Access to health services in outback Australia: a human right.

Gillian Triggs
Human Rights Consultant and Prominent Academic in Public International Law

This keynote address argues that access to high quality nursing in rural and remote parts of Australia should be viewed through the prism of human rights law.

As the World Health Organisation has declared, “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, or economic or social condition”.

In light of the reported annual deficit of more than $2.1 billion in funding rural health and in light of the special challenges for indigenous peoples, children, and the aged and disabled in rural and remote Australia, some fresh linking is required to ensure equality of access to health care and inclusive delivery of medical services.

If non-discriminatory access to health care is to be achieved in outback Australia we must call governments  to account to ensure they meet their international human rights obligations.

Biography

Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs is a respected human rights consultant and a prominent academic in the field of public international law.

Gillian is currently the Assistant High Commissioner Protection with the United Nations and President of the Asian Development Bank Tribunal. She has recently been appointed Chair of the United Nations Independent Expert Panel on Abuse of Office and Harassment.

Gillian graduated in Law from the University of Melbourne in 1968 and gained a PhD in 1982. She has combined an academic career with international commercial legal practice and has advised the Australian and other governments on international legal and trade disputes.

She then went on to become Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law from 2005-07 and Dean of the Faculty of Law and Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney from 2007-12.

In 2012, Gillian was appointed the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission a position she held until 2017.

From 2017 to 2019 Gillian was appointed the Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

Gillian is the author of many books and papers on international law, the most recent, “Speaking Up”, was published by MUP in October 2018.

Struggling is Strengthening

Kurt Fearnley AO

 

Drawing on experiences though life growing up in regional NSW & his road to the top of Paralympic Sport, Kurt will speak on the power of high expectation, the beauty in the struggle and acknowledging and building the resilience within the individual


Kurt Fearnley AO is a three-time Paralympic gold medallist with a can-do attitude that makes the impossible possible. At the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, he won gold and silver medals and was chosen as Australian Flag Bearer for the Closing Ceremony. Kurt’s determination and never-say-die attitude have rewarded him with the highest accolades in disability sport.

Kurt is also active in advocacy work. He has been an ambassador for the Don’t DIS my ABILITY campaign, was a 2010 International Day of People with Disability Ambassador and has contributed to the debate surrounding funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). In June 2018, Kurt Fearnley was given the Honour of being named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

A gifted keynote speaker, Kurt’s infectious energy and passion for life inspires and motivates audiences across age groups and industries.

Stan Grant

Award winning media host and Speaker

Stan Grant is the Indigenous Affairs Editor for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a multi-award winning current affairs host, an author and an adventurer.

Well known for having brought the former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to tears when interviewed about Indigenous affairs on The Point, Stan’s keynotes are insightful, engaging, always professional and at times, controversial.

Stan Grant’s Aboriginal heritage has shaped his dynamic, resilient personality. Born in Griffith in south-west New South Wales, in 1963, Stan Grant’s mother is from the Kamilaroi people and his father is of the Wiradjuri.

Stan spent most of his childhood on the road living in small towns and Aboriginal communities across outback NSW. His father was an itinerant saw-miller who worked when and where he could. Stan moved so often he attended 12 different schools before he was in his teens.

The early traveling gave Stan a love of adventure and stories. He grew up listening to the tales of his grandfather and uncles and aunts. Despite poverty and an early sporadic education the security of his family and the larger Aboriginal community gave him a strong platform for life.

After attending University, Stan won a cadetship with the Macquarie Radio Network, launching a career in journalism that has spanned more than 30 years and more than 70 countries. In that time Stan has travelled the world covering the major stories of our time from the release of Nelson Mandela, the troubles in Northern Island, the death of Princess Diana, war in Iraq, the second Palestinian intifada, the war on terror, the South Asia Tsunami, the Pakistan Earthquake and the rise of China.

Stan has hosted major news and current affairs programs on Australian commercial and public T.V. He has been a political correspondent for the ABC, a Europe correspondent for the Seven Network based in London and a senior international correspondent for the international broadcaster CNN based in Hong Kong and Beijing.

Returning to Australia in 2013, Stan continued to cover international events for Sky News Australia and reignited his passion for telling the stories of his own indigenous people. He has worked as the Indigenous editor for the Guardian Australia, managing editor for National Indigenous Television and international editor for Sky News. In 2016 Stan Grant was appointed as the special advisor to the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Indigenous constitutional recognition.

Stan has won many major awards including an Australian T.V Logie, a Columbia University Du-Pont Award (the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize), and the prestigious U.S Peabody Award. He is a four-time winner of the highly prized Asia TV Awards including reporter of the year.

Stan has written The Tears of Strangers and Talking To My Country (Harper Collins), and has published numerous articles and opinion pieces for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.

Stan Grant is passionate about justice and humanity. His years of international reporting has given him a deep understanding of how the world works. He is deeply immersed in the politics and history of Asia and the Middle East. He can link the importance of leadership and the impact of history and above all believes in the power and resilience of people.

Stan is married to ABC Sports Broadcaster, Tracey Holmes and has four children. He lives in Sydney.

