Aboriginal Health #NAIDOC2017 Week : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #SA #NT #WA #VIC #NSW #QLD #Act #Tas

Intro : History of NAIDOC Week

1.NSW :Coffs Harbour NAIDOC Our Languages Matter – Garla ngarraangiya ngiyambandiya ngawaawa – is the theme for this year

 2.VIC : Smoking ceremony and afternoon tea at VACCHO Celebrating NAIDOC Week.

3.1 QLD New ATSICHS clinic opens NAIDOC week at Loganlea reminds us of those champions in Indigenous health who blazed the trail

3.2 QLD : Carbal ACCHO  leads the way for Indigenous health NAIDOC WEEK

 3.3 Apunipima ACCHO at Laura Dance Festival Cape York Tackling Indigenous Smoking

4.1 W.A New program announced in NAIDOC Week to improve social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people in regional WA

4.2 WA : Sistagirls wearing  NAIDOC design hoodies in Warburton WA Tackling Indigenous Smoking

5. SA Sharon Bilney ACCHO Nurse celebrate and acknowledges NAIDOC Week

6.1 NT : ABC TV Q and A broadcasts from Alice Springs for NAIDOC week

6.2 Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt visits Congress Alice Springs for NAIDOC week

7. ACT : Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service judges choice in NAIDOC damper bake off

8. Tas :  Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation (TAC) praised by Premier in NAIDOC week for reviving palawa kani, the Tasmanian Aboriginal language                           

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

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media    

Mobile 0401 331 251

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History of NAIDOC Week

Photo above national launch of NAIDOC week in Cairns

NAIDOC poster  photo in banner Janette Milera🖤🧡

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News : 10 Winners profiles National #NAIDOC2017 Awards

Download and print the NAIDOC History Timeline (PDF version)

1920 – 1930

Before the 1920s, Aboriginal rights groups boycotted Australia Day (26 January) in protest against the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians. By the 1920s, they were increasingly aware that the broader Australian public were largely ignorant of the boycotts. If the movement were to make progress, it would need to be active.

Several organisations emerged to fill this role, particularly the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association (AAPA) in 1924 and the Australian Aborigines League (AAL) in 1932. Their efforts were largely overlooked, and due to police harassment, the AAPA abandoned their work in 1927.

In 1935, William Cooper, founder of the AAL, drafted a petition to send to King George V, asking for special Aboriginal electorates in Federal Parliament. The Australian Government believed that the petition fell outside its constitutional responsibilities.


On Australia Day, 1938, protestors marched through the streets of Sydney, followed by a congress attended by over a thousand people. One of the first major civil rights gatherings in the world, it was known as the Day of Mourning.

Following the congress, a deputation led by William Cooper presented Prime Minister Joseph Lyons with a proposed national policy for Aboriginal people. This was again rejected because the Government did not hold constitutional powers in relation to Aboriginal people.

After the Day of Mourning, there was a growing feeling that it should be a regular event. In 1939 William Cooper wrote to the National Missionary Council of Australia to seek their assistance in supporting and promoting an annual event.

1940 – 1955

From 1940 until 1955, the Day of Mourning was held annually on the Sunday before Australia Day and was known as Aborigines Day. In 1955 Aborigines Day was shifted to the first Sunday in July after it was decided the day should become not simply a protest day but also a celebration of Aboriginal culture.

1956 – 1990

Major Aboriginal organisations, state and federal governments, and a number of church groups all supported the formation of, the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC). At the same time, the second Sunday in July became a day of remembrance for Aboriginal people and their heritage.

In 1972, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs was formed, as a major outcome of the 1967 referendum.

In 1974, the NADOC committee was composed entirely of Aboriginal members for the first time. The following year, it was decided that the event should cover a week, from the first to second Sunday in July.

In 1984, NADOC asked that National Aborigines Day be made a national public holiday, to help celebrate and recognise the rich cultural history that makes Australia unique. While this has not happened, other groups have echoed the call.

1991 – Present

With a growing awareness of the distinct cultural histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, NADOC was expanded to recognise Torres Strait Islander people and culture. The committee then became known as the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC). This new name has become the title for the whole week, not just the day. Each year, a theme is chosen to reflect the important issues and events for NAIDOC Week.

