NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Our ACCHO Members #Deadly good news stories #QLD #SA #VIC #ACT #NSW #WA #NT #Tas

1.1 VIC : Congrats to Laura Thompson at Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, HESTA Team Excellence finalist.

1.2 VIC : VAHS hosted by CEO Adrian Carson and The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Team QLD

2.NSW : Aboriginal students were encouraged to think about a future in ACCHO health at a new Careers Expo in Kempsey.

3. Apunipima Cape York Health Council Welcomes New CEO

4. NT : OFFICIAL GARMA 2017 PROGRAM Will go ahead

5. SA Deadly Choices QLD Training in SA Community homelands  

6.WA Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

7. ACT  : The ACT government is ‘patronising, paternalistic’ on Indigenous contracts says Julie Tongs

 8. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training

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.VIC : Congrats to Laura Thompson at Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, HESTA Team Excellence finalist

Congrats to Laura Thompson at Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, Team Excellence finalist in the HESTA Primary Health Care Awards!

Team Excellence Award

The Healthy Lifestyle Team and #HerTribe

Victorian Aboriginal Health Service

Preston, VIC

For implementing #HerTribe — a 16-week health and empowerment program improving health and social outcomes for Aboriginal women and their families.

1.2 VIC : VAHS hosted by CEO Adrian Carson  and The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Team QLD

Thanks to The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health for hosting some of our VAHS staff this week and giving us a tour of your deadly clinics and programs!

Great to meet lots of new faces and make new connections whilst sharing the learnings of your services.

Looking forward to showing you around The Health Service when the weather warms up enough for you in chilly Melbourne.

2.NSW : Aboriginal students were encouraged to think about a future in ACCHO health at a new Careers Expo in Kempsey.

News Coverage Watch video

Local Aboriginal Medical Services Werin, Durri and Galambila are partnering with the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) and four local universities to present the inaugural Aboriginal Careers in Health Expo in Kempsey.

Pictured above : Mid North Coast Local Health District Aboriginal Workforce Manager Helene Jones and Workforce Support Manager Lyn Luckie prepare for the inaugural Careers Aboriginal Careers in Health Expo at Kempsey.

The expo provided Aboriginal students from across the Mid North Coast with an opportunity to explore the various career options available in the local health sector.

MNCLHD, Southern Cross University, the University of Newcastle, UNSW Rural Medical School, Charles Sturt University, TAFE NSW and local Aboriginal Medical Services Werin, Durri and Galambila participated.

Interactive activities provided more than 150 students with inspiration and insight into various roles within health. Students were offered the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with health professionals throughout the day and participate in interactive workshops related to specific careers.

Aboriginal students in Years 9, 10 and 11 from all secondary schools on the Mid North Coast were invited to attend.

MNCLHD chief executive Stewart Dowrick said the expo provided a unique opportunity for students to learn what it is like to work in the health sector and the career and study pathways available.

“We are committed to providing employment opportunities for Aboriginal people living in this region,” Mr Dowrick said.

“This event provides a fantastic opportunity to encourage young people in our area to consider a career in health.”

3. Apunipima Cape York Health Council Welcomes New CEO

Apunipima Cape York Health Council warmly welcomes new CEO Paul Stephenson who will start his new role on Monday 31 July.

Paul was Apunipima’s Executive Manager: Primary Health Care between 2012 and 2015 before taking on the role of the General Manager for Australian Regional and Remote Community Services in the Northern Territory.

Apunipima Chairperson Thomas Hudson said Paul had an impressive and extensive executive leadership and management record within remote primary health as well as governance through various Board appointments.

‘He brings a wealth of experience in primary health care within Cape York with both Apunipima and with Queensland Health so has an understanding and appreciation of both systems.’

‘Prior to working for Apunipima, Paul was an ex-officio Apunipima Board member while employed as Cape York Health Service CEO and Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Health Service District CEO.  In 2012, Paul took up the position of Executive Manager: Primary Health Care with Apunipima, a role he held for three years. Most recently, Paul has been working in the Northern Territory as General Manager Australian Regional and Remote Community Services.

