NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ACCHO Deadly Children Good News stories : #QLD @Wuchopperen @ATSICHSBris @DeadlyChoices #VIC @VAHS1972 #NSW Redfern AMS ACCHO #SA @AHCSA_ #WA @TheAHCWA #NT

1.1 National : In 2018–19, NACCHO and the RACGP are working on further initiatives and we want your input!

1.2 National The Fourth Action Plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children (2009-2020 ) launched

2. 1 QLD : ATSICHS ACCHO Brisbane launches Deadly Kindy Program 2019

2.2 QLD : Wuchopperen ACCHO Health Service Parenting Programs Make A Difference to Cairns Families

3. NSW : Redfern ACCHO Aboriginal Medical Service : School’s back this week! – Is your mob up to date with immunisations?

4. SA : AHCSA : Health survey for 16-29 year olds to give young people a voice

5. NT : Will $7.9 million be enough to address chronic hearing problems in Territory children?

6.1 WA : AHCWA and students from Curtin University came out to Midvale to conduct Ear Health Checks for all the children

6.2 WA : Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS) : Children in your car ? Fines of up to $1,000 if you are smoking

7. VIC : VAHS JUNIOR 12-15 years Pre-Season for Life is coming in 2019!


How to submit in 2019 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 Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : In 2018–19, NACCHO and the RACGP are working on further initiatives and we want your input!

Survey until 15 Feb 2019 : To participate in a short survey, please CLICK HERE

Please tell us your ideas for

-improving quality of 715 health checks

-clinical software -implementation of the National Guide

-culturally responsive healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

More info 

1.2 National The Fourth Action Plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children (2009-2020 launched

This is the first Action Plan under the Framework that has a standalone focus on improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are either at risk of entering, or in contact with child protection systems.

This is in recognition of the fact that the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care is ten times that of non-Indigenous children,”

Assistant Minister for Children and Families, Michelle Landry 

Today (30 Jan ) at the launch of the 4th Action Plan under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, SNAICC Director Natalie Lewis presented our new resource, The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle: A guide to support implementation.

” The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (ATSICPP) aims to keep children connected to their families, communities, cultures and country while ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people participate in decisions about their children’s care and protection.

SNAICC – National Voice for our Children has developed a Guide to Support Implementation of the ATSICPP. Based on the new resource, SNAICC has held workshops with state and territory government child protection practitioners and policy makers, to support better implementation of the Child Placement Principle.”

Download the Fourth Action Plan HERE 


The Fourth Action Plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children (2009-2020) has been launched by the Government today following endorsement by state and territory Community Services Ministers across Australia.

The National Framework was established by the Australian Government in partnership with states and territories and the non-government sector, as a long-term national approach to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Australia’s children.

Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, says that the launch of the Fourth Action Plan is the next critical step in improving the way we, as a nation, care for and protect Australia’s children.

“The guiding philosophy of the National Framework is that protecting children is everyone’s business,” Minister Fletcher said.

“The endorsement of this Action Plan demonstrates that all levels of government across Australia are committed to working together to improve the safety and wellbeing of Australia’s children and young people.”

“Through this final Action Plan under the National Framework, we will build on and embed the important reform work under the National Framework to date, and continue to work towards providing a safe, nurturing environment for all children and young people.”

1.3 National : Healthy lunches for our kids going back to school

Healthy Lunchbox Week is a Nutrition Australia initiative that aims to inspire parents and carers across Australia to create healthy lunchboxes their children will enjoy.

Did you know children consume around 30% of their daily food intake at school? Most of this comes from the contents of their lunchbox. What children eat during their day at school plays a crucial role in their learning and development.

Healthy Lunchbox Week helps families prepare healthy lunchboxes by:

  • inspiring healthy lunchbox ideas and recipes
  • ensuring a healthy lunchbox balance across core food groups
  • awareness of lunchbox food hygiene and safety

We know each state starts their school year at a different time.

Healthy Lunchbox Week dates are based on the week before the first state goes back to school.

Check out our #HealthyLunchboxWeek website for recipes, inspiration and more!

