The CheckUP Board has established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee to strengthen the delivery of programs into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

CheckUP recognised a gap in its service delivery and took steps to ensure a more formalised mechanism for strategic-level advice which is not dependent on any one individual.  

The Committee will provide direct feedback to CheckUP’s board, as well as give executive-level input into CheckUp’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focussed activities. Advice from this group will be used to inform gaps and opportunities for improved Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes across CheckUP’s programs and footprint. 

The Committee is Chaired by Mr Kieran Chilcott, Director, CheckUP Board of Directors. Other members are:  

  • Mr Shaun Tatipata Academic Specialist—Indigenous Eye Health Leadership, University of Melbourne 
  • Ms Rona Scherer Project Officer, The Healing Foundation  
  • Ms Renee Blackman CEO, Gidgee Healing
  • Ms Ann Maree Liddy CEO, CheckUP (ex-officio member)
  • Karen Hale-Robertson Deputy CEO, CheckUP (ex-officio member). 

The inaugural meeting of the CheckUP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee was held via Zoom on 14 July 2021. Key items of discussion during the meeting included the following: 

  • An overview of current CheckUP programs and footprint. 
  • Review of current communication channels to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and opportunities and areas for improvement to ensure enhanced understanding of what CheckUP is doing and the impact of our programs.  
  • Development and circulation of a communique following each meeting of the Committee was recognised as an important mechanism to support transparency and enhance communication with key stakeholders. 
  • Social media was recognised as an important communication tool. 
  • Terms of Reference for the Group were reviewed and endorsed. There was agreement that the purpose of this group should remain high level and that CheckUP would retain its other, more targeted structures, relating to our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), outreach programs, workforce initiatives, etc. 
  • There was support for appointment of a fourth member to the Advisory Committee. Members will nominate potential candidates for follow-up.  
  • Agreement to hold the next meeting face-to-face if possible.

A second meeting took place in November, and members participated in a presentation regarding CheckUP’s range of outreach healthcare programs. Attendees had an opportunity to provide input into how CheckUP can strengthen its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and stakeholder engagement, and therefore program and service outcomes. Strategies suggested in the presentation by members are currently being considered by CheckUP management, with a view to implementation this year. 

CheckUP is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to better health for people and communities who need it most. CheckUP works with partner organisations and health providers to create healthier communities and reduce health inequities through a range of initiatives. CheckUP has an established footprint in almost 200 communities across Queensland and the Northern Territory.

For further information, please email Karen Hale-Robertson, Secretariat