NACCHO #ClosingTheGap Aboriginal Health : @congressmob and #RedfernStatement Alliance leaders express dismay over last minute changes to high-level #Aboriginal peak body meeting for @pmc_gov_au #CTGRefresh consultations

 ” National Congress and Redfern Statement Alliance leaders meeting in Canberra yesterday  have expressed dismay over last minute changes to a high-level Aboriginal peak body meeting for the Closing the Gap Refresh consultations.

Co-Chair Rod Little expressed his frustration, saying ‘it is critical that the government respects the need for Aboriginal peak bodies to share their expert views without having to accommodate other powerful voices such as NGOs.”

Download full Press Release : National Congress – Closing the Gap Refresh Rejigged – Final pdf Media Release Final 4th April 2018 (1)

The Closing the Gap Refresh agenda stated: ‘Australian governments acknowledge they need to work differently with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Our Redfern Statement called for the government to ‘commit to better engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through their representative national peaks.’ More specifically, the recommendation focused on ‘convening regular high level ministerial and departmental meetings and forums with the National Congress and the relevant peak organisations and forums.’

Read 15+ NACCHO articles about the Redfern Statement

National Congress has only recently learnt that no longer will Aboriginal peak bodies be given the much-anticipated exclusive opportunity to voice their views on the Refresh project.

Now we understand that the government organisers have opened the doors to a range of non-indigenous NGOs to participate on the same day.

Whilst these organisations have valuable contributions to make, this may not be the appropriate forum.

The consultation process is already compressed enough without our organisations having to abbreviate our important contributions.”

What is potentially being overlooked by consultation organisers is how having NGOs present might impact on critical evaluations of the influence of NGOs themselves on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs.

It should not be taken for granted that NGOs and Aboriginal peak bodies see eye to eye on a range of issues, and the sensitive issue of setting targets for Closing the Gap may well be such an issue.

National Congress reminds the government that the Redfern Statement Alliance is an excellent framework with which to engage Aboriginal peak bodies.

No member of this alliance wants to see its perspectives on Closing the Gap Refresh watered down or diminished by competing organisations.

Our peak organisations are calling for the full attention of the government and an exclusive opportunity to have our voices heard.

The government is not meeting its own expectations and working ‘differently’ by having powerful NGO representatives share this key consultation.

We would like this to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Background to #CTGRefresh

Another step in this process is to consider how governments can improve program implementation. Six implementation principles have been developed to guide the new Closing the Gap agenda.

The principles are:

  • Funding prioritised to meet targets
  • Evidence-based programs and policies
  • Genuine collaboration between governments and communities
  • Programs and services tailored for communities
  • Shared decision-making
  • Clear roles, responsibilities and accountability

How you can get involved ?

We want your views on the future of Closing the Gap. What is important, what worked and how can we do better?

“We have to be there to be part of the conversation, so let’s get with it.” – Chris Sarra, Co-Chair Indigenous Advisory Council, and Founder and Chair, Stronger, Smarter Institute

We’re interested in getting your thoughts on a few questions below. You don’t need to answer every question.

Alternatively, you may prefer to upload a submission.

Once you’ve completed your response, click ‘Next’ and we will ask you a few questions about yourself.

Read the discussion paper for more information on the Closing the Gap Refresh.

Submissions close 5pm AEDT 30 April  2018.

NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health #F1000DA17 : International @First1000DaysOz Movement gets Aboriginal Make-Over

“We work to support parents in taking responsibility for our children, providing them with the best start in life and ensuring that the protective factors inherent in our culture and our strong family structures are evident in our work with families.

The work of First Thousand Days Australia is aimed at reducing chronic stressors for mums and dads, so that the focus is on healthy pregnancies and giving our parents the opportunity to provide their children the best start in life.

We welcome the support of Congress and note that both the recent Redfern and Uluru statements from the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership highlighted early childhood development and health as a major priority for Indigenous communities “

Professor Kerry Arabena, Chair of Indigenous Health (Pictured above ) at the University of Melbourne, who heads up the Australian initiative says her group is unique in that it’s an Indigenous designed and managed intervention.

“Some of our people are kept apart from us –by politics and power— and forced to live away from the people who care most about them,” she told the audience of child care workers, educationalists, health workers and researchers. “They are in prisons and in out-of-home care.

