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 Health Priorities : 1st Anniversary of the #RedfernStatement

 

” One year ago today, Aboriginal leaders marked the Redfern Speech by launching the Redfern Statement, which asked governments to re-engage with Australia’s first peoples in a meaningful and constructive way to deal with the appalling health and social conditions experienced by far too many of Australia’s First Peoples.

The Redfern Statement was initially created as an election manifesto but our determination now is for it to become a roadmap for positive and effective engagement between Aboriginal peoples and Governments.”

The co-chairs of the National Congress of Austraia’s First Peoples, Dr Jackie Huggins and Mr Rod Little pictured above with NACCHO CEO Pat Turner June 9 2016 ( See First Peoples Health Priorities below )

The Redfern Statement

Download the 18 Page document here

Redfern Statement June 2016 Elections 18 Pages

First Peoples call for urgent action to tackle home-grown poverty

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Redfern Speech by Prime Minister Paul Keating, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders from peak representative organisations are calling on Australian governments at all levels to redouble their efforts to address the unacceptable poverty and disadvantage experienced by Australia’s First Peoples.

The co-chairs of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Dr Jackie Huggins and Mr Rod Little, said mounting evidence suggests that Australia is failing to meet the ‘Close the Gap’ targets. Despite this, governments are still unwilling to make the necessary commitments to bring about positive change.

“We are after an improved relationship with Federal, State and Territory Governments. We acknowledge the work that has been done to date however we can no longer afford to wait a generation for the change that is necessary now for our people”.

“Far too many First Peoples attend funerals of young and middle-aged people. This is because the Government’s Closing the Gap targets are failing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as shown by the latest 2017 report,” the co-chairs said.

“We are seeking a new relationship with the Federal, State and Territory Governments through COAG, to bring about a paradigm shift that stops the policy drift and amnesia which has impacted negatively on Australia’s First People.”

“We want to engage with Federal, State and Territory Governments in a positive way to develop an enduring framework which would feed into the 2018 Federal Budget and the COAG Closing the Gap Policy”.

The Redfern Statement outlined how the many reports released since 1992 called for real reconciliation based on facing the truths of the past and creating a just and mature relationship between the non-Indigenous Australian community and the First Peoples. But today, First Peoples face the same struggles as they did in 1992.

55 leaders met  9th of June 2016, in Redfern where in 1992 Prime Minister Paul Keating spoke truth about this nation – that the disadvantage faced by First Peoples affects and is the responsibility of all Australians.

An urgent call for a more just approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs

“When we drafted the Redfern Statement we wanted to remind the nation of Prime Minister Keating’s historic Redfern Speech in 1992, which spoke so many truths about our history and the reality we face today,” the co-chairs said.

“The Federal Government and each of the State and Territory Governments, share responsibility to right this nation’s past injustices. The current Government has an unprecedented nation-building opportunity to meaningfully address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage. They have the mandate to act”

First Peoples Health Priorities

Closing the Gap in health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians is an agreed national priority. The recognised necessity and urgency to close the gap must be backed by meaningful action.

All parties contesting the 2016 Federal Election must place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs at the heart of their election platforms, recognising the health equality as our national priority.

Despite the regular upheaval of major policy changes, significant budget cuts and changes to Government in the short election cycles at all levels, we have still managed to see some encouraging improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes. But much remains to be achieved and as we move into the next phase of Closing the Gap, enhanced program and funding support will be required.

We appeal to all political parties to recommit to Closing the Gap and to concentrate efforts in the priority areas in order to meet our goal of achieving health equality in this generation.

We call on the next Federal Government to commit to:

  1. Restoration of funding

The 2014 Federal Budget was a disaster for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This is not an area where austerity measures will help alleviate the disparity in health outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples.

The current funding for Aboriginal health services is inequitable. Funding must be related to population or health need, indexed for growth in service demand or inflation, and needs to be put on a rational, equitable basis to support the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (2013–2023).

  1. Fund the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (2013–2023)

Future Budgets must adequately resource the Implementation Plan’s application and operation. As a multi-partisan supported program, the Implementation Plan is essential for driving progress towards the provision of the best possible outcomes from investment in health and related services.

  1. Make Aboriginal Community Controlled Services (ACCHS) the preferred providers

ACCHS should be considered the ‘preferred providers’ for health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Where there is no existing ACCHS in place, capacity should be built within existing ACCHS to extend their services to the identified areas of need. This could include training and capacity development of existing services to consider the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health strategy to self-fund new services. Where it is appropriate for mainstream providers to deliver a service, they should be looking to partner with ACCHS to better reach the communities in need.

  1. Create guidelines for Primary Health Networks

The next Federal Government should ensure that the Primary Health Networks (PHNs) engage with ACCHS and Indigenous health experts to ensure the best primary health care is delivered in a culturally safe manner. There should be mandated formal agreements between PHNs and ACCHS to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership.

  1. Resume indexation of the Medicare rebate, to relieve profound pressure on ACCHS

The pausing of the Medicare rebate has adversely and disproportionately affected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their ability to afford and access the required medical care. The incoming Federal Government should immediately resume indexation of Medicare to relieve the profound pressure on ACCHS.

  1. Reform of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy

The issues with the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) are well known. The recent Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee Report into the tendering processes highlighted significant problems with the IAS programme from application and tendering to grant selection and rollout.

