NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: 14th anniversary of National Apology

14th anniversary of National Apology

Link-Up (Qld) will host a morning tea on Monday 14 February 2022 to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.  Dr (Aunty) Ruth Hegarty, who grew up in the dormitories at Cherbourg, and Aboriginal activist Patricia Turner AM, CEO NACCHO and Lead Convener of the Coalition of Peaks will deliver keynote speeches on the occasion.

After 14 years, the Apology still holds considerable meaning for Aunty Ruth. “The Apology in 2008 brought up emotions and memories of a lifetime of unresolved hurt and opportunities lost. For my mother and me it was too late,” she said. “The continuing acknowledgement of this day, whilst significantly political, hopefully will move the nation forward in achieving the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders seek in consolidating our status as the First Nations people,” Aunty Ruth said.

Through this annual event, Link-Up (Qld) acknowledges the resilience and strength of the Stolen Generations and their families, recognises the multiple ways that intergenerational trauma can manifest, and draws attention to pathways to justice for First Nations Australians. “You would be hard pressed to find one of our families that have not been impacted by the forceful removal of our children and the ongoing disruption to our family structures, our cultures and way of life. Not only will this take dedicated effort, healing and time to repair, we also need to address the current rates of our children’s removal from our families,” said Patricia Turner AM.

As Convenor of the Coalition of Peaks, Ms Turner is behind the historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in 2019. “The National Agreement on Closing the Gap provides a way forward through commitments by governments to shared decision making between our peoples and governments on matters that impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and support for our community-controlled organisations to provide our families and children with the services they need, delivered in a safe way,” she said.

For further information on the Link-Up (Qld)’s Anniversary of the National Apology 2022 morning tea click here.

Image source: State Library NSW website.

Supporting ACCHO access to digital health

The Australian Digital Health Agency is looking forward to hosting webinars to support ACCHOs through the NASH PKI Certificate transition and maintain access to Digital Health tools. Multiple sessions of both webinars listed below will be offered during February–March 2022:

A closer look at the roles of Responsible Officer (RO) and Organisation Maintenance Officer (OMO)

In order for healthcare organisations to maintain access to important digital health tools such as electronic prescribing and My Health Record, they need to ensure that a current NASH PKI certificate is installed. NASH PKI certificates may be expiring in March 2022 for many organisations. NASH PKI Certificates need to be renewed by an Responsible Officer (RO) or Organisation Maintenance Officer (OMO) in your organisation. This session will explain the responsibilities of these individuals and the process of delegating the roles to staff within an organisation. If your organisation has undergone a change of ownership or a change in responsible officer will provide you with guidance on how to complete the steps required to update these details and manage Organisation Maintenance Officers. This will allow your organisation to complete NASH PKI Certificate renewal and installation. You can register for this webinar here.

Renewing a NASH PKI Certificate for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs)

In order for ACCHOs to maintain access to important digital health tools such as electronic prescribing and My Health Record, they need to ensure that a current NASH PKI certificate is installed. NASH PKI certificates may be expiring in March 2022 for many organisations. This session is designed to step you through the process of requesting and renewing a NASH PKI certificate for your ACCHO to ensure you can continue to use these digital health tools. It is recommended staff members acting in the role of Organisation Maintenance Officer (OMO) in your organisation attend the session as they are responsible for renewing NASH PKI certificates. OMOs are also encouraged to check they can log into PRODA prior to attending, to ensure the demonstrated steps can be easily completed following the session. You can register for this webinar here.

For additional information and resources you can access the Australian Government Digital Health website here.

ACCHO healthcare worker at desk, digitalhealth.gov.au for healthcare providers logo

Ironbark healthy ageing study

NSW services that work with groups of older Aboriginal people (45 years and older) are being invited to participate in the Ironbark study. The study compares the health impacts of two programs: Standing Strong and Tall program and Healthy Community program.

We will fund and train services to run one of these programs weekly for 12 months.

Join an information session from 11 AM – 12 PM Monday 21 February 2022 to find out more.

You can access a flyer for the information session here and obtain the zoom link for the information session by emailing Sallie using this link. For more information about the Ironbark project here.

Chronic Kidney Disease professional webinar

Kidney Health Australia’s first health professional webinar for the year Case Study:  Early Detection & Management of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) 2022 will take place on Tuesday 22 February 2022.

CKD remains an under-recognised condition in Australia, due to the asymptomatic nature of the disease and low awareness among Australians regarding the risk factors for CKD. Join Kidney Health Australia with Nephrologist, Professor Karen Dwyer, as she discusses the importance of early detection, how to detect CKD and current treatment options to delay the progression of this under-diagnosed disease.

