Policy

pattern

Health, housing and wellbeing

Although there have been some improvements, recent statistics indicate that there is still a lot of work to be done to close the gap in health, housing and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians.

Headline indicator 8: Improve the health status of Aboriginal Victorians

Target: By 2031, close the gap in the proportion of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians that report their health status as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.

This target is not on track.

The proportion of Aboriginal Victorians who report their health status as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ continues to decline.

In 2014-15, 40.2% of Aboriginal Victorians reported their health as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’, compared to 47.8% in 2007-08.

For non-Aboriginal Victorians there was a similar decline. 53.6% reported their health as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ in 2014-15, down from 60.1% in 2007-08.

In 2014-15, 40.2% of Aboriginal Victorians reported their health as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’, compared to 47.8% in 2007-08

 

Target: By 2031, close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal adults reporting ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels of psychological distress.

This target is not on track.

Aboriginal Victorians continue to be at a higher risk of psychological distress, compared to non-Aboriginal Victorians.

In 2014-15, Aboriginal Victorians were two and a half times more likely to report ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels of psychological distress than non-Aboriginal Victorians.

In 2014-15, 35.8% of Aboriginal Victorians and 14% of non?Aboriginal Victorians reported ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels of psychological distress.

In 2014-15, 35.8% of Aboriginal Victorians and 14% of non Aboriginal Victorians reported ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels of psychological distress.

 

Target: By 2023, the proportion of Aboriginal adults who are current smokers will reduce by 21%.

This target is on track.

The rate of smoking for Aboriginal Victorians has decreased by 17% from 46.6% in 2007-08 to 39.8% in 2014-15.

In 2014-15, just 14% of non-Aboriginal Victorians smoked. This equates to Aboriginal Victorians smoking at almost three times the rate of non-Aboriginal Victorians.

The rate of smoking for Aboriginal Victorians has decreased by 17% from 46.6% in 2007-08 to 39.8% in 2014-15.

Other measures

Measure: The rate of self-harm among Aboriginal Victorians.

In 2016-17, Aboriginal Victorians presented to hospital emergency departments with self-harm-related injuries at a rate of 6.2 people per 1,000. This equates to a presentation rate of more than four times the rate of non-Aboriginal Victorians.

In 2016-17, Aboriginal Victorians presented to hospital emergency departments with self-harm-related injuries at a rate of 6.2 people per 1,000. This equates to a presentation rate of more than four times the rate of non-Aboriginal Victorians.

 

Measure: The proportion of Aboriginal adults who are obese.

71% of adult Aboriginal Victorians are overweight and/or obese, compared to 61.1% of non-Aboriginal Victorians.

Obesity increases the risks of other health conditions, including coronary heart disease and diabetes, two of the biggest direct contributors to the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians.

71% of adult Aboriginal Victorians are overweight and/or obese, compared to 61.1% of non-Aboriginal Victorians.

 

Measure: The proportion of Aboriginal Victorians who are homeless.

Aboriginal Victorians are nearly five times more likely than non-Aboriginal Victorians to be homeless.

Although Aboriginal Victorians are disproportionately represented among the number of Victorians who are currently experiencing homelessness, there have been some positive trends since 2006.

In 2016, Aboriginal Victorians experienced homelessness at a rate of 16.4 people per 1,000, compared to 21.2 people per 1,000 people in 2006. This represents a 22.6% reduction in the rate of Aboriginal Victorians experiencing homelessness.

Aboriginal Victorians are nearly five times more likely than non Aboriginal Victorians to be homeless.

 

Measure: The proportion of Aboriginal people with a disability receiving disability services.

In 2016-17, Aboriginal Victorians made up 2.1% of people receiving disability services, an increase from 1.5% in 2012-13.

In 2016-17, Aboriginal Victorians made up 2.1% of people receiving disability services, an increase from 1.5% in 2012-13.

Measure: The rate of harmful alcohol consumption among Aboriginal Victorians.

In 2016-17, Aboriginal Victorians presented to hospital emergency departments for alcohol-related injuries at a rate of 12.2 people per 1,000, compared to non-Aboriginal Victorians who presented at a rate of 2.4 people per 1,000.

This puts the rate of Aboriginal Victorians presenting at emergency departments for alcohol-related injuries at five times the rate of non?Aboriginal Victorians. 

While rates have fluctuated since 2007-08, this is an increase from 2015-16 when Aboriginal Victorians presented to hospital emergency departments at a rate of 10.2 people per 1,000. 

In 2016-17, Aboriginal Victorians presented to hospital emergency departments for alcohol-related injuries at a rate of 12.2 people per 1,000, compared to non Aboriginal Victorians who presented at a rate of 2.4 people per 1,000.

Victorian Government reform

The Victorian Government puts Aboriginal connection to culture and community at the forefront of its understanding of Aboriginal health and wellbeing.

Korin Korin Balit-Djak: Aboriginal health, wellbeing and safety strategic plan 2017-2027, adopts an approach based on cultural and social determinants of health and is guided by the principle of self-determination.

Korin Korin Balit-Djak contains five domains, complete with strategic directions and actions, one of which is a commitment to ensuring 'safe, secure and strong families and individuals'. The domain specifically addresses the need to advance self-determination in Aboriginal housing and homelessness. It does so by resourcing the Koori Community Housing Forum to support organisations with housing stock to share expertise in managing Aboriginal housing for Victoria.

Korin Korin Balit-Djak also includes a focus on improving outcomes for Aboriginal people with a disability, aiming to ensure all Aboriginal Victorians with a disability have access to the culturally appropriate supports they need.

Balit Murrup: Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing framework 2017-2027 provides a self-determination and culturally based approach to improving mental health outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians. The framework aligns with a holistic and interconnected Aboriginal view of health which embraces social, emotional, physical, cultural and spiritual dimensions of wellbeing. 

In June 2018, the transfer of 1,448 properties from the Department of Health and Human Services to Aboriginal Housing Victoria was completed. This advances self-determination as homes are now owned and managed by an Aboriginal organisation for the benefit of Aboriginal people and communities.

The Victorian Government acknowledges the work of community partners to improve health outcomes and meet the health needs of Aboriginal Victorians, including:

  • the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
  • the Aboriginal Strategic Governance Forum
  • Aboriginal community organisations.