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.

POLICY UPDATE – Jurisdictional Implementation Plan on Closing the Gap

The second Jurisdictional Implementation Plan on Closing the Gap was released on Wednesday the 31st of August. As a member of NSW CAPO, the AH&MRC has played a central role in the development of this plan, using it as an opportunity to progress reform within and expand support for the Aboriginal Health sector.

Many of the initiatives outlined in the Plan will directly impact your services and communities and it is important for the AH&MRC that we bring our members along on this journey. As such, we will be hosting an online information session to go through the 2022-24 Implementation Plan on Tuesday the 11th of October from 10am- 11:30am and Thursday the 13th of October 1pm-2:30pm.

The online presentation will go over the key initiatives in the new implementation plan and how they will affect member services and their communities, including upcoming funding opportunities.

The information session will also give member services a chance to clarify any questions they may have around the new initiatives and give AH&MRC feedback on how they want to be engaged in the reform process.

Please respond to the SmartSheet link below by COB 7th October 2022.


AH&MRC Policy Team