The next Federal Government must fix the IAS as an immediate priority and restore the funding that has been stripped from key services through the flawed tendering process.

  1. Fund an Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy encompasses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ holistic view of mental health, as well as physical, cultural and spiritual health, and has an early intervention focus that works to build strong communities through more community-focused and integrated approaches to suicide prevention.

The Strategy requires a considered Implementation Plan with Government support to genuinely engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, their organisations and representative bodies to develop local, culturally appropriate strategies to identify and respond to those most at risk within our communities.

  1. Develop a long-term National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Determinants of Health Strategy

The siloed approach to strategy and planning for the issues that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face is a barrier to improvement. Whilst absolutely critical to closing the gap, the social determinants of health and wellbeing – from housing, education, employment and community support – are not adequately or comprehensively addressed.

The next Federal Government must prioritise the development of a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Determinants of Health Strategy that takes a broader, holistic look at the elements to health and wellbeing for Australia’s First Peoples. The Strategy must be developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through their peak organisations.

Please note the balance of document can be read here

Redfern Statement June 2016 Elections 18 Pages

NACCHO #closingtheGap Aboriginal Health and the #Redfernstatement Its time for this new approach

redfernstatementsocial_turnbull

“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations deliver 2.5 million episodes of care a year in their local communities – and are the only health and leadership models making inroads on Close the Gap targets.

Our teachers, education professionals and family violence experts are delivering real results on the ground in their communities every single day – despite chronic underfunding and an ad hoc policy approach based on three year election cycles.

“Today we are seeking a new relationship, a genuine partnership and a commitment to ongoing structured engagement,”

National Congress of Australia’s First People’s Co-chair Dr Jackie Huggins said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations have worked with our people on the ground for decades and have shown they have solutions.

 ” We acknowledge the strength of culture and kinship, and those strong bonds that can helpshape higher expectations and better outcomes.

I want to pay tribute in particular to the Indigenous women who demonstrate that strength every day. The mums and the grandmas and aunties and sisters, who never give up.

We must ensure that the education system, and all those in it, believe in the dreams of our young people. That we support each student and lift them up, and give them every opportunity to get the most out of their education.

I know that you would all agree that a solid education is the surest way to get from the firstIndigenous doctor, to the 500th and then the 5,000th “

Prime Minster Address to the Indigenous Business Reception see article 2 below

Aboriginal leaders seek new relationship with government through historic Redfern Statement

Aboriginal leaders seek new relationship with government through historic Redfern Statement Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peaks will today demand a new relationship with government as they deliver the historic Redfern Statement direct to the Prime Minister at Parliament House.

In the lead up to today’s 9th Closing the Gap Report to Parliament, the leaders will call on the Prime Minister to support the historic Redfern Statement, a road map to better address the appalling disadvantage gap between Australia’s First

Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians by working with them as genuine partners.

National Congress of Australia’s First People’s co-chair Mr Rod Little said: “After 25 years, eight Federal election cycles, seven Prime Ministers, eight Ministers for Indigenous Affairs, 400 recommendations, and countless policies, policy changes, reports, funding promises and funding cuts, it’s time to draw a line in the sand.

“We need a new relationship that respects and harnesses our expertise, and guarantees us a seat at the table as equal partners when governments are making decisions about our lives.”

The Redfern Statement was released during last year’s Federal Election campaign by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders from health, justice, children and families, disability, and family violence prevention sectors.

The statement calls for changes across these sectors through structured engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and is supported by more than 30 major mainstream organisations, including  the Australian Medical Association and Law Council.

Read the full Redfern Statement here: http://nationalcongress.com.au/aboutus/redfern-statement/

ABOUT THE REDFERN STATEMENT

The historic Redfern Statement calls for changes that address housing, health, education, justice, disability and representation for Aboriginal people, including:

Restoration of funding cut from the Indigenous Affairs Budget;

• Urgent reforms to the controversial Indigenous Advancement Strategy;

• Renewed commitment to closing the gap within a generation, with the inclusion of justice targets aimed at reducing incarceration and family violence;

• Re-establishment of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs;

• Restoration of funding for the National Congress of First Peoples – as a representative voice for Aboriginal people;

Restoration of funding to national peak bodies to co-design policy and drive implementation – allowing this new partnership to function effectively;

• Implementation of recommendations by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation – including an agreement-making framework (treaty) and constitutional reform.

The Redfern Statement has been developed by national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak and representative bodies including:

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples

First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN)

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS)

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (NACCHO)

National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLS)

SNAICC – National Voice for our Children

The Healing Foundation, and The National Health Leadership Forum (NHLF).

The Statement also has the overarching support of The Change the Record Coalition; Close the Gap Steering Committee, and Family Matters campaigns.

Prime Minster Address to the Indigenous Business Reception :

untitled

Thank you, Shelley and thank you Tina and your family for that really moving Welcome to

Country.

Picture above Dakota Tompkins interviewing the Prime Minister

Yoonggu gulanyin ngalawiri, dhunayi, Ngoonawal dhowrrra.

Today we are meeting together on Ngunnawal country and we acknowledge and pay our respects to their elders.

I acknowledge and pay my deep respects to your people, the Ngunnawal people, who as you said Tina, have walked these lands, and met on these lands, forever, for time beyond our imagination, for time out of mind.