“As long as they exist separated from us, from their families, from our communities and from our society, we remain a people who are unable to exercise the right of self-determination.

Dr Huggins, Co-Chair of the National Congress of First Peoples, said that the lack of success in improving the outcomes for Indigenous infants and children was a source of deep anxiety for all Indigenous families see Part 2 Below

Read over 270 NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health Articles published over the pat 5 Years

International First Thousand Days Movement got an  ” Aboriginal Make-Over ” when national summit began in Brisbane this week

Brisbane  hosted one of Australia’s most significant gatherings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and maternal health experts and community leaders when the First Thousand Days Australia national summit convened this week .

The first 1,000 days of life – the time spanning roughly between conception and one’s second birthday – is a unique period of opportunity when the foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan are established.

In Australia this international movement has been broadened out, by a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health researchers and practitioners, from the original nutrition-focused international initiative to include child protection, early life literacy, the role and contribution of men and the range of other issues which impact on Indigenous parents and infants in Australia.

Professor Arabena said the Queensland Government had supported the initiative with a $1.5m grant to establish two trial sites in the state and other funds have been made available for ongoing research and evaluation.

“There is a sense of desperation in many of our communities and organisations that current efforts to give our kids the best possible opportunities in life are not having the impact we’d like; our children are being put into out-of-home-care at unprecedented rates and the COAG targets to close the gap on child mortality, school attendance and literacy and numeracy haven’t been met this year.

“It’s clear that we need new initiatives that give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities more control over developing strategies and First Thousand days Australia is aiming to do just that,” said Professor Arabena.

The First Thousand Days Australia National Summit will run from tomorrow until Friday 20 October

View the Summit program including abstracts and presenters’ bios here.

 Part 2 Australian Government has historic opportunity to build safety and health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children  

Aboriginal leader, Dr Jackie Huggins, has told a child and maternal health summit In Brisbane that Australia’s elevation to the UN Human Rights Committee should cause the Australian Government to ensure its domestic actions matches its international rhetoric on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

Speaking at the First Thousand Days Summit in Brisbane today Dr Huggins, Co-Chair of the National Congress of First Peoples, said that the lack of success in improving the outcomes for Indigenous infants and children was a source of deep anxiety for all Indigenous families.

“Some of our people are kept apart from us –by politics and power— and forced to live away from the people who care most about them,” she told the audience of child care workers, educationalists, health workers and researchers. “They are in prisons and in out-of-home care.

“As long as they exist separated from us, from their families, from our communities and from our society, we remain a people who are unable to exercise the right of self-determination.

The first 1,000 days of life – the time spanning roughly between conception and one’s second birthday – is a unique period of opportunity when the foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan are established.

In Australia this international movement has been broadened out, by a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health researchers and practitioners, from the original nutrition-focused international initiative to include child protection, early life literacy, the role and contribution of men and the range of other issues which impact on Indigenous parents and infants in Australia.

Dr Huggins said the Turnbull Government had an historical opportunity to engage with the Indigenous community on child health and safety through the Aboriginal-led First Thousand Days Australia initiative.

“Indigenous people are the experts when it comes to taking responsibility for, and looking after our children,” Dr Huggins said. “We have the right to develop and provide services which address inter-generational trauma. We have the right to teach our children in their languages and ensure they have a culturally appropriate education and have the right to deliver pre-natal services according to the needs of our communities.”

First Thousand Days Australia CEO, Professor Kerry Arabena, welcomed the support of Congress and said that both the recent Redfern and Uluru statements from the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership highlighted early childhood development and health as a major priority for Indigenous communities.

“We all need to start focusing on the strengths and resilience of our families and work with them to build on these strengths rather than the continued emphasis on the perceived weaknesses,” said Professor Arabena.

 

NACCHO political news :Aboriginal organisation to defy Tony Abbott funding cut

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The leaders of the national representative body for indigenous people have vowed to continue as a ”fearless” voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, despite the Abbott government indicating it is likely to cut its funding.

The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples was set up in 2010 with an initial Commonwealth funding allocation of $29.2 million over five years. While it was envisaged that the organisation would become financially self-sufficient over time, it is yet to reach this stage.

From Dan Harrison SMH

In the May budget, the Gillard government provided a further $15 million in funding to flow over three years from July next year, but Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion met the group’s co-chairs on Wednesday and told them it was unlikely they would receive the $15 provided for by Labor.

