• National Association Reports
    Food security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
    Vol. 16 Issue 1
    Country: Australia
    Claire Hewat, Executive Director of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), and Michael Moore, CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), were in the spotlight at the media gallery at Parliament House in the national capital on 13 January 2009. They were there to launch a joint statement on ‘Food Security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’. 

    This has been an important collaboration between DAA and PHAA whose members contributed to the statement. The statement provides succinct information about the current situation in relation to food security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. It also outlines the action the DAA and the PHAA will undertake to address the issues identified. 

    Access to adequate food for a nutritious diet is a basic human right but many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience problems with access to safe and healthy food in both urban and remote areas. Food availability continues to be poor for many people despite Australia being a relatively wealthy country. Environmental health infrastructure is often inadequate and nutrition education opportunities are limited.

    The DAA and PHAA resolve to provide continuing professional development opportunities for their members to support their work in this area. There is also a strong commitment to advocacy for measures to improve food security, better support of the Indigenous nutrition workforce, ongoing monitoring of dietary intake and improvements in housing. 

    This is the beginning of wider action on issues of food security, which affects a range of disadvantaged groups in Australia such as the mentally ill, the homeless and those on low incomes. 

    For more information see the joint statement on the DAA website http://www.daa.asn.au Info for professionals>Public statements or contact Annette Byron, Policy Dietitian abyron@daa.asn.au .