NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Community control will help CTG

Image in feature tile is of the Government of Western Australia WA Country Health Service Lombadina Djarindjin Clinic Boor Ambooryin Jirrar. Image source: Dampier Peninsula Police Twitter post 10 December 2021 welcoming the outstanding success by the crew at Djarindjin/Lombadina Clinic in achieving vaccination rates at approximately 94% 1st dose and 76% 2nd dose.

Community control to help CTG

Funded through the State-Commonwealth Health Innovation Fund and the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service (KAMS), the transfer of management from WA Country Health Service to KAMS will see Lombadina Djarindjin and Ardyaloon (One Arm Point) health clinics align with the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. The move is part of an eventual aim to establish an ACCHO to manage the services. Established in 1986, KAMS already supports eight independent ACCHOs in the Kimberley.

The transition of the health clinics is community-led and designed to improve access to culturally safe primary health care services to around 735 people living in the Djarindjin, Lombadina and Ardyaloon communities – which are accessed via Cape Leveque Road, about 220 kms north of Broome. WA Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said, “Studies show that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are in control of the decisions that affect their lives, they have better health and wellbeing.”

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services CEO Vicki O’Donnell said “The transition of the health clinics to an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation is an important step towards Closing the Gap and it reflects the strong partnership between KAMS, the community and the State Government.”

To view the WA Government media statement Community control of Aboriginal health clinics to help close the gap in full click here.

KAMS CEO Vicki O’Donnell OAM. Image source: CRANAplus.

Headway in reducing SIDS for mob

First Nations babies are three to four times more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) than non-First Nations infants. The long-awaited results of a joint research on safe-sleeping practices in First Nations families are now available. The study was conducted by Charles Sturt University, Flinders University, SA Health, the Aboriginal Health Council of SA (AHCSA), and the Women and Children’s Health Network (WCHN).

The Pepi Pod ® program trialled the use of the Pepi Pod ® – a plastic box that has been created to safely sleep infants either in or nearby the parents’ bed, in First Nations communities in SA. Associate Dean (Research) and Professor of Nursing in the Charles Sturt Faculty of Science and Health Professor Julian Grant said the research approach was well received and had a positive impact on increasing education on safe sleep practices in First Nations communities, “Over 91% of the families found that the Pod supported safe sleeping and was beneficial to their family unit overall.” 89% per cent of families found the Pod convenient to use and 97% want to keep the Pod to use with their next baby.”

Professor Grant said the Pedi Pod was more of a tool used to connect with First Nations families within the broader program of teaching safe sleep practices, “The Pod was more like a talking stick in that it enabled families to share safe sleep messages between generations and enabled health professionals, to demonstrate respect for cultural practices. The Pod served as a jumping-off point to have a broader conversation around safe sleeping practices in general.”

To view the Charles Sturt University article Culturally appropriate approaches make headway in reducing SIDS in First Nations families in full click here.

Image source: South Coastal Babbingur Mia Facebook page.

First Nations women head to Canberra

More than 50 First Nations women from across Australia have travelled to Canberra to learn about the federal political system while forming powerful networks at Oxfam Australia’s Straight Talk National Summit. Kicking off yesterday, the 5-day summit will see women from across the country gain invaluable insights into political processes and build on their skills to create positive change in their communities.

Executive Lead of Oxfam’s First Peoples Program and proud Wamba Wamba, Yorta Yorta, Dhudhuroa and Dja Dja Wurrung woman Ngarra Murray said the return of the summit after a three-year hiatus represented so much to First Nations women and communities, and is especially significant given Linda Burney’s appointment as the first Aboriginal woman Minister for Indigenous Affairs. “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from across the country have again gathered on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country for Straight Talk; bound by a mutual commitment to empower their communities and to contribute to real, positive change for generations to come,” she said.

“The women will get the chance to sit down with Parliamentarians, develop more tools to engage with the political system and establish lifelong relationships. Most importantly, Straight Talk supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to amplify their voices and realise their right to self-determination — ensuring that they have a seat at the table to make decisions about the things that directly affect their lives and communities.”

To view The National Tribune article Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and community leaders head to Canberra for Straight Talk 15 August in full click here.

Executive Lead of Oxfam’s First Peoples Program and proud Wamba Wamba, Yorta Yorta, Dhudhuroa and Dja Dja Wurrung woman Ngarra Murray. Image source: IndigenousX website.

Urgent need to bridge rural health care gaps

Bridging social distance was the theme of the recently concluded 16th National Rural Health Conference, which focused on rural health innovation and collaboration to address the pressing issue of health care accessibility and disparities in health outcomes in rural and remote Australia. Hosted by the National Rural Health Alliance (the Alliance) in Brisbane from 2–4 August 2022, the Conference saw over 700 delegates from Australia’s health sector engaging in discussions on enabling better health services and facilities for people living in rural Australia.

The Alliance Deputy Chair Dr. Stephen Gourley said the overarching theme of the feedback was that “rural and remote communities are not just smaller urban communities but require different models of care and funding”. “The Alliance has two key policy platforms: a new National Rural Health Strategy and the Rural Area Community Controlled Health Organisations (RACCHO) model,” said the Alliance’s outgoing CEO Dr Gabrielle O’Kane. “Local community leadership and co-design, block funding and secure models of employment are core components of the RACCHO model and key to improving access to multidisciplinary primary health care in rural areas. We urge policymakers to take action,” she said.

You can read the National Rural Health Alliance media release 16th National Rural Health Conference calls for urgent action to bridge rural health care gaps in full click here.

Image source: NRHA Partyline on-line magazine.

Study into OAMS Youth Access Project

Aboriginal wellbeing has been a key area of the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health’s(CRRMH) translational research activities. Work included collaborative research in the development and/or evaluation of culturally appropriate projects, including Staying’ on Track, Go4Fun, We Yarn and the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) Youth Access Project.

The CRRMH is a collaborator in a study into the OAMS Youth Access Project, along with OAMS and researchers from the University of Sydney and Western Sydney University. The project aims to improve access and service delivery within OAMS for Aboriginal young people by providing an evidence base to inform service level changes and the development of an OAMS Youth Program.

Further details about the projects mentioned above are available on the Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health Aboriginal Wellbeing webpage, available here.

Image sources: White Pages and dentist.com.au.

Second round AGPT 2023 intake

Broaden your horizons with the AGPT Program with the RACGP

Here’s your chance to start on a varied and rewarding career path as a GP. Applications for the 2023 Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program are now open until 11.59‌ PM AEST on Tuesday 30 August 2022.

With GPs at the frontline of primary healthcare during this recent pandemic, there are more opportunities than ever for a rewarding career in general practice – particularly those who choose to train in rural and remote Australia.

Get started on your application now by clicking here.

Funding for First Nations heart researcher

The Heart Foundation is offering an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award. This funding is expected to produce tangible outcomes with the potential of creating high-impact change in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cardiovascular health research community. Embedded within this project is a capacity building role for a research assistant, PhD student, or another student studying higher degrees. This role should be designed into the project and should be an introductory role in the field of cardiovascular research. The purpose of this role is to encourage more Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people into cardiovascular research.

You can access more information about the project on the Heart Foundation website here and you can listen to two recipients of the award speak about the benefits of the Award in the below video.

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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