Closing the Gap in health and social outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians will require strong partnerships throughout the community and must be a priority for all sides of politics, says the Victorian Council of Social Service.
“All Victorians have a role to play in reducing health inequality for Victorian Aboriginal peoples,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS.
“On National Close the Gap Day it is important that we see strong commitments from government and the community to work in partnership with Aboriginal controlled organisations to help remove the barriers to achieving health equality.”
“Victorian Aboriginal peoples must be able to expect equal health and outcomes to non-Aboriginal Victorians and politicians and policy makers need to understand the disproportionate impact their decisions can have on Aboriginal Victorians.”
“VCOSS supports VACCHO’s call for all political parties to maintain and strengthen their collaborative efforts towards closing the gap in Aboriginal health outcomes in Victoria through a culturally competent health system, a vision for sector sustainability and a commitment to engagement with Aboriginal communities.”
“There are many practical measures we could put in place immediately to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians.”
“For instance, the state government can help close the gap and improve Aboriginal people’s mental health and wellbeing by increasing funding targeted to mental health specific programs within Aboriginal community controlled health organisations.”
“This funding can be targeted to mental health specific programs that are Aboriginal led, including by the community controlled health services, or where there are strong partnerships between mainstream organisations and the Aboriginal community to ensure the programs take account of Aboriginal people’s circumstances, needs and values.”