Aboriginal Health News Alert : New National Partnership Progresses Health Equity in Cape York

Cape York

Apunipima is delighted to be entering into a partnership with such a significant organisation. We looks forward to a long term, positive relationship with Catholic Health Australia and its members.

We recognise their long service in this country, their commitment to the poor and disadvantaged our society and their expertise in healthcare, hospitals, aged care and health training.

We believe their knowledge, compassion, capacity, scope of experience, advocacy and commitment to health equity will improve health outcomes in Cape York.”

Apunipima CEO Cleveland Fagan said the partnership would help with additional expertise and support to make sure the people of the Cape who suffer some of the worst health outcomes in Australia have access to the best level of health care.

Pictured above Dr Mark Wenitong from Apunipima signing the agreement at the Catholic Health Australia’s national conference in Sydney on 30 August 2016: see NACCHO TV Interview

Apunipima Cape York Health Council has signed a Strategic Partnership Statement with Catholic Health Australia (CHA), signifying the two organisations commitment in partnership to closing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health gap in Cape York.

CHA represents Australia’s largest non-government grouping of hospitals, aged and community care services with member providers in both metropolitan and regional areas across the country.

The partnership between Apunipima and Catholic Health Australia will see Catholic hospital and aged care groups work in collaboration with CHA and Apunipima to assist Apunipima to deliver additional health care services to the people of Cape York. CHA is also supporting Apunipima’s advocacy efforts to deliver health equity for the people of Cape York. Additionally, the organisation has agreed to participate in knowledge sharing activities including workshops and community visits.

The agreement was signed by Catholic Health Australia and Apunipima at Catholic Health Australia’s national conference in Sydney on 30 August 2016.

Catholic Health Australia’s CEO, Suzanne Greenwood, has acknowledged tomorrows signing of the Strategic Partnership Statement with Apunipima signifies an important step towards improving health outcomes in Cape York.

“While Apunipima and others are providing essential healthcare services on the frontlines, the health gaps for Aboriginal people in Cape York are simply unacceptable,” said Suzanne Greenwood.

“This Statement of Strategic Partnership with Apunipima Cape York Health Council represents another significant step towards reaching our shared goal of providing equitable access to culturally-appropriate, high-quality healthcare to all Australians in need, whether they are living in Aurukun, Margaret River, Tamworth or Melbourne.”

“Major challenges, identified by Apunipima at CHA’s recent community visit and health workshop in Cape York included a severe shortage of clinical staff. GPs, midwives, chronic disease workers, allied health workers, and Aboriginal and Torres Islander health workers in clinical and community engagement are all in short supply.

“The Catholic health and aged care sector trains and employs some of the country’s leading clinicians and allied health personnel – an area in which CHA’s members have acknowledged they have the capacity to assist.”

“The signing of this Strategic Partnership Statement formally signifies the Catholic sector’s aim to work with Apunipima Cape York Health Council towards closing the Aboriginal health gap in Cape York.”

Second agreement signed

Collaboration creates opportunities for Cape

Apunipima Cape York Health Council and Mercy Health Australia have signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding at the Catholic Health Australia Conference .

The MOU will see Mercy Health join forces with Apunipima to strengthen and consolidate the skills of both organisations through a range of projects designed to share experiences, develop collaborative learning programs and skill development.

It is envisaged that this collaborative partnership will result in both organisations sharing their extensive experience and expertise for the betterment of all who receive their services.

The partners were introduced by John Mero (Vision Method Outcomes) who has worked with Apunipima and Mercy Health and recognised the opportunity and benefits that a partnership could provide.

Mercy Health and Apunipima have a common goal of achieving health equity for Cape York communities. The partnership will initially involve establishing sponsored scholarships in health professions, provision of clinical governance and supervision support, participation in a Cape York aged care facility review and planning exercise and a skills exchange including temporary secondment between both parties.

Cleveland Fagan, CEO of Apunipima said, “We are delighted to be entering into a partnership of this calibre. To be able to combine the expertise and experience of both organisations can only see improved outcomes for the people we serve.  With shared values and a common aim, I am really looking forward to seeing this partnership flourish and grow well into the future.”

Mercy Health Group Chief Executive Officer, Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen, said “This is an exciting collaboration between organisations committed to improving the health outcomes, opportunities and ultimately the lives of thousands of Australians. The sole purpose of Mercy Health serving in this region is to provide and support better opportunities and outcomes for the communities of Far North Queensland. Initiatives such as this only strengthen the likelihood of this occurring.”

Note to Editors

Mercy Health is a Catholic organisation grounded in a 2,000-year tradition of caring for others. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Health employs over 7,000 people who provide acute and subacute hospital care, aged care, mental health programs, specialist women’s and babies’ health, early parenting education and support, palliative care, home and community care, and health worker training and development. Mercy Health employs people from many cultures and backgrounds who, irrespective of their beliefs, share a common bond to care for those in need.

 

 

NACCHO #IndigenousDads and Aboriginal Health : Stereotyping a barrier to Aboriginal advancement

Roy

 “As the spontaneous expression of Aboriginal identity and pride of #IndigenousDads demonstrated, Aboriginal fathers are teachers, lawyers, academics, employers, actors, animators, athletes.

Above all they are dedicated and devoted role models for future generations and give them hope that they can rise above discrimination and racism, be proud of their identity and culture, and be encouraged to reach their potential.

Roy Ah-See, a Wiradjuri man, is chairman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, the largest member-based Aboriginal organisation in Australia : And former chair of Yerin ACCHO  see interview here from NACCHO TV

On Sunday, August 7, Father’s Day came early for Aboriginal dads. On that morning, Aboriginal people gathered on one of the modern forms of the Koori grapevine — Twitter — to have their say about the Bill Leak cartoon that had offended so many earlier that week.

Aboriginal fathers and children shared personal family moments on social media, presenting an image of Aboriginal life mainstream society rarely sees.

#IndigenousDads was empowering and a reminder to the Australian community that the first nations peoples of Australia are much more than the stereotypes that exist today.

Roy 2

Stereotypes and racism continue to hold back the potential of Aboriginal people in Australia. The hurt and humiliation of everyday racism affects the physical health and the mental wellbeing of our mob.

Anyone who takes the time to look at the images of #Indigenous Dads will quickly appreciate why our people are so offended by these racist stereotypes.

Organisations such as the one I lead — the NSW Aboriginal Land Council — invest so much effort into strengthening culture and identity and ensuring Aboriginal people can participate in our communities and economies.

In NSW, the land rights network is in a unique position. Since 1983 local Aboriginal land councils in NSW have been able to claim certain lands as freehold title and use that land for the cultural, social and economic benefit of our people.

Democratically elected local Aboriginal land council boards make informed decisions about land use. In some instances, land is kept for healing and to protect culture. Land is also leveraged for economic development. Like any owner of freehold title, local Aboriginal land councils can buy, sell or lease land for the benefit of Aboriginal people.

Local Aboriginal land councils are engaged in property development on the NSW central coast, international tourism ventures in the Hunter and social enterprises on the mid-north coast.

During the past 33 years, the land rights network has worked hard to shift public perceptions of Aboriginal people. We’ve sought to convert the gains from land rights to self-determination and economic independence.

Despite this success, disadvantage continues. The Close the Gap campaign confirms that compared with the general population, Aboriginal people die 10 years younger, lose people from suicide at twice the national rate and, despite comprising 3 per cent of Australia’s population, our people make up 27 per cent of the prison population. Of course there is the crisis in the juvenile justice sector, including in the Northern Territory where Australians were confronted with the horror of the mistreatment of children at the Don Dale juvenile detention centre.

The Prime Minister was so appalled he announced a royal commission and in the weeks after those shocking images were broadcast, the debate has broadened from the actions of staff at Don Dale to questions of why some 95 per cent of young people incarcerated in the Territory’s juvenile detention facilities are Aboriginal, and assumptions that the actions of Aboriginal parents should headline the terms of reference.

In publishing Leak’s cartoon, The Australian argued it was justified as an open question about the role of parental responsibility in Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal people and organisations have no objection to issues of parental responsibility being debated. It is undoubtedly a factor alongside the ongoing impact of European invasion, racism and discrimination, child removal policies and entrenched intergenerational disadvantage.

However, a cartoon that reprises outdated race-based stereotypes is no substitute to the high-level complex policy discussion this issue demands. For decades, The Australian has played a constructive role in the coverage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues including the Mabo and Wik High Court cases, national native title legislation and deaths in custody.

Recently, The Australian has been relentless in helping secure justice for the families of Mulrunji Doomadgee in north Queensland and the victims of the Bowraville murders in NSW. It is the efforts of The Australian’s team of reporters that add value to important national debates affecting Aboriginal people in Australia.

For too long, Aboriginal people have felt marginalised by Australia’s mainstream media, but slowly coverage is shifting away from stereotypes about Aboriginal people living in remote communities to the modern realities and challenges of our people, most of whom live in urban populations.

