Improving the health & wellbeing of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people
Jaki Adams-Barton, new Chair of the Vision 2020 Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee, blogs about her work as Manager of The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Indigenous Australia Program and her commitment to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are 6 times more likely than other Australians to go blind and with the rise in diabetes-related eye disease, matters are only going to get worse.”
I have a personal and professional commitment to do whatever I can to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As Manager of The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Indigenous Australia Program, I am able to have direct impact on and positively contribute to programs that target ending avoidable blindness and work towards improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
In order to gain improvements in the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to reduce the level of avoidable blindness, I am committed to supporting and working collectively on programs that improve access to services and products; address barriers in patient pathways; increase surgeries to reduce backlogs and allow people who are unnecessarily blind (ie. have cataracts) to instantly see; programs that influence government policy; assist in securing resources; analyse gaps and address need; programs that advocate for change; demonstrate and communicate what works; and collaborate with other stakeholders and partners - in particular the eye health and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sectors, to collectively make a difference.
It’s an honour to take on the role of Chair of the Vision 2020 Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee to address the unnecessary burden of disease related to avoidable blindness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This is a mammoth task, one that requires full collaboration and support across the sectors (service delivery, research, policy and advocacy), and this Committee provides the opportunity for us to work together. To combine our efforts at a national level and working towards reducing the level of preventable and treatable vision loss for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I am looking forward to working through the challenges and celebrating the achievements of the Committee over the next two years.Back to Blog