- Communities can rely on trusted ACCHOs
- Cultural shawls encourage breast screening
- ACCHOs well equipped to deliver vaccine
- Vaccine benefits far outweigh unfounded side-effects
- Have your say on opioid use
- Remote Jobs Plan for the NT
- Family violence support still lacking
Communities can rely on trusted ACCHOs
The first batch of potentially life-saving COVID-19 vaccine has arrived at Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services in northern WA. “We knew our only way out of this was a vaccine – to be here 12 months later is a remarkable feat,” medical director Lorraine Anderson told AAP. Last Friday a thousand doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were delivered to the Broome clinic by a courier, and health workers are due to begin delivering the jabs on Monday.
You can view the full article in The Corowa Free Press here.
The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation (CAAC) has also received the first vaccines destined for use in all CAAC clinics in Phase 1B of the national vaccine rollout. At CAAC, Phase 1B includes staff and Aboriginal people over the age of 18, living in town and Congress-serviced remote communities in Central Australia. This is very important for CAAC, who has been very active in the service delivery, advocacy and public health space since the start of the pandemic. “We’ve been gearing up for this for some time. We know that vaccines – and community immunity – are the way out of the pandemic, and the only way to keep our communities safe from the virus in the longer term” said CAAC CEO Donna Ah Chee.
To view Donna Ah Chee’s media release click here.
You can also view a short video about Aboriginal health services in the Top End campaigning to encourage Indigenous Territorians to get vaccinated against COVID-19 here.
Cultural shawls encourage breast screening
Artwork by Echuca’s Alkina Johnson-Edwards has been chosen for the upcoming Beautiful Shawl Project at Njernda Aboriginal Corporation. The project is a partnership between the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and Breast Screen Victoria to address barriers facing indigenous women getting a breast screen.
It sees a local artist’s work printed onto shawls to be worn by women during their appointment in one of Breast Screen Victoria’s mobile vans. Ms Johnson-Edwards called her artwork Winyarr Malka, meaning “Woman Shield”, with the design representing the strength and support given to women affected by breast cancer. Njernda community engagement officer Kristie Hearn said the whole experience was designed to create a safe atmosphere for women.
To view the full article click here.
ACCHOs well-equipped to deliver vaccine
According to NACCHO medical advisor, Dr Jason Agostino the “Aboriginal health sector is extremely [well] equipped in delivering large-scale immunisation programs and has been working hard to support communities during the pandemic.” To view The Guardian article Aboriginal health sector overcoming major challenges to deliver first Covid vaccine jabs with Dr Agostino’s comments click here.
Vaccine benefits far outweigh unfounded clot links
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has commented on decisions in Europe to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to reports of a potential link with thrombotic (clotting) events. Based on evidence to date, the ATAGI do not see any reason to pause use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia.
Thrombotic events occur commonly in the absence of vaccination and rates of thrombotic events are not higher in vaccine recipients than the expected background rate. No cases of coagulation disorders have been identified following COVID vaccination in Australia. Clotting disorders are designated as ‘adverse events of special interest’ that are closely monitored.
To view the ATAGI statement in full click here.
Have your say on pain treatment & opioid use
NACCHO is working on a project to create some support materials for pain management and the use of opioid medicines, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We are looking for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people consumers and health professionals to take part in group discussion to understand the important issues so that the materials we make can be useful.
If you are a health consumer and experience pain and use opioids or are interested in pain management as a practitioner in your ACCHO we invite you to contribute to this project.
We will provide financial compensation for your participation.
To apply or learn more please contact Fran Vaughan at NACCHO by phone 02 6248 0644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remote Jobs Plan for the NT
Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT (APONT) is calling on Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt and Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston to get behind APONT’s Remote Jobs Plan for the NT. APONT Governing Group member, John Paterson said, “We have heard many comments from around the country today about the Commonwealth’s failed program to create 1,000 Jobs for remote Aboriginal people. The Canberra package has delivered just 99 jobs in the NT since 2019 yet we have the widest employment gap in Australia. Just 37% of Aboriginal people of working age have a job compared with more than 80% of non-Aboriginal Territorians. We must do so much better than 99 jobs.”
Mr Paterson added, “To make remote employment work, governments must face the fact that jobs out bush are rare and many are held by non-Aboriginal people. Resources in Aboriginal controlled organisations are also scarce. We have created an NT Jobs Plan that will create 5,000 jobs with a focus on training and employment of young people. Funding will be required for 5 years with an option to extend, so Aboriginal Controlled Organisations can create real jobs, reduce poverty, get people off CDP and provide some long term security for those positions.
Family violence support still lacking
Five years after the Royal Commission into Family Violence, rates of violence against Indigenous women continue to increase and organisations promised consistent funding say they still have to plead for money to develop programs. Antoinette Braybrook, the chief executive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island family violence prevention and legal service Djirra, said Aboriginal children were still being taken away from families because “mothers are not supported to escape the violence”. Leaders working in specialised family violence services say a lack of long-term funding and not enough focus on prevention has failed to bring “everyone into the tent” and remove the barriers women face when trying to receive culturally sensitive support.
Indigenous adults are 32 times as likely to be hospitalised for family violence as non-Indigenous adults, and are more likely to be murdered by a family member, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Productivity Commission research also shows the rate of Aboriginal children taken into out-of-home care is also increasing, with family violence shown to be the main driver of child removals.
To view The Age article in full click here.