NACCHO Aboriginal Health :Record number of Australians speak up for National Close the Gap Day

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It’s clear that Australians care about this issue and expect our leaders to act, Progress is starting to be made on Indigenous health, as outlined by Prime Minister Tony Abbott last month in his closing the gap speech to Parliament.

“The target to halve the gap in child mortality within a decade is on track to be met, and smoking rates amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are going down.

“But there’s still a long way to go, which is why we need Federal and State Governments to take a coordinated approach and continue funding Indigenous health initiatives in order to build on the progress already made.”

Indigenous Rights Policy Advisor Andrew Meehan

More than 100,000 Australians will hold or attend a record number of events around the country next Thursday (20 March) to remind politicians of their commitment to close the gap on health inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Community groups, health services, businesses, schools, universities, government offices and individuals around Australia are registering online to hold a Close the Gap event in homes, workplaces, schools and communities.

MORE INFO HERE

Oxfam Australia’s Indigenous Rights Policy Advisor Andrew Meehan said registered events had now hit a record 1060; this showed an undeniable groundswell of support from everyday Australians expecting governments to keep their promise to invest in Indigenous health.

“Just as parliamentarians on all sides put aside their differences and came together last month in Canberra, next Thursday Australians will come together as one in support of ending the disgrace that sees Indigenous people die up to 17 years earlier than their non-Indigenous counterparts,” Mr Meehan said.

He said the diverse range of events ranged from a school in Nowra creating a mural wall and running a photobooth for students to record their hopes for closing the gap, to the NSW Ambulance Service running events at all of their sites throughout the state.

Meanwhile, politicians in WA will create hand prints on a banner outside Parliament House, a public event in Sydney’s Alfred Park will include a bush tucker picnic, music and speakers, and Aboriginal community controlled health services are hosting events throughout the country.

Oxfam is inviting high school students to take part in a Photo Challenge on Instagram from 17 – 21 March for a chance to win prizes including a signed football and poster from Australian of the Year Adam Goodes.

“It’s clear that Australians care about this issue and expect our leaders to act,” Mr Meehan said. “Progress is starting to be made on Indigenous health, as outlined by Prime Minister Tony Abbott last month in his closing the gap speech to Parliament.

“The target to halve the gap in child mortality within a decade is on track to be met, and smoking rates amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are going down.

“But there’s still a long way to go, which is why we need Federal and State Governments to take a coordinated approach and continue funding Indigenous health initiatives in order to build on the progress already made.”

Oxfam is part of the Close the Gap campaign, Australia’s biggest public movement for health equality. It is a coalition of Australia’s leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and human rights organisations.

National Close the Gap day launched in 2008.

Each year has seen it grow even bigger, with 970 events held last year. Go to oxfam.org.au for more information or to register.

Melbourne

Oxfam, ANTAR & VACCHO will be hosting the perfect event to have learn more about ways to close the gap with Jill Gallagher, the CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACHO) and Bruce Francis, the Associate Director of Australia Programs. This event will also feature a film and some lunch!

Taking place at 11.45am -145pm at University Square, CARLTON, corner of Leicester and Pelham Street.

Contact Josh Cubillo from Oxfam on 0392 899 495 for more information.

Another wonderful event will also be taking place in Melbourne hosted by the Royal Australian College of General Practioners at 10am till 12.30pm at The John Murtagh Centre.

 As a proud member of the Close the Gap campaign steering committee, the RACGP will be hosting a NCTGD event at the East Melbourne office from 10am-12.30pm. The RACGP is committed to supporting all Close the Gap efforts and sees that primary care provides opportunities to make a real difference in this campaign.

The RACGP is hosting an awareness raising event for staff and members, with guest speakers, launch of Oxfam CTG photographic exhibition, special documentary screening over lunch, Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony.

Please visit their website for more information or contact Mary Lin on 0386 990 357.

Sydney

ANTaR & Oxfam will be hosting their annual National Close the Gap Day picnic in Prince Alfred Park in Surry Hills, Sydney, between 12pm and 2pm on March 20th. Local organizations and members of the public will have the opportunity to engage in the issues surrounding health inequality with prominent speakers and music from Leah Flanagan. It will be a fun occasion with everybody invited to contribute something to the picnic as well as the cause.

Please visit our Facebook event or contact Jane Powles on 0292 800 060 for more information.

Brisbane

Queensland Aboriginal & Islander Health Council (QAIHC), CheckUP, Oxfam & ANTaR are holding a public morning tea at 10am on level two of 55 Russell Street, West End, 4101. There will be a variety of their representatives that will speak about the progress that the campaign has made and things that still need to be done to achieve health equality amongst all Australians. Following this discussion, everybody will get involved by putting on a bright Close The Gap t-shirt and walk together to join ANTaR QLD’s picnic from midday in the nearby Musgrave Park!

Everybody is welcome to bring their own lunch!

If you need any information on the day please contact: Rubena Anderson & Troy Combo from QAIHC on 0401 512 067.

Perth

To precede the rest of our national event happening on National Close the Gap Day,  Oxfam and the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia will be asking the public to put their Hands up to Close the Gap at Parliament House on Wednesday 19th March. From 11am there will be a combination of guest speakers present to talk about the Close The Gap campaign and politicians who will show their support to Close The 10-17 year Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ health and life expectancy by putting their handprints on a close the gap banner from 11am to 2pm.

For more information please visit our Facebook page or contact paddyc@oxfam.org.au or Lauren.Walker@ahcwa.org.

Mount Gambier

Another event to take place before the 20th March will be hosted by the South East Aboriginal Community Controlled health organisation Pangula Mannamurna in Mt Gambier on Tuesday March 18th between 10am and 2pm. A number of local health and Aboriginal organisations will be holding stalls on the day, all focusing on how it is possible to have fun while still being healthy.  The event will include a healthy lunch (wraps), traditional dancers, jump for heart and tai chi.  There will be a strong focus on schools, with all local schools being invited to participate. The local Mayor, state and federal MPs have all been invited.

The event will be at Pangula Mannamurna, 191 Commercial St West, Mt Gambier, SA.

Call 8724 7270 to arrange transport (local clients) or to register your school (registrations close March 14th 2014).

Darwin

An amazing number of organisations have come together in Darwin to put on an outdoor event in the beautiful Jingili Water Gardens under the shade of its wonderful trees from 10am – 2pm. The Danila Dilba Health Service, City of Darwin, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, NTML, Flinders University, CAAPS, Fred Hollows Foundation, General Practice Education NT and the Heart Foundation invite you to join them for a BBQ serving up kangaroo burgers and a healthy salad!

For a refreshing drink you’ll be able to have a go on their smoothie bike where you can make fruit smoothies whilst you cycle. Entertainment will include a didgeridoo workshop alongside some local dance performances from the one Mob dancers, the Bagot Victory Dancers and the Groovy Grans Line dancers.

In a great effort to make sure that National Close the Gap Day is about improving Indigenous health, there will be health checks provided by the local mobile outreach team from Danila Dilba. Plus, there will be some pharmacists on hand from a few local pharmacies to assist with any medication queries or information.

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You can hear more about Aboriginal health and Close the Gap at the NACCHO SUMMIT

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The importance of our NACCHO member Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) is not fully recognised by governments.

The economic benefits of ACCHS has not been recognised at all.

We provide employment, income and a range of broader community benefits that mainstream health services and mainstream labour markets do not. ACCHS need more financial support from government, to provide not only quality health and wellbeing services to communities, but jobs, income and broader community economic benefits.

A good way of demonstrating how economically valuable ACCHS are is to showcase our success at a national summit.

SUMMIT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO

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