This picture by Rueben (Jack) Hood is called “Spiral Spirits Looking for their souls”. It depicts young people who, after many spirals and turns in life, are now finding themselves. We are privileged to have it on the front cover of a manual developed under the Yangan Nalu Project.
The Yangan Nalu Project was set up to encourage greater employment outcomes for the local Gippsland Aboriginal community through traineeships and employment opportunities. Key health and community services bodies, as well as local councils worked in partnership with Elders and other members of the local Aboriginal community, to pool their insights and knowledge. Ten years on, the project and its materials remain relevant to the local community.
“As an Aboriginal person, I think we’ve still got a long way to go in Australia,” shared Ron Briggs who works at one of our Alcohol and Other Drug services as an Aboriginal Advisor. “The reality is, we’re still ten years behind. But we are getting there, and it’s organisations and services like Uniting who work with our communities, which are the ones that are making the most profound difference.”
We know the only way to confront injustice is by working in partnership. By choosing to be bold, and saying when enough is enough. We will continue to work with Indigenous communities, and value their contribution to our culture and society. We reiterate our commitment to recognition and reconciliation.
We recognise today as a day dedicated to the ongoing campaign for Indigenous health equality. We acknowledge the pressing need to reduce both the health and life expectancy gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and communities in Australia, without exception.
Poverty, mental health and substance abuse, lack of education and unemployment all play significant roles in reducing life expectancy and health outcomes within our community. Uniting is committed to tackling each one. We are grateful that our founding agencies, programs and services, have paved the way. We all have a role to play to close the gap and confront these injustices once and for all. For more information on the Close the Gap campaign, head to Oxfam Close The Gap Day