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

1. National : 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM Registrations

1.2 National : 2017 NACCHO National Aboriginal Male Health Ochre Day registrations Darwin NT

2. TAS : No Smokes No Limits” Campaign – Nova Peris up and running for the Flinders Island Aboriginal Association

3. ACT : Latest News and Customer survey at Winnunga AHCS

4. NT Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation In Relay for Life

5.VIC : Better health teaching the aim of VACCHO  summit

6. NSW Celebrations for Awabakal ACCHO 40th anniversary

7.WA : Wirraka Maya Aboriginal Medical Service KIDS LOVE SEEING THEIR EARS ON VIDEO

8.QLD : Deadly Choices Murri carnival to celebrate Big Artie’s life 

9. SA  : Lift’em feet; it’s now fun to run

10. View hundreds of ACCHO Deadly Good News Stories over past 5 years

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. National : 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM Registrations

 This is an opportunity to show case grass roots best practice at the Aboriginal Community Controlled service delivery level.

In doing so honouring the theme of this year’s NACCHO Members’ Conference ‘Our Health Counts: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.

NACCHO Conference Website

1.2 National : 2017 NACCHO National Aboriginal Male Health Ochre Day registrations Darwin NT

Register HERE


2. TAS : No Smokes No Limits” Campaign – Nova Peris up and running for the Flinders Island Aboriginal Association

Nova Peris was Special Guest Speaker at the Flinders Island Running Festival – brought over by Flinders Island Aboriginal Association .Photo with Nova & FIAAI staff in front of Banner Ads – their new ‘NO SMOKES-NO LIMTS” Campaign

The Flinders Island Aboriginal Association Incorporated (FIAAI) is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation established in 1971 by a group of local Aboriginal people and their partners. FIAAI is governed by an Aboriginal Board of Management elected by the community.  The Board provides strategic direction to the organisation and delegates the day to day operations to the CEO.

FIAAI provides a range of services on Flinders Island including: Primary Health and Aged Care,  Housing, Youth Services, a Statewide Tackling Smoking & Healthy Lifestyle Project and three business enterprises.

The Primary Health and Aged Care service employs a full time registered nurse, a number of health assistants/home carers and a range of visiting health professionals including a general practitioner, physiotherapist, dietician and diabetes educator.  Services include the delivery of Aboriginal Flexible Aged Care packages, seniors exercise classes and craft activities, chronic disease early intervention and prevention activities, pharmacy services, development of care plans and a range of health promotion activities including weekly Mum’s and Bub’s program.

The aged care program is designed to support people to stay healthy and living in their own homes and provides in home assistance as well as Meals on Wheels.

The FIAAI Healthy Lifestyle project is based in Launceston and outreaches across Tasmania focusing on delivering health promotion messages around tobacco, nutrition and physical activity.

FIAAI supports enterprise development to improve employment opportunities on the Island and owns Thule Farm, Freckles Cafe and the local Bakery.


* To increase the number of Aboriginal smokers who make supported quit smoking attempts

* To de-normalise smoking in Tasmanian Aboriginal communities and to normalise quit smoking behaviour

* To protect children from the harm of second hand smoke and to grow a new generation of children who are smokefree

* To increase the number of smokefree homes and cars in Tasmania

* Develop Flinders Island Smokefree Action Plan

Each of these will have activities, outputs and short, medium and long term outcomes against them.

So far we have thought about utilising our social media in the following ways

* A stronger “call to action” from existing marketing material – identifying by region where people could be directed for the best support.
* Promote a smokefree identity amongst elders and leaders focussing on protecting children and grandchildren from the harms of smoking.
* Signage for smoke free workplaces, homes and cars.

See Facebook Page

Quote from Jay Woolley – AMBASSADOR – No Smokes No Limits”

To summarise your key reasons for not smoking are:

  • Doing such a physically demanding sport, smoking would have stopped me from getting the most out of my body and reaching my potential /dreams.
  • Finances: FMX is expensive, smoking a pack a day could cost you about $7000 a year, that’s a start up motorbike
  • Getting involved early in Motorbike sports creates that expectation you needed to train and be fit to achieve your goals /aspirations – smoking doesn’t support that.

