Congress CEO, Donna Ah Chee delivered a key note address at the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) 44th Annual and 20th Chronic Diseases Network Conference in Alice Springs on Tuesday 20 September 2016.
Ms Ah Chee’s presentation highlighted the importance of investing in preventative early childhood and family support programs, and brought attention to proposed strategies to address prevalent health issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
“So much of the adverse impacts of poverty and other social determinants of health are mediated to children through the care and stimulation they receive in their early years. Many parents struggle to overcome their own health issues and the impact of their own poverty and they need additional support for their children,” said Ms Ah Chee.
“Congress has developed an integrated model for child and family services that provides a holistic service and program response to this issue within a comprehensive primary health care service.
“In addition to making Australia a more equal and fairer society through redistributive policies, including taxation reforms, there is an urgent need to provide key evidence based early childhood programs for disadvantaged children. This is the “bottom up” pathway to greater individual and collective control, equality and social inclusion. If children get the right start to life they are more likely to have the capacity and capability to make their own way out of poverty,” said Ms Ah Chee.
The joint PHAA 44th Annual Conference and 20th Chronic Diseases Network Conference was held from 18 – 21 September 2016 in Alice Springs. The theme was Protection, Prevention, Promotion, Healthy Futures: Chronic Conditions and Public Health.