NACCHO political alert:Minister funding risk warning, only 6 days to Close the Gap

4.low res Healthy Futures Low res

INDIGENOUS Health Minister Warren Snowdon pictured above with NACCHO CEO Lisa Briggs and NACCHO Deputy chair Matthew Cooke launching HEALTHY FUTURES at Parliament House Canberra 19 June 2013

INDIGENOUS Health Minister Warren Snowdon has warned that the nation’s commitment to close the health gap between black and white Australia is being put at risk by state and territory governments failing to sign on six days before it starts.


by: Patricia Karvelas

Only the Victorian government has put its investment on the table and The Australian can reveal it will offer $61.7 million over four years as part of its ongoing commitment to the life of the next three-year National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Western Australia has announced $31m to extend funding for 12 months only – an interim measure because of pressure from local Aboriginal health organisations concerned about uncertainty over funding translating to job losses.

The Gillard government has revealed it will spend more than $700m over three years on a new partnership agreement but no states or territories have signed on.

Mr Snowdon wrote to them several weeks ago urging them to reaffirm their support for tackling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage by signing up.

The National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes, first signed in 2008 between the commonwealth and all states and territories, invested $1.57 billion over four years. But the NPA expires on June 30 and negotiations to re-sign have still not been resolved days before the new partnership is supposed to begin.

Mr Snowdon told The Australian the delay was deeply concerning. “We can’t afford to delay renewing this agreement with the states and territories,” he said.

“We have seen some steady improvements in a number of areas, like reducing child mortality rates and reducing the occurrence of the blindness causing eye disease trachoma.

“We will only continue seeing health outcomes improve if we work together with good programs on the ground that are backed up by solid investment across the board.

“I am especially concerned by the NT government, which has been silent on its future investment. The Northern Territory CLP government has already imposed cuts to the community controlled sector. The Territory’s most recent budget identifies that their investment in primary healthcare is insufficient to meet projected population growth.”

The federal government will continue programs funded through the NPA and expects the states and territories to do the same while negotiations continue.

WA Health Minister Kim Hames said the Closing the Gap funding had created 98 new programs and 317 jobs across government, non-government and the Aboriginal community to deliver vital services. “Closing the Gap aims to improve the life expectancy of Aboriginal West Australians and, while much has been achieved so far, there is still much more work to be done,” Dr Hames said. “The $31m the WA government has committed to today is for 2013-14 and will enable us to continue to deliver these critical services over the next year, which gives job security to those workers engaged in the delivery of these services.”

Dr Hames said the allocation of $31m demonstrates “our very strong commitment to the Closing the Gap program” and improving indigenous health.

“While it is very likely we will sign a new agreement, it is not possible to commit to this at this stage, given we have not yet seen a final proposed agreement.”

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NACCHO AFL health news:NACCHO and Federal Government kicking goals for Aboriginal youth


NACCHO is proud to partner with the AFL and Greater Western Sydney (GWS) to develop Australia’s next generation of Aboriginal leaders and footballers

Picture above NACCHO chair Justin Mohamed with AFL legend,GWS coach  and NACCHO Aboriginal Health supporter Kevin Sheedy’ half time at the GWS VS West Coast Eagles game sponsored by NACCHO


Pictures below NACCHO promotion at GWS VS West Coast Eagles Game




Gillard Labor Government Press Release

The Gillard Labor Government is investing nearly $1.3 million to continue supporting the next generation of Indigenous leaders, in partnership with the Australian Football League (AFL). 

 As footy fans aatended  the annual Dreamtime game at the MCG tonight, the Government was pleased to announce its continued investment in youth programs run by the AFL and the Richmond Football Club, which are helping young Indigenous Australians gain new skills and become role models for others.

 The Long Walk and Dreamtime at the G are nationally celebrated events that recognise the important contribution that Indigenous people make to our country, both on and off the field.

 The Government is also supporting the Long Walk – which is led every year by Michael Long to raise awareness of Indigenous issues – with a $30,000 grant to support the organisation.

 The Gillard Government is proud to partner with the AFL to develop Australia’s next generation of Indigenous leaders.

 Supporting the Richmond Football Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute

The Government will provide more than $970,000 over the next three years to the Richmond Football Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute to continue the successful Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leaders (REAL) program.

 The REAL program provides leadership and mentoring opportunities for Indigenous students from across the country aged 13 to 16 years, giving them new vocational skills and setting them up for successful careers.

 A key part of the program includes camps held over four days each year in Melbourne and Alice Springs, which build student’s leadership skills, self-esteem and cultural connections, so they can be young leaders in the own communities.

