NACCHO AGM News: Prime Minister Tony Abbott sends positive message to open NACCHO AGM in Perth

Question Time in the House of Representatives

“New Government,New Approach” was the theme on the opening day of the  NACCHO AGM and members meeting in Perth this week.

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With Parliament sitting in Canberra messages and video addresses were sent from the Prime Minister (see below), Senator the Hon Fiona Nash Assistant Minister of Health ,Samantha Palmer First Assistant Secretary Indigenous Health Service Delivery Department of Health, Maria Jolly Assistant Secretary Health Policy  and John Shevlin Assistant Secretary Health Programmes DPM and C.

Jeff McMullen ,Justin Mohamed and Fred Chaney moderated a very robust discussion on ” the Future of Aboriginal Affairs and Aboriginal Health”

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I send warm greetings to delegates attending the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Annual General Meeting and Members Meeting in Perth.

Every day the 150 local community health organisations that you represent improve the physical and emotional health of Aboriginal communities across Australia. I honour the work that you do.

It is appropriate that you meet only days after the release of the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data on indigenous life expectancy. While we can all draw some comfort from the improvements in life expectancy, the roughly 10 year gap between indigenous and non-indigenous life expectancy is still disturbing.

It must be our goal as a nation to eliminate this gap within a generation.

Our health is in many ways a reflection of our communities. That is why we have to ensure that children go to schools, adults go to work and the ordinary rule of the land operates in Aboriginal communities.

We need a new level of engagement at every level of society to ensure that Aboriginal people receive better educational, employment, housing and health outcomes. I have brought indigenous affairs into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to achieve exactly that.

I pay tribute to all of you who are working to provide Indigenous Australians with the local health services they need.

I send my best wishes for a successful meeting.

The Hon Tony Abbott MP

Prime Minister of Australia

19 November

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