NACCHO Affiliate and ACCHO Members Deadly Good News Stories : #National @NACCHOChair @HealthJusticeAu #NSW @ahmrc @IAHA_National @Galambila #VIC @VACCHO_org #QLD @QAIHC_QLD #SA @Nganampa_Health #WA @TheAHCWA #NT @DanilaDilba #ACT @WinnungaACCHO

1.1 National : NACCHO Aboriginal Men’s Health Ochre Day in Melbourne inspires over 200 delegates

1.2 National : NACCHO Acting Chair Donnella Mills to be keynote speaker at Health Justice Conference in Sydney 

1.3 National : The winner of the Puggy Hunter Scholarship, worth up to $15,000 a year announced

2.1 NSW : AH&MRC alongside the Australian Digital Health Agency produce booklet to provide key information to the community about the My Health Record and how to use it

2. 2 NSW : Graduate Rachel Williams now at Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, where her skills and connection to the community are crucial in providing dental care for local Aboriginal people.

2.3 NSW : For Women’s Health Week Galambila these are some of the amazing women on the Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour team 

2.4 NSW : IAHA supports in principle the NSW Auditor-General’s recommendations; particularly the focus on finalising an Aboriginal mental health policy

3.VIC: VACCHO Acting CEO Trevor Pearce sets the scene at NACCHO OCHRE Day Men’s Health Conference Melbourne around issues important for our Victorian men.

4. QLD : QAIHC Sector Leader online Magazine features Lizzie Adams, the dedicated CEO of Goolburri Aboriginal Health talks about need to invest in young people 

5.SA : Nganampa Health Council partnership targeted the availability, affordability, accessibility and promotion of healthy food in remote communities 

6. WA : AHCWA’s TIS team and QALT project officers are currently attend the WA TIS Workforce Development Program.

7. NT : AMSANT reports staff from 3 of their NT ACCHO’s feature in NT 2019 Health Professional of the Year Awards

8. ACT : Winnunuga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and community Services #Historymaking turning of the soil today at 10.30 am

9.TAS : Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Registered Training Organisation short-listed for 4 awards

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 : NACCHO Aboriginal Men’s Health Ochre Day in Melbourne inspires over 200 delegates

“ NACCHO Ochre Day is an important event that reflects on the social and emotional issues our men face and are less likely to seek help for themselves. It is a great platform to hear stories of hope and empowerment and to learn what is working in our communities – of strategies that are successful for our men to take better care of their health and wellbeing.

This year’s conference saw great participation from all 200 delegates who embraced the three focus areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men being in control, innovative and influential.

 Problems were met with solutions, with many delegates taking home new skills and knowledge to face the challenges in improving the health of men in their communities.”

NACCHO’s commitment is to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males to live longer, healthier lives and reduce the rate of preventable hospitalisations, which is almost three times higher than for other Australian men.”

Mr John Paterson, CEO of Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) and spokesperson for NACCHO said in his opening address at the seventh annual Ochre Day Men’s Health Conference over August 29-30 at Pullman On the Park, Melbourne : Hosted by VACCHO

Read full NACCHO Press Release and report HERE

Read John Paterson’s keynote speech HERE

1.2 National : NACCHO Acting Chair Donnella Mills to be keynote speaker at Health Justice Conference in Sydney 

 

Do you work in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled organisation or with First Nations communities?

Do you recognise complexity and wonder how to help people with multiple, intersecting need?

Then Health Justice 2019 is for you!

Over 24-25 September in Sydney, this highly engaging program will bring together everyone working at the intersections of legal, health and social need: practitioners, researchers, policy-makers, funders and community members; across disciplines, services, systems and communities.

A fresh approach to conferencing, Health Justice 2019 is less about talking heads and more about opportunities to learn, share and collaborate.