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council complained about the cartoon because it fell well short of the standards set by The Australian in its coverage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues for many years. It also presented a misleading and hurtful picture of who we are.

As the spontaneous expression of Aboriginal identity and pride of #IndigenousDads demonstrated, Aboriginal fathers are teachers, lawyers, academics, employers, actors, animators, athletes.

Above all they are dedicated and devoted role models for future generations and give them hope that they can rise above discrimination and racism, be proud of their identity and culture, and be encouraged to reach their potential.

Roy Ah-See, a Wiradjuri man, is chairman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, the largest member-based Aboriginal organisation in Australia.

NACCHO Prison and Aboriginal Health : Songs and Stories of Indigenous Incarceration

Prison Songs

” Two things, the first is to raise awareness of the over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within Australia [and the] disproportionate rates of incarceration of both children and adults in our youth detention and prison systems. A lot of people know but a lot of people don’t know in Australia.

Then secondly, to raise awareness of some of the contributing factors that cause a child or an adult to end up coming into contact with the law. So some of those things are obviously economic disadvantage, education, generational grief and trauma, and some of our colonial history and discriminatory laws and policies that continue to impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Julie Buxton spoke to Pro Bono Australia News about Indigenous incarceration rates, the importance of individual stories and solutions to an issue that has long been called a national crisis.

Originally published HERE

The over-representation and treatment of Indigenous Australians in the justice system is once again making headlines, but a documentary, Prison Songs, puts a human face to the experiences of inmates.

Prison Songs

Pro Bono Australia has partnered with GOOD PITCH² to shine a light on powerful films that are addressing some of society’s most pressing issues. In the lead up to the GOOD PITCH² 2016 screening event in November we will be speaking with some of the filmmakers about what inspired them to document these issues.

In Australia’s first musical documentary, filmmaker Kelrick Martin enters Berrimah Prison, the Northern Territory’s largest jail, which is home to 800 men and women – 80 per cent of whom are Indigenous. Through stories and songs, the inmates share their experiences, histories and feelings.

Martin and Good Pitch impact producer Julie Buxton spoke to Pro Bono Australia News about Indigenous incarceration rates, the importance of individual stories and solutions to an issue that has long been called a national crisis.

Why did you chose to focus on the issue of Indigenous incarceration?

Martin: We kind of fell into it to be honest with you. We wanted to make a film that was originally about the actual prison itself – Berrimah prison – it was not necessarily focused on the issue of Indigenous incarceration as such, it was a profile of the prison and the prisoners that live there and the people who ran the prison.

Then as we auditioned more people and we looked for people to be involved in the film, we had more Indigenous people present themselves as being interested in participating. And as we dug more into their stories, the more the issue kind of came to the fore itself. That reason I think is why we gravitated in that direction.

What themes is the documentary exploring?

Martin: Obviously we explore Indigenous incarceration, and what we tended to find was that – and what I was quite adamant about in terms of wanting to tell the story – there was no formula or stereotype for people who ended up in prison. It wasn’t… if you raise a child a and they’re exposed to b they’ll end up in prison.

Everyone came from a variety of backgrounds… from backgrounds of poverty and domestic violence histories to people who had well-to-do backgrounds and who had privileged experiences growing up and who just made poor choices as adults. So for me that was the prime driver – the whole film itself was to sort of show that it was not a one-size-fits-all description of those people who were involved.

How are songs worked into the documentary?

Martin: It was always going to be a documentary musical. Brian Hill who is a fairly well-regarded British documentarian who has specifically worked in this type of genre for many, many years was always attached to the project.

Essentially what happened was we focused on the individuals first and foremost. We wanted to have people… who came from a bunch of different backgrounds, and we sort of whittled down those particular individuals.

We then interviewed them, we took those interviews and with a couple of singer / songwriters… we sent transcriptions of those interviews to them to write songs for these individuals. The songs were then taken back into the prison, the prisoners got to read the lyrics, hear the songs being sung. Once they were happy with that song being their song, then we recorded the individual singing in the prison, we had those mastered and we had them perform to those songs for the film.

It was quite back and forth… because people inside they can’t work on these things at their own leisure but that was how we went about doing it but it was always from a collaborative perspective. In fact there are a couple of songs that weren’t written by our songwriters at all, they were written by the guys who did the two rap songs… [it] was purely their creation, so that was fantastic.

What impact are you trying to achieve through this film?

Martin: Essentially for me the film was all about humanising people that are in prison, just allowing people who are on the outside to see that these guys are not just these stereotypical numbers, these kind of overwhelming statistics that exist for people who see these issues being depicted in the media or in the newspaper.

They are human beings and they have feelings just like anybody else, they have emotions and dreams and aspirations and regrets and all the sorts of things we do and quite often they come from a background that’s not too dissimilar from our own, so at all times it was me just trying to get people to see it through the lens of humanity as opposed to… statistics and overwhelming disadvantage numbers.

Buxton: Two things, the first is to raise awareness of the over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within Australia [and the] disproportionate rates of incarceration of both children and adults in our youth detention and prison systems. A lot of people know but a lot of people don’t know in Australia.

Then secondly, to raise awareness of some of the contributing factors that cause a child or an adult to end up coming into contact with the law. So some of those things are obviously economic disadvantage, education, generational grief and trauma, and some of our colonial history and discriminatory laws and policies that continue to impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The second part is how do we progress that conversation to some solutions, what can we do about it? In screening this film to different sectors of society, including the legal fraternity, judges, police, community workers, social workers – what can each individual and each sector do, perhaps differently, to try to address some of the underlying causes of incarceration?

How relevant are these themes in light of the recent attention on the Don Dale detention facility?

Martin: To be honest I think the issues have been relevant for quite some time. The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was over 20 years ago, and back then this film probably would have been just as relevant. I don’t think the issue’s ever gone away, I think it’s something that’s always just sort of been with us, and unfortunately people just tend to [have an] out-of-sight-out-of-mind type of attitude to these types of issues because it’s just too hard, because it doesn’t directly affect them, so they’re not really that concerned about it.

Plus I think the momentum of society has become more of that elk of crime must be punished and tougher sentencing laws, which obviously plays well for the politicians. So in that regard I think that this film’s always kind of had that relevance, but it’s only due to particular events of recent times that it’s kind of been brought to the fore, and sadly will probably continue to be brought to the fore in other instances in years to come.

Obviously the overrepresentation of Indigenous Australians in prison is a complicated issue, but do you see any solutions from your experience working on the film?

Martin: Each individual is going to have their own reasons for being in jail, there’s no one size fits all. But what I found, which was quite a common denominator for a lot of people, was that early intervention. I just feel like if individuals were given an opportunity at a younger age to be able to have assistance to address these issues that were within their lives, whether it be domestic violence, whether it be lack of education, whether it be whatever.

I feel like if there had been some form of community intervention or government program to help younger people avoid those pathways that lead so easily into incarceration I think that that would have made a huge difference to a lot of people.

I think there are individuals who are inside jail because they have committed crimes, fairly serious crimes, and I completely respect the fact that the courts have a job to do, to incarcerate people who are guilty of crimes. But I think there are a lot of people who are within those institutions who don’t necessarily need to be there but the crimes that they’re guilty of are crimes that are related to socio-economic disadvantage. And those are the things that we can certainly fix.

Buxton: There’s certainly no easy solution, there has to be a multi-faceted approach to address a range of issues, but just by way of example, a really obvious thing we need to do more of is look at early intervention and prevention strategies, particularly when you’re talking about children and young people. Rather than incarcerating a child, you need to look towards different ways of diverting them from the criminal justice system.

Some of the things to look at that are working well are the idea of cultural camps, trying to keep children in education rather than excluding them for perceived behavioural issues where there might be other things at play such as mental health issues… so looking at a range of approaches that can try to address the terrible problem that’s the over imprisonment.

And then looking at the legal sector – better education and training of lawyers and advocates to try to impress upon the courts some of the underlying causes of contact with the law. And then also the judiciary, there’s great interest from judges to learn more and improve their cultural awareness.

Who’s your target audience?

Martin: For me it’s anyone who doesn’t understand what this issue is all about. There are going to be people who watch this film that know what this film’s about, that understand the issue, that have an empathy towards the issues that are being depicted and do so when these issues are raised in the media such as the Don Dale issue.

But for me the best audience I can try to crack through to are those that enjoy music and just enjoy seeing a film that’s done in a different way such as our film, I don’t think anyone’s done this type of film in Australia before, so just really trying to find audiences that maybe haven’t thought about the issue in a way that’s been depicted this way before, and as a result they watch it and they enjoy it and they actually learn something.

Buxton: The film will be screened this week at the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration in Alice Springs where there will be judges from around the country.

Keenan Mundine, who’s the Prison Songs ambassador, one of the things that he speaks about is a particular judge who really listened to his story and understood the severe social disadvantage that he had in his life, which was his parents dying at a very young age… causing him to be catapulted into child protection and youth justice. So he speaks very highly of [this] judge who heard his case at one point… and gave him a chance to do things differently through a diversion program.

