The Forrest Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes was released in August 2014. As part of consultations the Australian Government sought public feedback on the recommendations made in the report Creating Parity – the Forrest Review to be submitted by 20 September 2014. Read more about NACCHO’s response below.
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) welcomes the opportunity to provide a response to the Forrest Review: Creating Parity (the Review) and its high level focus on critical issues affecting Aboriginal communities today in health, education and employment. NACCHO is the national authority on Aboriginal Comprehensive Primary Health Care, representing over 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across the country on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues.
The organisation promotes a holistic approach to understanding health, which is influenced by non-health variables, including social, cultural, educational and economic factors. NACCHO also recognises the significant role of other peak Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and human rights organisations with expertise on these issues. NACCHO is generally supportive of the focus of the Review’s recommendations on the importance of investment in prenatal, early childhood and education and building employer demand (Chapters 1 and 7).
However, NACCHO finds the Review lacking in key areas, and encourages the Government’s subsequent response to demonstrate greater consideration of the following:
i) The systemic and infrastructural barriers to achieving good health and workforce participation, with reference to geographic differences;
ii) the fundamental role of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) sector in addressing the critical issues raised; and
iii) the lack of focus and ongoing funding on health preventative programs and initiatives, particularly those delivered through National Partnership Arrangements.