NACCHO Press Release : NACCHO Chair welcomes new Health Minister Greg Hunt and Ken Wyatt as new Indigenous Health minister


” We congratulate Mr Hunt on his appointment as Health Minister and look forward to meeting with the minister to discuss the importance of Aboriginal led medical services in developing and delivering health programs for more than 750,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote, regional and urban communities.

NACCHO has a very productive working relationship with Ken Wyatt in his role as Assistant Minister for Health and we’re very pleased it will continue now he is elevated to Minister for Indigenous Health and Aged Care –  the first Aboriginal Australian to hold the office of Commonwealth Minister.”

National Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Matthew Cooke:

Photo above 2008 : On the back of mounting community calls for action Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott signed the Close the Gap Statement of Intent in March 2008. Key ministers and other state and territory leaders soon followed. Here, Aboriginal parliamentarian, Ken Wyatt, signs the Close the Gap Statement of Intent

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NACCHO the peak body for Aboriginal health services is looking forward to working with newly appointed Health Minister Greg Hunt and Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt to close the gap in health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

” NACCHO is especially proud to see Minister Wyatt attain such a senior position in the Turnbull government. The historic promotion, one of many for this Member of Parliament, is an acknowledgment of the high regard he achieved working as an assistant minister, his attention to detail and how respected he is in the Aboriginal community and health sectors across Australia.

As a previous Director of Aboriginal Health in the public services of NSW and WA he brings a unique perspective to the role. NACCHO will assist him in meeting the expectations of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to enjoy a quality of life through whole-of-community self-determination.

Minister Wyatt has many years of experience working in both Indigenous health and education, which is invaluable at a ministerial level and the understanding, needed to make progress towards Close the Gap targets” he said.

Mr. Cooke also thanked outgoing Health Minister Sussan Ley for her work in the portfolio and her support for NACCHO.

Last year 140 Aboriginal community controlled health organisations (ACCHOs) provided nearly 3 million episodes of care to over 340,000 clients.

” It is clear that putting Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands is working ” Mr Cooke said

Ken Wyatt: new minister to tackle how Indigenous health funding used


 ” In health, Wyatt said he wanted particular improvements for children below the age of eight and young people generally.

Improving social determinants of health would help extend lifespan and achieve parity with all Australians.

The incoming Indigenous health minister, Ken Wyatt, has said he wants to tackle the “industry” in Aboriginal affairs siphoning funds into administration rather than frontline services ”

Wyatt made the comments to ABC Radio National on Thursday in an interview about his appointment as aged care and Indigenous health minister, which will make him the first Indigenous person to hold a commonwealth ministry.

Paul Karp writing in the Guardian

Wyatt has also broken from his Coalition colleagues who criticise Labor for considering debate on treaties with Indigenous people at the same time as constitutional recognition, saying the two are not in conflict and a “dual conversation” is possible.

He agreed it was in a sense “unbelievable” that it had taken this long for an Indigenous person to reach the ministry.

He said he and the other Indigenous members of parliament held their positions on merit and that sent “a very strong message to young Aboriginal Australians that their hopes and aspirations can be achieved in many arenas”.

“The ministerial appointment, including colleagues on the other side who have shadow appointments, sends home a very strong message that we can stand as equals amongst our peers.”

Wyatt agreed his appointment meant the federal government could implement policies that affected Indigenous people in a less paternalistic way, citing his participation on a cabinet subcommittee for Indigenous affairs. “Since I’ve been in the parliament … we’ve had the opportunity of shaping people’s thinking to focus on Indigenous issues in a different way.”

The emphasis had shifted to “working with Aboriginal people rather than doing things with them”, and he said working alongside Indigenous people had helped others understand issues in Indigenous communities.

Wyatt said he would aim to achieve “an all round improvement in Indigenous affairs, including the industry that has evolved around Aboriginal affairs that sees money being siphoned off to administration rather than directly to frontline [services]”.

In health, Wyatt said he wanted particular improvements for children below the age of eight and young people generally. Improving social determinants of health would help extend lifespan and achieve parity with all Australians.

On Wednesday night Wyatt told ABC’s 7.30 he still believed Australia was on track to achieve recognition of Indigenous Australians in the constitution.

He said aspirations among some Indigenous Australians for a treaty had not caused momentum for recognition to stall but had sparked a “dual conversation” on both concepts, which were not in conflict.

“I would certainly hope that we don’t abandon, nor set aside, our desire to have recognition within the foundation document of this country’s frameworks,” he said.

The comments are at odds with his Coalition colleagues who argue that Labor’s consideration of a treaty with Indigenous Australians puts at risk a “meaningful but modest” change in the form of constitutional recognition.

Wyatt did agree that recognition was the main priority, saying treaties are “a way forward but they’re not set in the … country’s [foundation] document and I’d rather see recognition first and then treaty”.

“I think the strength is in the constitution, because the constitution is the document that the high courts base their decisions around when challenges occur and in which legislation is framed against our founding document.”

NACCHO Advertisement


NACCHO has announced the publishing date for the 9 th edition of Australia’s first national health Aboriginal newspaper, the NACCHO Health News .

Publish date 6 April 2017

Working with Aboriginal community controlled and award-winning national newspaper the Koori Mail, NACCHO aims to bring relevant advertising and information on health services, policy and programs to key industry staff, decision makers and stakeholders at the grassroots level.

And who writes for and reads the NACCHO Newspaper ?


While NACCHO’s websites ,social media and annual report have been valued sources of information for national and local Aboriginal health care issues for many years, the launch of NACCHO Health News creates a fresh, vitalised platform that will inevitably reach your targeted audiences beyond the boardrooms.

NACCHO will leverage the brand, coverage and award-winning production skills of the Koori Mail to produce a 24 page three times a year, to be distributed as a ‘lift-out’ in the 14,000 Koori Mail circulation, as well as an extra 1,500 copies to be sent directly to NACCHO member organisations across Australia.

Our audited readership (Audit Bureau of Circulations) is 100,000 readers

For more details rate card

Contact : Colin Cowell Editor

Mobile : 0401 331 251

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