Stroke Foundation “Stands Up” for NAIDOC Week in NT

July 04, 2022

Stroke Foundation congratulates the Northern Territory on its move towards developing a Treaty Making Framework, which it recognises as a key step toward reconciliation and self-determination.
And as Australia celebrates NAIDOC Week, the organisation is encouraging all Northern Territorians to get involved in celebrations.

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

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

“It is so important to have community-led initiatives, as that authentic voice creates a greater level of trust. We believe everyone deserves the chance to lead a healthy life and to have access to evidenced based healthcare, but we need to provide that in appropriate ways for it to be embraced,” Ms McGowan said.

“This year we want to use NAIDOC Week to draw particular attention to the way stroke disproportionately impacts our First Nations peoples, and to really encourage the sharing of information about stroke that will save lives and reduce lifelong disability.”

“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. These are the Australians we must focus on
supporting but to do so, we need to understand how to provide appropriate prevention information, increase access to treatment and provide community-based recovery pathways,” she said.

That is why Stroke Foundation is 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.