NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Over $120m for Indigenous health infrastructure

The image in the feature tile is from the Build Australia website.

Over $120m for Indigenous health infrastructure

The Australian Government is funding 52 new health infrastructure projects across the country – building and renovating clinics, improving staff housing and building the capacity of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health sector. As Co-Chairs of Joint Council on Closing the Gap, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney and the Lead Convener of the Coalition of the Peaks (CoPs), Pat Turner, will jointly announce, at the Joint Council meeting in Sydney today, more than $120m for major capital works at community‑controlled organisations.

The projects will improve First Nations health services, as well as provide the facilities clinical staff need to deliver culturally-safe and appropriate care.  In a clear commitment to Closing the Gap Priority Reform One to support formal partnerships and shared decision-making, applications were jointly assessed and approved by the sector’s peak body, NACCHO and the Australian Government, through the Department of Health and Aged Care. A further $20m from this grant round will be committed in early 2023 and a second grant round will also be run in 2023 to see even more projects provide the services people need, closer to where they live.

The more than $120m is in addition to the $164.3m for 17 vital Indigenous health infrastructure projects across the country announced in the October budget to invest in health clinics in areas of large and growing First Nations populations. This represents a significant investment of more than $284.3m for Aboriginal health services.

Lead Convenor of the CoPs and NACCHO CEO, Pat Turner said “The Government’s support for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services reflects their vital role in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. NACCHO has advocated for a long time for increased funding for infrastructure for the health sector and this funding supports and recognises the critical role that ACCHS play in the Australian primary health care architecture. I am pleased to see that this funding is being delivered consistent with the Priority Reforms in the National Agreement, where programs and services are developed in partnership with our people and funding is delivered through our community-controlled organisations.”

The above has been extracted from the media release Joint Council on Closing the Gap more than $120 million for Indigenous health infrastructure. To view the media release in full click here.

Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service will receive almost $5m to construct a purpose build AMS building in Brewarrina. Image source: Barnson.

End of year message from Chair and CEO

NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills and NACCHO CEO have released the following end-of year message:

The last three years have been dominated by the pandemic and natural disasters and despite the challenges, our sector’s efforts and outcomes have been phenomenal.

Our 145 members deliver more than 3.1 million episodes of care to our mob each year. This equates to an incredible amount of time, hard work, energy and dedication which has translated into a stronger, savvier self-determined ACCHO sector. Every person working in our ACCHOs deserve congratulations.

A big thank you also to all on the NACCHO Board, whose dedication, important and unique perspectives guide the vision and strategy of our sector.

The NACCHO staff have also done a remarkable job advocating for community-developed solutions, structural reform, developing national level programs, and importantly, securing ongoing funding for our sector.

To all our partners and colleagues, thank you for your ongoing support and perseverance.

Now, it is time to take a well-deserved break.

The new year will be about rejuvenation, an invitation to harness our strengths and continue to develop and grow as individuals and as a collective working towards, Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands.

On behalf of the NACCHO Board and our team, we would like to thank you all and wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable festive season.

You can access the above letter here. and view the NACCHO Chair and CEO’s 2022 end-of-year message in the below video:

Aboriginal doctor keen to improve Pilbara healthcare

A trailblazing young Aboriginal doctor from the Pilbara, who won WA’s Young Australian of the Year 2020, has welcomed a global search for ground-breaking solutions to deliver quality healthcare in the Pilbara. Launched by Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson yesterday, “The Challenge” offers a $5m prize for the development of a technology solution, based on research, to improve health outcomes for people living in the Pilbara, a region that spans more than 500,000sqkm.

Pilbara scholar Yarlalu Thomas joined Mr Dawson at the launch to share the challenges he faced growing up, which led him to a career in health. As WA’s Young Australian of the Year in 2020, he was considering a career in the AFL, but instead turned his attention to studying medicine. Mr Thomas is focusing his medical studies on Pilbara faces to better understand 3D facial variation for quicker and non-invasive diagnosis of children with rare and genetic diseases.

He is also working on translating medical terms into Indigenous languages internationally and hopes to one day work in the Pilbara. Mr Thomas said that barriers to healthcare access for Aboriginal people could include lack of transport, hospital settings, language and other communication barriers, inflexible treatment options and lack of centralised patient records. “This is a particular problem for doctors trying to provide care for Aboriginal patients who regularly travel far and wide,” he said.

To view The Kimberley Echo article Trailblazing young Aboriginal doctor Yarlalu Thomas welcomes search to improve Pilbara healthcare in full click here.

Trailblazing Pilbara-raised Aboriginal medical student Yarlalu Thomas. Image source: The Kimberley Echo.

New scholarships honour two incredible women

The University of Melbourne has announced two exciting scholarship opportunities for Indigenous students, honouring two incredible women:

Aunty Angela Clarke (Graduate Certificate) – applications close Tuesday 31 January 2023

Aunty Angela Clarke worked as the Koori Hospital Liaison Officer at the Royal Children’s Hospital and later was the Deputy Director of the VicHealth Koori Health Research Unit (Onemda). Her contribution to Aboriginal health was transformative, pioneering new models of community participation in research and embedding culturally responsive clinical practice for Indigenous patients.

Aunty Joan Vickery (Masters) – applications close Tuesday 31 January 2023

Aunty Joan Vickery’s impressive leadership and advocacy over many decades improved Indigenous health outcomes and delivery of services across Victoria. Helping to establish the Ngwala Willumbong Co-operative in 1975 – which continues to deliver outreach services to Aboriginal people affected by substance abuse – she later worked to improve understanding of diabetes among Indigenous families as the first Aboriginal Liaison Officer at St Vincent’s Hospital through rolling out a series of programs and support networks.

These scholarships aim to continue the legacy of these incredible women in nurturing the next generation of public health leaders.

For more information about the:

  • Angela Clarke Scholarship click here
  • Aunty Joan Vickery Scholarship click here

You can also access The University of Melbourne website’s webpage Scholarships, Bursaries and Prizes here.

The University of Melbourne current Indigenous graduate students. Image source: The University of Melbourne website.

AMA Indigenous medical scholarship applications open

Applications are open to enrolled Indigenous medical students to apply for the next year’s AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarships.

Applications are now open for the AMA’s 2023 Indigenous Medical Scholarship program, with applicants having until Tuesday 31 January to submit their application.

The scholarship, made possible by the generosity of members, helps an Indigenous medical student who has completed their first year with $10,000 per year for the remainder of their medical degree.

For more information on how to apply visit the AMA website’s AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship webpage here.

To view the Mirage article AMA Indigenous medical scholarship applications open in full click here.

Season’s Greetings from NACCHO

NACCHO extends Season’s Greetings to you and your family for a very happy and safe summer.

NACCHO office closure over Dec / Jan

NACCHO will be closed from COB Friday 16 December 2022, reopening in the New Year on Tuesday 3 January 2023.

This is the last NACCHO newsletter for 2022. Publication of the newsletter will resume in the New Year. We will let you know closer to the date when the first edition for 2023 will hit your in-box!

Christmas decorations by artists of Warlukurlangu, Yuendumu. Image source: Koskela 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.

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