NACCHO Press Release : Aboriginal Health and #ClosetheGap Report : #NationalClosetheGap Day : A Time to Reflect and Recommit how our mob can enjoy the same access to health, education and employment outcomes as non-Indigenous Australians.

“ We were really pleased when the Council of Australian Governments agreed to a formal partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies on closing the gap.

It was encouraging to hear the Prime Minister acknowledge that until Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are brought to the table as equal partners, the gap will not be closed and that this principle would be part of Closing the Gap efforts going forward,”

NACCHO CEO, Pat Turner see Press Release Part 1

Download NACCHO Press Release

NACCHO CTG Day Media Release Final

Releasing the report, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander commissioner June Oscar AO said Indigenous people had “the right to self-determination and full participation in decision-making about matters that affect us”.

“We need to invest in and support on the ground voices and solutions,” she said.

The programs have reduced the rate of incarceration, addressed health problems like anaemia and low birth weight babies and helped families find secure housing

From The Sydney Morning Herald March 21 :

Our choice, our voice: to close gap, Indigenous leaders say what works

“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO and the Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Rod Little, will today release the 2019 Close the Gap report – “Our Choices, Our Voices”.

The report, prepared by the Lowitja Institute, is being released at a community event at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation – Aboriginal Medical Service South Western Sydney, as part of National Close the Gap day events around the country.

The report highlights the incredible work being carried out by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

From the CTG Press Release see Part 2 Below

Download a copy of the 2019 Close the Gap report Our Choices, Our Voices visit

ctg2019_final2_web

https://antar.org.au/campaigns/national-close-gap-day

As Australia marks National Close the Gap (CTG) Day, it is an opportunity for the nation to reflect on the progress and challenges in the life outcomes facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.

For ten years Closing the Gap has put an important spotlight on the vast health, economic and life disparities between First Nations peoples and the Australian population at large.

Historically, the challenge of Closing the Gap has always centred around the lack of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and input in the larger framework, policies and targets.

The top-down approach of Closing the Gap was never going to yield the outcomes we all hoped to see.

“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations were established on principles that address structural power imbalances. Our services are fundamental to closing the gap. But we have long recognised that closing the gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and disadvantage will never be achieved until:

  • Our primary health care services are adequately resourced, and their infrastructure hardware is fit for purpose;
  • Our people are living in safe, secure and health housing;
  • Culturally safe and trusted early intervention services are available to our vulnerable children and their families to address the unacceptably high rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth in out of home care and detention facilities;
  • Services to promote our psychological, social and emotional wellbeing need to be fully funded within our comprehensive primary health care service model; and
  • Our connection to our land, languages and lore need to be respected, maintained and promoted, given we are the oldest living culture in the world over the past 65,000 years.

National Close the Gap Day is an opportunity for us all to reflect on the status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our country and consider how we can work together to ensure our First Nations people enjoy the same access to health, education and employment outcomes as non-Indigenous Australians.

Part 2 CTG Press Release

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO and the Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Rod Little, will today release the 2019 Close the Gap report – “Our Choices, Our Voices”.

The report, prepared by the Lowitja Institute, is being released at a community event at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation – Aboriginal Medical Service South Western Sydney, as part of National Close the Gap day events around the country.

“The report highlights the incredible work being carried out by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“The stories in the report clearly demonstrate that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are involved in the design and delivery of the services they need, we are far more likely to achieve success,” the Co-Chairs said.

The report comes one month after the Commonwealth Government’s Closing the Gap report was tabled in Federal parliament, showing a lack of progress on most targets.

In his address, the Prime Minister restated the government’s commitment to work collaboratively in a formal partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Commissioner Oscar said the report highlights the need to have genuine and meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the decision-making process.

“We have a right to self-determination and full participation in decision-making about matters that affect us. We need to invest in and support on the ground voices and solutions. An investment in our community-controlled organisations is an investment in success,” Commissioner Oscar said.

Rod Little said he hopes that National Close the Gap Day will encourage further commitment to address the challenge of health inequality.

“Health outcomes and life expectancy in Aboriginal communities are affected by many different factors, such as housing, educational opportunity, access to community-controlled primary health services, a culturally safe workforce, racism, and trauma and healing.

“I want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have the same opportunity to live full and healthy lives, like all other Australians,” Rod Little said.

Among the case studies included in the report;

The Birthing on Country Project provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women access to culturally and clinically safe, inclusive care that incorporates cultural birthing traditions within mainstream maternity services. It is currently piloting two programs;

* South East Queensland in collaboration with Indigenous Urban Health Institute and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Services Brisbane and

* Nowra, New South Wales, alongside Waminda South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation

Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy is taking a new approach to education and training. This is a community-led learning model focussed on re-shaping and re-designing the way training is delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students.

IndigiLez Leadership and Support Group offers support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) women.

Yawuru Home Ownership Program was established in 2015 after the Yawuru people in highlighted housing as a key priority.

The Co-Chairs said the over-riding principle throughout the stories is that the success of these initiatives is based on community governance and leadership, which is imperative to the success and longevity of the programs.

“These stories illustrate that ‘our choice and our voice’ is vital if we are to make gains and start to close the gap.

“We are optimistic that by supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led initiatives and a commitment to working in genuine partnership, that we can close the gap,” they said.

Further information on National Close the Gap Day visit the ANTaR website; https://antar.org.au/campaigns/national-close-gap-day

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