This is a Royal Australian College of GPs accredited activity for 2 CPD points. Activity # 223614.

To register for this webinar, you will require a Zoom Account. If you do not have an existing Zoom account sign up here here. If you have a Zoom account register here for the webinar.

Mental health care for youth urgent

The following is an extract from the article The reality of mental health care for young people, and the urgent need for solutions article published late last year in The Medical Journal of Australia:

The transition to adulthood is the peak period for the onset of the mental and substance use disorders that have such serious impacts on the productive years of adult life. Mental ill health is by far the principal source of burden of disease for people aged 12–25 years, and at least 50% of young people will experience mental health problems. Further, the mental health of young people has been steadily undermined in recent decades by a cluster of socio‐economic forces. This syndemic trend has accelerated during the COVID‐19 pandemic, with surveys and health department data documenting the wave of distress, mental ill health, and suicidal behaviour flowing into emergency departments and bloating waiting lists.

We saw a 25% global increase in anxiety and depression during 2020. This surge or “shadow pandemic” was predicted by Orygen modelling in May 2020. The under‐resourced mental health system has been overwhelmed in Australia, with general practices and headspaces inundated, emergency departments flooded with demand, and the mental health workforce dwindling and exhausted. While telehealth keeps the channel partially open, care has become detached, dispersed, and diluted. Despite welcome policy and funding announcements, timely access to quality care for young people with mental ill health is more difficult than ever.

To access the article in full click here.

Photo: Greedy Hen. Image source: The Guardian.

Making a difference in Aboriginal health

In the heart of central Australia, Celeste Brand, a young Aboriginal woman and Curtin social work graduate, is improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal mothers and their children. Brand, 28, has Arabana (SA) roots grounded in Eastern Arrernte. She currently lives on Central Arrernt Country, which covers the land occupied by the township of Alice Springs (Mparntwe) and surrounding areas.

Brand is a social worker with the Australian Nursing Family Partnership Program, which provides primary healthcare to Aboriginal mothers and mothers to-be living in and around Mparntwe. As part of her role, Brand helps women to stay healthy during pregnancy and their baby’s formative years. She also helps them connect to services, set goals and foster nurturing family home environments. “We work with pregnant mums right through until the child’s second birthday. I work alongside nurses, midwives and Aboriginal community workers. Some of my work includes advocacy, assessment (safety, risk and psychosocial), referral and liaising with community services,” Brand explains.

With the gap for quality of life and life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians as wide as ever, Brand says it’s crucial for Indigenous people to have autonomy over their own health practices. “It allows Aboriginal people to be involved in decision-making about us and for us. Control of and access to health care by Indigenous people allows us to make decisions about our health in line with our priorities and our ways of working.”

To view the full article about Celeste Brand on the Curtin University website click here.

Celeste Brand with her 9-month-old daughter, Miranda Stuart, at Alice Springs Hospital

Celeste Brand with her 9-month-old daughter, Miranda Stuart, at Alice Springs Hospital. Photo: Emma Murray. Image source: Curtin University website.

Up to $10,000 for professional development

The Health Workforce Scholarship Program (HWSP) provides scholarships and bursaries to help health professionals in rural and remote Australia retain and enhance their skills, capacity and scope of practice. The Program is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health, administered in NSW by NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN).

The HWSP is available to medical, nursing, midwifery, allied health, dental and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals providing primary health care in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) sector, non-government organisations and private practice.

For further information about the HWSP and to apply click here.

tile text 'Health Workforce Scholarship Program Recipient Debbie Hopper' - NSW Rural Doctors Network logo & portrait shot of Debbie Hopper

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.

National Condom Day

National Condom Day is on Monday 14 February 2022, a day to promote healthy sexual relationships and encourage the use of condoms and dams. Condoms and dams are the best forms of prevention of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and condoms can also prevent unintended pregnancy.

With national rates of STIs rising it’s important that people understand the benefits of condoms. Condoms are 98% effective at protecting against most STIs like syphilis, HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhoea. However, condoms don’t protect you from all STIs such as syphilis, herpes and genital warts. Using condoms correctly will prevent them breaking, leaking or slipping off during sex. Use only water-based or silicone lubricants, not oil-based.

If you’re sexually active you need to get regular STI tests. If you have any symptoms or are worried about your sexual health, then arrange a test straight away with your doctor or sexual health clinic.

For more information about National Condom Day click here and to access the Young Deadly Syphilis Free Campaign website click here.

jeans pocket with 3 condoms sticking out: one in black, one in yellow, one in red foil

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