NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ClosingtheGap : Pat Turner Convener #CoalitionofPeaks Speech at the National #PHN Conference : Challenging the way Governments and Primary Health Networks work with us

The reform priorities, and that they are being discussed in a COAG forum with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the table, as well as the upcoming engagements is a demonstration of how the conversation and approach is changing as a result of the Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap.  

But this changed approach is not to be just contained to the Partnership Agreement and governments work with the Coalition of Peaks. It is to be applied to all your policy practice and service delivery.

It is a challenge for you (PHN’s) to reconsider how you develop policies and programs with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

The Partnership Agreement means that:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are no longer government ‘stakeholders’ but are full partners in the development of policies and programs that impact on us.
  • Primary Health Networks need to develop formal arrangements with us, through our community controlled health organisations, to agree policy and programs, based on our own structures and not your own appointed advisory bodies.
  • The knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to determine their own solutions must be given primacy in policy and program design and delivery.

I ask that you all consider what the Partnership Agreement will mean to your own Primary Health Network, to the area and team that you work with, to start a conversation with your team members about it, to read further about the work we are doing and set up a time to speak to one of our Coalition of Peaks members to learn more.

The Partnership Agreement presents a significant opportunity for you all to think creatively and with innovation, to not just think about what is possible in the relationship between government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but to be at the forefront of the change.”

Pat Turner NACCHO CEO speaking at the PHN NATIONAL FORUM, 11TH September 2019 HYATT HOTEL, Canberra

Hello everyone, thank you for inviting me here today to speak to at the seventh Primary Health Network National Forum.

It is testament to the changing times that you now have delegates from national health peak bodies like mine, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), attending your forums and being invited to share our own stories.

My name is Pat Turner. I am the CEO of NACCHO, and the Lead Convener of the Coalition of Peaks. Foremost, I am an Aboriginal woman, the daughter of an Arrente man and a Gurdanji woman.

Before we start, I want to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands where we are meeting today.

Canberra is Ngunnawal country. The Ngunnawal are the Aboriginal people of this region and its first inhabitants.

The neighbouring people are the Gundungurra to the North, the Ngarigo to the South, the Yuin on the coast, and the Wiradjuri inland.

It is a harsh climate and difficult country for hunter-gatherer people. To live here required great knowledge of the environment, skillful custodianship of it and close cooperation.

It is this knowledge and ways of working that continue to guide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the in today’s Indigenous policy landscape.

As we navigate the changing policy environment, Aboriginal people draw strength from our lands and our customs. And we continue the cooperation amongst our many nations for the betterment of all of us. This is the approach that we take to the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks Bodies and our work on Closing the Gap.

The Coalition of Peaks are made up of some forty national and state/territory community controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations. We have come together to be formal partners with Australian Governments on Closing the Gap.

Today I want to share with you how a group of Aboriginal community controlled organisations, led by NACCHO, have exercised political agency by leading the way, challenging the possibilities and imagining a future of shared decision-making with governments on policies and programs that impact on our people and our communities.

Together, we are changing the way governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on policies and programs that impact on us: we are setting a new benchmark for how our voices are heard in the design and implementation of policies and programs that impact on us.

I come before you to not only share the story of the Coalition of Peaks and their work with governments. Importantly, I also want to talk to you about what these new arrangements mean for Primary Health Networks and for your own daily work practices.

The new approach to Closing the Gap is a challenge you to change the way you work with and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the development of policies and delivery of health and wellbeing programs.

BACKSTORY

I will start by going back, to tell you how the Coalition of Peaks got to where we are today.

You might recall the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2007 committed to ‘closing the gap’ in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians, and a range of targets to end the disparity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians in areas like infant mortality, employment and education.

  1. It was the first time that Australian Governments had come together in a unified way to address the disadvantage experienced by too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  2. An unprecedented investment of around 4.6 billion dollars in programs and services to ‘close the gap’ as also made.
  3. Governments also agreed to new oversight, monitoring and reporting arrangements, including an annual report to the Commonwealth Parliament by the Prime Minister.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders at the time welcomed this new approach from governments and some of us were consulted in the early stages of the Commonwealth’s thinking.

However, despite this unprecedented coming together of Australian Governments and investment and initial engagement with our peoples, we were not formally involved in Closing the Gap, it was not agreed by us and it was a policy of governments and not for our people.

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt that Closing the Gap presented the issue of our disadvantage as a technical problem built around non-Indigenous markers of poverty. This only served to hide the extent to which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ disadvantage is a political problem requiring deep structural reforms about the way governments work with us.

Closing the Gap did not address the biggest gap that we face: the gulf between the political autonomy and economic resources of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous people.

The policies and programs that then followed whilst making some difference to our peoples lives did not achieve their potential.

Over time government commitment to work together fell away. Funding to our programs and services were cut or not continued.

It is not surprising then, that, now ten years later, we have not made the progress against the closing the gap targets that had been hoped.

“REFRESH”

As you know, in 2017 the Commonwealth Government embarked on a ‘refresh’ of the Closing the Gap framework and undertook a series of consultations. In the view of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, the consultations were inadequate and superficial. There was no public report prepared on their outcomes.

The lack of transparency and accountability surrounding these consultations were very disappointing, but also not surprising. Many of our organisations made submissions to government on Closing the Gap but we felt like our voices were ignored.

We were worried that governments commitment to work differently with us going forward was not backed by meaningful demonstrations. And we were concerned that governments wanted to walk away from the intergovernmental arrangements that brought a national integrated policy strategy needed to close the gap.

No new funding was announced to accompany the ‘refresh’ and there were no specific actions being discussed that we could see or feel confident would make a positive change to our lives.

As the ‘refreshed’ Closing the Gap strategy was being prepared for sign off by the Australian Governments, our dismay and disappointment galvanised a small group of community controlled organisations to come together to write to the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers asking that it not be agreed.

We weren’t going away, and there were three important messages that we wanted governments to hear. These were:

  • When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are included and have a real say in the design and delivery of services that impact on them, the outcomes are far better;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples need to be at the centre of Closing the Gap policy: the gap won’t close without our full involvement; and
  • the Council of Australian Governments cannot expect us to take responsibility and work constructively with them to improve outcomes if we are excluded from the decision making.

Eventually, we were invited to meet with the Prime Minister, who acknowledged that the current targets were ‘government targets’ not ‘shared targets’, and that for Closing the Gap to be realised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had to be able to take formal responsibility for the outcomes through shared decision making.

On 12 December 2018, COAG publicly committed to developing a genuine, formal partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through their representatives, on Closing the Gap; and that through this partnership a new Closing the Gap policy would be agreed.

THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT ON CLOSING THE GAP

The initial fourteen organisations then became almost forty, as we brought together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks bodies across the country to form a formal Coalition to negotiate a new Closing the Gap framework with Australian Governments. We include both national and state and territory based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks representing a diverse range of services and matter that are important to us as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to Closing the Gap.

As a first step and through our initiative, we negotiated and agreed a formal Partnership Agreement between the Council of Australian Governments and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations which came into effect in March 2019.

The Partnership Agreement sets out that the Coalition of Peaks will have shared decision making on developing, implementing and monitoring and reviewing Closing the Gap for the next ten years.

This is an historic achievement. It is the first time that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks have come together in this way, to work collectively and as full partners with Australian Governments. It’s is also the first time that there has been formal decision making with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Australian Governments in this way.

WHERE ARE AT NOW

Progress is being made under the Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap:

  • All Council of Australian Government members, including the local government association, have signed the Partnership Agreement.
  • The National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA) has been reviewed by the Coalition of Peaks and officials from Australian Governments.
  • It has been agreed that the NIRA will be replaced with a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap covering the next ten years, to be signed off by the Council of Australian Governments and the Coalition of Peaks. It will continue the NIRA’s successful elements, strengthen others and address foundational areas that were previously excluded from consideration.
  • New accountability, monitoring and reporting arrangements are being developed for the new National Agreement that will strengthen public transparency and accountability.

Most importantly, the Coalition of Peaks have also proposed reform priorities to underpin the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

The reform priorities seek to change the way Australian Governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations, and accelerate life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, these are:

  1. Establishing shared formal decision making between Australian governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the State/Territory, regional and local level to embed ownership, responsibility and expertise on Closing the Gap.
  2. Building and strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations to deliver services and programs in priority areas.
  3. Ensuring all mainstream government agencies and institutions undertake systemic and structural transformation to contribute to Closing the Gap.

These reforms have been agreed in principle by the COAG established Joint Council on Closing the Gap, made up of Ministers from each jurisdiction and Coalition of Peak representatives on 23 August 2019. And they have direct relevance to the Primary Health Networks and our work together.

The Joint Council also agreed to the Coalition of Peaks leading engagements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives of communities and organisations on new National Agreement.

