NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Early Childhood What Works Part 5 : First 1000 days and Deadly Choices

bith-certificate

“South East Queensland is home to the fastest growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia,

“Offering these birth certificates will increase our engagement with families of new bubs, making it easier for them to access services including health care and education – services that are essential to closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.”

IUIH CEO Adrian Carson said that making the certificates available through IUIH member clinics will add to the Institute’s comprehensive, evidence-based and integrated approach to meeting the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in South East Queensland.

Photo caption: 11 week-old Rebekah with mother Kiara and 17-week old Harper and mother Amanda with the new certificates

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 ” A radical change is required in how we think bout and enhance the early outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander children in Australia.

 Too many children and young people do not have the start in life they need.  As our understanding of developmental science improves, it because clearer that adverse events in a child’s life leads to structural changes in brain development that have life long and societal ramifications.

We now also know these ramifications are intergenerational. Not intervening will affect not only this generation of children, but also the next. Those who suffer adverse childhood events achieve less educationally, earn less and have worse health outcomes – all of which makes it more likely that the cycle of harm is perpetuated in the following generation

First 1000 Days Australia Professor Kerry Arabena  See Article 2 Below or read both articles Page 2 NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper out today lift out in Koori Mail

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New birth certificate designs a Deadly Choice

Bubs Rebekah (11 weeks) and Harper (17 weeks) last week became the first Queenslanders to receive a Deadly Choices commemorative birth certificate.

Two designs were launched by Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath, who presented a Brisbane Broncos themed certificate to Harper and her mother Amanda and a Titans themed certificate to Rebekah and her mother Kiara.

The launch was held as part of the Murri Rugby League Carnival at Dolphins Oval Redcliffe, a week-long event that uses rugby league to focus on health and education outcomes.

The two new certificate designs feature artwork by celebrated Indigenous artists Charlie Chambers and Christine Slabb and pay homage to Deadly Choices program partners the Gold Coast Titans and Brisbane Broncos NRL teams.

They were developed as the result of a partnership between the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) and the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages with the aim of increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies born in Queensland whose birth is registered and who have a legal birth certificate so that they can access education and health services.

While the commemorative certificates are not legal documents, they will be provided to parents for free as part of a package that includes a legal birth certificate.

The certificates and a limited edition Deadly Choices onesie will be available through IUIH’s member network of 18 Community Health Services in South East Queensland to children aged up to 5 years who are up to date with their health checks and vaccinations.

Speaking at the launch Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said she hoped birth registrations would increase as a result of the initiative.

“By tapping into the hugely successful Deadly Choices campaign and making it available to children up to five years old, we are hoping to pick up children who may not yet have had their birth registered, and make sure they have a birth certificate available to use in time for them to enrol in school,” she said.

“Even if a child’s birth has been registered, it can sometimes still be hard to get a birth certificate down the track.

“We know parents will be excited about these designs and hope they will take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate their child’s arrival with one of these limited edition certificates.”

Community Liaison Officer at the Office of Births Deaths and Marriages, Victoria Belle-Locke, will be available to help families complete the paperwork required to access the certificates. Victoria will be making personal visits to IUIH member clinics as well as being available via email and telephone to help families get bub’s birth registered and order their certificates.

First 1000 Days Australia

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Professor Kerry Arabena

A radical change is required in how we think bout and enhance the early outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander children in Australia.

Too many children and young people do not have the start in life they need.  As our understanding of developmental science improves, it because clearer that adverse events in a child’s life leads to structural changes in brain development that have life long and societal ramifications.

We now also know these ramifications are intergenerational. Not intervening will affect not only this generation of children, but also the next. Those who suffer adverse childhood events achieve less educationally, earn less and have worse health outcomes – all of which makes it more likely that the cycle of harm is perpetuated in the following generation

Every mother and father has a story to tell about the beginnings of their child’s life. Many of them are joyful, some are heartbreaking and all of them important. This is because the first 1000 days, from conception to age two is a period of enormous potential, but also of vulnerability.

Internationally, the 1,000 Days movement was established to improve maternal and infant nutrition from a child’s conception through to their second birthday by combining evidence-based medical care and social support to address family needs.

However, the health and wellbeing of our children cannot be addressed without taking a broader, holistic and cultural perspective. Recognising this, The University of Melbourne’s Indigenous Health Equity Unit in collaboration with key stakeholders has developed the Australian Model of the First 1000 Days movement – First 1000 Days Australia.

First 1000 Days Australia aims to strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families so they can address their child’s needs from pre-conception to two years of age to foster ‘nurturing care’ among our families at times when they experience vulnerability. Emphasised in the 2016 Lancet Early Childhood Development Series, ‘nurturing care’ is a strategic investment in which health, nutrition, responsive care giving, safety and security and early learning is provided to an infant by their families. (The Lancet, 2016)

Although children are intrinsically valued in our community, more of our young children need protection and representation by strong advocates because, despite a decade of ‘Close the Gap’ in Australia, too many of our young children live in complex situations at heightened risk in households experiencing entrenched disadvantage.

Recognising this, in 2015 The Melbourne University hosted four symposia – scientific, research, community governance and policy and implementation – to confirm the science on the importance of the first 1000 days in a child’s life and to determine how such an initiative could inform and improve upon current approaches to supporting children experiencing vulnerability.

As a result of these and further consultations; First 1000 Days Australia uses the period from (pre) conception to the age of two as a time to build resilience in families; to generate new important knowledge about some of the complex issues faced by our children; strengthen and support regional coordination and promote the implementation of high impact, cost effective programs.

In Victoria, we are working with Ms. Deborah Mellett at Mornington Peninsula; Mr. Darren Smith and staff at Aboriginal Housing Victoria and CEO Lisa Thorpe from Bubup Wilem who are supporting families in the Whittlesea region and two sites are set to start in Queensland in 2017.

Central to this work is the development of a Household Aspirations and Service Plan in which people can determine their aspirations and be supported to reach them.

We hold regular short courses and have developed a First 1000 Days accredited course through the University of Melbourne about to start in 2017. In addition, we have worked with Indonesian Scholars through a collaboration with the Australian Indonesia Centre and have hosted Delegates from the Sami Parliament in Melbourne and will be presenting at their Sami Parliamentary meeting in the Artic Circle next year.

First 1000 Days Australia has engaged Indigenous peoples across Australia and the world. Through Memorandums of Understanding, the Indigenous Health Equity Unit will implement the First 1000 Days with national and International partners.

This is testament to the strength of our engagement –this has been led by Indigenous scholars in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations; and has been constructed using Indigenous methodologies that are meaningful to other Indigenous peoples.

Professor Arabena is just one of the many quality keynote speakers at the NACCHO Members Conference

You need to register for the NACCHO Members  Conference today ?

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1. NACCHO Interim 3 day Program has been released
2. The dates are fast approaching – so register today

 

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