The Aboriginal Midwifery Access program administered by Winnunga Nimmityjah

The aboriginal midwifery access program administered

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The Aboriginal Midwifery Access program, administered by Winnunga Nimmityjah, originated in response to the identified need to improve Aboriginal women’s access to antenatal care in the ACT and surrounding areas. The program provides culturally appropriate and timely pre- and post-natal care to Indigenous women, including outreach clinical and non-clinical assessments at home, referrals to and support in accessing mainstream and specialist services, and the provision of information on mainstream health and community services. The program has progressed signifi cantly since its inception in 2000 and is strongly supported in the community. Community sector involvement The community sector also has a critical role to play in making progress towards Closing the Gap. Community-based organisations in all states and territories are making a signifi cant contribution through a range of practical initiatives. Reconciliation Australia is promoting and building better relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, working with corporations, Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations, government and community groups, as well as individuals, to form positive, mutually beneficial partnerships. Reconciliation Australia has helped broker a number of signifi cant partnerships to foster reconciliation and social participation, educating, involving and encouraging the community to take responsibility for reconciliation by highlighting examples of success. Reconciliation Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program is a signifi cant initiative linking the community sector with corporate Australia. A Reconciliation Action Plan provides organisations with a framework for detailing practical steps and priorities to achieve Indigenous equality, facilitating good relationships, respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the contribution their unique cultures can offer, and co-operation to ensure Indigenous children have the same life opportunities as other children in this prosperous country. To date, more than 30 leading community-sector organisations have engaged in the RAP program. They include Oxfam Australia, Mission Australia, World Vision Australia, the Fred Hollows Foundation and Amnesty International Australia. An increasing number of Australian businesses have in place or are developing Reconciliation Action Plans, including BHP Billiton, the ANZ Bank, the National Australia Bank and Qantas, demonstrating the growing sense of cooperation and goodwill across both the community and corporate sectors in Australia. It is encouraging to see young people taking part in the RAP program, with a number of schools and universities participating in these efforts to promote positive and beneficial relationships with the Indigenous community. A number of schools from across Australia have already developed a Reconciliation Action Plan, with a particular focus on education and helping students shape better relationships for the future.
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29 AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT PRIORITIES FOR 2009
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