I extend our respects to all of your elders past and present and to the future elders, to the young dancers tonight, and to all our First Australian People and their elders, including of course, all of the outstanding achievers and role models here today.

Of course I want to acknowledge and welcome all of my ministerial and parliamentarycolleagues, especially Nigel Scullion, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs and of course Ken Wyatt, Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health and – as you know – the first Indigenous Australian to be a Minister in a Commonwealth Government.

Welcome all.

Now today is the 9th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.

We acknowledge today, as we did in the House earlier, the loss, the grief, and the heartache past policies created for our First Australians.

But despite these injustices and that trauma, you and your people have shown a courage and resilience which is extraordinary.

Tonight, we acknowledge the remarkable lives of so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, who are thriving and succeeding in their chosen fields. Your stories are not deficit, but of surplus; not of despondency but of a relentless and determined optimism.

You lead and you inspire by your example. So many lives of achievement. Rishelle Hume, a senior human resources consultant at Chevron, whose work supporting Aboriginal people to grow in their careers spans two decades and many industries.

Cherisse Buzzacott, an Arrente woman who is helping women give birth safely and providing vital midwifery support to women in remote parts of the Northern Territory.

Or the Kongs—a family of firsts. Marilyn and Marlene were the first Indigenous medical graduates at Sydney University. Marlene became a GP and public health expert; Marilyn became the first Indigenous obstetrician and their brother Kelvin, the first Indigenous surgeon in Australia. Kelvin and his wife are here with us this evening.

Another young doctor, Vinka Barunga, is now the first Indigenous doctor in Derby, a town two hours out of Broome, where she grew up swimming, fishing and playing with a plastic stethoscope. She’s a proud Worora woman, going back to her community. She would have been here tonight, but work has called her away.

We also have with us Dr Cass Hunter, Mibu Fischer, and Karlie Noon—all working at CSIRO on research that impacts Indigenous communities. Karlie has just won a scholarship, one of two new CSIRO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarships, to undertake postgraduate studies in STEM subjects. Congratulations, Karlie.

Tanya Denning, a talented journalist and producer now managing the National Indigenous Television station that celebrates Indigenous Culture, voices and storytelling.

And so many others; people working caring for country, in health, social services,education, science, technology, law, the arts, politics, public service, defence and much more.

We acknowledge the strength of culture and kinship, and those strong bonds that can helpshape higher expectations and better outcomes.

I want to pay tribute in particular to the Indigenous women who demonstrate that strength every day. The mums and the grandmas and aunties and sisters, who never give up.

We must ensure that the education system, and all those in it, believe in the dreams of our young people. That we support each student and lift them up, and give them every opportunity to get the most out of their education.

I know that you would all agree that a solid education is the surest way to get from the firstIndigenous doctor, to the 500th and then the 5,000th. To make sure that in years to come, we’re not talking about one or two hundred Indigenous lawyers or accountants, but thousands of them.

So I want to thank all the organisations, some of whom are here tonight, for their investment in the dreams of these young people: Aurora Foundation, the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, Career Trackers, AFL Cape York House, and many more, but too many to name.

And already we can point to progress. In the seven years to 2015, the gap in Year 12 attainment shrunk by close to 15 percent, and in the decade to 2015, the number of

Indigenous students enrolling in higher education nearly doubled.

The higher the level of education, the smaller the gap between Indigenous and non- Indigenous employment. For tertiary-educated Indigenous people, there is no gap. There is no gap.

We are making progress, and you are part of it.

And each of you are Ambassadors for change. Your determination and resilience is a demonstration to others that through hard work, anything is possible. Your stories are vitally important, your example is vitally important in creating that change.

Indigenous life is extraordinarily diverse and extraordinarily rich. It unfolds in the remotest parts of our nation as well as in the heart of our busiest cities and suburbs; far away in the Tiwi Islands, right here in the centre of Government, in the bush and on the coast. It encompasses extraordinary talent, vision and determination.

So Tonight I want to challenge all those present, and people right across Australia to tell your stories. To widen our lens. To focus the attention of our nation, on your hard work and your achievements.

We want to have a nation where our indigenous children are limited only by their imagination.

To show Indigenous children from Shepparton to the Tiwi Islands, from Redfern to Alice Springs, that they can be anything they set their mind to.

That little girl can be anything she sets her mind to, Tina. That’s the dream, that’s the goal.

So that being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander means to be successful; to achieve, to have big dreams and high hopes, and to draw strength from your identity as an Indigenous man or woman in this great country.

There is a room full of role models right here.

When we include the stories like those we honour tonight, we shine a light on the richness and diversity of our First Australians. We light, you light, the way for others to follow.

So Congratulations on your success and thank you for paving the way for so many

Indigenous Australian success stories to come.

I am now honoured to invite another great role model, another inspiration, my dear friend,

the very wise Ken Wyatt, Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Indigenous Health, the first Indigenous Member of the House of Representatives and first Indigenous Minister in a Commonwealth Government.