These engagements are happening over the next two months and include open meetings across Australia agreed to and supported by governments. The Coalition of Peaks are also consulting with their own memberships and there is an online public opportunity for people to have their say.

The primary focus of the engagements is to build understanding and support for the reform priorities and to have a detailed discussion on what is needed to make those reform priorities a success. The discussions and input from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will help inform the finalisation of the negotiations on the New National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

This is also a significant shift in the approach to policy development. It is the first time that governments have agreed to leaders of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations engaging with representatives from our communities and organisations about important government policy.

Pat Turner Lead Convener of the Coalition of Peaks invites community to share their voice on #ClosingtheGap

This week a survey will be sent to hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations and their networks, inviting responses from both individuals and organisations.

There is a discussion booklet that has background information on Closing the Gap and sets out what will be talked about in the survey.

The survey will take a little bit of time to complete. It would be great if you can answer all the questions, but you can also just focus on the issues that you care about most.

To help you prepare your answers, you can look at a full copy here

The survey is open to everyone and can be accessed here:

https://www.naccho.org.au/programmes/coalition-of-peaks/have-your-say/

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #COAG #ClosingtheGap : Pat Turner ” Today marks a significant step forward in our historic partnership between governments and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks “

Today marks a significant step forward in our historic partnership between governments and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks with the agreement that we will work towards a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap to guide efforts over the next ten years.

The conversation on Closing the Gap is changing because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are now at the negotiating table with governments.

The proposed priority reforms are based on what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been saying for a long time is needed to close the gap and we now have a formal structure in place to put those solutions to governments.

If we are to close the gap it will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations leading the way on service delivery. We already know that community-controlled organisations achieve better results because we understand what works best for our peoples.

It is a critical step for the Joint Council to formally recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples must share in decision-making on policies that affect their lives.

The Coalition of Peaks are looking forward to engaging with communities around Australia to build support from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for the priority reforms and to ensure that their views on what is needed to make them a success is captured in the new National Agreement.” 

Pat Turner, Lead Convener of the Coalition of Peaks, CEO of NACCHO and Co-Chair of the Joint Council speaking after a meeting of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap was held in Adelaide on Friday 23 August

The Joint Council agreed on a communiqué, which is attached.

ctg-joint-council-communique-20190823

See Closing the Gap Website

Joint Council makes progress towards new National Agreement on Closing the Gap

A meeting of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap was held in Adelaide on Friday 23 August , between representatives of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and a Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies (Coalition of Peaks).

In its second ever meeting, the Joint Council today agreed to work towards a new National Agreement Closing the Gap.

Importantly, it also agreed in principle to the following three priority reforms to underpin the new agreement and accelerate progress on Closing the Gap:

  1. Developing and strengthening structures to ensure the full involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in shared decision making at the national, state and local or regional level and embedding their ownership, responsibility and expertise to close the gap;
  2. Building the formal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled services sector to deliver closing the gap services and programs in agreed priority areas; and
  3. Ensuring all mainstream government agencies and institutions undertake systemic and structural transformation to contribute to Closing the Gap.

The priority reforms will form the basis of engagements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives of communities and organisations across Australia and will focus on building support and what is needed to make them a success.

In another first, the engagements will be led by the Coalition of Peaks, with the support of Australian Governments.

A Welcome to Country for the second meeting of the Joint Council on #ClosingtheGap in Adelaide , co-chaired by the Minister Ken Wyatt and Pat Turner AM, Lead Convenor of the Coalition of Peaks. 

Additional text AAP

Friday’s agreement follows the release in December last year of a set of draft targets by the Council of Australian Governments in a range of areas including health, education, economic development and justice.

They include a desire to have 95 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025, a bid to close the life expectancy gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians by 2031 and efforts to ensure 65 per cent of indigenous youth aged between 15 and 24 are in employment, education or training by 2028.

The targets also seek to cut the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young people in detention by up to 19 per cent and the adult incarceration by at least five per cent by 2028.

The refreshed closing the gap agenda will also commit to targets that all governments will be accountable to the community for achieving.

About the Joint Council

The Joint Council was established under the historic Partnership Agreement, announced in March. The agreement represents the first time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak bodies will have an equal say in the design, refresh, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Closing the Gap framework.

The council is comprised of 12 representatives elected by the Coalition of Peaks, a Minister nominated by the Commonwealth and each state and territory governments and one representative from the Australian Government Association.

See full list in Communique 

ctg-joint-council-communique-20190823

The Joint Council will meet at least twice a year, and will develop a workplan to refresh the Closing the Gap framework and monitor its implementation over the next ten years.

For more information on The Joint Council, The Partnership Agreement, The Coalition of Peaks and to sign up for our mailing list, go to: https://www.naccho.org.au/ programmes/coalition-of-peaks/

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Closingthe Gap : Coalition of around forty Peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations welcomes COAG continued commitment to the historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap

“I’m very pleased to see COAG acknowledge the historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap and note the important work of the Joint Council already underway.”

We will only be able to close the gap with a continued commitment to shared decision making with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the design and implementation of key actions to close the gap.

The Coalition of Peaks is looking forward to participating in the next Joint Council meeting later this month. And I look forward to co-chairing the meeting with the Hon Ken Wyatt, the first Aboriginal Minister for Indigenous Australians.

Coalition of Peaks Convener and NACCHO Chief Executive Officer Ms Patricia Turner AM.

Download Coalition of Peaks Press Release

CoP Media Statement 9 August 2019

Part 1 COAG Communique 

 ” Reaffirming commitment to Closing the Gap Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that the finalisation of targets and implementation of the Closing the Gap framework occurs through a genuine formal partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, through their representatives.

Since COAG met in December 2018, governments and the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations have formed the Joint Council on Closing the Gap.

This is the first COAG Council to include non-government members as equal partners in decision-making and marks an historic change in the way Australian governments are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This partnership embeds shared decision making into designing, implementing and monitoring the Closing the Gap framework. Leaders welcomed an update on progress from the co-chairs of the Joint Council and look forward to finalising a new national agreement on Closing the Gap with the Coalition of Peaks

Download the full COAG communique

COAG Meeting Communique

Part 2; The Coalition of around forty Peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations (Coalition of Peaks) has today welcomed the formal commitment of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to the historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap.

COAG has today officially endorsed the Partnership Agreement which sets out for the first-time shared decision making on Closing the Gap between Australian Governments and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the Coalition of Peaks.

The Partnership Agreement establishes the Joint Council on Closing the Gap, made up of ministers from the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, and representatives from the Coalition of Peaks and the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) to oversee and work together as equal partners to refresh the Closing the Gap framework for the next 10 years.

The Joint Council will next meet in Adelaide on August 23 and will consider new priority reforms to accelerate improvements in life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

About the Coalition of Peaks

The Coalition of Peaks is a representative body comprised of around forty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peaks organisations that have come together to have their collective voice heard on issues that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Since the Closing the Gap framework and targets were first implemented in 2008, we have been calling on government to recognise the expertise that exist in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

In an historic agreement, the Coalition of Peaks has formed a Joint Partnership with COAG in order to collaborate on the Closing the Gap Refresh process. This is the first time that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices have not only been invited to the table, but have also been empowered with shared decision-making responsibilities.

More information on the Coalition of Peaks: www.naccho.org.au/programmes/coalition-of-peaks/

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ClosingtheGap: Read CEO Pat Turner’s and Download @KenWyattMP speeches from the #Garma2019 #Voice Workshop and watch #TheDrum interview

 

 ” There is a long way to go yet before we get agreement.  Governments, particularly the Commonwealth, remain determined to pursue draft targets agreed to by COAG last December whereas we want to get the focus on the reform priorities and their implementation.  

Of most concern is that no government has so far been prepared to put new funding on the table.  We need new funding from all Governments to support the new Agreement and supports the reform priorities in particular. 

Nonetheless, I remain optimistic that we can achieve our goal and I seek the support of everyone here today for our mission.   More than anything that is to turn Closing the Gap from a negative feature of our politics of the day to a positive one.

Pat Turner CEO NACCHO Speech at GARMA 2019 Read in full part 3

 Part 1

” The government is committed to deepening partnerships with Indigenous Australians. The partnership between government and the coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations to co-design the Closing the Gap framework and targets is a great example of the way in which we can work together with Indigenous Australians having a seat at the partnership table, as equals, not only with the Commonwealth minister, but equally with State and Territory ministers.

And I want to acknowledge Pat Turner in a particular way for her leadership in this space. Pat has been an integral part of driving this partnership along with her colleagues, which has been a game changer.

The inaugural meeting of the Joint Council of Closing the Gap was held in March this year and this is the first COAG Council to include include non-government members as equal partners in decision making. As of 1 July 2019 the coalition of peak organisations representing 41 organisations sit at the table.

Whilst there is a lot of work to be done, I look forward to working in genuine a genuine partnership in the next phase of Closing the Gap with the coalition of peaks and other members of the agreement.

