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Spotlight on... awareness weeks

Awareness weeks guide

Health Awareness Week

National Sorry Day

26 May 2023

National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. Stolen Generations refers to Indigenous Australians who were forcibly removed from their families and communities. Aboriginal incursions

National Reconciliation Week

27 May to 3 June 2023

The dates for National Reconciliation Week (NRW) remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

What is reconciliation?

Reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians. The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2023, Be a Voice for Generations, encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise. Reconciliation Australia







Words to deeds: localising the vision of Uluru
This article reports on the outcomes of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community–led project which sought to build a pathway to reconciliation through formulating a localised community response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart AlterNative: An international journal of indigenous peoples 29 April 2023

‘We’re also healers’: Elders leading the way in Aboriginal community healing
The findings inform policy stakeholders to consider the wisdom and voice of Elders in addressing Aboriginal community healing. Australian journal of primary health 31 May 2022

Does affirmative action reduce disparities in healthcare use by Indigenous peoples? Evidence from Australia's Indigenous Practice Incentives Program
Globally, Indigenous populations experience poorer health but use less primary healthcare than their non-Indigenous counterparts. In 2010, the Australian government introduced a targeted reform aimed at reducing these disparities. The reform reduced, or abolished prescription medicine co-payments and provided financial incentives for GPs to better manage chronic disease care for Indigenous peoples. Exploiting the framework of a natural experiment, we investigate how the reform affected these health disparities in primary and specialist healthcare utilization using longitudinal administrative data from 75,826 Australians, including 1896 Indigenous peoples, with cardiovascular disease. The differences-in-differences estimates indicate that the reform increased primary healthcare use among Indigenous peoples, including 12.9% more prescription medicines, 6.6% more GP services, and 34.0% more chronic disease services, but also reduced specialist attendances by 11.8%. Increases in primary care were larger for those who received the largest co-payment relief and lived in metropolitan regions, whereas the reduction in specialist attendances was concentrated among lower income Indigenous patients. Affirmative action can reduce inequalities in Indigenous use of primary healthcare, albeit careful design is required to ensure that benefits are equitable and do not lead to substitution away from valuable, or necessary, care. Health economics 6 January 2023

Cultural safety involves new professional roles: a rapid review of interventions in Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand
Cultural safety is a decolonising and transformative approach to health care aimed at achieving health care that recognizes, respects and nurtures the needs, rights and identities of Indigenous peoples. Such a transformation requires new or radically reimagined professional roles. Based on a rapid review design, this synthesis aimed to identify fundamental characteristics of cultural safety interventions that involved the creation or transformation of professional roles. AlterNative: An international journal of indigenous peoples 3 January 2023

Reconciliation and Indigenous self-determination in health research: A call to action
The Mayi Kuwayu Longitudinal Study is a ground-breaking study that examines the centrality of culture, asking what culture means for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Data collected by the Mayi Kuwayu study between 2018–2020 highlights the breadth and the extent of racism on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and that across the board links with racism were identified within mental health, physical health and cultural wellbeing. Evidence shows that Indigenous self-determination is an important factor in maintaining well-being and contributes to positive health outcomes. Plos global public health 1 September 2022

Improving cultural competence of healthcare workers in First Nations communities: a narrative review of implemented educational interventions in 2015–20
Cultural competency education programs can improve knowledge, attitudes and confidence of healthcare workers to improve the health of First Nations peoples. Providing culturally safe health care should be routine practice, particularly in places where there are concentrations of First Nations peoples, yet there is relatively little research in this area. There remains limited evidence of the effectiveness of cultural education programs alone on community or patient outcomes. Australian journal of primary health 15 June 2022

Building cultural responsiveness in a mainstream health organisation with ‘8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning’: a participatory action research study
This strategy demonstrated potential to improve approachability, acceptability and appropriateness of mainstream healthcare for Aboriginal peoples. Australian journal of primary health 12 May 2022

‘We're on the ground, we know what needs to be done': Exploring the role of Aboriginal Health Workers in primary health care
The lived experiences of Aboriginal Health Workers (AHWs) in NSW emphasize five key categories of change that are required to ensure workforce sustainability. It is evident that a system-wide paradigm shift to better include holistic approaches to health is necessary to truly ensure sustainability. Co-designing similar studies with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) across NSW can help inform this change. Frontiers of public health 19 January 2023



