Aboriginal Health : Our ACCHO Members #Deadly good news stories #NACCHOagm2017 #NSW #TAS #QLD #VIC #WA #NT #SA #ACT

1. National : 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference abstracts / Expressions of Interest close 21 August

2.1 QLD : Apunipima Cape York Charkil-Om Celebrates first birthday

2.2 QLD : Minister Ken Wyatt launches new wing of ATSICHS Jimbelunga Nursing Centre 

3. WA : AHCWA Youth E-newsletter is to promote and share positive youth stories from within the communities

4.1 NSW Awabakal celebrates National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day with welcome to 40 babies

 4.2 NSW : Expressions of Interest (EOI) are open for the Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Network Executive Committee 

5. SA : International basketball legend supports the Tackling Tobacco Team at Nunkuwarrin Yunti

6. VIC : VAHS will be offering $1500 sponsorship grants to one team per sports carnival

 7. NT : Miwatj Mental Health Program leading the way in remote Australia

8. Clintons Walk announces plans for  Canberra September 3 to complete his  5,580 mile from Perth

9. TAS : Video of NAIDOC Week 2017 Our Language Matters

10. View hundreds of ACCHO Deadly Good News Stories over past 5 years

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media    

Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1. National : 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference abstracts / Expressions of Interest close 21 August

NACCHO is now calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from Member Services for speakers, case studies and table top presentations for the 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference. This is an opportunity to show case grass roots best practice at the Aboriginal Community Controlled service delivery level.

In doing so honouring the theme of this year’s NACCHO Members’ Conference ‘Our Health Counts: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.

How to submit an EOI

Please provide the following information and submit via email to

mailto:NACCHO-AGM@naccho.org.au

by COB Monday 21st August 2017.

  • Name of Member Service
  • Name of presenter(s)
  • Name of program
  • Name of session
  • Contact details: Phone | Mobile | Email

Provide the key points you want to cover – in no more than 500 words outline the program/ project/ topic you would like to present on.

Describe how your presentation/case study supports the 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference theme ‘Our Health Counts: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.

SUBMIT HERE

2.1 QLD : Apunipima Cape York Charkil-Om Celebrates first birthday

One of NACCHO’s latest ACCHO clinics Apunipima’s Charkil-Om Primary Health Care Centre on Cape York celebrates its first anniversary in August!

Charkil-Om, which means bone fish in local Thanakwith language, provides comprehensive primary health care to the remote community of Napranum which is about nine kilometres south of Weipa.

Opening picture above : R: Tackling Smoking Health Worker Ernest Madua, Receptionist Marissa Sabatino, Casual Receptionist Christine Hall (past employee), Cleaner Melissa Clermont,  Medical Officer Dr Lauren Finlay, Indigenous Health Practitioner Regina Coleman, Registered Nurse Alison Boyd, Midwife and Child Health Nurse Noelene Weightman.

Napranum community member, Traditional Owner and Tackling Indigenous Smoking Health Worker Ernest Madua Jnr explained what Charkil- Om means to him.

‘We now have a service that meets the needs of Napranum community members,’ he said.

‘The key to living longer healthier lives (Closing the Gap) is early detection, diagnosis and intervention for common and curable conditions. Too long our mob die too early, my people, my community deserves better, big thank you to Apunipima Charkil-Om for providing this opportunity.’

Charkil-Om Primary Health Care Centre manager Kelvin Coleman echoed Ernest’s sentiments, expressing pride in the professionalism and dedication of the Napranum and wider – Apunipima team.

‘I would like to acknowledge and thank the staff (too many to name) for their commitment and hard work that made Charkil-Om what it is today. THANK YOU ALL!’

‘This commitment to community has seen the Charkil – Om team get involved in a number of community events and initiatives – these include:

  • Participation in the local NAIDOC celebrations – we created a float and held a community barbeque BBQ;
  • Mind, Exercise, Nutrition… Do It! (MEND) Program (a healthy lifestyles program for families);
  • Need for Feed Programs (a cooking and healthy eating education program for young people);
  • Tackling Smoking video
  • Supporting Napranum Mokwi Men’s Group;
  • Preschool screening (providing preventative health checks for four year olds);
  • Tackling Indigenous Smoking program;
  • Membership of the Napranum Disaster Management Committee;
  • Successful ISO accreditation; and
  • Reestablishment of the Napranum Health Action Team (a community committee which communicates community health priorities to providers).’

