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1.International. Final results are now available from the global survey of Community Health Centres

2.National /SA : ACCHOs – caring beyond the clinical to address social and cultural determinants of health 

3.WA ; Minster Ken Wyatt opens Kwilenap a new maternal child health clinic in South West Australia

4.QLD  Carbal Medical Services CEO Brian Hewitt says the eye care visit had a huge impact on the community

5.NSW : AHMRC Waminda South Coast Women’s Health & Welfare Aboriginal Corporation Go Fund Me Campaign

6.ACT : The ACT Australian of the Year highlights society’s inability to address the “national crisis” that is Indigenous incarceration rates

7.NT AMSANT  : $1.1 billion investment into remote housing welcomed as first step by Commonwealth Government but more needed.

8.VIC : Aboriginal Health Leadership News : New @VACCHO_org CEO Has a Vision for a Culturally Confident Aboriginal Community

9.TAS : Cultural Safety in Tasmania Consultation

 View hundreds of ACCHO Deadly Good News Stories over past 6 years

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1.International. Final results are now available from the global survey of Community Health Centres

Final results are now available from the global survey of Community Health Centres and Community Health Centre associations that was conducted by IFCHC from October to December 2017.

We encourage you to review the results online and browse the list of all 448 CHCs and CHC associations from around the world that responded to the survey.

Over the coming months, IFCHC will be implementing a global knowledge-exchange plan for and with Community Health Centres around the world, to take action on the priorities identified via the global survey.

Thank you to all the NACCHO Members in Australia that contributed to this survey

2.National: ACCHOs – caring beyond the clinical to address social and cultural determinants of health 

Given our ( CREATE /SAHMRI) long-standing relationships with Aboriginal Community Controlled Services, we are well aware that ACCHOs play a major role in providing the broad range of services that directly and indirectly address the cultural and social determinants of health experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The difficulty is in identifying and making explicit these important services. This is critical to advocate for better support, including funding equivalent to services provided, to sustain delivery into the future.

ACCHO Annual Reports clearly tell the story. We have commenced a documented analysis of recent Annual Reports (on-line electronic or hard copy) to review the depth and range of the work of ACCHOs in addressing the cultural and social determinants of health.

Early findings indicate the large number of programs or activities with children and youth, especially in health promotion and education, school education, training, and family support. A strong focus on community and cultural engagement is also evident.

The work is being conducted by the Centre of Research Excellence in Aboriginal Health Knowledge Translation and Exchange (CREATE).

CREATE is a collaboration between Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit at South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), National Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (NACCHO) and the School of Public Health and Joanna Briggs Institute, University of Adelaide.

Professor Alex Brown is the principal investigator on this study alongside co-investigators Professor Annette Braunack-Mayer and Dr Odette Gibson (AI). Advice on the need for ethics has been sought and approval granted as required.

We appreciate the interest and support this project is generating amongst the sector and look forward to sharing the findings with you in the future.

General Information Sheet

ACCHO’s caring beyond the clinical to address social and cultural determinants of health

Objectives of this research: As part of their integrated comprehensive primary health care model, ACCHOs provide a broad range of services that directly and indirectly address the cultural and social determinants of health. The primary aim of this study is to identify and make explicit these important services that ACCHO’s provide to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, beyond clinical healthcare.

Who is involved: The research is being conducted by the Centre of Research Excellence in Aboriginal Health Knowledge Translation and Exchange (CREATE). CREATE is a collaboration between Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit at South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), National Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation, and the School of Public Health and Joanna Briggs Institute, University of Adelaide. Professor Alex Brown is the principal investigator on this study alongside co-investigators Professor Annette Braunack-Mayer and Dr Odette Gibson (AI).

What will participation involve: The research is reviewing electronic and/or hard copy of ACCHO’s 2015/16 or, if not available, 2014/15 Annual Reports.

Information will be used to: The Annual Reports will be thematically analysed to identify the types of services provided by ACCHO’s that directly or indirectly address the social determinants of health.

Benefits to participants: Findings from this study could be used to advocate for better support, including funding equivalent to services provided, to sustain delivery into the future.

