Working towards closing the gap

05 Jul 2024


MDA National takes part in celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous peoples in this NAIDOC Week 2024, happening from 7 to 14 July with the theme “Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud”. This is an important moment to respectfully acknowledge and celebrate the resiliency, unity and pride of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As an organisation, our purpose is to support the health and wellbeing of all our communities, including Indigenous communities, and we do so by supporting projects that make a difference in the provision of access to quality medical healthcare for our First Nations brothers and sisters. As an extension of this, we are constantly seeking new ways in which we can protect and promote the interests of all individuals and communities in which we live.

2024 theme – The theme for NAIDOC Week 2024, 'Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud' represents the pillars of resilience, unity and pride that pass-through generations. The fire portrays the strength of Indigenous peoples and the vitality of their culture. It is also a symbol of land and traditions.

About the Week – NAIDOC Week stands as an opportunity for all Australians to engage in dialogue, reflection, and celebration of Indigenous cultures, traditions, and contributions to society. Held in the first week of July, the event encourages cultural and educational initiatives to promote understanding, respect, and reconciliation. NAIDOC Week plays a crucial role in cultivating unity, awareness, and appreciation for the rich diversity of Australia's First Nations peoples.

Support that matters – MDA National supports our Indigenous communities by respectfully promoting their message, and through effective support to projects that aim to improve the quality of life in our communities.

  • IRIS Program: We have partnered with the Vanguard Health Indigenous and Remote and have allocated annual financial support to the Indigenous and Remote Eye Service (IRIS) Program. This initiative aims to deliver 800 cataract surgeries to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders across the Northern Territory by 2025, having already reached the target goal of 400 surgeries in 2024. All patients are assisted in the pre and post-operative consultations. Through our continued support of IRIS, we will be expanding on our support to provide more funding for educational cataract posters, alongside the already funded sunglasses. These glasses will continue to help prevent cataract development in a patient's second eye and encourage a culture of sunglass-wearing as a preventive health intervention within remote Aboriginal communities.
  • Binar Futures: What started as a basketball tournament became a plus 1800 people project that boosts connections and the wellbeing of children and their families in Western Australia. MDA National partnered with Binar Futures, an Aboriginal community organisation, to provide free health checks in a culturally safe environment. The Binar Futures programs also include sports, culture, youth leadership and youth development, working as a support system and extended family to everyone involved in.
  • Junior Doctor Bursary: With the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, we provide financial support to junior doctors to engage with rural medicine and practice in remote areas where the offer of medical practice can be below the demand. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors are strongly encouraged to apply for the Bursary.

Closing the gap – MDA National is working towards its Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), through the establishment of an Indigenous Affairs Working group. This highlights our commitment to reconciliation and shows our desire for fostering stronger relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.



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