they are ideally situated to build upon the strengths indigenous people already have and contribute positively toward the improvement of poor health outcomes of the colonized people in an embracing and collective way.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health


Bickley, Joy; Phillips, Brian; McEldowney, Rose