NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: 2022 Indigenous Health Research grant opportunities

The image in the feature tile is from the webpage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher degree by research applicants on The University of Queensland Australia’s website.

2022 Indigenous Health Research grant opportunities

The 2022 Indigenous Health Research grant opportunity will provide $27.8 million for Indigenous-led research into health issues of importance to First Nations people.

Funding is from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF)’s Indigenous Health Research Fund.

Visit GrantConnect here and the MRFF grant opportunities calendar here for information on MRFF grant opportunities.

Learn more about the MRFF here.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at The University of Queensland Poche Centre. Image source: UQ website.

ACCHO doctor named WA GP in Training of the Year

Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Aboriginal Corporation (DYHSAC)’s Dr Daniel Hunt has been named the 2022 RACGP WA GP in Training of the Year. DYHSAC said they are so proud to have Dr Daniels’ unwavering commitment to DYHSAC’s patients and the community recognised.

Dr Dan works across all Derbarl clinics providing GP services; he has been proactive in the Derbarl COVID care program; providing telehealth services to patients in isolation, outreach COVID vaccinations to homeless and vulnerable patients, has been instrumental in CQI projects including HEP B, Hep B, Syphilis point of care and sexual health and has been a strong GP clinical lead in our SEWB program.

Dr Dan’s excellence in General Practice has been recognised by his peers and now by the RACGP. DYHSAC extended their best wishes to Dr Dan as he progresses to the Australian GP registrar Awards.

To view the DYHSAC Facebook post about Dr Daniel Hunt click here.

Image source: Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Aboriginal Corporation Facebook page 30 September 2022.

On Country, health and Indigenous knowledges

The world’s annual  CoP climate talks have begun in Egypt. For this year’s COP27, the Australian Government delegation is taking some different messages to previous years – including a stated commitment to featuring Indigenous Knowledges, voices and experiences in their climate change policy platform and the new Climate Change Bill 2022 that was passed in September.

There is a strong and growing body of relevant research on climate change impacts and responses in Australia from First Nations climate researchers and non-Indigenous allies from which evidence-based policy can be drawn. Core to this body of research are the interconnections between climate change, healthy Country and health and wellbeing in Indigenous communities.

Francis Nona, a public health lecturer, registered nurse and Badulaig man from the Torres Strait Islands whose climate change research describes the value of combining western scientific and Indigenous Knowledges says “Scientific knowledge is important, but not more important than what our Elders and ancestors have taught us. We need the two ways of knowing to work together. To adapt to climate change, there needs to be both ways of knowing: using the Torres Strait Knowledges in conjunction with western ways. There needs to be mutual respect on both sides.”

Until recently, the lived experience, Knowledges and  voices of First Nations Peoples had not been sought – let alone incorporated – in climate change discussions. This year for the first time the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report 6 included climate data from First Nations Peoples’ Knowledges alongside western scientific data. In Australia, the latest State of the Environment Report included First Nations authors and Knowledges for the first time.

To view the Croakey Health Media article COP27: On Country, health and Indigenous knowledges in full click here.

On the Country of the Warumungu people, Tennant Creek. Photo: Nina Lansbury. Image source: Croakey Health Media.

Changes to PIP Indigenous Health Incentive

The Practice Incentives Program – Indigenous Health Incentive (PIP IHI) encourages health services, including general practices, Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, to meet the health care needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a chronic disease.

Updates to the Practice Incentives Program Indigenous Health Incentive (PIP IHI) aim to improve continuity of care and health outcomes for First Nations people with chronic disease. From Sunday 1 January 2023 changes to the IPIP IHI will come into effect. These changes include:

  • expanded eligibility for outcome payments to include First Nations patients under the age of 15.
  • the addition of GP Mental Health Treatment Plans as eligible items for outcome payments.
  • the introduction of a 12-month rolling window for practices to deliver services, giving them more time to achieve outcome payments.
  • the introduction of a back-ended payment structure.

The updated PIP IHI guidelines outline all the changes and are now available on the Services Australia website here.

For more information you can access the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care webpages Practice Incentives Program – Indigenous Health Incentive here and Changes to the Practice Incentives Program Indigenous Health Incentive here.

Image source: Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care Changes to the PIP IHI webpage.

Health education prior to prison research

Over 65% of people entering prison report risky alcohol or other drug use. Dr Michael Doyle has undertaken research considering whether more effective alcohol and other drug treatment could lead to improved health and reduce the likelihood of recidivism. The research highlights the much higher rates that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are imprisoned when compared with other Australians. Noting that most First Nations families are affected in some way.

Taking a sample of both Aboriginal and non-aboriginal men in prison, Doyle investigated where and if they had received health education on alcohol and other drug use harms prior to receiving a session with a trained professional through the criminal justice system.

His research, published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia in May 2022, found no-one had received such education in primary or high school. And only one participant recalled receiving health information through media, and one individual had received treatment through a health service. This occurred serendipitously, by meeting a doctor at an Aboriginal men’s group, and subsequently seeing him.

To read the article Better services for alcohol and other drugs article published on The University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine and Health News webpage in full click here.

Dr Michael Doyle. Image source: The University of Sydney website.

National ASD diagnosis guideline to be updated

In 2018, Autism Cooperative Research Centre (Autism CRC) published the National Guidelines for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia, available here. This was the first national autism practice guideline in Australia, and it has led to important changes in the way autism is understood, assessed, and diagnosed in the Australian community.

It is now time to update the Guideline and Autism CRC are inviting all members of the autistic and autism communities to get involved.

There are two immediate ways to contribute to the update:

  1. If you are an autistic person, a family member, and/or a practitioner involved in assessment and diagnosis, you can join a focus group to share your views.
    • Registration closes 5pm AEST – Friday 11 November, 2022.
  2. Anyone can complete an online survey, which will ask for your views about assessment and diagnosis. An option to submit artwork instead of text responses is also available through the online survey.
    • Closes 5pm AEST – Monday 5 December, 2022.

To learn more and get involved, visit the Guideline Update page on the Autism CRC website here.

Medical research and innovation priorities 2022–2024

Following a national consultation the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) has developed medical research and innovation priorities that must be considered by Government when making decisions about funding from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

AMRAB has developed these priorities concurrently with the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2021–2026 to align with and facilitate the achievement of the Strategy’s vision, aim and strategic objectives. These priorities took effect on 6 November 2022, superseding the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2020-2022, which were in force until 5 November 2022.

The current MRFF priorities are:

  • consumer-driven research
  • research infrastructure and capability
  • translation and commercialisation
  • comparative effectiveness research
  • preventive and public health research
  • primary care research
  • health and medical researcher capacity and capability
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • priority populations
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • global health and health security
  • health impacts from environmental factors
  • data, digital health and artificial intelligence.

You can access the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2022–2024 publication here and the relevant Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care webpage here.

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.

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