NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Autonomy key to health outcomes for mob

The image in the feature tile is from the ACCHO Leads Hepatitis C Elimination Effort webpage of the Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation (NSW) website.

Autonomy key to health outcomes for mob

Community-controlled organisations and culturally tailored healthcare are key to better health outcomes for Indigenous Australians, community leaders say. Indigenous researchers, health professionals and national leaders have gathered for the seventh annual Ngar-wu Wanyarra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Conference in Shepparton in northern Victoria.

Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative’s Shannon Drake led a successful response to COVID-19 in the region, a result she says depended on a state-wide, collaborative reaction and acceptance that a First Nations perspective was a crucial concept to transform public health. Aboriginal people were identified as having a greater risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, which required an autonomous, inclusive and culturally appropriate response, she said. The Wamba Wamba/Jaara woman highlighted the importance of instilling self-determination and empowerment within Indigenous communities.

To view the Goulburn Post article Autonomy key to Indigenous health outcomes in full click here.

Healthcare responses for Indigenous people need to be culturally appropriate, the conference heard. Photo: Dan Himbrechts. Image source: Goulburn Post.

NT to raise age of criminal responsibility

Yesterday the Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT (APO NT) issued a media release APO NT welcomes ‘Smarter Justice for a Safer Territory’ saying recognises the significance of the justice amendments being introduced into NT Parliament today, and congratulates the work of the Attorney General, the Honourable Chansey Paech, and his team in prioritising these reforms. “We at APO NT recognise that the NT needs a new way of working in matters of law and justice, for the benefit of all Territorians”, said Priscilla Atkins, CEO, North Australia Aboriginal Justice Agency.

“We welcome the announcement to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years of age”, said Dr John Paterson, CEO of AMSANT. “APO NT commits to working with the government on better, therapeutic options for young offenders, to support our youth, and see the age of criminal responsibility ultimately raised to 14 years of age,” said Dr John Paterson.

To view the APO NT media release in full click here.

In a separate media releases, available here and here, NTCOSS and the Central Land Council, congratulated the NT Government for keeping its promise to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 12 and abolishing some mandatory sentencing laws. In their media release, available here, Amnesty International Australia acknowledged the NT Government’s announcement that it will introduce legislation to raise the age of criminal responsibility in the NT from 10 to 12, but said it must go further to protect children by raising the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14.

Photo: Emilia Terzon, 105.7 ABC Darwin. Image source: ABC News.

Health and wellbeing of urban kids study

Australia’s largest long-term study of the health and wellbeing of urban Aboriginal Children – the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH) is a unique resource for understanding the causes of ill health in urban Aboriginal children, and for developing and implementing strategies to improve their health. SEARCH is owned and led by Aboriginal people. It functions as a long term, co-creative partnership between the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council (AH&MRC), Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) in NSW, the Sax Institute, and leading researchers from across Australia.

To view the Sax Institute’s Children and Young People webpage with details about the SEARCH click here.

Discovery Indigenous research grants announced

On Monday this week the Australian Research Council (ARC) has announced $7.5m for 10 new projects and Discovery Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards (DAATSIAs) under the ARC’s Discovery Indigenous scheme. The scheme reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to strengthening outcomes for Indigenous Australians through funding research projects across a range of disciplines led by an Indigenous Australian researcher, independently or in collaboration with other research colleagues.

Under the scheme, a DAATSIA may be awarded in combination with a Discovery Indigenous project. The award provides salary support for up to five years, for an eligible Indigenous Australian researcher. CEO, Ms Judi Zielke PSM, said that Discovery Indigenous ensures that outstanding researchers have the opportunity to contribute to Australia’s broader research and innovation goals. “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers will lead projects that investigate issues impacting their communities and that lead to outcomes that benefit all Australians,” Ms Zielke said.

