NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Pat Turner shares how fighters shaped her life

portrait of Pat Turner; text 'Pat Turner, NACCHO CEO and Lead Convenor of the Coalition of Peaks tells how activists before her shaped who she is today'

The image in the feature tile is of Pat Turner from an article ‘Sick of the good intentions’: Pat Turner demands faster action on Indigenous disadvantage published in The Sydney Morning Herald on 11 February 2023. Photo: Rhett Wyman.

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.

Pat Turner share how fighters shaped her life

In one of her most notable interviews, NACCHO CEO and Lead Convenor of the Coalition of Peaks, Pat Turner sat down with Dan Bouchier, reflecting on growing up on Mparntwe Country (Alice Springs), the impact of the activists who came before her, and her lifetime determination and commitment to achieve justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

Speaking on how her mentors like Uncle Joe McGinness and Dr Evelyn Scott influenced her life and career in Aboriginal and Torres Strait advocacy, she said “They are the giants whose shoulders we stand on.” Ms Turner, who is now 70 years old, explained she is driven by a determination to achieve justice for her people.

Ms Turner  said “every step we’ve taken has been an incremental step that we’ve had to compromise for, to accept the incrementalism in the improvements for us as Aboriginal people. I know most Australians are fed up with the inequity. They want to see people living a decent quality of life and I applaud them for that, and I ask them to continue to support us in doing that.” To this end she said, “… I really would encourage the Australian people to support the Yes Vote… And the Voice is only one part of the Uluru Statement because truth and treaty are next.”

You can view the interview in full in full below.

Interactive app put foot health in Aboriginal hands

An exciting new smartphone app is part of Ingke Arntarnte-areme Looking After Feet, a suite of resources launched today, developed to help address foot health problems faced by Aboriginal people in Central Australian communities. The app, developed by Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress) in partnership with SA Health and Medical Research Institute (SAMHRI) is an interactive platform that provides important information for people at risk of diabetes related foot health problems using images, videos and other mediums, translated into several local Aboriginal languages.

“It is important to have this information in our languages.” said Congress Lead Female Cultural Advisor, Sabella Turner. “Being able to understand the health information will mean that people can recognise when things are not right with their feet, and get help from the doctor or podiatrist.”

Community consultation was central to the development of the new resources. Community members asked for resources that described what diabetes is and how it can lead to foot concerns, and emphasised the importance of privileging Aboriginal languages, lived experiences, strength-based narrative, and centring of culture in healing. “These resources have been strengthened by the Aboriginal community.” Ms Turner continued. “Over 35 community members contributed photos, music, art, and story. Even more gave feedback which was then used to make the information easier to understand.”

The app is complemented by a suite of print, animated and visual resources ­– and even a foot health song. You can find more information about the app on Congress’ webpage Looking After Feet here.

graphic design images of the Looking After Feet app

Image source: CAAC Looking After Feet webpage.

Scholarship helps bring health to Thursday Island

As Kibbim Titasey moved from Thursday Island to rural Atherton to Cairns, he saw the different lives he might have lived fall away. If the 18 year-old had stayed on Thursday Island, he would have likely been a crayfish diver working under his uncle – which he thinks he would have liked. In Atherton, most of his peers at the state school picked up a trade, which he says wouldn’t have satiated his appetite for education and learning.

Now, having attended high school at St Augustine’s College in Cairns on an Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) scholarship and seeing his brother study medicine after also completing an AIEF scholarship, his dream is to become a doctor. He is pre-med, studying a Bachelor of Health Science at the University of Queensland, and eventually wants to return home to the Torres Strait and work in emergency medicine up there.

Without a full scholarship, he wouldn’t have been able to attend St Augustine’s College, he says. “Part of the reason I moved from home was education and the way things are run up there. I want to try to put a dint in that. A lot of my extended family on my father’s side, the Torres Strait Islander side, suffer from chronic diseases. And part of that is a lack of education.

The above is from an article Indigenous scholarship helps bring health to medical student’s Thursday Island home published in The Australian yesterday, Thursday 15 June 2023.

Uni Qld medical student - Torres Strait Islander Kibbim Titasey

Torres Strait Islander Kibbim Titasey, 18, is studying medicine at the University of Queensland. Photo: Glenn Hunt. Image source: The Australian.

Mental health support for flood-affected mob

Extra mental health funding support will be provided to First Nations communities affected by major flooding, caused by a number of recent cyclones and monsoonal events in WA, the NT and Queensland. The Australian Government will provide $4.8m to NACCHO to boost mental health services for First Nations communities impacted by these floods.

Several regions across WA and the NT experienced extensive flooding due to Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie. Northern and Central Queensland also experienced significant flooding events in March 2023 due to heavy monsoonal rain. Funding will be distributed to 13 Aboriginal ACCHOs in communities affected by these floods, to allow them to deliver culturally appropriate trauma counselling, healing and mental health support. NACCHO will retain some funds to respond to any emerging mental health needs in flood-affected communities, and to work with other service providers to ensure holistic, comprehensive health care is available to local communities.

This mental health support aligns with Recommendation 15.3 of the 2020 Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements to support localised planning and delivery of mental health services, before, during and after a disaster. This assistance builds on supports already rolled out to flood-impacted regions, including a $1m Community Mental Health Package to deliver targeted mental health and wellbeing services to those impacted in the North West Queensland flood through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements between the Australian Government and Queensland Government.

To view Minister Butler, Senator Watt, Minister McBride and Senator McCarthy’s joint media release Mental health support for flood-affected First Nations communities in full click here.

aerial view of flooding in the remote community of Pigeon Hole, NT, March 2023

An aerial view of flooding in the remote community of Pigeon Hole, NT, March 2023. Photo: ABC. Image source: National Indigenous Times.

Empowering communities with My Health Record

The Australian Digital Health Agency is hosting a webinar for consumers to learn more about the benefits of My Health Record and the my health app in supporting the preservation of bush medicine information, care on Country and community wellbeing.

There will also be an opportunity for questions and answers at the end of the session.

WHEN: Wednesday 5 July 2023

TIME: 1.00 – 1.30pm AEST

To register for the Empowering communities with My Health Record webinar click here.AIDA My Health Record banner - logos of AIDA & My Health Record

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.

Men’s Health Week  12–18 June

Each day during Men’s Health Week NACCHO has been sharing information, resources and stories relevant to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector. Today we’re showcasing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural men’s group run by Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd, Warrnambool, Victoria. Gunditjamara Men’s Group focuses on increasing connection to Culture and Country in a culturally safe environment. The Men’s Group is grounded in a deep understanding of cultural values and practices and helps to highlight the incredible resilience and empowerment of Gunditjmara and the local community. Levi Geebung, a Social and Emotional Wellbeing Caseworker and Bidjara-Gunditjamara man who runs the group stated that ‘once I started to find culture, I started to find who I was.’

For information about Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd and their Men’s Group click here. The National Indigenous Radio’s Weekly News-in-Review takes an in-depth look at the issues affecting First Nations communities around Australia. Among the topics included in this week’s episode, presented by Stephen Clarke, and available here, is the Gunditjmara Men’s Group talking about reducing Indigenous incarceration.

3 images: front of ACCHO Gunnditjarra, 7 ATSI men standing outside brick building & 4 ATSI men eating cafe meal

Gunditjarra Men’s Group. Image source: Cox Inall Ridgeway.

One comment on “NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Pat Turner shares how fighters shaped her life

  1. Pingback: ANTaR ACT Newsletter – July 2023 – ANTaR ACT

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