This agreement has paved the way for governments to engage directly with Indigenous Australians on critical and important issues.”

Minister Ken Wyatt speech at Garma 2019

Download full speech here

Minister Ken Wyatt Speech Garma 2019

Part 2 Watch Pat Turner appearance on The Drum

Ellen Fanning (The Drum, ABC, 2/8/19) and has guests Mick Dodson, Mayatili Marika, Thomas Mayor and Pat Turner, at the 2019 Garma Festival in north-east Arnhem Land, talking about Indigenous rights and the push for constitutional recognition and a voice in Parliament.

Watch full one hour program HERE 

Racheal Hocking from #ThePoint #NITV interviewing NACCHO CEO Pat Turner and AHRC June Oscar at Garma about women’s voices and self determination

Part 3

I want to thank Yothi Yindi for inviting me to this great event on Gumatj land and to start by acknowledging their elders, past and present.

In particular, can I pay my respects to Galarrwuy who has led his people for nearly a generation and has been able to achieve a number of important outcomes.  They include agreements for the Gumatj to mine bauxite themselves and even to build a rocket launching pad!

Us Arrernte people have just agreed to a US multinational building a ground station to receive data from satellites on the site of the Centre for Appropriate Technology in Alice Springs.

It makes me proud that it is Aboriginal people from the Northern Territory leading the way in developing a space industry in Australia.

This is very relevant to the politics of the day which is meant to shape the discussion in this session.  I think all would agree that Closing the Gap is an important feature of the politics of the day as far as Indigenous issues are concerned.

Unfortunately, however, it is largely a negative feature.   Every year, since Closing the Gap started in 2008, successive Prime Ministers have reported to Parliament on how most of the Closing the Gap targets are not on track to be achieved.

We have all become used to this negative narrative, so much so that our achievements, such as in the space industry are being overlooked.

The negative narrative has made an almost an obsessive focus on the targets by successive governments highly problematic for our people.

It is this obsession with the targets which is the cause and has led to Closing the Gap being a negative feature of the politics of the day for us.

I don’t discount the need for targets, but we need to get a much greater focus on what we know will work to make much more progress against them.    If we had a much greater focus on how to achieve the targets, I think the story of Closing the Gap would be a positive one instead of a tale of woe!

This is a good backdrop for me to brief you on the strategy of the Coalition of Peaks.  Made up of some 40 national and state/territory peak organisations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it is determined to turn Closing the Gap into a positive feature of the politics of the day.

In October last year, a group of us wrote to the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers to ask that the Council of Australian Governments not agree to a new Closing the Gap framework and instead enter into a genuine partnership with us.

To our great surprise, the Prime Minister did ultimately agree to meet us and he agreed to our proposition that COAG and the Peaks, on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, enter into a formal partnership for the next phase of Closing the Gap.

The mainstream politics of the day at that time was dominated by the nearing Federal election and the prospect that there would be a change of government.  Some said that the motive for the Prime Minister to agree was to make sure that Indigenous Affairs was not a negative issue for the Coalition in the lead up to the Election.

However, after a surprise win, the Prime Minister has kept his word and as far as we know remains committed to the formal partnership.  I don’t think his agreement to a formal partnership with us was about politics and I think he should be given credit.

We have made historic progress since the COAG meeting of December 2018 which announced that a formal partnership was to be entered into with representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to finalise the next phase of Closing the Gap.

Of great importance is that for the first time, initiated by us, COAG has signed up to a formal partnership agreement with the peaks to share decision making in the next phase of Closing the Gap.  This is the first time that COAG has done such a thing and if you haven’t seen the Partnership Agreement, I invite you to review it on the COAG website.

The Agreement sets up a Joint Council on Closing the Gap which comprises 12 representatives of the Peaks and 9 government representatives to share decision making.  This is also the first time that a COAG ministerial council has included non-government members. It is co-chaired by Minister Wyatt and I and it has already had a successful meeting.

A secretariat for the Peaks has also been funded for 3 years to enable us to participate equally in implementing the Partnership Agreement and I also want to thank the Federal Government for making this commitment.

With this architecture that we have put in place, we want to find a way to achieve a real partnership in the next phase of Closing the Gap which accelerates improvements in life outcomes for our peoples.  In particular our goal is to stop this tale of woe around the targets.

Why we are doing this goes to 3 simple propositions that all stakeholders publicly endorse:

  1. When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are included and have a real say in the design and delivery of services that impact on them, the outcomes are far better;
  2. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples need to be at the centre of Closing the Gap policy: the gap won’t close without our full involvement; and
  3. The Council of Australian Governments cannot expect us to take responsibility and work constructively with them to improve outcomes if we are excluded from the decision making.

To achieve this, we have already secured agreement to negotiating a new COAG Agreement to replace the National Indigenous Reform Agreement.   This Agreement, signed by governments in 2008 as a result of the leadership of the Commonwealth, was ground-breaking.

It committed all of the governments to working together to closing the gap and included an integrated strategy and agreed roles and responsibilities and of course the targets.  Importantly, NIRA as it is called, was accompanied by a new investment of $4.6 billion dollars in programs and services to help achieve the targets.

NIRA, however, had one significant failing and this was that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the beneficiaries of Closing the Gap, were not parties.  It also fell away in time as all Governments, in the absence of any mechanism to ensure they fulfilled the commitments, slowly forgot about NIRA.  That was a great shame and I believe COAG failed us in allowing NIRA, despite still being in existence, to slowly be disregarded except for those targets.

The Coalition of Peaks believe we need a COAG Agreement to take us forward for the next 10 years but this time around we need to be parties, not just governments, we need to find a way to ensure compliance, through national legislation, and we need to take the focus away from targets.

There is no evidence that the targets drive change, and particularly in Closing the Gap.  Despite every year the annual report from the Prime Minister reporting that most targets are not on track to be achieved, I am still certain that COAG would have gone ahead and approved a new Closing the Gap framework in December 2018, excluding us again, without the intervention of the Coalition of Peaks.

Instead of targets, we have put to the government representatives on the Joint Council that the new Agreement should be underpinned by 3 reform priorities that we think will accelerate the achievement of much better life outcomes for our peoples.

Those 3 reform priorities are

  • Supporting the full involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in shared decision making at the national, state and regional level; particularly embedding regional ownership, responsibility and expertise to close the gap;
  • Building the formal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled services sector in priority areas to deliver closing the gap services and programs; and
  • Undertaking systemic and structural reform to mainstream institutions delivering services to Indigenous peoples to provide much better services to our people.

So far, I can advise that Governments have agreed to negotiating a new Agreement on Closing the Gap to replace Closing the Gap by December this year and to also examining the possibility of national legislation.  They have also agreed in principle to the reform priorities.

The Coalition of Peaks also put to the Governments that we should lead an engagement process to build support for the reform priorities and they have agreed to this also.  Starting in September, leaders of the Peaks rather than public servants on behalf of governments will be running a series of engagements across Australia and this is the first time that Aboriginal people have been in the driver’s seat on engaging our people on government policy.

However, there is a long way to go yet before we get agreement.  Governments, particularly the Commonwealth, remain determined to pursue draft targets agreed to by COAG last December whereas we want to get the focus on the reform priorities and their implementation.

Of most concern is that no government has so far been prepared to put new funding on the table.  We need new funding from all Governments to support the new Agreement and supports the reform priorities in particular.

Nonetheless, I remain optimistic that we can achieve our goal and I seek the support of everyone here today for our mission.   More than anything that is to turn Closing the Gap from a negative feature of our politics of the day to a positive one.

Thank you

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #RHD : @RACGP NewGP : ” This should not be the norm for our people ” Dr Olivia O’Donoghue and Pat Turner CEO NACCHO : Ending rheumatic heart disease in Australia

Australia has some of the highest rates of RHD in the world, seen almost exclusively in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,’ Chief Executive of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Patricia Turner, told newsGP.

‘A lot of non-Indigenous Australians would have never heard of this disease, yet for our communities, it continues to pose a real and serious threat.

Chief Executive of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Patricia Turner, told newsGP.

Article by Amanda Lyons

Read NACCHO RHD articles HERE

Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a serious illness, linked to disadvantage and largely preventable – and it’s rife in Australia.

RHD is a cardiac complication of acute rheumatic fever (ARF), an auto-immune illness that is itself caused by group A streptococcal infection (Strep A) which often manifests in sore throat or sores on the skin. It causes lasting damage to the heart, and has an enormous impact on the lives of those who contract it.

‘Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families are living with generations of occurrences of ARF and RHD, and for some it feels inevitable that it will affect them and their children,’ Dr Olivia O’Donoghue, Lead Aboriginal Health Training Medical Educator and Northern Territory Representative on the RACGP’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council, told newsGP.

