- Census to inform quality health care
- $50,000 raised for Birthing on Country program
- Grant to give babies best start in life
- Alcohol sold to children online
- Elders protected from social isolation
- Psychiatric morbidity higher in mob
- App to reduce ice use
- New process for job advertising
Census to inform quality health care
First Nations surgeon and Worimi man, Professor Kelvin Kong, said Census information helps health professionals and policy makers locate areas of need, and target efforts to improve community health across Australia.
“Census data helps me understand areas where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live, their ages and other basic demographic information.”
“We can combine this with other data to see which areas have better access to hospital treatment, for example, and also see the differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in treatment rates.
“This helps us target our efforts to improve health services by facilitating better access to quality care where and when it is needed.”
“I encourage all our mob to make sure they are included in this year’s Census. It’s the best way to let policy makers know what services are needed, and where, to help us grow and be healthy.” Professor Kong said.
View the case study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics here.
The 2021 Census will be held on Tuesday 10 August.
People living in remote communities will complete the Census during July and August with help from Census staff. Information and resources to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is available here or by phone on 1800 512 441.
$50,000 raised for Birthing on Country program
South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation Waminda have raised over $50,000 for a Birthing on Country program, but more is needed.
The program requires $800,000 to be raised in order to be facilitated, which will help Indigenous women experience their pregnancy in a culturally safe environment. Aboriginal midwife at Waminda, Melanie Briggs said:
“It’s about providing clinical maternity care and embedding culture as part of that.”
“It will also provide social and emotional support and ensure Indigenous women have access to services that they need to.
“The program also invests in Indigenous women for workforce including increasing the number of Aboriginal midwives in the country.”
Grant to give babies best start in life
The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is supporting research to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women currently have limited access to maternity and midwifery care that meets their cultural, spiritual, social, emotional and physical needs.
Research has highlighted the importance of culturally safe models of care for birthing mothers, which help give babies the best possible start in life.
The MRFF 2021 Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mothers and Babies grant opportunity is supporting research that will improve access to culturally safe care during pregnancy, birthing and the post-natal period.
Up to $15 million is available over four years from 2021-22 to 2024-25. You can read more about the MRFF’s Emerging Priorities and Consumer-Driven Research initiative here.
Visit GrantConnect for more information about this grant opportunity.
Applications open on 12 August 2021, and close on 25 November 2021.
Alcohol sold to children online
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and Berry Street are calling on governments to keep families and children safe from the harms from online sales and delivery of alcohol.
A new report by FARE has found children are being put at risk as alcohol retailers in Australia are not required to verify proof of age identification when selling alcoholic products online.
FARE CEO, Ms Caterina Giorgi said that there has been a rapid growth in online alcohol sales in Australia and it’s important we close the loopholes to help keep families and communities healthy and well.
Michael Perusco, CEO of Victoria’s largest child and family services provider, Berry Street, agrees more needs to be done to ensure young people aren’t so easily able to access alcohol.
“For too many, alcohol appears to be an easy escape. But it only adds to the complexities and challenges they face as they seek to recover from their trauma.
Elders protected from social isolation
A new report by the University of Sydney’s Research Centre for Children and Families has brought to light stories of hardship and the incredible resilience afforded to Aboriginal people in caring roles by informal social networks during COVID-19 lockdowns.
“We realised from our research that this was going to be a particularly challenging time for families [caring for children in out-of-home care] because many of them were already dealing with sick children with significant additional needs, and many of them were our older carers,” said lead researcher Dr Susan Colling.
“What we heard was that children in Aboriginal families stepped up. It was very obvious how mutually beneficial the caring was because the children were in the houses with older family members.”
The report shows that for many older Aboriginal carers, having children in the household was deeply protective against the negative impacts of social isolation.
Another surprising finding was how quickly families found ways to keep Elders who weren’t normally carers from becoming socially isolated.
You can read more about this story in the National Indigenous Times here.
Read The University of Sydney Research Centre for Children & Families NSW Carer Support Needs: Coping in the context of COVID-19 report here.
Psychiatric morbidity higher in mob
Limited information exists about the prevalence of psychiatric illness for Indigenous Australians. A study examining the prevalence of diagnosed psychiatric disorders found that there is significant inequality in psychiatric morbidity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians across most forms of psychiatric illness that is evident from an early age and becomes more pronounced with age. Substance use disorders are particularly prevalent, highlighting the importance of appropriate interventions to prevent and address these problems. Inequalities in mental health may be driven by socioeconomic disadvantage experienced by Indigenous individuals.
You can read the Prevalence of psychiatric disorders for Indigenous Australians: a population-based birth cohort study from the Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences journal here.
App to reduce ice use
The number of people using ice in Australia has increased in recent years in many communities.
We Can Do This is a confidential web-app designed to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who use methamphetamine (ice) to reduce or stop using. They are seeking people to test the We Can Do This web-app.
It was developed with input from many people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have used ice.
We Can Do This is free, confidential and easy to use. But they need help to make sure it works.
To do this, they are making We Can Do This available to people to use either by themselves, or with extra support from participating health services.
Anyone who is 16 years old or older; is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and has used methamphetamine (ice) about weekly or more often for the past three months is invited to take part in the We Can Do This trial.
The project is sponsored by South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute with Principal Investigator Associate Professor James Ward.
Visit the We Can Do This website to find out more.
New process for job advertising
NACCHO have introduced a new system for the advertising of job adverts via the NACCHO website and you can find the sector job listings here.
Click here to go to the NACCHO website where you can complete a form with job vacancy details – it will then be approved for posting and go live on the NACCHO website.