NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Over 70% of Australians fully vaccinated

feature tile text 'over 70% of Australians 16+ years fully vaccinated' & watercolour painting of syringe & covid-19 cell

Image in feature tile: Getty Images: Victor Habbick Visions/Science Photo Library. Image source: ABC News.

Over 70% of Australians fully vaccinated

Health Minister Hunt has announced that over 34 Million doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine have now been administered and the number continues to grow with over 86% of Australians aged 16+ being first dose vaccinated and over 73% aged 16+ fully vaccinated. Currently (data as at 24 October 2021) across Australia:

% of Australians with First Dose

  • 4% of Australians Aged 70+,
  • 3% of Australians Aged 50+,
  • 8% of Australians Aged 16+,

% of Australians Fully Vaccinated

  • 8% of Australians Aged 70+,
  • 1% of Australians Aged 50+,
  • 4% of Australians Aged 16+,

Minister Hunt extended his thanks to each and every Australian over 12 for stepping forward and choosing to arm themselves against COVID-19 and said he wanted to especially thank all healthcare professionals across the country, working tirelessly to get these vaccines into arms.

To view this excerpt from Minister Hunt’s newsletter in full click here.

ACCHO helps achieve high vax rates

The number of adults in the Northern Tablelands who have been vaccinated has passed 90%. Statistics for COVID-19 vaccinations show that for those aged 15 or older 90.4% have now received at least one vaccination shot. In Uralla, more than 95% of the population 15 and older has received their first jab.

Once the vaccination rate hits 95% it is simply recorded as higher than that figure, meanwhile 89% in Uralla Shire are fully vaccinated, having received their second shot. Other towns to have passed 90% for first vaccinations are Glen Innes (93.5%) and Inverell (90.3%). In Tenterfield – which is in the state electorate of Lismore – 87% have had their first shot, and 68.6% their second. Moree Plains Shire is the region with the least number of vaccinated, sitting at 85.6%. In Armidale, where two new cases of COVID-19 were announced earlier this week almost 89% have received the first shot, and 77.3% have  the second.

In early September, the region reached 60% of residents having had their first jab. Overall, across the region 78.6% of those aged 15 and over have now received both doses of the vaccine, and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said the high rates were a tribute to many people.

“I think these numbers are incredible. Huge thanks (must go) to the community for turning out in droves, but also to our hard-working GPs, pharmacists, the people at UNE Medical Centre, Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, the local councils, everyone’s played their part in making this happen.”

To view the Glenn Innes Examiner article in full click here.

Beagle Bay community 90% vaccinated

After more than 18 months being closed to outsiders due to COVID-19 there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the remote community of Beagle Bay in WA’s Kimberley with 90% of its eligible residents fully vaccinated. WA has battled to get Indigenous people vaccinated and some communities are facing the prospect of not being able to open with the rest of the state.

In Beagle Bay and its surrounding small communities it is a different story. “We are on the path of getting all our mob vaccinated,” said community chairperson Corinna Sebastian. “I’m really proud of our people, of our Beagle Bay community. Hopefully before Christmas we can be fully vaccinated — the whole community.”

To view the ABC News article in full click here.

Arnold Sahanna sitting at outside table, side view

Arnold Sahanna was the first to get vaccinated in Beagle Bay, setting the example. Photo: Andy Seabourne, ABC Kimberley. Image source: ABC News.

Albury Wodonga to run own testing clinic

Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service CEO David Noonan said he was concerned at the growing number of COVID-19 cases because Aboriginal people were more at risk from the virus. “We would be urging people as quickly as possible to get their vaccinations,” he said. “And to make sure if they’re exhibiting symptoms that they’re tested and that they’re doing everything possible to protect themselves and their family and community.”

Mr Noonan said there had been an increase in the Aboriginal community coming forward for vaccination, but people needed to take protective measures until they get their second dose. “I think the mood is very cautious and I think that people are a little bit fearful about the escalating numbers,” he said.
Mr Noonan said people should reconsider non-essential movement and interaction around the community. “When we have an outbreak in the community we have to be cautious about where we go and what we do and make sure you are logging in and using your QR codes,” he said.
To view the article in full click here.

Image source: Murray City Country Coast GP Training.

