12th international Closing The Gap

Indigenous Health Conference 

Please note this website is continually being updated.

now calling for papers

round 1 open

Sydney NSW

27-29 July, 2020

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO COUNTRY

​In Australia, the protocol is to recognise the Traditional Owners of the land to which we are gathering. Therefore, all presentations must begin with an acknowledgement to country and to local Traditional Elders: “We wish to acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians whose ancestral lands we are to meet upon. We acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal peoples to Country. We also pay respects to the cultural authority of Aboriginal peoples visiting/attending from other areas of Australia who are present here”.

 

Indigenous Conference Services acknowledges and pay our respect to the Traditional people of the Country. "Welcome to Country" ceremony and "acknowledging the traditional custodians" of the land shows respect for Aboriginal people as Australia's First Peoples. Ceremonies and protocols are a fundamental part of Aboriginal culture.

 

THE CONFERENCE

The 12th International Closing the Gap Indigenous Health Conference will be held in Sydney on the 27th-29th July 2020. It is the only conference that has been continuously running since the establishment of the Closing the Gap concept and is the largest gathering of delegates from all sectors outside of Indigenous national associations. The conference is held biannually and over the past ten years has attracted thousands of attendees bringing together representatives from all states and territories governments, First Nations medical services and mainstream health sectors, community-controlled organisations, First Nations communities, allied health professionals and non-government organisations, researchers and interested individuals. The conference is hosted by Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) with great line up of First Nations speakers not only from all around Australia, but also from New Zealand and United States of America. This year's conference is a prelude to the 2022 First Nations Health Conference to be held in Hawaii USA.

 

The event is based upon the principal belief that Indigenous health must be approached from a holistic view, which encompasses body, mind and spirit; thus, leading to the fundamental rights of self-determination. The conference recognises that treating our health must be done by treating the whole person, through mind, body, soul and culture. No matter what your culture is. If you are a First Nations person, statistics show that health, education and the justice system is monstrously weighted against First Nations People.  The 2018/2019 Closing the Gap Report further highlights how wide the gap is. In today’s society Indigenous people have a varied lifestyle, ranging from inner-city living to isolated communities. Therefore, there is no set approach to dealing with health issues, as you have to look at the environment that you live in and, more importantly, the agencies that are available to assist. The conference is designed to bring together both government and non-government agencies who are working in the Indigenous health sector, therefore focusing on Closing the Gap and strengthening the life expectancy of First Nations people to equal that of non-Indigenous people. ​In Australia, the most successful initiatives in First Nations Health are the Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) and now the partnerships between government and communities. The first Aboriginal community-controlled health service was established in New South Wales and has been operational for the past forty (40) years.  Today, there are over 120 AMS and countless numbers of Primary Health Care Posts in First Nations communities in Australia. 

CONFERENCE THEME AND FOCUS

The 2020 conference themes includes:

  • Primary health and whole of body wellness

  • First Nations women’s health

  • First Nations men’s health

  • Successful community partnerships between First Nations peoples, governments and NGO`s

  • Innovative projects which promotes leadership

  • Community/ grassroots-based initiatives towards health

  • Culture and its importance to creating better mental health for First Nations people

 

THE VISION

The conference is not politically based. Rather, it should be seen as an opportunity to access information that is not readily available. Today the world has become smaller with the invention of the internet and jet travel.  As such, we are of the belief that there is nothing more empowering and more effective than people having an opportunity to network and collaborate. The conference vision for this event is to embrace the philosophy of First Nations community controlled and mainstream service providers through promoting an informative forum of research, health education and training of staff for the betterment of Indigenous health.

 

​2020 CLOSING THE GAP REPORT

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison tabled the Closing the Gap report 2019/2020. which clearly highlighted that the Closing the Gap campaign is only making small in-roads into the gap between Indigenous people and the wider community in regard to health issues and has still got a long way to go. Some of the points highlighted were;

 

​To engage in partnerships with mutual respect;

In 8 years, there’s been mixed results

We still have an Indigenous life expectancy around 10 years less than mainstream Australians

The past decade has seen a 70 percent increase in Indigenous students undertaking Higher Education

Employment targets not met

Many Indigenous Health Targets were falling short off the mark

 

The Federal Government has made a commitment to create more opportunities for Indigenous Australians to;

Celebrate those successes

Recognise “Healing Takes Time”

Acknowledge, embrace, celebrate the humanity of Indigenous people

Bring to the table policies and approaches that nurtures optimism rather than entrench despair

Do things WITH Indigenous people, not TO Indigenous People

Even though Indigenous Australians only make up 3 percent of the population, First Nations People still make up over 20 percent of the prison population and that number is still increasing

 

The Prime Minister has committed himself and the government to work with Indigenous Australians, not just in delivering programs but listening to First Nations People in developing partnerships with Indigenous Communities. The Prime Minister stated the government must be innovative in creating effective solutions in partnership with First Nations Communities. The Prime Minister has taken the stance and announced that Closing the Gap must be more than another government policy.  For more information on the Closing the Gap Report 2018/2019, click the Closing the Gap image above or the preceding link.

