NACCHO political alert: Don’t ignore Aboriginal male health new Government urged

Mark

The Mad Bastards

Sharing Jack Bulman’s outrage about the funding back-down is leading Aboriginal doctor and men’s health campaigner, Dr Mark Wenitong, (a consultant to NACCHO) who described the Mad Bastards program as, “one of the few really resonant resources that speak intimately to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males in a way they can relate to.”

“We know this program works and works well, and our communities know it works well,” said Dr Wenitong. “But once again Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s health has been sacrificed.”

Jack

Press release

A national Indigenous men’s health charity said the withdrawal of a federal funding offer for a unique national program is further evidence of government neglect of Aboriginal men’s health.

Jack

Mibbinbah CEO Jack Bulman said his organisation had been offered funding to deliver the Mad Bastards program for a year by Indigenous Health Minister, Warren Snowdon, only to have it snatched away again as the Government moved into caretaker mode.

The Mad Bastards Guide: Be The Best You Can Be is an award winning outreach program that builds on the success of ‘Mad Bastards’ – the movie.

Developed over the past two years by a volunteer working group of Aboriginal men’s health experts, doctors and academics the successful outreach program has been delivered in seven communities and within the Western Australian corrections system and has been praised for its ability to inspire cultural strengthening and cultural exchange across generations.

The program has been developed and delivered with not one cent of government money.

“Those of us working in Aboriginal men’s health are used to being largely ignored and having to fight for funding,” said Mr Bulman. “But to be offered a relatively small amount of money (less than $400,000) to deliver a vital service to Aboriginal men and then have the offer withdrawn by the Minister’s office is both cruel and unacceptable.”

Mr Bulman said that there was compelling evidence that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s health was regularly given a low priority by Australian governments.

“Here we have a program which came from the Aboriginal community itself; was developed and delivered to communities and prisons across the country by volunteers using no tax-payers money and which has received universal support from both Aboriginal men and women as a powerful and effective tool for health and healing and the minister’s office treats us with contempt.

“This has caused our efforts enormous damage and has dismayed the lots of communities who see this program as something that can help our men back to their rightful place in society, and in doing help women, children and whole of communities,” said Mr Bulman.

Sharing Jack Bulman’s outrage about the funding back-down is leading Aboriginal doctor and men’s health campaigner, Dr Mark Wenitong, who described the Mad Bastards program as, “one of the few really resonant resources that speak intimately to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males in a way they can relate to.”

“We know this program works and works well, and our communities know it works well,” said Dr Wenitong. “But once again Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s health has been sacrificed.”

“How are we going to close the gap without our men? How can we turn around the terrible fact that more Aboriginal men are in prison than complete year 12? How are we going to create safe, nurturing families and communities for our kids to grow up in and meet their full potential if our men aren’t healed and don’t have purpose?” asked Mr Bulman. “We want Governments, to get fair dinkum about our health and well-being; the Howard Government didn’t prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males’ health and well-being; the Rudd and Gillard governments have continued this paying lip service to our health.

“The Rudd/Gillard government spent $13m on the failed Grocery Watch and $18.4 million was spent by the Howard Government on maintaining two permanent residences Kirribilli House and the Lodge but apparently we can’t find less than half a million to provide real opportunities for healing Aboriginal men.

“We urge the incoming government, whoever wins on Saturday, to take our health needs seriously and start by funding a tried and true effective program which assists our men to health themselves and take responsibility for their own actions.

“It’s time to act, Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott,” Jack Bulman said.

For more information and interviews:

Mibbinbah CEO Jack Bulman 0416 173 975

Dr Mark Wenitong 0417 648 767

http://mibbinbah.org/

http://www.madbastards.com.au/

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