Leading Indigenous health specialist inspires Notre Dame staff and students

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 18-9-2008

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



A prominent Aboriginal health specialist recently gave an inspiring lecture to staff and students at The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney’s School of Medicine.

Dr Shane Houston spoke about opportunities and reform in health care for indigenous Australians. The lecture was entitled, The Promise of Fourth World Heath Care. Dr Houston is currently the Assistant Secretary for Systems Performance and Aboriginal Policy at the Department of Health and Community Services in the Northern Territory.

He has been involved in Aboriginal Affairs for more than 30 years, specifically in the health and employment areas. During this time he has worked for the World Council of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and served as an Australia representative on various United Nation forums.

Dr Houston’s Notre Dame lecture shed light on programs that have been implemented to improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“One significant new program is a Social Security Policy. Attitude doesn’t change results: behavior changes results; and what we have done is create this policy that says Aboriginal people will not suffer a lesser income simply because they hold different cultural values,” said Dr Houston.

Dean of the School of Medicine, Professor Julie Quinlivan, said it was an inspirational talk which was attended by staff, students and senior medical practitioners.

“Dr Houston has extensive experience of the challenges facing Aboriginal people throughout Australia and it is a great opportunity for our students, and the broader Medical community, to have the opportunity to hear him speak.

“The School of Medicine is committed to ensuring that our graduates are fully competent in the issues that face Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples. We will continue to invite people of Dr Houston’s calibre to work with our students,” said Professor Quinlivan.

Media contact:

Moira Saunders 02 8204 4407