But in a statement issued late on Thursday, Congress co-chairs Kirstie Parker and Les Malezer promised the organisation would continue to fight.

”The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples promised its members and supporters today that it will continue as a strong, fearless national representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples,” the statement said.

”The new government has shown that they do not support real decision making for our families and communities through a national representative body chosen by our Peoples, for our Peoples.”

The statement said Congress would hold urgent meetings with members and would continue to build partnerships with other Australians to build a sustainable financial base for the organisation. It would also continue to increase its membership.

Labor’s spokesman on indigenous affairs, Shayne Neumann said the move brought into question Tony Abbott’s promise to be a Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

Mr Neumann contrasted the treatment of Congress with the government’s decision to provide $1 million to set up an indigenous advisory council chaired by former ALP president Warren Mundine.

”What Tony Abbott is proposing to do is slash funding to a body of elected indigenous representatives while spending $1 million to establish a hand-picked Ministerial Advisory Committee in its place,” he said.

Mr Mundine said this was ”nonsense” as his committee was not intended to be a representative body, but was created to provide policy advice to government.

Stressing he was expressing a personal view, Mr Mundine said he had always thought the funding provided to Congress was excessive, and in a tight budgetary situation, the additional funding promised by Labor could be better spent on other priorities in the indigenous affairs portfolio.

Senator Scullion said no decision had been made about the organisation’s funding, and the decision about future funding would be made as part of the budget process, after the Commission of Audit reports.

”However, I did stress that it was highly unlikely that funding would be approved as the government moves funding to frontline services to focus on delivering real outcomes for first Australians,” Senator Scullion said.

”I felt it appropriate to advise Congress of this as early as possible so it could make plans for the future,” he said.

Senator Scullion said he had encouraged the organisation to use the $8.3 million remaining in its reserves to prepare for the future.

”There remains a role for Congress but it is important that it build membership from its current level of approximately 7500 and look to other sources of financial support in the future,” he said.

In April, Senator Scullion said he did not believe the organisation should receive Commonwealth funding because it made the peak body dependent.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda wrote recently that Congress should be given time to establish itself.

”Organisations evolve over time and I believe that Congress has the fundamentals for robust representation and good governance,” he wrote in his annual native title and social justice report.

In its submission to the Commission of Audit, Congress said while it had not yet achieved financial self-sustainability, it continued to ”work assiduously towards that goal”.

”Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples take the view that government has certain obligations towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and this includes supporting a strong, sustainable, representative voice for our Peoples,” the submission by Congress said.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/indigenous-organisation-to-defy-tony-abbott-funding-cut-20131219-2znr4.html#ixzz2nxN9DQps

NACCHO political news: Aboriginal National Congress told funding will go next July

Nat Congress

THE peak Aboriginal body has been told it must prepare to lose its federal funding from next July and find another way to support itself.

From Patricia Karvelas From: The Australian

Labor had promised to keep the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples funded with $15 million for another three years in this year’s May budget.

Since the election, the congress has hoped the Coalition would honour Labor’s pledge.

But Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said he had met the group’s co-chairs yesterday to warn them that was highly unlikely and they must look beyond the government for means of survival.

The edict came as Tony Abbott said last night that the referendum to acknowledge first Australians must surpass the apology and the 1967 referendum as a unifying moment for the nation.

In a speech to mark the 60th anniversary of law firm Arnold Block Leibler, the Prime Minister said “symbols” were important to reconciling with Aborigines.

He said too many had “felt like strangers” in the only land they had known. “The best thing we could do for Aboriginal Australia right now is push on as quickly as we can with constitutional recognition,” he said. “We have it in our hearts to do this.”

Senator Scullion told the congress’s co-chairs that while the final outcome would be determined by the Commission of Audit and be revealed at budget time, there was no appetite to keep them funded and they must use the next six months to plan for a future without federal funds.

“The circumstances are that the funding is unlikely, so I met with them and advised them that our priorities are frontline services and indicated that the principle reason that I don’t think they will keep getting funded was . . . we never committed to it during the election and our priorities are with our election commitments,” he said.

“I told them I wanted to tell them early to allow them to make financial plans. I told them I would lift restrictions on their current funds if I could.”

Senator Scullion said the co-chairs had asked whether the government would contract them for roles on a fee-for-service basis, and that he would consider it.

“I told them they had a role to represent the nation’s first people and they needed to grow their membership,” he said.

