Serious about closing the gap

Close the Gap morning tea
WSLHD exceutive director operations Robynne Cooke, Aboriginal liason officer Yvonne To’A and Blacktown Hospital acting general manager Jude Constable at Blacktown Hospital’s Close the Gap morning tea.

To mark National Close the Gap Day 2018, our health services held events at our hospitals and encouraged staff members to sign the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Close the Gap Day pledge.

Signing the WSLHD Close the Gap Day pledge confirms a staff member’s commitment to closing the gap, whether it be through actions such as undertaking Respecting the Difference cultural awareness training, developing strategies during team planning or encouraging Aboriginal patients to provide feedback via our District’s feedback tools such as the My Experience Matters survey.

National Close the Gap Day is an annual awareness event that aims to close the health and life expectancy gap between the indigenous and the non-indigenous communities in Australia.
Close the Gap Aboriginal Liaison Officer
Aboriginal liaison officer Yvonne To’A with a close up of WSLHD’s Close the Gap promotional material.

While most Aussies enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in the world, the mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people match those in the most impoverished nations.

Together with Nepal, Australia has the world’s worst life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

With Greater Western Sydney having the highest urban population of Aboriginal people in the state, we’re in a position to help close the gap.

Close the gap
Joanne Edwards, director executive nursing and midwifery signs the pledge. Background: Clinical governance director Luke Sloane and executive manager – office of the chief executive, Ashley Ubrihien.

What are we doing here at WSLHD? Everything from quit smoking programs, pre and post natal support for Aboriginal women, early childhood health programs, and nutrition workshops, to culturally adapted Go4Fun programs for Aboriginal children, and health service pathways for vulnerable families.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) has also submitted its first Reconciliation Action Plan for approval to Reconciliation Australia with a launch expected later this year.

Find out more on the Oxfam website and help us to Close the Gap.

Close the gap day event
Westmead Hospital’s Close the Gap day event: Aboriginal workforce co-ordinator, Wendy Bryan-Clothier, executive director nursing and midwifery, Joanne Edwards, Westmead Hospital general manager Sue Anne Redmond and deputy head social work, Nicole Hraiki.