Better health and ageing for all Australians

Report of the 6th National Conference

Foreword by the Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health

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The Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (WGATSIEH) is pleased to present the proceedings of the 6th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health Conference, held in Cairns, Queensland, in May 2007. WGATSIEH acknowledges the Irukandjii People, the traditional owners of the country visited by all conference delegates.

Our special thanks to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health Conference Organising Group, CMS Conference Manager and Queensland Health who have all been particularly active in guiding the organisation of the conference.

One of the role’s of WGATSIEH is to organise each national conference. Another role is to provide coordinated advice to the Environmental Health Committee (enHealth) and other key stakeholders on national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health policies and associated environmental health issues.

WGATSIEH consider the following as key priory areas to be progressed:

  • Environmental Health Promotion
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health Workforce
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health Information systems
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health Strategy Child health
  • Housing and Environmental Health Infrastructure
Environmental health is a challenge. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health is an even bigger challenge. This conference continued to showcase the challenges in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health. The presentations in this monograph also highlight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health programs and new initiatives targeting improved housing and infrastructure; workforce development;food safety and nutrition; water quality and sustainability; waste management; and pest and animal control.

WGATSIEH would like to thank the conference sponsors, as this successful conference would not have been possible without their ongoing support and contributions. We would also like to thank the presenters for contributing to such an exciting program, and for highlighting the many positive actions occurring in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Finally, thank you to the conference delegates for attending. You are all urged to continue making positive change through taking on the challenge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health.

Xavier Schobben
Chair
enHealth Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health

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