NACCHO Aboriginal Health #IHMayDay17 : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #WA #VIC #NSW #QLD #NT #TAS @KenWyattMP

1.1 NSW Katungul Aboriginal Corporation and Medical Service commemorated Bringing Them Home report 20 years

1.2 NSW : Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) Holistic Wellbeing Centre planned

2. ACT Aspiring marathon runner Cara Smith has a healthy future

3. QLD : Apunipima Stands Up Against Domestic and Family Violence in Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw

4.SA Tackling Tobacco Team – Nunkuwarrin Yunti

5. WA Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia – AHCWA

6. Tas : The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC)

7.VIC VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team celebrates NRL Indigenous Round

 8. NT Miwajtj Health : Unfolding public health emergency in north-east Arnhem Land

 

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 NSW Katungul Aboriginal Corporation and Medical Service commemorated Bringing Them Home report 20 years

Two decades have passed since the Bringing Them Home report, but the healing continues for the Eurobodalla’s Indigenous community.

From the local News

Katungul Aboriginal Corporation and Medical Service commemorated the anniversary on Monday with a formal gathering and smoking ceremony at their Batemans Bay centre.

Guest speakers Shanna Provost and Muriel Slockee shared their experiences as part of the hidden and stolen generations.

Ms Provost said sharing personal stories was vital to healing the trans-generational scars.

“These events are really important for community members to get together to provide support to each other,” she said.

Many still felt the effects of the damage done to the stolen generations.

“It is a sad story and this is a safe place for all people to sit in the sadness of that story,” she said.

It’s a long journey, it’s a long road to travel. As a nation, we are only starting on that journey. – Shanna Provost

The report was tabled in the Australian Parliament in 1997 and documented the effect of the stolen generations on Indigenous communities. The report handed down more than 50 recommendations in response to the findings, but many are yet to be implemented.

“It’s a long journey, it’s a long road to travel. As a nation, we are only starting on that journey,” Ms Provost said.

She hoped the next 20 years would see young Indigenous people continue to rise to more prominent roles in the community.

Mrs Slockee, a child of the stolen generations, said it was painful to witness the lasting effect of forcible removal.

“Bringing Them Home still is really sore,” Mrs Slockee said.

“Children are still being stolen, it still hurts, it’s just happening in a different way.

“I hope that when we have our jubilee, we can celebrate by stopping all this rubbish and being open and honest as a nation to our first people.

“We need a fair go.”

Katungul’s commemorations will conclude on Friday, May 19, with a day of coil weaving, oyster shucking, ochre face painting, possum cloak photos and a communal canvas painting. Activities start 10am.

1.2 NSW : Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) Holistic Wellbeing Centre planned

THE Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) is charging ahead to expand its offerings, all it needs now is a little more funding.

From Local

OAMS has received development approval from Orange City Council for an $780,000 wellbeing centre at Cameron Place.

It will be located next to its existing $4 million premises at Perc Griffith Way, which was completed in 2014.

Chief executive officer Jamie Newman said the centre would incorporate nutritional and exercise services for those recovering from an operation or illness, mothers before and after pregnancy and those with mental illnesses.

He said the idea had come from clients’ requests

2. ACT Aspiring marathon runner Cara Smith has a healthy future

“Indigenous people face health and education issues. Young females, young mothers with two, three, seven children. It’s so easy to fall into a trap but there’s no excuse not to exercise, not to walk or run,”

Cara Smith is one of only six women selected for the Indigenous Marathon foundation program and will compete in the New York City Marathon at the end of the year. Photo: Rohan Thomson from Canberra Times

Aspiring marathon runner Cara Smith braves the Canberra cold to train at 3am so she can spend more time with son Zac, but her desire to change a family history of diabetes and obesity is her No. 1 motivation.

The 29-year-old is one of 12 athletes as part of the latest intake for the Robert de Castella inspired Indigenous marathon project.

They will train for six months before targeting a goal of completing the New York marathon on November 5.

The Queanbeyan mother of one wants to be the trigger for family change for one-year-old Zac to ensure he lives a healthy life.

“I have a family history of diabetes and obesity and I don’t want that for my son. I want to be healthy and I want to be active and I want it to be a part of his [Zac Jnr] daily life,” Smith said.