Empowering Delegates

This event guarantees the opportunity to enlarge your network and information base, thus empowering all delegates to make greater informed decisions within their professional and extended communitiesClick here to read more

Calling Papers

ICS have allocated 50 percent of the conference agenda to First Nations community groups and grassroots organisations and individuals. To ensure grassroots community programs are highlighted, no less than 50 percent of the conference proceedings are and is devoted to community groups. If your paper is selected, you may have more than one presenter to present your paper. However, only two presenters will be entitled to the registration discount. The intricate part of the network is the sharing of information. Therefore if you are chosen to present at the conference, your paper will form part of the conference proceedings and be distributed at the conclusion of the event with all other presenters. To further ensure the continuous success of the conference, an Indigenous working group is being established to advice on correct adherence to cultural equilibrium. If you are interested in submitting a paper please Click here to read more

 

CONFERENCE OBJECTIVES

The 2020 International Indigenous Health Conference aims to:

  • Provide an open and frank forum for discussions

  • Lend support to individuals and groups working in the field of First Nations Health

  • Help grow a network for the sharing of information and resources in the field of First Nations Health

  • Bring together both government and non-government agencies working in First Nations Health

  • Show that poor health is no longer tolerated or acceptable in today’s society

  • To bring together organisations as a united voice in closing the gap

  • Bring together both government and non-government agencies who are working in the field of First Nations health

  • Exchange information regarding the successes of community projects 

  • Reduce incidences of poor health at all levels within the community  

  • Strategies for linking holistic policy with health interventions

  • Explore methods for improving accountability at all levels to ensure sustainable progress

  • Provides opportunity to network and meet face to face to exchange ideas, valuable information and successful programs in place in their communities.

  • Develop new partnerships

2020 CONFERENCE AGENDA DRAFT

(This agenda MAY change without prior notice to ensure the smooth flow of conference proceedings on the day)

27th July 2020

8:30am         Registration                                                    Registration of Delegates        

9:00am         Welcome To County                                         Respected Elder 

                      Welcome Address                                            Thomas Callaghan

9:45am         COMBINED KEYNOTE                                     Closing the gap, has it worked?

1030am        MORNING TEA                                                Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors 

11:00m         MEN'S CONFERENCE KEYNOTE                     First Nations the state of men’s health and well being from the community perspective

                      WOMEN'S CONFERENCE KEYNOTE               Waminda South Coast Women's Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation

                      COMBINED KEYNOTE                                      The key to our health is our community

                      KEYNOTE MIXED SESSION                            Calling for community papers

11:45AM       WOMEN'S CONFERENCE KEYNOTE              Birthing in Our Community (BiOC)

                      MEN'S CONFERENCE KEYNOTE                     Men’s health plan from 2015-2020

                      COMBINED KEYNOTE                                      Closing the gap, drugs and alcohol in First Nation communities

                       KEYNOTE MIXED SESSION                           Calling for community papers

12:30pm       LUNCH BREAK                                                Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors 

1:30PM         WOMEN'S CONFERENCE KEYNOTE              Maternal Health only we can do it

                      MEN'S CONFERENCE  KEYNOTE                    Social determinants of men's health

                      COMBINED KEYNOTE                                      Brothers for motivational speaker

                      KEYNOTE MIXED SESSION                            Calling for community papers

2:15PM         WOMEN'S CONFERENCE KEYNOTE              Key Issues Facing First Nations women

                      MEN'S CONFERENCE KEYNOTE                     Social and emotional well being

                      COMBINED KEYNOTE                                      Inspiring our healing with our culture

                      KEYNOTE MIXED SESSION                            Calling for community papers

3:00PM         AFTERNOON TEA                                           Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors 

3:30PM         COMBINED KEYNOTE                                     Domestic violence the impact on our families and communities              

6:30pm         CONFERENCE DINNER     

           

28th July 2020

8:30am         Registration                                                      Registration of Delegates

9:00AM         COMBINED KEYNOTE                                     Chronic disease impacts the whole community

9:45AM         COMBINED KEYNOTE                                      Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program

10:30AM      MORNING TEA                                                Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors 

11:00AM      WOMEN'S CONFERENCE KEYNOTE               Young women’s health the backbone to our future

