Senator the Hon Malarndirri McCarthy, Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians and Indigenous Health has highlighted the importance of Accredited Practising Dietitians in improving the health outcomes for First Nations people, as a keynote speaker at Dietitians Australia 40th anniversary conference in Melbourne this week.

“The life expectancy gap (between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians) is 8 years,” said Senator McCarthy.

“Too many indigenous babies are born dangerously underweight, too many indigenous people are suffering from diseases that could have and should have been treated sooner.

Too many indigenous people are dying too young.”

Senator McCarthy paid tribute to the role of Accredited Practising Dietitians in helping to close the gap.

“I think the work that each of you (dietitians) do is not as spoken of as widely it should be across our country.

“I think that the work that you do in terms of First Nations family’s needs to be supported, even more than ever, because of what we are trying to achieve in our country to close the gap.

“It matters that not only First Nations people, but all Australians are acutely aware of just how important it is living a healthy lifestyle and eating nutritious food – all the things that help us to live healthy and better lives is so critical.

“It was an absolute honour to have Senator McCarthy attend our conference and speak so intimately about how our profession can help close the gap,” Tracy Hardy, Dietitians Australia Board Director and First Nations APD said.

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Note to Editors: Dietitians Australia is the leading voice in nutrition and dietetics, representing dietitians nationally and advocating for healthier communities. Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is the only national credential recognised by the Australian Government as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetics services in Australia.