Caring for country and for collective wellbeing is something our First Nations have done for over 65,000 years. Building on that strength, and informed by community and artists, today LiverWELL launches a customised Guide that offers multiple tips and current links to support healthy living.
The health of Indigenous people is paramount in maintaining strong connections to country and in maintaining strong communities. LiverWELL is proud to announce the launch of a Healthy Living Guide for the Aboriginal Community. The Guide, available for viewing and downloading at liverwell.org.au promotes steps that Aboriginal people can take to look after the health of their liver and promote healthy activity, food and drink in their family and community.
There are higher rates of liver disease in Aboriginal communities and it is getting worse. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are ten times more likely to be diagnosed with viral hepatitis than non-Aboriginal populations. Viral hepatitis is the major cause of liver cancer in Australia, and liver cancer is the fastest growing cause of cancer death in Australia.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams said the new guide would be an important tool for Aboriginal communities to support improved health and wellbeing.
“A dedicated guide that speaks directly to Aboriginal Victorians about staying healthy and well is a fantastic initiative – and I thank all the groups and individuals who have played a part in creating it,” she said.
“Given the increased prevalence of viral hepatitis in Indigenous communities, it’s vital we provide all the necessary information and support they need so they can better manage any health risks.”
Melanie Eagle, CEO of LIverWELL, is excited to have a tailored Aboriginal Healthy Living Guide available in time for NAIDOC week. “LiverWELL is committed to offering specially designed tools to assist the community to take control of their health and counteract the disproportionate impact of liver disease”, says Ms Eagle. “We hope that the community will find this a useful resource, and we envisage it evolving over time with further contributions and stories from community members.”
LiverWELL are grateful for the input on this project from workers at services for Aboriginal people and community members, especially Aboriginal artist and health worker Peter Waples-Crowe, for providing cultural guidance in the finalisation of the project. “Viral hepatitis is still an issue for the Victorian Aboriginal Community in 2020. This guide is about keeping
ourselves well, and when we keep ourselves well, we improve our liver health,” says Peter Waples-Crowe, Ngarigu.
The Guide was designed by Aboriginal graphic designer Sean Miller, and features a number of exciting Indigenous art pieces from The Torch Project to add to its appeal.
The Guide is endorsed by Creative Director of the ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Kamarra Bell-Wykes, who is a strong advocate for good liver health in Aboriginal communities, and promotes understanding of the experience and stigma of liver disease. Her advice: “Love your liver! Love your life! Love yourself!”
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