“I am very doubtful that a positive decision will be made on their funding and I think they need to start preparing for that.”

With its four-year federal funding deal to expire this year, the congress had written in a submission to the Abbott government that its Commission of Audit needed to recognise “the need for a sustainable independent national body” to ensure a voice for indigenous people.

NACCHO welcomes your comments

SEE BELOW

NACCHO political health news : Abbott Government cuts to impact on Aboriginal health

Shane

Closing the gap requires a coordinated approach at the state and federal levels as the challenges faced by Aboriginal people are interconnected.You can’t improve overall health outcomes without also looking at the social determinants, things like housing, education and poverty. Similarly, you can’t improve health outcomes while the numbers of Aboriginal people in our jails continues to rise,”

Said NACCHO chair Justin Mohamed .(see press release below) pictured above with Shane Duffy NATSILS

Congress calls upon the Prime Minister to show leadership and understanding of the need for increased capacity in our organisations and communities.  He can demonstrate that by ensuring the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services is retained and strengthened,”

Said Co-Chair National Congress Les Malezer.(see press release below)

Overview

Yesterday the Federal Government delivered the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2013-2014.
Here are some things from the report as they relate to Aboriginal Affairs and Aboriginal Health and Health more broadly.
Ceased
-The Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund
-Remote Indigenous Energy Programme
-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Programme ($1.0 m in 2013-2014)
-Office of the Coordinator-General for Remote Indigenous Services
-$27m from the Healthier Communities Priority Infrastructure Programme
-$5m Chronic Disease Prevention and Services Improvement Fund
-National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Programs – 22.3m
-Public Health Program – $6mil
Established
-$45 mil for Vocation Training and Employment Centres for 5000 Aboriginal job seekers under the Generation One model
-$5 for Empowered Communities based on Jawun Model.
-$1mil for Indigenous Advisory Council (Chaired by Warren Mundine)
-$40mil of redirected funding to re-open Indigenous Employment Programme in remote areas

NACCHO Press release

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Justin Mohamed, said cutting legal services made no economic sense when you take into account the wider implications of incarceration on issues such as employment, education and health.

“The fact is people in our jail system often suffer from poor mental and physical health,” Mr Mohamed said.

“Incarceration also can have broader impacts on the health of those left behind – on the imprisoned person’s family and broader community.

“With rates of incarceration of Aboriginal people increasing, we should be doing everything we can to turn around the huge numbers of Aboriginal people in our prisons.

“NACCHO supports the good work of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services – both who play an important role in keeping our people out of jail.

“They provide education and early intervention support and advice which can mean the difference between a life of incarceration and one that makes a contribution to the community.

“The Federal Government need to rethink their position and recognise how crucial a national voice on Aboriginal legal policy is in reducing the disproportionate numbers of Aboriginal people in the justice system.

“Aboriginal peak bodies understand better than anyone the issues their people face and the factors that contribute to them entering the justice system.

“Taking that voice from the mix to save a few dollars will just hamper future efforts to improve outcomes across a range of factors including health, education and employment.”

Mr Mohamed said closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people needed an integrated approach.

“Aboriginal people make up more than thirty percent of the prison population, despite being only a fraction of the Australian population.

“Closing the gap requires a coordinated approach at the state and federal levels as the challenges faced by Aboriginal people are interconnected.

“You can’t improve overall health outcomes without also looking at the social determinants, things like housing, education and poverty. Similarly, you can’t improve health outcomes while the numbers of

Aboriginal people in our jails continues to rise,” Mr Mohamed said.

