Tag Archives: health

Community and Government Must Continue to Close the Gap

 

Elders at The  Apology Anniversary Event

Elders at The Apology Anniversary Event

In a ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the Federal Parliament’s apology to members of the Stolen Generations, the Archdiocesan Justice and Peace Commission called on all Australian Governments, the Church and the community to continue working towards closing the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians in health and education standards.

The ceremony organized by the Justice and Peace Commission, the Murri Ministry Team and Brisbane Catholic Education was held at Ngutana-Lui Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies Centre at Inala on Friday 12 February.

Aboriginal elders from around Brisbane, students and staff from several Catholic Colleges, and representatives of a number of parishes attended the ceremony.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisors are keen to continue holding the ceremony each year so that the Church and the community continue to be reminded about the need for on-going action to address the disadvantages experienced by the first Australians.

“The apology by the Parliament in 2008 was a very important step in healing the deep wounds of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, but it must be accompanied by a long-term commitment to ending Indigenous disadvantage in Australia,” Mr Arndt said.

“That is why we ensured that those attending the ceremony not only had a chance to listen to the Aboriginal elders talk about their experiences of discrimination and mistreatment, but also had an opportunity to learn about the problems faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the areas of health and education,” he said.

“It is our hope that students and parishioners will go back to their schools and parishes and encourage their communities to get involved in community action to promote better health and education standards for the first peoples of this land,” he said.

“The Prime Minister has now released his Government’s second Closing the Gap Report and it is pleasing to see that significant efforts are being made to reduce Indigenous disadvantage in a number of important areas such as life expectancy, child mortality rates, literacy and numeracy levels, and access to early childhood education,” he said.

“It is good that serious efforts are being made to measure progress in these areas, but also that increased funding for programs is being made available,” he said.

“But we all have a role to play in ensuring that there is genuine respect for and partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in these programs,” he said.

“Participating in special events like Close the Gap Day which will be on Thursday 25 March this year is one way in which Catholic schools and parishes can continue to be involved in action to promote an end to Indigenous disadvantage,” he added.

Health and Education Fact Sheet

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

 

NB  This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Mandate which enables it to speak in its own right when required.  The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.

Commission Supports Parish Campaign on Mesothelioma Treatment

Media Release

Wednesday 10 October 2007

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is supporting efforts by Victoria Point parishioners to enable mesothelioma sufferers to obtain subsidised chemotherapy treatment for their disease.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos.

Victoria Point parishioners asked the Commission to promote a national campaign for uniform subsidisation of the “gold standard” treatment for mesothelioma because many sufferers cannot afford the cost of this treatment which can be as much as $25000.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that some Australian sufferers obtain full subsidisation of the cost of treatment while others receive no support.

“The treatment is subsidised in some States, but not in others,” Mr Arndt said.

“Subsidisation can also depend on whether you can show that you contracted the terminal disease through your work or not,” he said.

“An investigation into the situation has indicated that up to half of all mesothelioma sufferers miss out on subsidisation of the best treatment for the disease,” he said.

“The treatment clearly offers patients a longer life with much better quality of life and everyone who has this dreadful disease should be able to access the treatment without taking out a substantial loan,” he said.

“We’ve joined with Victoria Point parishioners affected by this problem in campaigning for urgent action by our Federal politicians to make this treatment equally available at the subsidised cost,” he said.

The Commission has prepared an information sheet with a sample letter for people to use as a guide in writing to the Prime Minister, the Minister for Health and Aging, the Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Minister for Health. It has been sent to all parishes.

“We are also encouraging people to contact their local Member of Parliament, Senators and, indeed, all candidates in their Federal electorate.

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

NB This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Charter which enables it to speak in its own right. The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.

Appeal for Support for Mesothelioma Sufferers

Trevor Stagg Fact File