3. ACT : Latest News and Customer survey at Winnunga AHCS

Storage Container – New Addition to the Winnunga AHCS Premises

If you’ve visited Winnunga AHCS recently, you may have seen the latest addition to our premises. Once a plain white storage container, now transformed into an eye catching and culturally safe office and meeting space, was funded by the Justice and Community Safety Directorate (JACS) as part of the Justice Reinvestment (JR) Trial Program.

The new space was beautifully painted by talented and respected artists Uncle Mick Huddleston, Buddy Martin and Rayne Huddleston.

The JR Trial Program is a family focussed program which aims to assist in reducing the over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT justice system. It is a partnership between Winnunga AHCS and JACS.

Left to right: Buddy Martin, Rayne Huddleston and Uncle Mick Huddleston

Winnunga AHCS 2017 Client Satisfaction Survey

Winnunga conducted the annual client satisfaction survey in June 2017. The purpose of the survey was to seek client feedback over a snapshot period. The survey was disseminated to people at medical reception areas and was made available in hard copy. 84 responses were received with 69% reporting they had used Winnunga services for more than three years, 24% between 1 and 3 years, 1.2% between 1 and 6 months and 6% for less than 1 month.

The services most reported being utilised were doctors/nurses, which stood at 94%. This was followed by   counselling and mental health support at 69%, the dental clinic at 54%, hearing and eye health at 36%, groups (including women’s group, men’s group, no more boondah, diabetes, mums and bubs, healthy cooking, wellbeing/anxiety group, touch football and basketball) at 30%, physiotherapy at 30%, support with Centrelink matters, probation/parole, legal issues, care and protection and or housing/accommodation at 27%, Community days/events at 26%, dieticians at 23%, drug and alcohol support at 23%, transport at 20%, diabetes and liver clinic at 15%, tobacco, midwifery program at 6% and NSP at 4% . Under ‘Other Support’ comments received were: Social Health Team (x1) and Psychiatry (x1).

The low response rates for NSP, could be due to the service being primarily accessed through other points of Winnunga (ie administration entrance).

Three questions were allocated specifically for smoking cessation support, which were answered by 96% of   survey participants. 30% reported they had received support from Winnunga with smoking cessation. Of the 30%, 75% stated the most useful support was Nicotine Replacement Therapy, followed by the No More Boondah Group at 58%, phone contact by workers at 33%, information/education at 33%, counselling at 17%, and visits to workplaces at 13%. One respondent noted under ‘other’: fellowship of others trying to change their lifestyle (ie peer support).

98% of survey participants answered the question ‘overall how satisfied are you with Winnunga’s services?’ with 89% of respondents stating they were either very satisfied or satisfied with Winnunga’s services. 11% reported their satisfaction as being neutral. No one reported being unsatisfied or very unsatisfied.

When responding to ‘Would you recommend Winnunga Services to others?’ 97% reported ‘yes’, and 3% reported ‘no’.

When asked ‘what do you like best about the services provided by Winnunga?’ 

  * Know your doctor personally, health checks, bulk billing              

* Clinics, including Diabetes clinic                                              

*Easy access, no need for appointment                                            

* The friendly service and transport

*Staff are very welcoming and always respond to enquiries                       

* All of it (after hours works well)  

* NSP gives us access to clean packs                                                

* Community involvement                         

 * The range of services available within the comfort of Winnunga           

* Groups                                          

 * Social Health Team helps the community                                    

* Number and type of practitioners

* Level of personal care in times of trauma/severe illness             

* All services are under the one roof

* Winnunga has been a great service for me, helping me with physical and mental health problems. I wouldn’t be doing anywhere near as good without the help I’ve had from Winnunga.

