Aboriginal Victorians continue to suffer poorer health than non-Aboriginal people.
Eleven years on from the Closing the Gap launch, Aboriginal Victorians still suffer alarming rates of ill-health. Government plans to address this look nice on paper, but are completely underfunded. We need an independent Commissioner to hold the government to account and ensure necessary investment in the services, programs and facilities that will make a real difference. We need places for Aboriginal people to come together and heal.
Life expectancy is 10.6 years less for males and 9.5 years less for females. This reflects a community that continues to suffer the impacts of colonisation, and where disadvantage and living on a low income leads to poor social determinants of health. Thirty six per cent of Aboriginal Victorians are Stolen Generations or decedents of these people, and many suffer intergenerational trauma. Inadequate housing, racism, ongoing intervention by child protection, and over-representation in jail all add to the ongoing poor health and wellbeing of Aboriginal communities.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. By addressing historical and present-day wrongs, funding Aboriginal controlled health care services, and ensuring our health system provides culturally sensitive care, we can make a difference.
To improve Aboriginal health and wellbeing, the Greens will:
- Provide $20 million over four years for an Aboriginal Health Commissioner.
- Begin a consultation process with the vision of establishing 38 Healing Places across the state, led by the 38 Nations.
- Ensure the treaty process provides real self-determination, empowerment, cultural respect, compensation and funding channelled into services, programs and facilities that will improve the lives of grassroots communities. Read more about our treaty commitment here
- Ensure no Aboriginal person is homeless in Victoria by investing in 80,000 new and refurbished public housing, community and affordable housing homes over the next 12 years. Read more about our housing commitment here
- Provide $200,000 in compensation to each survivor of the stolen generation, plus funding for keeping places, memorials and care, valued at $110 million in total. Read more about our Stolen Generation commitment here
The Greens will also continue to support Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Care services to provide culturally safe, local care outside the mainstream system. We will continue to support self-determination and proper funding for these services, including for their planning and infrastructure needs, and for more case- management.