11:45AM      MEN'S CONFERENCE KEYNOTE                      Suicide prevention and healing

                      COMBINED KEYNOTE                                      Community control is controlling our health future

                      KEYNOTE MIXED SESSION                            Calling for community papers

                      WOMEN'S CONFERENCE KEYNOTE               Empowering first nations women and their for empowering the community

                      MEN'S CONFERENCE KEYNOTE                     Understanding men’s health issues

                      COMBINED KEYNOTE                                      Partnering with agencies gives us strength

                      KEYNOTE MIXED SESSION                             Calling for community papers

12:30PM       LUNCH BREAK                                                 Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors 

1:15PM         COMBINED KEYNOTE                                      Deadly Choices Program

2:00PM         COMBINED KEYNOTE                                      What culture means to our people and how it effects our well being

2:45pm         OPEN FORUM DISCUSSION AND YARNING  CIRCLE

3:15pm      END OF CONFERENCE: DELEGATES THAT HAVE ATTEND MORE THEN 85% OF THE CONFERENCE WILL BE ENTITLED TO A CERTIFICATE OF END OF PARTICIPATION  AND UNDERSTANDING OF INDIGENOUS HEALTH  

 

29th July 2020​

For 2020, we offer new and exciting innovation for our conferences. Day 3 is devoted to professional development workshop or masterclass. As such, we have introduced several exciting networking and professional development innovations which is an extra cost for your chosen masterclass. Day Three is optional so please make sure you complete your registration form with the masterclass included if you intend to attend. 

 

CONFERENCE MASTERCLASS (INTERNATIONAL PRESENTER)- The Gatekeeper Cultures and Spirituality - Interventionist to Suicide

 

​Worrying about how your team, family and community effectively assist and manage clients experiencing intergenerational trauma? Indigenous peoples around the world endured several generations of trauma and other neurological effects and compromised behavioural immunity which leads to behavioural indicators such as substance-abuse and suicide.  Our current generation is impacted by structural violence, poverty, racism, governmental neglect and ongoing hostilities, and unfortunately our mob have learned our lessons in traumatiSation as well where in many situations, we have internalized the trauma imposed on ourselves and turned onto our own families, communities, and selves.   

 

This workshop will teach you:

  • The strong benefits of recapturing and revitalizing our languages, cultures and spirituality

  • How to become an interventionist to suicide in your communities

  • Understand and utilise trauma-informed care to heal ourselves, our clients, and our communities.

 

  • Strategies in managing clients and families affected by inter-generational trauma and break the cycle of suicide in our communities.

  • In Just One Day You Can Learn Strategies how to become an interventionist to suicide and work effectively with your clients who are experiencing inter-generational trauma and their families.

THE PRESENTER:

Dr. Joseph B. Stone, PhD, an Anasaki-pikuni ceremonialist and traditionalist and member of the OKKAN (Sundance), the Last Star Thunder Medicine Pipe and Beaver Lodge.  He is a clinical psychologist and with his associate. Dr. Stone works at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga – a Kaupapa Maori Health Provider; Awhina Whanu Family Services, and the Napier Family Centre all located in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.  He has clinical experience with adult prisoners and corrections and juvenile justice in both New Zealand and USA.  He is affiliated with the National Center on Trauma and Project Making Medicine – Indian Health Service Assessment and Treatment of Child Abuse at Oklahoma State University. He has presented too and served as consultant to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs of Native Youth Suicide.  Dr. Stone’s publications include articles on trauma, suicide, and other cultural / behavioural issues. 

 

This Masterclass is strictly limited to 30 people only. Cost is $330 per person.

Call or email us to register for this workshop or CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

speakers information- coming soon 

 

REGISTRATION

Register early to get a discount! Please note that registrations are set out in an affordable way for organisations, which changes on a monthly basis. Hence the earlier you register, the more savings for your organisation. Registration fees include all day access to the event, available conference papers, daily lunch and refreshments for registered delegates only. Fees do not include travel costs or accommodation. Registration fees must be received within 7 DAYS of from being issued an invoice. Otherwise, bookings will not be considered.  To register, please click on the registration button and complete the form or you can also request a conference brochure and the registration form to be sent to you by email at adminics@iinet.net.au 

BENEFITS OF ATTENDING (FOR YOUR EMPLOYER)

 

As an employee, we are asked to present valid reasons why we should attend. Listed below are valid points that can be raised with your employer to justify your attendance.