‘With a registered nursing background, Paul has continued to influence the primary health profession with a track record of advocating and being involved in state level workforce advisory and health service development committees.’

Mr Hudson thanked outgoing CEO Cleveland Fagan for the invaluable contribution he had made to Apunipima.

‘On behalf of the Apunipima Board of Directors and staff I want to thank Cleveland for his commitment and dedication to the organisation.’

‘He has lead the organisation for 10 years and overseen the building of stand-alone clinics, the opening of four Wellbeing Centres, the establishment of the first electronic medical record system on Cape York and the award – winning maternal and child health initiative the Baby One Program and the commitment from government to transition community health care to a community led model.’

Cleveland has made an enormous contribution to Apunipima and will be sincerely missed. We wish him well in future endeavours.’

‘I also want to thank Executive Manager: Primary Health Care Paula Arnol for her support during the CEO recruitment process. Her professionalism and dedication are second to none.’

4. NT : OFFICIAL GARMA 2017 PROGRAM Will go ahead

The Yothu Yindi Foundation is pleased to announce the release of the official Garma 2017 Program Booklet.

The Program Booklet is the comprehensive guide for guests travelling to Gulkula, near the township of Gove in northeast Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.

YYF CEO Denise Bowden said it contained the schedules for all activities, forums and workshops taking place over the course of the four days.

“YYF prides itself on offering an innovative program that pushes the boundaries, and we’re excited to again bring new elements to the Garma experience this year,” she said.

“We continue to reflect our Board’s value on learning by devoting the first day of Garma to a day of education, with a cultural curriculum and a specific education forum on the Friday,” she said.

“We’ve put a strong emphasis on literacy by introducing a Poetry Slam competition, overseen by legendary Australian actor Jack Thompson, all of which is open to anyone who wants to participate.

“We’re also pleased to present Garma’s first ever Comedy Night, which will provide some light relief to balance out the serious conversations taking place during the day.

“The Program Booklet also highlights the many talented artists whose work will be on display at the new-look Gapan outdoor art gallery. Guests will find a Garma photographic exhibition on display, our chance to share the images that have been very popular over the many years we’ve hosted Garma.

“The booklet also places in the spotlight the talented musicians set to rock the musical stage when the sun goes down.”

Mrs Bowden said the Program Booklet would also be of interest to those not able to attend Garma this year.

“You can read about the feats of our Yolngu Heroes, the significance of the Gulkula site, an explanation of the Yolngu seasons, the importance of the bunggul performances, and the meaning behind Yolngu clan designs.

“There’s also an introduction to Yolngu matha for those wanting to learn the basics of the local language.”

The Official Garma Program Booklet can be viewed on the YYF site at:

Garma 2017 will take place between 4-7 August, with over 2500 attendees expected to walk through the ticketing gates.

For more information on this year’s event, please visit

*Please note the 4 day program is subject to change due to the very remote nature of this event. Organisers will endeavor to keep to a bare minimum any significant changes.

Media Contact: Jason Frenkel 0402 282 251.

5. SA Deadly Choices QLD Training in SA Community homelands  

Did you know this fact about the word ‘deadly’? Deadly Choices is designed to help improve the excellent health choices made by Aboriginal people in South Australia.

Our Deadly Choices Facilitator training is about to kick off out at beautiful Umuwa, APY Lands

The boys are definitely enjoying themselves out at Umuwa We are lucky to host the training & educate but also learn from the Nganampa team.

Time for our team photo with the Nganampa Health Service team. It’s been a long 3 days but very valuable & enjoyed by all.

6.WA Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

Photos from NAIDOC Weekend “Be at your Best” Basketball Carnival July 2017

7. ACT  : The ACT government is ‘patronising, paternalistic’ on Indigenous contracts says Julie Tongs

Julie Tongs said the ACT government has “done just what governments in Australia have been doing and getting away with for centuries – blame Aboriginal people”.  Photo: Melissa Adams

Written by Julie Tongs chief executive of the Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Service, which tendered unsuccessfully for both the Indigenous housing services and the Step Up for Our Kids Indigenous services.