Apunipima Chairperson Thomas Hudson said Charkil-Om’s achievements are in line with the Board’s vision.

‘On my last visit to Napranum, I received overwhelmingly positive feedback from community regarding Apunipima staff engagement and participation at sporting events and other local events within the community. These demonstrate the commitment the team shows to the community engagement, education, health promotion and prevention.’

‘On behalf of the Apunipima Board and team, I wish Charkil-Om a happy first birthday.’

2.2 QLD : Minister Ken Wyatt launches new wing of ATSICHS Jimbelunga Nursing Centre 

It was an honour to have Ken Wyatt Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health launch the new wings of Jimbelunga Nursing Centre today. Also joining us was Aunty Pam Mam the first Indigenous nurse to be employed by ATSICHS. She continued to work in the organisation for the majority of her working life, sixteen years of it at Jimbelunga.

Jimbelunga Nursing Centre has been providing an extensive range of aged health care and support services in the community since November 1994.

Located in Eagleby in the outer suburbs of Brisbane it provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with residential aged care and support, including, meals, laundry and medical and allied health services.

ATSICHS Brisbane received $12.5m in funding from the Federal Government to redevelop the Jimblelunga aged care facility. This enabled much needed upgrades to the existing facilities and the ability to expand, with an increase of 19 new beds for residents, taking the number from 55 to 74.

Stage one of new build and expansion project was completed in 2016 with residents moving in to this building in August. Stage 2 included the re-furbishment of the existing nursing home building known as Casuarinam, which saw the rooms turned into large sized single rooms with shared ensuites and a brand new 7 bed secure unit (formerly known as dementia units).

The final stages were completed recently with residents moving in.

3. WA : AHCWA Youth E-newsletter is to promote and share positive youth stories from within the communities

AHCWA Youth have just released the first edition of the AHCWA Youth E-Newsletter!

The purpose of the AHCWA Youth E-newsletter is to promote and share positive youth stories from within the communities, a brief update on what AHCWA Youth have been up to and also to share any Youth related projects run through the WA Aboriginal Medical Services.

Edition 1 is an introduction to the AHCWA Youth Program, and a new edition will be distributed every 3 months to the sector and wider community.

The new Youth E-Newsletter can be download or viewed here:

AHCWA Youth Series Newsletter

If you would like more information on the Youth Program at AHCWA or if you would like to subscribe to the E-Newsletters, please contact Hayley, our Aboriginal Youth Program Coordinator on Hayley.Thompson@ahcwa.org

AHCWA youth were so excited to run a health workshop with the Deadly Sista Girlz at St Mary’s College in Broome August 7

 
4.1 NSW Awabakal celebrates National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day with welcome to 40 babies

August 4 was  National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day and to celebrate Awabakal thought they would share with you some of the photos from the Baby Welcoming Ceremony .

It was a great event with almost 40 babies welcomed into our community.

SEE NBN TV coverage HERE

A big thank you to our Elders and the Mums and Bubs members and team for putting everything together

See more pictures HERE

 4.2 NSW : Expressions of Interest (EOI) are open for the Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Network Executive Committee 

This newly formed Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Network (ACCN) will work to improve the experience and delivery of healthcare for Aboriginal people with chronic conditions in NSW.

To achieve this, the ACCN will guide and support the process of evidence-based reform in health services by developing, promoting and implementing new initiatives, frameworks and Models of Care. It will do this by enhancing and supporting the integration of care for Aboriginal communities accessing chronic care services in NSW in accordance with ACI values.

Purpose

This newly formed Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Network (ACCN) will work to improve the experience and delivery of healthcare for Aboriginal people with chronic conditions in NSW. To achieve this, the ACCN will guide and support the process of evidence-based reform in health services by developing, promoting and implementing new initiatives, frameworks and Models of Care. It will do this by enhancing and supporting the integration of care for Aboriginal communities accessing chronic care services in NSW in accordance with ACI values.

The ACCN will collaborate with key stakeholders including, other ACI Networks, Local Health Districts/Speciality Health Networks, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW, NSW Ministry of Health, Primary Health Networks, Consumers and other Non-Government Organisations.

