Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) is rallying support for the Close the Gap campaign and encouraging its 3700-strong workforce to sign the pledge to bring about Indigenous health equality in the lead up to National Close the Gap Day on Thursday 21 March.
There’s an urgent health crisis affecting Indigenous people with the average life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people up to 20 years less than non-Indigenous Australians.
The Close the Gap campaign calls on a partnership approach between governments at state and national level, Indigenous communities, health organisations and experts to take action to achieve Indigenous health equality by 2030 – to close the gap.
As a company, Fortescue is committed to positive change in Indigenous health. Through its Vocational Training and Education Centres (VTEC) and a holistic approach to preparing trainees for life long success, Fortescue is providing opportunities for local Indigenous people that are paving the way for such change.
Mrs Roberts believes closing the gap requires a dedicated focus on addressing a combination of critical social issues including health services, housing, education, and employment.
“By providing an Aboriginal health and wellness program, training and education, employment, and housing, Fortescue is looking at the bigger picture. It’s this kind of thinking and approach that is needed to close the gap in Indigenous health,” she said.
Mrs Roberts praised local health organisations and service providers on the important work they do in the area of Indigenous health and the positive impact they’re having on the communities of the Pilbara.
“Fortescue’s Aboriginal Health and Wellness Program taps into a number of existing health services offered by local organisations and providers. The partnerships that we’ve developed with these providers are key to the success of our program,” she said.
“We believe it’s important to publicly praise local organisations Mawarnkarra Aboriginal Medical Service (Roebourne), Wirraka Maya Aboriginal Medical Service (Hedland), Pilbara Mental Health and Drug Service (Karratha and Hedland), Pilbara Population Health (Karratha and Hedland), Hedland Health Campus Outpatients (Hedland) and Nickol Bay Hospital Outpatients (Karratha) for their support and their ongoing commitment to closing the gap."