So they’re the sorts of ways the film can help, it’s really an advocacy tool where the film can help educate and enable decision makers and community members to look more deeply at the issues and try to think more deeply about how to do things to avoid incarcerating people.

The whole prison system and youth detention system doesn’t achieve what it’s designed to achieve so we really need to do things differently and the Prison Songs film is a great tool to raise these discussions – it’s incredibly moving and powerful… and we’re seeing fantastic responses from all sectors of society who feel that it has enabled them to view the issues differently and inspired them to try to think about new approaches.

How are you getting the film out there?

Buxton: Through a range of mechanisms. Social media. We’re working closely with Change the Record Coalition, which is a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and human rights organisations – we work in partnership with them. Oxfam will be doing some screenings, Amnesty International has done some screenings.

In terms of the legal sector, I’m a lawyer by trade, so I am the chair of the Law Institute of Victoria Aboriginal Reconciliation Advancement Committee. The Law Institute of Victoria has been very supportive promoting it through its networks, it’s done two screenings itself. In terms of judges, again through my legal networks. Word of mouth is very strong. For example, several people who attended Law Institute of Victoria’s screening then followed up saying, we’d like to host one now for our staff, our colleagues. The people who see the film are incredibly impacted by it, and it often has motivated them to take it back to their organisation to host a screening.

Prison Songs will be screening on NITV at 9:30pm, 31 August.

Post Comment

NACCHO 45 th Parliament opening #FirstPeoples1st100Days #RedfernStatement Welcome to Country and #18C

PM

Indigenous politicians have been welcomed to Federal Parliament in a show of culture and respect, but on the lawns outside the building many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives vented their frustration at government inaction on Indigenous issues.

Meet

The 45th Parliament was officially opened with a traditional Indigenous Welcome to Country and a smoking ceremony.

Ngunnawal woman Tina Brown delivered the address and called on the parliament to show leadership and take the nation forward.

TINA

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke in the Ngunnawal language and congratulated the three newest Indigenous MPs on their election.

He spoke about wanting to learn from Indigenous culture.

“Our role, our duty, is to acknowledge these traditions and the strength of this history and amplify it within the collective voice of our democracy,” he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described the Welcome to Country as a “great institution.”

He said Parliament needed to reach out to Indigenous people and said they were “too often left out, ignored, dispossessed or forgotten.”

Outside on the laws of Parliament Ngambri Elder Matilda House said she refused to take part in the Welcome to Country ceremony because she didn’t want to welcome “bigoted” politicians.

Ms House led the first Welcome to Country for the opening of the 42nd Parliament in 2008.

But today she attended the demonstration outside Parliament House instead.

“You will see another ceremony today up there which I won’t be participating in, and am I being vicious by saying the reason why I won’t be doing it is because there are bigoted people that will be there?” she said.

“I don’t want to welcome people like that into the land of my ancestors.”

The protest used over 2,000 cut-out hands to call for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about critical Indigenous issues, including Indigenous imprisonment and child welfare.

Pic 3

Indigenous MPs and senators attended the demonstration, including Assistant Minister for Health Ken Wyatt and Labor Indigenous MPs Patrick Dodson, Linda Burney and Malarndirri McCarthy.

Congress of Australia’s First Peoples declares end to ‘Mexican standoff’ with Scullion #RedfernStatement

By political reporter Anna Henderson

See NACCHO Redfern Statement report

CrDpuIEUEAAuc-X

Frosty relations between Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and the Congress of Australia’s First Peoples appear to have thawed just ahead of a planned demonstration outside federal parliament.

The elected Indigenous representative body will press on with plans to hold the event on Capital Hill tomorrow morning, calling for a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

But less than 24 hours before the event Senator Scullion has confirmed a string of prominent Indigenous affairs legal, social and health groups, including Congress, will be invited to a “workshop” with him to discuss improvements in the portfolio.

“There was a stalemate that could no longer be continued,” the co-chair of Congress Jackie Huggins told the ABC.

“There was a silence and I guess one could describe it as a Mexican standoff in relation to Government and the way that it interacted with Congress.

“I’m very happy to say that hopefully that has changed now.

“We both agreed that we should put our differences aside and work towards a better future for Indigenous people.”

Dr Huggins said the timing of the workshop announcement on Monday was “interesting”.

But she also said she and her co-chair Rod Little met with Senator Scullion at the Garma festival in the Northern Territory earlier this month and that was an important turning point in the relationship.

The workshop will focus on the Redfern Statement, a document released during the federal election campaign that outlined a wide variety of legal, social and health concerns that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups wanted to raise with the Federal Government.

When it was released in June many of the Indigenous signatories felt their message went largely ignored.

The relationship between the minister’s office and Congress had become increasingly acrimonious over the past two years in the wake of significant federal budget cuts that affected the group’s finances.

The announcement comes against the backdrop of a disastrous election defeat for Senator Scullion’s Country Liberal Party colleagues in the Northern Territory, which saw many Indigenous electorates abandoning the CLP.

It also follows the revelations of child abuse in the Four Corners report on the Don Dale youth detention centre in the Northern Territory.

The Redfern Statement had detailed a “national crisis” of Indigenous over-represention in the justice system.

Dr Huggins said she thought the minister’s decision to hold the workshop was influenced by the Four Corners report.

“Quite clearly Don Dale had a bearing on it,” she said.

Since the federal funding for Congress began to dry up, the elected organisation has been shedding staff, dropping from 40 to just five employees.

Dr Huggins said there was still no certainty about future funding but Congress would press ahead with its agenda regardless.

“We will keep going,” she said.

“They can starve us of funding but we won’t go away.”

18C momentum: PM can’t lead his own party, let alone the nation

20 Senators

On Day 1 of the 45th Parliament of Australia it’s already clear Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is not in control, with 19 Liberal backbenchers signing on to a rogue attempt to weaken Australia’s antidiscrimination laws, say the Australian Greens.

Bernardi

“Unless Malcolm Turnbull takes on the extreme right of his party and shows some leadership, he will be remembered as one of the great failures of Australian politics,” said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

“This is a test for the Prime Minister. Is he going to stand up to the extreme right in his party and say very loudly and clearly there is no place for hate speech in Australia? Or is he going to cave in, as he’s done on so many other issues, which was part of the reason he was punished at the last election?

“Here we are, almost a year since Turnbull took over from Tony Abbott, and the Liberals are still slashing and burning Australia’s renewable energy industry, still standing in the way of marriage equality and still trying to destroy the anti-discrimination laws that help make our country one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world,” Senator Di Natale said.

Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said there was no justification for watering down protections against hate speech.

“Just what is it that these 19 backbenchers want to say that cannot currently be said? The only conclusion is that they want to poison our national conversation with racism and hate speech,” Senator McKim said.

“This campaign to destroy the integrity of the Racial Discrimination Act is not about freedom of speech, it’s about freedom from consequence.

CrDpuIEUEAAuc-X

 

NACCHO Health News : Agreement between the Royal Australian Air Force and NACCHO to improve the lifestyles of Indigenous populations.

Air Force Dental Officer Flight Lieutentant Luke Pitty (left) and Dental Assistant Corporal Natalie Wright prepare to provide dental care to an Indigenous patient in South Hedland, Western Australia, as part of Exercise Kummundoo 2016. *** Local Caption *** The Royal Australian Air Force participates in Exercise Kummundoo 2016 by conducting dental clinics for Indigenous people from Communities surrounding Port Hedland and Roebourne, Western Australia. Exercise Kummundoo 2016 is an initiative by the Royal Australian Air Force and is a key part of the Our Place, Our Skies strategy. Exercise Kummundoo is part of the Air Force’s commitment to collaborate with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, the national peak body which represents the health and wellbeing needs and interests of Indigenous Australians.

Air Force Dental Officer Flight Lieutentant Luke Pitty (left) and Dental Assistant Corporal Natalie Wright prepare to provide dental care to an Indigenous patient in South Hedland, Western Australia, as part of Exercise Kummundoo 2016.

 
Exercise Kummundoo is a health initiative conducted under a joint agreement between the Royal Australian Air Force and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) with the goal to improve the lifestyles of rural Indigenous populations.

Two dental officers and three dental assistants deployed to Western Australia over the period 5-26 August working at Mawarnkarra Health Service in Roebourne and Wirraka Maya Health Service in Port Hedland.

Two Indigenous liaison officers participated in Exercise Kummundoo to provide cultural support and community engagement. The teams worked together with the staff in the local clinics and provided dental services and health education to the Indigenous communities.

The Air Force Indigenous liaison officers have spent the duration of the Exercise attending social events and cultural groups with the men, women, boys and girls from the local communities. Squadron Leader Khai Nguyen, the Officer in Charge of Exercise Kummundoo, said this year the reach of the exercise is extending beyond the clinic with broad health promotion activities.

