- Welfare cards ‘not worth the human cost’
- Healthy Eating – what works at the store
- New National Agreement on Closing the Gap
- NACCHO CEO honoured for COVID-19 response
- Palawa woman new AIDA President
- Food security essential for remote communities
- GPs encouraged to take up mental health training
- Reducing racism in healthcare organisations
- Music’s role as health determinant
- Sista Connections support college students
- New White Ribbon Australia strategic framework
- Indigenist Health Humanities to be developed
- Victorian Aboriginal MP champions public health
- Job Alerts
Welfare cards ‘not worth the human cost’
Cashless debit cards for welfare recipients are not worth the human cost, senators have been told. The Morrison government plans to make the cards permanent in existing trial sites and move welfare recipients in the NT and the Cape York onto the system. A Senate inquiry probing the enabling legislation has heard from academics, charities and Indigenous groups.
Anti-card campaigner Kathryn Wilkes said the system was cruel and demeaning. She told senators the scheme – which limits most welfare spending – had caused stress and mental anguish. “This program is not worth the human cost,” Ms Wilkes said. Fellow campaigner Amanda Smith said the government was legislating segregation. “Whatever the government wants to label what they’re doing, they’re creating and investing in a system of permanent social and economic apartheid,” she said.
Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory chief John Paterson said the public money earmarked for making the card permanent would be better spent on Indigenous housing, education and health. “We want to get people off the welfare treadmill, we want to create jobs,” he said.
Healthy eating – what works at the store
Supermarkets and food retail stores are the principal source of people’s food and beverage needs and are therefore a prime setting to implement changes designed to increase the purchase of healthy food and decrease the purchase of unhealthy food in order to improve population diet and health. There is growing awareness that where foods are placed in shelves is an important marketing strategy.
A recent study from NZ, involving a retailer/academic collaboration, explored the impact of more prominent shelf placement of healthier products. However, the study found that placing healthier breakfast cereals at adult eye level had no impact on sales. Failure to show any meaningful outcomes is not uncommon in this research area, so it is great to see some results from a study with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in remote Australia. The Lancet has just published a study led by Professor Anna Peeters at Monash University in conjunction with the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA)which owns and manages community stores in remote Australia and has looked at the implementation of the co-designed Healthy Stores 2020 strategy.
To read the full article click here.
Let’s work together towards Closing the Gap
The Coalition of Peaks (CoPs) is a representative body of around 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled peak organisations and members that have come together to change the way Australian governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Community-controlled organisations work for and are accountable to their communities, not governments. They believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should have a meaningful say on policies and programs that impact on them through formal partnerships with Australian governments at all levels.
The CoPs and all Australian Governments signed a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap in July this year. This was an historic and exciting moment because it was the first time a national agreement about First Nations people had been made in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, through their community-controlled organisations.
To find out more about the National Agreement on Closing the Gap go to the Coalitions of Peaks website here.
NACCHO CEO honoured for COVID-19 response
The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) has announced it is jointly awarding the 2020 Sidney Sax medal for outstanding contributions to the development and improvement of Australian healthcare. Patricia Turner AM, CEO NACCHO is one of the award recipients for the significant leadership and proactive response as the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact Australia’s health system and communities. Pat Turner ensured that the PM, state premiers and chief ministers took urgent action to protect communities, close down access and prioritise safety to prevent community transmission of COVID-19. Ensuring that governments worked in partnership with communities, and placing culture at the heart of preventative measures, were key to successfully keeping communities safe. In comparison to the devastating incidence of COVID-19 in Indigenous communities abroad, rates of COVID-19 in First Nations peoples in Australia remain proportionately lower than the rest of the population. This successful model of community leadership will have long-term positive impact for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities working in partnership with governments.
To read the full press release click here.
