Sorry Business

It has occurred to us, with force, the impact that reduced health is having in remote communities. This has manifested itself most prominently by the words ‘sorry business’, which has been a recurring phrase and without doubt the number one reason for non-participation in the DD Project. A suicide and alcohol related death are the only ‘sorry business’ that have been disclosed to us, so we can not postulate on the causes in other communities we’ve visited, but these are enough to strike the wrong chords and drive home the terms ‘Closing the Gap’, a phrase that one can’t avoid when involved in some way with Indigenous health. While the phrase is a catchy and novel one, it would sit easier on the mind if it weren’t for these constant reminders out in the bush – so in your face and so in stark contrast with city living. Statistics tell us a grave story about life expectancy in Australia with an Indigenous man and woman, born between 2005 and 2007, expected to live 11.5 years and 10 years less than non-Indigenous respectively. But these numbers, while totally inappropriate and unacceptable in a developed country, are not enough to uncover the desperate need inherent in the Closing the Gap campaign.  Nonetheless, all is not lost! Organisations like Red Dust are doing something about it, something practical. The health promotion, school-based programs funded by Red Dust work, and what’s the best thing about them? They cater for the uniqueness of each partner community, which as we have now inevitably learnt along the way are very distinct between communities. Why not get involved?


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