“Our Indigenous team members have been connecting with the local communities to increase awareness of various health issues afflicting the region and to share their own personal serving experiences”, he said

“This connection has been paramount as it has enabled our team to embed ourselves within the communities, gaining their trust and maximising our impact.” Warrant Officer Brett West, Indigenous Liaison Officer for Exercise Kummundoo, said the Exercise has been really positive because it has helped close the gap in Indigenous health.

“It’s fantastic being able to come to the Pilbara where Air Force doesn’t normally have a presence”, he said “Exercise Kummundoo has been great for both the Air Force and the communities and it not only provides a vital service but also showcases Air Force as an employment option.

” During the exercise, the two teams saw a total of 199 patients, extracted 137 teeth and delivered four hours of training to impart their knowledge onto both their patients and the health professionals providing regular care in the Roebourne and Port Hedland communities

Squadron Leader Nguyen said that Exercise Kummundoo 2016 has been a professionally rewarding experience for the entire team where they have all made individual connections and a difference to all that have passed through the clinic doors.

“It has been an overall success where we have made a noticeable and tangible difference to the local regions”, he said “Air Force has been able to provide comprehensive dental services to the region through Mawarnkarra Health Service and Wirraka Maya Health Service that the community has been unable to access.” Exercise Kummundoo is under a five-year agreement with NACCHO, with three years to go.

While dental care has been the focus of the last two years, the program is aimed at a generalise approach to health and well being of Indigenous people .

Picture below 2015  :NACCHO chair Matthew Cooke and CEO Lisa Briggs with Acting Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Leo Davies ,Federal  Health Minister Sussan Ley and Assistant Health Minister Senator Fiona Nash

See Story

Airforce

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News : Minister Scullion to host #RedfernStatement workshop with our leaders

Pat

“Indigenous leaders from the 18 lead organisations that signed the #RedfernStatement have been invited to attend the workshop with Senator Scullion ( including NACCHO )  to discuss key issues including health, early childhood, justice, preventing violence and disability.

These leaders  met on 9th of June 2016, in Redfern where in 1992 Prime Minister Paul Keating spoke truth about this nation – that the disadvantage faced by First Peoples affects and is the responsibility of all Australians. “

Photo above NACCHO CEO Pat Turner addressing the national media ; Redfern Statement details below

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, will host a workshop with the leaders of key Indigenous organisations that signed the Redfern Statement.

The workshop, to be held in coming weeks, will build on the Government’s reforms over the past three years and provide a valuable opportunity for Indigenous leaders who represent a range of sectors to come together with the Minister to hold strategic discussions about ways engagement within Indigenous Affairs can be further strengthened.

Minister Scullion said the workshop would draw on the skills and expertise that participants brought to the table, and build on his commitment to work with Indigenous people and organisations at all levels – from community and grassroots organisations through to those on the state, territory and national stage.

“I would like to explore strategies to progress issues outlined in the Redfern Statement – and note there are significant areas in which it aligns with the Government’s Indigenous reform agenda,” Minister Scullion said.

“I share the aspirations outlined in the Redfern Statement and see the workshop as an important step to bring about positive and sustainable change. We must connect through genuine dialogue, and I am looking forward to a continuing and constructive conversation.

“I want this workshop to identify ways we can enhance government and community engagement to bring about a real difference on the ground. We are committed to getting this right, learning from the past and building strong relationships for the future.”

The Redfern Statement

An urgent call for a more just approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs

“Social justice is what faces you in the morning. It is awakening in a house with adequate water supply, cooking facilities and sanitation. It is the ability to nourish your children and send them to school where their education not only equips them for employment but reinforces their knowledge and understanding of their cultural inheritance. It is the prospect of genuine employment and good health: a life of choices and opportunity, free from discrimination.”

Mick Dodson, Annual Report of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, 1993.

The Redfern Statement

Download the 18 Page document here

Redfern Statement June 2016 Elections 18 Pages

Redfern Statement

A call for urgent Government action

In the past 25 years – a generation in fact – we have had the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the Bringing them home Report and Reconciliation: Australia’s Challenge: the final report of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. These reports, and numerous other Coroner and Social Justice Reports, have made over 400 recommendations, most of which have either been partially implemented for short term periods or ignored altogether.

In the last 25 years we have seen eight Federal election cycles come and go, with seven Prime Ministers, seven Ministers for Indigenous Affairs, countless policies, policy changes, funding promises and funding cuts – all for the most marginalised people in Australia.

For the last quarter century, then, we’ve seen seminal reports which have repeatedly emphasised that our people need to have a genuine say in our own lives and decisions that affect our peoples and communities. This, known as self-determination, is the key to closing the gap in outcomes for the First Peoples of these lands and waters.

All of these reports call for better resourcing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

All of these reports call for real reconciliation based on facing the truths of the past and creating a just and mature relationship between the non-Indigenous Australian community and the First Peoples.

The next Federal Government will take on the same responsibility to right this nation’s past injustices as the last eight Federal Governments have had. The next Government of Australia will take power with our First Peoples facing the same struggles as they were in 1992. But this next Federal Government also has an unprecedented nation-building opportunity to meaningfully address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage. They have the mandate to act. We therefore call on the next Federal Government to:

  • Commit to resource Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led-solutions, by:
  • Restoring, over the forward estimates, the $534 million cut from the Indigenous Affairs portfolio in the 2014 Budget to invest in priority areas outlined in this statement; and
  • Reforming the Indigenous Advancement Strategy and other Federal funding programs with greater emphasis on service/need mapping (through better engagement) and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations as preferred providers.
    • Commit to better engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through their representative national peaks, by:
  • Funding the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) and all relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations and forums; and
  • Convening regular high level ministerial and departmental meetings and forums with the Congress and the relevant peak organisations and forums.
    • Recommit to Closing the Gap in this generation, by and in partnership with COAG and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
  • Setting targets and developing evidence-based, prevention and early intervention oriented national strategies which will drive activity and outcomes addressing:
    • family violence (with a focus on women and children);
    • incarceration and access to justice;
    • child safety and wellbeing, and the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care; and
    • increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access to disability services;
  • Secure national funding agreements between the Commonwealth and States and Territories (like the former National Partnership Agreements), which emphasise accountability to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and drive the implementation of national strategies.
    • Commit to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to establish a Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs in the future, that:
  • Is managed and run by senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public servants;
  • Brings together the policy and service delivery components of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs and ensures a central department of expertise.
  • Strengthens the engagement for governments and the broader public service with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the management of their own services.
    • Commit to addressing the unfinished business of reconciliation, by:
  • Addressing and implementing the recommendations of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, which includes an agreement making framework (treaty) and constitutional reform in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

The health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples cannot be considered at the margins.

It is time that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices are heard and respected, and that the following plans for action in relation to meaningful engagement, health, justice, preventing violence, early childhood and disability, are acted upon as a matter of national priority and urgency.

National Representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

It is critical that Australia’s First Peoples are properly represented at the national level to ensure meaningful engagement with Government, industry and the non-government sectors to advance the priorities of our people.

Since 2010, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) has gone some way to fill the gap in national representation since the demise of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in 2005.

However, there remain too many gaps in adequate national level representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – particularly for employment and education. Without Congress or equivalent national bodies where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders are supported to engage with Government it will be difficult for the next Federal Parliament to meet the multi-partisan priority and commitment to work ‘with’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We call on the next Federal Government to commit to:

  1. Restoration of funding to the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples

The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) was established in 2010 to be the representative voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to advocate for positive change. The decision to defund Congress, just as it is beginning to emerge as a unifying element among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups, is a mistake.

Without support, Congress’ ability to do its job of representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interests is severely compromised. Congress must be supported to provide a mechanism to engage with our people, develop policy, and advocate to Government.

Congress should be supported to reach sustainability and independence as soon as possible.

 

  1. A national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative body for Education

Although there are many good quality Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, and strong leaders, working at the State and local level in the education sector, there is currently no national body to promote and engage in education policy for Australia’s First Peoples.

The education sector is fragmented across early childhood, primary and secondary education, vocational education and training, and higher education, with each of state and territory having public, catholic and private school systems. In the absence of a single national education voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Congress has been active in coordinating and promoting unity across these sectors. Congress has consulted widely with its members, educators and organisations, many of which have a long history of working in this area.

We call on the next Federal Government to establish a national body that can call for policies support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and communities across all of these educational systems.

  1. A national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative body for Employment

The highly disadvantaged employment and income status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is well documented. While we appreciate attempts at advancing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the many issues around employment require a unified and expert voice.

Beyond skills training, mentoring and targeted employment services to enhance the job readiness of

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, concerted effort needs to be directed to creating jobs that are suitable and meaningful for our people. This is of particular concern in remote areas, where mainstream commercial and labour market opportunities are limited. In urban and rural areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are faced with issues of racism and discrimination in the workplace.

