Tackling Indigenous health and cultural safety

20 February 2019

The 15th National Rural Health Conference to be held in Hobart 24-27th March this year will again have a strong focus on Indigenous Australians’ health and wellbeing.

The conference program has over 40 presentations dedicated to highlighting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health issues.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have significantly poorer health outcomes and lower life expectancy compared to non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. But sadly, we hear this time and time again,” Mark Diamond, CEO of the National Rural Health Alliance, said.

 “One of the reasons for this is that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people access health services at a much lower rate than non- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“The reasons for this are complex, but one stark reason that can’t be ignored is the impact that racism, colonisation and culturally unsafe health care has on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health outcomes.”

The 15th National Rural Health Conference is dedicating a concurrent session to cultural safety and weaving into the conference program over 40 presentations specifically focusing on indigenous health issues. Three pre-conference workshops being held on 24 March 2019 also have a focus on Indigenous health issues”.

Presentations will cover a broad range of issues and include providing culturally safe health care, primary health care models of care, managing chronic conditions, infectious diseases, promoting wellness and preventing illness by addressing determinants of health and risk factors for dental decay, ear health, rheumatic heard disease and sexually transmitted diseases.

In addition to this, the Conference will be formally opened by the Muwinina people’s artistic welcome to country and presented by Indigenous health leader, Janine Mohamed, a Narrunga Kaurna woman.

“The theme of the 15th conference is ‘Better together’, and I can’t think of a better theme that sums up how we need to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ health and wellbeing. We must do this and can do this ‘Better together’,” Mr Diamond said.

People interested in attending the 15th National Rural Health Conference can find more information and the full conference program on the Conference website at www.ruralhealth.org.au/15nrhc .

Media Enquiries: 

Allan Yates
Director Communications and Media Liaison     0421 150 229