Palawa woman new AIDA President
The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) has announced a new Board of Directors, including the elections of Dr Tanya Schramm, a Palawa woman, as the AIDA President. Tanya is a former AIDA Board member, a General Practitioner and also works for the University of Tasmania as a senior lecturer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. Vice President – Dr Simone Raye is a proud Bardi Jabbir Jabbir woman from the Kimberley. Simone was closely involved with the initial meetings that lead to the formation of AIDA. Simone hopes to strengthen relationships with specialty colleges to help First Nations students and trainees achieve Fellowship and be leaders within their chosen field.
To read the AIDA media release click here.
Food security essential for remote communities
Dietitians Australia is calling for the Government to ensure all Australians have access to affordable, safe, and nutritious food, regardless of their location. This comes ahead of the final report from the Senate Inquiry into Food Pricing and Food Security in Remote Indigenous Communities. Submitting a written response earlier thisyear, Dietitians Australia proposed 16 key recommendations, including the need to develop and implement a national strategy on food security, as well as elevating the status of community stores to an essential service.
“A National Food and Nutrition Security Strategy which includes local voices from remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, is vital to creating practical solutions to support adequate food access,” said Robert Hunt, CEO of Dietitians Australia. “Local food stores often provide the only source of food available for purchase in the community.
GPs encouraged to take up mental health training
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is encouraging GPs in rural and remote Australia to undertake new mental health training to help children who’ve experienced disasters. It comes as GPs across the nation are dealing with increasing mental health presentations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and last summer’s devastating bushfires, and with the next fire season approaching. There are two e-learning courses from Emerging Minds, National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health available to RACGP members on the website: https://www.racgp.org.au/special-pages/login. The first builds knowledge and skills in child mental health assessment and management in general practice, and the second focuses on supporting children and families after natural disaster or community trauma – including in the immediate aftermath, short and long term.
To view the RACGP’s press release click here.
Reducing racism in healthcare organisations
The impact of institutional racism in healthcare, and the steps organisations can take to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, is just one of the topics being explored as part of Dietitians Australia’s inaugural webinar series for NAIDOC week (8–15 November 2020). Dr Chris Bourke, a Gamilaroi man and Strategic Programs Director at Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, will be calling on the healthcare sector to reflect on their governance and structure to improve the outcomes of their healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Dr Bourke, who is Australia’s first Indigenous dentist, highlights the importance of engaging both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people in organisational leadership positions, ensuring a strong foundation to provide equitable healthcare. “Statistics show that just under 50% of the factors that contribute to poor health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are related to racism, intergenerational trauma and lack of cultural safety. We all play a role in reducing this inequality, but to influence change within an organisation, First Australians must be included within the governing team,” said Dr Bourke. Without action, the ongoing impacts of institutional racism are alarming.
To view the Dietitians Australia media release, including details of how to register for their NAIDOC Week events click here.
Music’s role as health determinant
A proud descendant of the Wiradjuri First People of Australia, Griffith University researcher Associate Professor Naomi Sunderland (Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre), has been awarded $820,000 Australian Research Council (ARC) funding (including a Discovery Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award) for the project titled ‘The role of First Nations’ music as a determinant of health’.
This project aims to track how First Nations’ music and musicians are shaped by, and in turn may shape, powerful social determinants of health in Australia. The project responds to calls for health approaches that are strength based, First Nations-led, and culturally secure.
Sista Connections support college students
Young Aboriginal women at Hastings Secondary College are being empowered to take charge of their own futures. The recently launched program Sista Connections aims to identify a student’s individual strengths and nurture those so they grow into tomorrow’s leaders and role models. Sista Connections provides academic support, empowerment through entrepreneurialism and employment, wellbeing and community connections aims to reduce barriers that may prevent Aboriginal girls from completing their education and reaching their full potential.
The program will run across both the Port Macquarie and Westport campuses. Deputy principal Hastings Secondary College, Jacynta Moylan said socially, Aboriginal girls fall behind non-indigenous students in accessing health, education and employment opportunities.
To view the Macquarie Port News article click here.