Former marathon world champion de Castella started the project in 2011 as a vehicle to promote healthy lifestyles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Smith will balance full-time work with family duties as she begins a tough training schedule to be ready for the 42-kilometre run.

She has never run a marathon, having only completed a half marathon in New Zealand 13 months ago, and will again test herself in another half marathon on the Gold Coast in July.

She is running up to 30 kilometres a week in preparation for not only the Gold Coast but to run her first full length marathon.

“It was scary and exciting to be honest, when [coach] Adrian Dodson-Shaw gave me the call I couldn’t believe it,” Smith said.

“My husband Zac [Snr] is so supportive so that helps a lot and I try not to think about my son [Zac Jnr], otherwise I get caught up and just want to spend time with him.”

Although in the early stages of the program, Smith is already feeling the intensity. She trains four times per week and draws motivation from her family as the work load looks to increase.

“My baby [Zac], he’s my driving force and motivation, he’s a reminder of what I can achieve. ” Smith said.

Running her first marathon, Smith also looks to inspire all indigenous females to get active and improve their health.

“Indigenous people face health and education issues. Young females, young mothers with two, three, seven children. It’s so easy to fall into a trap but there’s no excuse not to exercise, not to walk or run,” Smith said.

Smith will be one of 50,000 to compete in the New York marathon when she completes her journey with the Indigenous Marathon Foundation and knows exactly what will be going through her mind.

“Butterflies, don’t fall, don’t stop, my son, my husband, mom, dad , brother, sister. It’s exciting but I’ve worked hard to get here, I want to show everyone from Northern NSW [New South Wales] what we can do,”

3. QLD : Apunipima Stands Up Against Domestic and Family Violence in Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw

May is Domestic Violence Prevention Month. Domestic violence prevention is always a part of Apunipima’s wellbeing conversation, and for the month of May Apunipima is advocating and supporting capacity in Community to have the conversation around domestic violence and prevention.

Picture above from White Ribbon Day

Domestic and family violence can be both in the form of physical and emotional abuse. The messages are:

  • Learn to identify domestic violence and when it could be taking place
  • Create a supportive environment, know who you can go to and where safe places are in your community
  • Be prepared to leave, have a bag packed, know how to exit and if children need to exit too
  • Both men and women can be a victim of domestic and family violence

A number of events in community will be marking the importance of preventing domestic and family violence.

Kowanyama

Apunipima is partnering with the Women’s Shelter and community in Kowanyama to facilitate yarning circles, candlelight vigil, and a march to raise awareness about Domestic Violence Prevention. Men and women from the Men’s Group, Women’s Group, school, Apunipima, and other organisations in the community will be participating in the March. A Reflections session will be held to make time to think about those who have been lost to domestic violence in Community.

  • May 16th & May 25th Women’s Shelter Yarning Circle
  • May 29th Women’s Group and Candlelight Vigil and Reflections Session
  • May 30th Domestic Violence Prevention March

 

Pormpuraaw

Apunipima is partnering up with the school and Women’s Shelter to deliver Domestic Violence Prevention education through the Pormpuraaw Healthy Kids programme.

  • May 23rd Healthy Kids Domestic Violence Education Session

Help is available. If you are a victim of domestic violence, help is available. You can:

  • Go to a Women’s Shelter
  • Call the 24/7 confidential helpline – 1800 RESPECT
  • Call 000 (or 112 from a mobile) in an emergency
  • DVConnect Womensline – phone 1800 811 811 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • DVConnect Mensline – phone 1800 600 636 (9am to 12 midnight, 7 days)
  • Kids Helpline – phone 1800 551 800 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Elder Abuse Helpline – Queensland phone 1300 651 192, rest of Australia phone (07) 3867 2525 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)
  • State-wide Sexual Assault Helpline – phone 1800 010 120 (7.30am to 11.30pm, 7 days)

4.SA Tackling Tobacco Team – Nunkuwarrin Yunti

Time to Join The Movement. Get ready for World No Tobacco Day on the 31st May and make a pledge http://tacklingtobacco.nunku.org.au/join-the-movement/

5. WA Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia – AHCWA

The Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia are conducting a final survey on the Aboriginal Youth Services Investment Reform process in WA.

