- BDAC’s djimbaya kindy to foster cultural connection
- Bloodstream infection rates reflect social disadvantage
- Major expansion of health services in Torres and Cape
- Digital Health Advisors – EOIs sought
- Supporting parents with Baby Makes 3 program
- Extended transition period: HLT training package quals
- Sector Jobs
The image in the feature tile is of Kinder students Ryah-Ray and Ruby play during the speech by Early Childhood and Pre-Prep minister Ingrid Stitt at the opening of the kindergarten djimbaya at Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-Operative (BDAC). Photo: Brendan McCarthy. The image appeared in an article BDAC officially opens djimbaya for region’s youngest citizens published in the Bendigo Advertiser on 12 May 2023.
The NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health News is 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.
BDAC’s djimbaya kindy to foster cultural connection
The Bendigo region’s youngest now have a place to not only play but learn about Local Indigenous culture and a newly opened kindergarten. Based at Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-Operative’s (BDAC) Prouses Road site in North Bendigo, djimbaya offers three and four-year-old kindergarten for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children, with a tailored curriculum to foster cultural connection.
BDAC chief executive Dallas Widdicombe said the centre would offer a safe place for children to learn and connect to culture, “The early years curriculum was developed with input from Elders, Weenthunga Health Network and our local Traditional Owners – Dja Dja Wurrung. It has a strong focus on Aboriginal culture. This supports our young ones to be more connected to their culture, while supporting non-Aboriginal children to learn about our culture and connect with our community. Co-located in the building is also a Maternal and Child Health Nurse, fostering linkages from a young age into culturally safe health services. A weekly playgroup is also held at the site.” Mr Widdicombe said each part of BDAC will be intertwined.
Mr Widdicombe said, “We know that if we can create connections with young people at an earlier age, both to their community and to BDAC, it will support better health and wellbeing outcomes for our community. This focus on the early years is critical to Closing the Gap for health, wellbeing and life outcomes for our community. This is an enormous occasion for our community. It will play a significant role in supporting stronger families and communities into our future.”
Centre director Emily Gerber said about 90% of children attending the kindergarten were Aboriginal, but it was important for everyone to be included in learning. “We want to be child-focused and have the children choosing what they want to learn and do,” she said. “We put a cultural lens on everything and ensure all children are exposed to culture in whichever way works for them.”
The above has been extracted from an article BDAC officially opens djimbaya for region’s youngest citizens published in the Bendigo Advertiser on 12 May 2023.
Bloodstream infection rates reflect social disadvantage
Bloodstream infection rates are an indirect measure of social disadvantage and population health. Rates of chronic disease and harmful alcohol consumption are higher among socio‐economically disadvantaged people, who often live in overcrowded houses with poor sanitation; all these factors are recognised risk factors for bloodstream infections. 34% of the disparity in health outcomes between Indigenous and non‐Indigenous Australians is attributed to high levels of unemployment, lower educational attainment and household income, and inadequate housing, and a further 19% to health risk factors, including alcohol consumption and smoking.
Bloodstream infection rates in Aboriginal residents of Central Australia remain extremely high. Continuing overall differences between Aboriginal and non‐Aboriginal people with respect to incidence and age at onset of bloodstream infections, and the increasing incidence of S. pyogenes bloodstream infections (like S. pneumoniae, associated with poverty and household overcrowding), indicate that risk factors, including chronic diseases and the social determinants of health, must be remediated. The evidence for increasing rates of infection with antibiotic‐resistant S. aureus is also concerning.
To view The Medical Journal of Australia research article Bloodstream infection rates in Aboriginal and non‐Aboriginal people in Central Australia, 2014–2018 in full click here.
Major expansion of health services in Torres and Cape
A major expansion of Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service maternal, child and family health services across Cape York is under way, with the planned appointment of six new clinicians for the region to form a new team with First Nations health workers. The expansion is a major shot in the arm for a system that has been under pressure with staff retention and recruitment issues leaving both Cooktown and Weipa without birthing services forcing expectant mothers to travel to Cairns or even Townsville to give birth.
The new maternal, child and family midwifery consultants, who are both midwives and child health nurses, will be based in Cairns. Similar services will also be based in Weipa, to support Napranum and Mapoon. In addition to the six new clinicians it is expected that four First Nations health worker positions will also form part of the new team. Together, they will deliver a comprehensive visiting outreach service to communities across Cape York, complementing Midwifery Group Practices in Weipa and Cooktown and existing child health services in those locations.
Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS) executive general manager south Michael Catt said“We are excited to be working in collaboration with our existing services in our communities to provide the best possible care for Cape York children and families through the addition of this new outreach service. We also value the work of First Nations health organisations like Apunipima Cape York Health Council in helping to Close the Gap in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.”
Mr Catt highlighted the importance of collaboration with existing services to deliver the essential services, “As a rural and remote health provider, we recognise the need to collaborate with other health services that target vital early stages of a child’s life. As we expand our own services in these areas, we will continue to support and work closely with Apunipima and other service partners to maximise positive health outcomes for all our communities.”
To above story was extracted from the article Maternal, child and family health services expansion for Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service published in the Gold Coast Bulletin on 15 May 2023.
Digital Health Advisors – EOIs sought
The Australian Digital Health Agency’s (ADHA) mission is to develop a collaborative environment that accelerates adoption and use of innovative digital services and technologies, in a way that puts people at the centre. It is of utmost importance that they ensure that the voices of a broad representation of those who will use these services inform its design and delivery.
The ADHA are seeking expressions of interest to recruit Advisors that are representative and inclusive of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population on the Digital Health Advisors – Consumers and Carers Program. Engagement could mean a few hours a month and some months there could be no engagement activities. There is a set fee for service (GST exclusive but inclusive of Super).
The ADHA would like to engage with persons that identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander that have lived experience of the following:
- Chronic health conditions, carer, mental health issues, disability
- Diverse geographic locations and
- Varied access to health services including digital health services
If you are interested in being part of the program or would like more information, please contact Nicolle Marchant using this email link or phone (02) 8298 2181.
Supporting parents with Baby Makes 3 program
The Andrews Labor Government is investing $1.5m to help two organisations deliver programs to new parents to shape long-term attitudes on parenting and gender roles. Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Ros Spence visited community health organisation health Ability in Eltham on Saturday 13 May 2023, to announce funding of $1.2m for Baby Makes 3, an innovative, evidence-based program for new parents, delivered across more than 40 health services in Victoria.
Funded by the Labor Government since 2017, Baby Makes 3 has been adapted to support the diversity of Victorian families including those from regional and rural backgrounds, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, rainbow families and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island families. The program builds mutual understanding, appreciation and respect among first-time parents and supports the capacity of local governments, maternal and child health and maternity services to promote gender equality and challenge traditional gender stereotypes. In 2022, the program won VicHealth’s prestigious Outstanding Health Promotion Award for making a tangible difference in improving Victorians’ health and quality of life.
The Labor Government will also provide Playgroup Victoria with $360,000 over two years for the family violence prevention program, All Come Out to Play!, which engages children, parents and early years educators in a fun and interactive session that explores concepts of gender equality in a developmentally appropriate way. The period during pregnancy and immediately post-birth are times when there is an increased risk of family violence. Antenatal care provides an opportunity to ask women about exposure to violence. Minister Spence said she was “delighted to support these terrific programs which help young parents when a new baby is born, giving them helpful tools to deal with the challenges they’ll face. It’s a joyous time and we want to help all new parents as they begin parenthood.”
To view The Hon Ros Spence MP’s media release Supporting New Parents in Pivotal Life Stage click here.
Extended transition period: HLT training package quals
The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is empowered, in some cases, to approve transition periods longer than those detailed in Clauses Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015. In accordance with the Guidance for Providers – Learner Transition, ASQA will consider applications for a longer transition period where it can be demonstrated that there would be genuine disadvantage to a cohort of learners if such an extension was not approved.
ASQA has recently approved an extended transition period for the qualifications listed below for all providers with scope for delivery. The extended training, assessment and certification issuance period for this qualification ends on 31 December 2024.
- HLT20113 Certificate II in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
- HLT30113 Certificate III in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
- HLT40113 Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
- HLT40213 Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice
- HLT50113 Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
- HLT50213 Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice
- HLT60113 Advanced Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Care
The decision to extend the transition end date for these qualifications and cohorts was supported by the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners (NAATSIHWP), NACCHO and the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC). ASQA consulted with the VRQA and TAC WA for this extended transition request. These qualifications will remain on the provider’s scope of registration until the end of the extended transition period.
You can view The National Tribune article Extended Transition period: HLT training package qualifications in full click here and training products with current transition extensions on the ASQA website here.
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.