Stroke Foundation “Stands Up” for NAIDOC Week across Australia

July 04, 2022

Stroke Foundation is encouraging Australians to get involved in NAIDOC Week celebrations.

The annual event kicked off yesterday and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their culture, history, and achievements. This year’s theme encourages Australians to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for systematic change.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Office Sharon McGowan said NAIDOC Week is an opportunity to recognise the significant contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made, particularly in the public health field.

“We believe everyone deserves the chance to lead a healthy life and have access to best practice healthcare,” Ms McGowan said.

“Listening to gain understanding and respecting the rich and diverse culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is key to being able to meet their needs. We know that as an organisation we have much to learn which is why participating in events like NAIDOC Week is so critical.”

Stroke Foundation is committed to celebrating and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture, the oldest living culture in the world.

Ms McGowan said the statistics do not favour First Nations people, as regional and remote Australians are 17 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke than anyone living in metropolitan areas of Australia, and a significant portion of First Nations people live in regional and remote areas of Australia.

“We know Australia’s First Nations people are 1.3 times more likely to suffer a stroke that non-Indigenous people and are hospitalised 1.6 times more,” she said.

Stroke Foundation encourages all Australians to get involved and support events happening in their local communities. The organisation is currently developing its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which will detail how it intends to support and build meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to prevent stroke, save lives and enhance recovery.

National Manager StrokeConnect Support, and RAP Project Lead, Luke Hays, said the draft plan’s feedback from Reconciliation Australia, the lead body for Reconciliation in Australia, has been positive.

“Reconciliation Australia is pleased with our progress, they even recommended Stroke Foundation bring forward the finalisation and launch of our RAP,” Mr Hays said.

“This is a great endorsement of the progress Stroke Foundation has made on the RAP to date and the Working Group is now working to a launch this inaugural plan later this year.”

To find out more about Stroke Foundation, visit the website.