Health summit focuses on Indigenous children


A new program aimed at improving the health of Aboriginal babies is being trialled in Queensland. Health workers say the program is already a success raising hopes it could be expanded across Australia.

Claire Boughey reports.

TRANSCRIPT

The First Thousand Days summit in Brisbane is bringing together leading Indigenous child health and safety experts from around the country.

The international program has been adapted to focus on maternal and child health in Indigenous communities.

Professor Kerry Arabena, First Thousand Days Australia CEO: “This particular initiative is really exciting because of the leadership from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and we’ve really set the agenda for what it looks like in this country.”

Community leaders say the Aboriginal-led program helps to support and celebrate Indigenous families and overcome what they describe as a lack of resources and negative attitudes.

Lisa Thorpe, Aboriginal Early Learning Expert: “It is very clear that this whole country needs to change its way of how it looks at Aboriginal people.”

Trials are underway in Moreton Bay and Townsville, where the short courses have had over one hundred attendees.

Community leaders hope the success of the program will encourage the Federal Government to expand this initiative across the country.

Grassroots workers say more parenting support for men is also needed.

Steven Donovan, Mens Aboriginal Health Worker: “So you know I think having the right services for the right men to come to, and the confidence for the men for them to be there for their children.”

Claire Boughey, QUT News.