Read ABC Story : Rheumatic heart disease: Arnhem Land family with three afflicted sons take fight to Canberra

‘RHD and its complications can adversely affect pregnancy outcomes, young people are having major cardiac surgery which should have been preventable, and parents have asked me when their youngest child will need their heart operation as they had recently been diagnosed with ARF.

‘This should not be the norm for our people and something needs to be done to rectify this situation.’

Once ARF has developed into RHD, it requires expensive and complex management involving the coordination of multiple services, including oral healthcare, interventional cardiology and primary care. Patients require regular cardiac monitoring and often surgery.

If ARF is diagnosed in time, RHD can be prevented by bicillin injections; however, this treatment regime is not easy.

‘Regular injections of Bicillin L-A for prophylaxis against RHD are given, three to four times weekly, for an average of 10-plus years, and they are painful,’ Dr O’Donoghue explained.

‘Trying to explain to young children why they need to come in every month for these injections is challenging and heartbreaking.’

Even better than bicillin injections is prevention of ARF in the first place, and work is currently underway by RHD-focused organisation END RHD to create a vaccine against Strep A.

Dr O’Donoghue sees this initiative, and its recent funding boost from the Federal Government, as a positive step, although she would also like to see research into ARF treatment options, as well.

‘The discovery and development of a vaccine against Strep A infection would significantly decrease the burden of disease of ARF and RHD on individuals, families, communities and the health system,’ she said.

‘An interim goal would be the development of an alternative to the three-to-four weekly Bicillin L-A injection which is less burdensome to individuals and those who are administering them.’

Above added by NACCHO : Telethon Kids : Written for kids, by kids from the remote Aboriginal community of Barunga, ‘Boom Boom’ aims to teach children how to prevent deadly rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

Ms Turner is also supportive of the END RHD vaccine work, but wants to see practical, hands-on solutions for those who are suffering in the present.

Pat-Turner-article.jpgCEO of NACCHO, Patricia Turner, believes it is imperative to act decisively on Australia’s high rates of ARF and RHD.

‘A Strep A vaccine would be a game-changer, but developing it will take years and people are dying now – we need to make sure that the really exciting investments in science are coupled with on-the-ground action,’ she said.

Because ARF and RHD have significant links to disadvantage, Dr O’Donoghue believes their elimination will require a focus on the social as well as medical determinants of health – and that this needs to go beyond simple informational campaigns.

‘The onus of prevention should not be put solely on the individual or the family,’ she said. ‘It is not acceptable to say we just need to educate parents and families about personal and household hygiene standards when the surrounding systems make it challenging to provide healthy food choices, clothing, uncrowded dwellings, and to send children to school.

‘There is only so much the health system can do in isolation of improvements in housing, infrastructure and education services, such as access to quality education and services in communities, like supermarkets with affordable fresh produce and cleaning supplies.’

Ms Turner agrees that addressing social determinants of health is critical to ending RHD, outlining some practical requirements she sees as vital in the fight against the disease.

‘We need investment in comprehensive, community-controlled primary care services, so people can get their sore throats and skin sores assessed and treated in order to stop them leading to RHD,’ she said.

‘Regular antibiotic injections reduce the risk of ARF by 80%, but if people can’t get to the clinic or aren’t well-cared for when they get there, we are missing that chance to stop its development.

‘We need to support our clinics to deliver these injections and provide ongoing care for people to live with this lifelong condition.’

Above all, Ms Turner warns that urgent action must be taken now, to guard against poor consequences for the future.

‘Rates of ARF are continuing to rise – by 2031, more than 10,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will develop ARF or RHD,’ she said.

‘Of these people, more than 500 will die, and their medical treatment will cost the health system over $300 million dollars.

‘It’s a no-brainer that we need investment to tackle this disease – no child born in Australia today should die of RHD.

NACCHO and ACCHO Members #NAIDOC2019 Good News Stories : 5 of 5@NACCHOChair #NSW @Galambila @ahmrc #Vic @VACCHO_org @VAHS1972 #QLD @QAIHC_QLD @Apunipima #SA @AHCSA_ #WA @TheAHCWA #NT @DanilaDilba @CAACongress #Tas

1.1 National : NACCHO supports the pledge this week by the Coalition Government to hold a national referendum on constitutional change to recognise Indigenous voices in the constitution.

1.2 National : Our Acting NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills this week was on the panel at the NAIDOC Corporate breakfast in Cairns talking #VoiceTreatyTruth

1.3 National : The new National Indigenous Australians Agency was launched on 1 July 2019

2.1 NSW : The team at AH&MRC celebrate NAIDOC week

2.2 NSW : Huge NAIDOC Week turnout at Galamibila ACCHO and Ready Mob Picnic in the Coffs Harbour sunshine

2.3 NSW: Greater Western ( Sydney ) AMS Thanks the South Sydney Rabbitohs for a sharing NAIDOC Week

3.1 VIC : Parliamentary Secretary for Health (VIC) shares a NAIDOC morning team with Team VACCHO

3.2 VIC: Deadly day at the annual NAIDOC March in Melbourne that started at VAHS ACCHO 

4.1 QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Cape York coverage of Cairns NAIDOC celebrations

4.2 QLD : The QAIHC AOD Our Way 2 Project aims to address the use and harms of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and other substances.

5. WA : Midland NAIDOC is AHCWA’s main event for the week, where all of our staff were on hand to help out for the day.

6. SA : Good news story about AMIC Mums and Bubs trainee Cherie Burnett who is currently doing her studies at AHCSA.

7.1 NT : The Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin Mobile team went down to Mindil Beach with the Mobile Clinic for Larrakia Nation’s Road Safety Barbeque.

7.2 NT : Congress Alice Springs NAIDOC Sports and Family Fun Day

8.TAS : It’s NAIDOC Week, so here’s nipaluna (Hobart’s) weather in palawa kani

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : NACCHO supports the pledge this week by the Coalition Government to hold a national referendum on constitutional change to recognise Indigenous voices in the constitution.

We welcome Minister Wyatt’s call to all Australians to join him on the journey to constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Nations peoples and support the creation of a voice for Indigenous Australians to influence the Australian Parliament.

NACCHO stands ready to do our part in achieving the best possible outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia, and we will continue to take a leadership role in the Coalition of Peaks Partnership with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on Closing the Gap.”

NACCHO Chief Executive Officer, Ms Patricia Turner AM said after the Ministers speech. Pictured above Left to Right with Pat : Tom Calma Co Chair Reconciliation Karen Mundine CEO Reconciliation and Donnella Mills Acting NACCHO Chair 

” Truth-telling about Indigenous Australians’ experience of colonisation is not a new idea, says Pat Turner, who heads the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

“I think our people have been engaged in truth-telling in many different forums over many decades,” she said. “It’s a question of whether there is a willingness in the greater Australian population to come to terms with the history of Indigenous people since colonisation.”

Ms Turner , who along with Mr Wyatt is co-chair of the joint council on Closing the Gap questioned the Minister’s seeming failure to commit to an Indigenous “Voice” of the kind envisaged in the landmark 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart.

“People want more clarity on what the Minister means when he refers to hearing the ‘voices’ of individuals, families, communities and organisations.

What does that mean? The Uluru statement was very clear on having a more formal voice at a national level”, she said.

Additional text Pat Turner interview with SMH 10 July READ In FULL HERE

Pat will be a panellist on the ABC The Drumshow on Friday 12 July at 6pm.

Download full PDF Copy of NACCHO Press Release HERE

Read the Minister’s full National Press Club speech HERE

Or watch replay on ABC TV I View HERE

The NACCHO executive team attended the National Press Club conference by Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians for NAIDOC Week 2019.

1.2 National : Our Acting NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills this week was on the panel at the NAIDOC Corporate breakfast in Cairns talking #VoiceTreatyTruth

Pictured below from Left to Right Founder of IndigenousX LukeLPearson , Donnella Mills ,Joann Schmider CQ Uni and Former NACCHO Chair 2001-03 Pat Anderson ( now Chair Lowitja Institute )

1.3 National : The new National Indigenous Australians Agency was launched on 1 July 2019

2.1 NSW : The team at AH&MRC celebrate NAIDOC week

2.2 NSW : Huge NAIDOC Week turnout at Galamibila ACCHO and Ready Mob Picnic in the Coffs Harbour sunshine

CEO Reuben Robinson ( Left ) with team Galambila member 

Watch Channel 9 interview with Reuben HERE

NAIDOC CELEBRATES WITH A HEALTHY MESSAGE

2.3 NSW: Greater Western ( Sydney ) AMS Thanks the South Sydney Rabbitohs for a sharing NAIDOC Week

SEE MORE PHOTO’s HERE

3.1 VIC : Parliamentary Secretary for Health (VIC) shares a NAIDOC morning team with Team VACCHO

VACCHO Exec were joined by Karen Heap VACCHO Chair and CEO of Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative ( And NACCHO Board Member) , Anthony Carbines Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Tiana Koehrer and Allara Pearce

3.2 VIC: Deadly day at the annual NAIDOC March in Melbourne that started at VAHS ACCHO 

4.1 QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Cape York coverage of Cairns NAIDOC celebrations 

 

4.2 QLD : The QAIHC AOD Our Way 2 Project aims to address the use and harms of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and other substances.