Some of the research projects to be undertaken in 2023 include:

Heidi Norman: “Governing Aboriginal self-determination in NSW: 1980-2025”(UTS)

Debbie DuthieDonald WhartonKate MurrayLeah East,  Danielle GallegosDeanne Minniecon: “co-designing a Food Sovereignty Model with Indigenous Communities” (QUT)

Helen MilroyCatherine ChamberlainJeneva OhanAlix WoolardSven SilburnTalila MilroyPradeep RaoMarshall Watson, Debra SinghLaurel Sellers: “develop and implement a culturally safe, trauma-informed parenting programme that can interrupt the intergenerational transmission of trauma and help improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing” (UWA)

Karen AdamsVicki-Lea SaundersRoianne WestLinda DeravinLynne Stuart: “co-create an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurse and midwife theory and principles for practice” (Monash U)

Bindi BennettJoanna ZubrzyckiSusan YoungAntonia HendrickSera HarrisDonna BainesShayne Walker: “utilising simulation to develop culturally responsive social workers” (Bond U)

To view the Australian Government Australian Research Council media release New Discovery Indigenous projects will enrich Australia’s research landscape in full click here.

Image source: Indigenous researchers webpage of University of Melbourne website.

Family Therapy: First Nations Grad Cert

A Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy: First Nations course being offered by the La Trobe University, Melbourne, will commence in March 2023. This post-graduate course is ideal for workers who would like to enhance their skills in working professionally and respectfully with First Nations families and communities. This National course is renowned for its cultural fit with First Nations wisdoms and knowledge. It offers a grounding in family therapy theory with emphasis on creating respectful relationships and culturally safe, trauma informed ways of working.

There have been 15 deliveries of this course from 2009—2021 with 175 graduates working in First Nations communities across the country.
This course provides the opportunity to participate in cross- cultural learning with respect to the diversity of different communities and workplace settings.

You can access a flyer here for more information about the Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy: First Nations. including details of an online information session on Tuesday 18 October 2022.

Calls for end to mental health stigmatising

With radical action we can end stigma and discrimination against people with mental health conditions and their families globally, says The Lancet Commission on Ending Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health, which sets out key recommendations to achieve this goal. Recent estimates suggest one in eight people, nearly one billion people globally, are living with a mental health condition; this rises to one in seven 10- to 19-year-olds. These people experience a double threat: the impact of the condition itself and the damaging social consequences of stigma and discrimination.

The COVID-19 pandemic helped to shine a light on the urgent mental health situation globally and there was an estimated 25% rise in the prevalence of depression and anxiety in the first year of the pandemic. However, despite the high incidence of mental health conditions around the world, mental health-related stigma and discrimination is also widespread. This can lead to problems in accessing health care and increased likelihood of health complications leading to early death.

To view the Hospital and Healthcare article Experts call for action to end mental health stigmatising in full click here.

Image source: Stigma and Discrimination webpage of National Mental Health Consumers & Care Forum website.

Sector Jobs

Sector Jobs – you can see sector job listings on the NACCHO website here.

Advertising Jobs – to advertise a job vacancy click here to go to the NACCHO website Current job listings webpage. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find a Post A Job form. You can complete this form with your job vacancy details – it will then be approved for posting and go live on the NACCHO website.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. Last year the Australian Parliament has officially recognised ‘Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day’, to acknowledge families who have lost a baby through stillbirth, infant death or miscarriage. This year the day will observed on  Saturday 15 October 2022 alongside the international community. The motion was moved by a group of senators including Senator Kristina Keneally, whose daughter Caroline was stillborn in 1999. Her own loss and love for her daughter have been a driving force in advocating for families who have lost a child.

In 2018, the Senator led a Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education which published a report making recommendations in three key areas – namely, prevention of stillbirths, investigation into their causes, and support for families. Important headway was made on the third area at the end of last year, following changes to the Fair Work Act, under which parents of stillborn babies are now guaranteed access to unpaid parental leave for up to twelve months.

The report also recommended a National Stillbirth Action Plan, which has also been implemented by the Government and aims to reduce the rate of stillbirths by 20% over five years. Acknowledging this important day and implementing the recommendations in the Senate’s stillbirth report are important steps in recognising the worth of every child no matter their stage of life, and the very real grief and suffering experienced by families who lose a child through stillbirth, infant death or miscarriage.

The above information was extracted from the Women’s Forum Australia website. Related to this topic is the information included in yesterday’s NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health News about the newly launched Miscarriage Australia website.

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