Partnerships are central to the CREATE program, which recognises the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives. These communities and governments need to work in partnership and be informed by a strong evidence base, which includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, on strengths and limitation of current initiatives to address chronic disease. Whilst some progress has been made in closing the gaps in health and well-being indicators of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in contrast to non-Indigenous Australians, wide disparities remain. The life expectancy gap, for example, is estimated to be 10.6 years for men and 9.4 years for women. Chronic disease is estimated to contribute to up to 80% of this life expectancy gap. Enhancing ways to prevent, treat and manage chronic disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is therefore vital to reducing health inequality in Australia.
The objectives of CREATE are to:
(1) Collate and synthesise existing evidence and, where necessary, identify and collate new evidence to inform guidelines, policies and other tools focused on improving health care and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples living with or at risk of developing a chronic disease, as identified by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Sector.
(2) Enhance the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care advocates, practitioners, service providers and researchers to conduct and use evidence to improve health outcomes.