Aboriginal Health #AIDAConf2017 : Our ACCHO Members #Deadly good news stories #NT #NSW #TAS #QLD #WA #SA #VIC

1.1 : NACCHO CEO attends AMA’s Indigenous Health Taskforce 

1.2 : National : 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM Registrations

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

2 .1 NSW: Awabakal ACCHO Leading Indigenous doctors visit to inspire the students to pursue their dreams

2. 2 NSW Awabakal is Tackling Indigenous Smoking

3. VIC : VACCHO supports a YES vote for Equality

4. WA: AHCWA : Football benefits Indigenous communities long after the siren

5. QLD : Deadly Choices 2017 STATE QUEENSLAND MURRI CARNIVAL IN REDCLIFFE has kicked off

6. NT : $6 Million Health Centre for Umbakumba,Groote Eylandt

7. TAS : FIAAI ‘No Smokes No Limits’ Public Health Campaign Launched

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

9. 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    

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1.1 NACCHO CEO attends AMA’s Indigenous Health Taskforce 

NACCHO CEO Pat Turner and Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, attended the AMA’s Indigenous Health Taskforce meeting last weekend to discuss the Government’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health priorities and actions.

The Taskforce identifies, develops, and recommends Indigenous health policy and strategies for the AMA, and includes Federal Councillors, AMA members, and Indigenous health organisations.

Issues discussed included the growing incidence of type 2 diabetes among young Indigenous people, renal disease, preventable hospital admissions and deaths, mortality rates, and the use of the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

The Taskforce also discussed racism within the health system in Australia, and recognised the need for more programs and strategies to eradicate racism from the entire health workforce

1.2 National : 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM Registrations : Only 45 days to go

 Last Monday 18 September there was only 45 days to go and we are nearly booked out

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

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

Register HERE

Download the 2 day Ochre Day Program

final 2017-Ochre-Day-Program

2 .1 NSW: Awabakal ACCHO Leading Indigenous doctors visit to inspire the students to pursue their dreams

A group of leading Indigenous doctors visited Maitland High School on Tuesday to inspire the students to pursue their dreams.

Eight doctors from the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association told the students their experiences and ran medical workshops, including plastering and handwashing with the use of a UV light to detect germs.

The program was part of AIDA’s visit to the Hunter, which included a stop in at Awabakal in Newcastle.

Maitland High was chosen due to its high Aboriginal population (12 per cent).

AIDA president Kali Hayward said they wanted to show the students the opportunities available and leave a lasting impression. “You can’t underestimate the value of a role model,” she said

2. 2 NSW Awabakal is Tackling Indigenous Smoking

Awabakal is facing the issue of increased smoking rates in the community head on with the launch of their I’m Quitting campaign which took place in September  at Awabakal Medical Service.

The campaign is part of the national Tackling Indigenous Smoking program and aims to reduce smoking rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with Awabakal highlighting the problem on a local level.

 The launch event saw 25 ‘quit kits’ issued to existing smokers who are looking to cut down or completely quit the habit. The kits include a branded shirt to raise awareness, a 30 day progress chart with health information on the first month of quitting, pledge magnets to remind people why they were quitting, Nicotine Replacement Therapy voucher and more.

When discussing the campaign, Chief Executive Officer Raylene Gordon said that smoking rates within the Aboriginal community were continuing to increase and Awabakal was committed to supporting the community in their efforts to quit.

“The I’m Quitting campaign has been introduced to help support members of our community who are wanting to reduce or completely stop smoking all together and it is a program of which I am incredibly proud,” said Raylene.

“Smoking is a real issue for the Aboriginal community it is the most preventable cause of early death, with smoking accounting for one in every five deaths.

“This is an unacceptable figure. The I’m Quitting campaign is designed to assist community members on their quitting journey by providing useful information and quit tips, along with supporting them through our Medical Service to ensure they stay on track,” said Raylene.

Awabakal Project Officer and I’m Quitting participant, Ray Kelly, said he has decided to quit smoking for not only his own health but also for his daughters.