When asked ‘How do you think Winnunga could improve on the services we deliver?’ responses included:

* Bigger building                             

* Less wait time to get into dental                            

* Kids room                                  

* If it isn’t broken don’t fix it       

* More Aboriginal Drs                                                  

* Book appointments                 

* More space                                   

* More mental health services                                  

* More community outreach  


Winnunga AHCS would like to thank everyone who participated in the June 2017 survey. This is an important tool for receiving client feedback and the Management Team has carefully considered all feedback provided. As a result Winnunga AHCS has commenced to investigate ways we can start implementing some of the ideas clients raised through the feedback received.

Purpose Built Facility                                                                                                                                                              The demand for current services is forecast to grow significantly in the coming years. In 2019-20, the number of occasions of service is forecast to increase by almost 25,000 contacts from around 46,000 contacts in 2014-15 to around 70,000. Winnunga AHCS agrees the current building is unsuitable for the range of services provided. Winnunga AHCS is pleased to note the ACT Government announced as part of the 2017-2018 Budget, funding will be provided for a purpose built facility over a four year period. We have undertaken some preliminary work in strategic planning for the current and future needs of the organisation and look forward to continuing this work through a feasibility study to assess options for the redevelopment of Winnunga AHCS premises to a modern fit for purpose community health centre facility, similar to latest standards of mainstream facilities.

                                                                                                                                              Winnunga AHCS agrees it is vital to provide opportunities for community engagement and participation in the ACT through Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations. As such Winnunga AHCS will continue to deliver groups (ie women’s group, men’s group, cooking group, wellbeing group, mums and bubs group), clinics such as the diabetes, child health, eye care and liver clinic, wellbeing services to detainees at both the AMC and Bimberi, the Boxing Club/fitness gym, touch football and community days including the annual Sorry Day Bridge Walk, NAIDOC event and the Children’s Christmas Party.

Winnunga AHCS will continue to build on opportunities for community engagement. One of which will provide an increased understanding on who our clients are. For example we know clients come to Winnunga AHCS from 246 postcodes around Australia. There are approximately 66 postcodes in the ACT. However, we want to know more about the issues impacting on the approximately 4,500 regular clients who access the service including whether people are on benefits, employed, in contact with the Care and Protection system, have legal matters and their housing situations. This information will build on the robust data collection Winnunga AHCS has undertaken since 2006 and ensure we continue to focus on the areas most needed to respond to and support client need.

Winnunga AHCS has continued to engage with the ACT Government tender process for the management of Boomanulla Oval. We were the only organisation invited to proceed to stage two and are engaged in detailed negotiations with the tender team about the basis on which future management arrangements might proceed. Judd Studio (consultants) have been appointed by Winnunga AHCS to assist with this process whom have been undertaking community consultations and working together with the Boomanulla Oval Steering Committee. We will keep the community informed as the negotiations progress.

4. NT Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation In Relay for Life

Check out our deadly Public Health Unit kitted out in their Relay For Life Australia shirts!

Miwatj Health have nominated a huge team this year, including #YakaNgarali, Raypirri Rom, Admin, Nhulunbuy Clinic, Gunyungara Clinic & Yirrkala Clinic!

We hope to see you all down there supporting such a worthy cause! Thank you to the Relay For Life Gove for all your hard work and effort so far!

5.VIC : Better health teaching the aim of VACCHO  summit

VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher, more work to meet parity. All health workforce & services must be culturally safe.

From the Koori Mail

Improving how Aboriginal health is taught in Victorian universities was the focus of a summit last month in Melbourne.

Led by Weenthunga Health Network with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), the summit attracted participants from around the state.

Weenthunga’s Steff Armstrong said thousands of students are graduating from health courses each year, but some still don’t have the skills required to work with Aboriginal people.

“They go into these health professions and the question is not really asked about what can we do for Aboriginal people,” the Gamilaraay woman told the Koori Mail. “A lot of them don’t have the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal health from Aboriginal people.

