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The Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Fund

Establishment

The Medicines Australia Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Fund holds funds to be used by Medicines Australia to be applied to indigenous health initiatives or other worthy initiatives as directed by the Board.

Medicines Australia and its member companies are passionate about improving Aboriginal health outcomes and helping close the life expectancy gap that exists between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

The Fund was created in 2008 in response to recommendations made by the Government that one way to assist in addressing Aboriginal health policy issues is through the development of Aboriginal preventative health programs.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Fund Projects

The inaugural programs of the Medicines Australia Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Fund were The Jimmy Little Foundation Thumbs Up! a healthy eating program and The Purple Truck, providing renal dialysis in the most remote parts of Australia.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Fund has also supported the Baker IDI – Central Australia, a program that helps address the profound disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal people in Central Australia and throughout the Northern Territory through scientific research.

Medicines Australia continues to support The Purple Truck and the Shalom Gamarada Scholarship Program.  This program that assists Aboriginal students with finding a safe, affordable place to live near UNSW while they study.

On behalf of the innovative medicines industry, Medicines Australia has contributed a total of $1.89m  towards Aboriginal preventative health programs.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Fund and its projects are a great legacy of the industry’s contribution to assist in Closing the Gap in Aboriginal health.

Previously Funded CSR Initiatives

Red Cross Disaster Relief

It’s been more than six months since the bushfires that devastated huge areas of land and the communities who call those places home. Medicines Australia received the Australian Red Cross Bushfires report from Jan-June 2020. The report details process, challenges and how the Red Cross is supporting bushfire-effected communities. Six months into our recovery, the red Cross has spent or disbursed $133 million, and supported nearly 50,000 Australians. They have also issued 4,380 grants as emergency payments or as re-establishment grants. As well as through Medicines Australia, members also donated generously to this appeal. A full report on the valuable work that the Red Cross was able to carry out because of these donations is available here.

The Jimmy Little Foundation

The Jimmy Little Foundation  vision is to increase the life expectancy of indigenous Australians and its mission is to facilitate nutritional education & advocate for better health services for indigenous Australians in communities.

The Jimmy Little Foundation together with the Fred Hollows Foundation developed a multi sectoral program spanning the health arena, the education and arts sectors, and the food industry. The Uncle Jimmy Thumbs Up! Healthy Food Program promotes the eating of healthy food through music and education programs in schools and remote communities.  The project specifically focuses on Indigenous Australians, particularly children, to improve health through an increased awareness of healthy food choices. However, as a secondary outcome, this project will promote wider community awareness about the health of Indigenous Australians. Children and young people have been chosen as the primary target group to foster the development of healthy eating behaviours at an early age which will improve health, educational outcomes and prevent development of chronic health conditions such as diabetes later in life.

Medicines Australia has generously donated over $770,000 from year to year to the Uncle Jimmy’s Thumbs Up! Program.

Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute

Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, Central Australia was established to help address the profound disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal people in central Australia and throughout the Northern Territory through scientific research that is rigorous, culturally appropriate and ethically sound. While they focus on the needs of the population in the Northern Territory their expertise in research spans many other jurisdictions and enables contributions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health spanning from major cities to the most remote communities in Australia.

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Central Australia is dedicated to carrying out collaborative research projects that build much needed knowledge and that provide practical contributions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health in the Centre. While research is their main business, they are much more than a collection of research projects. They work collaboratively with local stakeholders, particularly Aboriginal community controlled organisations, to address their areas of priority. With Medicines Australia’s assistance, Baker IDI – Central Australia is augmenting diabetes education and allied health professional services in central Australia.

Medicines Australia has generously donated $165,000 from year to year to the Baker IDI program.

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