During the mid-1990s, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) took over the management of NAIDOC until ATSIC was disbanded in 2004-05.

There were interim arrangements in 2005. Since then a National NAIDOC Committee, until recently chaired by former Senator Aden Ridgeway, has made key decisions on national celebrations each year. The National NAIDOC Committee has representatives from most Australian states and territories.

Since 2008, Anne Martin and Ben Mitchell have been serving as co-chairs of the National NAIDOC Committee.

NAIDOC Week posters from 1972 to the present see link here

National NAIDOC Posters are available for public use to help you celebrate NAIDOC Week

1.NSW :Coffs Harbour NAIDOC Our Languages Matter – Garla ngarraangiya ngiyambandiya ngawaawa – is the theme for this year

The NAIDOC Ready Mob Road Show Kempsey , Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour

Aboriginal Health Services aim to be the peak providers of high quality, culturally appropriate holistic primary health and related care services throughout the Mid North Coast.

The services operate from Monday to Friday and provide access to General Practitioners, Aboriginal Health Workers, various medical specialists and allied health professionals.

The following Aboriginal Medical Services provide services to communities within the boundaries of the Mid North Coast Local Health District. Please contact them directly for further information:

02 6652 0800 Galambila Aboriginal Medical Service, Coffs Harbour

02 6560 2300 Durri Aboriginal Health Service Inc, Kempsey

02 6958 6800 Darrimba Maarra, Nambucca

02 6589 4000 Werin Aboriginal Corporation Medical Clinic, Port Macquarie

 2.VIC : Smoking ceremony and afternoon tea at VACCHO Celebrating NAIDOC Week.Photos Eddie Moore
Flag raising Federation Square
3.1 QLD New ATSICHS clinic opens NAIDOC week at Loganlea reminds us of those champions in Indigenous health who blazed the trail

 As NAIDOC Week is celebrated nationwide, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Loganlea can also celebrate access to health treatment closer to home with the opening of a new primary healthcare clinic.

The new clinic, which Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick opened today, received more than $900,000 in funding from the Palaszczuk Government.

Mr Dick said the facility was a step in the right direction in addressing the healthcare needs of the local community.

“The large and growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in the Logan area has increased demand for culturally appropriate and accessible health services,” Mr Dick said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane’s new Loganlea Clinic provides community based patient care, allowing for conditions, such as chronic disease, to be managed close to home and within a community setting.

“Spending less time in a hospital is always a better outcome for everyone, and eases the demand on resources for the hospitals in the area.”

Under the Making Tracks Investment Strategy 2015-2018, Queensland Health provided about $920,000 to ATSICHS Brisbane to establish the Loganlea clinic with the help of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH).

Mr Dick said investing in evidence-based multidisciplinary services for Indigenous Queenslanders was a key aspect of the Palaszczuk Government’s strategy.

“In addition, ATSICHS Brisbane currently receives $1 million annually to deliver comprehensive and culturally appropriate primary healthcare services at their Woodridge clinic and $220,000 to employ two child health workers at their Northgate clinic,” he said.

Member for Waterford and Minister for Communities Shannon Fentiman said it was great that the clinic could be opened during NAIDOC Week.

“The Palaszczuk Government is investing more than $200 million over three years into services and programs targeted at closing the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people in Queensland,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Our goal is to close the life expectancy gap by 2033 and halve the child mortality gap by 2018.

“Partnering with community-based organisations to provide accessible and efficient primary healthcare services will go a long way to achieving this.”

ATSICHS Brisbane is a not-for-profit community owned health and human services organisation, now with seven medical clinics across greater Brisbane and Logan.

“The Loganlea community will benefit greatly from this clinic, which will have a tangible impact on the health and wellbeing of our clients and the strength of our community,” ATSICHS Brisbane CEO Jody Currie said.

“This week as we celebrate NAIDOC, our hope is that our people and our community, not just in Logan but across the state can say: I make good choices and decisions about my health and wellbeing and get the treatment and care that is best for me and my life. This can happen through clinics such as these.

“Together with the IUIH we are determined to advance the Indigenous healthcare sector, delivering positive and practical responses to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing needs.”

IUIH CEO Adrian Carson said the clinic would meet the increased demand, with the release of the 2016 Census

3.2 Carbal ACCHO  leads the way for Indigenous health NAIDOC WEEK

AS NAIDOC Week 2017 swings into celebration, Carbal Medical Centre in Warwick is at the front-line, keeping our indigenous community fighting fit.