Close the gap report 2022
The 13th annual Close the Gap Campaign calls on Australian governments to embrace genuine partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to collectively close the gap in health outcomes for the next generation. Lowitja Institute 7 February 2023

2023 Commonwealth Closing the Gap Implementation Plan
The Minister for Indigenous Australians has delivered the 2023 Commonwealth Closing the Gap Implementation Plan. This Implementation Plan is the first under the Albanese Government and outlines the Commonwealth’s strategic priorities and efforts to close the gap over the next 12 to 18 months. In response to the Commonwealth Closing the Gap Annual Report 2022, the Implementation Plan paves a practical pathway with tangible actions to improve the lives of First Nations Australians. National Indigenous Australia Agency 7 February 2023

South Australian Aboriginal health promotion strategy 2022-2030
The purpose of this Strategy is to:

  • Articulate an agreed framework of the Cultural Determinants of Health for Aboriginal South Australians based on a strong evidence base and endorsed by the South Australian community.
  • Guide and help prioritise the actions for Wellbeing SA, not only for the Aboriginal Health Promotion team, but across the organisation as a whole, to strengthen and promote the Cultural Determinants of Health.
  • Inform the development and implementation of culturally appropriate policy and practice, including program design and partnerships between Wellbeing SA, other organisations and the Aboriginal community.
  • Provide a clear set of Principles that will guide the way Wellbeing SA works with Aboriginal communities and organisations in a culturally appropriate and respectful way, and to achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal people.
  • Identify opportunities to work in partnership with the Aboriginal community and with other sectors, which will be further explored through the co-design of an Action Plan

Wellbeing SA 16 August 2022

Profile of Indigenous Australians
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Indigenous peoples of Australia, made up of hundreds of groups with distinct set of languages, histories and cultural traditions (AIHW 2015). The health and welfare of Indigenous Australians living in big cities are different to those living in the Torres Strait, and different again to those living on the outskirts of Alice Springs or those living in remote communities. AIHW 16 September 2021

An overview of Indigenous mental health and suicide prevention in Australia
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Indigenous Australians) are diverse, have a rich cultural history and deep connection to family, community, and culture. Indigenous Australians are burdened by the trauma of colonisation and marginalisation in Australian society.  Exposure to stressors such as institutional and cultural racism and socioeconomic marginalisation continues and plays out in all measures of mental health and wellbeing. AIHW 24 February 2023

National anti-racism framework scoping report
This is the initial scoping report for a National Anti-Racism Framework. Australian Human Rights Commission 6 December 2022



Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia
Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia Limited (AHCSA) is the peak body representing Aboriginal community-controlled health and substance misuse services in South Australia.

Australian Indigenous Healthinfonet
Helping to close the gap by providing the evidence-base to inform practice and policy in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
This organisation focuses on teachers - they impact the learning and perspectives of the next generation. These resources are created by applying the Australians Together Learning Framework and are developed with First Nations educators to ensure they are authentic and transformative. Their vision is a world in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and cultures are recognised, respected, celebrated and valued.

Healing Foundation
The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by actions like the forced removal of children from their families.

Lowitja Institute
The Lowitja Institute works for the health and wellbeing of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through quality research, knowledge translation and by supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers.

Nunkawarrin Yunti of SA
Nunkawarrin Yunti aims to continue to lead the way in the design and delivery of contemporary culturally based health and social and emotional wellbeing services to build a healthy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Reconciliation Australia
Reconciliation Australia is an independent not-for profit organisation, the lead body for reconciliation in Australia. They promote and facilitate reconciliation by building relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Reconciliation SA
Reconciliation SA’s strategic focus is based on the dimensions of reconciliation developed by Reconciliation Australia. These dimensions provide the overarching fundamentals to guide us to a reconciled Australia in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, heritage and history are recognised, valued and form part of a shared identity.

The Mayi Kuwayu Study
This study has been created by and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Mayi Kuwayu Study looks at how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing is linked to culture.



A sample of the journals the library subscribes to – you will need your library login