NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: A look back at SEWBG-4

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.

A look back at SEWBG-4

Over three days, from 31 July to 2 August 2023, SEWB network members from across Australia attended the fourth Social and Emotional Wellbeing Gathering (SEWBG-4) to discuss social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. SEWB-4 was held in Garramilla (Darwin) on Larrakia Country, Northern Territory and online via Zoom. This hybrid model enabled network members who were unable to participate in person to attend virtually. SEWBG-4 was co-hosted by NACCHO, the University of Western Australia Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing project (TIMHWB), Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia (GDPSA), and the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA), and funded by the Department of Health and Aged Care. 

The aim of the SEWB Gatherings is to bring together SEWB network members to showcase best practice services and programs from across the country and to discuss the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander SEWB policy, practice, and research. The SEWB network includes SEWB and mental health representatives from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies and Aboriginal community controlled organisations (ACCOs), academics, practitioners, policymakers, and front-line workers. The strength of the SEWB movement has been made evident by the continued growth of the SEWB network and support for continued SEWB Gatherings, as well as the Government’s explicit commitment to working alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and leaders in a era of collective change. 

Day 1 began with a review of the SEWBG recommendations and SEWB policy developments, followed by a special focus on the Voice to Parliament with keynote speakers Thomas Mayo and Tom Calma AO. Day 2 focused on five different presentations around the theme ‘SEWB across the lifespan’ and two presentations on child and maternal SEWB. Four concurrent workshops were held on Day 3, including an SEWB services and workforce workshop, a cultural healers workshop, a men’s SEWB workshop, and a women’s yarning circle.

Following the expert presentations on each day, small group insight workshops were held. Each workshop gave SEWB network members the opportunity to listen and learn from others, to share their thoughts and experiences, reflect on work that has been done, and discuss what there is still to do. The workshops on Day 1 considered what ‘culture first’ means and how the Voice impacts SEWB. Day 2’s workshops considered SEWB needs across the lifespan and the supports needed for child/maternal SEWB. The concurrent workshops held on Day 3 facilitated group discussions amongst workshop attendees. Ultimately, reflections from network members during the workshops across the three days provided engaging points for discussion.

Read the full report here.

Save the date! 2024 NACCHO Members’ Conference


 After a successful conference in Noongar Boodjar (Perth), we are excited to announce that the 2024 NACCHO Members’ Conference will be held on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country (Canberra) 2–5 December 2024.

 Get it in your calendars!

C the Whole Story Forum

The C the Whole Story Forum on Thursday 30 November brings together Nurses, Community-based workers, NSP Workers, and Peer Workers from around Australia to share their experiences, strategies for success, and innovative approaches to providing treatment to people living with hepatitis C in housing and homelessness, AOD (alcohol and other drugs), and mental health settings. Keynote speakers include people with a living or lived experience, as well as presentations on innovative models of care and approaches to providing hepatitis C testing, treatment, and support across these settings. Participants will have access to a Q&A with speakers and participate in break-out sessions to network and discuss opportunities for implementing different approaches to services. 

To register and learn more go here.

How to be a trans ally

For Trans Awareness Week (13-19 November) the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) produced helpful videos on how to be a helpful ally to trans mob. You can read and watch part 1 here

Tips on how to be a better ally for trans mob part 2: 

  • Make space for trans mob voices. Listen, learn and amplify their story. 
  • Share resources and have a yarn with people about how to be better allies. Knowledge is power and education is key. Let’s learn and grow together. 
  • Don’t forget to check in with your trans friends and rainbow mob. A simple “how are you?” can make a difference. 
  • Being a good ally is about love, respect, and understanding.

Need to target health inequities at the source

Health inequalities will persist in Gippsland unless we address the social determinants of health, according to Gippsland Primary Health Network (Gippsland PHN). Research shows that social determinants can be more important than health behaviours or healthcare in influencing health. People with poorer health outcomes include people in regional and remote areas, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability, LGBTIQA+ people, people from a multicultural background, and people with mental health and/ or alcohol and other drug issues.

Factors that lead to delays in seeking healthcare or avoiding treatment altogether include cost for the service, lack of transport, discomfort sharing personal information for fear of judgment, a lack of information about available options for care, and digital barriers. A population health approach recognises that health is shaped by a range of factors with social determinants the most important driver, followed by health behaviours and lifestyles, places and communities, and integrated health and care systems.

Read the full article 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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