[END]

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Redfernstatement 1 of 5 posts : PM to release #closingthegap report today

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NACCHO schedule of todays Redfern Statement and PM Closing the Gap report  releases

  1. The Australian Closing the Gap coverage released 6.00am
  2. Redfern Statement Breakfast launch Parliament House : Press Release 7.30am
  3. Redfern Statement New Relationships with government released + video  8.30 am
  4. PM Closing the Gap Report to Parliament Released 12.05 pm
  5. Responses to report from other sources from 2.00 pm

Photo above  : From the heart of govt, Indigenous staff met  last night  ahead of the 2017 Report

 ” According to The Australian Malcolm Turnbull will deliver a bleak ninth annual Closing the Gap report today, with an ­acknowledgment that efforts to reduce indigenous disadvantage remain starkly inadequate.

The report follows a succession of independent surveys critical of the government’s ­approach to indigenous affairs. And it comes as Kevin Rudd, who delivered the inaugural 2008 report, gave an address in Canberra last night in which he described the yearly review as “a political disaster for the government of the day, for governments of whichever political persuasion”.

Attempting to limit the scale of that disaster, the Prime Minister refused to release any advance detail of the report other than a general admission of there being insufficient progress.

Last year’s report found just two of seven targets on track: child mortality and Year 12 attainment. Another target, early ­education (“95 per cent of all indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025”) was reported on for the first time last year.

Today’s report will show improvements in the proportion of indigenous 20 to 24-year-olds achieving Year 12 or equivalent, improvements in health, and reading and numeracy advances.

However, Mr Turnbull is expected to emphasise in his speech to parliament the importance of better research and evaluation of Closing the Gap criteria, and may announce details of a “refresh” of the exercise already under discussion by the Council of Australian Governments.

He will also likely emphasise programs such as Empowered Communities, a detailed rethink of how indigenous policy is enacted which has yet to win full government support. It is designed to put Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the centre of regional decision-making.

Recent Productivity Commission and National Audit Office reports have been either gloomy about indigenous affairs or critical of government policy. The Audit Office’s review this month of the Abbott government’s 2014 landmark $4.8 billion Indigenous ­Affairs Strategy found policy had been poorly conceived and ­hastily implemented.

Funding allocations under the system had also been unpredictable and opaque, leaving some of the very organisations contributing to Closing the Gap outcomes unable to function properly.

In November, the Productivity Commission reported alarming increases in imprisonment rates, mental health problems and self-harm. It found only 34 of 1000 indigenous programs, worth a total $5.9bn, had been properly evaluated. While there were ­improvements in child mortality rates, educational outcomes and household income, rates of community violence were unchanged.

Speaking at the Australian National University last night on the ninth anniversary of the apology to the Stolen Generations, Mr Rudd said the indigenous child removal rates must be addressed through “immense co-operation across government departments (and) Aboriginal organisations being given responsibility for child welfare” in a policy shift that was “going to cost money”.

Tony Abbott last night described as “regrettable” Mr Turnbull’s decision not to follow his lead and spend time in an indigenous community every year

NACCHO Events Save a date

save-a-date

NACCHO #RedfernStatement meeting outcomes : Minister and Indigenous Organisations Leadership Press Releases

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  1. We have a contribution to make and what we want from engagement is to co-design solutions with the Government in a collaborative and respectful way that recognises the values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”

Rod Little, Co-Chair of National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

“Today, I have listened closely to the views of a range of Indigenous leaders and acknowledged the significant areas where we share common ground,”

Minister Scullion see his full press Release below (2)

A number of leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisations met with Minister Scullion to forge a pathway for engagement and to demand that our solutions be co-designed

A number of leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisations met with Minister Scullion to forge a pathway for engagement and to demand that our solutions be co-designed

National Congress in collaboration with leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative organisations as signatories to the Redfern Statement 2016 met with the Indigenous Affairs Minister calling for the Government to urgently continue engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisations and peoples to ensure the First Peoples of this country have a say about their future and future success of Australia.

It is critical that Australia’s First Peoples are properly represented at the national level to ensure meaningful engagement with government, industry and the non-government sectors to advance the priorities of our people.

“In the last generation we’ve had numerous seminal reports which have repeatedly emphasised that our people need to have a genuine say in our own lives and decisions that affect our peoples and communities. This has not been acted on. We are completely dissatisfied with the engagement to date”

This first step in responding to the Redfern Statement brought together a number of leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisations all calling for the development of mechanisms to ensure meaningful, genuine and regular engagement.

The meeting provided an opportunity to develop a greater degree of understanding and mutual appreciation of the complexity of the Indigenous Portfolio which requires a whole of government approach.

The next steps must include:

– A meeting between the Prime Minister and the leading signatories of the Redfern Statement;

– At least an annual National Summit with the Prime Minister and his cabinet to share knowledge between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Government representatives;

– A whole of Government approach to co-construct policies to ensure that our pathway forward is co-designed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Government; and

– A commitment from the Government to develop intergovernmental mechanisms to ensure First Peoples have a voice at the highest levels of Government to ensure the Government’s focus reflects our values and priorities.

“This Parliament has an unprecedented nation-building opportunity to meaningfully commit to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people determining what success looks like for them and for their communities” Mr Little concluded.

Strengthening engagement with Indigenous leaders -The Ministers Release

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and the Co-Chairs of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Dr Jackie Huggins and Mr Rod Little, today hosted Indigenous leaders at a forum to work through issues raised in the Redfern Statement.

The forum with the 18 lead signatories of the Redfern Statement was an opportunity for all participants to engage with each other and the Minister in a spirit of goodwill to discuss ways to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Today, I have listened closely to the views of a range of Indigenous leaders and acknowledged the significant areas where we share common ground,” Minister Scullion said.

