As leaders in our community, we have seen first-hand the damage preventable diseases have had on our families and communities.
Our Maori and Pacific Islander people in Queensland experience diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases, up to nine times more frequently than others in the Queensland population. We’ve seen our family members dying early and suffering terribly from these diseases, but the worst part is that we know that this is preventable.
The Good Start Program is already changing health attitudes and outcomes for the next generation. The Good Start program is run by Queensland Health, and has worked successfully with 31,151 participations across schools and community groups in Queensland delivering preventative health programs. The University of Queensland’s evaluation of Good Start has shown great results.
In the past, the Queensland Government has praised Good Start as one of Queensland’s ‘cornerstone’ programs to address preventable disease (ABC’s 7:30 report). However now our MPs may be turning their backs on the program.
Just weeks ago in their Federal budget, the Australian government cut funding to Good Start.
Minister Springborg, without your support here in Queensland, this program will have to close its doors on 30 June 2014. We implore the Queensland government to stand and fund this vital program.
Inez Fainga’a Manu-Sione - Australian, Aboriginal, Fijian, Tongan, Samoan
Farshon Inivale - Australian, Samoan
Mary Bartlett-Johnson - Australian, Maori
Moana Heather - Australian, Cook Island
Debra Modra - Australian, PNG
Losa Seiler - Australian, Tongan
Mark Moko - Australian, Samoan, Niue
Natalie Fenwick - Australian, Maori
Nigeline Fafai - Australian, Samoan
Oswin Fainga’a - Australian, Tongan, Samoa
Reema Naresh - Australian, Fijian, Fijian/Indian
Tiffany Paki - Australian, Maori
Valami Waqaliva - Australian, Fiji
Violet Langan - Australian, Fiji
Annie Brown - Australian, Cook Island
Sian Teriini - Australian, Maori