2. 1 QLD : ATSICHS Brisbane launches Deadly Kindy Program 2019


What is a Deadly Kindy?

A Deadly Kindy is a kindergarten program for children aged 3 to 5 years old. We understand the importance of your child’s kindergarten year in preparing them for their transition to school.

Our children: are connected and culturally safe: immersed in programs that value and build on languages and practices brought from their families.

  • Connections: to culture and community are key drivers for program design: supported and influenced by community and elders.
  • Needs are identified early: receiving health checks upon enrolment (or before) enrolment, and work with speech and occupational therapists weekly, affording early assessment and intervention.
  • Our educators: are continually upskilled: working alongside therapists.
  • Innovative programs: leveraging ATSICHS Brisbane’s comprehensive educational, health and human allied services and resources, to wrap around our children and families.
  • Families are crucial to a child’s development: our specialist teams and programs target and strengthen the capacity of families.

What will my child learn?

At kindy your child will learn through play. They will explore, create, investigate, experiment, imagine, extend their knowledge and develop relationships with others. They will be given opportunities to gain confidence in social settings, to develop relationships and become resilient negotiators. Going to kindy will help your child learn early literacy and numeracy concepts and develop communication skills to help their reading and writing.

The Deadly Kindy difference

Our Deadly Kindys have a focus on supporting and strengthening children’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity through programs that are inclusive of the children’s culture, language and learning styles. As a parent or carer of a young child, you are the main influence on your child’s development. Deadly Kindy exists to help you with this important role.

Our program is based on the Queensland Kindergarten Curriculum Guidelines (QKCG). Deadly Kindy values the importance of play-based programs and is child centered, driven by observations of the children and also input from families and the community.

Children’s healthy development is vital for their learning and wellbeing and lays the foundation for a happy and healthy life. Families have access to a range of ATSICHS Brisbane services and programs including:

  • Health promotion materials and activities on dental health, healthy eating and physical activity and health, child development and parenting information.
  • Child and family health services, such as maternal health nurses and child health checks.
  • Primary health care services such as speech pathology, occupational therapy and nutrition groups, young mothers’ groups, fatherhood programs and Aboriginal health programs.
  • Child and adolescent mental health services including therapy for children and parents.
  • Allied health: services such as occupational therapists, speech pathologists and other allied health staff provide an allied health program to build the skills and knowledge of staff and parents to support children’s development. Activities include:
    • developmental screening
    • staff development sessions
    • parent consultations
    • parent and child group programs
    • short-term intervention for children.

Find out more or book a  place

For more info or to book your place call 3239 5381.


For more info or to book your place call 07 3239 5381.

Get a free pre-Kindy health check and enrol today!

You can bring your child in for a free, pre-Kindy health check. Enrol them in Kindy and get a FREE Deadly Choices shirt!


Talk to our receptionists at one of our clinics to find out more today.

Logan Clinic

41 Station Road, Logan Central QLD 4114, phone: 3240 8940

Loganlea Clinic

Unit 4, 653 Kingston Road, Loganlea QLD 4131, phone: 3239 5355

Browns Plains

Village Square | 20-24 Commerce Dr, Browns Plains QLD 4118, phone:  3239 5300

Remember we now also open Saturdays from 8.30am – 4.30pm

For all other clinics.

2.2 QLD : Wuchopperen ACCHO Health Service Parenting Programs Make A Difference to Cairns Families

Wuchopperen Health Service Limited (Wuchopperen) has been providing a variety of parenting programs to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in the Cairns region to develop parenting skills and reduce the prevalence of mental health, emotional and behavioural problems in children.

In 2018, Wuchopperen saw 29 families graduate from our key parenting programs including Circle of Security, Parenting Under Pressure, and Triple P. Each program focuses on a different element of parenting and the many challenges of raising children at various ages.

Lorna Baker, Manager of Wuchopperen’s Children and Family Centre says the parenting programs not only develop the confidence of parents, but also of the children.

“We see huge changes in the families who participate in our parenting programs. The children are a lot more confident, and a number of our parents ask our educators for additional activities to do with their children at home.

The programs are all about creating positive relationships between parents and children and giving parents the tools to do this. The programs also provide parents with a support group of other people who might be going through similar issues,” says Lorna.

