THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
24 July 2011
The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, today launched a new national advertising campaign aimed at attracting more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to work in Indigenous Health.
The $4.3 million campaign features “health heroes” – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people currently working in health from around Australia – and will commence on Sunday 24th July with targeted television, radio, print and online advertising and a new “health heroes” website.
It will be supported by 20 secondary school visits in Qld, NSW, Vic and SA, and expanding in 2012 and 2013 across Australia. These will help engage, inform and educate students about the challenges and rewards of working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Mr Snowdon said research demonstrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely to seek primary health care when it’s being provided by their own people.
“We need more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GPs, paramedics, medical receptionists, nurses, sports physiotherapists, dental assistants, and dietitians to better respond to the particular needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
“Australian labour force surveys indicate that in 2008 there were only 153 Indigenous medical professionals and 1,598 registered and enrolled nurses – that’s only 0.2 and 0.6 per cent respectively of our entire health workforce and it’s not good enough.
“This campaign will target Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary school students to encourage them to pursue a job in the health sector and make them more aware of the opportunities in health, including the range of jobs, training options, career pathways and financial and other types of support available,” he said.
A School Career Advisor kit, including posters, brochures and a DVD will be sent to around 1,300 schools with a significant number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students.
“We want Aboriginal and Torres Islander kids to know they can get a job in health. Not everyone can, or wants to, be a doctor – we need people working at every level – and in all areas across the nation,” Mr Snowdon said.
The following “health heroes” have been chosen as role models to headline the campaign:
- Child health nurse – Milly Cahill, Broome, WA
- Trainee physiotherapist – Christopher Webster, Sydney, NSW
- Dental assistant – Lorena Walker, Alice Springs, NT
- Doctor – Paul Mills, Sunshine Coast, QLD
- Paramedic trainee – Gemma Armit, Palm Island, QLD.
The Attracting More People to Work in Indigenous Health campaign is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to close the gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.
Today’s announcement is another key element of the Australian Government’s $805.5 million Indigenous Chronic Disease Package to tackle chronic disease amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
More information about the advertising campaign and copies of the advertising materials are available at: www.australia.gov.au/healthheroes
For more information please contact Mr Snowdon’s office (02) 6277 7820