Phase 1 of the project involved training 480 frontline workers, mostly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations in 22 communities across Queensland, to better support clients and families impacted by problematic Ice and other substance use.

Phase 2 of the project is currently in the planning stage. Jermane Herbohn and Rita Francis have recently started at QAIHC as AOD Project Officers joining Eddie Fewings, AOD Manager. More information about the QAIHC AOD Our Way 2 Project will be released shortly.

#QAIHCdelivers #IndigenousHealth

5. WA : Midland NAIDOC is AHCWA’s main event for the week, where all of our staff were on hand to help out for the day.

Hundreds of our mob visited Midland Oval and joined us celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The event was free and combines cultural activities, live entertainment, youth zone, family friendly attractions and FREE food.#NAIDOC2019

6. SA : Good news story about AMIC Mums and Bubs trainee Cherie Burnett who is currently doing her studies at AHCSA.

7. NT : The Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin Mobile team went down to Mindil Beach with the Mobile Clinic for Larrakia Nation’s Road Safety Barbeque.

Larrakia Nation put on a breakfast and their Arts in the Grass program, NT Remote Alcohol and Other Drugs provided community education, Orange Sky was there with their free laundry and shower service van and OneDisease came along to engage with the community. It was fantastic to see all of these services coming together to provide support and to see the community members enjoying this fresh dry season morning!

7.2 NT : Congress Alice Springs NAIDOC Sports and Family Fun Day

See more pics Here

8.TAS : It’s NAIDOC Week, so here’s nipaluna (Hobart’s) weather in palawa kani

Listen Hear 

Aboriginal Health and Indigenous Advancement Strategy : NACCHO CEO Pat Turner expresses her frustration that another ANAO report raises concerns about @pmc_gov_au management of #Indigenous Affairs.   

 ” It is very frustrating that we have another report from the Australian National Audit Office raising serious concerns about the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s management of Indigenous Affairs.  , 

In this case, it is the arrangements for the evaluation of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy which is a multi-billion dollar investment.  

The report tells us that five years after the introduction of the IAS, the Department is only in the early stages of implementing an evaluation framework and that there has been substantial delays.  

That is not good enough for the Department in charge of the Australian public service. ”  

Pat Turner NACCHO CEO

Listen to ABC World Today Interview Here 

Download the full ANAO report HERE

Evaluating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs

The prime minister’s department acknowledged the findings of the audit report but said the strategy was set up within a “very challenging timeframe”.

It was “moving into a more mature phase of implementation that draws on lessons learned”.

The report made four recommendations, which the department agreed to and was already working to meet.

It intended to revise the strategy’s guidelines, and improve the application process and its own record keeping.

The Indigenous Australians minister, Ken Wyatt, said he “acknowledges the frustration we all share that we are not seeing quick enough progress on closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians”.

“This is why Coag has agreed governments – both commonwealth and states and territories – and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will share ownership of and responsibility for a jointly agreed framework and targets and ongoing monitoring of the Closing the Gap agenda,” he said.

Labor, the Greens and peak Indigenous groups say the government must overhaul its Indigenous advancement strategy after a report found that the $5.1bn program was not being properly evaluated and did not align with the government’s policy objectives.

From The Guardian 19 June

Read full article 

After five years and $4.8 billion dollars, a new Auditor General’s report has revealed the Liberals and Nationals still can’t say whether their Indigenous Advancement Strategy is working.

Serious questions about the administration of the IAS have been swirling for years. Funding decisions have been notoriously opaque and the effectiveness of many programs is unclear.

This new report confirms the IAS has been operating for years without proper evaluation processes. Despite the former Minister being warned by his Department in 2016:

“At some point the current situation will become untenable as it is not sustainable to continue to fund activities that lack a good evidence base.”

[ANAO Report, p21, 2019]

Labor Response to ANAO report

Download Press Release Here

IAS Labor Response

Background

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C or the department) has been the lead agency for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs since 2013.

With the introduction of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) in 2014, 27 programs were consolidated into five broad programs under a single outcome, with $4.8 billion initially committed over four years from 2014–15.

The Australian National Audit Office’s (ANAO’s) performance audit of the IAS (Auditor-General Report No.35 2016–17) noted that the department did not have a formal evaluation strategy or evaluation funding for the IAS for its first two years.

In February 2017 the Minister for Indigenous Affairs announced funding of $40 million over four years from 2017–18 to strengthen IAS evaluation, which would be underpinned by a formal evidence and evaluation framework.

In February 2018 the department released an IAS evaluation framework document, describing high level principles for how evaluations of IAS programs should be conducted, and outlining future capacity-building activities and broad governance arrangements.

Part 1 Pat Turner comments continued

It follows a string of bad audits starting with the audit of the IAS which found that the Department had not consulted properly in designing the IAS and rolling out a disastrous application process that led to many community controlled organisations losing their funding without reason.

Now the Government has decided to set  up a new executive agency, inside the Prime Minister’s portfolio but outside the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to manage Indigenous Affairs.

It is good that a separate agency  for Indigenous Affairs is being re-established as it is one of the most important functions of the Commonwealth.

Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders never asked or supported Indigenous Affairs being moved into the department of the Prime Minister and it is clear it has not done a good job on the IAS.

Whether setting up a new agency gets better outcomes remains to be seen.

Many say that the very disruptive shift of Indigenous Affairs into the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has resulted in Indigenous Affairs being hollowed out and a loss of nearly all the capacity that it had before.

In the meantime, we are pleased that the Prime Minister has agreed to a new COAG  Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap which includes agreement to an Indigenous led evaluation  of Closing the Gap progress after 3 years.

We think that bringing the representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into the equation, and allowing them to share decision making about Government policy, programs and evaluation will improve outcomes.

It will allow us to hold agencies much more to account for what they are doing and not doing.

But we also have to commit to building up the community controlled organisations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples to manage programs and deliver services to our people.

That is key to closing the gap and there are some signs that this is understood by the Coalition Government which committed in its election policy to increasing the Aborginal service sector.

That must go to giving them the responsibility for delivering programs and funding instead of public servants.

This audit shows that it is time for a radical shift away from governments and public servants to Aboriginal led delivery through their own community controlled organisations.

They will take responsibility for outcomes in a way that the public servants do not.

 

NACCHO Our Members #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : Features National @NACCHOChair @KenWyattMP #NSW @ahmrc #RedfernAMS #KatungulACCHO#VIC @VACCHO_org #QLD @QAIHC_QLD @DeadlyChoices #WA @TheAHCWA #WirrakaMayaACCHO #NT @CAACongress

1.1 National : Minister’s ongoing talks about the Closing the Gap refresh

1.2 National : CEO Pat Turner presents at international Conference in New Zealand about developing a  ” Roadmap to end RHD “

1.3 National : Our Deputy CEO Dawn Casey co chair Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Systems Evaluation: Health Sector Co-design Group (HSCG) Download Communiqué for February 2019

2.1 NACCHO joins Redfern AMS congratulating Aunty Dulcie Flower OAM  on receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM)

2.2 NSW : Download the 75 Page AH&MRC report om World No Tobacco Day and the work being done by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) in tobacco control.

2.3 NSW : Katungul ACCHO Fathers and Sons video launched

3.VIC : VACCHO SEWB Gathering for members , training ,celebrating culture and spending time together.

4.1 QLD : QAIHC  Mobile health scoping study to address cardiovascular disease risk factors

4.2 QLD : The Deadly Choices Maroons health campaign being implemented by Community Controlled Health Services throughout Queensland kicks in over coming weeks

5.1 WA : AHCWA recently delivered our Aboriginal Health Worker Immunisation Course at the Bega Garnbirringu Health Service in Kalgoorlie.

5.2 WA : Alfred Barker Chairperson of Wirraka Maya working to educate and support men about the role they can play in preventing FASD

6.NT : Congress ACCHO Alice Springs Medical Director on Queens Birthday Honour List

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

 

1.1 National : Minister’s ongoing talks about the Closing the Gap refresh

Our Acting NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills and representatives of the Coalition of Peaks met in Canberra this week with Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt for constructive and positive ongoing talks about the Closing the Gap refresh and the Partnership Agreement with the Coalition of Peaks.

1.2 National : CEO Pat Turner presents at international Conference in New Zealand about developing a  ” Roadmap to end RHD “

Our CEO Pat Turner presenting powerful case studies at Indigenous Cardiovascular Health Conference in NEW Zealand this – keeping governments accountable to community priorities in health

Developing a new Roadmap to end RHD Pat talked about the partnership of NACCHO with the RHD coalition

1.3 National : Our Deputy CEO Dawn Casey co chair Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Systems Evaluation: Health Sector Co-design Group (HSCG) Download Communiqué for February 2019

The Department of Health commissioned a national evaluation of the Australian Government’s investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care, which occurs primarily through the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme.