“The forum continues the Turnbull Government’s approach of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as part of a close engagement with communities to ensure policies and programmes deliver the best outcomes for our First Australians.

“I wish to thank the participants and everyone else who was involved in developing the Redfern Statement. I share the aspirations of the statement and look forward to working with today’s forum participants into the future to implement measures that will improve outcomes for our First Australians.

“We are investing $4.9 billion over four years in the Indigenous Affairs portfolio and I reaffirmed today my commitment to ensure every dollar in my portfolio delivers an outcome for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“We are funding more Indigenous organisations than ever – with 55 per cent of funding under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy now being provided to Indigenous organisations.

“The forum was also a good opportunity to dispel some of the myths and false statements that have been circulated around the Indigenous Affairs portfolio.

“For example, claims that there had been a $500 million cut in the Indigenous Affairs portfolio are simply false and those making these statements know that the savings from Indigenous Affairs programmes were less than half that figure with significant funds reinvested in new initiatives like the successful Remote School Attendance Strategy.

“I committed to work with my colleagues in Commonwealth and state and territory governments to ensure programmes and activities across governments are delivering the outcomes that they should be.

“The Coalition Government is deeply committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to bring about the changes necessary to deliver better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

The Redfern Statement was issued by a number of Indigenous organisations during the 2016 election campaign and included a series of recommendations from these organisations in relation to policies and programmes impacting on First Australians.

Minister Scullion has been working with the Co-Chairs of Congress since he was re-appointed as Minister for Indigenous Affairs to organise today’s forum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NACCHO #RedfernStatement meeting today : Indigenous Affairs Minister Scullion to face some of his most vocal and influential critics

leaders

“We are looking forward to the workshop and a new narrative moving forward in the way that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs is negotiated,”

“We hope [the workshop] will bring some answers and some new direction, engagement and a new relationship.”

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples co-chair Jackie Huggins 

Download Redfern Statement here

redfern-statement-june-2016-elections-18-pages

“I would like to explore strategies to progress issues outlined in the Redfern Statement — and note there are significant areas in which it aligns with the Government’s Indigenous reform agenda,”

“I share the aspirations outlined in the Redfern Statement and see the workshop as an important step to bring about positive and sustainable change. We must connect through genuine dialogue, and I am looking forward to a continuing and constructive conversation.”

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion will face some of his most vocal and influential critics, when he holds a workshop with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders leaders on the Redfern Statement today reports Anna Henderson on the ABC

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alert : Major #Redfernstatement by leadership for #healthelection16

Picture above NACCHO CEO Pat Turner with some of the leaders meeting today

During the election campaign, 18 Indigenous groups, backed by prominent human rights, legal, health and education organisations, launched the Redfern Statement.

The lengthy document called for urgent action to reverse half a billion dollars in federal funding cuts and a review of the way federal funding is distributed.

It further made a case for the inclusion of a specific Closing the Gap target for reducing Indigenous imprisonment.

One of the most controversial proposals was to reverse the Abbott government decision to move the Department of Indigenous Affairs into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The statement calls for the department to be re-established and “managed and run by senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public servants”.

The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples spearheaded the Redfern Statement, which has suffered significant funding cuts under the Coalition and has had a rocky relationship with the Minister.

But the organisation’s co-chair Jackie Huggins is optimistic about today’s meeting and what it can achieve.

Don Dale triggers new approach

Dr Huggins said the scandal engulfing the Northern Territory youth detention system appeared to have contributed to the Minister’s new approach to the portfolio.

National Congress of Australia's First Peoples co-chair Jackie Huggins speaks.

A number of the positions in the Redfern Statement are at odds with current government policy, but Senator Scullion has stressed his interest in finding common ground.

Dr Huggins has agreed there is room for compromise on all fronts.

“There is room for negotiation tomorrow and into the future,” she said last night.

Senator Scullion released a statement announcing the workshop at the end of last month, and said it will “build on the Government’s reforms” and provide an opportunity for stronger ties with the signatories.

“I would like to explore strategies to progress issues outlined in the Redfern Statement — and note there are significant areas in which it aligns with the Government’s Indigenous reform agenda,” Minister Scullion said.

“I share the aspirations outlined in the Redfern Statement and see the workshop as an important step to bring about positive and sustainable change. We must connect through genuine dialogue, and I am looking forward to a continuing and constructive conversation.”

The National Congress is hoping the workshop will be followed by a meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull directly.

Dr Huggins said she thought the Government and Indigenous groups were in agreement on about 80 per cent of the statement.

Statement calls for Indigenous-run portfolio

Dr Huggins said there was a strong case for Indigenous public servants to run a stand-alone portfolio.

“It’s not working at the moment and obviously there is a flaw in the system and we would say certainly, with people who are doing those jobs, in terms of the bureaucracy, in terms of really having the cultural capability to carry out the work that needs to be done, there’s a real bottleneck here,” she said.

“The best way to address it is to employ senior Aboriginal bureaucrats who can transcend the barriers, that know within their own communities what’s happening.”

Former prime minister Tony Abbott carried through an election promise to move Indigenous Affairs into the prime minister’s department.

Mr Abbott promoted Indigenous Affairs to be one of his top priorities and argued the departmental change would ensure the portfolio was given the prominence it deserved.

