Have your say about a National Indigenous Representative Body - Submission WS09

 

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dementia Advisory Group (NATISDAG)



Objectives and principles

  1. Are there objectives or principles (not identified in the community guide paper) that should guide the national representative body?

N/A

Roles and functions

  1. Are there roles and functions (not identified in the community guide paper) that the national representative body should perform?

N/A

Representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities

  1. How should the national representative body be informed by developments at the local and regional levels?
  • Should it include regional representative mechanisms as part of its structure? If so, how would they operate?
  • What other mechanisms should or could the representative body use to engage at a regional and local level?

N/A

  1. How should the national representative body engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at a state/territory level?

N/A

  1. How should the national representative body provide a voice to Torres Strait Islanders, including those living on the mainland?

N/A

  1. What mechanisms should the national representative body use to ensure that traditionally marginalised groups (such as people with disabilities, members of the stolen generations and young people) have a say in the new body?

A mechanism for engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with dementia and their carers is through interaction with Alzheimer’s Australia’s, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dementia Advisory Group (NATISDAG) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officers.

Alzheimer's Australia is the national peak body for people living with dementia, their families and carers and provides leadership in policy and services.

State and Territory organisations provide:

  • Information
  • Support
  • Advocacy
  • Education services

Alzheimer’s Australia is a not a profit organisation. A key platform for Alzheimer’s Australia is ensuring dementia is a priority within Australia Government COAG health policy. This platform is based on evidence of increasing prevalence of dementia possibly reaching epidemic proportions within an ageing mainstream population.

A key aim of Alzheimer’s Australia is to assist in reducing inequitable access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with dementia and their carers. In 2006, a national two day workshop hosted by Alzheimer’s Australia, involved an initial consultation process and presentation of contemporary evidence. The question was also asked, “is dementia a priority within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations given other poor outcomes and lower life expectancy”. Based on academic and anecdotal evidence, participants unanimously agreed that dementia is a priority for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

Preliminary prevalence data from research within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities was not positive. After the development of a culturally appropriate cognitive assessment tool - Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (KICA), then KICA subsequent trial and validation some prevalence data was available from the Kimberley Area in Western Australia. The data showed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are nearly 5 times more likely to have dementia than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

The results of this Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dementia forum on how to improve access are outlined within a report “Beginning the conversation – Addressing dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities”. Some of the key recommendations from this initial consultation included employing a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officer, and forming a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dementia Advisory Group (NATISDAG).

NATSIDAG is an on-going consultation mechanism which provides advice to Alzheimer’s Australia on dementia information provision, resource development and service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. NATSIDAG membership through their industry and community networks also provides advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with dementia and their carers.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officer works in a national strategic manner to implement the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dementia Strategy; provides secretariat for NATSIDAG; and offers advice to state and territory organisations about access to programs. Whilst some states employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison officers who primarily work in an operational manner, they are still involved state or regional strategic actions. Since the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander liaison positions especially at a national level there has been much progress developing sustainable partnerships and collaborations between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and community members; and dementia industry experts.

Alzheimer’s Australia goal and commitment is to contribute through a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dementia Strategy to assist in achieving equal overall outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NATSIDAG welcomes the opportunity to collaborate and interact with a new national representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, so the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with dementia and their carers are heard.

Structure of the National Representative body

  1. How should the members of the national representative body be selected? Should it be by election or delegation, or a combination of these? Please explain or draw how your preferred model would operate.
  2. What skills and experience should candidates for positions on the national body possess? What processes should be used to determine whether a candidate has these skills and is appropriate to be selected?

N/A

Relationship with government and the Parliament

  1. How should the national representative body be established? What relationship should it have with government and the Parliament? What potential limitations and constraints may result from the body being established and operating in a particular way

N/A

Funding

  1. How should the national representative body be funded to ensure that it is sustainable?

N/A

 

Content Updated: 22 May 2012