Following the huge success of the programs focused on families run by Wuchopperen in 2018, 2019 is set to be a great year for Wuchopperen and our clients.

“Throughout 2018 we had to establish an additional playgroup to accommodate the number of families coming through Wuchopperen. It is really great to see the progress of all the families and how our team is able to cater to the individual needs of everyone who walks through our doors,” says Lorna.

The team at Wuchopperen’s Children and Family Centre consists of Early Childhood Educators, Family Support Workers and Child Health Workers who can provide a holistic service to all our families.

3. NSW : Redfern ACCHO Aboriginal Medical Service : School’s back this week! – Is your mob up to date with immunisations?

4. SA : AHCSA : Health survey for 16-29 year olds to give young people a voice

Great work happening down at Survivalay in Semaphore by the AHCSA team.

Health survey for 16-29 year olds to give young people a voice

5. NT : Will $7.9 million be enough to address chronic hearing problems in Territory children?

AS the hot sun beats down on the red dirt of Bathurst Island, three-year-old Joel Heenan sits inside a renovated shipping container outside the community’s health clinic.

To see all images view WEB

From the NT News

The steel rectangle been transformed into an audiology booth, allowing young Tiwi Islanders to get their ears tested by specialists.

Clutched in Joel’s tiny hands is a picture book with bright illustrations of dogs, babies and sheep. He slowly flips through the pages from the warm comfort of his uncle’s lap.

From behind a closed door a button is pressed and a warbling high-pitched sound fills the room.

Joel doesn’t hear it. He’s distracted, fiddly. The sound continues to ring. He still isn’t sure.

Finally, he looks up — and is treated with the sight of a bouncing toy as a reward. A cheeky grin from Joel but the test is no laughing matter.

The fact is at only three-years-old, little Joel already has moderate hearing loss.

JOEL’S mum, Rowena Tipiloura has four kids. Two of them have problems with their ears.

Joel has a hole in his right eardrum, something which may soon need an operation. Joel’s big sister had an operation to patch up a burst eardrum when she was only six.

“After the patch, it’s been much better,” Rowena says of her older child.

“Joel is not too bad, he talks a lot at home. Knows his fruit, animals, loves his uncles.

“They got a little problem.”

Rowena’s not worried about her youngest child’s hearing, believing it is good enough to get by.

It’s not neglect, not disinterest, not out of a lack of compassion for Joel.

Rowena clearly loves her son — it’s obvious in the tender way she holds him, the way she strokes his short, fluffy hair and the way she lights up when she talks about his love of family. Rowena wants the best for Joel.

But his ears just aren’t her biggest concern. Not when it’s so normal for people to be hard of hearing in her community. Not where there are so many other significant health concerns to worry about.

JOEL is one of 425 Australian kids under the age of three taking part in an ear health study with the Menzies School of Health Research.

The program has been running for nearly seven years and, so far, the findings paint a disturbing picture about the ear health of kids living in remote Territory communities.

One toddler in the study has had an active infection and burst eardrum for six months. He’s only 18-months-old.

And in another case, an ear infection was recently detected in a four-week old baby.

Aboriginal kids have the highest rates of otitis media, a middle ear infection which can cause hearing loss, in the world.

According to federal health figures, only five per cent of one-year-old indigenous kids living in remote communities have bilateral normal hearing. This means 95 per cent of one-year-old indigenous kids living in remote communities can’t hear normally out of one or both of their ears.

Last year, thousands of hearing specialists services were provided to Aboriginal children and other young people in the NT.

But still, nine in 10 Aboriginal kids under the age of three in remote Territory communities have ear disease. Most of them will develop hearing loss which will affect their early brain development and set them on a path of disadvantage.

Early diagnosis and treatment in the first 1000 days of a child’s life can treat the disease but that rarely happens.

Disturbingly, just 13 per cent of the 2000 cases Menzies researchers recently examined and prescribed antibiotics for were followed up using best practice.

Which means just 13 per cent of the kids in desperate need of treatment are getting what they need.

In 2019 the $7.9 million Hearing for Learning program will be rolled out across remote communities in the NT.

