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

1.Winnunga ACCHO elders garden has healthy future for community

2. SA : Nathan Krakouer  no more bad choices now Deadly Choices

3.1 The new Murray PHN Indigenous Health Advisory Council will bring together six different ACCHO’s  across North East Victoria

3.2 VAHS hosts Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima 

4.AHCWA calls for “ICE “ intervention and prevention ACTION

5.1 NSW 60 Students graduate AHMRC Aboriginal Health College

 5. 2 NSW Awabakal’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking program hits the road.

 6.QLD ‘No Smokes’ one-day training 

7. NT Uncle Jimmy and NT ACCHO’S helps to stop Trachoma

8.Tasmania Culture Centre employment assistance service

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.Winnunga ACCHO elders garden has healthy future for community

When you think of a garden and gardening, most of us wouldn’t think of it as a gift of life. But for 74 year old Uncle Brian Demery this is exactly what it did for him. ‘I went to Winnunga coz I was sick but when I went to Winnunga a new chapter of my life was opened. Winnunga just cares, not only about me but about lots of our Elders’ Uncle Brian said.

Twelve years ago Uncle Brian and his late wife, who passed away 11 years ago, operated a community garden but when the funding stopped, the couple found themselves struggling to keep it going due to the ongoing costs.

‘I was speaking to Julie Tongs at Winnunga. I told her, what had happened and how I was paying for it out of my own pocket. Julie said ‘how can we help you’, Uncle Brian explained. ‘I couldn’t do it without Winnunga. It’s expensive with the seeds and punnets’ he added.

From humble beginnings in its current Queanbeyan location, the Winnunga Elders Garden became what it is today – a thriving community garden with a variety of seasonal vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, beans, capsicum, lettuce, corn, turnips, chilli’s and some grapes.

The Ngemba Elder from Bourke said although it’s a lot of hard work taking care of 10 large garden beds, a green house, a number of sleepers and five trellises, he said it gives him a purpose, a reason to get up each morning. ‘I just love it, it’s satisfying. You just feel good within yourself. If you don’t do anything, you get bored, you drink, you do bad stuff but this keeps you on track. It’s also good exercise’ Uncle Brian explained.

Uncle Brian who works in the garden two hours a day and for four to five hours on a Saturday and Sunday was keen to describe the feeling he gets from seeing the plants grow. ‘You put the seeds in and wait to see it grow, see it sprout. Every day, it’s exciting. You then get to pick it and taste it’ he said.

Those who know the keen golfer, father of two, a grand-father and great-grandfather, can’t speak highly enough of his character. One of these people is Ian Bateman, Manager of Winnunga’s Social Health Team. ‘Uncle Brian is not only a great role model but also an interesting character with a great sense of humour. He brings a lot of knowledge and passion and we couldn’t think of a better person for the garden. It’s also good to see someone his age still being so active. He gives back to the community’ Mr Bateman said.

The Elders Garden has had a significant impact on the community.

‘I do up vegetable packages for families and Elders. There are about 15 families with kids, we give to. I like helping these families and Elders as they are battling to make ends meet, it saves them money’ Uncle Brian said. Mr Bateman also echoed Uncle Brian’s thoughts on the important role of the garden. ‘It’s a big benefit to the community. There are people struggling especially our Elders and pensioners. A lot of the pensioners are supporting extended families with serious social issues. So the garden and its produce are of a great benefit to the community’ Mr Bateman explained.

Uncle Brian also added ‘People are so grateful. For me, it’s mainly for the kids. Everything I grow isn’t sprayed, no pesticides, it’s all organic. This way, they get fresh vegetables, it encourages the kids to eat vegetables’ he said. Uncle Brian said although he is getting on in age, he still plans to keep working the garden for a little longer but welcomes any volunteers to help him out.

‘I reckon I’ve got two years left in me to keep doing this. It’s getting hard but I’ll still do it. I’d love to hear from any Koori fellas who’d like to help out. They could start out with one garden bed, I’ll help. I’ll give them the seeds’ he said.

If you would like to assist with the Winnunga AHS Elders Garden, please contact the Social Health Team at Winnunga on 02 6284 6222.

