Steve and Mick walk ride from Brisbane to Redfern for Aboriginal Health

Press Release 23 October 2012

Steve Widders and Dr Mick Adams about to complete walking and riding from Brisbane to Sydney

Tomorrow morning (Wednesday 24 October) Steve Widders, an Aboriginal health advocate who is legally blind, and Dr Mick Adams, a prominent Aboriginal leader will arrive in Sydney after walking and cycle from Brisbane to Sydney in 14 days.(Bio’s attached)

They will be met at approx. 9.30 am Kirribilli House by the Prime Minster’s partner and first bloke Mr Tim Mathieson, Patron Men’s Health and Ambassador for the Australian Men’s Shed Association. Steve and Mick are then inviting supporters to join them at 10.30 walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Redfern Park (arriving approx. 1.30 pm) and completing the long journey at the Redfern AMS the first Aboriginal community controlled health service in Australia.

Steve and Mick have walked and cycled from Brisbane to Sydney visiting all the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services along the way to raise awareness about the importance of good health for Aboriginal men and families.

Where to meet and support the riders

MEETING: Kirribilli House 9.30 to 10.00 AM

WALKING: Meet northern side of Sydney Harbour Bridge 10.30 am departure to walk across the bridges walk path.

ARRIVAL: Redfern Park Approx. 1.30 PM


Steve Widders: 0411 609 041

Dr Mick Adams: 0409 646 952

Released by: Colin Cowell NACCHO National Media Advisor 0401 331 251


If you cannot make it -you can donate $10/$20/$50 or $100

Mr Steve Widders

Steve Widders is a middle aged (56) man who was diagnosed by the late Fred hollows as legally and medically blind 20 years ago. Steve Widders is one of a vibrant new generation of emerging leaders meeting challenges and inspiring others. Steve Widders became despondent and lost his self-confidence when he went blind but he decided to undertake leadership training which, among other things, inspired him to walk the entire Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea.

”Following personal mental health issues including depression and suicidal tendencies I realised nothing would change unless I changed so I set out to turn adversity into a more positive mode. In doing so, I became aware of my obligation as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend and colleague to provide support and direction to others in my life.”

Steve Widders has appeared on numerous television channels and international newspapers, promoting the importance of a health mind, body and community. Steve now sets a new challenge in Walk and Ride with Widders in the hope of further promoting healthy communities.

Dr Mick Adams

Mick Adams is a descendent of the Yadhiagana people of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland having traditional family ties with the Gringji people of Central Western Northern Territory. Dr Mick Adams is an Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Health at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He has made a sustained and outstanding contribution to the advancement of Indigenous health. Mick’s 30 year career has been dedicated to closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians through properly resourced and appropriate health services as part of the overall community development needed to ensure Indigenous people are a part of Australia’s future.

Dr Adams has held a range of positions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations, representative organisations and government departments over his career. In the past ten years, Dr Adams has held a number of senior positions including Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) (2007-2009); Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Forum (2001-2003); and General Manager of both the Brisbane Aboriginal and Islander Community Health Service (1997-1999) and Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation (1999- 2000).

Dr Mick Adams holds a PhD from QUT and a Master of Arts (Indigenous Research & Development), Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Curtin University of Technology. Prior to undertaking his postgraduate studies he undertook at Bachelor of Social Work, a Bachelor of Applied Science (Aboriginal Community Management andDevelopment), an Associate Diploma in Social Work and a Community Development Certificate.

Aboriginal doctors hit out at MP’s in action.

Picture above: Dr Ngaire Brown who joined NACCHO in late September as a Public Health Medical Officer

This article is reproduced from The Koori Mail 17 October 2012

Leading Indigenous doctors have accused Australian politicians of being more interested in their re-elections than providing long-term solutions to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Dr Ngaire Brown said that cuts to state and territory budgets and services that affected health funding and programs were attacks on essential services and the rights of citizens.

And Dr Mick Adams, a former head of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and a 30 year campaigner for improved Indigenous health, said that without long-term approaches, there would be no closing of the gap in life expectancy. Many good programs such as Healthy for Life receive short term, or one-off funding, not the long term funding which is needed to really make a difference, he said.

Dr Brown spoke to the Koori Mail during a break at the Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Conference in Alice Springs recently while Dr Adams was cycling with vision impaired Armidale man Steve Widders from Brisbane to Sydney to raise the profile of men’s health.

DONATE $$$ to WALK RIDE WIDDERS and support Aboriginal Male Health

Dr Adams said that a long term approach to funding for Aboriginal community controlled health services was imperative, especially in the area of men’s health, which was often neglected by programs.

The reality is that if you make a good investment in health then you get good returns, but if you don’t invest then you don’t get anything he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Brown was forthright in her assessment of newly elected politicians slashing budgets with little thought to the value of programs.

No one has the stones to make a long-term commitment to the capacity of this country in terms of health and our economic sustainability beyond their own terms, Dr Brown said.

They’re worried about being there, staying there and what the polls say.

They are not worried about leaving a legacy that will extend beyond their political lives.

It’s like their social responsibilities have become irrelevant once they enter office.

Dr Brown described the Northern Territory intervention as an ugly beast that had used practices the old people have seen before, including a lack of respect and an undermining of traditions. It’s a step backwards in many ways, she said.

Dr Brown said however, that while politicians were failing to grasp the importance of tackling Indigenous health, the wider health profession was becoming increasingly respectful of Indigenous approaches.

There is an increasing interest acknowledgement and respect for Indigenous practices and of our understanding and perspectives of health and wellbeing, she said.

That includes the real need of being well and staying well, instead of the ongoing need to just treat chronic disease.

It’s not just about providing health services or acute care but it’s about understanding the underlying values of Indigenous people.

The need to respect identity and build resilience and prevent disease through a range of practices that aren’t necessary related to the physical being but all the other things that are incorporated into our culture.

Understanding those things and not seeing them as vague or non specific, not evidence based alternative approaches.

They’ve actually kept us well for 60,000 years prior to Western medicine, which has only been around a few thousand years.