In Australia there are over 510,000 Indigenous people making up 2.5% of the total Australian population
Some live on the beautiful Torres Strait Islands, others live in remote communities, country towns or urban cities
Together we share a common humanity We are all created equally But our opportunities in life and our levels of disadvantage vary greatly
One of us is expected to live 17 years longer than the other One of us is 3 times more likely to have diabetes One of us is 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with kidney disease Today One of us is Indigenous and one is not
A huge gap exists between the life expectancy and health of those who are Indigenous and those who are not. 60 Indigenous Men Indigenous Women Non-Indigenous Men Non-Indigenous Women 65 77 82 Life Expectancy Gap= 17 years Today Indigenous Men 60 Indigenous Women Non-Indigenous Men Non-Indigenous Women 65 77 82 Indigenous Men
Life expectancy rate for Indigenous Australians are alarmingly similar to those in a number of developing countries Average Life Country Expectancy Cambodia 58 Bangladesh and Pakistan 61 Indigenous Australia 62 Bolivia and Bhutan 63 India 64 Indonesia 67 Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu 69 Cambodia BangladeshIndigenous Aust.
But such a gap has no place in our society It cannot be tolerated We cannot look away We have to care We have to ask why
The reasons are complex. Social, economic and physical factors all play a role. Dispossession Dislocation Discrimination Poor and overcrowded housing Poor diet and nutrition Unemployment Limited access to health care services (3 times the rate for non-Indigenous people ) Low income (Indigenous Australians earn just 62% of the income of non-Indigenous people). Why is there a gap? These all lead to the Gap Lack of education (In 2006, 21 % of 15 year old Indigenous people were not participating in school education)
For many Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal peoples the odds are stacked against them
Empowerment Services and resources Opportunities Education and training Recognition and respect Working in partnership Equality How can we Close the Gap? We have the resources and knowledge to close the gap
In the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, Caritas Australia is working with the Diabetes Management Program on the prevention, management, treatment and care of diabetes
The local people are taking control of their own health. Diabetes in these communities is decreasing! Parental Involvement School fitness and health programs Provision of healthy breakfasts Cooking classes using local and traditional foods Diabetes education Training of community leaders to run the program Nutrition education Shops are clearly identifying healthy food with coloured stickers Success is being achieved through
Together we are making a difference promoting a change in lifestyle behaviours and health to Close the Gap
Together, we are moving forward He has promised that Indigenous people will get health services equal to those of the rest of the population within 10 years. But We can do more …. we need help. Prime Minister Mr. Kevin Rudd has promised to close the 17-year life expectancy gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians by 2030. Now we need to ensure that the government keeps its promise.
What is the Close the Gap Campaign? The Close the Gap campaign is calling on Australian governments to take action to achieve health equality for Indigenous Australians within 25 years by: A long-term investment in Indigenous health; investment in financial and human resources Increasing Indigenous control and participation in the delivery of health services to ensure that people are active partners in their own health Addressing critical social issues such as housing, education and self-determination which contribute to the Indigenous health crisis
What can you do to Close the Gap? Sign the Close the Gap pledge www.oxfam.org.au/closethegap Join the Facebook Close the Gap group and post relevant news on the Wall facebook.com/closethegapcampaign Take the 30 for 2030 challenge – Get 30 friends, family, neighbours to sign a Close the Gap pledge. Challenge you classmates to get involved too!!