New funding for Aboriginal-owned community health services
Resources giant BHP will allocate more than $3.3 million to help community services run by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, focusing in the areas where the miner operates.
The funding, which comes from the $50 million Vital Resources Fund, is already rolling out through partnerships formed with Aboriginal organisations around Australia:
- Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council
- Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW
- Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia
- Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services (ACT)
BHP Chief External Affairs Officer, Geoff Healy, said: “BHP is determined to play its part in the collective response to COVID-19, and a critical area is how we support our regional and remote Aboriginal communities”.
What this funding can do for Aboriginal-owned community services
BHP’s investment will support front-line services in regional and remote communities, where local Community Services workers are accustomed to operating in tough conditions (financially and physically). National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Chief Executive Officer, Pat Turner, said the funding would “directly benefit the health outcomes of First Nations people during these difficult times presented by COVID-19.”
“The additional work and costs arising from our exemplary efforts to protect our families and communities from COVID-19 has been a huge drain on our budgets and this additional investment will certainly ease those burdens,” she said.
Why coronavirus poses a greater risk in remote communities
First Nations people living in regional and remote communities are a priority for the Australian Government and companies like BHP who operate nearby. Unfortunately, these are some of the most vulnerable Australians when it comes to coronavirus.
- Regional communities have high levels of other illness and infection
- Health care and vital community services are harder to access
- Many communities travel frequently
- Outreach community services that support the communities are infrequently available
High-quality community health services in these susceptible communities are not just important, they are vital.
TrainSmart Australia supports BHP’s investment in community services
BHP is Australia’s third-largest listed company with operations in almost every corner of the country. Many people who live in places where the company has a footprint rely on the hard work of Aboriginal-owned community health services and outreach services from further afield.
Mr Healy said: “the Aboriginal community-led health sector moved early in a way that has saved so many lives. They are working incredibly hard to address the needs they have identified, and we are pleased to support with significant funding that enables their vital work”.
As Australia’s leading Health and Community Services training organisation with nationally recognised Community Services courses, TrainSmart Australia welcomes investment into local programs that make a real difference.
Regional and remote communities face a tough road in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare and vital community services will shield many communities from the worst of the virus, while also helping them to recover economically once the threat recedes.
The rising need for capable and compassionate people in the Community Services industry is being met with funding. To find out more about joining the industry in a fulfilling and challenging career, explore the Health and Community Services courses we offer.