Social Justice & Action
Voice will help close the gap
The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) says a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament will “provide a path for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices to be heard and respected, after being ignored or sidelined for many years”.
“A fundamental building block for addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health challenges is addressing equity,” said PHAA President, Adjunct Professor Tarun Weeramanthri AM.
“We cannot close the most glaring health equity gap in Australia if we continue to ignore its roots in our society.”
‘We cannot close the most glaring health equity gap in Australia if we continue to ignore its roots in our society.’ — Tarun Weeramanthri AM, Public Health Association
A Voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders within the NSWNMA
The Association proposes creating a path towards increasing voice, representation and leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives within the union.
The NSWNMA Council supports two member-driven initiatives:
- formation of a statewide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander NSWNMA Branch and
- creating two dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander positions on NSWNMA Council, one each for a nurse and a midwife.
Both proposals will be put to NSWNMA Annual Conference in August this year.
‘Nothing about us without us’
The Australian Stroke Alliance says a Voice to Parliament will help Indigenous voices to be heard in the design and delivery of health care.
Associate Professor Luke Burchill, from the Alliance’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Council, says inability to access culturally safe healthcare services is a major problem.
“Unfortunately, not feeling safe is a major reason why Aboriginal people are more likely to present late and sometimes critically unwell – and we see much higher rates of death and disability for First Nation peoples in Australia,” said Burchill, who is Australia’s first Indigenous cardiologist.
He told ABC NewsRadio, “We need to be seen, we need to be heard. And when it comes to the framing of data about us, we would come back to the thing that we’ve been saying for decades – nothing about us without us.”
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a stroke incidence rate 2–3 times that of non-Indigenous Australians. Those under 55 have a rate 6–9 times greater.
‘Not feeling safe is a major reason why Aboriginal people are more likely to present late and sometimes critically unwell.’ — Luke Burchill, Australian Stroke Alliance
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