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New funds to aid young indigenous health

The Morrison government is providing $3.9 million to encourage healthy lifestyle changes among indigenous Australians, while addressing risk factors for chronic disease.

The Indigenous Marathon Foundation recruits 10 young aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people each year as part of the Indigenous Marathon Project that engages in health, running and leadership programs.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the foundation has a significant record of preparing young people to undertake marathons in Australia and, prior to the pandemic, internationally.

“Running a marathon is a serious commitment which takes focus, determination and stamina, and the participants’ achievements each year are inspirational,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“Our government is providing $3.9 million over four years to ensure the program continues to find talented, young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and help them achieve their potential.”

Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said the project promotes more than just a healthy lifestyle.

“The project is unique in that it uses running to celebrate Indigenous resilience and foster Indigenous leadership. This funding will ensure the project’s continued success.”

Data shows that insufficient physical exercise and poor nutrition is a significant contributor to the disproportionate burden of disease experienced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Since 2009, the foundation has provided support to more than 122 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women.

Many go on to work in health related fields, while continuing to be positive health ambassadors for their local communities.

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