Congress NHLF response to NATSIHP Aboriginal Health Plan: culture, anti-racism and rights at the centre of wellbeing


Congress and the National Health Leadership Forum (NHLF) support the priorities and vision of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan released today.


Jody Broun, (pictured above)  Co-Chair of Congress and the NHLF, said placing culture and community at the heart of the plan puts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in control of health and well-being.

“The recognition of culture as central to the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities shows a deep understanding of the role culture plays in our health and wellbeing,” she said.

“The plan’s vision of the Australian health system being free of racism sets a new precedent for Australian public policy.

“Congress and the NHLF organisations were able to significantly influence the health plan to ensure recognition is given to the right to health and to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” she said.


NHLF Co-Chair and Chair of the National Community Controlled Health Organisation Justin Mohamed said, “Our joint submission to the plan involved extensive consultation with communities, from Darwin to Port Augusta, from Perth to Dubbo to identify what our people and expert organisations wanted to see done to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.

“The Plan establishes the new model for how services will be delivered and funding for the Plan must get to communities and community controlled health organisations for it to have a real impact,” he said.

Co-Chair Broun said the Plan must embody systems of accountability so there is a clear line of sight between the intent of the plan and the services delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

“Implementation will be the key, and we call for a united leadership from communities, Governments and health organisations for the most effective implementation and monitoring of the plan,” she said.

“All state and territory governments must now be open about their commitment to a National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes which will drive the full roll out of this Health Plan.

“As the federal election draws closer, all parties must now get on the record for multi-decade commitments to our Peoples health to span policy cycles, funding agreements and governments,” she said.

Organisations in the national health leadership forum are

·         National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

·         Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation

·         Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association

·         Australian Indigenous Psychologists’ Association

·         Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses

·         Indigenous Allied Health Australia

·         Indigenous Dentists’ Association of Australia

·         The Lowitja Institute

·         National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers’ Association

·         National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Physiotherapists

·         Torres Strait Regional Authority

Contact: Liz Willis 0457 877 408