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New Victorian First To Improve Aboriginal Health

22 November 2019

In a Victorian first, the Andrews Labor Government will partner with Aboriginal health organisations and health services to create a new forum to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal Victorians across the state.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Chair Karen Heap today co-chaired an Aboriginal health roundtable that agreed to establish the Aboriginal Health Partnership Forum.

The Forum will bring together Aboriginal community controlled and mainstream health organisations to address Aboriginal health matters.

A state-wide body was identified by the Aboriginal community as a vital step towards ensuring all parts of the Victorian health system are working together to improve health outcomes for Victoria’s Aboriginal people.

The Forum, due to meet for the first time next year, will be co-established with VACCHO and will include representatives from across the Aboriginal health sector and the public health system.

They will work towards supporting health services to ensure care is culturally safe and meets the needs of Aboriginal Victorians.

Today’s roundtable included senior representatives from the Victorian Government, Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations, other health associations and peak bodies.

It was a chance to hear from leaders in Aboriginal health about their key priorities and to discuss how the Forum can work to advance initiatives that will have a real impact on Aboriginal lives.

The Forum will complement other Victorian Government Aboriginal governance and advisory bodies, such as the Aboriginal Children’s Forum and the Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum.

It’s another part of the Labor Government’s ambitious plan to revolutionise how Victoria’s health and human services work with Aboriginal Communities.

The Korin Korin Balit-Djak Aboriginal Health, Wellbeing and Safety Plan for the next 10 years puts Aboriginal self-determination front and centre, ensuring Aboriginal communities lead the development and delivery of projects and services to Aboriginal Victorians – supported by Government.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“We are putting Aboriginal health front-of-mind across the health sector.”

“While we’re making gains in improving the health of Aboriginal Victorians, there’s still a long way to go and Aboriginal Victorians know their health needs best. Lasting change for Aboriginal health means listening and working together.”

Quotes attributable to VACCHO Chair Karen Heap

“This Forum as an important opportunity to advance priority issues in Aboriginal health in Victoria.”

“Finding effective solutions to the issues facing Aboriginal people must be driven by Aboriginal people working closely with Government and I am confident the new Forum will provide a much needed, high-level voice to ensure the most appropriate and effective way forward.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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