ASHM Report Back
Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.
Day 2 -15/11/16 - Indigenous Community Health
Professor Gracelyn Smallwood 'Aunty' delivered a highly emotional discussion about the realities faced by many Aboriginal People and Communities across Australia.
Most of the Closing the Gap money (75%) is not going to grassroots level of the people.
it is been swallowed up by university research, and provides jobs to non-aboriginal people.
Gracelyn said that poverty is widespread and needs to be cleaned up.
Many don't have running water and sanitation is poor.
Food is marked up 200%
Most are unemployed and on Centrelink benefits.
ICE/ substance/drug use is high, including injection.
Concerns about HIV reaching remote and rural communities.
High rate of imprisonment
Aboriginal Health & Community Services need culturally appropriate programs.
Non-Aboriginal people involved in programs deliver need to go into communities before and consult and talk with keys players/stakeholders and elders.
Local grass root program delivery don't have to cost lots of money, such as the 'deadly program' and 'grog kills skills' delivered on a shoe-string budget.
Gracelyn talked about her us of the (world famous) Condom man.
This health promotion/prevention strategy was used successful and widely as a healthy alternative to the scary 'grim reaper' advertisements to assist combating HIV/AIDS.
Non-Aboriginal People need to speak out more and advocate for ABSTI People by keeping it on the agenda.
Australia needs to reconcile with the past and the ongoing injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders People's.
Please read Gracelyn thesis which she addresses these multilevel issues in Australia's Indigenous People. http://www.atsiwlsnq.org.au/reports/Gracelyn_Smallwood_2011_thesis.pdf
Thankyou Aunty, your inspirational presentation. It was the highlight of the conference for me and together we can all individually and collectively help to improve the health and lives of Australians Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders People.