NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: ATSICHS Mackay afterhours health service

The image in the feature tile is of ATSICHS Mackay. 

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.

ATSICHS Mackay afterhours health service

A new face-to-face general practice service, which aims to address the current gaps in afterhours primary health care delivery is now open for residents in Mackay and surrounding areas. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Mackay will deliver comprehensive and integrated primary care services for those whose health conditions cannot wait for health care during normal hours. ATSICHS Mackay executive manager, Valerie Pilcher said the services would help community members access care without having to travel to the Emergency Department.

“Having an alternative option to attend a clinic that offers afterhours emergency services will benefit our community positively, especially those living in the Northern Beaches and Bucasia area,” she said.

ATSICHS’ afterhours primary care service will operate Monday and Wednesday from 6pm to 9pm, and Saturday from 2pm to 5pm.

Read more here.

ATSICHS Mackay. Image Source: Mackay and Whitsunday Life.

FASD screening tool grant

A project designed to help screen children and adolescents at risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) has been awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council Partnership Grant worth $1.49 million. The Tracking Cube is a culturally responsive, tiered neurodevelopmental screening approach which can be integrated with child well-health checks. A pilot implementation was conducted at an Indigenous remote primary health service which found neurodevelopmental concerns were four times more likely to be identified using the Tracking Cube compared to usual care. The pilot was also about to place the 11% of children identified as at-risk of FASD on local pathways of support.

Griffith University’s Professor Dianne Shanley and co-designer of the Tracking Cube said it “originated when community members from remote Queensland voiced their concern around long waitlists for children.

“They wanted to ensure their children were supported close to home and placed on local treatment pathways as quickly as possible,” she said.

Read more here.

Tracking Cube. Image source: Griffith News.

National Rural Maternity Forum

A National forum on rural maternity services has delivered suggested high-priority actions and solutions for governments and health services to vastly improve access to local maternity care for rural women and their babies. Discussions at the National Rural Maternity Forum were focused on developing a suite of agreed solutions that could help return, retain, and develop maternity services in rural and remote communities. Attendees included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies, midwives, GPs, representatives from the state and federal health departments, as well as rural mothers with direct knowledge of the challenges in accessing maternity care.

A key action which came out of the forum is the expansion of the use of the RISE Framework to not only increase Birthing on Country services nationally, but also more broadly to include rural and remote maternity care. The RISE Framework’s pillars to drive this important reform include redesigning health services, investing in the workforce, and embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community governance and control. Another key action was to secure funding for a National Maternity Workforce Plan, in order to build and sustain a strong rural maternity care workforce of midwives, GP and RG obstetricians, consultant specialist obstetricians, Aboriginal health workers, and allied health professionals.

Read the full article here.

Image source: National Indigenous Times.

Language as medicine

Last month over 900 languages workers, speakers, teachers, linguistics, and others gathered on Larrakia Country (Darwin) for the PULiiMA Indigenous Languages and Technology Conference, which celebrates Indigenous excellence and commits to the conservation and revitalisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. It comes as around 800 Indigenous languages in Australia are expected to have no fluent speakers within 50 years. PULiiMA 2023 heard triumphs and challenges in Indigenous language health, from languages spoken as first language, to those critically threatened, as well as those asleep and those awoken.

Larrakia Elder, Dr Bilawara Lee (Aunty B) welcomed attendees and presented an ‘Introduction to Larrakia’ session describing language as medicine.

“Many people only experience language as a tool for communication. For us, it is much more,” she said.

Read more here.

Replanting the Birthing Trees

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities are working with researchers to create safe and sacred places for babies and families in the first 2,000 days of life. A new research project by the University of Melbourne ‘Replanting the Birthing Trees’ is working with Community, Elders, leading researchers, midwives, parents, and other healthcare professionals to develop resources for parents, healthcare professionals and advocacy to create better systems for the best start to life.

University of Melbourne’s Professor Cath Chamberlain writes, “The best ‘life-course opportunity’ for preventing intergenerational and complex trauma is the transition of becoming a parent. Working with families during pregnancy, birth, and the early years – the first 2,000 days – provides a critical opportunity to support the healing of intergenerational trauma in young parents and to support nurturing care and the best possible start to life for the child as well.”

The project is grounded in the idea of a Birthing Tree and recreating the safe and sacred spaces used by Aboriginal women for millennia. One of the ways the project does this is by aligning the six project streams with a part of the birthing tree; the six streams come together to recreate safe and sacred birthing practices.

Learn more about the research project here.

Replanting the Birthing Trees research project diagram.

COVID-19 vax competition offering HUGE prizes

6 ACCHOs and 15 creative people can win return flights, accommodation, and tickets for up to 3 ACCHO staff members to attend the NACCHO’s Members’ Conference in Perth this October.

Enter the COVID-19 Vaccination promotion competition by submitting a deadly video advertisement/promotion that represents the theme: Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is looking after yourself, for your chance to win! Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the theme: Getting a COIVD-19vaccination is looking after yourself
  • Composition
  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Appropriateness for the target age group: Category 1 – kids 5–12 years (in the ACCHO community), Category 2 – teens and adults 13–49 years (in the ACCHO community), Category 3 – older adults 50+ (in the ACCHO community).

There are 3 amazing prizes up for grabs:

Category 1

  • First Prize includes return flights, accommodation, and tickets to NACCHO’s 2023 Conference in Perth for 3 staff members
  • Second Prize includes return flights, accommodation, and tickets to NACCHO’s 2023 Conference in Perth for 2 staff members

Category 2

  • First Prize includes return flights, accommodation, and tickets to NACCHO’s 2023 Conference in Perth for 3 staff members
  • Second Prize includes return flights, accommodation, and tickets to NACCHO’s 2023 Conference in Perth for 2 staff members

Category 3

  • First Prize includes return flights, accommodation, and tickets to NACCHO’s 2023 Conference in Perth for 3 staff members
  • Second Prize includes return flights, accommodation, and tickets to NACCHO’s 2023 Conference in Perth for 2 staff members

This is an opportunity for you to really show who and what your community is like, and the best ways to communicate with them.

We encourage teams to be creative with the theme. Is the best way to get your mob interested, through humour? Being strong and serious? Telling a story? Addressing negative stereotypes?

Be open to the possibilities of what ‘self-care’ looks like. Self-care could be 30-year-olds discussing the importance of getting the vaccination; or 70-year-olds spinning around the basketball courts because they’re fit and healthy and vaccinated; or tie your promotion to building community strength and vitality.

The more original and community-oriented, the better.

You can access a competition Entry Form here.

The Terms and Conditions for the competition are available 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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