National Congress Condemns Cuts

 
The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) strongly opposes the decision by the Federal Government to cut funding to community controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.
The government’s ‘hit or miss’ funding cuts to our organisations, at the beginning of their term and before the completion of their highly-publicised inquiries, endangers the collaborative approach offered by the Prime Minister.
Today’s news that the national body for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services is to be defunded is a significant blow and does not reflect an effort to engage in partnership.
Having a national body for the legal services increases the skills, experience and effectiveness of all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, and brings greater efficiency to the expenditure incurred by those legal services.
“Congress calls upon the Prime Minister to show leadership and understanding of the need for increased capacity in our organisations and communities.  He can demonstrate that by ensuring the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services is retained and strengthened,” said Co-Chair Les Malezer.
“Our Peoples must be self-determining and will not accept Governments making decisions on funding priorities without us.
“Removing our capacity for policy reform and advocacy to legal assistance programs delivered by Aboriginal, community and legal aid services will affect the most marginalised and vulnerable members of our community.
“Congress supports organisations controlled by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to continue representing our interests and to provide expert advice on service delivery,” said Mr Malezer.
Congress recently made a strongly worded submission to the National Commission of Audit which reinforces our fundamental principles of self-determination and community decision making.
“Significant under investment by successive Governments makes our Peoples predicament comparable to some developing countries, “said Co-Chair Kirstie Parker.
“We cannot accept any reduction in Commonwealth spending on housing, remote infrastructure, legal services, community safety, native title, languages and culture, when investment and capacity building is what’s clearly required.
“We will continue to work with the Commission to engage with all of our members.
“Community input and ownership are highlighted as keys to achieve improvements by the Government’s own landmark reports – including the Department of Finance Strategic Review of Indigenous Expenditure (2011) and the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key indicators 2011 report,” said Ms Parker.
Contact Congress : Liz Willis 0457 877 408  NACCHO Colin Cowell 0401 331 251
 
 

Government avoids scrutiny by cutting Coordinator-General for Remote Indigenous ServicesGeneral for Remote Indigenous Services.

“This cost cutting measure from the Government is deeply disappointing and will further undermine efforts to deliver on our Closing the Gap commitments,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues.
“The role of Coordinator General is to ‘monitor, assess, advise and drive progress relating to improvements in government service delivery in 29 remote Indigenous communities across Australia’.
Removing this role will directly affect the ability of the Government to monitor and report on the implementation of policies.
“This cut is a comparatively small amount of money that the Government admits will be used to either save money or fund other, unnamed policies.
It isn’t even being reinvested in other programs to help people in remote Australia.
“Decisions such as this make a mockery of Tony Abbott’s comments about being the Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs, as once again his Government seeks to avoid scrutiny and accountability for its policies,” Senator Siewert concluded.

NACCHO health political update week 4: National and WA peak bodies express concerns about Indigenous voice

893268-130927-kirstie-parker

As we enter week 4 of the new Abbott led Government , the future of Aboriginal affairs and specifically Aboriginal health is still uncertain. Last week in Western Australia a number of Aboriginal organisations including NACCHO affiliate Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA), the Kimberly Land Council and the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples expressed concerns about “Indigenous voices”.

Picture above :Congress co-chairwoman Kirstie Parker, right, with the Kimberley Land Council’s Mervyn Street, Irene Davey and Frank Davey.  Picture: Guy McLean  Source: The Australian –

This information is provided for NACCHO members and stakeholders and is not NACCHO policy

Press Release: Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA)

Western Australia’s peak Aboriginal health body says they agree wholeheartedly with recent statements by the Kimberly Land Council that Warren Mundine is not the only Indigenous voice but urges the government to remember that land isn’t the only Indigenous issue.

‘Tony Abbott’s Indigenous Advisory Council needs a strong voice from Western Australia, but that voice needs to represent all the interests and needs of Aboriginal people and their communities,’ says Des Martin, Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA)

While Mr Martin acknowledges land rights are an important issue, the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people cannot be forgotten, he says.

‘I agree wholeheartedly with Kirstie Parker’s statement that Warren Mundine isn’t the only voice for Indigenous people and I support what the Kimberley Land Council does, it is extremely important for all Aboriginal people to have their country and care for it to secure their future but if their health is still suffering then that isn’t a good thing for them or future generations,’ Mr Martin says.

‘We need broad representation on the Indigenous Advisory Council, not just land or business interests. Tony Abbott does need to take advice from more than one source when it comes to Aboriginal people.

AHCWA has registered their interest to have Chairperson Vicki O’Donnell on the Indigenous Advisory Council. ‘Warren Mundine and Tony Abbott must understand that Aboriginal people across Australia need a strong voice here in the West to advocate for them, to make sure they have access to opportunities and know that their best interests are being looked after by people they identify with and can trust,’ Mr Martin says.

‘We are lucky to have a strong economy here in Western Australia and that brings opportunities for Aboriginal people to be employed, to gain skills and a meaningful income. That positively impacts the health and wellbeing not only of individuals but whole communities.’

