Media Releases

Gap between indigenous and non-indigenous longevity surges in WA

The disparity between the life expectancy of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal West Australians has surged, bucking a national trend that shows a closing of the gap, a new report has found. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, released this week, shows the life expectancy gap between indigenous and non-indigenous West Australians increased from 14.7 years to 15.1 years in men and 12.9 years to 13.5 years in women in a comparison of data between 2005-2007 and 2010-2012. Nationally, the gap decreased from 11.4 years to 10.6 years for men and remained stable at 9.6 years to 9.5 years for women during the same period. The figures come despite the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island

More funding needed for positive parenting programs to reduce the number of children in care

The Aboriginal Health Council of WA has demanded the State Government prioritise more funding for early intervention programs that promote positive families to help reduce the high number of Aboriginal children in state care. AHCWA chairperson Michelle Nelson-Cox has responded to comments by WA Treasurer and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt in Monday’s The West Australian, in which he said he was “deeply and personally committed” to addressing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in state care. The story cites statistics from the Department of Communities that shows 2603 of the 4795 children in care are indigenous, despite just 5 per cent of all children and teenagers in WA bei

KAMS Hits Back at Criticism Over Kimberley Suicide Trial

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services has spoken out against claims by two federal Labor politicians that the Kimberley Aboriginal suicide trial needs to be doing more to tackle the issue of suicide in remote communities, saying the comments are nothing more than a shallow attempt at political point scoring. WA Labor Senator for regional affairs Glenn Sterle and Federal Senator and shadow assistant minister for mental health Deborah O'Neill made a whistle-stop visit to Broome last week. In a story published in the Broome Advertiser yesterday, Senator O’Neill was quoted as saying “not enough is being done with the $3 million allocated to the (Aboriginal Suicide Prevention) trial” and that she

AHCWA embarks on leading strategy for Aboriginal youth health

Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia staff this week travelled to the Pilbara as part of a national first project exploring the most significant health issues facing young Aboriginal people in regional WA. AHCWA staff will host a series of age appropriate workshops with young indigenous people and health workers across the state, including in the Mid-West, Kimberley, Pilbara, Goldfields and South-West before the end of the year. Results of the workshops will form part of AHCWA’s Aboriginal Youth Health Strategy – a new blueprint that will document the most important health concerns of young people and the availability of local health services. “We are excited to undertake the firs

AHCWA calls for a “voluntary, opt-in” cashless welfare program

The Aboriginal Health Council of WA has called for a “voluntary, opt-in” cashless welfare program for “at-risk” welfare recipients if the Federal Government pushes ahead with plans for an income management system. The proposal is outlined in AHCWA’s submission to the Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017 and will be detailed in evidence, due to be given by AHCWA chairperson Michelle Nelson-Cox in Kalgoorlie today. The submission also calls for the cashless debit card to be considered on a case-by-case basis; and significant investment in community-led, culturally appropriate local programs to address alcohol, gambling and drug abuse. Ms Nelson

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