Friday, 6 December 2019, Save this date! AIDA will be holding our final Member Networking Event for 2019, this time in Canberra. I hope to see you all there!
Since bidding Darwin farewell, October continued to be a busy month. The Secretariat are busy reviewing key priorities and planning for the next 12 months and we want to hear member views. In the coming months AIDA will conduct a member survey – yes, I heard the collective groans, ‘not another survey’, but we will keep it short, sharp and relevant. We want to hear from you!
On 16 October Mary and I were privileged to attend the historic unveiling of the parliamentary portrait of AIDA Patron Nova Peris, OAM. Ms Peris was the first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal and the first Indigenous woman to serve in Federal Parliament. The portrait, painted by Dr Jandamarra Cadd, depicts Ms Peris as she was dressed for her maiden speech. I’m sure you will agree that Dr Jandamarra Cadd conveys Ms Peris’ strength and determination in this moving portrait.
AIDA continues our involvement as a member of the Coalition of Peaks, with attendance at a number of meetings during the month continuing work on revising the Closing the Gap targets and framework. The Coalition of Peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisations is a representative body comprised of around forty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies that have come together to ensure Indigenous voices are central to the development of matters that will affect health policy development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The Coalition wants to hear your views on what is needed to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The survey will close on Friday, 8 November 2019 and I encourage all members to take this opportunity to have your say here.
In mid-October, Board member Dr Keith Gleeson, Siani Iglewski and I headed to Bowraville to chat to school student about opportunities for careers in medicine. We were treated to a fabulous dance performance by the local youth dance group, it was great to see these future leaders perform for their peers and community with such confidence and pride in culture. The Bowraville Central School has students from primary through to year 12 and is headed up by a very progressive and pretty ‘cool’ Principal, Mr David Taylor. AIDA is currently planning our next community visit and we welcome member suggestions on where to go next.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the loss of a long-time friend and supporter of AIDA, the Late Dr Barbara Bauert. Dr Bauert was an Associate Member of AIDA since 2006, and a staunch advocate who dedicated much of her working life to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and those living in rural and remote Australia. Our sincerest condolences to John and Sallyanne on the loss of their beloved mother, Vale Dr Barbara Bauert.