For NAIDOC Week this year the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) is contributing to the celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by urging people to listen to the presentations of four remarkable people who work in rural and remote health.
The four were among those who gave keynote addresses to the 13th National Rural health Conference in Darwin. Their presentations can be seen and heard on the NRHA website at www.ruralhealth.org.au/13nrhc/program/keynote-speakers
The Conference in Darwin had a strong focus on improving Indigenous health and also included an engaging and well-received Indigenous Arts-in-Health program. Four of the inspirational presentations at the Conference were from Megan Davis, Kylie Stothers, Stephanie Trust and Mark Wenitong. All of them had special insights about their personal journeys as health professionals and the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote and rural areas.
The four speakers challenged those at the Conference, and Australians generally, to be inquisitive about Indigenous affairs.
“The challenge for us, as individuals, is to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, to listen and to talk to Indigenous people, to consider things and make our own views and judgments, so that we can take part in a serious engagement, discussion and narrative on Indigenous issues”, said Gordon Gregory, CEO of the NRHA.
Indigenous health was a standout feature in the ten priority recommendations from the Conference. They include a call for implementation of the National Aboriginal Health Strategy, better funding of Aboriginal Health Services, a Senate Inquiry into food security and an integrated strategy to Close the Gap for Vision.
“Delegates were clear about what needs to be done and anxious about the lack of progress. They urged Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to give a higher priority to the health and life opportunities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in rural and remote communities”, Mr Gregory said.
The NRHA's member bodies include the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Indigenous Allied Health Australia and the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association. Their guidance and leadership in the NRHA are invaluable.