VACCHO CALLS ON RE-ELECTED STATE GOVERNMENT TO CONTINUE MOMENTUM, BY PUTTING ABORIGINAL HEALTH IN ABORIGINAL HANDS

Dec 1, 2022

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) congratulates Daniel Andrews and the Labor Party on their re-election over the weekend, and calls on the Government to continue to place Aboriginal health and wellbeing in Aboriginal hands.

VACCHO has been pleased to partner with the State Government to deliver positive health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Victoria and looks forward to continuing to tackle the systemic injustices that have maligned Community for too long.

Premier Daniel Andrews powerfully asserted ‘hope always defeats hate’ in his acceptance address on Saturday night – a sentiment VACCHO shares in its mission to close the health and wellbeing gap in Victoria. VACCHO believes hope is a key ingredient to the path forward for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are looking to break the cycles of disadvantage.

Since the organisation’s establishment in 1996, VACCHO has been a formidable voice for the health and wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Victoria, as well as a condemner of hate, prejudice, racism, and marginalisation in all its forms.
Indefensibly, systematic racism continues to have devastating impacts on the health and wellbeing of Community.

A 75% increase in suicides in 2022, tragic and completely preventable deaths in custody, increased numbers of children in out of home care, higher instances of cancer, and intergenerational trauma are just some of the major health and wellbeing disadvantages being experienced by Community.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to experience poorer health outcomes culminating in a substantial gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. According to 2018 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men have a life expectancy 8.6 years lower than non-Indigenous men. For women, it is 7.8 years.

VACCHO would like to see the re-elected government provide meaningful financial support to Aboriginal Community Controlled health organisations so that they are empowered to help the Community heal.

VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher looks forward to continuing the partnership with the Andrews Government on delivering transformative health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal communities in Victoria.

“Daniel Andrews has been bold and brave in bringing Treaty to the forefront in Victoria. I extend my sincere congratulations to the Premier and the Labor Government on their re-election.”

“I look forward to working in close collaboration with the State Government to address the glaring disadvantages that continue to have a devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of Community.”

“Despite the challenges, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations continue to be beacons of light and hope – that provide holistic, wrap-around health and wellbeing care for a community that are largely doing it tough.”

“I implore the re-elected Victorian Government to prioritise properly resourcing Aboriginal organisations – meaningful commitments that go beyond election cycles.”

“If Government invests in putting Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands, we will create vibrant, self-determining communities and our Boorais will grow up to shape the future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.”

Read more about VACCHO’s election priorities here 

VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher believes it is time to create a new day that is inclusive for everyone.

“It is time for us to press the reset button and create a new day – a new date – a day where we can all celebrate and feel included. January 26 is not that day – January 26 hurts.”

“Change needs to be led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with our voices at the forefront, but we need allies around us, and we need a focus on educating all Australians about the true history of this country.”

“We also need a bold and brave government to make this change. Last year we saw the government listen to Aboriginal leaders and free the flag – we must keep the momentum going and do something about this date.”

“The time for change is well and truly overdue and needs to happen now.”

 

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Media enquiries

For further media enquiries please email communications@vaccho.org.au or contact our media unit on (03) 9411 9411.

Background 

VACCHO is the peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing in Victoria – the only one of its kind – with 32 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations as Members. VACCHO Members support over 65,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria, and combined are the largest employers of Aboriginal people in the state.