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

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

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

2.NT : Ngukurr remote community and Sunrise ACCHO opens new $5.93 million culturally appropriate delivery of health services

3.TAS : Tasmanian Aboriginal centre’s new Rrala milaythina-ti (strong in Country Project)improving health and wellbeing 

4. NSW : Armajun Aboriginal Health Service #RUOKDay backs several mental health programs

5. QLD : Apunipima ACCHO : Hopevale and Mossman Gorge Celebrate R U OK

6. WA : AHCWA embarks on leading strategy for Aboriginal youth health

7. VIC : VAHS Healthy Lifestyle mob up for any challenge

 8.SA : Aboriginal Health Council of SA  and South Australian Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium

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

DOWNLOAD the Full 2 Day Program released this week


Register HERE

2.1 NT : Ngukurr remote community and Sunrise ACCHO opens new $5.93 million culturally appropriate delivery of health services

” An absolute privilege and pleasure today to officially open the new Ngukurr health clinic run by Sunrise Health. Great to have the Numbulwar Red Flag dancers help to open the clinic with the Hon. Warren Snowden MP and finishing the opening ceremony was Ngukurr school students who sang a few songs!”

Member Arnhem Selena Uibo

The community of Ngukurr in the Territory’s southern Arnhem Land is celebrating the opening of its new federally funded Health centre .

The Member Arnhem Selena Uibo says the $5.93 million dollar building will improve health services in the region.

“All Territorians are entitled to control over their lives and access to high quality services,” she said.

“Building strong and healthy remote communities is key to developing a stronger Northern Territory.

“Here on the edge of the Roper River the community of Ngukurr will help to lead the way.”

The new build was completed as part of the Commonwealth funded $50.29 million Health and Hospitals Fund Regional Priority program to upgrade 11 remote health centres across the NT.

Northern Territory business Probuild built the new health centre at Ngukurr which features:

  • Culturally appropriate design with separate male and female entrances
  • A drive-through ambulance bay
  • State-of-the-art emergency facilities
  • Dental room
  • Hearing room
  • 8 consulting rooms
  • Secure administration area for improved staff safety and security for drug storage
  • Enhanced security for staff and patients

Ms Uibo said Sunrise Aboriginal Health Service will operate the health centre.

“Separate male and female entry areas and treatment rooms allow for a culturally appropriate delivery of health services,” she said.

“That will encourage more community members to access the health services they need earlier.

“The new improved facilities will also help to attract to staff, offering facilities to deliver primary health as well as acute and emergency care to the Ngukurr community.”

Newly constructed health centres are expected to be opened in Umbakumba and Numbulwar next week.

3.TAS : Tasmanian Aboriginal centre’s new Rrala milaythina-ti (strong in Country Project)improving health and wellbeing 

 ” The Tasmanian Aboriginal centre’s new Rrala milaythina-ti (strong in Country Project) is getting Aboriginal people from all over Tasmania out on country and improving health and wellbeing as well as strengthening connections to country, people, language and culture.”

Check out Strong in Country Facebook Page

Twenty-one participants have just completed the project’s biggest trip yet- a four-day, at times challenging, trek on the 46 km three Capes Walk, which winds through eucalypt forests, button grass plains and rainforest, over mountains and along the edge of the huge dolerite cliffs of the Tasman Peninsula in Southern Tasmania.

Albeit a fair few stiff pairs of legs, the participants aged from 15 to 65 returned last week inspired to get out more, to keep fitter, to challenge themselves and continue building connections with their people and country.

Participants reported great benefits to their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and spoke of belonging and spiritual connections.

Some were experienced bush walkers, while for others it was a first- and now they are hooked.

Lily Castle, from Hobart, was one of them. “It was a challenge I really enjoyed”, the 18-year old said.

“I found I had to push myself harder than I had before. It was a blessing to meet new people and hear some old stories and be part of a great group.

“It was absolutely spectacular to be standing on the top of cape Pillar and Cape Hauy. It’s an experience I will never forget or take for granted.

“I feel like now I have done this, I know whatever I put my mind to or whatever I want to achieve, whatever challenge, it’s just determination and willpower.

There were many times I thought “I can’t keep going”, even the first day.

“I feel more powerful, just with small things that I want to change that I can do it; I believe in myself more.

“I feel more connected to the community. I got to meet people who taught me a lot about my ancestors and about Tasmanian Aboriginal history. I feel more connected to my culture now”.

Ms Castle said the trip was also an opportunity to get away from smokes and grog, and she now feels more equipped to tackle these addictions.

Like other participants, Ms Castle is keen to join in upcoming trips, including some to remote places with significant Aboriginal heritage.

There have also been day trips and smaller overnight adventures to cater for people with different fitness levels, ages, availability and family situations.

Aboriginal heritage worker Sharnie Read, one of the project organisers, said some trips have been tied into Aboriginal heritage consultations and NAIDOC celebrations.

“A lot of the trips are about taking community members out and giving them a strong connection to country and teaching them about the history and cultural landscape and heritage, and also bonding as a group, she said.

