NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: NACCHO pays tribute to Senator Siewert

feature tile text 'Senator Rachel Siewert thanked for 16 years of advocating for ATSI people' & portrait photo of Senator Siewert

NACCHO pays tribute to Senator Siewert

In a media statement issued today NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills had congratulated and thanked Senator Rachel Siewart for her 16 years of service advocating for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:

“Our sector is saddened to hear of your retirement as a Senator representing WA in the Australian Parliament. The Australian Senate is a much poorer place with your departure.”

“We congratulate you on your influential 16 years of service and your many achievements along the way.”

“While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have lost a strong advocate in Parliament, we look forward to working with your successor. We congratulate the Greens on nominating Dorinda Cox, a Yamatji Noongar woman, to take up the vacant seat left by you in the Senate from next month.”

To view NACCHO’s media release in full click here.

Stan Grant to host pandemic issues forum

Professor Stan Grant will host a FREE online a public forum from: 10.30am-11.30am – Thursday 26 August 2021 to raise awareness of the issues that are impacting First Nations communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will highlight the obstacles that have led to inequitable access to testing and vaccinations.

Professor Grant, Charles Sturt University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Chair of Australian-Indigenous Belonging, will lead an expert panel for ‘COVID: Our Lives Matter’: an online discussion and question-and-answer session.

This is not just a First Nations issue, with the ongoing spread of the Delta strain through communities in western NSW including Wilcannia, Walgett and Dubbo, the Charles Sturt-run forum will bring together First Nations leaders and health experts to ask and address questions like:

  • Why have First Nations communities not received vaccines?
  • How are we protecting our communities First Nations and others?
  • Why have we failed once again to ensure that First Nations Australians receive equitable health care?

For further information on the forum click here.

microscope image covid-19 virus cells, Charles Sturt

Prepare health system now for more COVID-19 cases

As Delta outbreaks continue to impair health systems around the country, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) is calling for more to be done to address hospital capacity.

AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid says hospital capacity could be a significant constraint when the country opens up and is urging the federal, state and territory governments to do more to prepare hospitals.

You can listen to the Dr Omar Khorshid’s interview with Fran Kelly on RN Breakfast yesterday (Thursday, 26 August 2021) here and view a transcript of the interview here.

portrait shot AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid in suit with AMA logo in the background

AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid.

Forbes walk-in COVID-19 clinic this weekend

A walk-in Covid-19 vaccination clinic is coming to Forbes this weekend. Head down to the Council Town Hall, 2 Court Hall, Forbes on the following days/times:

  • Saturday 28th August, 10am – 4pm
  • Sunday 29th August, 9am – 4pm
  • Monday 30th August, 9am – 3pm

You will need to bring a form of identification and your Medicare card.

Remember to come prepared with food and drink, as the queue may be long based on the demand these clinics have seen in Dubbo and Parkes. Check the weather forecast and prepare.

The following people are eligible for vaccination at this clinic:

  • 12 years and over – Pfizer for people who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or have a significant underlying medical condition or disability.
  • 16 – 59 years – Pfizer for people from the general population.
  • 60 years and over – AstraZeneca (exemptions for those in this group wanting Pfizer will not be available at this walk-in clinic, please make an appointment with a suitable provider).

To view the Forbes Advocate article in full click here.

sandwich board on grass outside building text 'COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic' - NSW Government logo

Image source: Forbes Advocate.

App translates complex medical terminology

Improving health care for Australia’s Indigenous communities is a national imperative. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that between 2018 and 2019 almost a third of Indigenous people did not have access to appropriate health services.. This was mainly due to cultural barriers including language constraints, discrimination and cultural appropriateness.

Addressing deep-rooted social issues will play a major part in rectifying Aboriginal health inequality. Technology is not the sole fix, but integrating community-driven solutions through digital health care is a step in the right direction.

Lyfe Languages is an example of how we’re supporting to bridge the healthcare gap that Indigenous communities face. An award-winning digital app, Lyfe Languages supports the translation of complex medical terminology into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages across Australia.

Balancing physical and mental health

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt says the Morrison Government has welcomed the release of the National Policy Roadmap to Being Equally Well, which aims to improve the physical health care provided to Australians living with serious mental illness. “The Being Equally Well Roadmap is aimed at reducing the life expectancy gap for people living with a mental illness, and shows that physical health and wellbeing must be a priority for health care providers when working with a person living with a mental illness.

People with a serious mental illness are more likely to die between 14-23 years earlier than the average and their deaths make up around one third of all avoidable deaths in Australia.  They are six times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease and four times more likely to die of respiratory disease. We need to ensure that these rates are turned around.”

To view the media release click here.

ball balancing two balls like seesaw - one with text 'physical health' the other with text 'mental health'

Image source: Harvard Health Publishing, adapted.

Territorians paint town purple

Thousands of Territorians have painted the town purple, with Coles and its customers raising $60,000 in just two weeks to support Indigenous health provider Purple House. The money raised will help deliver essential social support, health care and culturally safe dialysis services to remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

For every Coles customer who donned the colour purple during their Coles shop or while filling the fuel tank at Coles Express, Coles donated $1 to the cause. Customers also generously purchased $2 donation cards, bought in-store raffle tickets, supported bake sales and barbecues, and rounded up the cost of their groceries with additional donations.

To view the Coles media release click here.

Coles check-out operator wearing purple t-shirt with Purple House logo, Purple House logo

Image source: Coles website and Purple House website.

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.
dice spelling JOBS resting on keyboard

BLAKSOUND digital music conference

BLAKSHOUND, a 100% First Nations youth led digital music conference featuring Baker Boy, Ziggy Ramo, Troy Cassar-Daley, Christine Anu, Alice Sky and more will be held from Monday 6 – Wednesday 8 September 2021.

BLAKSOUND is a FREE online music event for our young ones. And a great way to keep their minds healthy during lockdown.

The conference program is jam packed with important First Nations artists and groundbreakers from across so-called Australia, and includes keynotes, panels and workshop topics. For more information about the conference click here and to register click here.

tile purple background, text 'BLAKSOUND' & vector image of Aboriginal person's head with purple headphones in right bottom corner of the tile