NACCHO Aboriginal policy political alert: Download National Congress’ expectations of political leadership

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The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples says this federal election offers political leaders an opportunity to start a new, more genuine relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Photo above The Guardian online

Download the 5 pages document here

Congress’ Expectations of Australia’s Political
Leadership in the 2013 federal election

“Congress remains prepared to work together with government on an agenda driven by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations, and one based on good faith, respect, accountability and constructive public dialogue,” said Congress Co-Chair Les Malezer.

“This does not preclude input from individuals with special insight where appropriate or required.

“Our Peoples have the right to an independent national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander body, consisting of representatives chosen by themselves, as a means of political development in accordance with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” he said.

Co-Chair Jody Broun said, “As Australians consider who they’ll vote for in the 2013 federal election, we ask them to do so with a better understanding of the fundamental rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to insist upon a government that will protect and promote those rights.

“Overcoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and economic disadvantage requires a long-term inter-generational commitment and investment through community-controlled programs which are monitored and evaluated in a culturally-appropriate context.,” he said.

Key commitments Congress seeks from all parties • Constitutional Reform: commitment to recommendations prepared by the Expert Panel for the Government. These reforms represent an opportunity for substantive recognition and protections.

• Education: support and resourcing for targeted education programs through Closing the Gap initiatives.

• Health: fully support new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan and continued support for Closing the Gap initiatives.

Health Equality

Congress and the National Health Leadership Forum have been actively involved in the development of and support the priorities and vision of the new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.

We recognise the centrality of culture to the health of our Peoples, and the need for a health system free of racism.

We call on political parties to commit to fully support new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan, including implementation that includes communities, Governments and health organisations to ensure the most effective rollout and monitoring of the Plan,continued support for achievements through Closing the Gap initiatives and investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes, and

renegotiating a National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health that ensures the full roll out of the Health Plan.

• Children: All parties to commit to halving the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out of home care by 2018.

• Justice: a commitment to developing justice targets and justice reinvestment approach.

• Native Title: To reverse the onus of proof and review agreement negotiation process.

• Culture: Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and commitment to a national indigenous cultural authority to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural and intellectual property rights.

NACCHO health plan news:Coalition lashes 10-year Aboriginal health plan-The Australian

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THE Coalition has attacked the new 10-year indigenous health plan as nothing more than “business as usual” from the government, politicising the usually bipartisan policy.

Above picture: Schoolchildren dance during the launch of the National Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Health Plan in Brisbane yesterday. Picture: AAP  Source: AAP

From The Australian  by: Patricia Karvelas

PLEASE NOTE: NACCHO provides comments from both sides of politics in the interest of our members. It should also be noted that our Chair Justin Mohamed and/or CEO Lisa Briggs/and other NACCHO staff attended every NATSIHP consultation throughout Australia and played a major role in the creation of this document through leadership groups.

The Coalition’s indigenous health spokesman, Andrew Laming, told The Australian it was disappointing indigenous health stakeholders were kept in the dark about the final plan until today, and more worrying that state and territory health ministers did not endorse the plan as was usual.

“The plan is supposed to outline the Australian government’s 10-year strategy to improve indigenous health outcomes, but instead it contains little detail and in fact appears to support the case for business as usual,” Dr Laming said. “The release of the plan appears to be yet another exercise in political spin, lacking any substance, and fails to say how we are going to get there.

“We have returned to the Kevin Rudd era of government by press release and big numbers.

“The plan as released by Labor contains considerably less detail than the previous national strategic framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health that it replaces.”

The criticism comes after the government yesterday announced an expansion of the health system to focus on indigenous children and to include broader issues of child development as the central plank of a 10-year Aboriginal health plan.

Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon said the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan would be critical in meeting the closing the gap life expectancy target.

“It provides guidance for state and territory governments as to what we see as our priority,” he said yesterday. “It’ll make sure when we sign new partnership agreements with them, the material in this plan is considered.”

Mr Snowdon said about 50 per cent of indigenous people smoked. “Tobacco smoking is directly responsible for about 20 per cent of the burden of disease and 12 per cent of deaths,” he said.

He urged state and territory governments to sign up to the plan and commit funding.

Justin Mohamed, chairman of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, the national authority for comprehensive Aboriginal primary healthcare, said the plan for the first time incorporated the social determinants of health which the sector had long fought for. “The federal government should be congratulated for delivering this plan, which has been developed with the involvement of Aboriginal people and Aboriginal health authorities,” he said.

“It is also significant that the plan’s vision articulates a health system free of racism and inequality for the first time.”