Imagine this. You’ve just arrived at IH. Maybe you were here last year, or maybe this is your first year. But as you arrive, you’re told some terrible news: anyone that has a room number that is an odd number is kicked out of IH 10 weeks earlier than those in rooms that have an even number. What?? That’s not fair. If you were told that you were kicked out 10 weeks earlier than everyone else, you wouldn’t accept it. You’d put up a fight. What could possible constitute that kind of gap between those in even rooms and those in odd rooms?
This inequitable gap exists in Australia. Currently, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are expected to live up to 10-17 years less than non-indigenous Australians. Why does this health gap exist?
- Health services are not accessible to many remote Aboriginal communities
- Mainstream health services often lack cultural sensitivity
- The health system fails to address other causes of discrimination, which has left Indigenous Australians with some of the lowest levels of education, low employment rates, poor health and terrible living conditions
So what are we going to do about it?
- Indigenous Community Dinner night on Wednesday the 18th of March. Be sure to come along to learn more about the culture of our Indigenous neighbours!
- Movie showing of the movie Rabbit Proof fence in the JCR on Thursday the 19th of March. Rabbit Proof Fence is a movie based on a true story about two mixed-race Aboriginal girls who return to their Aboriginal families after being placed in a settlement in Perth. They walk for nine weeks to return to their community at Jigalong, while being pursued by white law enforcement authorities. Not to be missed!
- There’s a public BBQ happening on Thursday the 19th of March from 12:00pm – 02:00pm at 250/240-290 Spring St East Melbourne Victoria 3002 (see map). If you’re already sick of IH cold lunches, kill two birds with one stone by having a nice meal AND learning more about how to close the gap
During the movie on Thursday night, there will be a form to sign at the back of the JCR, which is the Close The Gap pledge.
The pledge says:
To achieve health equality for Indigenous Australians within 25 years I call on the Australian Government to:
- Develop a comprehensive National Action Plan with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their representative bodies
- Increase Indigenous community participation and control in the delivery of health services
- Address the critical social issues of housing, education and self-determination
Hopefully this week helps educate you on some of the issues being faced in Australia today, and that you sign the pledge to help support Oxfam, Australia.