A number of Abbott government policy and budget decisions face criticism in the Redfern Statement

NACCHO 45 th Parliament opening #FirstPeoples1st100Days #RedfernStatement Welcome to Country and #18C

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Indigenous politicians have been welcomed to Federal Parliament in a show of culture and respect, but on the lawns outside the building many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives vented their frustration at government inaction on Indigenous issues.

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The 45th Parliament was officially opened with a traditional Indigenous Welcome to Country and a smoking ceremony.

Ngunnawal woman Tina Brown delivered the address and called on the parliament to show leadership and take the nation forward.

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke in the Ngunnawal language and congratulated the three newest Indigenous MPs on their election.

He spoke about wanting to learn from Indigenous culture.

“Our role, our duty, is to acknowledge these traditions and the strength of this history and amplify it within the collective voice of our democracy,” he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described the Welcome to Country as a “great institution.”

He said Parliament needed to reach out to Indigenous people and said they were “too often left out, ignored, dispossessed or forgotten.”

Outside on the laws of Parliament Ngambri Elder Matilda House said she refused to take part in the Welcome to Country ceremony because she didn’t want to welcome “bigoted” politicians.

Ms House led the first Welcome to Country for the opening of the 42nd Parliament in 2008.

But today she attended the demonstration outside Parliament House instead.

“You will see another ceremony today up there which I won’t be participating in, and am I being vicious by saying the reason why I won’t be doing it is because there are bigoted people that will be there?” she said.

“I don’t want to welcome people like that into the land of my ancestors.”

The protest used over 2,000 cut-out hands to call for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about critical Indigenous issues, including Indigenous imprisonment and child welfare.

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Indigenous MPs and senators attended the demonstration, including Assistant Minister for Health Ken Wyatt and Labor Indigenous MPs Patrick Dodson, Linda Burney and Malarndirri McCarthy.

Congress of Australia’s First Peoples declares end to ‘Mexican standoff’ with Scullion #RedfernStatement

By political reporter Anna Henderson

See NACCHO Redfern Statement report

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Frosty relations between Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and the Congress of Australia’s First Peoples appear to have thawed just ahead of a planned demonstration outside federal parliament.

The elected Indigenous representative body will press on with plans to hold the event on Capital Hill tomorrow morning, calling for a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

But less than 24 hours before the event Senator Scullion has confirmed a string of prominent Indigenous affairs legal, social and health groups, including Congress, will be invited to a “workshop” with him to discuss improvements in the portfolio.

“There was a stalemate that could no longer be continued,” the co-chair of Congress Jackie Huggins told the ABC.

“There was a silence and I guess one could describe it as a Mexican standoff in relation to Government and the way that it interacted with Congress.

“I’m very happy to say that hopefully that has changed now.

“We both agreed that we should put our differences aside and work towards a better future for Indigenous people.”

Dr Huggins said the timing of the workshop announcement on Monday was “interesting”.

But she also said she and her co-chair Rod Little met with Senator Scullion at the Garma festival in the Northern Territory earlier this month and that was an important turning point in the relationship.

The workshop will focus on the Redfern Statement, a document released during the federal election campaign that outlined a wide variety of legal, social and health concerns that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups wanted to raise with the Federal Government.

When it was released in June many of the Indigenous signatories felt their message went largely ignored.

The relationship between the minister’s office and Congress had become increasingly acrimonious over the past two years in the wake of significant federal budget cuts that affected the group’s finances.

The announcement comes against the backdrop of a disastrous election defeat for Senator Scullion’s Country Liberal Party colleagues in the Northern Territory, which saw many Indigenous electorates abandoning the CLP.

It also follows the revelations of child abuse in the Four Corners report on the Don Dale youth detention centre in the Northern Territory.

The Redfern Statement had detailed a “national crisis” of Indigenous over-represention in the justice system.

Dr Huggins said she thought the minister’s decision to hold the workshop was influenced by the Four Corners report.

“Quite clearly Don Dale had a bearing on it,” she said.

Since the federal funding for Congress began to dry up, the elected organisation has been shedding staff, dropping from 40 to just five employees.

Dr Huggins said there was still no certainty about future funding but Congress would press ahead with its agenda regardless.

“We will keep going,” she said.

“They can starve us of funding but we won’t go away.”

18C momentum: PM can’t lead his own party, let alone the nation

20 Senators

On Day 1 of the 45th Parliament of Australia it’s already clear Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is not in control, with 19 Liberal backbenchers signing on to a rogue attempt to weaken Australia’s antidiscrimination laws, say the Australian Greens.

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“Unless Malcolm Turnbull takes on the extreme right of his party and shows some leadership, he will be remembered as one of the great failures of Australian politics,” said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

“This is a test for the Prime Minister. Is he going to stand up to the extreme right in his party and say very loudly and clearly there is no place for hate speech in Australia? Or is he going to cave in, as he’s done on so many other issues, which was part of the reason he was punished at the last election?

“Here we are, almost a year since Turnbull took over from Tony Abbott, and the Liberals are still slashing and burning Australia’s renewable energy industry, still standing in the way of marriage equality and still trying to destroy the anti-discrimination laws that help make our country one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world,” Senator Di Natale said.

Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said there was no justification for watering down protections against hate speech.