PHOTO : CHECK-UP: Carbal Medical Centre’s doctor Christine Tran checks out Ethan Appleby while Rebecca Appleby looks

Clinic manager Kerry Stewart said Carbal was a one-stop shop for indigenous health in Warwick.

“We look after it all here, all health concerns, be they physical, mental, emotional and social,” Mrs Stewart said

She said the main health concern among Warwick’s indigenous population was chronic disease.

“This is something we see a lot of – diabetes, cancer, respiratory problems and renal failure are the main issues,” she said.

“To help we have a large team of doctors, nurses, allied health and Aboriginal health workers, indigenous team care co-ordinators, who can assist with support, care and comfort.

“We also have a worker whose job is to tackle indigenous smoking.

“With funding we receive we’re able to pay for things like sleep apnoea machines, mobility aids, blood sugar monitors, nebulisers, items that help keep our patients healthy. We also provide transport and accommo- dation services for those who need them to assist patients to get to appoint- ments in Warwick and further afield.”

Carbal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services chief executive officer Brian Hewitt said under the Closing the Gap initiative the Federal Government decided in 2006 the best way to approach indigenous health was by starting community indigenous health centres.

“So various Aboriginal Medical Services were developed and Carbal has been hugely successful, so much so we became a company 12 months ago,” Mr Hewitt said.

“We run five clinics, employing 80 staff that encompass Toowoomba, Warwick, Stanthorpe and Goondiwindi. We look after about 6000 clients, 5000 who identify as indigenous.”

 3.3 Apunipima ACCHO at Laura Dance Festival Cape York Tackling Indigenous Smoking

4.1 W.A New program announced in NAIDOC Week to improve social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people in regional WA

New Aboriginal family wellbeing training will be prioritised across the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields regions, in a West Australian first to address social and emotional health risks in indigenous communities.

The Aboriginal Health Council of WA welcomed today’s State Government announcement to contribute $1 million over two years towards the pilot Aboriginal Family Wellbeing project to help prevent self-harm and suicide in the regions by strengthening families.

The project includes an accredited six-month Certificate II training program, which will be delivered jointly by the WA Mental Health Commission, AHCWA and the 22 Aboriginal Medical Services across the state.

AHCWA Chairperson Michelle Nelson Cox said the initiative would ensure all Aboriginal Medical Services in WA had at least one key staff member skilled in delivering the program.

“This is about building the skills and confidence of our social and emotional wellbeing teams across all Aboriginal Medical Services so they can identify communities where there is real need to strengthen family wellbeing and, in turn, self-harm and suicide prevention strategies,” Ms Nelson Cox said.

“Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in Aboriginal communities.

“Statistics show that the suicide rate for indigenous Australians is almost twice the rate for non-indigenous Australians. And concerningly, the suicide rate of our young people aged 15 to 19 is five times as high as non-indigenous Australians.”

At least six trainers will be educated in the program in the first year, with a focus on the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields regions. Other services and regions will be invited to participate in the second year.

“This is the first time that this training has been delivered in WA and we feel proud to have built a partnership with the Mental Health Commission to share this important initiative,” Ms Nelson Cox said.

“Until now, there has been a lack of specific Aboriginal family wellbeing training. We hope that by providing this new program it will lead to more and more trainers in the regions and real health benefits to our communities.”

AHCWA is the peak body for Aboriginal health in WA, with 22 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) currently engaged as members.

4.2 WA : Sistagirls wearing  NAIDOC design hoodies in Warburton WA Tackling Indigenous Smoking

5. SA Sharon Bilney ACCHO Nurse celebrate and acknowledges NAIDOC Week

“Deciding to become a nurse is a decision that I’ve never regretted,

It’s a career that you can have around children and I’ve loved the opportunities that have come with it as well – I loved that I’ve worked in a hospital setting but also been able to lecture and have the chance to mentor and support young Aboriginal students on their path into nursing.”

The mother of four, who is Manager of Client Services for Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service, began her early career working at Port Lincoln Hospital.

Going home with the feeling that she’d made a difference in someone’s life that day is what Sharon Bilney says is the best part of being a nurse.