“I have been smoking for about 15 years and I can feel the damage it has caused. I’m mainly quitting for my three daughters, I need to be there for them as they grow and I need to be a healthy role model,” said Ray.

“My goal is to quit completely and while I have attempted to do so in the past, I’m really focussed on making this time stick.

“Even in the last week or so since cutting back I have noticed a difference, I feel healthier while I train and my tastebuds have changed,” concluded Ray.

Awabakal are encouraging anyone that is thinking of quitting smoking to contact Awabakal Medical Service on 02 4907 8555.

3. VIC : VACCHO supports a YES vote for Equality

VACCHO supports the right of every Australian to get married regardless of their gender or sexuality.

We oppose this non-binding postal survey that asks ‘anyone’ to determine the human rights of our LGBTI families and friends, however believe the most powerful act to effect positive change, is to vote yes.

VACCHO will be unequivocally supporting the Equality Campaign, and encouraging our Member organisations to vote yes, as well as ours and the wider community to do the same.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who identify as LGBTI often experience multiple levels of marginalisation and discrimination. VACCHO is significantly concerned about the implications this campaign will have on the social and emotional wellbeing of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander LGBTI community, their families and mainstream brothers and sisters. Already we have witnessed deplorable content generated from the No Campaign.

We know LGBTI people suffer uniquely high rates of suicidality, same-sex attracted people are up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide. This statistic will be compounded in our LGBTI community, especially for our young brotherboys and sistergirls.

It saddens us that in 2017 the Federal Government can stand silent and allow this level of vilification and discrimination to occur.

Discriminatory legislation is an impediment to the LGBTI Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community achieving the highest attainable standard of health, instead this process is widening the health inequalities of First Australians.

We hope that the Parliament will respect the outcome of the Equality campaign, work swiftly to deliver marriage equality, and heal the harm.

4. WA: AHCWA : Football benefits Indigenous communities long after the siren

Football has the ability to build a strong heart and mind, and it is making our kids more disciplined and coordinated with their body skills as well as their mentality.

Indigenous sporting personalities needed to be particularly mindful that they were role models for their communities.

They have kids that look up to them and their competitiveness in the sporting industry, and [players need to recognise their] connection to culture and must not forget that they come from a grass roots level “

Michelle Nelson-Cox is speaking about the positive impact footy has on Indigenous communities in Western Australia

Ms Nelson-Cox, a Whadjuk Noongar woman, is the chairperson of the Aboriginal Health Council of WA.

Originally Published HERE

“[Football] is very important to have around, not only for aspiring young kids who fantasise about being an elite sportsperson, but also because of our elite sportspeople who are creating a positive profile [in the community],” she said

A recent report by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre – After the Siren: The community benefits of Indigenous participation in Australian Rules Football – has highlighted the physical health, mental well being and community connectedness benefits that flow from playing football.

AFL is the second-most popular team sport among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, with almost 45,000 Indigenous players, and in WA, one in four Indigenous men play the sport.

Indigenous boys living in remote areas and playing football had 20 percent lower rates of truancy from school than those that did not play, according to the report.

In the past year adult Indigenous players reported higher life satisfaction than those who did not participate, and they were twice as likely to rate their health as excellent.

Fifty-six percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who played football were assessed as being in excellent health, compared to 48 percent of children that had not engaged with the sport

Report co-author and Senior Research Fellow, Dr Sean Gorman from Curtin University’s School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts, said the report also found that AFL is an inclusive sport that offers wide accessibility irrespective of socio-economic background.

“Whether it is urban or regional areas, the role of football plays is massive, not just in terms of getting communities engaged, it is massive in terms of the way it presents a positive aspect to people’s lives that are, if we look at social and economic indicators, not great,” he said.

“Football is a really important social mechanism for Aboriginal people to engage their agency, but also to participate in something that all Australians love.”

Dr Gorman also highlighted the important role elite-level Indigenous players held in the community.

“They are seen as significant contributors to the way Aboriginal people feel great pride and great resonance that enables them to see something other than the horrible statistics that we see time and time again,” he said.