 

The next Federal Government should establish and fund a national representative body of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to drive employment and economic solutions for our people, in order to:

  • Work with our communities to develop their own strategies for economic development, and promote community participation and management;
  • Promote strategies to create Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-friendly workplaces; and
  • Work with Government to design welfare policy that encourages, rather than coerces, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into employment.
    1. A national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative body for Housing

Federal and State Government policies concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing is currently disjointed, wasteful and failing. For example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in urban and regional markets face many barriers in accessing and securing safe and affordable housing, including discrimination and poverty.

The next Federal Parliament should support the development of a national representative body of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders who can focus on housing security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and:

  • Advocate for the ongoing support for remote communities to prevent community closures;
  • Work with communities to develop a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing strategy, with the aim of improving the housing outcomes for our people across all forms of housing tenure; and
  • Provide culturally appropriate rental, mortgage and financial literacy advice.

First Peoples Health Priorities

Closing the Gap in health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians is an agreed national priority. The recognised necessity and urgency to close the gap must be backed by meaningful action.

All parties contesting the 2016 Federal Election must place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs at the heart of their election platforms, recognising the health equality as our national priority.

Despite the regular upheaval of major policy changes, significant budget cuts and changes to Government in the short election cycles at all levels, we have still managed to see some encouraging improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes. But much remains to be achieved and as we move into the next phase of Closing the Gap, enhanced program and funding support will be required.

We appeal to all political parties to recommit to Closing the Gap and to concentrate efforts in the priority areas in order to meet our goal of achieving health equality in this generation.

We call on the next Federal Government to commit to:

  1. Restoration of funding

The 2014 Federal Budget was a disaster for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This is not an area where austerity measures will help alleviate the disparity in health outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples.

The current funding for Aboriginal health services is inequitable. Funding must be related to population or health need, indexed for growth in service demand or inflation, and needs to be put on a rational, equitable basis to support the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (2013–2023).

  1. Fund the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (2013–2023)

Future Budgets must adequately resource the Implementation Plan’s application and operation. As a multi-partisan supported program, the Implementation Plan is essential for driving progress towards the provision of the best possible outcomes from investment in health and related services.

  1. Make Aboriginal Community Controlled Services (ACCHS) the preferred providers

ACCHS should be considered the ‘preferred providers’ for health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Where there is no existing ACCHS in place, capacity should be built within existing ACCHS to extend their services to the identified areas of need. This could include training and capacity development of existing services to consider the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health strategy to self-fund new services. Where it is appropriate for mainstream providers to deliver a service, they should be looking to partner with ACCHS to better reach the communities in need.

  1. Create guidelines for Primary Health Networks

The next Federal Government should ensure that the Primary Health Networks (PHNs) engage with ACCHS and Indigenous health experts to ensure the best primary health care is delivered in a culturally safe manner. There should be mandated formal agreements between PHNs and ACCHS to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership.

  1. Resume indexation of the Medicare rebate, to relieve profound pressure on ACCHS

The pausing of the Medicare rebate has adversely and disproportionately affected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their ability to afford and access the required medical care. The incoming Federal Government should immediately resume indexation of Medicare to relieve the profound pressure on ACCHS.

  1. Reform of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy

The issues with the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) are well known. The recent Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee Report into the tendering processes highlighted significant problems with the IAS programme from application and tendering to grant selection and rollout.

The next Federal Government must fix the IAS as an immediate priority and restore the funding that has been stripped from key services through the flawed tendering process.

  1. Fund an Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy encompasses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ holistic view of mental health, as well as physical, cultural and spiritual health, and has an early intervention focus that works to build strong communities through more community-focused and integrated approaches to suicide prevention.

The Strategy requires a considered Implementation Plan with Government support to genuinely engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, their organisations and representative bodies to develop local, culturally appropriate strategies to identify and respond to those most at risk within our communities.

  1. Develop a long-term National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Determinants of Health Strategy

The siloed approach to strategy and planning for the issues that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face is a barrier to improvement. Whilst absolutely critical to closing the gap, the social determinants of health and wellbeing – from housing, education, employment and community support – are not adequately or comprehensively addressed.

The next Federal Government must prioritise the development of a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Determinants of Health Strategy that takes a broader, holistic look at the elements to health and wellbeing for Australia’s First Peoples. The Strategy must be developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through their peak organisations.

Please note the balance of document can be read here

Redfern Statement June 2016 Elections 18 Pages

NACCHO Aboriginal Health 27 key Save a dates like #marmotoz #FASDAwarenessDay and #NACCHOAGM2016

Save

Qand a

Sir Michael Marmot will be on tonight 29 August  QandA talking social determinants

Background

As the generators and implementers of policies that underpin improved population health outcomes (Marmot and Bell, 2012).

NACCHO encourages the Commonwealth to recognise that the social determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their ensuing health inequities are significantly influenced by broad social factors outside the health system.

NACCHO asserts that the Commonwealth is well positioned to identify those factors and act upon them through policy decisions that improve health – supported by current evidence – in housing, law & justice and mining & resource tax redistribution, for example.

1. Closing dates 15 October for next edition 16 November

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper

To be distributed at the NACCHO AGM and Members meeting 2016

AGM 2016

Editorial and advertising opportunities

front Page - Copy

Editorial Proposals 15 October 2016
Final Ads artwork 31 October 2016
Publication date 16 November 2016

More Info HERE

2.Celebrate #IndigenousDads Registrations now open

ONLY a few Weeks to go / Limited numbers

Aboriginal Male Health National -NACCHO OCHRE DAY

ochreday

This year NACCHO is pleased to announce the annual NACCHO Ochre Day will be held in Perth during September 2016. This year the activities will be run by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) in partnership with both the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA) and Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Inc.

Beginning in 2013, Ochre Day is an important NACCHO Aboriginal male health initiative. As Aboriginal males have arguably the worst health outcomes of any population group in Australia.

NACCHO has long recognised the importance of addressing Aboriginal male health as part of Close the Gap by 2030.

  • There is no registration cost to attend the NACCHO Ochre Day (Day One or Two)
  • There is no cost to attend the NACCHO Ochre Day Jaydon Adams Memorial Oration Dinner, (If you wish to bring your Partner to this Dinner then please indicate when you register below)
  • All Delegates will be provided breakfast & lunch on Day One and morning & afternoon tea as well as lunch on Day Two.
  • All Delegates are responsible for paying for and organising your own travel and accommodation.

For further information please contact Mark Saunders;

REGISTRATION / CONTACT PAGE

2. CATSINAM International Indigenous Workforce Meeting

Cat

More info HERE

3. NACCHO Members Conference AGM: Save a date  : 6-8 December 2016  Melbourne Further details

Slide1

 

The NACCHO AGM conference provides a forum for the Aboriginal community controlled health services workforce, bureaucrats, educators, suppliers and consumers to:

  • Present on innovative local economic development solutions to issues that can be applied to address similar issues nationally and across disciplines
  • Have input and influence from the ‘grassroots’ into national and state health policy and service delivery
  • Demonstrate leadership in workforce and service delivery innovation
  • Promote continuing education and professional development activities essential to the Aboriginal community controlled health services in urban, rural and remote Australia
  • Promote Aboriginal health research by professionals who practice in these areas and the presentation of research findings
  • Develop supportive networks
  • Promote good health and well-being through the delivery of health services to and by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people throughout Australia
  • INFO CONTACT REGISTER

FASD                         More info www.nofasd.org.au

5.National Stroke week kits are now available for ACCHO’s

a edm_header_163141
Registrations are open
National Stroke Week is the Stroke Foundation’s annual awareness campaign taking place from September 12 – 18. Taking part in Stroke Week is a great chance to engage in a fun and educational way with your workplace, friends, sporting or community group.
SPEED SAVES
This Stroke Week we want all Australians to know the signs of stroke and act FAST to get to treatment.
Time has a huge impact on stroke and we need your help to spread this message. A speedy reaction not only influences the treatment available to a person having a stroke but also their recovery. Most treatments for stroke are time sensitive so it is important we Think F.A.S.T. and Act FAST!
Get your Stroke Week kit NOW
Whether you are an office, hospital, community group or support group, there are lots of ways you can be involved in Stroke Week 2016 like:
• Organise an awareness activity
• Fundraise for the Stroke Foundation
• Host a health check
There’s no cost for your Stroke Week kit which includes posters, a campaign booklet and resources as well as social media kit and PR support.
Act FAST and register NOW at: 

6.Call for applications research project

Research

Details here

7.National Conference: Closing the Prison Gap: Building Cultural Resilience

WHEN: 10-11 October 2016

WHERE: Mantra on Salt Beach, Gunnamatta Avenue, Kingscliff, NSW

WHO TO CONTACT: Meg Perkins mperkinsnsw@gmail.com Mobile 0417 614 135

The Closing the Gap: Building Cultural Resilience national conference will look closely at issues around changing the Australian criminal justice system while celebrating grassroots, community-led and unfunded activities being undertaken by First Nations People.

Australia has a long history of over-incarceration of First Nations peoples, beginning with the first Aboriginal Protection Act in Victoria in 1869, and culminating in the abuses at the Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre in the Northern Territory in 2016.