“Just what is it that these 19 backbenchers want to say that cannot currently be said? The only conclusion is that they want to poison our national conversation with racism and hate speech,” Senator McKim said.

“This campaign to destroy the integrity of the Racial Discrimination Act is not about freedom of speech, it’s about freedom from consequence.

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NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alert : Major #Redfernstatement by leadership for #healthelection16

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55 leaders met today  9th of June 2016, in Redfern where in 1992 Prime Minister Paul Keating spoke truth about this nation – that the disadvantage faced by First Peoples affects and is the responsibility of all Australians.

Photo above NACCHO CEO Pat Turner addressing the national media

An urgent call for a more just approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs

“Social justice is what faces you in the morning. It is awakening in a house with adequate water supply, cooking facilities and sanitation. It is the ability to nourish your children and send them to school where their education not only equips them for employment but reinforces their knowledge and understanding of their cultural inheritance. It is the prospect of genuine employment and good health: a life of choices and opportunity, free from discrimination.”

Mick Dodson, Annual Report of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, 1993.

The Redfern Statement

Download the 18 Page document here

Redfern Statement June 2016 Elections 18 Pages

Redfern Statement

A call for urgent Government action

In the past 25 years – a generation in fact – we have had the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the Bringing them home Report and Reconciliation: Australia’s Challenge: the final report of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. These reports, and numerous other Coroner and Social Justice Reports, have made over 400 recommendations, most of which have either been partially implemented for short term periods or ignored altogether.

In the last 25 years we have seen eight Federal election cycles come and go, with seven Prime Ministers, seven Ministers for Indigenous Affairs, countless policies, policy changes, funding promises and funding cuts – all for the most marginalised people in Australia.

For the last quarter century, then, we’ve seen seminal reports which have repeatedly emphasised that our people need to have a genuine say in our own lives and decisions that affect our peoples and communities. This, known as self-determination, is the key to closing the gap in outcomes for the First Peoples of these lands and waters.

All of these reports call for better resourcing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

All of these reports call for real reconciliation based on facing the truths of the past and creating a just and mature relationship between the non-Indigenous Australian community and the First Peoples.

The next Federal Government will take on the same responsibility to right this nation’s past injustices as the last eight Federal Governments have had. The next Government of Australia will take power with our First Peoples facing the same struggles as they were in 1992. But this next Federal Government also has an unprecedented nation-building opportunity to meaningfully address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage. They have the mandate to act. We therefore call on the next Federal Government to:

  • Commit to resource Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led-solutions, by:
  • Restoring, over the forward estimates, the $534 million cut from the Indigenous Affairs portfolio in the 2014 Budget to invest in priority areas outlined in this statement; and
  • Reforming the Indigenous Advancement Strategy and other Federal funding programs with greater emphasis on service/need mapping (through better engagement) and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations as preferred providers.
    • Commit to better engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through their representative national peaks, by:
  • Funding the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) and all relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations and forums; and
  • Convening regular high level ministerial and departmental meetings and forums with the Congress and the relevant peak organisations and forums.
    • Recommit to Closing the Gap in this generation, by and in partnership with COAG and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
  • Setting targets and developing evidence-based, prevention and early intervention oriented national strategies which will drive activity and outcomes addressing:
    • family violence (with a focus on women and children);
    • incarceration and access to justice;
    • child safety and wellbeing, and the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care; and
    • increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access to disability services;
  • Secure national funding agreements between the Commonwealth and States and Territories (like the former National Partnership Agreements), which emphasise accountability to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and drive the implementation of national strategies.
    • Commit to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to establish a Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs in the future, that:
  • Is managed and run by senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public servants;
  • Brings together the policy and service delivery components of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs and ensures a central department of expertise.
  • Strengthens the engagement for governments and the broader public service with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the management of their own services.
    • Commit to addressing the unfinished business of reconciliation, by:
  • Addressing and implementing the recommendations of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, which includes an agreement making framework (treaty) and constitutional reform in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

The health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples cannot be considered at the margins.

It is time that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices are heard and respected, and that the following plans for action in relation to meaningful engagement, health, justice, preventing violence, early childhood and disability, are acted upon as a matter of national priority and urgency.

National Representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

It is critical that Australia’s First Peoples are properly represented at the national level to ensure meaningful engagement with Government, industry and the non-government sectors to advance the priorities of our people.

Since 2010, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) has gone some way to fill the gap in national representation since the demise of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in 2005.

However, there remain too many gaps in adequate national level representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – particularly for employment and education. Without Congress or equivalent national bodies where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders are supported to engage with Government it will be difficult for the next Federal Parliament to meet the multi-partisan priority and commitment to work ‘with’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We call on the next Federal Government to commit to:

  1. Restoration of funding to the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples

The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) was established in 2010 to be the representative voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to advocate for positive change. The decision to defund Congress, just as it is beginning to emerge as a unifying element among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups, is a mistake.

Without support, Congress’ ability to do its job of representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interests is severely compromised. Congress must be supported to provide a mechanism to engage with our people, develop policy, and advocate to Government.

Congress should be supported to reach sustainability and independence as soon as possible.

 

  1. A national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative body for Education

Although there are many good quality Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, and strong leaders, working at the State and local level in the education sector, there is currently no national body to promote and engage in education policy for Australia’s First Peoples.

