Indigenous Rights

42 petitions

Started 4 weeks ago

Petition to Scott Morrison, Ken Wyatt, Michael McCormack, David Littleproud, Josh Frydenberg, Mathias Cormann, Bridget McKenzie, Marise Payne, Simon Birmingham, Christian Porter, Greg Hunt, Peter Dutton, Daniel Tehan, Michaelia Cash, Sussan Ley, Linda Reynolds, Anne Ruston, Stuart Robert

Action for health issues in Indigenous Australian communities

This Invasion Day marks 250 years since discrimination against our First Nation's people began. The first fleet brought violence and disease, decimating Indigenous Australian populations. Indigenous Australians now only make up 2.4% of the Australian population. There are many factors that have lead to this and these are explained in depth bellow, but we want to focus on the solutions needed to bridge the health gap for our Indigenous Australian communities:1. Better psychosocial servicesParticularly in remote Australia to combat the significantly higher rates of mental illness seen in Indigenous Australians2. More funding and researchSpecifically into diseases that impact Indigenous Australians such as HTLV-1 a disease similar to HIV which has a prevalence of up to 45% in central Australian communities.3. Treatments for diseasesDiseases such as strongyloidiasis effect up to 60% of people in Indigenous communities. We have readily available and cost effective treatments for this disease, and yet it hasn't been administered to the communities that need it. This Invasion Day give back to our First Nation's people and help us close the health gap for Indigenous Australian Communities.  #scienceforfirstnations   As scientists we couldn't help but give you all the facts, so keep on reading to bellow for the full break down. Health concerns in Indigenous Australian communitiesResearched by Haylo Roberts, PhD Candidate La TrobeArt: Charlotte Allingham Australia has been occupied by humans for at least 50000 years, during this time over 500 nations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s peoples were established, hereby referred to as Indigenous Australians. Many of these indigenous nations had distinctive cultures, languages, and beliefs. Since the invasion and colonization of Australia by the British only 250 years ago, Indigenous Australian populations have been decimated with an estimated 90% population reduction occurring in the decade following the arrival of the first fleet [1]. The populations that were not destroyed by introduced disease or colonizer violence had either moved inland towards central Australia or already had been settled there. Today, Indigenous Australians make up just 2.4% of the Australian population – however, the burden of disease is heaviest on these Indigenous populations. Indigenous Australians have a life expectancy at birth approximately ten years lower than nonindigenous Australians [2].  This gap is indicative of Australia’s First Peoples being left behind by health initiatives, as well as causative social, environmental and economic factors contributing to poor health outcomes [3]. The World Health Organisation outlined that social policies designed to alleviate the unequal distribution of power, income, goods and services will result in more evenly dispersed outcomes [4]. Health concerns of Indigenous Australians is a multifaceted issue, and to solve we will need impactful policies, targeted research, and data collection for monitoring efforts and reevaluation. Education retention rates are lower for Indigenous Australians, with 55.1% of Indigenous Australian students being retained into year 12 in comparison with 82.9% non-Indigenous Australians [2]. In 2012-13 the unemployment rate for Indigenous Australians was 21%, 4.2 times that of non-Indigenous Australians,  with an overall ratio of Indigenous to non-Indigenous average income of 0.7 [2]. As off the 2011 nationwide census survey, 12.9% of Indigenous Australian households are considered overcrowded in comparison to 3.4% of non-Indigenous households [2]. These inequities are identifiable determinants of health outcomes that need to be addressed as prophylactic measure. Down the line from these social determinants we see higher rates of morbidity and mortality for several diseases. Indigenous Australian adults have a higher rate of cardiovascular disease than non-Indigenous Australians (27% and 21% respectively) and Indigenous Australians have a 50% higher risk of cardiovascular disease mortality compared to non-Indigenous Australians [5, 6]. Indigenous Australians are also 1.1 times more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than non-Indigenous Australians, with a 1.4 times higher mortality rate than non-Indigenous Australians [7].  Comorbidity is also more common in Indigenous Australians, in 2011-2013, 38% of Indigenous adults with cardiovascular disease, diabetes or chronic kidney disease had 2 or more conditions – compared with 26% of non-Indigenous adults [5]. It is worth noting that these stats are for both Indigenous Australians living both remotely and non-remotely, however, the frequency of morbidity and mortality of various diseases is higher in Indigenous Australians living remotely. There is a higher proportion of Indigenous Australians living in remote areas – 21% - compared to non-Indigenous Australians – 2% [2]. In addition to higher frequencies of common diseases in Australia, Indigenous Australians are also afflicted with high rates of neglected diseases that are relatively rare in non-Indigenous Australians. Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1) is an oncogenic retrovirus which is implicated in respiratory pathologies, adult T-cell lymphoma, and myelopathy [8]. HTLV-1 is considered the most carcinogenic microorganism to infect humans known, and strikingly some Indigenous Australian communities in central Australia have prevalence of HTLV-1 seropositivity up to 45% [9, 10]. HTLV-1 is transmitted through infected bodily fluids, via breastfeeding, intercourse, sharing of needles, and transfusions / transplants [11]. HTLV-1 infection in central Australia was highly associated with bronchiectasis, for which prevalence rates in Indigenous adults in central Australia are the highest worldwide [12]. Co-endemicity of HTLV-1 and Strongyloides stercoralis, the etiological agent causing strongyloidiasis, is also of concern, as this co-infection can impede treatment efforts for strongyloidiasis and result in higher rates of complicated strongyloidiasis [13, 14]. S. stercoralis is an intestinal nematode uniquely able to complete its life cycle and proliferate within a host, termed autoinfection [14]. Autoinfection occurs continuously however in immunocompromised individuals – such as those coinfected with HTLV-1 – autoinfection is enhanced, resulting in higher larval loads disseminating and more frequent inflammatory responses [14]. Some Indigenous Australian communities have shown S. stercoralis seropositivity rates of up to 60%, well over the threshold for hyperendemicity [15]. In places where HTLV-1 and S. stercoralis are both endemic, such as central Australia, HTLV-1 infection is implicated in a higher prevalence in S. stercoralis infection [13]. In comparison to HTLV-1 there is a readily available treatment for S. stercoralis infection which can be implemented. Ivermectin is an antihelmintic drug used for treatment of several parasitic infections including scabies, onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis. Just one dose of ivermectin has been shown to reduce 75% of seropositivity of S. stercoralis in a community [16]. Ivermectin treatment is used worldwide for mass drug administration of neglected tropical diseases, is relatively lost cost, and could serve as a control measure for S. stercoralis in Indigenous communities while the core factors behind the striking frequency of S. stercoralis infection are addressed – namely, overcrowded housing and a lack of functioning toilets [13]. Strongyloidiasis is ultimately a disease of poverty that reflects the inequities and poor socioeconomic situation of Indigenous Australians. HTLV-1 is a neglected disease despite the vast similarities the disease has with HIV, and implementable strategies that could be adapted from long running HIV strategies. 26th of January 2020 marks 250 years since Australia was invaded. As scientists we need to ensure the implementation of policies with Indigenous Australian health at its core and it’s time we start researching and finding ways to improve quality of life for Indigenous Australians.  References 1.         Konishi, S.J.A.H.J., Aboriginal History Journal: Volume 38. 38.2.         AIHW, The health and welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2015, A.I.o.H.a. Welfare, Editor. 2015: Canberra, Australia.3.         Donato, R. and L.J.A.H.R. Segal, Does Australia have the appropriate health reform agenda to close the gap in Indigenous health? 2013. 37(2): p. 232-238.4.         Organization, W.H., Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. 2008: World Health Organization.5.         AIHW, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease–Australian Facts: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. 2015, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Canberra: Canberra, Melbourne6.         Diaz, A., et al., Nexus of Cancer and cardiovascular disease for Australia’s First Peoples. 2020. 6: p. 115-119.7.         Roder, D. and D.J.A.P.J.C.P. Currow, Cancer in aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia. 2009. 10(5): p. 729-733.8.         Einsiedel, L., et al., Human T-Lymphotropic Virus type 1c subtype proviral loads, chronic lung disease and survival in a prospective cohort of Indigenous Australians. 2018. 12(3): p. e0006281.9.         Einsiedel, L., et al., Human T-Lymphotropic Virus type 1 infection in an Indigenous Australian population: epidemiological insights from a hospital-based cohort study. 2016. 16(1): p. 787.10.       Tagaya, Y. and R.C.J.F.i.m. Gallo, The exceptional oncogenicity of HTLV-1. 2017. 8: p. 1425.11.       Martin, F., Y. Tagaya, and R.J.T.L. Gallo, Time to eradicate HTLV-1: an open letter to WHO. 2018. 391(10133): p. 1893-1894.12.       Einsiedel, L., et al., Bronchiectasis is associated with human T-lymphotropic virus 1 infection in an Indigenous Australian population. 2012. 54(1): p. 43-50.13.       Einsiedel, L. and L.J.I.m.j. Fernandes, Strongyloides stercoralis: a cause of morbidity and mortality for indigenous people in Central Australia. 2008. 38(9): p. 697-703.14.       Carvalho, E. and A.J.P.i. Da Fonseca Porto, Epidemiological and clinical interaction between HTLV‐1 and Strongyloides stercoralis. 2004. 26(11‐12): p. 487-497.15.       Page, W. and R.J.A.f.p. Speare, Chronic strongyloidiasis-Don't look and you won't find. 2016. 45(1/2): p. 40.16.       Kearns, T.M., et al., Strongyloides seroprevalence before and after an ivermectin mass drug administration in a remote Australian Aboriginal community. 2017. 11(5): p. e0005607.

