Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Aboriginal men to meet in historic health talks

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Nicola Roxon MP, Minister for Health and Ageing

This week, Australia’s first ever Central Australian Aboriginal male health summit will be held near Alice Springs.

Since the announcement of the Northern Territory Emergency Response, Aboriginal men in unprecedented numbers have expressed concern to the Congress about the issues of child abuse, pornography, alcohol and other substance use.

The summit offers an opportunity for Aboriginal men to come together and discuss their leadership responsibilities in tackling child sexual abuse and violence in Aboriginal communities.

The Australian Government has provided funding to the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress for the summit, which was initiated by Aboriginal men.

There is an opportunity for Aboriginal men to play a greater protective role within their families and communities. The summit will support participants’ understanding of their responsibilities as fathers, uncles, brothers and sons to provide a supportive, healthy and happy environment for children, and help identify the changes and support services needed to achieve these goals.

The summit, to be held from 30 June to 3 July, will be the first formal gathering of Aboriginal men from remote communities in Central Australia aimed at creating a safe healthy environment for their families and communities.

Men attending the summit will have the opportunity to share their feelings in a supportive environment, and discuss how they can better support their children, families and communities.

The men will present a summary of their discussions and recommendations to a group of Aboriginal grandmothers on the final day of the summit, who will present the summary and recommendations to the Australian Government.

The Australian Government is proud to support this historic summit and looks forward to the outcomes of the men’s discussions. These outcomes will inform the development of Indigenous elements of the first National Men’s Health Policy, launched by the Rudd Government on 8 June 2008.