The decision by the ACT government to extend the contracts, without a public or open process, to mange the ACT’s two Indigenous homelessness services to two non-Aboriginal organisations continues the patronising and paternalistic polices favoured by the government.

It really is quite stunning, in light of the well documented failings of the ACT government to meet the needs of Aboriginal Canberrans, that it stubbornly maintains polices and attitudes that have, for example, led to the ACT having the highest Indigenous incarceration rate and the highest rate of contact of Aboriginal children in the care and protection system in Australia.

The overwhelming weight of evidence across Australia is that optimal outcomes are achieved in dealing with Indigenous disadvantage when the responses are designed in collaboration with and delivered by the local Aboriginal community and the organisations that support and sustain it.

In light of this, it is beyond the understanding of the Aboriginal community in Canberra that the ACT government has disregarded the importance of the local Aboriginal community having a role in the managing or providing of services to the Indigenous Boarding House or the Indigenous Supported Accommodation Service. The government clearly believes these Aboriginal specific, and tiny, services are better provided by Every Man Australia and Toora, two non-Aboriginal mainstream organisations.

As wonderful as these organisations may be, the fact is they are managed, led and in the main staffed by non-Aboriginal Australians. In the case of Every Man Australia, an organisation, to be blunt, set up by anglo-celtic men for anglo-celtic men and managed and led by anglo-celtic men, the government’s decision that it is better able than specialist local Aboriginal managed and staffed organisations to support vulnerable, disadvantaged Aboriginal women and children living in Indigenous specific supported housing is deeply hurtful and insulting to the Aboriginal community.

It is perhaps ironic that the decision by the ACT government to again exclude any Aboriginal involvement in the management of Indigenous specific housing in Canberra was made at the same time as the Children’s Commissioner, Jodie Griffiths-Cook, in responding to questions about the scandalous rate of removal of Aboriginal children from their families in Canberra, said that one of the things that the ACT government needed to do better “is actually engaging with the Aboriginal community in the ACT”. The commissioner said the question that needed to be asked of the government was: “What is needed by the Aboriginal families that are coming to the attention of care and protection that we’re not supporting them with?”

It is clear to the Aboriginal community, and on the basis of the commissioner’s recent comments to the ACT Human Rights Commission, that what is needed is for the government to permit Aboriginal people and reputable and experienced Aboriginal organisations a role in and responsibility for decisions over their lives. This applies most particularly to those Aboriginal people suffering grievously from generations of disadvantage and discrimination. In other words, what is required is a genuine commitment to self-determination.

The ACT government has, however, chosen in relation to its much vaunted Step Up for Our Kids Strategy, despite the fact that between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of children in out of home care in Canberra are Aboriginal (from a population base of 1.5 per cent), that “stepping up for Aboriginal kids” should be undertaken solely by non-Aboriginal organisations.

Attempts by local Aboriginal-managed services to be part of the Step Up for Our Kids Strategy have been rebuffed by the government without cogent explanation. I am sure the ACT is the only jurisdiction in Australia that has deliberately excluded Aboriginal organisational involvement in programs designed to address the shameful over-representation of Aboriginal children in the care and protection system. It can be no surprise then that the ACT is the worst performing jurisdiction in Australia.

The extent to which the ACT government is out of step with the rest of Australia in refusing to engage with Aboriginal people and service delivery organisations in delivering services to Aboriginal people is exemplified by the announcement made by Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion on July 7.

Whereas the ACT government has a practice of unashamedly favouring non-Aboriginal organisations to deliver Indigenous specific services Senator Scullion has announced that from the end of the current financial year the Commonwealth will only disburse funds under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy to Aboriginal organisations and businesses. He based his decision on the overwhelming evidence that the best outcomes from services designed to address Indigenous disadvantage are achieved when those services are designed and delivered by Aboriginal organisations.

If only we had in the ACT a government with the same insight and understanding of the needs of Aboriginal people.

8. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training

Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training 3rd August 2017 at piyura kitina (Risdon Cove) from 9.00am to 4.00pm : The costs are as follows:

$145- for general person/employee
$90- for students etc
$0- to unemployed Community Members
$0 for staff



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