Sessions of particular interest to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and services include:

  • Keynotes from Donnella Mills and Eddie Cubillo, reflecting on their experiences as leaders in Aboriginal community controlled health and legal services and advocating to improve health in their communities
  • Alistair Fergsuon and other voices from collective impact approaches placing communities at the heart and head of responses to increasing social disadvantage, rising crime and community safety fears
  • Roundtable discussion about health justice partnerships and how they are responding to complex and intersecting need
  • Panels and workshops exploring the social determinants of health and how we define outcomes around what communities want
  • Showcasing organisational approaches to improve workforce resilience and targeted workshops to build strategies to support practitioner wellbeing.

Join us to share your insights and be part of the conversation to set new directions for people with intersecting health, social and legal needs and the services that support them.

Registration includes access to highly targeted workshops building capability to work in partnership and to tell the stories about what you do and why it matters.

Visit the conference website to see the full program and register here:healthjustice2019.org/register.

1.3 National : The winner of the Puggy Hunter Scholarship, worth up to $15,000 a year announced 

Shania Charvat was in a tutoring session on campus when she received a call from someone sending her a well-timed lifeline for uni. And the first thing she did was hang up on them.

She laughs she saw the unknown interstate number and assumed “they were trying to sell me a vacuum cleaner or something”. Shania called back three hours later to learn she’d been awarded the national Puggy Hunter Scholarship, worth up to $15,000 a year.

The Australian Government established the scheme as a tribute to the late Dr Arnold ‘Puggy’ Hunter’s outstanding contribution to Indigenous Australians’ health and his role as chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.  (1991-2001 )

The scholarship is awarded to an Indigenous student in a health-related discipline.

The Bendigo Bachelor of Human Services/Master of Social Work student and Palawa woman says she can’t put into words how much it means to be a 2019 recipient.

“At the time they called I had $9 in my bank account to last me two weeks, and I thought, how am I going to do this? I sobbed on the phone and said, this is lifechanging for me,” Shania says.

“I’ve never been in the situation where I considered leaving university but weeks before the call I started thinking I’d have to go and earn some money before I could continue the course. The scholarship means I can stay at uni and I can get my degree.”

Shania is in the second year of her four-year course. She came to La Trobe straight after finishing VCE at Bendigo Senior Secondary College to study a Diploma of Health Sciences, planning to eventually become a nurse like her grandmother.

“But I found I really loved learning about psychology,” she says. “It was just so interesting to me and I couldn’t put my text books down, which was a first because I’m dyslexic.

“My lecturers recommended I do psychology or social work. I chose social work and I haven’t looked back since.”

After graduating from the Bendigo course Shania hopes to work with young people in prison.

“I want to show them that prison may be where they’re at now, but it’s not going to be their life, we can change it.”

She’s the first person in her family to go to university, but certainly not the last. Shania’s mum, Sam, now studies Education at the Bendigo Campus, her sister Michellie is here completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts, and her younger sister, Takeetah, plans to pursue her love of sociology here next year.

2.1 NSW : AH&MRC alongside the Australian Digital Health Agency produce booklet to provide key information to the community about the My Health Record and how to use it

Check out this great resource for adults: The My Health Record Storybook.

This little booklet was designed by the AH&MRC alongside the Australian Digital Health Agency to provide key information to the community about the My Health Record and how to use it. There is also one for Youth and Parent/Carer/Guardian’s.

To have a read of the storybook, click on the link :

2. 2 NSW : Graduate Rachel Williams now at Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, where her skills and connection to the community are crucial in providing dental care for local Aboriginal people.

Less than three months after she completed her degree, Rachel Williams started work as an oral health therapist in Inverell, not far from her hometown of Glen Innes. Williams is a Ngemba woman working at the Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, where her skills and connection to the community are crucial in providing dental care for local Aboriginal people.

For many of the people she treats, the nearest specialists are a two‑and-a-half hour drive away. “So we do as much as we can here, rather than just referring it on to someone else.”

Four years ago, Williams received the Rotary Aboriginal Oral Health Scholarship. The scholarship was created in partnership with the University’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, established thanks to a $10 million donation from Greg Poche and Kay Van Norton Poche.