Ultimately, Mr Martin says, ‘AHCWA just wants to make sure the best services will continue to be offered to Aboriginal people. We’ve come so far in closing the gap since targets began in 2008, now isn’t the time to leave health of any agenda.’

Mundine not the only voice

Patricia Karvelas From:  The Australian September 27, 2013  – See more at:

THE leader of the nation’s peak Aboriginal body has declared the Abbott government must listen to her organisation and not just rely on advice from the Prime Minister’s new indigenous council led by Warren Mundine.

The co-chairwoman of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Kirstie Parker, this week addressed the annual meeting of the powerful Kimberley Land Council and recruited 100 new remote members for her organisation.

She told The Australian that the congress was the representative body for indigenous Australia, including the most remote communities. Ms Parker said while Tony Abbott was entitled to receive advice from his new high-level council, he must bear in mind that the national congress was the grassroots voice of Aboriginal Australia.

Ms Parker’s visit to the Kimberley this week was a powerful symbol of the work the congress plans to do to represent the most isolated Aboriginal communities. “Our message is that there is a national congress, it is made up of representatives chosen by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people themselves and that is important and it means the national congress is a very important vehicle for all governments in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to actually get some runs on the board,” she said

.”Tony Abbott has said that his government will not take a one-size-fits-all approach, he said that Canberra does not know best, and that is true.

In Aboriginal communities, it is our people who know best and the national congress is its membership.”She said any notion the congress was a city-based organisation was false.

“We have member organisations and individuals all around the country and this is part of what we are on about, and that is being representatives of our people everywhere,” she said.”We exist to provide a national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Ms Parker said she had spoken to the Kimberley Land Council about the importance of constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to make sure that our mob know what is intended and once the government releases their model, we also need to be fully aware of what it will mean to our people,” she said.Ms Parker said she had also talked about the UN declarations on indigenous peoples. “The declaration . . . hasn’t had an obvious impact on policies and legislation affecting our people and we would like to start working with the government to make sure that does happen.”

NACCHO political news:Report finds need for more effective leadership across government to tackle critical issues in Aboriginal affairs

 

Rob Oakey

Committee chair Rob Oakeshott MP said the need for more effective leadership across government to tackle critical issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs was clear.

A parliamentary committee has recommended a high level review of leadership in Indigenous Affairs

The report, by parliament’s joint Public Accounts and Audit Committee, supports recommendations from the Auditor-General for a ‘refresh’ of the lead agency role for Indigenous affairs, and calls for particular attention to be given to strengthening the authority of the agency to better drive changes across government departments.

DOWNLOAD REPORT HERE

Committee chair Rob Oakeshott MP said the need for more effective leadership across government to tackle critical issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs was clear.

“The Government needs a lead agency with authority and a clear mandate to oversee expenditure, monitor outcomes, define priorities and drive actions at whole-of-government level,” Mr Oakeshott said.

“We live in a time where the want to reconcile is high”, he added. “FaHCSIA has made commendable progress in improving coordination between government agencies, but the committee was not convinced that the current arrangements provide FaHCSIA with the authority needed to drive outcomes as effectively as possible.”

The committee’s report also recommended:

  • the development of an explicit whole-of-government strategy for capacity development —both within government and for not-for-profit Indigenous organisations;
  • improvements to the availability of location-based data on Indigenous expenditure and outcomes;
  • an update to be provided on efforts to measure outcomes in ‘priority’ remote service delivery communities; and
  • options to be examined for improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation and involvement in decision-making processes.

The committee came to its conclusions upon reviewing three reports published by the Auditor-General in 2012 focusing on government coordination arrangements for Indigenous programs.

The committee held three public hearings related to its review of the reports, and received written submissions from the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and the Social Justice Commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.

An electronic copy of the report can be downloaded

For media comment: please contact Committee Chair, Rob Oakeshott MP, on
(02) 6584 2911.

 For information about the report:

please contact the committee secretariat by telephone (02) 6277 4615, e-mail jcpaa@aph.gov.au,

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/

Press Release:Prime Minister’s report showcases the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health movement as a major contributor to “Close the Gap”

Justin Low res

This communique includes all 3 press releases: NACCHO,CTG campaign and National Congress plus;

Download the Close the Gap Shadow report (CTG Press release after NACCHO )

Download Prime Minister Close the Gap 2013 Report

Download the Prime Ministers speech

Download Tony Abbott Speech Leader of Opposition

Justin Mohamed the chair of NACCHO, the national authority in comprehensive Aboriginal primary health care with 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service members Australia wide, today welcomed the PM Julia Gillard’s report to Parliament, that clearly identifies that their membership was a major contributor to the Closing the Gap

Mr Mohamed said that the Closing the Gap report using evidence from National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Health Performance Framework 2012 highlighted the role of NACCHO members improving health outcomes and meeting the COAG set six ‘Closing the Gap’ Targets, including to achieve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy equality within a generation, and to halve the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander under-fives mortality rate gap within a decade.