Naomi Koh Belic
232 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Gladys Berejiklian, Gladys Berejiklian, Andrew Constance, Melinda Pavey

Fly the Aboriginal Flag 365 days a year on the Sydney Harbour Bridge

This campaign is led and owned by Cheree Toka. As Australians, we are proud of our Aboriginal heritage and we want to recognise and celebrate this heritage every day.  The flags flying from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge are wonderful symbols of our heritage and identity. However, the Aboriginal flag does not fly permanently atop of the Sydney Harbour bridge. The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly and additional decision makers for a third flag to fly alongside the Australian and the NSW flags – one that acknowledges and celebrates our ancient and authentic Aboriginal culture; the red, black and yellow Aboriginal flag. Once you’ve signed, contact these three great Australians directly and encourage them to lead the way. #AboriginalflagonSHB   GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN NSW PREMIER EMAIL: PHONE: 02 8574 5000 FACEBOOK: TWITTER:   SARAH MITCHELL MINISTER FOR ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS CONTACT FORM: (to complete the online form) PHONE: 02 8574 5950 FACEBOOK: TWITTER:   MELINDA PAVEY NSW MINSTER FOR ROADS AND MARITIME AND FREIGHT EMAIL: PHONE:  02 6562 6190 FACEBOOK: TWITTER:   ANDREW CONSTANCE NSW MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE EMAIL: PHONE: 02 6492 2056 FACEBOOK: TWITTER:

Cheree Toka
141,073 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to David Littleproud, Commonwealth Government, Scott Morrison, David Littleproud

The Murray Darling Basin Plan

The Murray Darling Basin Plan will cost Australian Taxpayers $13 billion. In one hundreds years of record taking there have never been recorded fish kills like the ones we are seeing now. Not only are we seeing fish deaths in the Darling of global significance, but since the 2009 and the introduction of the 2007 Water Act there have been 4 hypoxic blackwater events in the Edward/Wakool system, which spread into the Murray and Murrumbidgee systems killing hundreds of thousands of native fish. Currently poor water management and policy is causing horrific fish deaths along the Darling, it is also causing river bank erosion and slumping in the Murray system due to the unsustainable high flows been pushed through. The flooding of forests along the Murray in order to get water to South Australia in the middle of a drought highlights the flawed assumptions used to model the Murray Darling Basin Plan. The significant flooding has resulted in the deaths of many animals, including natives because flooding has depleted food supplies. Government and large corporations have been complicit in dividing communities and have failed rural communities and family farmers who have the capacity to ensure the environment is sustainably managed for the next generation.  Environment and agricultural policy must go hand in hand, one does not need to be in competition with the other. As a nation we need to respond, the management of our most precious resource is embarrassing, irresponsible and lacks transparency. Please sign and share this petition and encourage others to insist that our national leaders call those responsible for water management to account.   We call on all governments to put politics aside and start governing for the whole Basin by treating rural communities, family farms and the environment with respect and on an equal footing.

Speak Up Campaign
130,362 supporters