The conference is hosted by Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) with great line up of speakers from around Australia. The aim is to provide a platform for Indigenous Men’s Health, bringing together health professionals to exchange knowledge and information and raise awareness on Indigenous Men’s issues with this year’s focus being on preventive men’s mental health and wellbeing. This is the 7th National Conference and is quickly becoming one of Australia’s Premier Men’s Gathering. This conference is a chance to work together and strengthen the advancement of Indigenous Male Health and Wellbeing through effective strategic sharing of information and knowledge.
The life expectancy for Aboriginal males is 11.5 years less than other Australian men. Two thirds of that gap is because of chronic disease — heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes — and Indigenous peoples are more likely to struggle with two or more serious illnesses at the same time than non-indigenous people. Statistics show that Aboriginal men under 45 are up to three times more likely to commit suicide than non-Indigenous men of the same age.
The conference is designed as an educational tool to develop networking opportunities and information sharing to the wider community on Indigenous men’s issues. The event will focus on Indigenous men’s health and wellbeing through the encouragement of strong leadership, empowerment and self-determination within our communities. Throughout the two days, we will be facilitating small group discussions with informative guest speakers. The conference emphasizes on the positives of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander resilience and determination to strive for a better tomorrow without the constraints of the negative stereotyping which is more prevalent due to social media and bad media coverage. Today as Indigenous men, we are making great strides to improve both ourselves and our communities.
Today’s society is plagued with stories of all the wrongs in our communities when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. For years as Indigenous men, we have strived to better our families which have given rise to countless numbers of great initiatives highlighting Indigenous monumental achievements. To share this knowledge has always been our cultural way; as such, we feel that it is time to start promoting these ideas so that others may be able to share and spread the knowledge and load.
Prof Peter Shine, Aunty Jeanette Singleton, Uncle Alfred Smallwood, Charlie Rowe, Dr Tsang Wai Hung Wallace, Mr Marsat Ketchell, Nathan Campbell, Deb Pattrick and Jeff Smith