Our People to Live Stronger & Longer

AH&MRC held its first Indigenous Health Summit

The AH&MRC hosted its first Indigenous Health Summit on the 13th-14th September at Sydney’s CBD Mercure Hotel. The event was attended by over 200 guests and brought together Aboriginal Health experts from across the country to discuss issues facing the sector and solutions to address these as we progress the Closing the Gap agenda.

Over the two days, we heard from over twenty speakers, who covered topics ranging from funding and commissioning of Aboriginal health services, supporting and building the Aboriginal health workforce and addressing food security.

Some of the insights we heard included:

  • Transport issues continue to challenge Aboriginal communities. Participants noted the need for transit lounges, disability access, sensitivity to women and men’s business and that all transport services must be multi-faceted.
  • Service integration and the relationship between Aboriginal health services and mainstream hospitals must be addressed through a collective approach. The model of care used during the 2019 Pandemic gave mainstream services an opportunity to take responsibility for cultural learning – this same approach must be used as we move forward with our CTG agenda.
  • Sterile environments based on Western health models do not support Aboriginal communities, and that funding must be moved from legacy organisations to ACCHOs.
  • Housing impacts all aspects of Aboriginal life and health. Participants highlighted the need to move towards a “universal housing” approach, designing houses for Aboriginal legacy. There is a need for Indigenous-led architecture, where we move from designing “houses” to designing homes for Aboriginal communities.

The AH&MRC would like to thank all attendees who participated in the event and came along for the three days. The input we received will be critical in shaping the AH&MRC’s ongoing policy and advocacy work.

Check out what some of our guests had to say about the event below!

“Attending Closing the Gap on Indigenous Health in Sydney is a fantastic opportunity to learn from each other on what is working well and what requires changing”

“The open conversations, the ability to listen to everyone’s story, genuine collegiality and a deep respect and regard for our community and the work each of us do – what a fantastic day”

“The variety of speakers and the selection of topics was great! With such an expansive variety of people in the room.”

“The panel discussions were amazing- they gave us all an opportunity to discuss the ‘on the ground’ issues and hear about the enormous commitment of individuals and community lead organisations working to improve health and wellbeing outcomes

“What an event! I got to network and build relationships with other Mobs, especially community controlled, and was able to discuss key issues around burnout, employment, and retention. I really enjoyed both days, and all speakers stood out to me”

The graphics were developed by Rachel Apelt, a graphic recorder and facilitator from Artbalm. They capture the key issues that were discussed over the two days.