Confidentiality: We are only requesting publicly available Annual Reports:

  • Any information provided will be de-identified when developing any reports (unless an ACCHO chooses otherwise)
  • All data will be stored electronically on a password protected server at Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit, SAHMRI in accordance with data management policies of the Wardliparingga Research Unit
  • No third parties will be given access to the reports or data
  • The information provided will only be used for the purposes of the study and no other, without expressed permission

This Research Project has been approved by:

An initial request for guidance was sent to various ethic committees. A full ethics application was submitted and approved by the following:

  • Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council Ethics Committee of New South Wales (Protocol number 1285/17).
  • Menzies School of Health Research Human Research Ethics Committee (Protocol number HREC 2017-2862).

The following committees advised that, as the information requested is usually made publicly available, ethics approval would not be required.

  • University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee (Email confirmation received 10th February 2017).
  • Aboriginal Health Research Ethics Committee (Email confirmation received 9th February 2017.
  • Central Australian Human Research Ethics Committee (Email confirmation received 11th May 2017).
  • St Vincent Hospital Melbourne (Email confirmation received 30th May 2017).
  • Tasmania Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee (Email confirmation received 27th November 2017)

For further information, please contact Professor Alex Brown, Chief Investigator, Centre of Excellence Aboriginal Chronic Disease Knowledge Translation and Exchange via phone 08 8128 4000 or email alex.brown@sahmri.com

3.WA ; Minster Ken Wyatt opens Kwilenap a new maternal child health clinic in South West Australia

“Providing quality health care to our community is vital. Building capacity in our services and creating opportunities for our clients to access quality health care and support is our highest priority,”

“Kwilenap will ensure clients have access to a multi-disciplinary team of midwives, child health nurses, Indigenous outreach worker and an Aboriginal health worker, who will work together to ensure healthy pregnancies and healthy infants.”

SWAMS CEO Lesley Nelson said that she was thrilled to add the new facility to SWAMS’ growing portfolio of services and programs

The South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) will unveil its new maternal and child health clinic, Kwilenap today 1 February 2018

The clinic, located at the Australind Healthplex, will be officially opened by the Honourable Ken Wyatt, Federal Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health, at an onsite morning tea for community members and Elders.

Kwilenap, meaning ‘place of the dolphins’ in Noongar language, will provide Aboriginal families in the region with improved access to maternal and child health services.

SWAMS CEO Lesley Nelson said that she was thrilled to add the new facility to SWAMS’ growing portfolio of services and programs.

In addition to midwifery and child health services, the clinic will also offer a unique cultural program that draws on the knowledge of local Elders to support new mothers and fathers in their transition to parenthood.

“The Kwilenap program will encourage and empower our community to raise strong, healthy children. We want to arm parents with the knowledge and skills needed to embark on a positive parenting journey while giving their children the best possible start to life,” Ms Nelson said.

In the months ahead, SWAMS will be partnering with existing services in the region to deliver Kwilenap’s midwifery and child health services to Collie, Manjimup, Busselton, Harvey and Brunswick Junction.

The Kwilenap clinic was made possible with funding received under the Commonwealth Government’s New Directions Mothers and Babies Services program.

Clinic hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30am-4:00pm and Wednesday from 9.30am-1:00pm.

For more information please contact SWAMS on (08) 9726 6000, or 1800 779 000 (toll-free).

4.QLD  Carbal Medical Services CEO Brian Hewitt says the eye care visit had a huge impact on the community

‘It’s very difficult for Indigenous Australians to be able to access eye care in the first place and then be able to afford it. When we can get schemes, such as the mobile van visiting Warwick, that’s a godsend for us in trying to provide closing-the-gap services,’

We’re working with a demographic that just doesn’t have the disposable income that’s needed to access specialised, non-bulk billed services,’

We have over a third of Indigenous people who haven’t had an eye exam. With the more remote or inner-rural areas like Warwick, that figure can climb to two-thirds of the Indigenous population.

Warwick has a population of 800 Indigenous Australians, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and Toowoomba has 5,800.

Mr Hewitt is happy to host mobile optometrists any time.

 Carbal Medical Services CEO Brian Hewitt said the visit had a huge impact on the community

A mobile optometry van has visited Aboriginal Medical Services in regional Queensland to help curb the high prevalence of Indigenous eye conditions.

