NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #WA #VIC #NSW #QLD #NT #TAS @KenWyattMP

1.1 VIC : Aunty Pam Pedersen Aboriginal Health advocate

1.2 VIC : Ballarat #ACCHO lands $6 million Health infrastructure Funding

2.QLD : Deadly Choices 2017 Charleville Senior Games

3. NSW : Ready Mob in Gumbaynggirr , Dunghutti, and Biripai nations

4.Tasmania  : Minister Ken Wyatt visits Launceston

5. WA : Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia News

6. ACT Winnunga’s $12 million Ngunnawal bush healing farm 

7. NT : AMSANT to visit Burunga Festival

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ? 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media     Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1.1 VIC : Aunty Pam Pedersen Aboriginal Health advocate

Aunty Pam is a Yorta Yorta woman and an Elder of the Victorian Aboriginal community. She is the daughter of Pastor Sir Douglas and Lady Nicholls who fought for the struggle of all Aboriginal people.

Aunty Pam is a very active woman taking part in many community events as well as being on various committees.  Her passion is working for her people and is employed by Jesuit Social Services working with young people and their families who have come in contact with the criminal justice system as well as working in a capacity building role.

Aunty Pam is an Elder sitting on the various Koorie Courts in Melbourne a position which she has held since 2005.  She is also a Community Member of the Adult Parole Board of Melbourne.

Aunty Pam at the age of 50 years started looking at herself and her health by walking to send out a message to other Aboriginal people that they need to take care of their health through regular exercise and healthy diets.

She is a keen sportsperson and a role model and an inspiration to all who know her. Aunty Pam has represented Victoria and World Masters Games in many sporting activities such as swimming, running half marathons, triathlons, open water swimming and yachting events.

Aunty Pam is an active supporter of the VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team

Her achievements are –

.           Australia Day – Federal Award

.           2005 NAIDOC National Sportsperson of the Year

.           Taking part in the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games as well as a participant in the Baton Relay

.           Winner Melbourne to Devonport Yacht Race 1996

.           World and Australian Masters Swimming 2002, 2005

.           Victorian and Gold Coast Half Marathons 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012

.           Gatorade Triathlon series 2003-2004,  2004 -2005

.           Koorie Women Mean Business Awards 1997, 2002 and 2004

.           Ambassador for the Indigenous Marathon Project

A quote which Aunty Pam says is –

Age is no barrier – “If you dream it – you can achieve it”

1.2. VIC : Ballarat #ACCHO lands $6 million Health Infrastructure Funding

The Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative is set to undergo a major overhaul after landing a $6 million investment from the state government last week.

Services boost: Jo Warren, Faye Clarke and Karen Heap, of the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative, with Wendouree MP Sharon Knight at Friday's funding announcement. Picture: Supplied.

Services boost: Jo Warren, Faye Clarke and Karen Heap, of the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative, with Wendouree MP Sharon Knight at Friday’s funding announcement. From The Courier

BADAC was one of the recipients of first round funding from the $200 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which will allow the Aboriginal health organisation to dramatically expand its operations.

As of 2015 the organisation employed more than 50 staff to perform 18 different services ranging across health, housing and community care, drug and alcohol support, justice support and social wellbeing.

BADAC chief executive Karen Heap said the funds would allow the organisation to deliver better tailored programs to more people in the one space.

2.QLD : Deadly Choices 2017 Charleville Senior Games

Congratulations to all the participants in the Outback Seniors Games held in Charleville this past week.

Pictures supplied by Deadly Choices : Above Deadly Choices would like to thank Mayor Paul Pisasale & his councillors for donating additional funding so our Kambu Health elders could compete in the Charleville Elders Games.

Out of the 22 competing teams, special mention goes to the Purga Porcupines who won the team champions trophy

Other winners included Aunty Elaine Anderson from the Kambu Koalas

Narella Simpson of the Goodna Woogaroo,

and Henry Thompson from the Purga Porcupines.

Congratulations to everyone who trained, played, and had a great time! Look forward to seeing that competitive spirit again soon!

3. NSW : Ready Mob in Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti, and Biripai nations

Ready Mob in NSW  are committed to continue delivering our programs across the entire region.

Ready Mob offers early intervention, support and education around tackling smoking for community, schools, and organisations throughout the Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti, and Biripai nations.

We have a number of programs available for different age groups.
If you would like to know more please visit our website or

If you would like support to quit or cut down smokes please

email Ready Mob at

or ring
66520800 for Coffs Harbour/Nambucca and
65894000 for Port Macquarie/Kempsey.

4.Tasmania  : Minister Ken Wyatt visits Launceston

Last week I was in the City Of Launceston, Tasmania and had the privilege of opening the Implementation Plan Advisory Group Consultation Forum as well as touring the NACCHO Aboriginal Health Australia Tasmanian facility.