There is a national curriculum framework on Aboriginal health, and it must be made available to all the health degrees.

“Students have to do so many hours of placement, and there’s only so many Aboriginal organisations that can take them to teach them about Aboriginal health.


“What needs to happen is a sharing of information so all students can access it. Unfortunately, what is happening now is that universities design their teaching material and hold on to it for themselves.”

Ms Armstrong said the representatives from universities at the summit were keen to share their materials to get health improvements, but it is a matter of changing the culture at universities.

“There was a lot of goodwill at the summit”, she said.

“But these big institutions need to share their resources; that’s how we will get better resourced graduates and better health outcomes for our people.”

Weenthunga executive officer Lin Oke said that alongside the aspect of sharing resources, it is essential Aboriginal health is taught with the guidance of Aboriginal people.

“There’s only a small number of Aboriginal academics.” She said.

“They cant teach all of the students coming through health qualifications, and Aboriginal health organisations can only take so many students on for placements.

“Clearly, the number of students outweighs the resources we’ve got and the number of academics.

“There is not a lot of sharing culture between universities.”

6. NSW Celebrations for Awabakal ACCHO 40th anniversary

Major Hunter Valley Indigenous health and community organisation Awabakal has celebrated its 40th anniversary, with about 400 people attending a dinner in Newcastle which featured Aboriginal performer Casey Donovan.

Community members, local businesses and government representatives came together with some of Awabakal’s founding families at the event to take a walk down memory lane and celebrate how far the organisation has come.

Chief officer Raylene Gordon said the event was an opportunity to give back to a community that has given so much to Awabakal.

Forty years is an incredible achievement and there have been so many individuals and families who have helped the organisation over the years to make it what it is today”, she said.

“It was wonderful that we were able to recognise and acknowledge their contribution in front of so many important people in our community.

“We had some great speeches throughout the night with some of our Elders sharing their memories with us, and on top of that we had so many great entertainers including the amazing Casey Donovan, Street Warriors, Nu Roads and Jacob Ridgeway.

“I would like to thank everyone who joined us for the event, to our board of directors for helping bring the event to life, to those who supported us behind the scenes and to everyone in our community who has played a part in the growth of Awabakal over the last 40 years

“I look forward to celebrating many more successes in the years to come.”

7.WA : Wirraka Maya Aboriginal Medical Service KIDS LOVE SEEING THEIR EARS ON VIDEO


Mining company Fortescue has provided funds to address children’s ear health in Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The Earbus Foundation has received $3800 to help with the purchase of a video otoscope to allow medical staff to help diagnose potential diseases.

Fortescue has also provided $30,000 worth of Qantas flights to help with visits to the Pilbara by medical specialists.

Earbus chief officer Paul Higginbotham said foundation staff spend one week a month in Pilbara communities, providing comprehensive ear screening to Aboriginal children.

“Kids love the (otoscope) device because for the first time they can see inside their own ears,” he said.

“It is an important tool to engage and educate children and makes ear disease real and understandable .”

Mr Higginbothan said the Earbus Foundation worked with Wirraka Maya Aboriginal Medical Service and the Royal Flying Doctor Service to develop a model of continuous care.

Fortescue’s community Support grants program supports a variety of community initiatives with a focus on education and training, Aboriginal engagement, health and wellness, community safety and involvement economic development and environmental responsibility.

The next round of the grants programs opens for applications on September 1. For information, visit http://www.fmgl.com.au

8.QLD : Deadly Choices Murri carnival to celebrate Big Artie’s life 

 “The Carnival is much more than Rugby League as it also has a major focus on Health and Education.

All players have to complete a “715 Health Check” as a requirement to participate and all Under 15’s Boy participants must have attended school 90% of time.