Students also benefit from direct mentoring from Richmond footballers, including Shane Edwards and Steven Morris.

This new funding builds on the $6.75 million the Australian Government has previously invested to launch the REAL program in 2012.

Since the initiative began, more than 180 Indigenous students have benefited from the REAL leadership camps and ongoing mentoring programs.

Students have had successful work experience placements at a number of different employers, and have taken part in the Koori Youth Council and the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy.

Helping to build young Indigenous leaders is a critical part of closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

The Richmond Football Club and the Korin Gamadji Institute are doing fantastic work to make sure young Indigenous people from across Australia are on the right track to succeed as adults and become role models for other young people.

Supporting the AFL’s Club Partnership Program

The Gillard Government will continue to support the AFL’s Club Partnership Program, with a further $300,000 in funding for 2013.

Under the Club Partnership Program, six AFL clubs work with Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory and South Australia to help young people stay connected to school and reduce the risk of truancy, violence and substance abuse.

The clubs – Richmond, Essendon, Geelong, Hawthorn, Adelaide and Port Adelaide – organise player visits to their partner communities at least twice a year to work with young Indigenous people and maintain contact with them throughout the year. 

The Australian Government has invested more than $1.4 million in the program since 2007, benefitting young people in remote Indigenous communities including Tiwi Islands, Wadeye, Groote Eylandt and communities in the APY Lands.

This new funding will build on the success of the current program and expand to work with young Indigenous women across the country through the AFL Female Kickstart program.


NACCHO Close the Gap:Prevention not intervention,$22 million funding boost

Julia Education

The Gillard Government will be delivering a $22 million funding boost to help more than 3000 Indigenous students across the country complete their secondary education.

School Education Minister Peter Garrett today announced the Government will provide an additional $10 million to the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation this year, and a further $12 million under the Indigenous Youth Leadership Program over the next four years as part of the 2013-14 Budget.

Mr Garrett said the extra funding for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation will help support another 733 Indigenous students to attend boarding school.

“This funding boost means that since 2008, Labor has delivered a total of $32 million to the Foundation, benefitting more than 2,300 Indigenous students across the country,” Mr Garrett said.

“As part of our agreement with the AIEF, every dollar the Commonwealth invests is matched by a dollar from corporate and private support, meaning the organisation will benefit from a total of $64 million as a result of our support.

“These scholarships are crucial in helping young Indigenous people complete Year 12 and ensuring they have an opportunity to secure a job and lead fulfilling lives.

“Education is the passport out of poverty for many young Indigenous people and this extra funding will help even more students reach their goals.

“It also has a ripple effect in communities. The more young people who finish school and get into university, the more role models there are for future generations of Indigenous youth. ”

The new funding for the Indigenous Youth Leadership Program will support 204 new scholarships for Indigenous students.

The additional funding in this year’s budget will provide scholarships for 68 students in 2014 in each of Years 7, 8 and 11.

Since 2006, more than 1,500 secondary and tertiary students have been assisted under the IYLP. More than 86 per cent of students have been retained in the program or have completed Year 12, and more than 98 per cent of students who have begun Year 12 have completed the year.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said the Gillard Government had made unprecedented investments to help close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

“After years of underinvestment and neglect, Labor’s investments are making a real difference for Indigenous people,” Ms Macklin said.

“This year we are meeting our first closing the gap target, with more Indigenous children having access to pre-school or kindergarten than ever before, and our target of halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five by 2018 is also on track to be met.

“The new funding announced today will build on this good work, helping even more Indigenous kids gets every chance at a good education, a good job and a brighter future.”

Ms Macklin said the Government was delivering sustainable, long term investments to close the gap.

“Mr Abbott has so far refused to guarantee funding for Indigenous programs and organisations,” Ms Macklin said.

“This Labor Government has set out a clear pathway to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage, and we’re making the investments that are needed to get there.

“We won’t close the gap without the certainty of these long-term investments, or without partnerships between government and Indigenous organisations.

“The progress we’ve made in partnership with Indigenous people is at risk under a conservative Abbott Government.”

This additional funding is on top of around $690 million already invested by the Gillard Government in Indigenous education, including:

  • $543 million to support the Stronger Futures NT National  Partnership;
  • more than $128 million to for the Australian Indigenous Education  Action Plan; and
  • nearly $20 million for the Teach Remote program which places high   quality teachers into remote communities.

The Gillard Governments National Plan for School Improvement will also include a particular focus on the needs of Indigenous children.

