The NHLF objectives are:
- Eliminating Racism (to improve health outcomes)
- Asserting Self-determination and First Peoples Rights
- Lead collective decision-making in national health policy
- Asserting investment in the Social Determinants of Health
- Asserting the Cultural Determinants of HealthThese objectives reflect the work of the NHLF since its inception. The priorities reflect our work and will remain until such time that we see truth telling and genuine respect for the First Nations People of Australia. Accordingly, the priorities for the foreseeable future are:
1. System-wide monitoring, reporting and investment for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.
The NHLF will continue to advocate for accountability within the health system to achieve our vision and the vision of the Health Plan that is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people enjoy long, health lives that are centred in culture, with access to services that are prevention focused, culturally safe and responsive, equitable and free of racism.
- The NHLF calls for action and true accountability by all Australian governments in the implementation, monitoring and reporting of the Health Plan to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the public.
2. System-wide monitoring, reporting and investment for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan (referred to as the National Workforce Plan).
The NHLF will continue to campaign for investment and full implementation and accountability of the National Workforce Plan to achieve our goal of locally qualified and skilled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce across the health system, to lead the delivery of culturally and clinically safe health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people regardless of where they access health care must be achieved.
- The NHLF calls for investment, action, and true accountability by all Australian governments in the implementation, monitoring and reporting of the National Workforce Plan to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and the public.
3. Self-determination across our national institutions through constitutional reform and supporting the recommendations that arose from the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The legal and political reform, along with the cultural determinants of health are at the heart of achieving self-determination across our national institutions through constitutional reform and supporting the recommendations that arose from the Uluru Statement from the Heart. If Australia can take the significant step towards constitutional reform; self-determination across all aspects of government and public policy improved outcomes across all socioeconomic indicators will, in time, follow.
- The NHLF calls for all Australian governments to support and enact the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
If Government’s adhere to the call for action we are more likely to achieve the Priority Reforms under the National Agreement to Closing the Gap.
4. Addressing systemic racism
To achieve the Health Plan’s vision, governments and non-government organisations must embed culturally safe ways of practice including listening and following the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities determining what they need and want to do.
Cultural safety is a mechanism to address racism and must be embedded into our corporate and non-for-profit sectors when they sign onto campaigns or develop reconciliation actions plan. Without doing so, means that the values and ethics of organisations are not scrutinise sufficiently to stamp out discrimination and discriminatory policies, procedures, and practices of staff.
- The NHLF calls for coordinated and long-term action to eliminate racism and discrimination without our institutions.
5. Investment in the social determinants of health especially those that have greatest impact on health outcomes – housing, justice, climate change and investment in services.
Genuine needs-based funding and accountability is essential to achieving equity in health and access to culturally safe care. This funding must cut across the social determinants of health as the intersection of these elements have a real – truthful – impact on peoples physical, social, mental health, and social and emotional well-being.
- The NHLF calls for genuine needs-based funding for the social determinants of health
Australia has had many coronial inquests into the preventable deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in custody since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. These inquests continue to reveal the ongoing deficiencies of both our health and justice systems. Coronial inquests examining the preventable deaths of Indigenous peoples attending health care services, combined with over a decade of policy failure to close the gap of health inequality, have highlighted how the health system – independently of the legal system – produces discriminatory practices based on the bigotry of the workforce. Examining systemic racism must be part of all coronial inquiries for First Nations peoples.
- The NHLF calls for social justice and human rights-based approaches to be the normal practice within law enforcement and justice systems.
The impact of Climate Change in Australia on the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is growing in its seriousness and importance for the NHLF. Substantial health inequalities endure between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians in key areas of health such as life expectancy, chronic and communicable diseases, child and maternal health and mental health. These disparities re compounded and perpetuated through the inequities of care for country and the impact of climate change in Australia.
- The NHLF calls genuine investment in and support for solutions that are locally identified to address climate change.