Live Better
 
 

Medibank awards 2016 Indigenous Grants

Four community projects receive grants to help improve Indigenous Australians wellbeing.

Ahead of Close the Gap Day this Thursday, Medibank has announced the recipients of its 2016 Indigenous Grants, and reaffirmed its commitment to closing the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

“Medibank is serious about helping to address the health inequalities that sadly still exists between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians,” says Karen Oldaker, Medibank General Manager of Wellbeing and Community.

“We’re working with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and investing in programs that are run by local leaders, and which are community informed and culturally tailored. These organisations are best placed to provide evidenced-based, quality services to and in their local communities.”

“There is a lot more work to be done, and it can only be achieved through a whole of community effort; in true partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people.”

Closing the Gap

The life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is around 10 years less than non-Indigenous Australians, and around 70% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are overweight or obese.

“We all – governments, business, organisations – have a responsibility to work together to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and of all Australians,” Karen says.

“There is a lot more work to be done, and it can only be achieved through a whole of community effort; in true partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people.”

Medibank Indigenous Grant recipients

This year, Medibank has provided funding to four Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations programs.

“With the support of our grants, these programs will be able to continue the fantastic work they do for and in their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Karen says.

“These community-informed programs help change lives and attitudes, and improve the health and wellbeing of participants who will then be able to take what they’ve learnt home and share it with their families and the wider community.”

The grant recipients are:

  • Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VIC) – The Coach Program

The Coach Program for Aboriginal children in 3 and 4 year old kindergarten and their families is delivered by an Aboriginal Health Worker and a Personal Trainer. It teaches children and their families about good nutrition and food choices, the benefits of drinking water over sugary drinks, and about sport and the importance of keeping active.

  • Gunditjmara Aboriginal Corporation (VIC) – After School Program for Young Women

Based at Warrnambool College, the program addresses the challenges faced by young Indigenous women in the area, and empowers them through a program of physical activity, healthy eating advice, and mental and wellbeing support including through connecting with culture and Elders.

  • Wuchopperen Health Service (QLD) – Traditional Garden

This program connects young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with Elders and teaches them about traditional foods and medicines. The program includes the development of a traditional garden to ensure that the knowledge of Elders can be captured and shared with younger generations.

  • Mallee District Aboriginal Services (VIC) – Wholistic health program

This program provides local families, children and youth with a nutrition program and associated budgetary advice for at-risk families to improve their long-term health outcomes, and a Community Kitchen program. Children and Elders also participate in a Garden Project, which not only delivers lessons about food, nutrition and healthy eating, but allows families to share cultural knowledge. A school engagement program also promotes healthy eating, healthy lifestyles and physical activity.

“With the support of our grants, these programs will be able to continue the fantastic work they do in their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

Medibank’s commitment to reconciliation

Medibank first formalised its commitment to reconciliation in Australia in 2012 through its Reconciliation Action Plan. Medibank is currently half-way through its third Plan and on track to meet its RAP targets by June this year.

In addition to the Indigenous Grants program, Medibank has so far:

  • Introduced an organisation-wide Indigenous Employment Strategy that promotes greater employment equality and better career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees within Medibank. This includes a partnership with Maxima to develop an Indigenous School Based Traineeship Program which provides senior high school students with the opportunity to work at Medibank and obtain a nationally recognised qualification. Medibank has also this year launched an Indigenous Internship Program with Career Trackers.
  • Partnered with Yalari, which educates and empowers Indigenous children and provides quality, secondary education scholarships at leading Australian boarding schools for Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities.
  • Continued to lead the Health Reconciliation Industry Networking Group (RING) established in 2012, which comprises of health organisations from across Australia and is developed in consultation with Reconciliation Australia to explore opportunities to collaborate on addressing the health gap.

Medibank’s Senior executives also spend time in the Aboriginal community of Wadeye in the Northern Territory, meeting with community leaders, visiting families and seeing the inner workings of the health clinic and aged care facility to gain appreciation, understanding and insight into the challenges facing remote communities.

Recommended Reading

Wellbeing

Chemo at home: Liam’s story

For Liam, having chemo at home has made all the difference. Read more

Wellbeing

Staying alive down under

How to stay healthy in Australia. Read more

Wellbeing

Worried that you’re gaining weight at Uni?

We’ve got simple pro-active approaches to a common issue. Read more

Wellbeing

How to cope with winter sadness and depression

Psychologist Morag Paterson shares how to feel better. Read more

Wellbeing

Does calling home make you more homesick?

Here are tips to deal with feeling homesick. Read more

youtubetwittersign-up-userArtboard Copynp_phone_503983_000000download_red4xdownload_red4x copyArtboardmember-offer-starLogoMedibank - Logo - ColourOval 5Instagram iconicon-editdownload_red4x copygive-back--spinesgive-back--moneygive-back--massagegive-back--likegive-back--jointgive-back--emailgive-back--dislikedownload_red4xdownload_red4xGroup 5filter-iconfacebookMobile Navcheckcarret-upcarret-rightcarret-leftcarret-downGroup Copy 2arrowarrow-circleanimated-tick