The ACCN will provide advice and strategic direction to the ACC Network staff and oversee the development and implementation of local and state-wide initiatives as prioritised by the Network. All decision making around the priorities and project work of the Network will be determined by its members through the Network Executive.

Network and executive membership is open to all interested in Aboriginal Health!!  (Community members, and non-health related organisation most welcome)
 
To join the network, please :

5. SA : International basketball legend supports the Tackling Tobacco Team at Nunkuwarrin Yunti

As a proud sponsor of the Aboriginal Basketball Academy we got to hear the legendary Patrick Mills speak at a fundraising lunch, aimed at getting more of our young mob out on the courts and gaining opportunities to make the world stage, just like Patty.

Patty’s message was a simple one – believe in yourself, stay true to your dreams and commit to them 100%. Our team agreed he could not have been more humble and genuine.

Whatever your dream is, quitting the smokes is a sure path to helping achieve it through a healthier and longer life!

Great partnering with Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia and Woodville District Basketball Club Warriors for such a deadly event. #DontLetYourDreamsGoUpInSmoke

6. VIC : VAHS will be offering $1500 sponsorship grants to one team per sports carnival. 

This year VAHS will be offering $1500 sponsorship grants to one team per sports carnival. To apply for these sponsorships one team representative from each team must complete this survey which asks the following questions:

This is the link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VAHSCarnivals

1. Tell us about your club, including the team name, number of players, where you are all from etc.

2. VAHS will provide $1500 in total, what does your team intend to spend this money on?
E.g. uniforms, travel, accommodation, catering, registration fees etc.

3. VAHS values the importance of the following health promoting behaviours. Please tell us how your team will demonstrate these values throughout the carnival.
• Staying Smoke Free
• Choosing water over sugary drinks
• Eating healthy, nutritious foods
• Drinking alcohol responsibly
• Being aware of the dangers of gambling

Here are the carnival dates and closing dates for applications:

Vic Junior Carnival (Horsham)
Wednesday 27th-Thurs 28th September
Closing date for applications: Wednesday 2nd August
Winner announced: Friday 4th August
(1 netball team and 1 football team)

Statewide Koorie Football & Netball Carnival (Ballarat)
14th 15th October
Closing date for applications: Sunday 13th August
Winner announced: Friday 18th August
(1 netball team and one football team)

Women’s Football Carnival AFL Victoria Statewide Koorie Women’s Football Carnival
25th 26th November
Closing date for applications: Sunday 24th September
Winner announced: Friday 30th September
(1 football team)

Looking forward to another great year of carnivals!

#BePositive #BeBrave #BeFocused #BeStrong #StaySmokeFree

 

APPLY HERE

 7. NT : Miwatj Mental Health Program leading the way in remote Australia

Mental Health professionals gathered at the Garma Festival in East Arnhem Land yesterday to discuss social and emotional wellbeing and mental health, with a particular focus on the success of the Miwatj Mental Health Program.

The Miwatj Mental Health Program is a Yolŋu-led program based in Galiwin’ku on Elcho Island and is administered by the Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation, a Yolŋu community controlled Health Organisation.

The Program is leading in the treatment and management of Indigenous mental health. The Mental Health Team works collaboratively with families and the community to provide tailored care to individuals suffering from mental illness.

The Program is an integral part of the community in Galiwin’ku, and the team’s outreach program allows people to be treated in their homes where they feel most connected and at ease.

The concept of health in the Yolŋu culture involves not only the body, mind and spirit being in balance, but also a sense of equilibrium with family and community.

Chief Health Officer of the Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation Dr Lucas de Toca says the program operates on three streams, but the most important aspect is that it is managed and controlled by Yolŋu peoples.

“It is a community based program operating over a continuum of stepped care for all levels of mental illness. We operate three streams, including a therapeutic stream with counselling, a social and cultural stream with traditional approaches to care including family involvement, and a medical stream to deal with acute care and ensure patients with mental health issues receive the appropriate medical care,” said Dr de Toca.

“The three streams function in a coordinated fashion, interlinked through the work of aboriginal health practitioners who are extremely competent both in the medical as well as in the social and cultural aspects of providing care for patients.”

“We are in one of the most remote locations in Australia, but are still able to deliver a high quality and best practice model, following the recommendations of the Mental Health Commission as well as using traditional methods of healing and care.”