It is obvious that we need to make changes in the Australian criminal justice system – studies on risk and protective factors have shown that cultural resilience is a major factor involved in protecting new generations from the trauma and disadvantage of the past.

Cultural resilience was first mentioned in the literature by Native American educators who noticed that their students on the reservation succeeded, in spite of poverty and exposure to substance abuse and lateral violence, when they were supported by traditional tribal structures, spirituality and cultural practices.

The theory of cultural resilience suggests that the practice of culture creates a psychological sense of belonging and a positive

8. Biennial National Forum from 29 Nov – 1 Dec 2016 Canberra ACT

IAHA

Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), a national not for profit, member based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health organisation, is holding its biennial National Forum from 29 Nov – 1 Dec 2016 at the Rex Hotel in Canberra.

The 2016 IAHA National Forum will host  a diverse range of interactive Professional Development workshops and the 2016 IAHA National Indigenous Allied Health Awards and Gala Dinner.

The fourth IAHA Health Fusion Team Challenge, a unique event specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health students, will precede the Forum.

Collectively, these events will present unique opportunities to:

  • Contribute to achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality
  • Be part of creating strengths based solutions
  • Build connections – work together and support each other
  • Enhance professional and personal journeys
  • Celebrate the successes of those contributing to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

All workshop participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance, detailing the duration, aims and learning outcomes of the workshop, which can be included in your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) personal portfolio.

Register HERE

9. NATSIHWA  6th & 7th of October 2016

NATSIHWA-Eventbrite

On the 6th & 7th of October 2016 NATSIHWA is holding the bi-annual National Conference at the Pullman Hotel in Brisbane. The conference is the largest event for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and health practitioners.

The theme for this year’s conference is “my story, my knowledge, our future”

my story – health workers and health practitioners sharing their stories about why they came into this profession, what they do in their professional capacity and what inspires them.

my knowledge – being able to gain new knowledge and passing knowledge onto others by sharing and networking.

our future – using stories and knowledge to shape their future and the future of their communities.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and health practitioners are our valuable frontline primary health care workers and are a vital part of Australia’s health care profession. This conference will bring together health workers and health practitioners from across the country.

Register now and get the early bird special. Each registration includes a ticket to the awards dinner.

Register Now     Book Accomodation

 10. VACCA Cultural Awareness Training – Book Now!

Looking to deepen your cultural journey?

VACCA’s Training and Development Unit offers a range of programs to external organisations working in the field of child and family welfare, to strengthen relationships with Aboriginal organisations, families and communities.

VACCA delivers cultural awareness training throughout the year for people interested in developing cultural competency.

Registrations are now open for August.

See the flyer for all details and how to register for these sessions.

Microsoft Word - VACCA Training - Cultural Awareness Flyer web.d

All enquiries can be emailed to: trainingevents@vacca.org

 

11. HealthinfoNET Conferences, workshops and events

Upcoming conferences and events.

Conferences, workshops and events

  • 17th International Mental Health Conference – Gold Coast, Qld – Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 August 2016 – this conference will provide a platform for health professionals such as, clinical practitioners, academics, service providers and mental health experts, to discuss mental health issues confronting Australia and New Zealand.
  • 2016 National Stolen Generations Conference – Gold Coast, Qld – Wednesday 24 to Friday 26 August 2016 – this conference aims to provide an educational platform to the wider community and endeavours to assist in a sensitive and culturally appropriate way with healing the spirit, mind and body of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Working with Children and Young People through Adversity – Parramatta, NSW – Friday 29 August 2016 – this one-day workshop equips participants with a framework for working therapeutically with children and young people who are experiencing personal diversity. The key focus of this workshop is working with children and young people with a diagnosis of serious illness.
  • Quality Assurance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Services (QAAMS) – The workshop program will include full training for people undertaking competency certification for the first time and competency update for those previously trained. The workshop program will also allow for interactive group sessions, presentations from services and education about diabetes care. Darwin, NT – Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 September 2016
  • RHD
  • Acute Rheumatic Fever & Rheumatic Heart Disease Education Workshop – The workshop is designed for key health staff involved in the diagnosis and management of people with acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in the NT. Darwin, Northern Territory (NT) – Thursday 20 October and Friday 21 October 2016.
    Workshop – Acute Rheumatic Fever& Rheumatic Heart Disease Education Workshop (16 CME/CPD hours)
    Date: 20-21 October 2016
    Time: 08:00 – 16:30 (each day)
    Location: John Matthews Building (Building 58) Menzies, Royal Darwin Hospital Campus, Darwin
    Course overview: The rheumatic heart disease workshop is designed for key health staff involved in the diagnosis and management of people with acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in the Northern Territory. This workshop will engage participants with a combination of objective driven information sessions, and consolidate that knowledge with a series of targeted clinical and practical case studies.
  • Hurting, helping and healing workshop – This workshop aims to bring attention to the mental health and wellbeing of individuals suffering from ‘at risk’ mental states. Perth, WA – Wednesday 23 November 2016.
  • Mental Health Assessment of Aboriginal Clients – This workshop aims to improve the cultural competencies of participants. The workshop will be delivered across Australia. Please refer to the link for the locations and dates.
  • National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation member’s conference 2016 – This conference is planned to take place in Melbourne,

The CheckUP Forum
2 September, Brisbane
The health system is on notice – transform or be transformed. The forces for change are driving innovation from within and disruption from outside the system. #health2020 represents a new health economy in which value and outcomes, not volumes, matter and where an engaged, informed health consumer is the major driver of value and activity. Find out more here.

Health Law Seminar: Improving patient outcomes
8 September, Sydney
Book your place now for the FREE Health Law Seminar: Improving Patient Outcomes jointly presented by AHHA, the Australian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) and Holman Webb. A number of expert speakers will present and discuss health law issues in relation to improving patient outcomes. Find out more here.

Mid North Coast Local Health District Rural Innovation and Research Symposium
15-16 September, Coffs Harbour
The Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) Rural Innovation and Research Symposium will showcase how innovation and research is embedded into MNCLHD’s everyday work practices. MNCLHD’s focus is on creating a connected health environment – One Health System For You. The Symposium will showcase innovation, research and programs that support integrated care, communication, connectivity and access to services across the health spectrum. The Early Bird registration special closes at midnight on Sunday 14 August. Find out more here.

Health Planning and Evaluation Course
10-11 October, Brisbane
QUT Health is delivering a new course for individuals seeking to develop skills and knowledge in the planning of health services and the translation of health policy into practice. Delivered over two block periods, each block consisting of two days, this new course has been developed and will be delivered by experts in health planning, policy and evaluation. AHHA members are entitled to a 15% discount on the course fees. Read more.

RACMA – Harm Free Health Care Conference
10-11 October, Brisbane
The theme for the Royal Australasian College of Medial Administrators conference this year is “Harm Free Health Care”. This conference is designed to challenge and debate whether health care can be Harm Free and what practical approaches can be considered. As one of their flagship events, the RACMA Annual Scientific Meeting is expected to attract around 250 delegates to Brisbane who will be a mixture of senior managers, clinical specialists with management roles, researchers, educators, policy makers, and health ministry and health provider executives. This year they have an international keynote speaker, Samuel Shem M.D who is also a renowned author sharing his experience at the conference. Find out more here.

Sidney Sax Medal Dinner
19 October, Brisbane
The Sidney Sax Medal is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the development and improvement of the Australian healthcare system in the field of health services policy, organisation, delivery and research. Join us celebrate the awarding of the 2016 Sidney Sax Medal at a networking dinner following the AHHA AGM. The dinner will also feature Sean Parnell, Health Editor at The Australian as the guest speaker. Find out more here.

Stepped Care Models for Mental Health Workshop
28 October, Sydney
Primary Health Networks have been funded by the Commonwealth to facilitate implementation of stepped care models in  Australian mental health services. Effective implementation will require partnerships, resources, new and redefined models and services. With no clear national guideline or agreement on what stepped care models should look like, and the need for a strong coalition across jurisdictions and providers to drive implementation, PHNs do not have a clear road map. This workshop will bring together key players to understand what has been learned to date in the development and implementation of stepped care models and the way forward to effective implementation in the Australian health care system. Find out more here.

Connect with NACCHO

Improving NACCHO communications to members and stakeholders

To reduce the number of NACCHO Communiques we now  send out on Mondays  an executive summary -Save the date on important events /Conferences/training , members news, awards, funding opportunities :

Register and promote your event , send to

NACCHO #ICE News alert : How big a problem is ice use among #Indigenous Australians

Ice

” It is generally agreed responses to alcohol and other drug use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities should be community owned and driven.

The Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) in Victoria, for example, has conducted research to advocate for service improvement. MDAS developed a short film where Aboriginal people discuss how they have reduced their own ice use and ice use in their families.

