The voices of the health sector have not been loudly heard in mainstream media coverage of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.
It’s probably a fairly safe bet that most Australians (and perhaps also most journalists) would not realise the breadth of the sector’s support for the Voice, with Croakey’s portal recording that more than 35 health and medical organisations have issued statements of support.
To provide a platform for collective health discussions, Croakey will host two online #CroakeyLIVE webinars – from 5–6pm AEST on Monday, 25th September and 5–6pm AEDT on Monday, 9th October.
They will be moderated by Jade Bradford, a proud descendent of the Ballardong Noongar people, journalist and a Croakey contributor based in Western Australia.
Monday, 25 September
- Kerry O’Brien, journalist and author
- Fiona Cornforth, Head of National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing Research, ANU
- Scott Willis, National President, Australian Physiotherapy Association
- Scott Wilson, Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (South Australia)
- Annie Butler, Federal Secretary, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation
Monday, 9th October
- Mark Butler, Health and Aged Care Minister
- Adjunct Professor Janine Mohamed, CEO of the Lowitja Institute
- Amy Gordon, a Gooreng Gooreng woman, and First Nations Referendum Director at GetUp!
- Other participants to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, the post below compiles the latest statements from the sector, as well as community engagement activities, and details of resources and other upcoming events.
Support from the sector
Statement by Dr Sandro Demaio, CEO of VicHealth
“On October 14, I will be standing beside many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, health colleagues and friends to vote YES at the Voice to Parliament referendum.
I strongly believe that enshrining a Voice to Parliament will have important health and wellbeing benefits for all Australians.
Listening to community voices has always been a pillar of my professional life. In my role as CEO of VicHealth, I’ve seen first-hand that when we listen to communities and factor their priorities into our thinking, we make better decisions, get stronger value for money, and ultimately reach better health outcomes and lower rates of chronic disease.
And the science supports this; we go further when we listen to individuals, families and communities on the issues that affect them. It’s also clear that reducing health inequalities benefits everyone and leads to a stronger health system.
I’ve learnt so much from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, colleagues, and Elders I’ve had the privilege to know and meet.
A Voice to Parliament is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recognise the oldest continuing culture on Earth and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to actively participate and give input on decision-making which affects their lives.
Next month, we have the chance to support a healthier and fairer Australia, where everyone benefits from good health and has the opportunity to thrive. That’s why I’ll be voting YES.”
Other statements of support added to the Croakey portal recently include:
- The College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand
- The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases
- Doctors for Environment Australia
- The Brain and Mind Research Centre, University of Sydney.
Recommended listening, reading and viewing
Listen to this wide-ranging analysis by Professor Ian Anderson Read this explainer: What is executive government and what does it have to do with the Voice to Parliament? Watch this passionate presentation
Make sure to follow @WePublicHealth this week for more #VoiceForHealth discussions