This evaluation is occurring over four years from 2019-2022 and includes the evaluation team working closely with a Health Sector Co-Design Group (HSCG).

The HSCG’s third meeting in February was the first meeting in the implementation phase of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Systems Evaluation.

After an Acknowledgement of Country and a welcome by the acting co-chairs – Dr Casey and Ms Young – members were invited to discuss what was ‘top of mind’ coming into the meeting.

Download Communique HSCG Meeting No.3 Communique – 2019_05_31

2.1 NACCHO joins Redfern AMS congratulating Aunty Dulcie Flower OAM  on receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM)

On behalf of the Aboriginal Medical Service Board, Staff and Community we wish Aunty Dulcie Flower congratulations on receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) on the weekend.

Aunty Dulcie is an AMS founding member, volunteer, a staff member and continues today as a long standing board member.

Dulcie was instrumental in the development of the Aboriginal Health Worker Program, which ensures our communities are advocated and cared for by appropriately skilled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce staff.

Read Dolcie’s interview about Indigenous rights activism HERE

Dulcie has had distinguished career as a Registered Nurse and Lecturer, an activist and mentor, but above all a friend to many.

Congratulations Aunty Dulcie!

2.2 NSW : Download the 75 Page AH&MRC report om World No Tobacco Day and the work being done by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) in tobacco control.

Around the world last month, activities for World No Tobacco Day 2019 put the spotlight on “tobacco and lung health”, aiming to increase awareness of tobacco’s impact on people’s lung health and the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people.

The campaign also served as a call to action, advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption and engaging stakeholders across multiple sectors in the fight for tobacco control.

In Australia, the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW (AH&MRC) sponsored an innovative Twitter Festival, hosted by Croakey Professional Services, to profile the work being done by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) in tobacco control.

Download the report from Here

NoTobaccoDay_Report_Final

Or from Croakey

https://croakey.org/read-all-about-it-download-the-communitycontrol-twitter-festival-report/

NACCHO social media contribution page 11 -15

2.3 NSW : Katungul ACCHO Fathers and Sons video launched

Katungul Koori Connections Officer Wally Stewart talking about last years Father & Sons Camp; a fantastic program that brings people back to country, helping to keep culture alive and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Music created by participants of the Katungul Music/Dance program run by Sean Kinchela & Wally Stewart.

Video courtesy of Afterglow. We’d like to thank them for their generosity & partnership – www.afterglow.net.au S

 

3.1 VIC : VACCHO SEWB Gathering for members , training ,celebrating culture and spending time together.

VACCHO’s Whitney Solomon, ETU Program Coordinator SEWB, delivering Ice Prevention training to Victoria’s awesome SEWB Aboriginal Health Workers at VACCHO’s SEWB Gathering


Proud Waywurru woman Sam Paxton from Djimba (in red), guides SEWB Aboriginal Health workers through a yarning circle at our SEWB Gathering

Proud Wagiman man Nathan Patterson from Iluka Art & Design [-o-] leads a painting workshop while proud Gunditjmara woman Laura Thompson from The Koorie Circle teaches SEWB Aboriginal health workers to create contemporary Aboriginal designed and inspired jewellery made from sustainably sourced timber.

So it’s not all work at our SEWB Gatherings, it’s also about celebrating culture and spending time together.

4.1 QLD : QAIHC  Mobile health scoping study to address cardiovascular disease risk factors

“This type of m-health innovation has the potential to provide culturally responsive and appropriate primary health care that can be embedded in our models of care.

Preliminary data suggest m-health technology can increase engagement and ownership throughout the patient journey and facilitate sustainable positive heath behaviour changes.

As cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of disease for First Nations Peoples, we are committed to exploring options that empower individuals to improve the management of their health, as well as improve access to health services.”

Chief Executive Officer of QAIHC, Neil Willmett, is excited about the potential the app has to improve health care access and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with hypertension.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples taking antihypertensive medication has increased, indicating a rise in the number of people at risk of cardiovascular disease.

The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have partnered on a mobile health (m-health) scoping study for the screening and management of cardiovascular disease.

CSIRO have developed an app that can be customised for blood pressure monitoring and are interested in learning how it could work within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisation (ATSICCHO) sector’s models of care. Specifically, CSIRO and QAIHC are seeking input from the sector about how m-health could help manage risk factors for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with cardiovascular disease.

An m-health based model of care could facilitate blood pressure and medication management in people who have been diagnosed with hypertension, reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Additionally, the scoping study will assess how a m-health based model of care could be adapted or enhanced to support preventative health interventions addressing cardiovascular disease risk factors such as increasing physical activity, improving dietary intake, and reducing smoking rates.

Between April and June 2019, QAIHC and CSIRO are conducting consultations to seek input from regional, remote, and urban ATSICCHOs on the use of m-health for the management of risk factors for people with cardiovascular disease. This feedback will be used to inform development of the hypertension m-health app.

Outcomes of the scoping study will be shared with the ATSICCHO Sector in the coming months.

4.2 QLD : The Deadly Choices Maroons health campaign being implemented by Community Controlled Health Services throughout Queensland kicks in over coming weeks

Two legends of QRL, supporting our state-wide Deadly Maroons campaign.
Book in now for your health check, at a participating AMS and score one of these deadly shirts.

“ The Deadly Maroons health campaign is being implemented by Community Controlled Health Services throughout Queensland and further strengthens delivery of our Deadly Choices messages which aim to empower our people to take control of their health – to stop smoking, to eat healthier and exercise more,”

Institute for Urban Indigenous Health CEO Adrian Carson

The Deadly Choices – Deadly Maroons State-wide preventative health campaign moves full throttle over coming weeks, with a host of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women featuring for Queensland in the annual State of Origin match on Friday June 21 in Sydney, before the men do battle in Perth on Sunday June 23.

Fans will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with all the NRLW superstars this weekend during the QRL’s traditional pre-Origin Fan Day on Sunday at South Pine Sporting Complex at Brendale, where the Deadly Maroons team will also be out in force.

NRLW forward mainstay Tallisha Harden, who was a standout in the Indigenous All Stars match earlier in the year, has made a speedy recovery from ankle surgery to earn her place in the side and is hoping to turn the tables on the Blues this year.

Former Jillaroo and World Cup winner, Jenni-Sue Hoepper returns to the representative scene following an extended maternity break, while livewire centre Amber Pilley caps off a stellar 12 months, earning her first Queensland cap after an NRLW Premiership-winning season with the Brisbane Broncos.

There’s been considerable talk surrounding the injection of Stephanie Mooka, who was a standout at the recent NRLW National Championships and is likely to form a formidable centre pairing with Pilley.

All four proud, Indigenous women advocate the importance of healthy living and are supportive of the Deadly Maroons program, which helps promote healthy lifestyle choices among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“The Deadly Maroons campaign is an amazing partnership initiative between the Queensland Rugby League and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health’s Deadly Choices preventative health program,” confirmed Harden.

“As a speech pathologist with the Institute, a representative of the Deadly Maroons and a Deadly Choices Ambassador, I’ve seen first-hand how these programs make a positive difference in the lives of so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Winning next Friday is what we’re all about when we go into camp this weekend, but I also know all the girls are aware of the Deadly Maroons campaign and are looking forward to supporting this deadly promotion.”

The support of the women is matched by an unwavering commitment among the men’s team who have already generated immense interest right across Queensland.

“The Deadly Maroons health campaign is being implemented by Community Controlled Health Services throughout Queensland and further strengthens delivery of our Deadly Choices messages which aim to empower our people to take control of their health – to stop smoking, to eat healthier and exercise more,” added Institute for Urban Indigenous Health CEO Adrian Carson.

“Football is so much more than a game – it is a vehicle to drive important health messages for our people and to encourage our people to access their local Community Controlled Health Services for support to make deadly choices, including completing a regular Health Check.

“Our Deadly Choices shirts have played a key role in driving demand for preventative health care, contributing to an incredible 4000% increase in Health Checks in South East Queensland and leading to the expansion of Deadly Choices across Queensland, with support from Queensland and Australian Governments.”

“Through Deadly Choices, we’re making a real difference in closing the health and life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and with the support and commitment of the QRL, and ongoing support from Queensland and Australian Governments, momentum will be enhanced over coming years.”

5.WA : AHCWA recently delivered our Aboriginal Health Worker Immunisation Course at the Bega Garnbirringu Health Service in Kalgoorlie.

The training is run in conjunction with the Communicable Disease Control Directorate Department of Health and is a nationally accredited immunisation course that provides Aboriginal Health Practitioners with the knowledge and skills to promote and safely immunise clients across all ages.

