NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: NACCHO 2020-2021 Annual Report is here

feature tile text 'NACCHO 2020-2021 Annual Report available now' & image of cover of AR

2020-2021 NACCHO Annual Report

The 2020–2021 NACCHO Annual Report is now available to view.

It showcases the work and achievements of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector and includes the audited financial statements for 2020–2021 and can be accessed here.

image from page 40 of NACCHO 2020-2021 Annual Report, Emily & Kate showing 1.5 m social distancing required

Image from page 40 of the NACCHO 2020-2021 Annual Report.

Extension of NT COVID-19 measures

The Australian Government is extending the COVID-19 measures it has introduced to protect remote communities in the NT facing current outbreaks. The determination under section 477 of the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act 2015 will extend until 6:00 PM Wednesday 1 December 2021, it prevents people from entering and/or exiting the Robinson River and surrounding homelands.

The restrictions limit the movement of people in and out of these communities for only essential reasons, while the virus is present in these communities. The initial Determination, and this extension, have been requested by the NT Government and supported by critical stakeholders, including the Northern Land Council, the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT) and  NACCHO.

To view the media release in full click here.

'welcome to Robinson River Community' sign, settlement in background

There are about 350 people in Robinson River. Photo: Sue Miller. Image source: ABC News.

Grave fears for NT COVID-19 prognosis

Low vaccination rates in some Indigenous communities mean that while Australia is opening up, remote communities are at serious risk, according to health experts. Even as authorities try to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in Katherine and Robinson River, across the NT about half of Aboriginal communities still have a vaccination rate below 50%, and about a quarter have rates of less than 25%.

CEO of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT), John Paterson holds grave fears about the COVID-19 prognosis for the NT. “We’re expecting more cases. I don’t want to alarm people but that’s what we’ve got to be prepared for,” he said. “This Delta virus is very, very fast-moving. It will spread like wildfire throughout the community and we’re seeing that already, unfortunately.”

The umbrella organisation for Aboriginal health services across the country,  NACCHO, is worried that while some Indigenous communities are 100% fully vaccinated, others are lagging far behind. NACCHO CEO Pat Turner, said what is happening in the NT is a warning to other jurisdictions where the rollout of vaccines to Indigenous communities is still lagging. “I’ve always said that I wanted 100% vaccination of our people before the country opened up. Well, obviously that hasn’t happened,” she said. “The NT have now got their wake-up call and we should not have to wait until these infections get in before the health authorities get in and start the vaccinations. They’ve got to do it now.

To view the ABC article in full click here.

health worker in PPE, 2 Aboriginal adults with masks, young child, wall with Aboriginal art in background

There’s deep concern in Katherine and its surrounding Indigenous communities about the COVID-19 outbreak there. Photo: Michael Franchi, ABC News.

NACCHO Chair on proposed voter ID rules

NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills has spoken to the National Indigenous Radio Service about how proposed voter ID rules (Electoral Legislation Amendment (Voter Integrity) Bill 2021) will disenfranchise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. You can listen to Donnella Mills speak by clicking on the link below.

Mental health care lacking in jails

The death of a First Nations prisoner has highlighted the ongoing shortfall in culturally appropriate mental health care in Queensland jails, a coroner has found.

State Coroner Terry Ryan said over-representation rates of First Nations people in custody have increased significantly in 30 years since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

More than one-third of adults in custody in Queensland identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, while the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate for those aged at least 18 was 14.5 times the rate for others, according to 2020 figures, Mr Ryan said in his published findings. “Consultation with Queensland prisoners by the Office for Prisoner Health and Wellbeing in early 2021 identified that access to mental health treatment options remains a significant concern for prisoners,” Mr Ryan added.

To view the full article in the Riverine Herald click here.

mural highlighting statistics of Indigenous deaths in custody

Mural highlighting Indigenous deaths in custody. Image source: Riverine Herald.

Funding for Indigenous Marathon Project

$3.9 million in federal funding has been allocated to improve the health of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by encouraging healthy, active lifestyle changes and addressing risk factors for chronic disease. The Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF) recruits 10 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people each year as part of the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP), to engage in health, running and leadership programs to become healthy lifestyle leaders in their own communities.

Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said the IMF has a significant record of preparing young people to undertake marathons in Australia and prior to the pandemic, internationally. “Running a marathon is a serious commitment which takes focus, determination and stamina, and the participants’ achievements each year are inspirational,” Mr Frydenberg said.

To view the media release in full click here,

New standard of care for anaphylaxis

New standard of care to manage anaphylaxis will save lives

Each year more than 11,500 Australians present to emergency departments with a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Australia has one of the highest documented rates of hospital anaphylaxis admissions in the developed world.

A new national standard of care for anaphylaxis released today will improve care and save lives. It emphasises the need for prompt treatment and continuity of patient care between acute and general practice healthcare settings.

The Acute Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard was developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, in consultation with consumers and healthcare professionals.

The clinical care standard is being launched today via a live one-hour webcast event. Experts in emergency medicine, paramedicine, immunology and general practice will discuss barriers to prompt recognition of anaphylaxis, appropriate treatment, safe discharge and best practice care after anaphylaxis.

Webcast event: Register to attend the virtual launch at 1:00pm AEDT today

Download a copy: Acute Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard

Media releaseNational standard of care for anaphylaxis will save lives

Please share this news with anyone in your network who may be interested.

For more information, visit our web page or email

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.

Elimination of Violence against Women Day

Tomorrow, Thursday 25 November 2021 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This year’s theme is Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now! Orange is our color to represent a brighter future free of violence against women and girls. Be part of the orange movement!

Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. In times of crises, the numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts and climate disasters. A new report from UN Women, based on data from 13 countries since the pandemic, shows that 2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman they know experienced some form of violence and are more likely to face food insecurity. Only 1 in 10 women said that victims would go to the police for help.

For further information about the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women click here.

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