In October 2019 nib foundation announced a new funding commitment of $1 million over the coming four years to enable us to expand our work in the area of Aboriginal health and wellbeing. The Aboriginal Health initiative was established following a donation from nib Group, made possible through unclaimed dividends from nib's shareholder base.  

We are proud to have partnered with some fabulous organisations working tirelessly in the area of Aboriginal health in recent years, with over $350,000 provided to seven projects through our Community Grants, with a focus on Indigenous youth mental health and wellbeing, and ear health.

Why Aboriginal health

It is great to see positive outcomes in some areas of Indigenous equality in Australia including COAG's continued commitment to the "Closing the Gap on Indigenous Disadvantage' framework and progress towards targets like Year 12 completion and early childhood education, as well as a growing reconciliation movement across the country.

However Indigenous Australians still experience significant disadvantage, with a life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians of  10 years. Inequality for Aboriginal communities remains widespread across many areas that have a close connection with good health and wellbeing including education, housing, employment, and access to services.

As a foundation with a purpose to help people and communities live healthier lives, we are particularly concerned about significant indigenous health inequalities compared to the non-indigenous population in Australia. For example Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are:

  • 1.7 times as likely to have a disability
  • 2.7 times as likely to experience high psychological distress
  • 2.1 times more likely to die before the age of 5 years
  • 3 times more likely to have long-term ear and hearing problems
  • 2.7 times higher smoking rate

Sustained effort will be needed in coming years to achieve indigenous health equality and like many other organisations, we feel a strong responsibility to play our part.

About the funding

 Commencing from the 2020 financial year, nib foundation will invest about $250,000 each year for the next four years in community partnerships to deliver health and wellbeing programs designed for and with Aboriginal people. It is likely that the funding will be allocated through proactive approach and partnership development rather than an open grant round.

In the coming months as we develop the strategy for this new funding stream, nib foundation will be reaching out to our colleagues and networks including local community groups, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, past partners, and other experts in this field to help build our understanding of current community needs and best practice responses, and determine how we can have the most impact.

We will also be applying what we have learned from our past partnerships, which is that often the most impactful and successful Aboriginal health initiatives are those that are conceived by the community, designed in collaboration with the community, and community-led.

Importantly, our foundation will take some time now that we have made this commitment to ensure that our response is considered and culturally appropriate, reflects the wishes of the Aboriginal communities that it is designed to serve, and also leverages the assets of the broader nib Group to best effect.

Stay up-to-date

Organisations and community groups specialising in Aboriginal health and wellbeing are encouraged to submit their interest in staying up to date on future grant and funding opportunities arising from this initiative by completing our Upcoming Funding form.