Health Equity For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Health Equity For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

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This year Tweddle will be observing Close the Gap Day on Thursday 19th March. The national Close The Gap day is a reminder of the role that Tweddle, a state-wide family health and early parenting organisation, plays in helping to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal families, children and their communities.

Close the Gap Campaign co-Chairs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) CEO Karl Briscoe, have called on the government to invest urgently in health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Close the Gap Campaign has warned that the ongoing gap in life expectancy, health outcomes and child mortality rates for Indigenous Australians is absolutely intolerable. The Closing the Gap report, released today, reveals the same familiar disappointing story as previous reports.

Only two of the original seven Closing the Gap targets are on track to be met within their timeframes – the same two targets as last year. The Close the Gap (CTG) Campaign was launched in 2006 to address the unacceptable gap in life expectancy and other health indicators between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians. The Campaign includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies and non-Indigenous health and advocacy organisations. More than 200,000 Australians have signed a pledge supporting the Campaign.

Close the Gap day is a time for Tweddle staff, families and the community to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements. Tweddle has the privilege to work alongside Aboriginal health workers, mums, dads, babies and toddlers as part of our early parenting support programs.

Tweddle believes in the rights of Aboriginal People to have opportunities of self-determination. Tweddle believes in working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities as we develop an understanding of transgenerational trauma. This understanding will help Tweddle to provide and improve access to inclusive practice and programs in the best interest of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies, children and families.

We respect Aboriginal people by supporting them to stay connected to Country, to family, to language and to land. This cultural connection promotes healing to all Aboriginal community and strengthens our knowledge and understanding of what Aboriginal People need from us, in order to promote their safety.

We acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are proud, and as a proud community, they teach us the power of standing up for the rights of their children, rights to their land and their rights to access services.

We walk alongside the Aboriginal community and support their rights of human equity and healthcare. By continuing to recognise and celebrate their achievements, we contribute as a collective to help Close the Gap. Tweddle has developed a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) or Reflect RAP to ensure our services reflect and respect aboriginal parenting culture, heritage, learning practices and awareness of intergenerational trauma.

Tweddle’s ‘Reflect’ RAP will raise awareness and support within the organisation and well as building a commitment to cultural protocols considering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment. Tweddle’s goal is to be part of the national effort to acknowledge and address past and present injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to provide services that reflect, respect and embrace the strength, culture and diversity of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Tweddle will soon be displaying a culturally safe space in the front foyer with the addition of Aboriginal play resources & books. This will enhance the beautiful Aboriginal Artwork we have on display. Tweddle is also awaiting the completion of licensed Aboriginal Artwork, which will be used in the final draft of the Tweddle RAP Booklet which we will be launching this year.

For more information about how you can help Close The Gap, visit ANTaR, a national advocacy organisation dedicated specifically to the rights – and overcoming the disadvantage – of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through lobbying, public campaigns and advocacy.

You can show your support by signing the Close the Gap campaign pledge at https://antar.org.au/closethegappledge

 


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