“When I was working at the hospital, it was just so nice to feel as though I’d made a difference,whether it was to an Aboriginal patient that day or educating a non-Aboriginal person about Aboriginal culture,” Ms Bilney, who belongs to the Kokatha family group, said.She also had a two-year stint lecturing in nursing at TAFE South Australia’s Port Lincoln Campus.

Ms Bilney is speaking about her nursing career to help highlight NAIDOC Week, which runs from Sunday, July 2-9, and is urging young Indigenous people to explore nursing as a career option.

The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is Our Languages Matter.

“I highly recommend nursing. Even if you don’t want to work in a hospital, the possibilities and options are endless. Take every opportunity that comes your way,” Ms Bilney said.

“NAIDOC week is an important week to celebrate our history and culture. If not for anything else, it is just a wonderful opportunity to recognise our people for one week.”

Ms Bilney said the best thing she had ever done was switch from her previous career in office work to nursing.

“Once I knew that I would be able to study at home part-time while I still had my youngest little boy at home with me, I thought the opportunity was just amazing,” she said.

“Once I was enrolled, I just wanted to focus on getting through the next five years of study and really achieve that goal of becoming a nurse.”

In her final year of study, Ms Bilney received the Federal Government-funded Rural and Remote Undergraduate scholarship, through the Australian College of Nursing (ACN). ACN Chief Executive Officer, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, said Ms Bilney was a perfect example of how diverse a career in nursing could be, and how it could be explored at different stages in life.

“Sharon was a mum at home caring for her young son when an opportunity came her way to be able to study nursing,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.

“On completing her studies, she has had the opportunity to work in a hospital and experience theatre work, accident and emergency, the surgical and medical wards and has also had the chance to work in palliative care and mental health.

“She has also lectured in nursing and been able to mentor young Indigenous students and is now leading the way in providing health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Port Lincoln.”

6.1 NT : ABC TV Q and A broadcasts from Alice Springs for NAIDOC week

Features William Tilmouth Chair of Congress ACCHO


6.2 Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt visits Congress Alice Springs for NAIDOC week

  Aboriginal Health #NAIDOC2017 : New Aboriginal-led collaboration has world-class focus on boosting remote Aboriginal health

7. ACT : Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service judges choice in NAIDOC damper bake off

It was made with love, hope and a bit of glitter.

A dozen teams battled it out in a damper cook-off at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy on Tuesday as part of National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee week celebrations.

The Glamper Damper Campers represented Reconciliation Australia and were the overall winners. The team created a unique damper, which they described as being made with love, hope and glitter. The three-cheese damper also featured pumpkin, spinach and buttermilk – which they said was the secret ingredient.

Damper, also known as bush bread or seedcake, was originally made from flour of ground seeds, grains, legumes, roots or nuts. But the introduction of pre-milled white flour and white sugar has mostly replaced the use of native ingredients to make the damper.

Competition judge and Ngunnawal man Richie Allan, of the Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, said the competitors were judged on a number of criteria, including taste, flavour, texture and creativity.

“The boys went a bit fancy on all the criteria, looks like MKR or something,” Mr Allan said, laughing.

Next year’s competition might go back to the “old ways” of baking damper, where contestants have to grind seeds to make their own flour, he said.Joining Mr Allan on the judging panel were Reconciliation Australia deputy chief executive officer Karen Mundine and event organiser Derek Hardman.

There were winners in four categories:

  • Judge’s choice – Mozzarella, ham and chive, created by Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service.
  • Best flavour – Nutella centre, created by Indigenous Business Australia.
  • Encouragement award – Choc chip, created by Lynley, 5, and Kennedy, 8.
  • Reconciliation Australia NAIDOC overall winner – Pumpkin, three cheese and spinach created by the Glamper Damper Campers from Reconciliation Australia.

Reconciliation Australia organised the event and had two teams competing. The other teams were made up of people from various organisations and public service departments, including the ACT Health Directorate and the ACT Finance Directorate.

Reconciliation Australia chief executive officer Justin Mohamed said the aim of the event was to focus on “sharing culture, having relationships, talking [and] getting to know each other better”.

The event was a first for the organisation and Mohamed said he enjoyed being out of the boardroom and around the campfire.

Information on other NAIDOC events happening this week can be found here.

