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

1.1 NACCHO CEO Pat Turner continues a 6 month national ” Constitutional ” members roadshow in Northern NSW

1.2 National : 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM Registrations : Only 33 days to go

2.QLD : Nhulundu ACCHO Health Service Gladstone opens  new “state-of-the-art” medical centre 

3.1 NT : Congress Alice Springs : Right Tracks Collaboration Giving Better Health a Sporting Chance

3.2 NT Congress Aboriginal Health Training Award News

4.NSW Armajun Aboriginal Health Service :  The Aboriginal communities smiling again (and saving millions)

5.VIC : Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative Creating healthier smiles for Aboriginal children in Bendigo, Loddon Mallee

6. WA : Carnarvon Medical Services Aboriginal Corporation hosts Joe Williams Mental Health and Suicide Workshop

 7.SA: Nunkuwarin Yunti of SA Community Health Day 4 October

8.TAS: TAC Aboriginal Health and Mutton Bird Yarning Circle

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    

Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1.1 NACCHO CEO Pat Turner continues a 6 month national ” Constitutional ” members roadshow in Northern NSW.

Since April our NACCHO CEO Pat Turner has been consulting with our 140 NACCHO members about major changes to the NACCHO constitution that will  be presented to members at the NACCHO AGM 2 November in Canberra : Members To Register for AGM

Yesterday Pat presented the proposed changes at Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour to a regional meeting of approx. 10 Northern and Tableland NSW NACCHO Members ( from Port Macquarie to Ballina )

1.2 National : 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM Registrations : Only 33 days to go

 On Monday 18 September there was only 45 days to go and due to high demand  the conference AGM is 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’.

Download NACCHO 2017 Members Conference and AGM Draft

NACCHO Conference Website

2.QLD : Nhulundu ACCHO Health Service Gladstone opens  new “state-of-the-art” medical centre :

 “A great day for the community of Gladstone

A special mention and big thanks to my Deadly Sister, Carly Cooke, who as the former General Manager led the search for a new property in the Gladstone Region to relocate the Medical Centre from Manning Street South Gladstone to a location that better met the needs of our community now in the heart of Gladstone on Goondoon Street. Thank you for your vision and dedication, the Community is now reaping the rewards.

The overall Project Management by Faye McGown with our local builders JADA were outstanding, producing a modern state of the art facility. Very impressive work to say the least, a blue print for others to follow!

A big thank you to our local Leaders; Mayor Matt Burnett, Deputy Mayor Chris Trevor and Local Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher MP for all of their significant support and commitment to our Medical Centre and the Community at large.

Thank you to the many dedicated staff and Board Directors who made today possible – you are all greatly appreciated. We achieved this milestone together as a Team

Matthew Cooke CEO Nhulundu Health Service ( and NACCHO Chair )

IT’S hoped a new “state-of-the-art” medical centre will cater for those patients left in the “lurch” after two practices closed in the last two months in the Gladstone region.

Watch TV Interview HERE

The Calliope and Gladstone Valley Medical Centres, which are both owned by Medifield, closed after the company was placed in administration.

However, with the official opening of Nhulundu Health Service’s new building on Goondoon St yesterday, patients will have some much-needed options.


Although the service has a specific focus on indigenous health, Nhulundu chief executive officer Matthew Cooke said anybody could use the service.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said this would take up some of the “void” left behind from the closure of the two centres.

“I’m urging all Gladstone people to make sure they come and use this facility, it’s not just an indigenous facility,” he said.

Mr Butcher was confident Nhulundu would not face the same issues that other service providers had because of the structure of the organisation.

He said the more people the service could get through the door the more they chance they could expanding in the future.

“This building is now capable of doing a lot more,” he said.

Some of the possibilities that were mentioned include dental work and blood taking.

Mr Cooke said it was significant for the region to have the new centre open.

“Today marks an almost three year journey to finding a place here in the Gladstone region, where we can find a sustainable home, now and into the future,” he said.

“This is a full bulk-billing and integrated service.

“It’s not just a primary health care or general practice, we have aged care, we have visiting specialists, we run several allied health programs and we have a health promotion team.”

25 years in the making -Richard Johnson

The Central Queensland Regional Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Organisation, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service and soon to be established Family Wellbeing Centre, along with existing Aged Care Services and Deadly Choices, will all be based at the new facility.

The building is where QGC used to be.

Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said it was fantastic to have such a “state-of-the art” facility in Gladstone.

“It’s been said that other medical practices in Gladstone and Calliope have been closing, here we have a fantastic new facility opening,” he said.

“Sometimes things don’t always go well but other times they go amazing, and this is an amazing facility.”

Picture above Lizzie Adams

3.1 NT : Congress Alice Springs : Right Tracks Collaboration Giving Better Health a Sporting Chance

“Congress is excited to join Redtails/Pinktails and the ADF in delivering the Right Tracks program in Alice Springs and to our remote communities.

This program has the right people and the right support from key stakeholders, including the CAFL, to assist with the complex issues shaping the health of young people through empowerment and mentoring, as well as improved access to essential health services and information.”

 Congress CEO Donna Ah Chee said of the program 

On Saturday an exciting collaboration between Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, the Australian Drug Foundation (ADF) and Central Australian Football Club – Redtails/Pinktails was officially launched, fittingly, during the Central Australian footy finals.

The Right Tracks program was originally set up and run by volunteers led by local native title holder Ian McAdam and Rob Clarke through the Redtails/Pinktails Central Australian Football Club. Now, through a new partnership with Congress and the ADF, it will be brought to even more young people in Alice Springs and surrounding remote communities, working directly with each male and female football club and local softball and netball clubs.

Right Tracks aims to educate and assist in health and wellbeing, tobacco, alcohol, violence and sexual health education and treatment, job ready mentoring, work experience, language and culture, whilst using sport as the means to engage. Through mentoring, the youth accessing the program are groomed into role models, leaders and mentors for their own communities, to create change.

Through the support of Congress and funding agreements with the Australian Drug Foundation and Department of Health Northern Territory Government, 3 Sports Health Promotion positions were created within Congress’ Health Promotion Section to undertake this exciting work.  The team has now been formed, including founding volunteer Ian McAdam, who is joined by Darren Talbot and Sarah Carmody.

The ADF’s Northern Territory Manager, Margie Fahy had to say “Working on the ground across a range of local communities, this partnership is delivering prevention projects tailored to the needs of the area.

“The Australian Drug Foundation commends Central Australian Aboriginal Congress for their strong leadership role within this community partnership.”

The program was launched by the Hon. Dale Wakelfield MLA, Minister for Territory Families who was proud to do so on behalf of the Hon. Natasha Fyles, NT Minster for Health.

ADF’s Head of Program Delivery, Allan Casse also contributed to proceedings, which were witnessed by an audience of important guests including Member for Namatjira, Chansey Paech, Commonwealth and Olympic marathon runner Robert De Castella as well as important members of the local and Territory football and sporting communities.

3.2 NT Congress Aboriginal Health Training News:

Congress #ACCHO Alice Springs wins major Training Large Employer of the Year Award 

4.NSW Armajun Aboriginal Health Service :  The Aboriginal communities smiling again (and saving millions)

Aboriginal oral health care: double the services, half the cost Public Aboriginal oral health care models compared

“Fly-in fly-out services are more expensive than local services, yet we still provide so many dental and allied health services in this way.“This research tells an important story about community engagement, and the benefit of employing locally and building local capacity.”

Debbie McCowen, Chief Executive Officer of the Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, said.

See 7.30 Report ABC TV   The Aboriginal communities smiling again (and saving millions)

Photo: Dental technician Paul Talbot at his mobile denture clinic in Moree

The latest Closing The Gap report reveals Australia is failing to meet its Aboriginal health targets.

Could a system that engages local communities inspire more effective ways to deliver much needed services?

Aboriginal Australians have significantly higher rates of dental disease than the wider Australian\ population. It is an issue compounded for people in rural and remote areas with less access to public dental services, and is linked to higher risk of other chronic health conditions.

Recognising the high need for public oral health services targeting Aboriginal communities, governments have invested in several service delivery models using distinctive approaches.

A comparison of two models that provide public oral health services specifically for Aboriginal patients has found a significant difference in costs and outputs, with implications for future policy and funding decisions.

Published in the Australian Dental Journal , the research was conducted by the University of Sydney’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, Centre of Translational Data Science and faculties of Health Sciences and Dentistry, with the Armajun Aboriginal Health Service in Inverell, NSW.

The cost and output of Model A, the major oral health service for Aboriginal people in rural NSW delivered by the state government, was compared with Model B, a collaboration between the Poche Centre and Armajun.

Dental weighted activity units (DWAUs) are the national measure of productivity in publicly funded oral health services. The NSW government applies this measure to local health districts and grant programs. During 2014 and 2015 the government set the NSW price per DWAU at $589.

Over the same two-year period, Model A cost $ $1,800 per DWAU and Model B cost $370 per DWAU.

Model A delivered just over 1,600 DWAUs with total funding of over $3.6m, and Model B delivered over 3,000 DWAUs with total funding of just over $1.4m.

Summary of funding and DWAU for models A and B for the period of 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2015:

“Following the troubling lack of progress presented in the latest Closing The Gap report, our model provides a valuable example of another way of doing things,” said lead author Dr Kylie Gwynne, a research affiliate of the Poche Centre.

“The Poche Centre is committed to pursuing evidence-based approaches to health care, and we thank the NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy for supporting this study by providing DWAU data for analysis.”

The main difference between the two models is the centralised versus localised coordination.

Model A delivers services across the state from a city-centre clinic, as well as dentists operating on a fly-in fly-out basis at host clinics across NSW. It provides blocks of oral health care to communities and draws on the infrastructure and community links of the host Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.

In contrast, Model B delivers services almost entirely in local communities, employing local Aboriginal staff wherever possible. Initially operating in three communities, the service expanded in the first year to include nine Aboriginal communities in central northern NSW with local community partnerships and accountability. It is staffed almost equally by dentists and oral health therapists, and new graduate clinicians live near and work across communities using fixed and portable equipment in multiple locations including clinics, schools, health care settings and other community locations.

According to the authors, the results raise important questions around how such services should be delivered in the future.

“Good public policy evaluates and adjusts service models over time as circumstances and needs change,” said Dr Gwynne.

“There’s growing recognition the fly-in fly-out model is no longer appropriate as workforce shortages are addressed and rural and remote health services are better able to recruit and retain oral health clinicians.

“Yet, while the state government has committed to changing its approach, the federal government just recently increased its funding for fly-in-fly-out dentistry.

“With limited resources and oral health outcomes in Aboriginal communities still poor, we must focus on service delivery models that are proven to be effective and efficient.”

5.VIC : Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative Creating healthier smiles for Aboriginal children in Bendigo, Loddon Mallee

A new program aimed at improving the oral health and hygiene of Aboriginal children will be trialled in the Loddon Mallee.

The $250,000 initiative will see preschool-aged children given tooth packs and fluoride varnish through preschools, early children services and health organisations.

Photo above : INITIATIVE: Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards, Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative CEO Raylene Harradine, and Bendigo East MP Jacinta Allan

Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative will lead the year-long pilot, with the help of other Aboriginal-controlled health organisations across the region.

Levels of tooth decay are higher among Aboriginal children than non-Aboriginal children: those aged five and under are hospitalised for dental care at almost one and a half times the rate of other children.

The average number of filled, decayed or missing teeth is also about twice as high among Aboriginal children aged six to 11 as it is among their non-Indigenous counterparts.

6. WA Carnarvon Medical Services Aboriginal Corporation hosts Joe Williams Mental Health and Suicide Workshop

The Carnarvon Medical Services Aboriginal Corporation hosted a series of mental health and suicide prevention events involving Joe Williams. Joe is a Wiradjuri man from New South Wales, best known for his professional sporting achievements. He played in the National Rugby League for the Rabbitohs, Panthers, and Bulldogs, before taking up professional boxing. Joe uses these achievements as a platform to speak about his experiences of mental illness, substance misuse, and suicidal ideation and to advocate for change.

During his two-day visit, Joe addressed the Carnarvon Suicide Prevention Network, participated in a boxing session with young people at the PCYC, sang songs at an evening yarning session, and delivered a motivational talk to local school students.

Throughout the events in Carnarvon, Joe spoke about the healing power of gratitude, exercise, medication, resilience, and connection to land and culture.

Community members were touched by Joe’s honesty and inspired by his commitment to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by these issues.
You can find out more about Joe’s work at his website:

People seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

 7.SA: Nunkuwarin Yunti of SA Community Health Day 4 October

Coming up next week – our deadly Community Fun Day at Whitmore Square!!!

There will be entertainment and fun for everyone, with a BBQ lunch provided PLUS live music, a jumping castle, a smoothie bike, henna sessions, games on the basketball court, a pop-up circus workshop from Cirkidz and much much more.

Bring the whole mob along! We can’t wait to see you there!


8.TAS: TAC Aboriginal Health and Mutton Bird Yarning Circle

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