Funding for schools will be based on a Schooling Resource Standard, which includes a base amount per student and additional funding for schools and students that need more support, including indigenous students.

Non-media queries: 1300 363 079

NACCHO political alert:In Closing the Gap Governments must be judged on results;Scullion


Senator Nigel Scullion pictured above centre talking with the mob at  Utopia and Ampilawatja NT along with now Chief Minister Adam Giles (left) PICTURE STORY@ CAAMA

In Closing the Gap, Governments should not be judged simply on good intentions or the amount of money spent, they should be judged on results, Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister Senator Nigel Scullion said.

“Minister Macklin’s speech about progress in closing the gap as usual focused on the money spent, bureaucratic structures and plans and performance measured against inputs rather than outputs,” Senator Scullion said.

 “I agree with Macklin when she says that after five years now is an appropriate time to reflect on what Labor has achieved. Arguable progress in only three of the six closing the gap targets is not much of a scorecard.

 “Closing the gap is a bi‐partisan task and we share the Government’s good intentions absolutely, but in all things delivery has never been a strong suit of the Gillard Government.

 “I also agree with Macklin that we need sustained change over time, but you cannot simply flick the switch to autopilot and walk away. You can’t simply cough up the money and then let the bureaucrats waste it.

 “Saying sorry was an important national milestone and generated great expectations. Kevin Rudd himself declared on the day that progress in housing would be his priority. Their SIHIP housing project in the NT in particular has been a disaster with the task of eliminating overcrowding still ahead of us despite the massive expenditure.

 “The reduction in the infant mortality rate has been on track to achieve the target since 1998 under the Howard government. Halving the gap for indigenous students in year 12 was also headed in that direction before the Rudd/Gillard Government came to power.

 “They say they will achieve the target for access to early education for 4 year olds in remote areas.

 Frankly I do not believe the spin, it smacks of more bureaucratic smoke and mirrors. The centrepiece of their remote area strategy was to be the construction of 38 preschools – but it turns out that most of these are located in non‐remote areas and it is not clear how many have been built.

 While they praise themselves for the supposed number of enrolments the Prime Minister herself admitted that the results did not indicate the level of actual attendance‐and that is what really counts.

 “The gap in the unemployment rate has only reduced by less than two percent since 2006. Macklin did not mention the abysmal NAPLAN results in her speech as they show the education gap has gone backwards in 14 of the 20 NAPLAN indicators since 2011. Sadly the life expectancy gap appears not to have demonstrably changed.

 In Closing the Gap, Governments should not be judged simply on good intentions or the amount of money spent, they should be judged on results, Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister Senator Nigel Scullion said.

NACCHO news alert:Abbott must guarantee he won’t cut Indigenous funding-Macklin


NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts will in the lead update to the 2013 Federal Election September 14  publish press releases from all political parties in the areas of Aboriginal Health and social determinants.

The press release below from the office of  Minister Macklin (pictured above) follows the incident last week when Dr Mark Roberts Chief policy officer from Tony Abbotts office was demoted after threatening to “cut the throat” of a prominent Australian’s non-profit organisation by cancelling funding once in power.

Dr Roberts reportedly made the threat to Australian Indigenous Education Foundation chief Andrew Penfold at a Sydney dinner on Thursday.AIEF Foundation provides scholarships to help educate 2000 Indigenous children and supports others in financial need.


Coalition  sources have confirmed that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will slash vital funding that improves the lives of Indigenous Australians.

“While Dr Roberts’ funding threat may have been in the heat of the moment, Coalition sources confirm Aboriginal Affairs will see the axe wielded, should Tony Abbott take Government in September.”

–       Paul Bongiorno, Ten News, 19 April 2013

Tony Abbott must guarantee today that no funding invested in programs for Indigenous people would go if he is elected.

After years of underinvestment and neglect under the Howard Government, this Labor Government has made unprecedented investments to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage, with more than $5.2 billion in funding for employment, education, health services, community development and community safety.

Just this week, the Government committed $777 million to renew our work to close the gap on Indigenous health outcomes.

Meanwhile, one of Tony Abbott’s most senior staff was using violent language against the respected head of an organisation supporting Indigenous people, and threatening to cut their funding “when in Government.”

The Gillard Government’s unprecedented investments to close the gap are making a difference. This year we are meeting our first closing the gap target, with more Indigenous children having access to pre-school or kindergarten than ever before, and our target of halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five by 2018 is also on track to be met.

The progress we’ve made in partnership with Indigenous people is at risk under a conservative Abbott Government.

Tony Abbott and the Liberals can’t be trusted to deliver for Indigenous people.

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