Carbal Medical Services in Warwick was the van’s first destination before it made the journey up to the clinic’s other location in Toowoomba. The van spent a working week conducting eye tests at each location.

CEO of the Essilor Vision Foundation Greg Johnson, who orchestrated the visits, said he jumped on the opportunity to send a mobile clinic to Carbal when the opportunity arose.

‘It’s very difficult to get an optometrist to go away from their practice for a day to undertake full examinations,’ Mr Johnson said.

‘When the opportunity arose with a fully equipped mobile van and two weeks to do humanitarian tasks, I immediately went to Carbal Medical Services and got a resounding yes. Carbal put out the call to patients: we’re going to be doing eye tests here, and they filled their books pretty quickly.’

The van’s optometrist Allana Neumann, a graduate from Queensland University of Technology’s Bachelor of Vision Science and Master of Optometry, said she conducted more than a dozen full eye tests per day with the help of dispenser Scott Lumsden.

‘They drove the van into the carpark of the clinic, plugged into power and away they went. It has a full consultation room and a lovely range of spectacles,’ Mr Johnson said.

Eye tests were bulk billed, and patients that needed spectacles received them under the Queensland Government’s Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme. If patients were ineligible, Mr Johnson said the Essilor Vision Foundation provided spectacles.

‘It’s really nice to work in a varied workplace and visit areas that you can see the sunlight,’ Allana said.

‘One of the best things is being able do eye tests on people that never would’ve gotten their eyes tested in their own time. We saw quite a few first-time eye tests and a lot of them needed glasses.

‘Patients with diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, medication-related complications and dry eye were pretty standard.’

The mobile clinic comes equipped with a slitlamp, a refractor head and a four-in-one auto refractor, tonometer, keratometer and pachymeter, Allana said. She’s passionate about educating first-timers about their eye health.

‘I really would like to work in conjunction with local optometrists because it’s important for people to develop a relationship with them and encourage more regular tests. Education is a really important thing.’

Other mobile clinics travelling Australia include the IDEAS Van in Queensland and the Lions Outback Vision Van in Western Australia.

5.NSW : AHMRC Waminda South Coast Women’s Health & Welfare Aboriginal Corporation Go Fund Me Campaign

Waminda (South Coast Women’s Health & Welfare Aboriginal Corporation) is a Not-for-Profit organisation in Nowra, South Coast of NSW and have been in operation for the past 33 years.

We are a holistic service, providing women and their Aboriginal families an opportunity to belong and receive quality health and well-being support. Our key focus is to provide tailored strength based care.

We provide a unique, accepting, healing place that is culturally safe and takes account of differences in experiences, ways of communicating, values, kinship, families and insight into healing and recognise the impact of trans-generational trauma, history and experiences on current life situations of women and their Aboriginal families.

Our services have continued to grow over the years, and now employ over 70 employees working from our new Kinghorne Street main hub and locations in Terara, Ulladulla and Nowra surrounds. The employees working from these locations come from many different walks of life and bring together a unique set of skills and knowledge to the organisation.

These skills and knowledge are utilised in a wide range of programs offered at Waminda. We have teams of case managers who provide intensive support for drug & alcohol, family & parenting, domestic & family violence, sexual assault, justice health and mental health.

At our Kinghorne Street location we have a full accredited clinic where clients can see Aboriginal Health Workers, nurses & midwives, GP’s, attend health checks, develop chronic disease/mental health care plans and gain relevant health education in a culturally safe and welcoming environment.

Health and wellbeing workers run regular gym and exercise sessions for Waminda clients, including nutrition advice and assistance to quit smoking.

We also have workers who focus solely on healing programs, providing counselling and natural therapies, cultural programs, healing on country, and engaging in yarning circles and art projects.

This is just a snapshot of the full range of services delivered by Waminda. We are committed to providing as much support possible, as we walk alongside the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women of the South Coast who are shaping their own lives and journeys.

Your donations will benefit a large community of worthy and wonderful women and their families, by creating a culturally safe environment to access our services and a sanctuary where they can simply ‘be’.

Our Waminda family and clients will be forever grateful for your support. No amount is too small!