The five-year initiative aims to address chronic hearing problems in Territory kids and is jointly funded by the NT Government, Federal Government and the Balnaves Foundation.

It’s expected to reach 5000 Territory children, with a focus on kids under three.

Infections are hard to pick up in babies because they rarely show signs of being in pain, which is why frequent checks are vital.

Led by Australia’s first indigenous surgeon — ear, nose and throat specialist Dr Kelvin Kong and Menzies School of Health Research professor Amanda Leach — the program will train and employ community members to help diagnose and treat ear disease and hearing problems in local children.

But how can this program work when so many before it have failed?

Prof Leach is realistic about the challenges facing service delivery in remote areas and is concerned at how many people fail to follow up with treatment.

“The guidelines say the children (prescribed antibiotics) should be seen within a week to make sure the ears aren’t getting worse, but that isn’t happening,” she says.

Prof Leach says ear disease is so common in remote Territory communities, it’s “normal” for young kids to struggle to hear.

Sadly, this “normalising” of the condition means parents don’t worry when their children show signs of hearing loss or “pus” ears.

In remote communities, Prof Leach says indigenous families face so many immediate health concerns — like rheumatic heart disease, hunger, housing instability — that issues with hearing quickly falls down the priorities list.

Sisters Mary Pilakui, 3, and sister Latoya Pilakui, 8, wait for Mary’s hearing test. They live in a house with 10 kids and eight adults. Housing security is a real concern in their community.

“Ear disease to a large extent is poorly understood and underestimated as a health issue in remote communities, they are dealing with a lot of other things,” Prof Leach says.

“The resources to deal with this issue are totally inadequate.

“It’s just overwhelmed with other issues in the clinic, and I think the families are probably very busy with things as well.”

Many people living remote don’t have reliable cars to travel to a health clinic, and as it’s not a service which can be delivered in homes, explains Prof Leach.

Even if they get to the clinic, ear specialists only visit remote communities every few months so the responsibility for checking ears falls to clinic staff.

And staff are often overwhelmed with other checks or not properly trained to use specialist equipment.

Even if they do remember, ear tests aren’t always pleasant — and a wiggly, irritated, and crying child rarely provides clear ear test results.

But Prof Leach is optimistic this new program can succeed where others have failed.

She says chronic ear conditions in remote communities won’t be cured by flying in more specialists but by upskilling community members who have strong connections with local families.

“The question is — how can we bolster resources within the community so there’s an expert within the community every day — so there is someone there to look at these kid’s ears, do those follow ups, support the family and support the fly in-fly out services that are still needed,” she says.

After a six-month training program, trained locals will act like the “glue” between primary healthcare providers, fly-in, fly-out specialists, families and the kids.

These workers might not have a medical degree but they have an established relationship with families and can note down red flags for follow-ups.

“If we do this well, it should work, and it should be a good model for communities to take more — more control of the country child healthcare — it’ll better inform the community, the family, the children, themselves,” she says.

MENZIES research nurse Beth Arrowsmith has been studying the ears of remote Territory kids for about five years.

Menzies research nurse Beth Arrowsmith checks the ears of Mary Pilakui, 3. She’s been studying the ears of remote NT kids as part of the program for about five years.

In all that time, she’s seen no “real improvements” in the rates of ear infections.

Ms Arrowsmith says until remote indigenous Australians are no longer living in poverty, ear infections will continue to plague them.

“We put it down to the social determinants of health, it’s overcrowding, its poor hygiene, its nutrition, the availability of services, specialists — all of those things combined,” she says.

“You’re talking about ear disease, it’s not a new thing. Any headway is very slow to make.

“It will be a very long time — the housing is inefficient, there is overcrowding. We spoke to a mum the other day who had 18 people in their house. 10 kids and eight adults.

“How can you possibly keep clean in that environment?”

Audiologist Janine Pisula says ear disease in indigenous communities isn’t a new issue, but it is a serious one.

“We’ve got to remember that the community brings up a child,” she says.

“And the community is so used to people with ear disease that they automatically do things to accommodate them.”