Mental Health Australia CEO Frank Quinlan, who has been visiting the Miwatj Mental Health Program for a number of years, was joined by Rarrtjiwuy Herdman and Djamaḻaka Dhamarraṉdji to discuss the success of the program and broader issues of social and emotional wellbeing at the Garma Festival.

“The Miwatj Mental Health Program is a huge success and we can all learn from its strengths – local people making local decisions about the care, services and needs of the people in their community,” said Mr Quinlan.

“This is remote country, and to see a service go from strength-to-strength in recent years, with tangible results, is a real success story for community mental health.  Certainly a program that could be adapted and used elsewhere in remote and rural Australia.”

To find out more about the Miwatj Mental Health Program http://miwatj.com.au/what-we-do/clinical-services/

8. Clintons Walk announces plans for  Canberra September 3 to complete his  5,580 mile from Perth

 

Clinton’s Walk For Justice calls for support rallies and events to be held all across the country on September 3, as Clinton’s big Canberra arrival event is held.

We’ll be calling on the Governor General to meet with Clinton and begin discussions about treaty – sovereign to sovereign.

We encourage all people – from the cities all the way out to the remote communities – to take part in a national day of action to push for treaty and address issues of injustice faced by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

Follow Clinton on FACEBOOK

9. TAS : Video of NAIDOC Week 2017 Our Language Matters

NAIDOC Week 2017 Our Language Matters

As part of NAIDOC week, families and programs took part in a variety of activities celebrating the theme Our Language Matters.

Here are videos and photos of some of the celebrations:

Scarlett Spotswood & Stella Hall giving Welcome to Country, Launceston Mall, NAIDOC 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSno71b0L-I&feature=youtu.be

kanaplila-ripana (Youth Dance), perform nawama papiti (thunder & lightning) and warruwa (evil spirit) dances for NAIDOC Week, Launceston Mall, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDgAQVxrdSI&feature=youtu.be

pakana kitina (little Tassie Blackfellas) group singing in palawa kani, Launceston TAC, NAIDOC 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOnYaobNP28&feature=youtu.be

Cooper Marshall, giving Welcome to Country, Campbell Street Primary School Assembly, Hobart, NAIDOC 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi0Kqze6XIk&feature=youtu.be

takariliya (families) palawa kani water writing, wura (duck) & kanamaluka (Tamar River), Launceston TAC, NAIDOC 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F0diargmfE&feature=youtu.be

Youth singing in palawa kani, Song Workshop, Launceston TAC, NAIDOC 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bv2mCPvswU&feature=youtu.be

NACCHO supports Family Doctor Week #amafdw17 : Our ACCHO doctors – are the key to better physical and mental health for all our mob

  ” The key to a longer and healthier life is eliminating risky health habits and behaviours from your daily routine, and the best advice on minimising health risks is available from your local GP

Many Australians face the prospect of a premature death or lower quality of life through risky behaviours that are often commonplace, but are still very detrimental to their health.

Many people may not even realise that they are putting themselves, and sometimes others, at risk through everyday poor health habits and decisions

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon pictured above recently visiting Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin with NACCHO Chair Matthew Cooke

Launching AMA Family Doctor Week 2017 – the AMA’s special annual tribute to all Australia’s hardworking and dedicated GPs – AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, urged all Australians to establish and maintain a close cooperative relationship with their local family doctor.

Photo above  :All AMA Presidents from all states and Territories met at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service (AHS) for Close the Gap Day Event : Winnunga is an Aboriginal community controlled ACCHO primary health care service for Canberra and the ACT community

See interview here : Dr Nadeem Siddiqui Executive Director Clinical Services Winnunga AMS ACT

Dr Gannon said that having a trusting professional relationship with a GP is the key to good health through all stages of life, for every member of the family.

“GPs are highly skilled health professionals and the cornerstone of quality health care in Australia,” Dr Gannon said.

“They provide expert and personal advice and care to keep people healthy and away from expensive hospital treatment.

“General practice provides outstanding value for every dollar of health expenditure, and deserves greater support from all governments.”

Dr Gannon said that 86 per cent of Australians visit a GP at least once every year, and the average Australian visits their GP around six times each year.

“Around 80 per cent of patients have a usual GP, which is the best way to manage your health throughout life,” Dr Gannon said.

“Your usual GP will be able to provide comprehensive care – with immediate access to your medical history and a long-term understanding of your health care needs, including things like allergies or medications.