New White Ribbon Australia strategic framework
White Ribbon Australia (WRA) has announced the completion of its WRA Strategic Framework 2020–2024. WRA has ambitious new aspirations, to move from an awareness-raising organisation, to one focused on taking real, direct action, to eliminate men’s violence against women. There are number of key changes to the new strategy, including their: vision to become a nation where every woman is free from all forms of men’s violence and abuse; purpose to better reflect the importance of the social movement and the need to adopt a community-led approach in reshaping the understanding of what constitutes healthy and respectful relationships; and values to better align to how we will hold ourselves to account as custodians of the movement and to provide a clear framework on how we work with our constituents, partners and the community.
To view the White Ribbon Australia Strategic Framework click here.
Indigenist Health Humanities to be developed
University of Queensland (UQ) Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement), Professor Bronwyn Fredericks has welcomed $7.1 million of new Commonwealth funding dedicated to improving prospects for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including around $4 million for UQ projects. “UQ has been granted three of the nine new research grants announced under the Federal Government’s Australian Research Ccouncil (ARC) Discovery Indigenous scheme for 2021,” Professor Fredericks said. Associate Professor Chelsea Bond has been granted $1.7 million to lead one of the projects, the development of Indigenist Health Humanities as a new and innovative field of inquiry, building an intellectual collective capable of bridging the knowledge gap that hinders current efforts to close the gap in Indigenous health inequality.
To view the full UQ article click here.
Victorian Aboriginal MP champions public health
Yorta Yorta woman Sheena Watt has become the Victorian Labor Party’s first female Aboriginal Member of Parliament. “I lived in Melbourne, we moved around a lot. Like many people we had an insecure housing situation … Mum and Dad were doing it tough,” said Watt. “My Dad was sick he had a disability, one that came about overnight. It was one that placed my Mum, my sister and I as carers. “Not only caring for my Dad, I also cared for nannas and other Elders in my family. It was actually quite a profound experience. I learnt a lot about me, my own family and our family values and cultural values through that experience.”
Watt’s early life established her passion for public health. “I felt like living in the very vulnerable situation that we were, just how important it is to have a strong public health system that really supports everybody that needs it, when they need it and where they need it,” she said. “I really love Aboriginal community control … I believe in strong, civil society, I believe in strong organisations that are connected to and accountable to Aboriginal community.”
To view the full article click here.
TAS – Hobart – Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre
TAC is looking for a chef for a statewide operation promoting the use of native foods as part of an Aboriginal cultural program. Leading the food sourcing, preparation and presentation of the cultural foods, you will be part of a small team presenting Tasmania Aboriginal culture in various locations.
For a position description and application details click here. Applications close Friday 13 November 2020.
Senior Health Policy Officer
A Senior Health Policy Officer is required for a statewide position based in Nipaluna/Hobart. Reporting to the Chief Executive, the position will lead a small team to research, analyse, and draft position papers and policy responses to a variety of Aboriginal health and social policy issues. The position will also lead the organisation’s Training Unit and may represent the organisation with external stakeholders.
For a position description and application details click here. Applications close Friday 20 November 2020.
VIC – Shepparton – Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd.
Casual Chef/Cook – daytime hours and weekends (no split shifts or night shifts)
Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd. has a vacancy for a casual Chef/Cook within it Rumba’s Elders Care Facility services area. To view a job description click here.
Biripi Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre (Biripi ACMC) is a community controlled organisation funded by numerous agencies and levels of government. Biripi ACMC is based in Taree NSW and employs over 100 staff members to provide a wide range of culturally appropriate health and well-being services covering communities across the Mid-Northern NSW Region. Biripi ACMC is seeking to fill the following vacancies. Click on the name of the position to access further information about Biripi ACMC and a job description.
Aboriginal Health Worker – Drug & Alcohol/Sexual Health – Male Designated – applications for CYFC close 5.00 pm Sunday 15 November 2020.
Dental Assistant – applications for CYFC close 5.00 pm Sunday 15 November 2020.
Child, Youth & Family Caseworker – applications for CYFC close 5.00 pm Sunday 22 November 2020.
General Practitioner – applications for CYFC close 5.00 pm Sunday 22 November 2020.