Self-determination and recognition has been found to positively impact health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Every day, organisations like VACCHO see the outcomes achieved when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are involved in making decisions about their health.
What could a Voice to Parliament mean for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health and wellbeing - specifically in relation to cancer treatment, care and outcomes?
As the date for this important referendum rapidly approaches, we invite you to join us online for a dynamic and informative discussion led by an esteemed panel with deep experience in Aboriginal health and community engagement.
Regardless of how you plan to vote – or if you want to better understand the implications of the Referendum don't miss this unique opportunity to learn, ask questions and gain insight to help you make an informed decision when it comes time to vote on 14 October.
Professor Grant McArthur AO
Executive Director of the VCCC Alliance
Ms Colleen Kelly
Colleen Kelly is a Nhunnagadi Wilunyu woman from the Yamatji nation of Western Australia. As a Senior Lecturer in the Gukwonderuk Indigenous Unit of Monash University Melbourne, Colleen works in the area of Indigenous health equity and antiracism. She is a Registered Nurse with post graduate and masters qualifications in emergency nursing, Indigenous health and Indigenous leadership.
Colleen is particularly interested in influencing the Australian health system so the perspectives of Indigenous Australians are privileged. She is a current PhD candidate exploring the experiences of Indigenous health students through storying. Colleen is also Chair of the Board for First Peoples Health and Wellbeing - a dynamic Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisation offering culturally appropriate, primary healthcare services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples in urban Melbourne. She is a member of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (RNAC).
Aunty Gina Bundle AOM
Aunty Gina Bundle AOM is a Jerrinja Wulbunga Woman and Program Coordinator & AHLO of Badjurr-Bulok Wilam at the Royal Women’s Hospital. Gina has been instrumental to the ‘Baggarrook Yurrongi’ project, which was awarded the Victorian Public Healthcare Award for Improving Aboriginal Health in 2019.
In addition to supporting all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and families as they navigate care and services at the Women’s Hospital (and the wider Parkville medical precinct), Gina is also a skilled artist, and facilitated the Victorian Treaty Possum Skin Cloak at the invitation of the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission as a symbol for the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria on the path to treaty.
Mr Abe Ropitini
Abe Ropitini is an Indigenous man of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Maniapoto iwi (Aotearoa) and Palawa (Northeastern Tasmania) descent. After growing up in Aotearoa, he has spent his adult life in Australia working across health and social services. He is the Executive Director of Population Health at the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), the peak body for Aboriginal health and wellbeing in Victoria.
Abe has a background in medical anthropology and international development, and has led projects across health, aged care, disability, and Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing. A strong advocate for decolonising Indigenous health, he is committed to centering the legitimacy and importance of culture, kinship, and country in narratives of health and wellbeing.
Mr Todd Harper AM
CEO, Cancer Council Victoria
Todd Harper AM has led Cancer Council Victoria as Chief Executive Officer since 2011, driving the organisation's important work in cancer research, prevention, support and advocacy. Todd has a bachelor’s degree in Economics, a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion, a Master’s Degree in Health Economics, and an Honorary Doctorate from Deakin University for ‘outstanding contributions and commitment to public health and for willingness to be innovative and brave in advocating for public health’.
Todd was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2022 for significant service to cancer support programs and to medical governance.
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Wednesday 27 September