Recognising Health – even at the end of life

Recently I had the great privilege of attending the launch of the Lowitja Institute’s Recognise Health campaign at Parliament House in Canberra.

I was invited to represent Palliative Care Nurses Australia at the launch, and was equally delighted to see Liz Callaghan, CEO of Palliative Care Australia, also in attendance to support this important initiative.

The Lowitja Institute was established in 2010, as Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. It is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation named in honour of its Patron, Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue.

Recognise Health is an initiative that aims to promote a better appreciation of the important link between health and wellbeing and constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. So far, the campaign has brought together a coalition of 117 non-government organisations across the Australian health system. Each with their particular perspective of health, these organisations have signed a statement in support of constitutional change.

Both sides of federal politics were present at the launch, to show bipartisan support. And after their speeches, as the acoustic strumming and unmistakable voice of Archie Roach echoed through the Mural Hall of Parliament House, I was left wondering… Wondering about the many ways in which constitutional recognition might offer some form of healing for those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are dying, with the support of palliative care services in Australia. What do you think?

It does make you wonder. And I wonder if, and how, these issues have been navigated by other countries like New Zealand.

Check out the Lowitja Institute’s video and website here for more info

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