Alzheimer’s Australia NSW has committed to increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed by the organisation as part of a new engagement plan launched last week to improve the cultural safety of dementia services for indigenous Australians.

The strategy has also committed to strengthening consultation with indigenous communities in NSW to ensure services are culturally relevant and appropriate, and to increase overall access to services and information.

John Watkins, CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, said recent research shows that the rate of dementia prevalence in Aboriginal Australians is three times that of Australia’s non-Indifenous population.

“This is a shocking disparity and one which deserves focus and attention,” he said.

The new engagement plan was launched in Port Macquarie by Mr Watkins and with guests including Member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott.

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW also released a new resource for carers of people living with dementia in the Aboriginal community to raise awareness of the support services available to carers. The short film, You’re not alone: Discussion dementia – losing the dreaming, features Birpai Elder Uncle Bill O’Brien discussing his experience of caring for his mother, who had dementia.

The launch of the plan and resources coincided with National Reconciliation Week, 27 May – June 3.

View the short film via YouTube here

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