Rural Health West’s Vision is for healthy rural communities with access to high quality healthcare. In pursuit of this Vision, the Board and staff of Rural Health West work every day to ensure that rural communities can access the advice and support of rural health professionals, as close to home as possible.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have higher rates of illness and disease and die younger than non-Indigenous Australians. Despite effort and investment, Australia is yet to substantially close the gap in health outcomes.
There is significant global and local evidence that self-determination can improve health outcomes for First Nations people. Therefore as part of its commitment to the Rural Health West Vision, the Board of Rural Health West supports the establishment of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in Australia.
The Board believes it is an important step toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and that the Voice will enable true progress to be made in improving the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Board recognises that the forthcoming referendum on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament presents complex issues for many, and that just like the Australian population, our staff, members and partners will hold a range of perspectives on the best pathway to genuine and lasting reconciliation.
The Board acknowledges a Voice to Parliament enshrined by the Constitution of Australia is a key recommendation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and urges all Western Australians to approach this historic moment with open hearts, open minds and generous spirits, because we all share a responsibility to better understand what is being proposed in the referendum and to consider the impact that the outcome will have on the future of our nation.