Telethon Kids commits to Aboriginal Children and Families with 2020 – 2023 plan
The Telethon Kids Institute recently held an event to launch its new Commitment to Aboriginal Children and Families 2020-2023 at an event held at Kaarta Gar-up (Kings Park), overlooking the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River).
Aunty Millie Penny and Aunty Kay Walley led a Welcome to Country and cleansing dance which set the scene for the launch. Glenn Pearson, Deputy Director Aboriginal Health, and Telethon Kids Institute Executive Director Professor Jonathan Carapetis were joined by Board Chair Hon Julie Bishop who officially launched the Commitment.
The Commitment is the latest in a line which began in 2013 with the launch of the first Aboriginal Commitment, a significant moment for Telethon Kids. Since that time the Institute has committed to embedding Aboriginal research in all its work.
This refreshed Commitment flows from the Institute’s strategic plan which was launched in 2019. The strategic plan outlined the bold ambition for the Institute to become the international leader in Indigenous child health research and also committed that the first of the Grand Challenges undertaken by the Institute would be in Aboriginal Health.
And as a clear sign of our intention to deepen the relationship we have with Aboriginal communities, the Institute has committed to develop a Walking Softly on Country policy to seek the permission from the Traditional Owners of the lands where the Institute has an office to work with them on their country for their children, youth and families.
In launching the Commitment, the Institute’s leadership team and Board were thanked for their support, along with the Aboriginal staff at Telethon Kids, for leading the way, the Elders and community “that contribute in so many ways through their knowledge, guidance, and so much of their time”, and the Institute researchers and staff “who have worked with our families over the last 30 years to take on the challenge of ensuring that the health of Aboriginal children is everybody’s business.”