NACCHO APP : Find an ACCHO Doctors at one of our 302 clinics

Photo above : The NACCHO App contains a geo locator, which will help you find the nearest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in your area and  provides heath information online and telephone on a wide range of topics and where you can go to get more information or assistance should you need urgent help 

Links to Download the APP HERE

“Family doctors are the highest trained general health professionals, with a minimum of 10 to 15 years training.

“They are the only health professionals trained to diagnose undifferentiated conditions and provide holistic care from the cradle to the grave

“Your GP, your family doctor, is all about you.

“When you are worried about your health, or just want to know how to take better care of your health, you should talk to your GP.”

View Interview Here : Dr Marjad Page Gidgee Healing Mt Isa Aboriginal Health In Aboriginal Hands

Dr Gannon said that the specialised work of GPs is in great demand due to the growing and ageing population, and because of health conditions that result from our contemporary lifestyles and diets.

“The importance of quality primary health care and preventive health advice has never been higher due to our modern way of life,” Dr Gannon said.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW):

  • 45 per cent of Australians are not active enough for a healthy lifestyle;
  • 95 per cent of Australians do not eat the recommended servings per day of fruit and vegetables;
  • 63 per cent of Australians are overweight or obese;
  • 27 per cent of Australians have a chronic disease;
  • 21 per cent of Australians have two or more chronic diseases; and
  • 20 per cent of Australians have had a mental disorder in the past 12 months.

“Our hardworking local GPs – our family doctors – are the key to better physical and mental health for all Australians,” Dr Gannon said.

“They provide quality expert health advice and help patients navigate their way through the health system to achieve the most appropriate care and treatment for their condition.

“Join the AMA in acknowledging their great work during Family Doctor Week.”

Follow all the FDW action on Twitter: #amafdw17

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News : $20 million Streamlined Support for Aboriginal Community Health Services

This is fundamental to the Turnbull Government’s policy of partnership, our commitment to doing things with, not to, the Indigenous community

Under the agreement, NACCHO will receive the funding and will form a collaborative network with its State and Territory counterpart organisations to finance and support local health services.

The agreement provides the network with funding certainty, allowing organisations to plan for the future and improve their effectiveness.”

Federal Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt

Download

NACCHO Ken Wyatt Press Release June 20 2017

Minister Wyatt says a new Network Funding Agreement will streamline the provision of $20 million a year in health service support through the National Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisation (NACCHO).

The unified funding arrangements, signed on Friday, will allow the Commonwealth to work better with Australia’s peak indigenous community health organisation.

Minister Wyatt said the agreement was focussed on outcomes, allowing service funding to be administered through an Aboriginal-controlled agency.

“I have been hearing from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about the kind of care they want, and this agreement will help deliver it,” he said.

“We know that strong, Aboriginal-administered care plays a pivotal role in improving health outcomes, but it can face challenges supplying services on the ground.

“‘This new approach will allow service providers to access the assistance they need to enable them to deliver crucial, quality care to their clients.”

Minister Wyatt said the new network would also ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices were heard clearly at all levels of health administration.

“The aim is to streamline funding and communication, to continue our shared commitment to Closing The Gap,” he said.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #NRW2017 : @KenWyattMP pioneers collaborative agreement between Australian Government and 3 influential national health organisations.

“This new collaboration marks an important step towards improving the health and wellbeing of First Australians.

The initial focus of the agreement will include improving how the health system works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, ranging from enhanced cultural awareness and training for staff, through to decreasing any form of institutionalised racism

The Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt Pictured above with Minister Greg Hunt , David Gillespie , Craig Dukes CEO AIDA and NACCHO Chair Matthew Cooke signing agreement

Minister Wyatt has pioneered a collaborative agreement on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, between the Australian Government and three influential national health organisations.

Download Press release Ken Wyatt Press release #NRW2017

The agreement, signed at Parliament House in Canberra today, commits the Australian Government, the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC), the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) to collaborate on the journey towards closing the gap on Indigenous health.

“In line with tracking the progress of the Tier 3 measures of the Closing the Gap Health Performance Framework, the agreement aims to reduce barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples accessing appropriate health care,” Minister Wyatt said.

Download Health Performance Framework  

2017-AIHW health-performance-framework-report

“This includes ensuring that health facilities are approachable places that provide a culturally safe and respectful environment.