It is important for the sector to provide feedback on our understanding of the Reforms, so that future processes can be improved. If you are or your organisation has been involved, please follow the link – it will take 20 to 25 minutes to fill out.

Please share! 🙂

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SX85KWV

6. Tas : The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC)

Three Tasmanian Aboriginal children have starred in a new animated television series, broadcast in one of the state’s Indigenous languages.

The new animated television series Little J and Big Cuz is set in “nana’s backyard” and looks at everyday situations for Aboriginal children.

The 13-episode series has been recorded in both English and several of Australia’s Indigenous languages, including Tasmania’s palawa kani which is made up of nine dialects.

It was spoken across Tasmania until colonisation, when the Indigenous community was forced to speak English.

The language was revived in the 1990s and has been taught across the state ever since.

Three local school children, who have been learning the language, were chosen to be involved in the series.

Seth Gardiner, 11, has been learning palawa kani for three years.

“[I find it] fun because you get to interact with other people and speak our own language,” he said.

“Our alphabet is different to English, we don’t have some of the letters.

“We went to the studio and we had to stand in front of the microphones and we had to go over our script again and again until it was perfect.

“The character I’m playing is … in a wheelchair and his favourite animal is kangaroos and he’s doing show and tell.”

Peta Cabalza, 10, has also been learning the language for several years.

“It can be a tricky language,” she said. “It was really nice to be able to do the voices.”

Twelve-year-old Skye Cox was also involved.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) describes palawa kani as being “the revived form of the original Tasmanian Aboriginal languages. It incorporates authentic elements of the original languages remembered by Tasmanian [Aboriginal peoples] from the 19th to the 21st centuries. It also draws on an extensive body of historical and linguistic research”.

“There are no living speakers of the original Tasmanian languages.

“Spoken records of the original sounds are limited to a few sounds that can only just be heard when Fanny Cochrane Smith spoke on the records of her songs in 1899.

“So to attempt to recover the original sounds and meanings, we have to start from written records made by early Europeans of the sounds they heard, and the meanings they thought they understood when they heard our ancestors speak.”

Keeping the language alive

Rosetta Thomas, a youth language worker at the TAC’s Launceston office, is one of several Tasmanian adults who voice the other characters in the episode.

She started learning palawa kani on Cape Barren Island when she was 12, and is now passing on her language skills to school children.

“Language is a really big part of our history and our culture and it means a lot to us and it’s great to pass on to the children, so it can be happening for future generations,” she said.

Ms Thomas said the cartoon was a great opportunity for the kids to showcase the language to a wider audience.)

“They’re famous, so they say. They’re super-excited. The kids who’re involved have worked really hard for years,” she said.

“I think it’s fabulous for the community, for families, for children to be able to view this for future years and see how far we’ve come from starting language learning in the late 1990s to where it is today.”

The lack of a cartoon speaking to Indigenous kids in Aboriginal language had irked the show’s director, Tasmanian Tony Thorne.

“Never before has an Australian animated show targeted an Indigenous four- to six-year-old audience. As an Indigenous person this seemed wrong,” he said.

The series, being screened on NITV, involved animators from Hobart company Blue Rocket and received financial support from Screen Tasmania.

7.VIC VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team celebrates NRL Indigenous Round

 

The Healthy Lifestyle Team celebrated the Indigenous round at the NRL in Brisbane with a joint Deadly Choices and Victorian Aboriginal Health Service guernsey worn by the kids at the half time entertainment! #DeadlyChoices #VAHSHLT #StaySmokeFree Brisbane Broncos #IndigenousRound Melbourne Storm Gold Coast Titans Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

8. NT Miwajtj Health : Unfolding public health emergency in north-east Arnhem Land

“If these children don’t stop, they will have a very serious brain damage issue,” 

In an effort to educate young people about the dangers of sniffing, Miwatj’s mental health team has been meeting with the families of those involved.

It has also developed a poster in English and Yolngu Matha, which explains that continued sniffing could lead to death.

“The community has taken steps and are still looking at other steps to stop what is happening,”

Joan Djamalaka Dhamarrandji, an Aboriginal health practitioner at Miwatj Health ( Member of AMSANT and NACCHO ) which runs clinics across north-east Arnhem Land.

