NACCHO Aboriginal health conferences : Innovative ways to improve the quality of Aboriginal health care


Innovative ways to improve the quality of health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders will be front and centre at a national conference being held in Melbourne on March 17 and 18.

Experts from around Australia will address the Lowitja Institute 2nd National Conference on Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health.

AND Abstract submissions and registrations are now open for the NACCHO Summit in June 2014



PRES RELEASE: Lowitja Institute 2nd National Conference on Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health.

Among those in attendance will be the institute’s chair, renowned advocate for disadvantaged Australians Ms Pat Anderson.

Also present will be the CEO of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council and Lowitja Institute board member, Selwyn Button; the scientific director of the National Centre for Quality Improvement in Indigenous Primary Health Care, Professor Ross Bailie; and the program leader for the institute’s Healthy Start, Healthy Life program, Associate Professor Gail Garvey. Since 2007 Associate Professor Garvey has led a research program which has explored high cancer mortality rates in Indigenous Australian communities.

Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, the Lowitja Institute is the only research organisation focused solely on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Named in honour of Dr O’Donoghue AC, CBE, DSG the institute brings together world-leading researchers, policy makers and experts in cutting-edge service delivery, enabling collaborative health research that will make a real difference to people’s lives. The board has a majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander membership and comprises highly skilled and experienced professionals from health, education, indigenous and community sectors.

“Our vision is to achieve equity in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their voice informs all of our activities, whether we’re conducting community-based research or setting our strategic direction,” the chief executive officer, Lyn Brodie, said.

“We’re also developing a new generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers, through acollaborative approach developed over 15 years with the Cooperative Research Centres for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.”

At every stage of the institute’s research, Aboriginal communities or organisations, health services, academic institutions and government agencies work together to set priorities, conduct research and put findings into practice.

Ms Brodie said continuous quality improvement involves regular reflection and refinement to improve processes and outcomes that will provide quality health care. Research has found that integrating CQI into the operations of primary health care providers yields substantial benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Our goal is to make CQI everyone’s business,” she said. The national conference will provide opportunities for participants to: Share knowledge about how best to embed CQI into everyday practice, ensuring better access to high-quality and comprehensive health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples including health promotion, dental health, social emotional wellbeing, alcohol and drug programs.

Learn about successful CQI examples and how best to transfer this knowledge to others in the field.

Renowned Aboriginal actor and director Kylie Belling, from The Sapphires, will MC the event. -continuesHighlights of the two-day program include a addresses by Dr Hung The Nguyen, a GP and censor for the>National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health; and the First Assistant Director of the Indigenous and Rural Health Division in the Federal Department of Health, Ms Samantha Palmer, who will provide evidence and information from Commonwealth-funded evaluations that show the effectiveness of CQI programs.

Dr Mark Wenitong will deliver the closing remarks. The senior medical advisor at Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Dr Wenitong specialises in clinical governance and strategic primary health-care planning, was noted as one of the 50 most influential doctors in Australia by Australian Doctor magazine in 2005.

Delegates will include service providers, such as community-controlled services and government agencies, along with researchers, health industry representatives and policy makers.

The conference will be followed by the biennial Congress Lowitja 2014, which opens on March 19, and “Is Racism the New Black?”, a comedy panel event featuring comedy stars Charlie Pickering, Libbi Gore and Meshel Laurie and acclaimed

Melbourne playwright, scriptwriter, musician, actor and director Richard Frankland on March 20.

For additional information go to or call (03) 8341 5555.

You can hear more about Aboriginal health at the NACCHO SUMMIT


The importance of our NACCHO member Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) is not fully recognised by governments.

The economic benefits of ACCHS has not been recognised at all.

We provide employment, income and a range of broader community benefits that mainstream health services and mainstream labour markets do not. ACCHS need more financial support from government, to provide not only quality health and wellbeing services to communities, but jobs, income and broader community economic benefits.

A good way of demonstrating how economically valuable ACCHS are is to showcase our success at a national summit.




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