Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Strategic Framework

The Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Branch is leading the development of a new Aboriginal health and wellbeing strategic plan (the Strategic plan).

On 1 January 2015, the former Department of Health and the former Department of Human Services merged to become the Department of Health and Human Services. Our goal is to develop and deliver policies, programs and services that support and enhance the wellbeing of all Victorians.

To achieve this, the Strategic plan will consider all aspects of Aboriginal health and wellbeing. It will set out an integrated approach that will see us develop and deliver policy relevant to programs and services across the department.

We have to understand the different factors that contribute to people’s health and wellbeing. We look at the causes of ill health, the drivers of good health and the social and economic environment in which people live. We also have to pay attention to vulnerable groups in our community and identify the barriers they can face in their day-to-day lives. Our approach is committed to putting people at the heart of policy-making, service design and delivery.

In keeping with this commitment, we will work in partnership with Victorian Aboriginal communities, the funded sector, community organisations and others to co-design the Strategic plan.

We will do this by reaching out to communities and listening to what they tell us; by seeking advice from experts in the field; by drawing on the latest evidence and best practice approaches; and by being transparent in how we work.

Vision, priorities and building blocks

We developed the following proposal as a starting point for our community consultations on the Strategic plan. No elements of the proposal are fixed. Our aim is to have a wide-ranging discussion about how best to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal Victorians.

Our vision

In partnership with Aboriginal people, we will promote and deliver lasting health and wellbeing outcomes that enable Aboriginal people and communities to thrive.

Our approach

The Strategic plan will take a life course approach, with priorities that align with the different stages of life:

  1. Start to life
  2. Childhood
  3. Transition to adulthood
  4. Adulthood
  5. Older people

An integrated life course approach recognises the many supporting foundations that exist in a person’s life – such as family, community, opportunities and place – and the positive contribution they can make to a person’s overall health and wellbeing.

In addition, the Strategic plan will focus on priorities that are relevant in different stages of life, such as:

  1. Chronic disease
  2. Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing
  3. Disability
  4. Homelessness and housing
  5. Family violence

The Strategic plan will also reflect the following building blocks that help strengthen Aboriginal communities. Integrating these principles into the Strategic plan will be essential to deliver better health and wellbeing outcomes for individuals and communities:

  1. Self-determination: We will promote greater engagement, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal communities.
  2. Aboriginal culture and identity as a protective factor: We will develop cultural protocols between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people and their related organisations.
  3. Information sharing: We will collect better data and build strong evidence in order to provide innovative and responsive services to the Aboriginal community.

Consultation

By hearing directly from Victorian Aboriginal communities about their priorities and aspirations, we will be able to develop realistic and meaningful goals to promote their health and wellbeing. We will also be able to identify approaches that build on the strengths, capacity and commitment of Aboriginal communities in order to achieve these goals.

You can participate in the design of the Strategic plan in the following ways:

  1. Attend a symposium
    Thursday 19 May 2016, 10am to 4pm
    Location: Richmond Football Club, Punt Road, Richmond
  2. Attend an Aboriginal community consultation
    These sessions will be held in rural and regional Victoria. Dates and location to be decided.
  3. Provide a written response
    See the discussion questions on page 9 of the Discussion guide (attached below) and provide a written response to the Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Branch by 29 April 2016.
    Email your response to: aboriginal.policy@dhhs.vic.gov.au
  4. Meet with our Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Branch
    Contact us to arrange a meeting, either with you or your community group or network.

We will also work with an Expert Panel to co-design the Strategic plan. The panel includes individuals who have a strong record in promoting Aboriginal health and wellbeing. They will provide independent and specialist advice so that we develop policy priorities that meet the needs and aspirations of the Victorian Aboriginal community.

Within the department, the Aboriginal Outcomes Committee will oversee the development of the Strategic plan. This group is a sub-committee of the department’s Executive Board.

Timeline

Phase one - Research and evaluation (October to December 2015)

Phase two - Consultation and partnerships (January to April 2016)

Phase three - Policy drafting (May to July 2016)

Phase four - Review and approval (August to September 2016)

Phase five - Launch

Contact information

For further information about the project, please contact:

Taryn Lee, Principal Policy Officer
Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Branch
Department of Health and Human Services

Phone: 9096 5576
Email:taryn.lee@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Related information

Aboriginal community engagement and partnership framework

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