DONATE HERE

6.ACT : The ACT Australian of the Year highlights society’s inability to address the “national crisis” that is Indigenous incarceration rates.

Aboriginal entrepreneur and clothing designer Dion Devow has addressed judges and magistrates and lawyers at a ceremony in the ACT Supreme Court to open the new legal year.

In his prepared speech, Mr Devow says that the new year is a time to celebrate achievements, but also to reflect on “things we have not done so well”.

“We need to ensure our failures do not conveniently fall into the shadow cast by the glow of our achievements. It is rarely our favourite topic, but our past failures must provide the first platform for our future goals,” he says.

“It is worth acknowledging that one of our societies biggest failures is our inability to meaningfully address the national crisis that is the over representation of indigenous people in custody.

“Of course this is closely linked to the over-representation of indigenous people in figures on preventable diseases, premature death, alcoholism, drug addiction, mental health and suicide as well as education and employment figures, including I might add within the legal profession.”

He also notes that no Indigenous judicial officer is yet to sit in the ACT Magistrates Court or ACT Supreme Court.

“As uncomfortable as these acknowledgements are, it is only by keeping them at the forefront of our minds that we can attach the required urgency to eventually fix the problem.

“This does not for one minute, detract from the hard work and dedication of the many people that work tirelessly year after year, decade after decade to reduce indigenous over-representation in crime, poor health and under-education.

“Rather it is of concern, that even with so many hard working and dedicated people, we have not only failed to improve the situation, but we have failed to halt its deterioration.”

Mr Devow also calls on the legal community to “acknowledge the truth”.

With reference to the phrase “everyone is equal before the law”, he says while it may technically be true, it fails to acknowledged that not everyone starts the race from the same start line, and not everyone’s race track is smooth and flat.

“Don’t be fooled into thinking that one’s lead over another in the race of life, is the result of their superior effort – it is almost certainly not.”

Monday’s speech is unlikely to be the last of the year for the clothing designer and entrepreneur.

He was awarded the ACT Australian of the Year title for his clothing enterprises and work championing Aboriginal people to achieve their business dreams.

Mr Devow chose to include the word “Darkies” in his clothing label’s name, saying he wanted to reclaim the derogatory term and express pride in his Aboriginal heritage.

Darkies Design, started in 2010, produces contemporary Aboriginal-themed clothes and print media for mainstream, sports and promotional use.

The business collaborates with Indigenous artists and designers to produce Mr Devow’s designs.

Mr Devow works with other Aboriginal people to build businesses and achieve economic independence, in 2014 creating Indigenous business owners network the Canberra Business Yarning Circle.

7.NT AMSANT  : $1.1 billion investment into remote housing welcomed as first step by Commonwealth Government but more needed.

The Northern Territory Government has welcomed Nigel Scullion’s pledge to match the Territory Labor Government’s record 10-year $1.1 billion investment into remote housing.

Minister for Housing and Community Development Gerry McCarthy said this further confirmation is important news for remote Territorians.

“We know that good housing is the key to strengthening remote communities and to improving the lives of people living in the bush,’ he said.

“Matching our $1.1 billion is a good start but it’s crucial the Commonwealth also matches our separate $510 million investment into land servicing.

“These additional funds are crucial for delivering serviced lots equipped with water, power and sewerage, so new houses can be built.

“We will work with the Federal Government to make real change.

“Bizarrely, the CLP opposition have taken an opposing view to their Leader Nigel Scullion, criticising the NT Government and claiming that we shouldn’t be seeking

Commonwealth funding.

“Land serving funding is critical. After more than five years in the job, it’s time for Gary Higgins to deliver something for his constituents and join the Territory Labor Government in

fighting for the Territory’s fair share.

“Labor have put $1.61 billion on the table compared to the commitment from Gary Higgins to remote housing – zero dollars.

“The Labor Government is getting on with the job, standing up for Territorians who are the most disadvantaged in the country with more than half of the nations need for improved

remote housing and new housing.

“We are in desperate need and this critical investment helps the entire Territory

8.VIC : Aboriginal Health Leadership News : New @VACCHO_org CEO Has a Vision for a Culturally Confident Aboriginal Community

View Interview HERE

8. TAS : Cultural Safety consultation in Tasmania

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