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The Fulbright Symposium 2008 was held in Adelaide on 10–11 July, presented by the Australian American Fulbright Commission in conjunction with the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health (CRCAH) and Flinders University.
The event brought together some of the world's leading experts on social determinants of health with a broad range of Aboriginal health workers, health bureaucrats, academics and students to investigate the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health outcomes in Australia. Around 220 people attended over the two day symposium.
The Symposium challenged participants with thought provoking speakers who advocate for progressive change to our economic and social systems in order to make our societies sustainable and healthy. In recognition of the broad range of issues impacting on Aboriginal health, the Symposium showcased success stories in dealing with Aboriginal health in a cross-sectoral context. An Emerging Leaders Program was held after the Symposium on 12 July to inspire and motivate emerging or potential leaders who are committed to promoting healthy communities and building a prosperous country to take action to address health inequity and the social determinants of health in their own communities.
One of the keynote speakers was Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the International Institute for Society and Health and MRC Research Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London. Sir Michael also Chaired the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Commission on Social Determinants of Health. The major achievement of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health was to start a global movement whose advocates profess that health equity can be achieved within a generation. In Australia this has resulted in a grass roots campaign to Close the Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous life expectancy.