Ms Read said the participation of older people had been invaluable, with their generosity in sharing community and family history and knowledge, which provided generational links, and inspired lifelong fitness.

Funded by Primary Health Tasmania under the Federal Government’s Primary Health Networks Program, Rrala milaythina-ti is a ‘Participation Action Research project aiming to show that Aboriginal people ‘s wellbeing increases through contact with country.

“Jilian Mundy was a participant on the three Capes trip.

4. NSW : Armajun Aboriginal Health Service #RUOKDay backs several mental health programs

“I think it needs to be promoted more, because there’s a lot of issues out there that don’t get addressed, there is a great need in the Indigenous community, and that grief, loss and intergenerational trauma added to the struggle.

As a project manager at Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, James Sheather has backed several mental health programs in the region

Originally Published HERE

Take a minute, change a life – that was the call from mental health advocates in the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day

It is a message that resonates with many locals, who are painting the town yellow in anticipation of RUOK Day today – an event that encourages us to ask friends and family if they’re feeling low.

“If something tells you in your gut that something’s not quite right – that is the time to have the conversation,” director of the Hunter Institute of Mental Health Jaelea Skehan said.

“As difficult as it might be to start a conversation and to reach out and ask ‘Are you ok?’, it is actually much harder for someone who is currently in distress and despair to put their hand up and ask for help. There’s great power in us as a community learning how to and being brave enough to actually offer help.”

Part of the conversation thinktank for RUOK Day, Ms Skehan encouraged locals to trust their gut instincts. If you notice someone acting withdrawn or ‘not themselves’, she said, it is time to reach out.

Ross Hill senior psychologist education Karina Hutching, who has been championing a series of mental health information sessions for local public schools this month, said the RUOK Day message was for every day.

“It’s an ongoing message that we promote connectedness to others and that we promote our wellbeing and the health of those around us,” she said.

She said the sessions aimed to teach children about the supports available to them in the school environment, and their own ability to improve their mental state.

Sleep, water and exercise was the focus at Inverell Public School on Wednesday, as students learnt about the power they have to improve their mental health. The combined wellbeing and fitness workshop is running in every local school before RUOK Day.

Good SPACE (Suicide Prevention through Awareness, Courage and Empathy) project co-ordinator Fiona Livingstone, who runs Aboriginal suicide prevention workshops with rugby league star Nathan Blacklock agreed. She said unresolved grief due to the consequences of colonisation was one reason Aboriginal people are more likely to suffer from mental illness.

“Our research tells us, and certainly Aboriginal participants in our workshops are in agreement that this all stems from colonisation when the lives and the world of Aboriginal people changed dramatically,” she said.

She said other factors included racism, discrimination, inequality and a shorter lifespan.

Good SPACE runs a number of mental health workshops in Inverell and the region, including two free suicide prevention workshops. If anyone is interested in educating themselves on suicide prevention, contact Ms Livingstone on 0427 072 105 or fiona.livingstone@newcastle.edu.au.

Local RUOK Day activities will be held at Victoria Park today Thursday, September 14.

If you need help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for free, 24 hour crisis support.

5. QLD : Apunipima ACCHO : Hopevale and Mossman Gorge Celebrate R U OK?

The communities of Hopevale and Mossman Gorge will celebrate R U OK? this month.

R U OK? is a national suicide prevention charity inspiring people to check in, listen, encourage action, and check in again.


Hopevale will celebrate national R U OK? Day on 14 September with a community event in the park featuring a suicide prevention talk and community barbeque.

Apunipima’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing Centre team, with support from My Pathway, are coordinating the event.

Social and Emotional Wellbeing Counsellor Dorothy Deshong, who will deliver the talk, said the main message of R U OK? Day was importance of checking in with people and encouraging them to take action.

‘People who are feeling socially or emotionally unwell can often be helped simply by having someone care enough to listen to their problems and direct them on the right path to receiving help,’ she said.

‘The message is also that the best way to know if someone is feeling bad is to take time out, and ask them directly, R U OK?.’

‘We want to encourage people to check in with others as it increases the chances of a person accessing help. This is especially important when someone is experiencing depression and grief. It is also hoped that people will use this day as the perfect opportunity to reach out for help if they need it.’

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge will focus on the R U OK? message throughout September.

Apunipima Social and Emotional Wellbeing Team Leader Donna Henning said she and the team wanted to spread the R U OK? message to community in a variety of ways.

‘We have an R U OK? banner between the Mossman Gorge Wellbeing Centre and Primary Health Care Centre and it will stay up for the month of September,’ she said.

‘Our Youth Worker Ben and Adult Worker Bacho will play touch footy with community with an R U OK? football and be there to have conversations social and emotional wellbeing.’

‘We also have R U OK? information cards to give out to community and even R U OK? serviettes to use in our regular women’s and men’s activities.’

Donna said she hoped R U OK? message would spark conversations about the importance of checking in with friends, family and colleagues.

‘It’s so important to check in, and keep checking in,’ she said.

