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About the Special Purpose Fund

Advice: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this publication may contain images of people who have died.


The establishment of the Special Purpose Fund was announced at the Medicines Australia Annual General Meeting in October 2009, to support not-for-profit charitable organisations that focus on Indigenous health.

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

In determining what would be the most appropriate use of our funds and identifying suitable projects, Medicines Australia consulted organisations such as the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in the Federal Department of Health and Ageing and Australian Indigenous Doctors Association. A Board sub-committee was formed to develop the aims, objects and governance framework of the Fund; and to select the inaugural projects. Today, the Medicines Australia Board Finance and Audit Committee oversees the administration of the Special Purpose Fund.

On 16 March 2010, over 200 guests from Federal Parliament, industry, the health sector and the Indigenous community attended Medicines Australia’s Parliamentary Dinner in Canberra to formally launch the Special Purpose Fund.

The Special Purpose Fund Projects

At the Medicines Australia Parliamentary Dinner in 2010, Mr Will Delaat, Chair of Medicines Australia proudly launched the Medicines Australia Special Purpose Fund. He spoke of the industry’s commitment to improving Indigenous health outcomes, and to help close the life expectancy gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The inaugural funding programs were announced:

  • The Jimmy Little Foundation Thumbs Up! healthy eating program
  • The Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation Mobile Renal Dialysis unit – the Purple Truck.

Shortly after the launch of the Special Purpose Fund, Medicines Australia made a third announcement, proudly supporting two Indigenous students of medicine at the University of NSW, through the Shalom Gamarada Ngiyani Yana Residential Scholarship Program. In 2012, Medicines Australia provided funds for a further two Indigenous students of the Shalom Gamarada Program.

In April 2012 Medicines Australia welcomed the fourth organisation to receive support through the Special Purpose Fund. With Medicines Australia’s assistance, Baker IDI – Central Australia is augmenting diabetes education and allied health professional services in central Australia.

Since 2010, Medicines Australia has contributed a total of $1.72m towards Indigenous preventative health programs. The Special Purpose Fund and its projects are a great legacy of the industry’s contribution to assist in Closing the Gap in Indigenous health.