NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Ozempic (semaglutide) supply limitations

feature tile photo of Ozempic (semaglutide) injection; text 'Ozempic (semaglutide) commenced distribution in Australia but limitations will remain for some time

The image in the feature tile is from an ABC News article Semaglutide is causing a social media frenzy. So what is it? published on 17 December 2022. Image: Getty Images.

The NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health News is a platform we use to showcase the important work being done in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health focusing on the work of NACCHO, NACCHO members and NACCHO affiliates.

We also share a curated selection of news stories that are of likely interest to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, broadly. The content included in these new stories are not necessarily NACCHO endorsed.

Ozempic (semaglutide) limitations

Limited supplies of Ozempic (semaglutide) have now commenced distribution in Australia as of late February. Supply is expected to gradually improve over the next few weeks, however limitations will remain for some time and stocks will vary for individual pharmacies.

NACCHO and other groups have worked with the Department of Health and Aged Care as limited supplies of Ozempic (semaglutide) are becoming available, to ensure equitable distribution of the medicine across the country. The Therapeutic Goods Administration(TGA) will oversee wholesalers’ supply to pharmacies and have placed purchasing limits on pharmacies to help ensure fair and timely distribution of the stock across Australia. This includes wholesalers prioritising areas with higher clinical need and distribution challenges, such as remote and regional areas.

Initial supplies of Ozempic will not be enough to meet demand from all patients with current valid prescriptions. It is strongly recommended that health professionals allocate supplies to patients using Ozempic for diabetes, particularly those who have not been switched by their doctor to other glucose-lowering medicines.

You can find more information about the Ozempic shortage here and access the RACGP newsGP article Semaglutide supplies return to Australia ahead of schedule published on 16 February 2023 here.

front of Ozempic box

Image source: Australian Pharmacist website.

Community-led pilot to support Fitzroy Valley youth

A highly respected service in the Fitzroy Valley will provide locally adapted support to improve Aboriginal young people’s mental health and cultural, social, and emotional wellbeing. Local Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre (MWRC) has received $835,000 to deliver the service to young Aboriginal people.

Informed by Aboriginal people and extensive research, the model will provide opportunities for cultural connection and create an environment that enables young people living in the Fitzroy Valley to heal, be healthy, and be supported to achieve their goals.

The pilot will bring a combination of cultural and clinical expertise, offering:

  • facilitation of referrals, where needed, to MWRC’s clinical neuropsychologist for culturally safe and place-based assessment of cognitive disorders;
  • practical supports to assist young people to navigate cultural, systematic and language barriers that can prevent them from accessing government, health, and other services critical for positive functioning and wellbeing; and
  • a range of activities designed and co-led by young people that foster empowerment and provide opportunity for connection with culture and time to heal on-country.

To read the WA Minister for Health; Mental Health The Hon Amber-Jade Sanderson’s media statement New community-led pilot to support young Aboriginal people in Fitzroy Valley in full click here.

collage: two separate photos of mums and children, logo of Marninwarntikura Women's Resource Centre, Fitzroy Crossing

Image source: Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre website.

Don’t miss out – NACCHO Pharmacist Scholarship

Applications for the 2nd year of the NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacist Scholarship* which provides subsidy and support for prospective or current Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pharmacy students are due COB Monday 6 March 2023.


Each recipient will receive up to $10,000 per annum to contribute to university expenses. The scholarship also offers support and mentorship from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals and organisations to ensure ongoing integration and connection with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health sector.  


The scholarship program aims to build the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pharmacist workforce and to raise the profile of the beneficial role that pharmacy and pharmacists can play in supporting appropriate and culturally safe care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  


For more information about the scholarship and how to apply, click here.


You can also contact Mike Stephens on 0408 278 204 or via email using this link.tile text 'NACCHO ATSI Pharmacist Scholarship applications open' plus logo

Goulburn Murray Aboriginal-led education campus

Parliamentary Secretary for First Peoples Christine Couzens today joined Yorta Yorta elders, the Rumbalara Football Netball Club, Kaiela Institute and the University of Melbourne to mark the start of construction of the Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence (MCRE).

The Government is investing $30m in Australia’s first Aboriginal-led pathways-based university – home to the Munarra Academy – that will provide programs from the Academy of Sport, Health and Education, the Kaiela Institute, Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative and more. MCRE will deliver culturally responsive education, employment, health and wellbeing programs that drive broad, long-term economic benefits and shared prosperity for the region and Victoria.

Indigenous-led company TVN On-Country is building the pioneering new campus, with the centre expected to open to the community in March 2024. The design of the centre celebrates First Nations knowledge, culture and entrepreneurship, with Indigenous plantings and artwork. The campus will include an Elder’s lounge, yarning rooms, teaching spaces, a wellbeing courtyard, event spaces, community meeting rooms and co-working areas.

“The Munarra Centre of Regional Excellence signifies a critical shift in the education and knowledge of future generations of the Goulburn Murray, here on Yorta Yorta country,” said executive chairperson for Kaiela Institute Paul Briggs OAM.

To view The Adviser article Goulburn Murray Aboriginal-led education campus in full click here.

Parliamentary Secretary for First Peoples Christine Couzens speaking at the Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence

Parliamentary Secretary for First Peoples Christine Couzens spoke at the Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence turning of the first sod event yesterdayy. Photo: Stephanie Holliday. Image source: Shepparton’s ‘The Advisor’.

Services failing to provide culturally safe responses

A report released Monday this week by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) reveals the failure of child protection, education, and health services to promote healing and recovery for First Nations children who have experienced domestic and family violence. The report, You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup, an initiative by Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak in partnership with ANROWS and Australian Catholic University, found First Nations voices have been “sidelined from decision-making, with devastating effects”.

The first of its kind in Australia, the research project engaged eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community research teams across regional and remote Queensland and was led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander chief investigators, in a collaborative process to “elevate First Nations voices and find community-led solutions for healing and recovery”. The community-led research project resulted in the creation of the Healing our children and young people framework; a “culturally safe, place-based, trauma-aware, healing-informed, children-centred approach” to engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experiencing family and domestic violence.

ANROWS chief executive Padma Raman PSM encouraged policy makers and practitioners across the system to consider the report’s findings and adopt the Healing our children and young people framework “as a matter of urgency”. 

To read the National Indigenous Times article Services failing to provide culturally safe responses to First Nations children experiencing family violence, report finds in full click here.

ANROWS CEO Padma Raman

ANROWS CEO Padma Raman. Image source: ANROWS website.

LGBTIQ+ Action Plan will save lives

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) today welcome Federal Government commitment to a 10-year national action plan for LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing, alongside an LGBTIQ+ Health Advisory Group and $26m for health research. “This Action Plan will save lives. It is a crucial advance in addressing the serious inequities LGBTIQ+ people experience in health outcomes,” said LHA CEO, Nicky Bath, (she/her).

LGBTIQ+ people have poorer health outcomes than the broader community, particularly in regard to mental health and suicide, some cancers, and alcohol and other drugs use. LGBTIQ+ people are less likely to access health services due to experiences of stigma and discrimination.

For LGBTIQ+ people who are also part of other marginalised groups, these health inequities can be compounded by racism, ageism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination.

To view the LGBTIQ+ Health Australia media release Federal commitment to 10-year LGBTIQ+ Health and Wellbeing Action Plan is life-saving in full click here.

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia logo and rainbow flag

Image sources: logo – LGBTIQ+ Health Australia website and flag – Maribyrnong City Council website.

Sector Jobs

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