- Dr Dawn Casey awarded Sidney Sax Medal
- CAAC vax blitz going well
- “Get The Jab!” short films
- Top 3 vax questions answered
- New rural healthcare model needed
- National Cultural Respect Framework
- Indigenous Health Equity Unit projects
- Earlier access to Age Pension fight
- New process for job advertising
- Save the Date
Dr Dawn Casey awarded Sidney Sax medal
The winner of the Public Health Association Australia’s 2021 Sidney Sax Public Health Medal Award is Dr Dawn Casey PSM, Deputy CEO of NACCHO, and Co-Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group on COVID-19. The Sidney Sax Medal is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the development and improvement of the Australian healthcare system in the field of health services policy, organisation, delivery and research (excluding clinical research).
In accepting this Sidney Sax medal, Dr Casey said “I would like to recognise the amazing work of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples past and present who are part of our community controlled health sector. Our services were established out of a need for our people to have not only access to health care but also care that is culturally safe. Our sector is fiercely radical too. Our model is an act of self-determination.”
Dr Casey referred to this comment of a participant at a recent consultation session on the development of a core services framework, which articulates our model of comprehensive primary health “To call yourself a comprehensive primary health care service, you need more than a ‘sick care service’. You also need to be public health advocates to garner action on poverty and overcrowding. You must invest in communities, develop leaders and reclaim community empowerment, you must look to act on social determinants of health as well”.
CAAC vax blitz going well
Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC) and Tangentyere Council have recently partnered to provide pop-up clinics to Alice Springs town-camp residents, with the aim to get 50% of their clients throughout Central Australia fully vaccinated by the end of the year.
Currently, in the middle of their vaccination blitz, CAAC CEO Donna Ah Chee, says that progress in the blitz is going well, but there are some challenges in encouraging people to get vaccinated. You can listen to an interview with Donna Ah Chee here.
“Get The Jab!” short films
The Northern Land Council and the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT (AMSANT) promoting the “Get The Jab!” message as told in a series of seven short films to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among Aboriginal Territorians.
Outback icon Constantina Bush along with Kamahi Djordon King sends a strong – if somewhat cheeky – message in one of the films. Speaking from Katherine in the heartland of the Top End, Constantina has a serious message on misinformation online about COVID-19: “People should be really careful with information they see on Facebook, TikTok or other social media. To get the right story, go to your clinic or talk to your health worker, your doctor or your nurse. Everyone should get vaccinated to protect our families, our communities and our performing arts.”
Top 3 vax questions answered
The Top 3 questions asked on the Department of Health’s (DoH) social accounts regarding COVID-19 are:
- Why do you need to get tested even if you only have mild cold and flu symptoms?
- Is the COVID-19 vaccine the same formula for adults and children?
- I’m pregnant, what are the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine compared to the risk getting sick if I catch COVID-19?
In the video below Professor Michael Kidd answers these questions.
For further information you can access the DoH website here.
New rural healthcare model needed
The National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) estimates the federal government is saving $4bn in rural areas through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme because of staffing shortages and lack of access to health services.
The NRHA wants a new model of healthcare for rural communities. It says rural populations’ lack of access to health services, due predominantly to the difficulty in attracting and retaining a rural health workforce, is driving the deficit in health expenditure.
Boe Rambaldini, a Bundjalung man and the director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Sydney, says that while the government is nowhere near closing the gap between non-Indigenous and Indigenous health outcomes, he has high praise for the NACCHO model. “They’re the frontline and they’re so important, they’re the ones really making a difference, given their position in society they’re punching above their weight and delivering the goods.”
NACCHO states that “studies have shown that Aboriginal controlled health services are 23% better at attracting and retaining Aboriginal clients than mainstream providers”.
You can access the Guardian article in full here.
National Cultural Respect Framework
The National Cultural Respect Framework 2016-2026 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health was developed for the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Standing Committee and should be used in the government health sector, health departments and hospital and primary health care settings to guide strategies to improve culturally respectful services.
Cultural Respect is defined as: “Recognition, protection and continued advancement of the inherent rights, cultures and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.” This framework outlines six domains that underpin culturally respectful health service delivery:
- Whole-of-organisation approach and commitment
- Workforce development and training
- Consumer participation and engagement
- Stakeholder partnerships and collaboration
- Data, planning, research and evaluation
You can access the Cultural Respect Framework here as well as a short video about the framework below.
Indigenous Health Equity Unit projects
The University of Melbourne’s Indigenous Health Equity Unit undertakes research that is underpinned by principles of Indigenous community development and that will lead to long-term improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The Unit works in partnership with the Koori Community and appreciates the support of Community Elders. The Unit’s work draws on a variety of academic disciplines including health sciences, social sciences, history, political science, education, health promotion, public health and child health.
One of the unit’s projects is: Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future, a community-based participatory research project which aims to co-design, develop and implement perinatal awareness, recognition, assessment and support strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal) parents experiencing complex trauma.
Another project is Developing a culturally responsive trauma-informed public health emergency response framework for First Nations families and communities during COVID-19. This research aims to explore the question: ‘Is it time for trauma-informed public health?’
To read more about the Indigenous Health Equity Unit and their research projects click here.
Earlier access to Age Pension fight
Indigenous men and women don’t live as long as other Australians, and many will die before they finish working. On average, life expectancy at birth is 71 for Indigenous men and 75 years for Indigenous women. That’s 8.6 years less than non-Indigenous men and 7.8 years less than non-Indigenous women.
This is why Uncle Dennis is taking on the fight to give Indigenous retirees earlier access to the Age Pension. “I think, yes, Aboriginal people deserve this thing because we suffered so long in this country, for over 200 years … it would be good to help some of my people.”
To view the ABC News story in full click here.
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.