Craig_Dukes_300Hello and welcome to the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA).

A key AIDA strength has always been its people – whether at the Board, management or member levels. Having commenced as CEO in mid-2016 I am fortunate to be working with a committed and motivated organisation.

A key driver in our daily business is the 2020 Strategic Plan. It sets out the direction our organisation will follow and is clear in what AIDA has set out to achieve. In all aspects of our work, AIDA aims to ensure that our core values of respectful connections, social justice and human rights, cultural integrity and high standards of professionalism and excellence are evident.

AIDA is committed to contributing to Closing the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes and working closely with our membership and key stakeholders to achieve this. The issue of Indigenous health is everyone’s responsibility at community, organisational and individual levels.

As I continue to build my relationships with health industry leaders in my capacity as AIDA CEO, I will advocate for the importance of working together to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

AIDA wants Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to aspire to take up medicine as a profession of choice, which we recognise is a key driver in our goal of achieving parity within the Australian medical workforce.

I am passionate about supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students on their journey through medical school and beyond as medical professionals, and specialist Fellows.  One of my key priorities for the coming 12 months is to increase engagement with Indigenous support units and medical schools at universities, to assist in providing culturally appropriate support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students. I will also continue to work closely with the AIDA Student Representative Committee to ensure they are getting the support they need to reach out to prospective new student members and feel empowered, and engaged in their own medical studies.

Strategic alliances with medical colleges, medical student bodies and other influential stakeholders is crucial to drive change and further success for AIDA members. Essentially we want more Indigenous medical students training with more colleges, with all the support they deserve and can get. Through our ongoing engagement with specialist medical colleges and representation across Indigenous Health Committees, we will continue to develop productive and beneficial partnerships.

I look forward to continuing to build our strategic relationships across the Health and Indigenous Affairs portfolios in 2017 and beyond, and will be working with policy makers to ensure the best possible resourcing for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 and its associated implementation plan.

AIDA will continue to advocate for a health workforce that is culturally safe, free of racism and well-resourced with skilled, and appropriately trained staff. That won’t happen without more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in all health professions, delivering, informing and shaping the services people need. AIDA has a leadership role in the sector around increasing cultural safety in the health workforce, and I am excited about the work that is underway in this area. This will be of particular focus as we work towards 2020.

To this point, the AIDA secretariat will continue to work towards best practice in our corporate governance, policy and program delivery, member engagement and national advocacy on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. This will be through a number of areas including our work on national health leadership forums, the promotion of pathways into medicine, the development of a sustainable mentoring program, advocacy on key policy initiatives and the development of a cultural safety training resource.

The future is exciting at AIDA. I encourage you to become a member and support us in achieving what we have set out to do.

Regards

Craig Dukes
Chief Executive Officer

Secretariat

The AIDA Secretariat implements the strategies and plans of the AIDA Board and comprises professional staff with experience in Indigenous policy – including health, education and the health workforce – as well as management, administration and finance.

Our application and maintenance of best practice is considered a key priority for our association and sustains long-term growth to achieve our goals. We employ recognised standards, methods and processes of efficiency and effectiveness to deliver superior results. We have established strong governance foundations, and maintained a strong secretariat. Most importantly, we strive for continuous quality improvement to build on these foundations, secure long term funding and diversify our resource base.

We practice cultural safety in the workplace and work as a team committed to workplace diversity, participation, professional development, and the empowerment of Indigenous people. We also strongly encourage the development of Indigenous capacity and participation.

The AIDA Secretariat is located at Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT.