News from #NACCHOagm2017 143 #ACCHO members vote in new NACCHO Chair and Deputy Chair

At the 2017 NACCHO Members AGM here in Canberra yesterday 143 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations operating 302 ACCHO clinics throughout Australia voted Mr John Singer from South Australia the new NACCHO Chair and Ms Donnella Mills from Cairns his new Deputy Chair.

Outgoing Chair Matthew Cooke from Queensland and his Deputy Sandy Davies from WA congratulated the new chair and deputy who in return presented both Matthew and Sandy with special gifts from the members for their  many years of service to the NACCHO board

All Photos Colin Cowell and above Geoff Bagnall

A formal media press release will be released next week but in the interim here are some background notes on both John and Donnella

John Singer Chair Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia

Photo above : John Singer has a strong interest in Aboriginal Male Health and in 2013 was the co founder of our annual NACCHO Ochre Day event

John’s family is from Ngaangtjara, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunyatjara Lands, which is the cross border area of Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

He began working in community control at the Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service where he started his health worker training, which he later completed in the late 1980s with the Nganampa Health Council.

John worked in Community Administration from 1989 to 1996 at Iwantja, Fregon, Pukatja and Papunya. In 1997, he became the Manager of Iwantja Clinic, which is one of Nganampa Health Council’s clinics.
In 2000, he was appointed Director of the Nganampa Health Council and still holds this position.

Over the years, John has participated on several Boards and Committees, including NACCHO. Was on the Board of the Aboriginal Health Council of SA Inc. (a representative since 1998 and Chairperson 2005, 2006–2009), Country Health SA, and the Anangu Remote Health Alliance (influential in establishing this group in 2005; Chairperson 2005 and 2006).

He has a good understanding of governance, community control and government structures, and is very committed to improving the health and well being of Aboriginal people.
” The Deadly Choices program’s intent is to provide a measurable difference in addressing Aboriginal health issues. 

“Aboriginal people have far higher mortality rates than the average population and die at much younger ages. Despite government intentions to ‘close the gap’, the problem isn’t getting any better,

Chronic disease and preventable health conditions are taking a toll on our communities and we need to find innovative ways to move the dial toward better health outcomes.

We hope, with support from the Port Adelaide Football Club, our Deadly Choices initiative will encourage our young people to take responsibility and stop smoking, stay active and look after their own wellbeing, and that of their families.”

Aboriginal Health Council of SA chairperson John Singer talking national partnerships (pictured above )


BACKGROUND : Donnella Mills Chair Wuchopperen Health Service: 

 Donnella as a LawRight lawyer presented at #NACCHOagm2017 on the current practices and highlights of the Wuchopperen Health Justice Partnership

Health Justice Partnerships

Building on Wuchopperen Health Service’s comprehensive suite of services, March 2016 saw the commencement of the Wuchopperen Health Justice Partnership through a partnership with LawRight (formerly Queensland Public Interest Law

Clearing House). LawRight is an independent community legal centre delivering services throughout Queensland.

Evidence confirms that health needs and legal needs often overlap, and legal advocacy improves social conditions which impact on people’s health — legal issues such as housing, income, decision-making frameworks and access to legal rights.

‘Virtually all legal needs (ranging from housing to domestic violence) are directly or proximally connected to health status.’ [Zuckerman, Sandel, Lawton & Morton, The Lancet 2008]. A Health

Justice Partnership provides ‘holistic legal assistance to vulnerable people in a health care setting’. [Health Justice Australia 2016,

Health Justice Partnerships are effective models of service delivery for disadvantaged communities, as evidence confirms that most vulnerable people do not or cannot access legal services directly.

Moreover, addressing legal issues in a health setting enables holistic, client-centred practices.

Since 2016, LawRight and Wuchopperen have built the capacity of each other’s staff and community to identify health harming legal needs and positively impacted over 200 patients. The Queensland

Department of Justice and Attorney-General have further invested in this model to evaluate its impact, to develop culturally appropriate resources and to collaborate effectively with

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