For more information on the course, contact our Immunisation Coordinator, Stacee Burrows at stacee.burrows@ahcwa.org

5.2 WA : Alfred Barker Chairperson of Wirraka Maya working to educate and support men about the role they can play in preventing FASD

Meet Alfred Barker. He’s a Traditional Owner and the Chairperson of Wirraka Maya, where he works to educate and support men about the role they can play in preventing FASD, through supporting their partners not to drink during pregnancy. “‘Grog before, during and after pregnancy is no good for Dad, Mum and bub’.

6.NT : Congress ACCHO Alice Springs Medical Director on Queens Birthday Honour List

“Congress is very proud to have Dr Sam’s outstanding contribution recognised on the 2019 Queens Birthday Honours list with an OAM” 

Congress Chief Executive Officer, Donna Ah Chee.

Congress Medical Director, Dr Sam Heard has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday honours, for his contribution to Medicine. Dr Heard was recognised for his work as a GP across the Northern Territory and his tireless commitment to the education of doctors and other medical staff for over 20 years, particularly through extensive training of GP registrars.

He served 9 years as Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Regional Director and 10 years as Chair of Northern Territory General Practice Education.

As Congress’ Medical Director, Dr Heard is applying his wealth of knowledge and experience to assist Congress in the vital work we are doing in Aboriginal health especially in the recruitment, retention and training of our current and future medical workforce.

 Dr Heard provides clinical leadership to Congress’ 14 clinics in Alice Springs and across six remote Central Australian communities.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #NRW2019 Our CEO Pat Turner Interview : Could @KenWyattMP historic Ministerial appointment be truly transformational for our mob #ClosingTheGap #Refresh and the #Voice

“Closing the Gap and the Voice are the two big issues, they’re separate but complimentary, and they can run in parallel. We want both. We want a real say over our lives. We have to be at the negotiating table.”

The Aboriginal heath sector is the biggest employer of Aboriginal people in Australia.

By investing in Aboriginal community controlled health organisations, they are investing in communities but they’re also employing Aboriginal people in real jobs.

They need to remove the punitive welfare measures immediately. they make absolutely no sense. It’s accountability gone mad. We’ve offered him a briefing, we’re looking forward to a positive working partnership, and for the ministry to be properly funded.”

It was well past time to get moving on the voice to parliament.

We are more than ready to finalise the model with our own people, and get out in the broader Australian community and have the conversations with them about why it’s important.

The PM said he wouldn’t be rushed on the matter of the voice, but the PM has to take a leadership role. When has he got the best chance of getting things done? In the first term. There’s no reason why we have to wait.”

CEO the National Coalition of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (NACCHO), Pat Turner said Wyatt had a big job ahead, facing “massive expectations” on all sides. Pat also co-chairs the joint council on Closing the Gap, a 10 year agreement between Australian governments and Aboriginal organisations to work together on solutions

Watch ABC TV News interview with Pat Turner

” When I saw Ken’s tweet about his appointment on Sunday, my heart grew big with pride. It was a welcome joy on a day that is always hard and sad – Sorry Day – the day we remember the pain and heartache of the stolen generations and all the histories and reverberations through families that came from this terrible period of pain, inflicted on First Australians by the government.

There is deep significance in Ken’s appointment being announced on Sorry Day, given his own family was directly affected by the then government’s actions.

Ken brings a depth of experience in Aboriginal education, health and policy, but of course the one thing he has that none of the previous office holders have ever had is that he is Indigenous. “

Dr Jessa Rogers is a Wiradjuri academic, consultant and board director based in Adelaide : see full article Part 2 Below

Part 1 from The Guardian 

Praise, hope and high expectation have followed the appointment of Noongar man Ken Wyatt as minister for Indigenous Australians in the new Morrison government.

Wyatt is the first Aboriginal person to hold the federal ministry, and the first Aboriginal person to sit in cabinet.

In a statement Wyatt said he was “incredibly honoured to be the first Aboriginal minister for Indigenous Australians, committed to working and walking together with our elders, families and communities, to ensure the greatness of our many nations is reflected in the greatness of the Australian nation, now and forever”.

The appointment, made on national Sorry Day and at the start of Reconciliation Week, has been welcomed by Aboriginal organisations and advocates, hopeful of progress on constitutional reform, a voice to parliamentClosing the Gap targets and long-standing welfare, health and justice issues.

Wyatt arrived in Canberra on Monday from his home state of Western Australia amid speculation about how he might consult Indigenous organisations and communities.

Scott Morrison said a new “national Indigenous Australians agency” would be established, but details are yet to be announced.

Nor would the prime minister give a timeframe for a referendum on constitutional reform and a voice to parliament.

The federal government has set aside $7.3m for co-design, and while Morrison said the work would start immediately, he would not set a deadline for a result.

“I’m committed to getting an outcome on recognition, but we need to work together across the aisle and across our communities to get an outcome that all Australians can get behind and we’ll take as long as is needed to achieve that,” Morrison said.

“My priorities for Indigenous Australians are to ensure Indigenous kids are in school and getting an education, that young Indigenous Australians are not taking their own lives and that there are real jobs for Indigenous Australians so they can plan for their future with confidence like any other Australian.

“Recognition must be achieved alongside these practical goals and we will continue to work together.”

Newly minted Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the ALP was ready to advance the agenda of the Uluru statement in a bipartisan manner.

“Our nation is diminished by not recognising first Australians in our constitution. And while Indigenous Australians are the most disadvantaged in our nation, Labor stands ready to cooperate on how we advance the agenda of the Uluru statement,” Albanese said.

The Greens also said a voice should happen without delay. Senator Rachel Siewert said Wyatt’s appointment was a “positive step towards self-determination”.

The social justice commissioner and fellow Western Australian, June Oscar, said Wyatt’s appointment was “truly historic”.

“Ken Wyatt carries the hopes and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country, and we look forward to working together,” Oscar said.

The co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Rod Little, said Wyatt’s appointment “heightens our hope that things will be different”.

“We have hope every time there’s an election. We hope there are people who can work with us, who we can trust, who know how our communities are feeling, and we need somebody who is trustworthy and honest who is going to take on the challenges to make our lives better.”

Chief executive of the National Coalition of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (Naccho), Pat Turner said Wyatt had a big job ahead, facing “massive expectations” on all sides.

The first Indigenous member of the House of Representatives Ken Wyatt delivers his maiden speech to the House of Representatives in Canberra, 29 September 2010

Part 2 Ken Wyatt’s historic appointment could be truly transformational for Indigenous Australians : from Jessa Rogers

Also from The Guardian 

For the first time the final approval on policies and funding which affect our lives will be made by an Indigenous person

Ken Wyatt was announced the minister of Indigenous affairs on Sunday, which was also Sorry Day. Wyatt’s own family was part of the stolen generations. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Scott Morrison has made an historic appointment early in his new term as prime minister that has the potential to radically alter the way Indigenous policy is made in Canberra.

One hundred and eighteen years after the commonwealth of Australia was formed we finally have our first ever minister of Indigenous affairs (now appropriately called minister for Indigenous Australians) who is actually Indigenous. Ken Wyatt, who in 2010 was the first Aboriginal man to be elected to the House of Representatives, has made history again. And while I do not know him well, I know he is a decent man with a heart for the people.

Some may argue that this appointment is merely symbolic given any major policy direction is likely to require the approval of the cabinet, but the minister for Indigenous Australians will have significant influence over major government programs and resources.

Ken brings a depth of experience in Aboriginal education, health and policy, but of course the one thing he has that none of the previous office holders have ever had is that he is Indigenous. And we now no longer have a non-Indigenous person with no experience in our world, making and influencing important decisions on our behalf.

This is the first time senior officials in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (where Indigenous Affairs is currently based) will have to answer to an Indigenous person. This will be the first time the final approval on policies and hundreds of millions of dollars will be made by an Indigenous person.

Having spent over a decade working in schools and universities where the people who hold the power to make the key decisions that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff are almost always non-Indigenous, I am encouraged to think that this decision by Scott Morrison is more than just symbolic. It has the potential to be truly transformational.

The first Indigenous member of the House of Representatives, Ken Wyatt, delivers his maiden speech on 29 September 2010. On Sunday Wyatt was appointed the first ever minister of Indigenous affairs.

For many years now, I have had an image board of inspirational people, moments and quotes in my office. Ken Wyatt has been on that board, his image taken in September 2010, when he took his seat as member for Hasluck wearing a kangaroo skin.

That image made me proud then, as I know it did for many people. That symbol of leadership, presented by Elders, showed so much of what it means to be an Aboriginal person who also represents a wide and diverse group of Australians in his home electorate.

The picture I had of Ken delivering his first speech always reminded me of the important points he made that day, in particular his recollection of the apology. It brought tears to my eyes, and something burned inside me when he said that the standing orders at that point prevented an Indigenous response.