The education sector is fragmented across early childhood, primary and secondary education, vocational education and training, and higher education, with each of state and territory having public, catholic and private school systems. In the absence of a single national education voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Congress has been active in coordinating and promoting unity across these sectors. Congress has consulted widely with its members, educators and organisations, many of which have a long history of working in this area.

We call on the next Federal Government to establish a national body that can call for policies support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and communities across all of these educational systems.

  1. A national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative body for Employment

The highly disadvantaged employment and income status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is well documented. While we appreciate attempts at advancing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the many issues around employment require a unified and expert voice.

Beyond skills training, mentoring and targeted employment services to enhance the job readiness of

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, concerted effort needs to be directed to creating jobs that are suitable and meaningful for our people. This is of particular concern in remote areas, where mainstream commercial and labour market opportunities are limited. In urban and rural areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are faced with issues of racism and discrimination in the workplace.

 

The next Federal Government should establish and fund a national representative body of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to drive employment and economic solutions for our people, in order to:

  • Work with our communities to develop their own strategies for economic development, and promote community participation and management;
  • Promote strategies to create Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-friendly workplaces; and
  • Work with Government to design welfare policy that encourages, rather than coerces, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into employment.
    1. A national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative body for Housing

Federal and State Government policies concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing is currently disjointed, wasteful and failing. For example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in urban and regional markets face many barriers in accessing and securing safe and affordable housing, including discrimination and poverty.

The next Federal Parliament should support the development of a national representative body of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders who can focus on housing security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and:

  • Advocate for the ongoing support for remote communities to prevent community closures;
  • Work with communities to develop a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing strategy, with the aim of improving the housing outcomes for our people across all forms of housing tenure; and
  • Provide culturally appropriate rental, mortgage and financial literacy advice.

First Peoples Health Priorities

Closing the Gap in health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians is an agreed national priority. The recognised necessity and urgency to close the gap must be backed by meaningful action.

All parties contesting the 2016 Federal Election must place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs at the heart of their election platforms, recognising the health equality as our national priority.

Despite the regular upheaval of major policy changes, significant budget cuts and changes to Government in the short election cycles at all levels, we have still managed to see some encouraging improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes. But much remains to be achieved and as we move into the next phase of Closing the Gap, enhanced program and funding support will be required.

We appeal to all political parties to recommit to Closing the Gap and to concentrate efforts in the priority areas in order to meet our goal of achieving health equality in this generation.

We call on the next Federal Government to commit to:

  1. Restoration of funding

The 2014 Federal Budget was a disaster for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This is not an area where austerity measures will help alleviate the disparity in health outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples.

The current funding for Aboriginal health services is inequitable. Funding must be related to population or health need, indexed for growth in service demand or inflation, and needs to be put on a rational, equitable basis to support the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (2013–2023).

  1. Fund the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (2013–2023)

Future Budgets must adequately resource the Implementation Plan’s application and operation. As a multi-partisan supported program, the Implementation Plan is essential for driving progress towards the provision of the best possible outcomes from investment in health and related services.

  1. Make Aboriginal Community Controlled Services (ACCHS) the preferred providers

ACCHS should be considered the ‘preferred providers’ for health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Where there is no existing ACCHS in place, capacity should be built within existing ACCHS to extend their services to the identified areas of need. This could include training and capacity development of existing services to consider the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health strategy to self-fund new services. Where it is appropriate for mainstream providers to deliver a service, they should be looking to partner with ACCHS to better reach the communities in need.

  1. Create guidelines for Primary Health Networks

The next Federal Government should ensure that the Primary Health Networks (PHNs) engage with ACCHS and Indigenous health experts to ensure the best primary health care is delivered in a culturally safe manner. There should be mandated formal agreements between PHNs and ACCHS to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership.

  1. Resume indexation of the Medicare rebate, to relieve profound pressure on ACCHS

The pausing of the Medicare rebate has adversely and disproportionately affected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their ability to afford and access the required medical care. The incoming Federal Government should immediately resume indexation of Medicare to relieve the profound pressure on ACCHS.

  1. Reform of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy

The issues with the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) are well known. The recent Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee Report into the tendering processes highlighted significant problems with the IAS programme from application and tendering to grant selection and rollout.

The next Federal Government must fix the IAS as an immediate priority and restore the funding that has been stripped from key services through the flawed tendering process.

  1. Fund an Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy encompasses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ holistic view of mental health, as well as physical, cultural and spiritual health, and has an early intervention focus that works to build strong communities through more community-focused and integrated approaches to suicide prevention.

The Strategy requires a considered Implementation Plan with Government support to genuinely engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, their organisations and representative bodies to develop local, culturally appropriate strategies to identify and respond to those most at risk within our communities.

  1. Develop a long-term National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Determinants of Health Strategy

The siloed approach to strategy and planning for the issues that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face is a barrier to improvement. Whilst absolutely critical to closing the gap, the social determinants of health and wellbeing – from housing, education, employment and community support – are not adequately or comprehensively addressed.

The next Federal Government must prioritise the development of a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Determinants of Health Strategy that takes a broader, holistic look at the elements to health and wellbeing for Australia’s First Peoples. The Strategy must be developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through their peak organisations.

Please note the balance of document can be read here

Redfern Statement June 2016 Elections 18 Pages

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#HealthElection16 

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