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Aboriginal Health Partnerships

Our focus

nib foundation's Aboriginal Health Partnerships will focus on targeted support to help 'close the gap' in health and life expectancy outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

In October 2019 nib foundation announced a new funding commitment of $1 million over the coming four years to enable us to expand our work in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples health and wellbeing. Our Aboriginal Health Partnerships program was established following a donation from nib Group, made possible through unclaimed dividends from nib's shareholder base.

This program builds on our past work in this area where we have been fortunate to partner with some fabulous organisations working tirelessly in with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to improve health outcomes. In recent years we are proud to have invested over $350,000 in seven projects with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth mental health and wellbeing, and ear health.

Why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples health?

It is great to see positive steps in the right direction in some areas of First Nations equality in Australia including COAG's continued commitment to the "Closing the Gap on Indigenous Disadvantage' framework and progress towards targets like Year 12 completion and early childhood education, as well as a growing reconciliation movement across the country.

However, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples still experience significant disadvantage, with a life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians of 10 years. Inequality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities remains widespread across many areas that have a close connection with good health and wellbeing including education, housing, employment, and access to services.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are concerned about how the wellbeing of their youth is impacted by racism, socioeconomic disadvantage, intergenerational trauma, opportunity to develop skills and ability to find work. As a foundation with a purpose to help people and communities live healthier lives, we are share this concern.

Sustained effort will be needed in coming years to achieve health equality and like many other organisations, we feel a strong responsibility to play our part. How did we develop our area of focus?

In developing this program we spent many months listening to ourstakeholders to ensure that our response is well considered and culturally appropriate, reflects the wishes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that it is designed to serve, and also leverages the assets of the broader nib Group to best effect.

We drew on the collective wisdom of our colleagues and networks including First Nations stakeholders, local community groups, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, past partners, and other experts in this field to help build our understanding of current community needs and best practice responses, and determine how we can have the most impact.

We are also applying what we have learned from our past partnerships, which is that often the most impactful and successful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health initiatives are those that are conceived by the community, designed in collaboration with the community, and community-led.

Aboriginal Health Partnerships program focus area

Every health outcome is linked with the environment in which we are born, grow, live, work, play and age – and this is especially so for First Nations people. Our focus for this program is to partner closely with organisations who specialise in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to provide holistic, wrap-around support.

Through these partnerships we will fund projects that focus on building emotional and social wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth and young adults.

Funded projects will focus on one of more of the following pillars that are critical to achieving long term emotional and social wellbeing for young Indigenous Australians:

  • Value family and country

  • Strengthen cultural connection and safety

  • Support education and employment pathways

  • Look after physical health and fitness

About the funding

Commencing from the 2020 financial year, nib foundation will invest about $250,000 each year for the next four years in community partnerships to deliver health and wellbeing programs designed for and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

At this stage the funding will be allocated through proactive approach and partnership development rather than an open grant round.

In the spirit of offering more than funding alone, we will be seeking partnerships with organisations that have a geographic footprint aligned with nib foundation’s charter and the nib Group. Our ideal partners will have a strong local presence where our offices are located including Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney or Melbourne, and will offer a variety of ways for nib to engage with and add value to the partnership now and into the future.

Stay up to date

Organisations and community groups specialising in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples health and wellbeing are encouraged to submit their interest in staying up to date on future grant and funding opportunities by completing our Upcoming Funding form.

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