Ms Pisula wants the focus put back on ears — as hearing loss can impact a child’s potential.

“Kids with better hearing speak better, more clearly — they find it easier to learn, to understand the world around them,” she says.

“Hearing loss can impact someone for their whole life.”

Young kids with hearing loss are more likely to fall behind in school, become disconnected from their peers, and struggle to build relationships as they grow older.

And older people with hearing problems are more likely to feel depressed and develop dementia.

MURRUPURTIYANUWU Catholic School on Bathurst Island welcomes kids from preschool to year 13.

For nearly all of the students enrolled at the community school, English is not their first language — with the majority of indigenous kids speaking Tiwi at home with their families.

Deputy principal Stacey Marsh says hearing problems are a “huge” issue at the small school, but the kids themselves aren’t keen to wear aids that make them stand out.

“We don’t know if it’s the language barrier or the ears,” she says.

“When children can’t hear you, they can’t learn. It’s very hard to get the message across.”

Teacher Caroline Bourke has been at the Bathurst Island school for about three years and is worried about the long-term opportunities for kids on the island.

Of the indigenous population behind bars in the NT, 90 per cent have hearing loss.

It’s a troubling statistic which shows a clear downward spiral.

“(Poor) hearing is an enormous problem, it impacts big time on what they’re able to take home from lessons,” Ms Bourke says. “It’d have to be the biggest problem we face.”

She estimates 60 per cent of the kids at the school have trouble hearing, but says any new program set up to tackle the issue will have to go to the families — instead of expecting families to travel into the clinic.

One solution she sees is hearing tests and treatment options rolled out at school, which should improve the treatment rates of young kids.

IN the metal audiology booth, little James Orsto, 3, rolls a blue plastic truck along the table in front of him.

His mum, Gregorianna Orsto, watches her boy’s slow calculated movements from a chair just an arm’s length away.

James Orsto, 2.5, has his hearing tested in Bathurst Island.

From the other side of the screen, Janine Pisula presses a button and the same high-pitched warbling tune which alluded Joel echoes across the tiny room.

Instantly, James stops, and points at where he knows a toy is about to jump around.

Straight away, the tiny Tiwi Islander is greeted with the sight of a bouncing teddy.

He grins, and quickly returns to the toy truck in front of him.

Gregorianna smiles at her boy. James is her youngest son and his hearing is a priority.

“It’s very important,” says Gregorianna.

“(James) has no problems with his ears, he’s chatty at home.

“He’s really helpful at home, he can say ‘Mummy’, ‘Daddy’, ‘tea’ — he loves drinking tea.”

Gregorianna’s older boy, Angelo, had problems with “pus ears” when he young, so she knows the warning signs of ear disease.

Her partner’s ears sometimes cause him pain, and his hearing is far from perfect.

She doesn’t want little James to have the same challenge, so when specialists visit Bathurst Island in a few shorts months, Gregorianna will make sure her youngest son has his ears checked.

She’ll do everything she can to make sure James’s future sounds bright.

6.1 WA : AHCWA and students from Curtin University came out to Midvale to conduct Ear Health Checks for all the children

Students from AHCWA’s Ear Health Training course attended the My World Childcare Centre in Midvale to practice their ear health skills on the little koolangka’s

My World Childcare Centre responded

Thank you so much to the lovely ladies from the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA) and students from Curtin University who came out to Midvale to conduct Ear Health Checks for all our children today. We appreciate your time,effort and knowledge in looking after the health of our families.

6.2 WA : Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS) : Children in your car ? Fines of up to $1,000 if you are smoking

Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS) runs the Puyu Paki program and which is the Western Desert (Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu and Kunawarritji) ACCHO

Have you thought about who else is breathing in the smoke you put in your car? Puyu Paki – Don’t Smoke, Give it Up!

7. VIC : VAHS JUNIOR 12-15 years Pre-Season for Life is coming in 2019!

Last summer we brought you “Pre-Season for Life”, this year we are bringing it back in a JUNIOR version for young people aged 12-15!

All abilities & fitness levels are welcome, whether you play sport or not, join us for an afternoon of fun activities to get your body moving.

Details above, or for more info call 03 9403 3346.

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