‘Sometimes people find it hard to share their real feelings but even if it takes a while, keep asking. The person knows you are there and that’s a good thing in itself. Asking, taking the time to listen, encouraging action and checking in are the keys to helping people move through challenging times.’


6. WA : AHCWA embarks on leading strategy for Aboriginal youth health

Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia youth workers will travel to the Kimberley this week as part of a national first project exploring the most significant health issues facing young Aboriginal people in regional WA.

AHCWA staff will host a series of age appropriate workshops with young indigenous people and health workers across the state, including in the Kimberley, Mid-West, Pilbara, Goldfields and South-West before the end of the year.

Results of the workshops will form part of AHCWA’s Aboriginal Youth Health Strategy – a new blueprint that will document the most important health concerns of young people and the availability of local health services.

“We are excited to undertake the first ever WA Aboriginal Youth Health Strategy in Australia and hear directly from young people in WA about the health issues they are most concerned about,” AHCWA Aboriginal youth coordinator Hayley Thompson said.

“Over the years there have been general strategies conducted about youth health in Australia but this is the first time a strategy has been undertaken exclusively for young Aboriginal people in WA.

“We know that mental health, drugs and alcohol are among the most pressing issues facing young indigenous youth today, along with boredom, which can lead to young people engaging in criminal activity and violent behaviours.

“This plan will help us to navigate the most significant health issues facing young Aboriginal people in remote WA, determine how accessible health services are and the best way forward to provide the support they need.”

On Wednesday, the team will host a workshop with children aged between five and 10 at the Broome Youth and Families Hub before travelling to Derby on Thursday for a workshop with young people at Derby Aboriginal Health Service.

On Friday, they will speak with staff at Headspace and Aarnja in Broome.

Youth workers will gauge health-related information as part of the workshop, asking young people between the ages of five and 24 about health issues in their communities, where they would go for help and what the word “healthy” means to them.

“This is about working with children and young people on an age appropriate level to determine the health issues of most concern and ensure they know where to seek help should they need it,” Ms Thompson said.

“Workshops will be presented in a fun, engaging way and be tailored to a variety of literacy levels, locations and interests of the group.

“Through this project, AHCWA hopes to achieve a better sense of the health issues affecting young people in each region and any potential gaps that may need attention.

“We hope that by chatting face-to-face with young people and service providers in each region it will provide richer data and more comprehensive information.”

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

7. VIC : VAHS Healthy Lifestyle mob up for any challenge

Our Kirrip Challenge Champs in Melton have been going great guns in The Six Week Challenge!

Last night we took on Week 4’s Boxing session at Melton Waves Gym…what a turn out > Welove seeing the young ones bringing their families along and encouraging each other to find that extra burst of energy.

Bring on Challenge night!!

8.SA : Aboriginal Health Council of SA  and South Australian Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium

The South Australian Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium (the Consortium) was launched on 18 May 2017, as a collaborative partnership formed between the South Australian Aboriginal Health Partnership (comprising of SA Health, Aboriginal Health Council of SA and Department of Health – Commonwealth) and the South Australian Academic Health Science and Translation Centre.

The Translation Centre represents a partnership between SA Health, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), University of Adelaide, Flinders University, University of South Australia, Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia, Adelaide Primary Health Network, Country SA Primary Health Network and Cancer Council SA. The Translation Centre has 9 priority areas of which one is Aboriginal Health.

Consortium Vision

The Consortium’s vision is to reduce the impact of chronic disease experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in South Australia through the successful implementation of the priorities identified within 3 plans: The South Australian Aboriginal Cancer Control Plan 2016-2021, the South Australian Aboriginal Heart and Stroke Plan 2017-2021 and the South Australian Aboriginal Diabetes Strategy 2017-2021.

How will the Consortium Work

The responsibility to oversee the implementation activity of the SA Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium rests within its governance structures. The Consortium has 5 active working groups including an Executive Group, an Aboriginal Community Reference Group and three condition-specific leadership groups representing Diabetes, Cancer and Heart and Stroke. We refer to the people and organisations on these groups as our members.

Who is working in the Consortium Coordinating Centre?

The team comprises of two full time staff. Wendy Keech is the Senior Research Translation Manager and Executive Officer. Wendy is supported by Douglas VJ Clinch, in a Project Officer role overseeing and supporting the various governance groups of the Consortium. Strategic policy and cultural advice and support is being provided by Kim Morey and Neville Fazulla both on a part-time basis to the team, and have particular focus on supporting the community reference group. Andrea McKivett, has been providing her clinical, technical and cultural support to the team since the inception of the Consortium, with Katharine McBride recently joining the team to provide technical support one day a week. The team come from various backgrounds and disciplines required to support the work of the Consortium, and all are passionate people with a strong commitment to making a difference to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people in South Australia.

If you would like any further information please don’t hesitate to contact Wendy Keech, on (08) 81284228, email: wendy.keech@sahmri.com or Doug VJ Clinch, on (08) 81284893 or email: douglas.clinch@sahmri.com.



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