Supporting Aboriginal & Torres Strait Communities
As the nation continues to evolve to better support our Australia's First Peoples, ESSA and the exercise and sports science community are working together in this space too.
“It’s important to ESSA that all Australian communities feel supported to take care of their health and well-being, and this includes our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” says ESSA Chief Executive Officer, Anita Hobson-Powell.
“ESSA recognises the need to continue to bridge the long-standing disparities in health status that exist between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the rest of the Australian population, through both our organisation and our professionals.”
What our exercise and sports science professionals are doing
is a proud Kamilaroi man and an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with over 30 years’ experience in the health industry. Ray has worked tirelessly to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in remote communities and in metro regions across Australia to make lifestyle changes to improve their health. Ray also founded the Too Deadly for Diabetes program
which is run through local Aboriginal Medical Service.
Ray’s passion to promote evidence-based practice in a culturally appropriate environment has been inspiring to his clients and his colleagues and was one of the reasons he received the illustrious Accredited Exercise Physiologist of the Year Award
Dr Keane Wheeler
, a proud Ngarabal man, was recognised as the Accredited Exercise Scientist of the Year
for 2020 for his work in co-designing independent, influential, and Indigenous-led engagement initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families, and communities.
"Improving the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is important to me as it has been a long-standing challenge for Elders and community stakeholders.
Social determinants theory recognise that the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is determined by many interconnected factors. One of the factors affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is the trauma caused by colonisation, which has led to high rates of alcohol and drug abuse, family violence, as well as child abuse and neglect in some communities. I want to use this awareness to help build the evidence relating to a trauma-informed co-design of movement-based programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
If I can help prepare Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to get ready for school and develop prosocial behaviours, then we will go some ways to addressing the effects of colonisation. This will never take back the dispossession and dislocation of my mob or loss of identity. If we can design programs to better incorporate the physical, spiritual, cultural, emotional, and social well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, then we will help to build community capacity and self-determination.”