NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Central Australian Aboriginal Congress marks 50 years

image: 50 Years Strong CAAC banner & your ATSI boy having ear checked; text 'Celebrating 50 Years Central Australian Aboriginal Congress marks significant milestone'

The image in the feature tile is …..

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.

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress marks 50 years

Celebrating a significant milestone today, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress), an Aboriginal community controlled health service, has been serving the Aboriginal people of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and a number of remote communities across Central Australia for 50 years. Congress Chair, Graham Dowling said, “Many things have changed in the last fifty years.

“…throughout that time, we have been guided by the dreams and aspirations of our community-elected Board members, and their dedication to justice and self-determination.”

Congress reflected on its 1973 beginnings; it formed when over 100 Aboriginal people from Alice Springs and remote communities met to talk about the need to safeguard and promote the interests of their communities. In 1975, Congress started a Medical Service and began developing its comprehensive model of health care aimed at not just treating those who were ill, but also acting on the causes of illness. Now, five decades later, Mr Dowling said it continues to be a voice for the Aboriginal people of Central Australia, “The goal on speaking out on behalf of our mob has always been an important part of what we do.”

To mark the special occasion there will be several events including the launch of Congress Arrulenye, an interactive digital portal that allows people to browse photos, documents, and other media from Congress’ history. It will take place this afternoon at the Araluen Art Centre and will also be available online. A large community celebration is planned for October.

You can read Congress’ media release Congress: 50 Years Strong! in full here and on Congress’ website here.

CAAC Hartley Street Clinic 1983

In 1975 Congress moved into the Hartley Street premises and commenced health service delivery. Photo: Harley Street Clinic 1983. Image source: CAAC website.

New aged care program supports Elders

A new program will offer face-to-face support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders seeking aged care services. Commencing this month, the Elder Care Support Program will involve the recruitment and training of 68 staff members, in a collaboration between the NACCHO and The Department of Health and Aged Care.

It comes as at the same time the Federal Government has unveiled a roadmap outlining key aged care activities between July 2023 and July 2025.The roadmap includes insight into the future of aged care and aims to facilitate engagement among industry players and service recipients. The department said it will provide regular updates, ensuring that individuals stay informed about modifications or new additions to the two-year timeline.

Significant changes to the aged care sector include the requirement for residential aged care services to have a registered nurse present 24/7 from July 2023, the expansion of the Community Visitor Scheme, renamed to the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme, and the establishment of a new Food and Nutrition Advisory Support Unit.

To read the Inside Ageing article Roadmap reveals upcoming activities for aged care reform click here and for more information on the roadmap click here.

tile Elder Care Support Community-led Pathways to Care

Bridging the Gap Foundation addresses ear disease

90% of Indigenous children in remote areas of the NT currently suffer some form of otitis media, a middle ear disease that results from inflammation and/or infection, causing hearing loss. Bridging the Gap Foundation (BTGF) has launched its annual tax-time appeal and are raising funds to assist in Indigenous ear health education, and the early detection and treatment of otitis media. Professor Amanda Leach AM from the Menzies School of Health Research said many ear infections go unnoticed in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. She expanded, “…Indigenous children often do not present with ear pain, so ear problems are not identified by parents or health staff and go untreated, leading to ongoing and sometimes profound hearing loss.”

However, Professor Leach highlighted that it is possible to detect and successfully treat common ear infections before they turn into lifelong problems. BTGF’s campaign is aiming to prevent chronic ear infections, and in turn contribute to closing the nine-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Donations received during the appeal will fund several initiatives, including the training of Indigenous ear health facilitators in remote communities and mobile testing equipment to support their work. To donate head to the BTGF website here. For the Third Sector article Bridging the Gap Foundation is helping Indigenous communities address ear disease in full, click here.

BTGF tile with image ATSI child & text ' It's About Early Intervention.'

Bridging the Gap Foundation ear health campaign tile. Source: BTGP Facebook.

Indigenous peoples HIV and hepatitis conference

Key health players will come together on Meanjin Country (Brisbane) across two days beginning Friday 21 July, for the Indigenous Peoples Conference on HIV and Hepatitis Health Equity. The conference will see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals and international Indigenous health professionals advocate for the needs and interests of Indigenous peoples in global and state led initiatives in HIV and Hepatitis.

The University of Queensland’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health has teamed up with The Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) for the conference. Topics on the agenda include policy, programming, challenges and gaps in the sector, and what’s required to address HIV and Hepatitis inequalities among First Nations and Indigenous peoples.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers, and people who have lived experience of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV are among those eligible to apply for a scholarship. Recipients will be provided with full attendance to the conference, return flights to Brisbane, and accommodation.

Find more information about the conference here.

Indigenous Peoples Conference on HIV and Hepatitis Health Equity conference tile

9th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium

Helping shape the future of rural and remote health research, over 200 delegates from the health sector are set to gather on Ngunnawal Country (Canberra) on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 June for the 9th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium. National Rural Health Alliance Chief Executive, Susi Tegen said, “a diverse range of themes will be covered in the sessions including paediatrics to aged care, chronic disease, workforce, cancer, avoiding hospital admission, prevention, mental health, telehealth, training, co-design, research through to disaster and climate impacts.”

The symposium will also feature a diverse range of high-profile speakers including the Hon Emma McBride MP, Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health and Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Adjunct Professor Ruth Stewart, National Rural Health Commissioner, James Blackwell, Research Fellow in Indigenous Diplomacy at the Australian National University, and member of the Uluru Dialogue at the University of NSW, and many more.

“The Symposium is less than two weeks away. We encourage those who haven’t already registered not to miss out on this opportunity to connect research, practice, and communities,” said Mrs Tegan.

For more information click here and to register click here.

9th Rural & Remote Hlth Scientific Symposium tile, portrait shots of 9 people

Stroke recovery support newsletter

Stroke Foundation’s newsletter Enable Me hopes to make those in the health sector’s life easier by sharing recovery resources, the latest community content, and tips in your inbox weekly.

The most recent issue includes ‘hints and hacks’ to live well after stroke, provided by survivors for survivors, such as the importance of connecting with loved ones through difficult times, and how small changed to your diet can make a big difference.

To read the Enable Me newsletter in full click 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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