NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Pharmacist scholarship recipients announced

Pharmacist scholarship recipients announced

NACCHO is pleased to announce that five recipients will receive funding and support for their pharmacy studies through the inaugural NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacist Scholarship, proudly supported by a grant from Sanofi Australia.

The successful recipients are:

  • Bryony Forrest, Victoria
  • Jai-ann Eastaughffe, Queensland
  • James Sowter, Victoria
  • Jason Coleman, South Australia
  • Louis Emery, Queensland

The scholarship aims to build the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pharmacist workforce and includes tailored mentoring from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders. Though the scholarship was initially established to support two applicants, the quality and number of applicants led to the expansion of the program to include five recipients.

Dr Dawn Casey PSM FAHA, NACCHO Deputy CEO said, “NACCHO was impressed with the calibre and volume of applicants we received, especially in this first year of the scholarship’s implementation.

“We are proud to provide opportunities that help build leadership and skills amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals, who are significantly underrepresented in the pharmacy profession.”

Associate Professor Faye McMillan, a proud Wiradjuri Yinaa (woman), Deputy National Rural Health Commissioner and Pharmacist said, “Look at what is possible when there are strong relationships between organisations such as NACCHO and Sanofi, the benefit to individuals, families and communities of these scholarships is transformational. Congratulations to all the recipients, I am excited to see where their journeys take them and the future of the pharmacy workforce.”

Sanofi Australia and New Zealand Country Lead, Karen Hood said, “We couldn’t be more pleased to celebrate the success of NACCHO’s inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacist Scholarship and are proud to support its expansion from two to five recipients this year. Congratulations to the five successful students, to the judging panel, and to the team at NACCHO whose leadership will see this scholarship build the skills of future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pharmacists.”

You can access NACCHO’s media release here.

Associate Professor Faye McMillan

Associate Professor Faye McMillan, a proud Wiradjuri Yinaa (woman), Deputy National Rural Health Commissioner and Pharmacist. Image source: NACCHO website.

Enrolling to vote – what you need to know

Your vote is your voice on the laws and decisions made in Australia’s Parliament that affect you and your community. By voting in elections, you have the opportunity to choose the people you think will best represent your views in Parliament. Voting is also important to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people because the right to enrol and vote in federal elections was not extended to all Indigenous Australians until 1962.
With a federal election on the horizon (Saturday 22 May 2022) you may need to brush up on what you need to know and do to be enrolled and ready to vote. A National Indigenous Television (NITV) article published yesterday provides information on:
  • WHO can vote
  • WHY you should vote
  • the ELECTORAL ROLL
  • HOW to enrol
  • WHEN to enrol

The deadline for enrolling to vote in the Saturday 22 May 2022 federal election is 8:00PM Monday 18 April 2022 – only 6 DAYS LEFT!

young woman with laptop enrolling to vote

Image source: NITV website.

Vote for better health services for mob

Dr Michelle Kennedy, Vice-President Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health at the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), is urging voters to embrace the Uluru Statement and “use [their] vote to bring about better health services for – and by – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Dr Kennedy said “This continent’s First Peoples were healthy enough to live here for tens of thousands of years, creating the world’s longest-lasting cultures. Then, colonisation. In a few generations the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ populations declined dramatically, and so did much of their health and wellbeing – connected as it was to country and culture which were stolen, damaged or destroyed.”

“First, all people in Australia need to embrace the deep commitments agreed to five years ago in the Uluru Statement from the Heart – that everyone tell the Truth about our past, give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a real Voice, and all of us talk and reach lasting agreement on how to walk together. Truth-telling and nation building are critical to truly closing the gap in health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

To view the Croakey Health Media article Reclaiming health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in full click here.

Nursing and midwifery award finalists

The 2022 HESTA Nursing & Midwifery Awards recognise nurses, midwives, researchers and personal care workers for their outstanding work to provide exceptional care, leading the way for improved health outcomes.

Among the finalists this year is a First Nations woman, Melanie Briggs, who has spearheaded the first Aboriginal-led maternity model of care in Australia. Ms Briggs, who works at Waminda South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation, has been recognised for her work to improve First Nations’ maternal and infant health. A descendant of the Dharawal and Gumbayngirr peoples, Melanie is the Director and Founder of Binjilaani, the first Aboriginal-led maternity model of care in Australia.

Winners will be announced on the evening of Thursday 19 May 2022.

Midwife Melanie Briggs

Midwife Melanie Briggs. Image source: South Coast Register.

New approach to juvenile offending

Punishment, policing, detention and other measures to reduce serious repeat offending by juveniles is often derailed by entrenched behaviours and an offender’s unwillingness to walk away from their co-offending peers. However, a new model of mutual group support called ‘Yunga Nungas: Future Leaders’ is being seen as a positive way to help deter and reduce further offending.

In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders comprise about 3% of the population but represent more than 30% of the adult prison population. High levels of incarceration and social disadvantage can influence serious youth offending and crime in communities.

“This new approach draws upon the power of group dynamics to address serious repeat offending and also puts Aboriginal community mentors and dedicated case workers with lived experience at the forefront,” says Professor Mark Halsey, from the Centre for Crime Policy and Research at Flinders University.

“Above all else, the young men drew strength from each other’s encouragement and were able to build a new positive sense of self, while helping their peers do similar. A steady reduction in the frequency and severity of offending was observed over the three years of the study.”

You can view the Flinders University media release in full here.

BRAMS March 2022 newsletter

Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (brams) have released the March 2022 edition of their newsletter. The newsletter includes a CEO Report as well as articles covering details of their employee of the month, the Rural Health West Awards, new sraff, COVID-19, the NDIS group, TIS education at football, SEWB groups and more. You can access the newsletter in full here.

Healthcare access for LGBTQIA+ community

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) hosts conversations and interviews with people in our community to discuss current issues, address myths and common questions, and think about what we can do to best protect the public and support the safe delivery of healthcare in Australia. APHRA’s Taking care podcast series offers professional and consumer perspectives on current issues and answers some frequently asked questions about public safety in healthcare.

In a recent Taking care episode, writer and editor Jasper Peach and comedian and writer Toby Halligan talk about their experiences accessing healthcare as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

You can listen to the full episode of the podcast 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.

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