8. Tas :  Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation (TAC) praised by Premier in NAIDOC week for reviving palawa kani, the Tasmanian Aboriginal language.

June Sculthorpe is passionate about palawa kani.

In the 1990s she was one of the first people to work on a program to revive the Tasmanian Aboriginal language, alongside linguist Terry Crowley at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.

Palawa kani words to learn

  • ya — Hello
  • lakapawa nina — See you
  • mina — I, me
  • nina — You
  • ya pulingina — Welcome
  • nina nayri? — How are you going?
  • mina nayri — I’m well
  • lutruwita — Tasmania

They used as their base written documents from early explorers who had transcribed Aboriginal words.

Professor Crowley also had some recordings of the language being spoken, and it turned out those recordings had a connection to Ms Sculthorpe.

“As he played that [recording], I knew the lady who had spoken to it,” she said.

“Her name was Dot Heffernan who was Fanny Cochrane Smith’s grandchild.”

Ms Sculthorpe is also a descendant of Fanny Cochrane Smith, who famously recorded Aboriginal songs on wax cylinders in the 1800s.

“I had never known that the language had been passed down in our family,” she said.

Hearing a voice she knew say “tapilti ningina mumara prupari patrula” (go and get a log and put it on the fire) was a life-changing moment for Ms Sculthorpe.

“I’d never known that those words had been used in Tasmania in my family and it was very moving. That was the beginning of my involvement with palawa kani.”

Ms Sculthorpe has built up knowledge of palawa kani to the point where the community can now relearn and reclaim their words and culture.

“Because our culture had been so taken away from us, we want to learn the language, we want our community to learn the language,” she said.






Introducing dual place names for landmarks such as kunanyi/Mount Wellington has slowly seen palawa kani introduced to the whole of Tasmania.

“As we learn it more, it’s good to hear people … to be using the place names and basic greetings,” Ms Sculthorpe said.

“We’re in Tasmania and these are Tasmanian places and it just sort of connects us more to the long history of people living in Tasmania.”

During this year’s NAIDOC Week, Ms Sculthorpe has read the weather forecast each morning in palawa kani on ABC Radio Hobart Breakfast.

“It was a good way to learn, by being forced to go down and read the weather,” she said.

“Because we have all those words for hot and cold, sunny and cloudy, icy and foggy, and the language program puts all those words around here on a poster to try to get people to read them.

“But unless you actually have to use them every day it is hard to remember them.”

Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman said NAIDOC Week served as an “an important reminder of the need for continued, concerted efforts towards reconciliation”.

He acknowledged the work of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation (TAC) for its efforts researching and reviving traditional languages, particularly palawa kani, the Tasmanian Aboriginal language.

“Using palawa kani, 13 geographical features and places have now been given traditional language names, including Hobart’s mountain kunanyi/Mount Wellington,” he said.

It is estimated about 250 distinct Indigenous language groups once existed in Australia and most would have had several dialects, so the total number of language varieties is likely to be far more.

Tasmanian school students have joined in song and movement as part of their 2017 NAIDOC week celebrations, recognising the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous peoples.

The week’s theme of Our Languages Matter is focused on the importance, richness and resilience of Indigenous language, highlighting the role language plays in cultural identity and linking people to their land and water.

It also explores the way in which Indigenous history, spirituality and rites are shared through both story and song.

Moonah Primary School students celebrate NAIDOC

Aboriginal students from Moonah Primary School formed a NAIDOC committee and hosted a whole school assembly to mark the week.

They asked the school community to wear red, yellow and black in tribute to the Aboriginal flag.

“Every colour on the flag has its own meaning and representation,” Grade 6 student Heidi Farnell explained.

“The yellow circle in the middle represents the sun [which] is our protector and giver of life,” Grade 5 student Matilda Hopper said.

They told the audience the flag was designed to bring the Aboriginal community together in a bid for land rights.

“But today it represents more than that,” Caleb said.

“It is a widely recognised symbol of the unity and identity of my Aboriginal people.”School principal Kathy Morgan said it was a valuable experience for all students but especially those in the NAIDOC committee.

“They’ve just loved it. To start off with they were in awe of having this responsibility,” she said.

“They felt really special.”According to the national NAIDOC committee, there are now only about 120 languages still spoken, with many “at risk of being lost as elders pass on”.

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