“It is expected that combining the strengths of all of these organisations, along with coordination by the Australian government, will make an appreciable difference to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Minister Wyatt said it must be acknowledged that there have been significant gains in Aboriginal health over recent years.

“From 1998 to 2015 the overall mortality rate has declined significantly, by 15 per cent, and there have been improvements in a number of key health indicators, but much work still needs to be done if Australia is to Close the Gap.

“With this new collaborative agreement we have a real opportunity to help address the complex factors that contribute to positive health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Minister Wyatt said.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Smoking #WNTD @AMAPresident awards #NT Dirty Ashtray Award for World #NoTobacco Day

“Research shows that smoking is likely to cause the death of two-thirds of current Australian smokers. This means that 1.8 million Australians now alive will die because they smoked.

The Northern Territory, a serial offender in failing to improve tobacco control, has been announced as the recipient of the AMA/ACOSH Dirty Ashtray Award for putting in the least effort to reduce smoking over the past 12 months.

But it seems that the Northern Territory Government still does not see reducing the death toll from smoking as a priority. Smoking is still permitted in pubs, clubs, dining areas, and – unbelievably – in schools.

The NT Government has not allocated funding for effective public education, and is still investing superannuation funds in tobacco companies.

“It is imperative that Governments avoid complacency, keep up with tobacco industry tactics, and continue to implement strong, evidence-based tobacco control measures.”

Ahead of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, announced the results today at the AMA National Conference 2017 in Melbourne.

Previous NACCHO Press Release Good News :

NACCHO welcomes funding of $35.2 million for 36 #ACCHO Tackling Indigenous Smoking Programs

The Northern Territory, a serial offender in failing to improve tobacco control, has been announced as the recipient of the AMA/ACOSH Dirty Ashtray Award for putting in the least effort to reduce smoking over the past 12 months.

It is the second year in a row that the Northern Territory Government has earned the dubious title, and its 11th “win” since the Award was first given in 1994.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said that it is disappointing that so little progress has been made in the Northern Territory over the past year.

“More than 22 per cent of Northern Territorians smoke daily, according to the latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey, well above the national average of 13.3 per cent,” Dr Gannon said.

“Smoking will kill two-thirds of current smokers, meaning that 1.8 million Australian smokers now alive will be killed by their habit.

“But it seems that the Northern Territory Government still does not see reducing the death toll from smoking as a priority. Smoking is still permitted in pubs, clubs, dining areas, and – unbelievably – in schools.

“The Government has not allocated funding for effective public education, and is still investing superannuation funds in tobacco companies.”

Victoria and Tasmania were runners-up for the Award.

“While the Victorian Government divested from tobacco companies in 2014, and has made good progress in making its prisons smoke-free, its investment in public education campaigns has fallen to well below recommended levels, and it still allows price boards, vending machines, and promotions including multi-pack discounts and specials,” Dr Gannon said.

“It must end the smoking exemption at outdoor drinking areas and the smoking-designated areas in high roller rooms at the casino.

Learn more about the great work our Tackling Indigenous Smoking Teams are doing throughout Australia 100 + articles HERE

“Tasmania has ended the smoking exemption for licensed premises, gaming rooms and high roller rooms in casinos, but still allows smoking in outdoor drinking areas.

“While Tasmania has the second highest prevalence of smoking in Australia, the Tasmanian Government has not provided adequate funding to support tobacco control public education campaigns to the evidence-based level.  It should provide consistent funding to the level required to achieve reductions in smoking.”

Tasmania should also ban price boards, retailer incentives and vending machines, and divest the resources of the Retirement Benefits Fund (RBF) from tobacco companies, limit government’s interactions with the tobacco industry and ban all political donations, ACOSH said.

It should also ban all e-cigarette sale, use, promotion and marketing in the absence of any approvals by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Promotion

Download the app today & prepare to quit for World No Tobacco Day

Queensland has topped the AMA/ACOSH National Tobacco Control Scoreboard 2017 as the Government making the most progress on combating smoking over the past 12 months.

Queensland narrowly pipped New South Wales for the Achievement Award, with serial offender the Northern Territory winning the Dirty Ashtray Award for putting in the least effort.

Judges from the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) allocate points to each State and Territory in various categories, including legislation, to track how effective government has been at combating smoking in the previous 12 months.

