Celebrating First Nations elders

This year’s NAIDOC Week pays tribute to older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and celebrates the role they have played and continue to play in Indigenous communities.

This year’s NAIDOC Week pays tribute to older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and celebrates the role they have played and continue to play in Indigenous communities.

To mark the week – organised annually by the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee – Aged Care Minister Anika Wells spoke to Kungarakan and Iwaidja Elder Professor Tom Calma on Twitter about the importance of culturally safe aged care.  

“It’s about empathy, respect, listening and hearing and communication so people can understand their treatment, medications and care that they can expect,” said Professor Calma – Senior Australian of the Year and member of the Aged Care Council of Elders.

Professor Calma added that culturally safe care is about protection of culture and creating an environment “that is free from racism and discrimination”.

In the May budget, the Albanese government earmarked $77 million over four years for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program to support access to high quality, culturally safe care for First Nations elders.

For Our Elders

National NAIDOC celebrations are held across Australia during the first week of July each year – Sunday to Sunday – to recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Islander people.

Among the organisations showing support on social media, is provider peak the Aged & Community Care Providers Association.

Advocacy group Council on the Ageing Australia also tweeted support.

As did MiCare, which specialises in offering aged care services to people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

The Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation also displayed solidarity.

In a video launching this year’s theme – For Our Elders – viewers are told: “Across every generation, our Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families. They are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and our loved ones. 

“The struggles of our Elders help to move us forward today. The equality we continue to fight for is found in their fight. Their tenacity and strength has carried the survival of our people. 

“We pay our respects to the Elders we’ve lost and to those who continue fighting for us across all our Nations and we pay homage to them.” 

Watch the video in full below.

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Tags: anika wells, naidoc week, Professor Tom Calma,

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