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National Reconciliation Week

May 27, 2024

Today marks the beginning of National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June). As this year’s theme powerfully captures, ‘Now more than ever’ we need this moment for our nation. It is time for us all to get to work on treaty making, truth-telling, education and understanding. We need to share our history, to educate and to be the change we need and want to tackle racism and division.

Audiology Australia / National Reconciliation Week co-branded tile

Audiology Australia’s commitment to reconciliation stems from a shared understanding of the responsibility of our privilege, its power and influence to drive change in our communities and champion equity and opportunity.

Our reconciliation journey started with the launch of our ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan in November 2023 and will continue with the development and launch of our ‘Innovate’ Reconciliation Action Plan in late 2024.

A statement of intent and expression of inclusion and respect, this plan is our first step as an organisation and profession towards a future built on unity where reconciliation is at the forefront of our actions. The success of this journey will depend on our commitment and effort, as well as our willingness to embrace change and growth.

Reconciliation and Hearing Health

Audiology Australia applauds and supports the work of audiologists and hearing health professionals who are listening, connecting to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and helping to close the hearing health gap. We recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have significantly higher rates of hearing loss and ear disease than non-Indigenous Australians.

What are the Challenges?

Otitis media – an inflammation of the middle ear typically caused by bacterial and viral pathogens – is still extremely prevalent in remote communities, with as many as 90% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children reporting infections at any one time.

These infections not only lead to delayed speech and language, but also behavioural issues and learning problems, especially when English isn’t the child’s main language.

We know that middle ear disease starts earlier in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and goes for longer leading to an increased likelihood of ongoing ear problems in early childhood.

Our Call for Change

To support this work, As the peak national professional body for Audiologists, we are committed to improving the ear health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and closing the hearing health gap, calling on governments to implement widescale policy changes, including:

  • Long-term funding to support and expand the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce.
  • Increased number of Medicare-billed audiological services available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Read more in our hearing health position statement: https://audiology.asn.au/papers/hearing-health-of-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-peoples-position-statement/ 

 

Join our Campaign

This National Reconciliation Week we are encouraging Audiology Australia staff and members to join us in engaging and bring openness, and compassion to discussion. Importantly, use this week to listen and understand. On our campaign page you’ll find events and opportunities to join the call for reconciliation in your local areas.

Visit our webpage: https://audiology.asn.au/reconciliation-week 

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