It helped her to achieve certificate qualifications as a dental assistant. Afterwards, she began a dental assistant traineeship in Inverell, but dreamed of taking her studies further with a Bachelor of Oral Health.

Again, a scholarship provided crucial support. She completed the degree with support from the Dr Lawrence F Smith Scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students in Dentistry. “Moving so far from my family and friends, leaving my job and relocating to Sydney was challenging,” she says. “The scholarship was invaluable in helping me adapt.

“Being able to help people in my community, to help close the health gap for Aboriginal people in rural areas, it’s something I have always wanted to do.”

2.3 NSW : For Women’s Health Week Galambila these are some of the amazing women on the Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour team 

2.4 NSW : IAHA supports in principle the NSW Auditor-General’s recommendations; particularly the focus on finalising an Aboriginal mental health policy

IAHA encourage investment in Aboriginal-led, community controlled mental health and social emotional wellbeing services for long-term solutions; based on a strong commitment and a future of our own design”

Nicole Turner, Chairperson of IAHA .IAHA contributes significantly to the national dialogue on health and wellbeing access, equity and solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

IAHA supports in principle the Auditor-General’s recommendations; particularly the focus on finalising an Aboriginal mental health policy framework which includes ‘actions to increase the numbers and types of Aboriginal workers across all levels and positions in the mental health workforce.’

Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), the national organisation for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce, welcomes the report from Margaret Crawford, New South Wales Auditor-General.

IAHA contributes significantly to the national dialogue on health and wellbeing access, equity and solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  IAHA supports in principle the Auditor-General’s recommendations; particularly the focus on finalising an Aboriginal mental health policy framework which includes ‘actions to increase the numbers and types of Aboriginal workers across all levels and positions in the mental health workforce.’

IAHA CEO Donna Murray said that, “while there have been improvements in the mental health context for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in NSW, significant work still needs to be done.  Increasing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in the health and wellbeing workforce at all levels is a critical step towards this.”

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce brings solid returns on many fronts, they have the knowledge and the specialist skills to be part of the sustainable solution going forward.  As an extension of the recommendations around the Aboriginal health workforce, IAHA contends that – consideration of training pathways, retention, supervisory supports and employment priorities is essential for sustainable and long-term change.

The Audit states, “NSW Health provides some funding to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to provide mental health services. These non-government organisations have the cultural and clinical capability to support Aboriginal patients with complex mental health needs, but most advise that they lack the level of staffing and resources to meet community demand,” evidences the need to develop, support and promote the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce.

3.1 VIC: VACCHO Acting CEO Trevor Pearce sets the scene at NACCHO OCHRE Day Men’s Health Conference Melbourne around issues important for our Victorian men.

Did you know that our ACCOs serve 7000 fellas throughout Victoria and yet they are still over represented in almost every negative health statistic?

More work to do but we’re still here, and still pushing!

If your wondering who those fellas are up on the screen it’s Wayne Tanner, John Nikkelson and Uncle Barry Fary from Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-Operative in their awesome men’s shed when we went up for a visit (and seriously – that shed rocks!).

4.1 QLD : QAIHC Sector Leader online Magazine features Lizzie Adams, the dedicated CEO of Goolburri Aboriginal Health talks about need to invest in young people 

This edition features Lizzie Adams, the dedicated CEO of Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Co. We hear about the changes she’s seen during her time in the Sector and why it’s important to invest in our young people.

Read it now at https://www.qaihc.com.au/publications/sector-leader-magazine

Every year, during the Ochre Day conference, NACCHO hosts a memorial dinner in honour of Jaydon Adams, a young leader whose contribution to youth participation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health lives on.

See the Foundation Website 

The winner of the 2019 Jaydon Adams Memorial Award was Nathan Taylor from Dandenong and District Aborigines Co-operative Ltd. Pictured here on right with Mark and Lizzie Adams

Nathan was recognised for his exemplary work as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth worker

Nathan Taylor is employed as a Youth Worker at DDACL. In his role he comes into contact with many Aboriginal young people and is always caring about what they are doing and their health and their current situation. He shows exemplary care and concern for his fellow Koori (male or female) and advocates on their behalf with various providers, especially within our organisation.