“The role they play is completely vital to the way Aboriginal people can feel proud and safe and valued, whether that is in urban, regional or remote Australia.”

Ms Nelson-Cox said Indigenous sporting personalities needed to be particularly mindful that they were role models for their communities.

“They have kids that look up to them and their competitiveness in the sporting industry, and [players need to recognise their] connection to culture and must not forget that they come from a grass roots level,” she said.

Dr Gorman said that for many professional Indigenous players, there was a deeper narrative associated with their participation in AFL.

“When you talk to Aboriginals about why they play they say ‘I am not playing for myself, I am representing my family and my community’,” he said.

“It becomes a deeper narrative, a stronger narrative, which as a broader community we need to appreciate and understand.

“This is where the report becomes so salient because it is how we connect all these disparate narratives up, and we can start to appreciate on a greater level the contribution these men and women have made over time.”

One such role model is the Fremantle Dockers’ woman’s team Vice Captain and Noongar woman Kirby Bentley, who spoke at the launch of the After the Siren report on Thursday.

“I am still one of the most elite Indigenous female footballers in the country and for me that is not so much about saying how good I think I am. It’s more about what I can do with the position I am in,” she said.

The number of women’s football teams has doubled since AFL Women’s League was introduced this year, according to the report.

AFL is also making its mark on remote communities in the far-north of WA.

“It is an integral part of the Western Desert communities,” Michael McMonigal said.

McMonigal is the program manager of Ngurra Kujungka [Inc], an non-for-profit organisation leading the development of the Western Desert’s first community driven, regional sport and recreation program.

“It has a very positive influence on the community, in terms of their overall physical, mental and emotional wellbeing,” he said.

“We are hoping to develop programs and pathways for these young footballers to follow in the future.”

In 2003, Newcrest Mining Ltd began sponsoring the annual Western Desert League, a football competition created to benefit and engage the Martu people, the traditional owners of a large part of central WA.


5. QLD : Deadly Choices 2017 STATE QUEENSLAND MURRI CARNIVAL IN REDCLIFFE has kicked off

Arthur Beetson Foundation has announced that 2017 Deadly Choices Arthur Beetson Foundation Murri Rugby League Carnival will take place at Dolphin Oval Redcliffe from 20th to 23rd September.

The Carnival involves teams from across Queensland and is a real show piece of Indigenous Rugby League Talent.

Three Competitions take place over four days include Under 15’s Boys, Open Women’s and Open Men’s. Some exciting additional events and activities will be announced very soon.

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 “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”.

Murri Rugby League is an annual four day rugby league carnival for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queensland rugby league teams. Queensland Rugby League (QRL) has awarded the Arthur Beetson Foundation with the tender for the next three years. The Foundation has employed MRL (Qld Pty Ltd) to event manage the Murri Rugby League carnival.

Giving Back

A significant portion of Arthur Beetson Foundation generated revenue will be invested back into Indigenous Rugby League programs and structures endorsed by the QRL to establish sports focused sustainable community activities.

Murri Rugby League aims to:

  • Raise the representation of Indigenous players from the current 11% in the National Rugby League to 15%, an overall 4% growth in participation over a 3-5 year time frame.
  • Provide structure in a drug and alcohol free environment for players to have the opportunity to develop a direction into representation at a national level.
  • Work with the network of Indigenous communities in Queensland to promote and develop the carnival as a state event.
  • Develop a sponsorship alliance which will support the participation of all Communities and contribute to the staging of the carnival as an annual event.

About The Murri Rugby League Carnival

The Murri Carnival is a very important date on the Indigenous calendar and is much more than a rugby league event. The Carnival has certain basic rules. An adult person cannot play in the Carnival unless they:
. undergo a health check; and
. enrol to vote or, if enrolled, make sure that their enrolment details are current.

An under 15 player cannot play in the Carnival unless they;
. undergo a health check; and
. have a 90% school attendance record.

Each year a number of people are identified as possible suffers of diabetes a disease that shortens the life span of too many Indigenous Australians.