2. SA : Nathan Krakouer  no more bad choices now Deadly Choices

Port Adelaide Power journeyman Nathan Krakouer opens up on bad choices that almost ended his life READ Story Here

Nathan Krakouer speaks out about his past choices and how he turned his life around. Now Nathan wants to help others by using his lessons from binge drinking and drugs to advise indigenous youth to not go down the path he did.

Power signs on to boost health care

PORT Adelaide will have its indigenous players — such as Nathan Krakouer — become powerful role models in Aboriginal communities to promote better health.

And Power chief executive Keith Thomas explains the bold move from “the core business of football” as part of the Port Adelaide Football Club taking on greater responsibility with indigenous issues.

“We have a role to play in Aboriginal health care,” said Thomas, who this week challenged the AFL and its clubs to broaden the indigenous agenda beyond a celebration of Aboriginal culture with the Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

Port Adelaide yesterday signed an agreement with the Aboriginal Health Council of SA to be part of the “Deadly Choices” program that will encourage indigenous communities to have health checks.

The Deadly Choices program aims to advise indigenous youth the impact of poor lifestyle decisions by empowering them to make healthy decisions for themselves and their families.

The Deadly Choices team from Queensland were in Adelaide last week to bump heads with us before the big launch day on July 1st.

(L-R) Thomas Gilles, Ian Lacey, Wade Thompson, Trent Wingard, Nathan Appo, Marlon Motlop

Deadly Choices is a school-led, 8-week health and lifestyle program will encourage young people make the right choices to look after their own health.

And if they complete the health check at one of our member clinics, they will be able to win the Deadly Choices Guernsey.

Our member clinics are at Pipalyatjara, Amata, Umuwa, Fregon, Ernabella, Mimili, Indulkana.

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3.1 The new Murray PHN Indigenous Health Advisory Council will bring together six different ACCHO’s  across North East Victoria

Six Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations will collaborate with Murray PHN to help improve access to health services and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our area.

They will form the newly-established Murray PHN Indigenous Health Advisory Council, committed to improving indigenous health outcomes in the region, in line with the operational principles of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

Matt Jones, CEO of Murray PHN, said the organisation was the first Primary Health Network in Australia to establish an Indigenous Health Advisory Council.

“Our goal is to ensure that primary health services and the health service system across the Murray PHN catchment area are responsive to the needs of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Mr Jones said.

“This is part of wider efforts to close the gap in life expectancy and health outcomes in the Indigenous population.

“As a representative voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our region, the Indigenous Health Advisory Council will allow for the authentic participation of indigenous people in designing and developing models of care,” he said.

The Murray PHN Advisory Council membership will consist of:

  • Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (AWAHS)
  •  Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative (BDAC)
  •  Mallee District Aboriginal Service (MDAS)
  •  Mungabereena Aboriginal Corporation
  •  Murray Valley Aboriginal Cooperative (MVAC)
  •  Njernda Aboriginal Corporation
  •  Murray PHN

Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is one of the key health priorities for the region. Murray PHN has more than 14,800 people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (14,800+), and whose health status continues to be considerably lower than the wider population.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a burden of disease two-and-a-half times that of other Australians, with 70 per cent of the health gap due to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease and mental health issues.

The Murray PHN Indigenous Health Advisory Committee will meet quarterly.

3. VAHS hosts Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima 


“What inspires me and what I’m taking away is the love, I always have faith In community. Its powerful and has touched my heart and I’m taking that away with me.

I felt the love of community in this building and in this work, faith/belief in community, past present and future, I felt that within myself powerful. 

Oxfam fights alongside Indigenous communities. The power is in the love of community.”

After hearing Gary Foley’s  powerful recount of the rich and proud history of VAHS , Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima made this statement to the VAHS board, staff and community.

Thank you to Uncle Bill Nicholson, Aunty Janice Austin, Gary Foley, Jimmy Peters and the Board, Uncle Phil Ah Wanh, and Ngarra, Justin and the Oxfam team for making today happen.