 

  • Staff attending conferences regularly tends to become long term employees

  • An event such as this adds to the positive morale of staff

  • Conferences are a great way of providing ongoing training

  • Provides the opportunity to further enhance the organisation knowledge base

  • The opportunity for saving organisations money because of the shortness of the event

  • Allows delegates to showcase the organisation nationally and internationally

  • May provide organisations with new ideas

  • Gives organisations a showcase and voice at a national level

  • Provide an opportunity to evaluate various programs

  • Because this event is conducted over a short period, staff are only absent for a minimal number of days

 

YOUR INVITATION 

We wish to invite Indigenous and non-Indigenous worker from Australia and throughout to attend the conference to share and gather information. We also extend an invitation to participants to join us at the conference dinner in a relaxed atmosphere.

 

To ensure that delegates attend and participate, it is important to note that to show accountability of delegates in meeting their obligation, each delegate will receive a Certificate of Attendance only when they attend 85% of all the conference sessions. In addition, delegates will receive a CD with all papers & presentations presented at the conference.

 

Who:     Individuals, Groups, NGO’s, Government Agencies & Others

When:   27- 29 July 2020

Where: TBC

Time:     9.00am – 5.00pm

Conference Networking Dinner 24 JULY

 

WARNING: Limited availability. Please register online or contact us via email, should you have any further queries.

TRAVEL  

One of the prohibitive factors in attending a conference is the airfare component. Our company strives in making our event a lesser burden on the individual or organisation by negotiating competitive and affordable travel packages. All of our booking is made through First Nations Travel, a new 100% indigenous owned travel agency for stress free and corporate travel bookings. Please phone us on +61 4557 76 668 or send us your expression of interest by email:  adminics@iinet.net.au

MONEY SAVING IDEAS 

The event secretary has come up with some great ideas on how to save money for you and your organisation.

 

​1.  ACCOMMODATION: We have negotiated a special room rate for delegates at the venue, please click this link to avail yourself of the special discount

 

2.  TRAVEL: We have engaged First Nations Travel Agency to negotiate with all the relevant airlines for discounted airfare & hotel rates.

 

 3. CONCESSION: A special registration rate for university students is being offered for a flat rate of $650

ACCOMMODATION

Another prohibitive factors in attending a conference is the hotel component. Our company strives in making our event a lesser burden on the individual or organisation by negotiating competitive and affordable travel packages. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) also recognises that some NGO’s or other agencies will need to seek additional funding to attend, therefore First Nations Travel Agency quotation can be made out to either pay ASAP or to consider the time that is required to obtain funding. For the best possible airfares and seat availability, please confirm your attendance ASAP.

FIRST NATIONS TRAVEL AGENCY

Contact:  Phone 07 41942803

 Email.     adminics@iinet.net.au

To request a quote: https://www.evotravelagent.com/quote

 

Further advantage to using First Nations Travel Agency for your airfares is that if something goes wrong, you have greater access to your travel agent if required. Our company strives in making our event a lesser burden on the individual or organisation by negotiating competitive and affordable travel packages.

To book your accommodation and avail yourself of the special delegate discount rates, please note that included in your registration is 3 nights twin or double room. Indigenous Conference Services has negotiated special rates for delegates and speakers attending the conference, when you complete your registration form you will see a sector highlighted accommodation need. It is possible to stay outside the venue however this may lead to a higher cost to your organisation. Please note that when registering you have 7 days from the issue of the conference secretariat to make payment this is so your accommodation is locked in.

 

VISA TO AUSTRALIA 

If you are an international guest or speaker, please note that citizens of some countries require visas before entering Australia. To obtain an Australian Visa, you may require a letter of invite from the conference secretariat.  To obtain the letter of invitation, the guest must have registered for the conference and paid the required conference cost. This is refundable if visas are not approved, you should allow a minimum of 60 days for visa processing at the nearest Australian Embassy.  Please note, processing visa documents in some countries may take longer, depending on your country of origin. Visas can be obtained online from the Australian Federal Government's Department of Home Affairs website at this link  https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder/visit#

 

SPONSORING THE CONFERENCE

ICS Conferences have developed flexible sponsorship packages to sponsor the conference either in part or in full. Sponsorship is a great way of promoting your organisation/ company/ department to all delegates attending the conference. Sponsorship opportunities are only open to businesses and private enterprise, not individuals. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) will be of further assistance in tailoring your sponsorship arrangement. Please phone us on +61 4557 76 668 or send us your expression of interest by email:  adminics@iinet.net.au

 

contact us

ICS-MEES Pty Ltd

Indigenous Conference Services (Australia)

Postal Address: 8 Kiwi Court, Pt Vernon QLD 4655 Australia

Web: www.icsconferences.org 

Email:  adminics@iinet.net.au

Phone: 07 4194 2803, +61 4557 76 668

 

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Please note this website is continually being updated.