Acknowledging the collective rights and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is key to improving health equity, says PHAA Vice President (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Health), Carmen Parter.
“Health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is essential especially when looking at the life expectancy statistics,” says Parter, a descendent of the Darumbal clan of the Birra Gubba Nations of Queensland.
“These statistics are not acceptable and the Government needs to act now to lower these rates and achieve health equality for all Australians.
“National Reconciliation Week is a celebration of significant milestones in the reconciliation journey and a time to renew our focus on achieving health equity.”
The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2016 is ‘Our History, Our Story, Our Future’ which asks all Australians to reflect on our national identity, and the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and rights in our nation’s story.
Today PHAA staff will participate in the National Sorry Day Bridge Walk in Canberra. The walk, organised by Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service, is an opportunity to reflect on the significance of reconciliation and reaffirms PHAA’s commitment to advocating for the health and wellbeing needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“All Australians have a role to play in reconciliation. As a nation which believes in fairness and the strength of our diversity, the disparity in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders must be addressed in order to close the gap,” says Parter.