This work highlights the vital role of families in helping people to give up using ice and avoid relapse. The Family Wellbeing Program has been shown to empower Aboriginal individuals and families to take greater control of their lives “

From The Conversation report

NACCHO has report extensively on the ICE use SEE ALL ARTICLES

While rates of methamphetamine use in Australia have remained fairly stable at 2.1% over the past ten years, there has been a shift among people who use the lower-grade powdered form of methamphetamine (speed) to using the higher-grade crystal form (ice) in recent times.

Ice is much stronger than speed and has the potential to cause greater problems.

Purity and availability have increased, while the price of both speed and ice has decreased. The number of people using weekly or more has grown, which is an indication of dependence.

As a result, Australia has seen significant increases in ambulance call-outs, hospital visits, people seeking treatment and police arrests related to methamphetamine use.

There has been particular concern about increases in methamphetamine use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. So what do we know about ice in these communities? And what are the effective responses?

Rates of use

Across Australia, around 2.3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 15 years and over report using methamphetamines in the past year. This is similar to the general population rate of 2.1%.

Methamphetamine use in remote Aboriginal communities appears to be very limited. Only 0.8% of the remote area population uses methamphetamine. Like the general population, the greater percentage of users are in the cities.

However, there are concerns this may be changing. Remote areas, which are largely populated by Aboriginal communities, showed an increase in recent use of methamphetamine between 2010 and 2013.

Seeking help

The data is limited, but the rate of Aboriginal people seeking treatment for methamphetamine-related problems seems to be following the same upward trend as other people who use. Service providers report the use of ice in particular has increased among young Aboriginal people.

Although there is no widely available medicine to treat methamphetamine dependence, psychological treatment is effective. One study found people who use methamphetamine have the best treatment outcomes of all alcohol and other drug users.

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) are both effective, as is residential rehabilitation. As little as two sessions of CBT and MI increases abstinence, even among heavily dependent users.

The evidence is limited for mutual support groups, such as 12-Step (Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous) and SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training). But this type of post-treatment support may increase the chances of maintaining abstinence. Peer worker or telephone contact are other options, but there is little methamphetamine-specific research.

The overall relapse rate after treatment, however, is high and there are few ongoing supports after treatment.

Although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people access these interventions through both mainstream and Aboriginal-specific services, little is known about their outcomes.

Prison diversion programs

There are a number of mechanisms through which people who use drugs can access treatment via the justice system.

Drug courts, for instance, divert illicit drug users from the prison system into treatment. These operate in most states and have been found to be effective.

Aboriginal people are heavily over-represented in the justice system, but participation rates in drug court programs varies. Where drug courts have taken a collaborative approach to design and implementation, working closely with Aboriginal and other organisations, participation rates are higher.

Improving access to treatment and support

It is generally agreed responses to alcohol and other drug use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities should be community owned and driven.

The Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) in Victoria, for example, has conducted research to advocate for service improvement. MDAS developed a short film where Aboriginal people discuss how they have reduced their own ice use and ice use in their families.

This work highlights the vital role of families in helping people to give up using ice and avoid relapse. The Family Wellbeing Program has been shown to empower Aboriginal individuals and families to take greater control of their lives. This may involve re-engaging in education and employment, addressing challenges such as family conflict and advocating for community services and support.

MDAS is partnering with La Trobe University to evaluate whether the program is a useful add-on to alcohol and drug treatment in supporting individuals and families who are affected by ice use.

The Victorian government has made some progress in improving treatment and support. It has piloted an 18-month program to link mainstream specialist services with Aboriginal services. The aim is to build the capacity of both sectors to respond specifically to Aboriginal people and their families who are affected by the use of methamphetamine. The pilot is under evaluation.

But there is plenty of room for improvement. Both the Aboriginal and generalist drug and alcohol workforce have identified a need to be better skilled in responding to the needs of Aboriginal people who use methamphetamine.

Culturally appropriate harm-reduction strategies are critical for people who continue to use methamphetamine. Indigenous people in the United States, for example, have successfully used culturally targeted education and social marketing, plus individual and family treatment, to reduce methamphetamine-related incidents and arrests.

Finally, we need better data and project evaulations to create an accurate picture of methamphetamine use among Aboriginal Australians and develop more effective responses.

Help

NACCHO APP Alerts : New app makes it easier to find Aboriginal  treatment services

AOD

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alert : Ley VS King in Medicare debate war of words

Health Minister Sussan Ley speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Ms Ley commented on the planed Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to be reformed. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING

” An extra 17 million GP services were bulk billed under the Coalition last year compared with Labor following another year of record Medicare investment by the Turnbull Government, as Bill Shorten’s  Mediscare lies “crumble around him” and leave the credibility of his leadership in tatters.

Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley today revealed a record 123 million out of 145 million GP services were fully-funded by the Turnbull Government at no cost to patients through Medicare during 2015-16.”

“Record bulk billing as Shorten’s Mediscare lies crumble ” Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley

 “The Government’s triumphalism about today’s bulk billing figures shows how out of touch they are on Medicare.

As the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has said previously, the statistics the Government is using are “misleading” and “should be rejected”.

That’s because they measure the number of services that are bulk billed, not the number of patients. So they hide the fact that millions of Australians are no longer bulk billed.

Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed that his Government remains committed to its six year freeze on Medicare rebates.”

“Government out of touch on Medicare ”  Catherine King Opposition spokesperson Health and Medicare see Part 2 Below

“Labor is in damage control over their Mediscare lies, this morning caught out claiming official bulk billing figures they trumpeted in Government now don’t apply because they are in opposition, in another major gaffe.

Bill Shorten and Labor made their bed with Mediscare. The question is whether they can stop lying in it.”

Gaffe-prone King in Mediscare damage control Ley Press Release Part 3 Below

Read all NACCHO Medicare News alerts here

This saw GP bulk billing hit a historic high of 85.1 per cent under the Turnbull Government – up from 84.3 per cent in 2014-15 – and follows the Coalition’s record $7.1 billion investment in general practice via Medicare last year.

The number of Australians accessing Medicare-funded GP services was also up by nearly half-a-million to 20.9 million last year, while the average number of services and spend per GP patient grew to 6.9 and $344 respectively.

The figures are a far cry from Labor’s Mediscare lies over the past year and raise serious questions for Mr Shorten:

‘Just weeks after it was introduced that freeze is already wreaking havoc on patients, with doctors forced to raise fees, cut bulk billing…” – Catherine King – 15 September 2015 – Media Release

Ms Ley said the figures were “good news for Australians and bad news for Labor”.

“Last year the Turnbull Government invested over $21 billion into Medicare as part of our commitment to ensuring all Australians have access to affordable universal healthcare – that’s about $60 million every day,” Ms Ley said.

“Across Australia, there were 17 million more bulk billed GP attendances in the last 12 months under the Turnbull Government compared to Labor’s last full year in office.

“These figures expose the blatant and remorseless Mediscare lies Labor – under Mr Shorten’s leadership – have been telling the Australian public over the past 12 months.

“There’s no doubt we still have work to do, but Australians should take assurance from the fact no government has invested more into Medicare than the Turnbull Government.

“And no Government has consistently overseen higher bulk billing rates than the Turnbull Government.”

Ms Ley said the Turnbull Government would increase investment in Medicare by another $4 billion over four years.

“And we’re backing that up with nearly $120 million to begin rollout out our GP-focused Health Care Homes – a better way of delivering Medicare for Australians with chronic illness.”

Overall, the number of Medicare services increased to 384 million in 2015-16 – more than one million per day – at a total cost of $21,107,750,246 – an increase of nearly $1 billion on 2014-15 – with the overall Medicare bulk billing rate also increasing to 78.2 per cent in 2015-16 from 77.6 per cent the year before.

Neither the Rudd-Gillard, nor Hawke-Keating, Labor Governments have ever delivered higher rates of Medicare investment or bulk billing than the Turnbull Coalition Government, Ms Ley said.

“This is possible because the Turnbull Government is committed to delivering a strong budget and economy that ensures we can also afford to continue investing in services important to Australians like Medicare.

“We will continue to work closely with health professionals across the board to ensure we deliver a health and Medicare system that is not only fair and focussed on quality, but efficient and sustainable for generations to come.

“In contrast, Bill Shorten’s Mediscare lies have left Labor exposed by a Leader whose credibility is now terminally damaged with the public and has weighed down his party with billions of dollars of promises they cannot afford.

“Labor is now going to have to make some tough savings decisions if they want to match the Turnbull Government’s record investment in Medicare, while at the same time building a strong economy and repairing the budget.”

” The Government’s triumphalism about today’s bulk billing figures shows how out of touch they are on Medicare. ” King

As the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has said previously, the statistics the Government is using are “misleading” and “should be rejected”.

That’s because they measure the number of services that are bulk billed, not the number of patients. So they hide the fact that millions of Australians are no longer bulk billed.

These statistics also ignore the fact that out-of-pocket costs have more than doubled.

GPs have the best interests of their patients at heart, and many continued to bulk bill in 2015-16. They had been assured the freeze would be lifted in the Budget, and were watching the outcome of the election.

