NACCHO Close the Gap campaign political alert:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health – ongoing commitment from all Australian governments is vital

 

Mick

“Five years ago all sides of politics agreed to do something about the national disgrace that sees Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people die more than 10 years younger than the broader Australian community,” Campaign Co- Chair Mick Gooda pictured above said

Close the Gap

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health must be placed on the agenda for this Friday’s COAG meeting if there is to be any hope of closing the life expectancy gap by 2030, the Close the Gap Campaign said today.

 “Five years ago all sides of politics agreed to do something about the national disgrace that sees Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people die more than 10 years younger than the broader Australian community,” Campaign Co- Chair Mick Gooda said.

 “While the 2008 COAG meeting saw federal, state and territory governments commit to long term funding for services and programs though the National Partnership Agreement, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is absent from this Friday’s COAG meeting agenda.

 “We know that the policies and programs resulting from these 2008 COAG commitments are starting to bear fruit and make a real difference on the ground; for example, mortality rates for under five-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are falling,” Mr Gooda said.

 “But the life expectancy gap remains just as unacceptable today as it was back then and I know that most of those attending COAG this Friday agree with me.”

 The National Partnership Agreement which has driven efforts to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes is set to expire at the end of June 2013. Despite Federal Government indications that it will continue funding its share of the Agreement, state and territory governments have not yet signed up to the Agreement  leaving some services and programs in real doubt as to whether they can continue to provide badly needed services beyond 30 June.

 Campaign Co Chair Jody Broun said governments of all persuasions owed it to the rest of the country to maintain their efforts to close the life expectancy gap by 2030.

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“There’s no doubt that nothing short of ongoing funding and commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from all levels of government is what’s needed to keep on track,” Ms Broun said.

“State, territory and federal governments need to continue working together to fund more services and programs that make a real difference to health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“We have to maintain our efforts to improve access to critical chronic disease services and to deliver anti-smoking measures, more affordable medicines and healthy lifestyle programs. We need to support and build capacity in our Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and we need to build on the inroads already made by our child and maternal health services,” she said.

“We need more Aboriginal health workers, allied health professionals, doctors, nurses and health promotion workers.

“A recommitment from state, territory and federal governments at this Friday’s COAG meeting is needed to quite literally save lives.”

For Mick Gooda, please contact Louise McDermott on 0419 258 597

For Jody Broun, please contact Liz Willis on 0457877408

NACCHO health news:STOP overrepresentation:Justice reinvestment – all Governments must commit to action

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 National Congress Co-Chair Jody Broun pictured above

Justice Reinvestment presents a unique opportunity to have Aboriginal communities involved at every step of the way in identifying and implementing solutions to deal with overrepresentation within our own communities,”

Congress has called for all Australian governments to commit to Justice Reinvestment to stop the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the justice system.

READ and DOWNLOAD the full National Congress submission here

 Congress will tell a Senate Inquiry today that the strength of Justice Reinvestment is its localised approach to fit the needs and situation of each community.

 “Justice Reinvestment presents a unique opportunity to have Aboriginal communities involved at every step of the way in identifying and implementing solutions to deal with overrepresentation within our own communities,” said Congress Co-Chair Jody Broun.

 “The local approach of Justice Reinvestment would be strengthened by the national implementation of Closing the Gap justice targets that Congress has previously called for – to halve the rates of incarceration for our Peoples and to halve the rate at which our Peoples report having experienced physical or threatened violence within the past 12 months,” she said.

 Co-Chair Les Malezer said the Congress submission to the inquiry also details how Justice Reinvestment addresses both the cause and effect of Aboriginal peoples’ interaction with the justice system.

 “It does not mean reduced police intervention and protection for victims of crime but using resources in a more efficient manner, which is crucial when it comes to dealing with violence against Aboriginal women and children.

 “Top down approaches have never been successful or been owned by communities, solutions that make the most of the strengths and knowledge within our communities have a much greater chance of success,” he said.

 Congress Director and Justice Working Group Convenor, Tammy Solonec will present the Congress submission to the Senate Inquiry into the value of justice reinvestment approach to criminal justice in Australia in Perth today.

 Ms Solonec said the four key points of Congress’s submission are backed by Congress members and delegates through the Justice Working group.

 “The Congress submission calls for a commitment to Justice Reinvestment by the Federal and all State and Territory Governments; the establishment of a national approach to data collection on justice indicators; and for funding and operational support for analysis and implementation of community-led Justice Reinvestment programs in targeted communities,” she said.

Read the full Congress submission here: nationalcongress.com.au/justice

Contact: Liz Willis 0457 877 408

http://nationalcongress.com.au/justice-reinvestment-all-governments-must-commit-to-action/

Liz Willis

Communications

NACCHO supports International Women’s Day (IWD) 2013: congratulates Congress

Jody Broun

Congress recognised as a leader in equality for women The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples is proud to accept the “Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations Gold Award” for our work in advancing women in the workplace and community.

Co-chair, Jody Broun (pictured above ) said, “Congress has recognised the vital need to have women at the forefront of our decision making, it is fundamental to the way we do our business.

“We listened to our people when gender equity was established as a founding – and now an operating – principle of Congress and we urge other Australian companies to do the same.

“The women working within Congress now are part of the long, proud history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have fought for our Peoples and we honour the achievements and the significant contributions those women have made.

Co-chair Les Malezer said, “In our upcoming elections we expect to see more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women put themselves forward for positions within Congress as delegates, directors or co-chair.

“Congress is a leading example for mainstreaming women and girls in development and more attention is needed to provide girls with leadership ambitions in Aboriginal communities.

“Representation on the Congress Board and Ethics Council is equally divided between men and women, as it is with our delegates and on our youth committee. More than half of our membership is female (58%) and female staff make up three-quarters of our small organisation, with half in senior management roles,” he said  “Congress is built on a platform of unity, that we all have an equal stake and responsibility in current decisions and in our future.

Co-chair Broun concluded, “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls are a fundamental part of the ability of our communities to achieve self-determination and to address the serious issues that face our Peoples.

“I am proud to be the first female elected Co-Chair of Congress and proud that Congress is at the forefront of gender equality not only for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, but for Australian women as a whole.” 

Contact: Liz Willis 0457 877 408

 http://nationalcongress.com.au/congress-recognised-as-leader-in-equality-for-women/

 On International Women’s Day (IWD) 2013, the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women (ACLW) rewards initiatives for the advancement of women in workplaces and in the community. ACLW’s Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations (SWECO) Award which commenced in 2011 aims to honour women and men and groups who have developed a sustainable initiative to empower women in a community or organisation.

More info: http://www.leadershipforwomen.com.au/