Authorities are warning of an unfolding public health emergency in north-east Arnhem Land, where dozens of young people are recording dangerously high lead levels after sniffing aviation fuel.

Security camera vision obtained by the ABC shows children climbing onto the fuselage of planes on Elcho Island and siphoning avgas from fuel tanks in the wings.

Watch vision here

“If these children don’t stop, they will have a very serious brain damage issue,” said Joan Djamalaka Dhamarrandji, an Aboriginal health practitioner at Miwatj Health, which runs clinics across north-east Arnhem Land.

Petrol sniffing is not uncommon in remote communities, but rarely does it involve avgas, which contains lead.

At least 70 young people on Elcho Island are known to have sniffed the volatile substance, with the youngest believed to be seven years old.

About 30 more young people have elevated lead levels at Gapuwiyak.

Children in Milingimbi are also believed to be sniffing avgas.

Nine children and one adult have been transported from the region to Royal Darwin Hospital for medical treatment.

“This is a public health emergency,” said Dr Lucas de Toca, the chief health officer for Miwatj Health.

“We are talking about a high number of children with high blood lead levels.”

Yolngu leaders on Elcho Island are deeply concerned and have held community meetings in an effort to end the problem.

“Our kids are ending up in hospital by getting infected by chemicals which is bad for them,” said John Gurrumgurrum Burarrwanga from Makarr Dhuni, an organisation which represents clan groups on Elcho Island.

Lead levels of sniffers well above health guidelines

National health guidelines require investigations of blood lead levels higher than five micrograms per decilitre.

The majority of Elcho Island sniffers have levels six to 10 times that amount.

“We are seeing levels that are almost unprecedented in current society,” Dr de Toca said.

The health risk is particularly great for children, with lead exposure causing long-term physical and behavioural problems, as well as learning difficulties.

Young people have been breaking into the airport and sniffing avgas since March last year.

The behaviour follows a previous sniffing outbreak, which involved aerosol spray cans, in 2015.

“The issue became an absolute crisis because it became a practically every night event,” said Yvonne Sutherland, the chief executive of the local Marthakal Group, which runs the airport.

Concerns of avgas explosion

Ms Sutherland is concerned not only for the health of the children, but also the safety of aircraft.

There is also the real risk of an explosion involving avgas, which is extremely flammable.

“If we are not careful, and this is probably one of my highest concerns … we may have a fireball that will be just devastating for everybody,” Ms Sutherland said.

Marthakal has taken numerous steps to prevent access to avgas, including increased security lighting and CCTV coverage at the airport.

It also tried relocating three of its charter planes each night to Nhulunbuy, hundreds of kilometres away, over a two-week period last year.

But at a cost of $32,000 for the fortnight, it was an unsustainable measure.

Hopes guard dog will curtail break-ins

The Department of Chief Minister has now provided $70,000 for a guard dog and security officer to be stationed at the airport for 10 hours each night over the next three months.

“That’s been extremely successful,” Ms Sutherland said.

“There has not been a single incursion into the airport since the security guard was installed.”

Marthakal believes building a high-secure facility to lock its planes in overnight would be the best long-term solution.

That would cost about $400,000, but Ms Sutherland said it would be money well spent.

“If the avgas [sniffing] continues, the impost on the health and disability budget will be enormous,” she said.

‘Kids are important’

In an effort to educate young people about the dangers of sniffing, Miwatj’s mental health team has been meeting with the families of those involved.

It has also developed a poster in English and Yolngu Matha, which explains that continued sniffing could lead to death.

“The community has taken steps and are still looking at other steps to stop what is happening,” Ms Dhamarrandji said.

Community leaders want extra government funding for local staff to expand health education campaigns in Yolgnu Matha, as well as extra recreational programs to keep young people on the island engaged.

“Kids are very important to our life because they are the future generations,” Mr Burarrwanga said.

“So we don’t want these things happening in the community or elsewhere.”

The Northern Territory Government says it has set up a “critical response” involving all stakeholders affected by avgas sniffing.

“Any volatile substance abuse is very dangerous and concerning,” said Jim Rogers from the NT Department of Chief Minister.

“However the emergence of avgas sniffing and the potential long-term consequences of elevated blood lead levels is a significant concern.”

 

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