Kurt Fearnley AO

Paralympian, Disability Rights Advocate & Keynote Speaker

Kurt Fearnley AO is a three-time Paralympic gold medallist with a can-do attitude that makes the impossible possible. At the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, he won gold and silver medals and was chosen as Australian Flag Bearer for the Closing Ceremony. Kurt’s determination and never-say-die attitude have rewarded him with the highest accolades in disability sport.

Kurt is also active in advocacy work. He has been an ambassador for the Don’t DIS my ABILITY campaign, was a 2010 International Day of People with Disability Ambassador and has contributed to the debate surrounding funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). In June 2018, Kurt Fearnley was given the Honour of being named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)

A gifted keynote speaker, Kurt’s infectious energy and passion for life inspires and motivates audiences across age groups and industries.

Kurt Fearnley was born without the lower portion of his spine, yet despite this, he’s always been willing to have a go at everything.

The youngest of five children from the small western NSW town of Carcoar, sport was always a big part of his family’s life. Ignoring his disability, he happily played in everything against his able-bodied brothers and mates.

With an indomitable spirit, Kurt took up wheelchair racing when he was 14. From pushing his everyday wheelchair as fast as he could down the grass track at school athletics carnivals to pushing his chair the last five kilometres on a flat tyre at the Athens Paralympics, he went on to win gold in the toughest marathon in Paralympic history.

One of Australia’s best-known and respected athletes, Kurt has won some of the world’s most prestigious marathons, in London, Paris, Rome, Los Angeles, Chicago & New York; the latter two, an incredible five times. Kurt won the Paralympic men’s wheelchair marathon in Athens in 2004 and retained his title in Beijing in 2008. Marathon podium finishes in London (2012) and Rio (2016) cemented four consecutive Paralympic Marathon medals. He had the honour of serving as the Captain of the Australian Paralympic Team during the Rio campaign. At the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Kurt won the gold medal in the Men’s Marathon T54 and silver in the Men’s 1500 T54. He was given the honour of the flag bearer at the closing ceremony.
Kurt has achieved world champion status in wheelchair events ranging from 800m to the marathon. His marathon personal best is one hour 18 minutes and 51 seconds, set in Boston in 2011.

Off the racing circuit, Kurt has been a winning crew member of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, taking line honours in 2011 on board the yacht Loyal. However, he is best-known for his amazing feat of crawling the 96km Kokoda track.

In 2014, Kurt’s autobiography Pushing the Limits: Life, Marathons & Kokoda was published.

Kurt is actively involved in various charities as a board member and patron. He is an ambassador for the Day of Difference Foundation and for the International Day of People with a Disability; in 2016, Kurt was elected by his peers to be one of six Summer Paralympic Athletes to serve on the International Paralympic Committee’s Athletes Commission.

Kurt’s achievements have been publicly recognised many times; he was the flag bearer for Australia at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast; in 2015, he was the AIS Sports personality of the Year and Newcastle Citizen of the Year.

In 2010, Kurt was immortalised when his image featured on the medals for the 2010 Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. On the 22 January, 2013, he was given the annual Australian honour of giving the 2013 Australia Day Address.

In 2009, he was the NSW Young Australian of the Year; in 2007 and 2009, he was a Laureus World Sports Award Finalist and Commonwealth Athlete of the Year with a Disability. Kurt was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia or OAM in 2005 after winning a gold medal at the Athens Paralympic Games, and in June 2018 he received an even higher honour when he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia or AO.

Shifting narratives and changing the systems for quality STI control in remote Australia

Associate Professor James Ward

Head Infectious Diseases Research Program, Aboriginal Health | South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute

 

Sexually transmissible infection (STI) control has been an intractable issue in many remote areas particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  Driving this are multiple socio-cultural and systemic issues. All too often however, the issue is apportioned to individual personal behaviours such as promiscuity or sexual abuse. This attribution of behaviours rather than system structure creates a culture ofscapegoating and blame and diverts attention from the leverage points where redesigning the system or government policy can have significant, sustained and beneficial effects on STI control. I will argue that changing the discourse about STIs is the first step in STI control. Drawing on over a decade of STI research in remote areas suggestions on the way forward will be provided.

Health Care in Conflict

Populations affected by armed conflict experience severe public health consequences mediated by population displacement, food scarcity, and the collapse of basic health services. This often gives rise to complex humanitarian emergencies where aid agencies like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are likely to offer assistance.

Conflict has both direct and indirect effects on people’s health and on the overall health system. There are also wider societal consequences and ethical issues, particularly the routine breaking of the Geneva Conventions.

Health care professionals play an important role in minimizing the adverse consequences of conflict, sometimes at a great personal cost. Violence against health-care workers and facilities in conflict areas is on the rise and is a humanitarian issue with widespread and long-term effects.

The consequences of modern day conflicts are felt all over the world, not only in the countries where they take place. People are forced to leave their homes and end up internally displaced, as refugees or as asylum seekers. In 2017, over 65 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide because of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations alone.

The sudden influx of asylum seekers and refugees is a challenge for any country, perhaps even a greater one for a small and homogeneous society like Iceland. The learning curve in the Icelandic health care system has been steep but necessary to be able to provide health care suitable for all.