The Australian Otitis Media Conference

The Australian Otitis Media Conference was recently held in Fremantle 2-4th May 2012.  A total of 157 from the research field, ear health specialists and health professionals from the primary health care sector shared knowledge around otitis media, a middle ear disease which has a high prevalence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly young children.  NACCHO sponsored 60 health professionals from the primary health care services, with a total of about 72% coming from NACCHO member services.  About 100 attended the Social Function and were entertained by Aboriginal comedian, Kevin Kropinyeri, who had the audience in stitches with his performance.

A report is currently being prepared and will be available on the NACCHO website in due course. 

 NACCHO’s Workforce Project Update:  Implementation of Phase 3 & Phase 4

Training Program

The national roll out of the National Aboriginal Ear and Hearing Health Skill Set continues with 5 RTOs delivering their first block of training.  RTOs delivering to date are:

  • AHWCA  – WA  February-March  2012
  • Booroogen Djugun College  NSW February- March 2012
  • KAMSC Broome, WA  April 2012
  • QATSIHWEPAC  Cairns, Qld April 2012
  • Aboriginal Health College – NSW May 2012

In June, AHCSA in Adelaide will deliver their first block of training and QATSIHWEPAC will deliver their second block on Thursday Island.   Other interested RTOs to date are VACCHO in Victoria, CARDHS in Alice Springs NT and Indigenous Wellbeing Centre in Bundaberg Qld.

Professional Development (Equipment) Training:

Three state PD trainings have been conducted in WA, QLD and SA.  Two are planned as a promotion to undertake the National Skill Set at VACCHO on 26 July 2012 and CARDHS Alice Springs on 22nd August.  The new program features where possible, a local health service to share their ear health program with other AHWs; a guest speaker such as a specialist is invited to share their experience on identification of ear health conditions and it’s appropriate referrals or treatment.  Also where possible, a previous ear health participant is invited to become a “trainee trainer” for the day and to work alongside of NACCHO’s trainers. The purpose is to strengthen capacity of existing AHWs to add value to their current ear health role and to encourage them to undertake the National Skill Set qualification. 


The aim of Phase 3 and 4 is to establish a sustainable model for the ongoing national delivery of the accredited ear and hearing health training skill set for the AHW workforce that is supported by evaluation evidence.  3 RTO sites have been visited by an evaluator and NACCHO is assisting the evaluators, Beyond, through the evaluation phase.  Progress of the evaluation will be discussed at a proposed national Evaluation Workshop tentatively planned for August 2012.

 Support and Mentoring Model

NACCHO held the first Project Advisory Group and the first National Trainers Workshop in March 2012 in Adelaide.  RTOs, targeted ACCHS and senior health workers participated in preliminary discussions and development of a support and mentoring model.  It also looked at possible career pathways which will be explored further in the future.  This is one of the Capacity Strengthening Strategies to support ear health workers during and beyond the national roll out.


NACCHO has a number of ear health resources.  An Ear Health Kit that contains an Ear Health Training Manual was developed in Phase 2 of the project.  A DVD of the launch and training of AHWs has been developed and has only been recently delivered to ACCHS and Community Health Services and RTOs.  A new resource currently near completion will be distributed by June 2012. 

Queries on Previous Ear Health Reports and Resources can be obtained by contacting the Ear Health Team in the NACCHO Secretariat details above


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