"Jillay wannik - Healthy pathway" By Dixon Patten, Yorta Yorta and Gunnai artist - Bayila Creative

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has joined key national and Victorian health services in co-signing two initiatives in support of the Voice to Parliament.

Led by the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), The Health Statement on the Voice outlined how a constitutionally enshrined Voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will see health benefits and improvements to policies regarding children and families, education, jobs, housing and transport.

The VACCHO-led statement was signed by over 40 Victorian healthcare organisations, including Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Alliance, Cancer Council Victoria and the Victorian Healthcare Association.

As researchers and clinicians dedicated to caring for young Australians, we have seen the major, ongoing health disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous communities. This Statement of Support was an impactful way for us, alongside others in the health sector, to communicate our support for the Voice.

“The Voice will provide a permanent platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to share their wisdom, knowledge and advice to parliament on decisions affecting their own health and wellbeing,” said Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s Graham Gee.

Additionally, MCRI also signed an open letter of support for the voice, published in The Australian.

An Open Letter to the Australian Public:  We speak as leading health and medical organisations who spend our professional lives dedicated to caring for all Australians. We have considered carefully both the case for and the case against the proposed Voice to Parliament.  We confidently believe that the proposed Voice will enhance government decision making about matters that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, ultimately improving health outcomes.  As health professionals, we witness firsthand the disparity in health outcomes between non-indigenous Australians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Despite the best efforts of successive governments at all levels, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to have an average life expectancy gap of 8.2 years compared to other Australians. The Voice is an opportunity for us to make a practical difference, to ensure the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians does not continue to widen.  We encourage all Australians to actively consider the possible health and wellbeing benefits that the Voice to Parliament would have for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Just as a good clinician listens to their patient, a Voice to Parfiament is about listening to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  Australian Medical Association. Australian Medical Council. Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges. Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Australian College of Nursing. Australian College of Midwives. Australasian college for Emergency Medicine. Roval Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The Australian college of Optomery. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psvchiatrists. Society of Hospital Phamacists of Australia. Rural Doctors Association of Australia. Australian Association of Psychologists. Australian Psychological Society. Medicines Australia. Australian Physiotherapy Association. Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Australasian Epidemiological Association. Australian Association of Medical Research Institutes. The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol Land Other Drugs. Australian Nursing & Midwifery Foundation. Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association. Consumers Health Forum. CareFlight. Public Health Association of Australia. Health Services Union. United workers Union. Mental health Australia. The Australian Cardiovascular Alliance. Murdoch Children's Research Institute. Research Australia. Sydney Children's Hospitals Foundation. Australian Women's Health Alliance. Doctors Reform Society. Alcohol Change Australia. The Shepherd Centre. Family Planning Aliance Australia. Health Equity Matters. LGBTIQ+ Health Australia. National Association of People with HIV Australia. Bobby Goldsmith Foundation. WAAC. Australasian institute of Digital health. Australian Clinical Psychology. Hunter Medical Research. The National Heart Foundation. The Fred Hollows Foundation. Cancer Council Australla. Beyond Blue. Headspace National Youth. Mental Heath Foundation. Telethon Kids Institute. Stroke Foundation.Diabetes Australia. Kidney Health Australia. Liver Foundation. Lung Foundation Australia. Pallative Care Australia. COTA Australia. Australan Research Alliance for Chidren and Youth. Hearing Care Industry Association. First Voice. Australian Global Health Alliance. ASHM Heath. SANE Australia. The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use. Brain and Mind Centre. Australia Council on smoking and health. Alcohol and Drug Foundation. Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education. Australian Alcohol and other Drugs Council. Australian Health Promotion Association. Flourish Australia.  National Aboriginal Community. Controlled Health Organisation. Australian Indigenous Doctors' Assocation. Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives. National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Workers and Health Practitioners. The Lowitia Institute. Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia. Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. Indigenous Eye Health Unit. Sight for All. The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. Hudson Institute of Medical Research. Burnet Institute. Kirby Institute. Doherty Institute. Nassal Institute for Global Health. ReachOut Australia. National Eating Disorder Collaboration. Suicide Prevention Australia. Orygen. Office for Global Health. BlaQ. Jean Hailes for Women's Health. Vision2020. Services for Australian Rural & Remote Allied Health. Mental Health Coordinating Council. Catholic Health Australia. Private Healthcare Australia. Mercy Health. Mater. St Vincent's Health Australia. Cabnni Australa. UnitingCare Queensland. Southern Cross Care (NSW & ACT). Calvary Health Care. Medical Technology Association of Australia. Johnson & Johnson. Telstra Health. Merck Healthcare. MSD Australia & New Zealand. Bayer Australia. Sanon Australa and New Zealand. Novo Norask Phamaceuticals. Biogen Australia. Wesfarmers Health. Amgen. World Wellness Group. Thorne Harbour Heath. Smiling Mind. Medical Journal of Australia. Glaucoma Australia. Medical Software Industry Association. Allied Health Professions Australia. Australasian Sleep Assocation. Australian Association for Adolescent Health. Deafness Forum Australia. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.  Authorised by Dean Parkin, Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recogition Ltd, 110 Walker St, North Sydney, NSW, Australia.

This initiative involved over 100 other signees, spanning health, advocacy, not-for-profit and other medical research institutes including Telethon Kids Institute and WEHI. 

Other major signees include the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Royal Australian College of Surgeons, Mercy Health, Novo Nordisk pharmaceuticals and the Doherty Institute.

These two initiatives come after MCRI released its own Statement on the Voice, to mark 2023’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.

MCRI is striving to be both accountable and responsive to the needs and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and families in Victoria and nationally.

Showing our continued support for the Voice to Parliament is a historic opportunity and an important step towards this.

We urge all Australians to consider the profound health and well-being benefits this initiative could bring and encourage all Australians to work towards a healthier and more equitable future for all.

Image: "Jillay wannik - Healthy pathway" By Dixon Patten, Yorta Yorta and Gunnai artist - Bayila Creative.