$21m for Aboriginal mental health workforce

The NSW Government is investing $21 million to expand the Aboriginal mental health and suicide prevention workforce as part of $131 million mental health recovery package. Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the lockdown has exacerbated underlying mental health conditions and added to people’s distress levels, especially among groups known to be at greater risk of suicide.“

As we return to doing the things we love with the people we love, we want to make sure that no-one is left behind,” Mrs Taylor said. “We know that mental health issues and thoughts of suicide can emerge in the weeks, months and years after a trauma, so our focus over the next two years is connecting people with the most appropriate services and support as early as possible.”Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin said the four-year investment will allow for the recruitment of 18 FTE Aboriginal Care Navigators and 18 FTE Aboriginal Peer Workers across NSW.

“Culture plays a crucial role in our resilience and mental wellbeing, especially for First Australians who have a powerful connection to our beautiful land and their ancestors,” Mr Harwin said. “If culture is understood, respected and valued throughout the mental health journey, it can speed up the recovery and keep people safe from acting on thoughts of suicide.” To view the media release in full click here.

Getty Images. Image Source: SBS News.

Kidney Connection Newsletter

The latest edition of the Kidney Connection Newsletter is available here. This issue includes a COVID-19 vaccine webinar, a check in on the Kidney Australia Red Socks Appeal, details of fantastic Australian research opportunities and encouragement of applications for ANZSN’s consumer panel.

Didamain Uibo having dialysis treatment in Darwin. Image source: ABC News.

Female carers face discrimination at work

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who are mothers or carers are the most likely group to experience discrimination in Australian workplaces. That’s according to a new report that has found Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with caring responsibilities are experiencing a ‘triple jeopardy’ when it comes to their experiences of discrimination and exclusion at work.

Indigenous women who are carers are the least likely to be supported when they experience racism or unfair treatment, and are more likely to feel unsafe in their workplace. They are also more likely to carry the “cultural load” in their workplace, that is, the extra unpaid work and expectations to educate others to make the workplace more culturally sensitive.

These findings come from a follow up of the Gari Yala (Speak the Truth) report that focused on gendered insights, a collaboration between the UTS Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, the Diversity Council of Australia, and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. The report marks the first time the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Australian workplaces have been examined.

To view the Women’s Agenda article in full click here. For further information on the report you can access the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency website here.

Photo: Matt Bamford, ABC Kimberley. Image source: ABC News.

Indigenous Internships program open for applications

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is offering opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in an Undergraduate or Masters degree in a health or medical research or science related field to take up a (virtual) internship in the agency.

NHMRC’s Indigenous internship program provides a wide range of opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to gain insight into the work of NHMRC, as well as to enhance their educational experience through practical work experience.

The internship runs for 200 hours or more from mid-November to mid-January (during the summer university break), however there is flexibility around these timeframes, especially for recent graduates. Internships are a full-time commitment usually around 37.5 hours per week and Indigenous interns are paid at the APS 2 Level salary. 

You can access Indigenous Internship Program Information, which details eligibility and selection, as well as the terms and conditions of the program here.

For further information contact Samantha Faulkner, Director Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Advice on 02 6217 9526 or Katie Matthews, Director Human resources on 02 6217 9217, or request information via email here.

Applications close on Friday 5 November 2021.

Aboriginal art yellow, brown, green, blue overlaid with text 'National Health & Medical Research Council - 2020-2021 Indigenous (virtual) Internship Program

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.

LGBTIQ Women’s Health Conference

Australian experts, researchers, advocates, health professionals and members of the community will converge online on Thursday 4 November 2021 as the 5th annual LGBTIQ Women’s Health Conference kicks off. The conference is the only one of its kind dedicated to exploring and addressing issues of health and wellbeing of queer women in Australia.

Led by ACON and Thorne Harbour Health, this year’s event features a key note presentation of survey findings by UnLEASH – a research team focusing on queer women’s health in regards to smoking, drinking and drugs.

“We’re excited to be back in 2021 for our first virtual LGBTIQ Women’s Health Conference, once again bringing health, social and other pressing issues impacting LGBTIQ women into focus,” Karen Price, Deputy CEO of ACON, said in a press release.It is not only the conference’s accessibility that organisers want to draw attention to, but inclusion, diversity and access will also be on the agenda for discussions on November 4, alongside celebrating all members of Australia’s female LGBTQI community, such as Aboriginal women, Sistergirls, women of color, intersex women, trans and gender diverse women and women with disabilities.

For more information about the conference click here. and to register click here.