Nathan Taylor is always concerned about better health for Aboriginal young people. He has been integrally involved in a good health program for young people early in the morning before school. He arranges to pick them up, gets them to a basketball facility and puts them through their paces, then they get ready and changed and have breakfast. He then drops them off at school.

5 SA : Nganampa Health Council partnership targeted the availability, affordability, accessibility and promotion of healthy food in remote communities 

The 12-month project by Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council, Nganampa Health Council, Mai Wiru Regional Stores Aboriginal Corporation and the Prevention Centre targeted the availability, affordability, accessibility and promotion of healthy food.

Originally published HERE

Project researcher Professor Amanda Lee said previous research showed that the turnover of foods in what is usually the single store in remote Aboriginal communities was a good indicator of peoples’ dietary intakes, as validated against objective biomedical data. The results of this study also provide insights into broader nutrition issues affecting other Aboriginal communities and wider Australia.

“We have been assessing food security and dietary intake metrics to inform interventions on the APY Lands since 1986 and, despite everyone’s efforts, nutrition and diet-related health had been getting worse,” Professor Lee said.

“But since the communities introduced this concerted intervention in 2018, the stores we worked with have improved the number, range, quality and relative price of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and wholegrain cereals, improved product placement and promotion, and provided healthy takeaways, to help make healthier choices the easiest choices.”

The research team worked with Mai Wiru Regional Stores and the communities to strengthen their store nutrition policy.

Project officer Rhiannon Hutchinson, a trained nutritionist, also worked with members of two specific communities, implementing a range of community-led interventions to increase demand for healthy food. This involved responding to any requests to help improve nutrition, including cooking, product demonstrations, budgeting, sessions for children and young people, recipe development and ‘bush picnics’.

She also worked closely with store managers to help implement the revised Mai Wiru store nutrition policy in these two communities, in a step-wise approach.

Multiple evaluation methods included assessment of store sales data, costs/affordability using the Healthy Diets ASAP (Australian Standardised Affordability and Pricing) methods, and store nutrition policy compliance. Non-intervention communities functioned as staged controls.

Importantly, the project took a strengths-based approach and built on traditional food knowledge. The main dietary message was to “eat store foods that are most like traditional bush foods”. All organisations worked with the communities to improve capacity, build on traditional nutrition knowledge and skills and build community demand for healthy foods.

During the intervention:

  • Improvement in food security metrics were more marked in the stores in the two intervention communities where scores for product availability, product placement, and promotion increased respectively from 80% to 98%, from 64% to 92%, and from 54% to 100%.
  • Improvement in diet was most marked in the community (Pipalyatjara) where both food supply and food demand strategies were in place the longest; the intake of fruit doubled (from 39g to 79g per person/day), the intake of vegetables increased (from 109g to 133g per person/day) and the intake of sugary drinks decreased by 5%. Reliance on bread as the main dietary source of energy decreased by 20%, suggesting less food stress.
  • The average proportion of energy derived from unhealthy (discretionary) foods and drinks from all stores assessed was stable at 45% (compared to around 37% for non-Indigenous communities). However, at Pipalyatjara, the proportion of energy derived from unhealthy foods decreased to 39%.
  • A healthy diet on the APY Lands became more affordable than an unhealthy diet, costing 15% less; the cost of fruit and vegetables was only 6% higher than in Alice Springs. Over the year, on the APY Lands, the cost of a healthy diet increased by about 2% and the cost of an unhealthy diet increased by 5%. In comparison, in Alice Springs the cost of a healthy diet increased by 7%, while the cost of an unhealthy diet increased by 5%.

The project was funded by the Medical Research Future Fund to address Aboriginal food security and dietary intake. Lack of food security – when all people, at all times, have physical, economic and social access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life – is still a significant contributor to poor health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Professor Lee said the project confirmed that multi-strategy, community-lead nutrition projects focusing on both supply and demand could improve Aboriginal food security and diet rapidly and should be implemented nationally at scale.

