Thursday, 18th July 2013 at 10:27 am
More than 100 Aboriginal men from across Australia have joined together at a national summit to make their concerns heard on improving the health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in remote communities.
Delegates attended the three day Central Australian summit from 29 priority communities in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.
The men looked at eight focus areas which included:
- Physical wellness, chronic disease programs, sexual, reproductive health, social determinants, alcohol and other drugs
- Spiritual and cultural wellbeing;
- Education, jobs, incomes, leadership skills
- Dedicated Male health services at all clinics
- Building education and awareness of men’s health for all participants; service providers; and local Aboriginal Community members
- Looking at why Aboriginals are over-represented in prisons
- Social and emotional issues including substance abuse and mental illness
- Increasing Aboriginal male health workforce training and development
The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon said it was the first time the men had the opportunity to share ideas and recommendations on ways to improve their health and the health of their families and communities.
“The summit is discussing a number of issues impacting health, including physical, social and emotional wellbeing, culture, employment, incarceration, and access to services in remote Aboriginal communities,” he said.
“At the end of the Summit, we hope to have developed some plans for action they can take back to their communities.”
Snowden said under the Federal Government’s National Partnership on Remote Service Delivery the Government was working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to improve service delivery and facilities, to raise the quality of services, and support community leadership.
“Rather than having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel like they’re part of the problem, we want to encourage and support Aboriginal men to be part of the solution,” he said.