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Champions Need Only Apply!

Poster Authors: Ms Deb Mellett (Mornington Peninsula Shire), Ms Kim Lee (Victorian Department of Health and Human Services) and Dr Rebecca Ritte (The University of Melbourne)

Conference: The Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016, Melbourne

The Victorian Aboriginal population experiences higher rates of child mortality and perinatal mortality. A major driver of these outcomes are the underlying social determinants of Aboriginal health such as employment, housing, justice, disability, family, access, culture and discrimination.

Currently, the Frankston Mornington Peninsula (FMP) catchment has a fragmented approach to programs and service delivery to address the needs of Aboriginal families experiencing vulnerability and residing within the area. The FMP catchment is in the process of adopting the First 1000 Days Australia model to overcome this fragmentation of local health, education, welfare, justice and other social services that support and engage families and their children. The overarching aim is to enable Aboriginal children to develop and flourish, thereby enabling them to have a solid start at school on a par with non-Aboriginal children.

The First 1000 Days Australia Model is an Indigenised interpretation of the 1000 Days global movement. It has expanded to include a broader, holistic and cultural view of Aboriginal health and wellbeing. It includes strong community governance processes; interventions focusing on the whole family environment; and embedding data collection to build a robust evidence base. By implementing this model in FMP, the program can provide a coordinated and comprehensive approach to addressing the social determinants of health in Aboriginal families.

By adopting the First 1000 Days Australia approach, programs and services will be coordinated to provide a consistent, integrated, and collaborative approach so that Aboriginal health and wellbeing is addressed throughout the life-course and families experience cultural continuity of care.