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Uluru statement an ‘invitation’ for all Australians


Morgan Liotta


9/07/2019 3:51:23 PM

To mark NAIDOC week, the RACGP highlights its position on the Uluru statement and the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Dr Mary Belfrage.
Dr Mary Belfrage talked about the significance of the Uluru statement and the importance of constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

‘Voice. Treaty. Truth’ is the theme of this year’s NAIDOC week, recognising the desire for an enhanced role in democratic decision-making for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
 
The RACGP reiterates its support for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, reminding members of its position on the ‘Uluru statement from the heart’ (the Uluru statement) – the result of a 2017 constitutional convention held at the foot of Uluru, which brought together over 250 leaders from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
 
In her presentation at the RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health event for NAIDOC week, GP and RACGP project advisor Dr Mary Belfrage acknowledged the significance of the Uluru statement as an invitation for all Australians.
 
‘The Uluru statement is powerful message for all of us who call Australia home. The generosity of the statement offers a way forward, and rejection of it would be contemporary terra nullius,’ she said.
 
Dr Belfrage touched on the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the links to history – invasion and colonisation, Stolen Generations, historical, intergenerational and contemporary trauma, as well as dismissal of the Uluru statement – and the key role healthcare organisations and individuals have in provision of healthcare, through community collaboration.
 
‘It is everyone’s responsibility – individual healthcare specialists and organisations, as well as Aboriginal community controlled healthcare organisations,’ she said.
 
‘The evidence shows the benefits of listening.’
 
Ongoing collaboration, reconciliation and recognising historical contributions to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ties in with the Makarrata Agreement, a key element to the ratification of the Uluru statement.
 
‘Makarrata’ is a word from the Yolngu language, translating to ‘coming together after a struggle, facing the facts of wrongs and living again in peace’.
 
In its position on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, the RACGP recognises that improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is one of Australia’s highest health priorities. The college perceives the Uluru statement as helpful towards this goal, as a pathway to self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
 
In addition, the RACGP statement reinforces a commitment to developing and supporting a culturally safe and reflective GP workforce that can work effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and communities, and advocate for culturally appropriate health delivery systems and education to improve health outcomes and empower communities.
 
RACGP resources



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander NAIDOC week Uluru statement


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