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Declaring a Twitter day of action – and listening – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

The Twitterverse is an endless source of news and conversations about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

In recognition of the vibrancy of the Indigenous health Twittersphere, Croakey is supporting an idea to declare May 1 as a day of Twitter action for Indigenous health.

The idea is the brainchild of Dr Lynore Geia, a Bwgcolman woman and nursing academic from James Cook University in Townsville and a former guest tweeter for @WePublicHealth. 

Dr Geia invites Croakey readers to follow the discussion at  #IHMayDay on May 1 – a timely event given widespread concern about expected federal budget cutbacks and funding uncertainty for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

It will be a day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to tweet about health issues – whether they are patients, community members, students, health professionals, researchers, working in NGOs or government or elsewhere.

Thanks to Professor Marc Tennant from the University of Western Australia for suggesting that it also be a day of listening –  the idea being that non-Indigenous Australians can join in by listening and RT-ing.

Moderators

The discussions will be moderated around general themes during the day. These arrangements are still being confirmed but at this stage include:

• Journalist Amy McQuire will focus discussions on media coverage and health.

• Social work student Dameyon Bonson will guide discussions about the portrayal of Indigenous men in health/human service provision promotional materials, and the lack of positive/empowering imagery. Also, how “behavioural change” programs contribute to negative stereotype and assumptions, and how promoting programs as “behavioural enhancement” is more strengths based.  He will also talk about the Indigenous LGBQTI community.

(If you are interested in moderating some of the day’s discussions, please get in touch. Details of other moderators will be added here as they are confirmed…)

Thanks to Dr Geia for kicking off some of the discussions by previewing below some of the issues that she’d also like to see discussed:

• What have been the health impacts of the 2007 NTER/ Intervention? Has it led to any health gains – and what have been the social costs?

• Since the election of the Newman and Abbott governments, there has been upheaval and uncertainty in Indigenous health. The real gap in Indigenous health is the gap between the governments’ rhetoric about wanting to build Aboriginal health – versus the national Indigenous health discourse and the reality of on the ground service delivery.

• Models of care and service delivery are still being developed without genuine transparency and partnerships in communities.

• Health care services need to do so much more work around cultural competency, and governments need to recognise health outcomes in communities strongly related community control and delivered services;

• The proposed amendments to the RDA and the Constitution seems incongruent to closing the gap in health. The importance of tackling racism – and retaining the RDA – for improving health and wellbeing.

• Defining what health is using NACCHO definition – http://www.naccho.org.au/aboriginal-health/definitions/

• The Australian Indigenous population profile is opposite to the aging Australian mainstream population – health programs to meet the needs of Indigenous youth are paramount.

• Cyclone Ita highlighted that lack of road infrastructure is an issue for Indigenous communities like Wudjal Wudjal and Hopevale.

***

  • Please suggest other topics for discussion in the comments below, and tune into #IHMayDay on May 1.
  • Any social media whizzes who would like to help contribute by compiling analytics from the day – please let us know.