Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Focus on Torres Strait Islander health equity, 11th National Torres Strait Islanders Seminar, 15-19 October, Canberra.



Download PDFDownload PDF

Return to Media - Return to Media Releases List   

Media

Media Release

Focus on Torres Strait Islander health equity - 11th National Torres Strait Islanders Seminar, 15-19 October, Canberra

 

15 October 2001

 

While the health needs of Indigenous people are well documented much more effort is required to ensure that all Indigenous people enjoy the same standard of service available to mainstream Australians, according to Francis Tapim (Senior), the chairperson of the National Secretariat of Torres Strait Islander Organisations Limited.

“In particular, the health needs of mainland Torres Strait Islander people need careful attention,” he said. “This is the theme of this year’s National Torres Strait Islanders Seminar.

“In 1996 the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that there were about 27 000 Torres Strait Islander people living on the mainland. That number will have risen significantly since then.

“Our people make use of the same services as our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, but there are no statistics on the types of treatment mainland Torres Strait Islander people need — on what our health problems are and whether we are getting the necessary service.

“The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy (NATSIHS) that was developed in 1989 does not distinguish between the health needs of our two Indigenous peoples. There are no means for measuring the effectiveness of the services available to Torres Strait Islander people nor for ensuring that we have equal and equitable access to existing services.”

NSTSIOL is holding this year’s workshop/seminar in Canberra from 15 to 19 October with the theme Holistic health for a better future. Around 200 delegates from mainland Torres Strait Islander communities will discuss the means for achieving better physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing for their people.

“We won’t be looking for a duplication of services, but we want to make sure that existing services are equipped to provide Torres Strait Islander people with what we need,” Mr Tapim said.

Seminars and workshops throughout the week will hear from a range of Indigenous and non-indigenous health workers and policy makers. Participants will develop a position on NATSIHS for submission to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council on 22 October. The seminar will also provide input into the development of a National Mainland Torres Strait Islanders Health Strategy.

The seminar begins on Monday morning but has an official launch at Parliament House on Monday evening with Torres Strait Islander performers Rita Mills, Mira Pitt and the Gerik Sik ACT Torres Strait Islander Dancers.

Media Contacts: Francis Tapim (Junior), NSTSIOL 0408 975 494 Martin Freckmann, ATSIC 0427 631 045

 

Return to Top of the Page

  Return to Media - Return to Media Releases List