4.AHCWA calls for “ICE “ intervention and prevention ACTION

The Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia has called for better access to early intervention and prevention programs to help address increasing methamphetamine (ice) use in regional WA. AHCWA chairperson Michelle Nelson Cox said “beggared belief” that there had not been any significant investment into grassroots community intervention programs despite ice use continuing to increase over the past decade.

“It is frustrating that despite several state and federal strategies highlighting the need to increase investment in community-led and culturally appropriate early intervention prevention, treatment and support services, we are yet to see any significant amounts of funding directed to our sector and other Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, “she said.

Ms Nelson Cox said there had been a concerning shift with ice use overtaking excessive alcohol use in some communities, resulting in services being unprepared and lacking the appropriate programs and services to provide care to those using the illicit drug.

“There is a growing presence of illicit drugs in the regions,” she said.

“While there is evidence that alcohol use is still higher than methamphetamine use, from the Aboriginal community perspective we are certainly seeing methamphetamine use becoming just as significant as alcohol use.

“Our people are crying out for help. They want community-led solutions and want to work with government departments but all they are getting is lip service.”

Ms Nelson Cox said there was no conclusive evidence that cashless welfare cards had made any impact in minimising drug use.

“Our Elders are gravely concerned about the impact of the cashless welfare card. There is no significant evidence to suggest that cashless welfare cards lead to any reduction in drug use in our regional communities”, she said.

“What we have seen in certain towns is an increase around elder abuse, black market trades of the cards for cash, reports of prostitution and a rapid rise in crime.

“Regional communities are trying to take practical approaches and strategies to deal with this problem.

“Penalising people through their Centrelink payments is not the solution. This approach will not deal with the crux of the problem. It will not empower our people and we are also yet to see investment into additional support services as was promised with its introduction.”

AHCWA is the peak body for Aboriginal health in WA, with 22 Aboriginal health services currently members.

5.1 NSW 60 Students graduate AHMRC Aboriginal Health College


A big day for 60 Students graduating today from courses at the AHNMRC Aboriginal Health College. Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands

Congratulations Aboriginal Health College 2017 graduates. Equals more Aboriginal health workers & culturally appropriate care

5.2 NSW Awabakal’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking program hits the road.

Awabakal’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking program hit the road last week with the help of some familiar faces.

We ran a workshop with the students to educate them about smoking and the effects the habit can have.

We would like to say a big thank you to our special guests for the day who were on hand to share some important messaging – George Rose, Samantha Harris, Latrell Mitchell, Connor Watson and Will Smith.

 6.QLD ‘No Smokes’ one-day training 

Please see the attached invitation to ‘No Smokes’ one-day training which will be delivered at Apunipima Cairns office on Thursday 15 June 2017 from 9.00am to 3.30pm.

The training provides an introduction to the ‘No Smokes’ resources, which include a variety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific tools, as well as resources to inform people of the dangers of smoking and to assist them to quit.

The main resource used with the training will be a flipchart, which can be viewed here:

The training is FREE and lunch and morning tea will be provided.

Please RSVP to Nina Nichols or Kelly Franklin

7. NT Uncle Jimmy and NT ACCHO’S helps to stop Trachoma


Day one of the Barkly Desert Culture tour in Tennant Creek…For the past three years local artists the E town Boyz, Hill Boyz and The Sand Hill Women have been making inspirational music under the mentorship of Monkey Marc, Beatrice Lewis and Sean Spencer with support of the Barkly Shire Council.

The artists have collaborated to write and perform a great song to make their community aware of Trachoma and how to stop it.

Here is a sneak preview of the song and video that we will share with you all very soon.


The tour goes to Elliott tomorrow, then Alpurrulam, Ampilatawatja, Ali Curung, Alparra and a big finale concert in Alice Springs on June 16th. Clean Faces, Strong Eyes Indigenous Eyehealth Caama Alice Springs CAAMA Music See Desert Hip Hop for all tour dates…..

8.Tasmania Culture Centre employment assistance service

“Interested in these jobs at IBIS Styles Hobart, or other jobs coming up?

Not sure how to apply?

Come along to the Aboriginal Health Service this Friday June 9 from 10.30 am to get some tips and help with updating your resume, writing your application and get some interview tips.

Let Sally know if you are interested in attending.. or ring 62340700”

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