“The stores in the two intervention communities now score almost 100% against all the metrics assessed. For example, they have moved sugary drinks fridges to the rear of the store, no longer stock large sizes of sugary drinks, and cross-subsidise the price of healthy choices, such as fresh produce, lean meats and water.

“The key was to work collaboratively to strengthen the store nutrition policy, monitor implementation regularly, feed results back to the communities, and support community demand for healthier options,” she said.

Working with remote communities who can intervene in their food system in a more contained manner than in less isolated communities has resulted in findings that can be applied more broadly to other Aboriginal communities and wider Australia.

For example, the project has shown that there is a direct relationship between product placement and promotion in food outlets and dietary intake. Results reinforce the notion that policy regulation and market intervention are required to improve food security and diet.

6. WA : AHCWA’s TIS team and QALT project officers are currently attend the WA TIS Workforce Development Program.


The National Best Practice Unit for Tackling Indigenous Smoking is hosted the 2-day workshop at the Rendezvous Hotel in Scarborough.

Picture above : AHCWA TIS and QALT project officers with Greg Hire formally from the Perth Wildcats after he presented on the ‘A Stitch in Time’ organisation. Greg founded the organisation in 2014 which aims to provide programs for youth, aged 12-25 in the Perth Metro and Regional communities.

7. NT : AMSANT reports staff from 3 of their NT ACCHO’s feature in NT 2019 Health Professional of the Year Awards

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Health Professional of the Year Awards!

Rebecca Earle, James Arratta, Rrapa Dhurrkay, Dr Meredith Hansen-Knarhoi and Rebecca Matthews were recognised on Friday for their outstanding contributions.

Danila Dilba GP, Dr Meredith Hansen-Knarhoi, has been recognised as the GP of the Year at the NT Health Professional of the Year awards over last weekend.

Dr Hanson-Knarhoi is passionate about Aged Care and women’s health and goes beyond the role of an ordinary GP when caring for her nursing home patients. Meredith’s compassion, humanism and respect for culture sets a strong example for excellence in primary health care.

The 2019 recipients are:

GP or other Doctor working in Primary Health Care of the Year 
Dr Meredith Hansen-Knarhoi (GP, Danila Dilba Palmerston Clinic)

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner of the Year 
Rrapa Dhurrkay (Senior Aboriginal Health Practitioner, Miwatj Elcho Island Clinic)

Nurse and/or Midwife of the Year 
Rebecca Earle (Remote Area Nurse, Julanimawu Clinic Bathurst Island)

Allied Health Practitioner of the Year 
Rebecca Matthews (Remote visiting podiatrist, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress)

Primary Health Care Support Person of the Year 
James Arratta (Belyuen Health Centre)

8. ACT : Winnunuga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and community Services #Historymaking turning of the soil today at 10.30 am

We are across all social media platforms. Make sure you keep up to date with what is happening in our community and around Australia in Aboriginal Health.

Follow the ongoing push for change and massive improvements in moving forward with the new building for Winnunuga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and community Services.

9.TAS : Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Registered Training Organisation short-listed for 4 awards

For the first time, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Registered Training Organisation (NACCHO Affiliate for Lutruwita/Tasmania) entered the above and were short-listed for 4 awards:

Swinburne University of Technology Industry Collaboration Award and Training Provider of The Year for our RTO; and for students trained in our RTO Certificate IV course in Alcohol and Other Drugs – Rotary Club of Deloraine Vocational Student of the Year Award Finalists Keeomee Mansell of the Aboriginal Health Service in Burnie and Janelle Williams of Cygnet now employed by the Bridge Salvation Army in Hobart; and for the TasTAFE Aboriginal Student of the Year Award Finalist, our staff member Dionne Bishop trained by our RTO and employed by the AHS in Hobart, the only finalist candidate not trained by Tas TAFE, won a Special Commendation – the only such award conferred on the night.

A very big night for our only Aboriginal RTO in this State.

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