Peter Betros Chairman of QRL stated the “ this Carnival highlights the great reach the game of Rugby League has across Queensland and the Arthur Beetson Foundation should be congratulated in providing this opportunity for so many to get involved”

Brad Beetson, son of the late Arthur Beetson and Board Member of the Arthur Beetson Foundation stated “ Dad through his life had a passion on improving the lives of young indigenous it’s great that the foundation can continue this by using his other great passion of Rugby League the vehicle to do so”.


NRL legends are lacing up the 2017 Murri Rugby League Carnival, a celebration of Indigenous sport at its very best.

For the first time in the carnival’s seven-year history, a legends game will take place on Thursday, September 21.

More than 30 former NRL greats will line up for the Arthur Beetson All Stars versus Brisbane Broncos Legends match.

They will include Gary Belcher, Steve Renouf, Preston Campbell and Nathan Blacklock for the All Stars and Julian O’Neil, Jharal Yow Yeh, Darren Smith, Cliff Lyons, Petero Civoniceva and Chris Walker for the Old Boys.

The game is set to be a highlight of the Arthur Beetson Foundation Deadly Choices Murri Rugby League Carnival.

The carnival will be held at Dolphin Oval in Redcliffe, Queensland, from September 20 to 23. More than 20,000 spectators and a record 53 teams of more than 1300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players are expected to attend.

Brad Beetson, son of the late Arthur Beetson and board member of the Arthur Beetson Foundation, launched the carnival and legends match.

“Dad was absolutely passionate about young Australians, and particularly young Indigenous Australians, achieving better health, education and welfare outcomes,” he said.

“He would be proud that many of the NRL stars he had so much to do with have come out to play in the Legends game to support the carnival and he would have been so pleased to see the huge number of teams travelling from all over Queensland to compete in the Under 15s, Men’s and Women’s competitions.”

League legend Steve Renouf, who still holds the record for the most tries for the Brisbane Broncos, said the carnival was a key event for raising the representation of Indigenous players in the NRL.

“The Murri Rugby League Carnival is recognised as a showpiece of Indigenous sporting talent and it really does provide an environment that encourages community to take responsibility for looking after their health,” he said.

“We’ve got teams attending from all over Queensland, including from the Torres Strait, Mt Isa and the Gold Coast.

“With so many competitors, I’m really looking forward to watching some really talented players on field.

“I am particularly excited and honored to be playing for the Arthur Beetson All Stars, named after the legend who did so much for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, against many of my former Broncos team mates.”

A three-hour highlights package from the carnival will be broadcast on Fox League during the NRL grand final weekend. Action from each of the fields will also be live streamed for the first time, including the legends match.

9. SA  : Lift’em feet; it’s now fun to run

Would you rather do a long distance run or have a health check ?.

Some people might prefer to avoid both, but not the members of the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network “Lift “Em Foot” team.

Almost 140 Aboriginal people put up their hand – and lifted their feet – to take part in the City to Bay fun run next month, which requires them to either walk or run between 3 km and 12 km.

Getting an Aboriginal Well Health Check was a condition of entry.

Health check coordinator Danielle Lovegrove said participants wanted to take part in the fun run because it combined exercise with catching up with friends and family, providing an opportunity to motivate each other.

“A Lift’Em Foot” Facebook page was established and some participants got together to train for the event,” she said.

“Having a Well Health Check was well received because our clients are interested to know their health status, particularly when there is a family history of medical issues.

“Everything we do as part of a Well Health Check addresses conditions that do affect Aboriginal people, such as the early detection of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and kidney disease.

Ms Lovegrove says that while the check is a tool that uses observations such as blood pressure, blood sugar, waist circumference and body mass index, it’s also a conversation starter.

“The tests lead to conversation about whether the client smokes, drinks alcohol, their diet and if they exercise”, she said.

“We provide information that is often new to them such as the link between waist circumference and heart disease, diabetes and stroke”.

The health checks are run by Watto Perrunna Aboriginal Primary Health Care Service.

Clients and their families are also encouraged to attend health promotion courses such as gym programs, yoga, taichi, vegie growing, healthy cooking and safe preparation.


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