VACCHO are paying tribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders for their vital contributions to Community as cultural knowledge holders – the custodians of Aboriginal traditions and values.
As keepers of culture and the heart of communities, Elders impart and sustain a rich cultural heritage from generation to generation, including translating culture into contemporary ways.
In line with NAIDOC Week’s theme ‘For Our Elders’, VACCHO is calling on the Federal Government to take decisive action and lower the age to access the pension for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care laid bare the serious disadvantages experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and highlighted the extent to which they continue to be let down.
VACCHO calls on the Federal Government to commit to lowering the age to accessing the pension from 67 years to 50 years for older Aboriginal people.
Due to the significant gap in life expectancy experienced by Aboriginal people, lowering the pension age is an important step towards addressing the serious disadvantages experienced by Community.
“It’s upsetting that many Elders are being let down, in the process the critical role Elders play in sustaining the world’s oldest living tradition has been diminished in some parts of Australia.”
“This year’s NAIDOC Week theme gives us a chance to reflect on what we as a society can do to give back to the people who have given so much to society – lowering the pension age would make a huge difference to the health and wellbeing of many, many incredible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders.”
VACCHO encourage the Community to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders by joining in the NAIDOC Week March which will depart from the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) on Nicholson St, Fitzroy – Friday 7 July at 12:00 pm.
Listen: NAIDOC Week 2023: Elder Yarns with Aunty Margaret Clarke
Proud Muthi Muthi woman and VACCHO’s VCAACD Training and Support Officer Aunty Margaret Clarke sat down with 3KND’s Wendy Brooke to discuss what it is that makes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders the heart and soul of Community.