So during that speech, cloaked in kangaroo skin, Ken said: “On behalf of my mother, her siblings and all Indigenous Australians, I, as an Aboriginal voice in this chamber, say thank you for the apology delivered in the federal parliament.” That voice in the chamber was so important, just as his voice as minister for Indigenous Australians will be now.

‘I feel like Labor was the only hope for our mob’: Indigenous people cannot feel defeated

I have raised my children to believe that we as Aboriginal people cannot let negative opinions, low expectations or stereotypes hold us back from achieving our goals. We have the power to shape our futures, even though we still have a long road ahead of us

As Ken has said, the decisions we make determine our destiny, and the choices we make shape our future. We need to work hard towards a world where Indigenous people can determine our own destinies, but also take time to celebrate the wins, when we have them.

So, today I am celebrating Ken’s appointment as a step in the right direction for the newly elected government, and for us as Indigenous peoples in Australia.

I am hoping this appointment will bring about more than just symbolic change, because we need more than that to improve our lives as Indigenous Australians.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #VoteACCHO Post #Election2019 Wrap : @abcnews Pat Turner congratulates @ScottMorrisonMP Plus 5 key questions for incoming  government  incl: Future of #UluruStatement and #ClosingThe Gap

“ No one saw it coming. Polling had the election as a win for Labor. Internal polling from the parties had it this way and external polling also had it so.

Exit polls had a 13 seat majority for Labor on Saturday night. They were all wrong. As we saw with Trump and Brexit, polls don’t always know best. On the weekend the Coalition held on.

It secured an election comeback that would have been unbelievable a month ago. 

So based on the Coalitions current Indigenous Policy document what can we expect in the next 3 years

Pat Turner NACCHO CEO was asked this question on ABC New yesterday (19 May ) the day after the “miracle win by Scott Morrison    

We have also compiled from Social media 5 key questions for the PM and his incoming government 

1.Who is going to be the new Indigenous Affairs Minister with the retirement of Nigel Scullion ?

2. Who is going to be the new Indigenous Health Minister ?

3.What is the future of of our Closing the gap Partnership ? 

” The Morrison Government is working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to provide the same opportunities as for every other Australian.

We know and believe that, to deliver real outcomes, we need to work in partnership.

We’ve drawn a line in the sand in regard to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policies and programs.

We need to refresh what we’re doing because, while the 2019 Closing the Gap report highlighted successes across the country, only two of the seven targets are on track to be met.

The original targets were well-intentioned but developed without the collaboration and accountability of the states and territories or input from Indigenous Australians.

Under the Morrison Government, Australia’s Closing the Gap targets will be redeveloped in partnership with Indigenous Australians for the first time. ”

From the Liberal Party Website 

CLOSING THE GAP – A REFRESH

The Closing the Gap process that began in 2008 was born of good heart.

Despite this, it did not truly seek to partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The driving belief was that a top-down approach could achieve the change that was rightly desired, through lofty goals and bureaucratic targets.

The Morrison Government has turned a new page.

We are committed to working together and deciding together how future policies are developed – especially at a regional and local level.

We have listened to what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have told us is important.

At COAG in December last year, all governments committed to share ownership of, and responsibility for, frameworks, targets and ongoing monitoring of a refreshed Closing the Gap Agenda with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at its heart.

And under the leadership of Prime Minister Morrison, the Commonwealth, state and territory and local governments in partnership with the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations signed an Agreement to change the way government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians work together on Closing the Gap.

We are providing $4.6 million to the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations to ensure an equal partnership with governments in designing and monitoring Closing the Gap.

4. How much money the new Morrison incoming government is going to invest in Closing the Gap Refresh

NACCHO CEO Pat Turner says at least $5bn and a commitment to work with communities is needed to get anywhere in Closing the Gap.

About 40 peak bodies from all avenues of Indigenous affairs came together last week ( May 13 )  to discuss a new Closing the Gap agreement.

The Peaks were the negotiators of the Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap last year, and have not sat face to face since.

They met to discuss what they want to achieve in a new Closing the Gap agreement, with NACCHO CEO Pat Turner calling for a bigger commitment from the government, whoever that may be following the election.

“Neither side of politics, either the Liberals, or the Nationals, or the ALP [have announced] the commitment they will make over the next 10 years to Close the Gap,” Ms Turner told NITV News.

“We need both sides of politics to come out in the last week and give us a very clear indication of how much money they’re going to invest in Closing the Gap, and that they’re going to continue to work in partnership with us.

“And that Aboriginal people are central to the co-design, the monitoring and the evaluation, but also making sure that government changes the way it works with our people.”

Ms Turner said that the partnership between Aboriginal people and the government needs to be at every level, and hopes this is implemented in a Close the Gap ‘refresh’.

“From the community level, to the regional level, to the state level, to the national level. If it doesn’t work in partnership with us, then it will be doomed to failure,” she said.

“They can start with $5 billion. That would be a good start, and a lot of that money needs to be invested directly into Aboriginal communities through our organisations and in terms of fixing up the infrastructure in our communities.”

They hope for a new agreement to be signed by the Coalition of Peaks and the Council of Australian Governments, and for it to be implemented later this year.

https://www.sbs.com.au/…/doomed-failure-close-gap-peak-bodi…

5. What is the future of the #UluruStatement and a Voice to Parliament

Updated Monday 20 May from ABC News report

Going into the election campaign, federal Labor had committed to a plan for a referendum on constitutional recognition for Indigenous people.

Senator Dodson said this, and the Indigenous voice to Parliament, seemed to be lost.

“Now we’ve gone back to potentially not having a voice to Parliament for First Nations people, no referendum on that matter.

“The removal of the Makarrata Commission, so no real interest in truth telling and agreement making.

“And certainly no regional assemblies to enable First Nations people to have a greater say in their own affairs.

“So, a real rolling back, and more of the draconian activities that have underpinned the CDEP program with penalties applying to people and treating First Nations people as mendicants and a drain on the public sector.”

Senator Dodson said he believed a reforming, visionary agenda had been destroyed with lies and creating fear, and a “misperception” of what Labor stood for.

Wyatt says Coalition win still gives Indigenous voice to Parliament

Ken Wyatt, who has been serving as Minister for Aged Care, and Australia’s first Minister for Indigenous Health, has rejected Senator Dodson’s claims.

Mr Wyatt said he considered Mr Dodson to be a friend, and said he would’ve made a great minister.

“I have no doubt about that,” he said.

“He and I and Linda [Burney] and Malarndirri [McCarthy] talk frequently, we set aside the political differences.

“We talk about the philosophical things we are aiming to achieve but at the same time we recognise our party positions are different.”

Mr Wyatt said Labor’s loss didn’t mean the end of an Indigenous voice to Parliament.

“It doesn’t set back the causes for a voice to Parliament of some form, certainly a better way of engaging with Aboriginal people.

“I know that in Aboriginal health we were establishing strong partnerships so I can’t see that diminishing.

“I have every faith in the Prime Minister to continue the work that we were proposing in the Aboriginal Affairs reform agenda.”

Mr Wyatt said he wanted a structure to which Indigenous people could bring their concerns, and then that body could work with relevant ministers, including the Prime Minister.

“If we do that, then that provides an avenue for people having a say in their future, but we’ve got to get it right at the community level,” he said.

Mr Wyatt said if he was offered the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio, he would “do it with great pride”, but said it was up to the Prime Minister and he wouldn’t seek to “circumvent” any decision.

“Any position you’re given in cabinet is an honour to serve in,” he said.

From previous NACCHO Post

Since 2013, the Liberal and Nationals Government has maintained the multi-partisan commitment to recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the Constitution.

We are listening to the recommendations of the bi-partisan Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (chaired by Julian Leeser MP and Senator Patrick Dodson).

The Joint Select Committee recommended that further work was needed to clarify a model for constitutional recognition and how it could best suit the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

See Policy Here

Coalition Policy Reviewed 

After the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017 there have been mounting talks about enshrining an Indigenous Voice to Parliament within the Australian Constitution.

Establishing a Voice to Parliament is not as visible in either the Liberal’s or the Nationals’ policies, however the Coalition did mention some support for the idea in this year’s Federal Budget.

If the Coalition is re-elected, the process for Voice to Parliament is likely to be a lengthy one.

The report 

“There is a national convergence between the aspirations of First Nations people, as reflected in the Uluru Statement, and the views of non-Indigenous Australians who overwhelmingly back a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice in Parliament and a comprehensive process of truth telling.

This presents the next federal parliament with a rare mandate and opportunity to advance the national reconciliation agenda.

Read final report HERE 

“The Uluru Statement From the Heart encapsulates all of these policy aspirations of the Indigenous world, and I fail to see how it is not being fully supported across the political and administrative spectrum,”

“We need to be empowered to lift ourselves out of the state-imposed tangle of policies, programs and bureaucracy that excludes us and removes our agency. Only we can overcome, but you can help.”