But now that it’s clear that Malcolm Turnbull’s Medicare freeze is an ice age, practices around Australia are abandoning bulk billing.

For example, the only practice on Magnetic Island in Queensland has advised the Island’s residents that it is abandoning bulk billing due to “Medicare restrictions and cuts”.

Similarly, the Collins and Grosvenor Street General Practices in Hobart have scrapped bulk billing due to the freeze.

Australians know that Malcolm Turnbull’s six year freeze on Medicare rebates is driving bulk billing down and out-of-pocket costs up.

The Government’s insistence otherwise only shows how out of touch they are.

GOVERNMENT REMAINS COMMITTED TO MEDICARE FREEZE

Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed that his Government remains committed to its six year freeze on Medicare rebates.

In an interview in today’s Australian, Mr Turnbull said the Government had “not decided to change the policy”.

This is in spite of Mr Turnbull’s comments, in the same interview, that “what we have to do this term is categorically reassure Australians about our commitment to universal health and Medicare”.

Mr Turnbull’s comments echo his claim, made immediately after the election, that he would learn the lessons of the election and address Australians’ concerns about his deep cuts to health.

But two months later, nothing has changed. As Mr Turnbull has confirmed today, the Government remains committed to:

  • Driving bulk billing down and co-payments up via the freeze on Medicare rebates, a GP Tax by stealth;
  • Cutting Medicare bulk billing incentives for vital tests and scans;
  • Increasing the price of prescription medicines by up to $5, even for concession card holders; and
  • Cutting hundreds of millions from Medicare via changes to the Medicare Safety Net.

Softer rhetoric won’t change the harsh reality of these cuts. Mr Turnbull’s “reassurance” is worth as much as Tony Abbott’s promise of “no cuts to health” – nothing.

In contrast, during the election campaign Labor committed to ending Mr Turnbull’s Medicare freeze, scrapping his cuts to vital tests and scans, reversing his price hikes to Medicines, and protecting the Medicare Safety Nets.

On health, look at what Mr Turnbull does, not what he says.

Updated Sunday

Gaffe-prone King in Mediscare damage control Ley Press Release

Labor is in damage control over their Mediscare lies, this morning caught out claiming official bulk billing figures they trumpeted in Government now don’t apply because they are in opposition, in another major gaffe.

Annual Medicare figures today show that an extra 17 million GP services were bulk billed under the Coalition last year compared with Labor following another year of record Medicare investment by the Turnbull Government.

This saw GP bulk billing rates hit a record high of 85.1 per cent in 2015-16, higher than both the Rudd-Gillard or Hawke-Keating Labor Governments.

Yet it’s clear Labor’s Mediscare know no bounds, with Shadow Labor Health Spokesperson Catherine King now trying to spin the Australian public that “the statistics the Government is using are “misleading” and “should be rejected”.

Except Ms King clearly forgot to check with her Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek, who was more than happy to stand by the official bulk billing statistics when she was Health Minister during the Rudd-Gillard Government.

And in a double blow for Ms King, Ms Plibersek’s media release is another reminder that GP bulk billing rates were lower under Labor than the 85.1 per cent recorded under the Turnbull Government today.

Ms King’s gaffe today will only continue to fuel concerns in Labor’s party room that Bill Shorten’s Mediscare lies will hurt the party’s trust with the Australian people in the long run.

Particularly after it was Ms King herself who, during the election campaign, was forced to admit Medicare bulk billing rates were higher under the Turnbull Coalition than under Labor:

KELLY: Bill Shorten is saying we want to campaign about bulk billing but in actual fact the Government’s performance is better than Labor’s.

KING: Well certainly. Well I’d welcome that. I’d welcome that bulk billing remains high – that’s a good thing, we want to preserve that.

And let’s not forget what Ms Plibersek had to say when Labor first introduced the Medicare pause on indexation, which runs completely counter to Bill Shorten’s Mediscare lies today:

Doctors earn enough money to bear the Federal Government’s controversial freeze on MBS rebates, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek says.

Ms Plibersek dismissed concerns that the freeze — which will remove $664 million from the MBS over four years — will pressure doctors to compromise care.

“I understand that GPs have all sorts of expenses in running their surgeries and employing staff and so on, but the average billing from Medicare is more than $350,000 a year.”

Bill Shorten’s Mediscare lies have left Labor exposed by a Leader whose credibility is now terminally damaged with the public and has weighed down his party with billions of dollars of promises they cannot afford.

Bill Shorten and Labor made their bed with Mediscare. The question is whether they can stop lying in it.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal News Alert : Scullion’s Indigenous policy approach trapped in CLP’s Territory wreck

NT MON

” The overwhelming anti-CLP bush vote wasn’t just Aborigines reacting against four wasted years. The return to Labor was a sophisticated demonstration that a decade after the federal government intervention in the face of a “national emergency” — including a suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act to make it possible — people are sick of having a surveillance-based, punitive regime with uncertain results forced upon them .

The matey, blokey relationship between Scullion and Adam Giles, even as a sizeable sector of the Territory’s indigenous community feared CLP plans to enact changes to the Land Rights Act, will likely not be reproduced with Michael Gunner.

The Australian 29 August picture above NACCHO file : see results of NT election below

Nigel Scullion departs Darwin for Canberra with his Northern Territory Country Liberal Party in smoking ruins and a clear warning that the experiment with a coercive, big-stick approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advancement is at an end.

The Indigenous Affairs Minister, who as Territory senator is the CLP’s only representative in the Turnbull government and whose mantra has been mostly “more kids at school, more adults in real jobs”, watched ashen-faced on Saturday evening as the election results came in.

Criticism of Scullion’s handling of his portfolio, already sharp, will increase. A pending Australian National Audit Office review of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, the government’s centrepiece funding policy, will likely be even more devastating than the recent Senate inquiry into the same vehicle.

That audit is due in December — the Senate inquiry reported in March that the strategy’s 2014 implementation, involving the collapsing of 150 indigenous-specific programs into five streams and the corralling of an $8.6 billion four-year budget into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, had been a shambles.

“It was a bureaucratic process of officers of the department out there deciding what was needed by communities, when in fact … you should be engaging with the community to work out what the community is saying,” Mick Gooda, whose royal commission into juvenile detention in the NT is about to get under way, told the committee.

Which is a key takeaway of Saturday’s vote. The candidates who did best in the bush were those with strong local support bases and who were seen to be listening to communities’ needs. Nor, it should be noted, do people necessarily distinguish between Territory and federal programs and funding.

The matey, blokey relationship between Scullion and Adam Giles, even as a sizeable sector of the Territory’s indigenous community feared CLP plans to enact changes to the Land Rights Act, will likely not be reproduced with Michael Gunner.

The new chief minister will be acutely aware of the indigenous affairs policy landscape that helped get him elected, and surely will be at pains to press Scullion on it.

From the Conversation

Labor easily win the NT election

At the 2012 Northern Territory election, the Country Liberal Party (CLP) won 16 of 25 seats, to 8 for Labor and 1 Independent. During a chaotic term, 4 CLP and 1 Labor members defected to sit as Independents, so the pre-election parliamentary numbers were 12 CLP, 7 Labor and 6 Independents.

At yesterday’s NT election, the ABC is calling 15 of 25 seats for Labor, 1 for the CLP and 3 for Independents, with 6 in some doubt. The ABC’s prediction is 18 Labor, 3 CLP and 4 Independents. Even if Labor loses all doubtful seats, they would still have a clear majority.

Two of the doubtful seats – Blain and Nhulunbuy – are cases where the incorrect final two candidates were selected on election night. The electoral commission will need to redo the two candidate count in those seats. Former chief minister Terry Mills, who was deposed by Adam Giles in the last term, will need a strong flow of preferences from the CLP in Blain.

Giles himself is in trouble in his own seat of Braitling, trailing Labor by 21 votes on a swing of almost 20 points. Former Labor leader Delia Lawrie is likely to hold her seat of Karama as an Independent; she leads by 51.2-48.8.

Overall primary votes were 43.1% for Labor (up 6.6), 31.7% for the CLP (down 18.9), 3.5% for the new 1 Territory Party, 2.8% for the Greens (down 0.5) and 18.9% for all Others (up 9.3). The Others were mostly Independents. The Poll Bludger has a breakdown of the votes and seats for each region.

There are still some booths that have not yet been added to counts, particularly in remote seats. However, most electorates are reporting postal counts, so it is unlikely that the CLP’s position will improve post-election, in the way the Federal Coalition’s position improved. Counting will resume tomorrow morning.

At this election, the voting system was changed to optional preferential voting; previous NT elections used compulsory preferential voting. However, this change appears to have helped Labor. In Braitling, Labor trails by 10.4% on primary votes, but leads by 0.4% after preferences. It is likely that minor party voters who were hostile to the CLP put the CLP last, while those who were better disposed to the CLP followed the CLP’s advice, and just voted “1”.