Hands-on for Aboriginal health


Oxfam volunteer Leah Dehnel with Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier.
Oxfam volunteer Leah Dehnel with Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier.

The North Metropolitan Region MLC added his handprint to a ‘Close the Gap’ banner that features handprints from politicians in all parties who have shown support for ending the health inequalities that have seen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people die 10 to 17 years earlier than other Australians.

Marked on March 17, National Close the Gap Day is a way for Australians to collectively commit to closing the life expectancy gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

Oxfam Australia’s WA campaign co-ordinator Paddy Cullen said he hoped that every state politician would participate by placing their handprint on the banner.

Mr Cullen said indigenous Australians needed to be consulted, empowered, resourced and supported to address the health issues facing their communities.

“To achieve indigenous health equality, we need every politician to get involved in genuine long-term partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Mr Cullen said.

“Showing support on National Close the Gap Day sends a powerful message to governments that Australians will not accept the fact that indigenous Australians suffer illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes at far greater rates than other Australians.

“Key to achieving health equality is putting Aboriginal people at the centre of their own development and in control of the services in their communities.”

Register for National Close the Gap Day at www.oxfam.org.au/national-day.