In 2014 the under 15 side travelled to New Zealand and a Men’s team travelled to Fiji to play and take part in a cultural exchange. The QRL Indigenous under 15 team also played the curtain raiser to the NRL Indigenous All Star Game at Suncorp Stadium last February 2015 against a New South Wales Koori team

6. NT : $6 Million Health Centre for Umbakumba,Groote Eylandt 

The community of Umbakumba on the Territory’s Groote Eylandt is celebrating the opening of a new $6 million health centre.

The Member for Arnhem Selena Uibo said the jointly funded facility was sorely needed in the remote island community, 600 kilometres southeast of Darwin.

The community is located approximately 50 km east of Angurugu situated inside Little Lagoon, Point Langton on the northeast coast of Groote Eylandt. Umbakumba is approximately 50 km east of Angurugu on Groote Eylandt, which is 650 km east of Darwin and 50 km off the Arnhem Land coast in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Apart from the fortnightly freight barge service from Darwin, Umbakumba is generally accessed by air.

Groote Eylandt airport, located 1 km from Angurugu, is the main air access point for the island. Owned and maintained by Gemco, the airstrip is sealed and there are flights to and from Nhulunbuy/Darwin most days.

Travel time to Nhulunbuy: 30-50 minutes, to Darwin: 1.5-2 hours. A 50 km dirt road links Angurugu to Umbakumba. Charter flights can also be arranged direct to Umbakumba which has a dirt airstrip that can accommodate twin engine light aircraft.

There is a reasonable dirt road from the airport to Umbakumba. However, a 4-wheel drive is essential and given the number of rivers and streams, travel throughout the island during the wet season can be difficult.

“Groote Eylandt residents want and deserve to access high quality health services,” Ms Uibo said.

“We know that improving the health of Groote Eylandt people, boosts the community and makes the Territory a healthier and stronger place.”

The $6 million build has been funded through a tripartite Regional Partnership Agreement including:

$3 million from Groote Eylandt Bickerton Island Enterprises

$2 million from the Northern Territory Government

$1 million from the Australian Government

Ms Uibo said it was a great example of local decision making with the Groote Eylandt Bickerton Island Enterprises group working with the Territory and Federal Governments to improve health.

“The original clinic was so run down that the costs of repairs was prohibitive,” Ms Uibo said.

“Local contractor GCC was awarded the contract to build a new facility in January last year and after significant challenges including weather and distance they have delivered a state of the art facility for community.

The new Yinumarra health Centre facilities include:

  • new emergency services with an ambulance bay and a single bed emergency rooms
  • five consulting rooms including men’s, women’s and children’s consulting areas
  • dental room
  • drug storage room
  • multi-purpose room
  • enhanced security and privacy for staff and clients
  • reception and internal and external waiting area

The centre is one of three to be opened, with Ngukurr Health Centre opened last week and Numbulwar Health Centre opening tomorrow

7. TAS : FIAAI ‘No Smokes No Limits’ Public Health Campaign Launched

Flinders Island Aboriginal Association’s Tackling Smoking Program has recently launched their latest ‘No Smokes No Limits’ public health campaign with billboards being revealed across Tasmania. These billboards feature motocross imagery and Aboriginal ambassadors Jay and Josh Woolley from WSM Freestyle.

As part of this campaign, smokers are encouraged to contact their local health service, general practice or the Quitline for assistance in giving up the habit. This campaign seeks to denormalise smoking, and is in stark contrast to some of the messaging typically associated with extreme sports that are often sponsored by energy drinks or other consumables associated with poor health outcomes.

FIAAI CEO Maxine Roughley said “This program especially targets young people who are our future and we are proud to be supporting such an important health issue.”

FIAAI will be looking to expand this campaign to buses and other mediums in the future, with billboards currently being found in several parts of the state including Hobart, Launceston, East Devonport, Burnie and others. FIAAI will also be presenting at the upcoming Oceania Tobacco Control Conference (October 17-19) regarding this campaign.

The FIAAI Tackling Smoking Team can be contacted on 6334 5721 for more information.


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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