Special thanks to Aunty Sharon Holbrook for your warm welcome to country at the IPAG Forum.


5. WA : Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia News

Edith Cowan University (ECU) in partnership with GRAMS – Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS), Bega Garnbirringu Health Services and other stakeholders across the state, are collaborating to study the effects and incidences of traumatic brain injury in Aboriginal people.

ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander Australians are more than twice as likely as non-Aboriginal Australians to suffer a traumatic brain injury or stroke.

Despite this, Aboriginal stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors are under-represented in mainstream hospital-based rehabilitation services.

The effects of brain injury can be long term or permanent and can effect a person’s movement, communication and overall quality of life.

An ECU project titled ‘Enhancing rehabilitation services for Aboriginal Australians after brain injury’ is aiming to address this imbalance after receiving a $900,000 grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Led by Professor Beth Armstrong and the ECU speech pathology team, the grant will allow a team of researchers, health service providers and industry partners to develop and implement a culturally secure intervention package for Aboriginal people.

It aims to enhance their rehabilitation experience and engagement with rehabilitation services and improve quality of life after stroke or traumatic brain injury.

The project is a collaboration with The University of WA and the WA Centre for Rural Health, Monash and Notre Dame universities and the University of Technology Sydney.

It will be carried out in partnership with the Department of Health, WA Country Health Service, Geraldton Regional and Kimberley Aboriginal medical services, Bega Garnbirringu Health Services in Kalgoorlie, Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation, Neurological Council of WA, Stroke Foundation and St John of God Midland Hospital.

6. ACT Winnunga’s $12 million Ngunnawal bush healing farm 

The future of an Aboriginal drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre south of Canberra is in doubt after it was revealed the zoning of the land does not allow for some clinical services.

The $12 million Ngunnawal bush healing farm in the Tidbinbilla Valley was completed in November last year, but since then Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service chief executive Julie Tongs said it has been “sitting empty” after confusion over what the land could be used for.


Ms Tongs said despite the ACT government asking Winnunga to submit a tender to provide drug and alcohol services on the site last year, she was told in February no clinical services could be run from there.

A briefing this week confirmed her fears the site would be little more than “a campsite”, Ms Tongs said.

“If that’s not going to be a rehab then they have to find us one and they have to find it fast or they have to find the funding in this budget,” Ms Tongs said.

Local Indigenous community leaders have long pushed for a place of healing to aid in the rehabilitation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the ACT.

Planning for the drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic near Tharwa began about a decade ago.

Planning minister Mick Gentleman sidestepped community objection to the facility by pushing the proposal through with his call-in powers and construction began on the eight-bed bush retreat in 2014.

In question time on Tuesday, Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe said Ms Tong’s rebuke was a “damning indictment” of the government’s management of Indigenous affairs.

The Canberra Liberals’ Indigenous affairs spokesman James Milligan described it as a “major stuff up”.

“The Chief Minister cannot try to shift blame to the Indigenous community claiming that it doesn’t understand what the Farm is for, when as far back 2004, there was a commitment that the Healing Farm would be a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre,” Mr Milligan said.

But Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the characterisation was unfair and the government was working to address Ms Tong’s concerns.

“ACT Health acknowledges there’s been some confusion in the community about the role and purpose of the farm and its zoning,” Mr Barr said.

“There are some differences within the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community about the services that should be delivered at the bush healing farm.

“Some stakeholders want a medical model of rehabilitation delivered on the site but the government is committed to delivering the vision of the United Ngunnawal Elders Council to deliver a healing service that works to rebuild a fractured community where recurring alcohol and drug addictions are a barrier to a better life.”

But Ms Tongs refuted Mr Barr’s claims that the site was not intended as a clinical facility.

“It was. We’ve got the deed of contract,” Ms Tongs said.

“It’s not about what the elder’s council wanted, it’s about what’s best for our community. The fellows sitting in prison, that we can’t get into rehab, what hope have they got now? They’ve ripped the rug out from underneath them and that’s not fair.”

On Wednesday, health minister Meegan Fitzharris reaffirmed her commitment to opening the healing farm as soon as possible and confirmed it would provide rehabilitation services.

“We need to have that service there, there has been some confusion which I regret and which I am seeking to now understand about the type of care and type of services that will be provided there,” she said.

“It will be able to be used as a rehabilitation centre, what it will not be able to be used for is a detoxification centre.”

7. NT : AMSANT to visit Burunga Festival

Get ready for a huge weekend of music at Barunga Festival 2017, Queen’s Birthday Tickets or at the gate!

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ? 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media     Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

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