 “Closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and life expectancy is a multi-decade commitment that will span policy cycles, funding agreements and governments “Mr Mohamed said

We (NACCHO) call on the government and opposition during this election year to continue to demonstrate their bipartisan support and commitment to the CTG Statement of Intent by:

  • the renewal of the National Partnership Agreement in Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes (that expires 30 June 2013) with the continued level of  funding; and
  • The NATSIHP should embody a new, rights-based and equality-focused mode of thinking and guide a multi-decade program of action if it is to be fit for purpose. Such a plan would be consistent with the multiparty commitment to close the gap by 2030.
  •  The federal election – that will be held on 14 September 2013, and is an opportunity to strengthen multi-party, long-term commitment to closing the gap by 2030.

“The challenges of this 2013 election will test our nation’s resolve and commitment to achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality – a long-term vision shared by all political parties. It’s now time to get behind a visionary, and yet practical, plan to reach that goal.” Mr Mohamed said

“While all parties have voiced support for health equality, now is the time to demonstrate how promises will be turned into actions with accountable results.”

 Contact Colin Cowell NACCHO media for interviews etc M: 0401 331 251 

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2013 is make or break to Close the Gap by 2030

The Close the Gap campaign says three crucial commitments this year will make or break the achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health equality by 2030.

 Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda said this year is the juncture of three developments that together will give a strong indication if this target can be met.

 “This year will see not only a Federal Election and the implementation of a new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan but also the need for all governments – including states and territories – to recommit to the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes,” he said

 “We need solid assurances from all parties that this funding – already providing tangible outcomes – will continue.

 “This year’s Prime Minister’s report on Closing the Gap report comes amidst some promising signs of improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health – a key focus of the Close the Gap Campaign, made up of Australia’s peak health and human rights bodies, which today publishes a ‘Shadow Report’ on the government’s progress to close the gap.

 The campaign welcomed specific gains including:

–       the target to halve the mortality rates for children under five appears to be on track

–       significant increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples accessing health services for chronic disease – which is the basis of the significant gap in health outcomes

–       the work already underway to develop a long term health plan in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

–       meeting the target for early childhood education access in remote communities

“Closing the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and life expectancy is a multi-decade commitment that will span policy cycles, funding agreements and governments. The Prime Minster noted the enormous challenges of meeting the life expectancy target. But, the nation expects commitments to be maintained and crucial investment to continue, until we close the gap,” said Commissioner Gooda.

 Congress Co-Chair Jody Broun said implementing a new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan is vital for the long term outlook.

 “Implementing the plan must see a recommitment to the $1.57 billion Health National Partnership Agreement, which underpins all of the programs and services provided by Government and our own community-controlled organisations.

“The multiparty support shown through the Close the Gap Statement of Intent provides the basis for ongoing efforts and investment from all of all parties which must  be continued over the long term,” she said.

Read the Close the Gap Steering Committee’s Shadow Report at: oxfam.org.au/closethegap or  humanrights.gov.au 

Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, and Jody Broun, Co-Chair, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Co-Chair the Close the Gap Steering Committee. Committee members are: 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 Inc.; Indigenous Dentists’ Association of Australia; National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation; National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers’ Association; National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Physiotherapists; National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples; National Coordinator – Tackling Indigenous Smoking ; National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee; The Lowitja Institute; Torres Strait Island Regional Authority;   Australian College of Nursing; Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council; ANTaR; Australian Human Rights Commission; Australian Medical Association; Australian Medicare Local Alliance; The Fred Hollows Foundation; Heart Foundation Australia; Menzies School of Health Research; Oxfam Australia; Palliative Care Australia; Royal Australasian College of Physicians; Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Contact: Neeta Mairata 0417 957 525 (for Commissioner Gooda)

Liz Willis: 0457 877 408 (for Co-Chair Broun)