“Disappointingly, no jurisdiction scored an A this year, suggesting that complacency has set in,” Dr Gannon said.

“Research shows that smoking is likely to cause the death of two-thirds of current Australian smokers. This means that 1.8 million Australians now alive will die because they smoked.

“It is imperative that Governments avoid complacency, keep up with tobacco industry tactics, and continue to implement strong, evidence-based tobacco control measures.”

The judges praised the Queensland Government for introducing smoke-free legislation in public areas, including public transport waiting areas, major sports and events facilities, and outdoor pedestrian malls, and for divesting from tobacco companies.

However, they called on all governments to run major media campaigns to tackle smoking, and to take further action to protect public health policy from tobacco industry interference.

31 May is World No Tobacco Day Tweet using “Protect health,reduce poverty, promote development”

Aboriginal #HealthBudget17 #IHMayDay17 Should be about #ACCHO Empowerment and Self Determination

 ” Too much funding aimed at improving Aboriginal health is still administered by mainstream health providers, when Aboriginal controlled community health organisations (ACCHOS) are delivering better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Without additional funds ACCHOs cannot consolidate and expand their core services and provide more healthcare to more Aboriginal people.”

NACCHO Chairperson Matthew Cooke on #IHMayDay17

Wednesday, 17 May) is the fourth Indigenous health Twitter festival – #IHMayDay17 – and NACCHO readers are encouraged to participate 7.00 am to 10.00 PM

#IHMayDay – standing for Indigenous Health MayDay – is an annual Twitter event, which provides a full-day of programming, as outlined below, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people tweeting about health issues. .

Announcing #IHMayDay17 program – make sure to tune in

 “The peak Aboriginal health organisation has welcomed calls by the Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, to better integrate the skills and experience of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations into Primary Health Networks.”

See previous NACCHO Press Release Part 2 below

The 2017 Federal Budget is a missed opportunity to put Aboriginal led solutions at the centre of efforts to close the gap in Indigenous health, the leading body for Aboriginal health said today.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chairperson Matthew Cooke welcomed several of the broader health measures announced in the Budget, namely, the lifting of the freeze on the indexation of the Medicare rebates, the restoration of bulk billing incentives for diagnostic imaging and pathology services and the increase in funding for the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program.

NACCHO also supports the government’s decision to fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme through a 0.5% increase in the Medicare Levy – which will provide better support for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people with a disability.

However Cooke said too much funding aimed at improving Aboriginal health is still administered by mainstream health providers, when Aboriginal controlled community health organisations (ACCHOS) are delivering better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Without additional funds ACCHOs cannot consolidate and expand their core services and provide more healthcare to more Aboriginal people.

“The Budget includes good initiatives which could most effectively be delivered by our services who have a proven track record at meeting key Closing the Gap targets,” Mr Cooke said.

“For example, the increase in funding for the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program is good news and and look forward to working with the government to ensure that our member ACCHOs are seen as a preferred providers under this program.

“NACCHO also welcomes a $52.9 million investment over four years to open up new research avenues into effective and sustainable community health programs.

“The expansion of the Government’s support for community pharmacies will help in delivering proper medication management for patients in rural Aboriginal communities – which is crucial for our 141 member services.

“However, we are extremely concerned by silence on a number of key issues relating to Aboriginal health and another missed opportunity to invest in the growth of Aboriginal community controlled health care services.”

Mr Cooke said the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 is still not fully funded.

He said it is disappointing the Government has not acted on the Prime Minister’s pledge to begin a new partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people by supporting indigenous led solutions outlined by Aboriginal peaks in the Redfern Statement.

The pledge came on the back of the latest Closing the Gap Report, which showed Australia is on track to meet just one of seven targets, and milestones such as infant mortality are going backwards.

“There is absolutely no point writing these Plans or making promises if they are not adequately resourced or acted on,” Mr Cooke said.

“There’s still no commitment to a national strategy involving all levels of government to address the social determinants of health, such as early childhood education for the under 5s, appropriate housing and meaningful employment.

“This Budget is a missed opportunity for the Government to follow through their rhetoric funding for front line services run by Aboriginal health professionals for Aboriginal people that will allow us to turn the statistics around.”

Part 2 :Aboriginal input in Primary Health Networks critical to closing the gap

From 2 March

The peak Aboriginal health organisation has welcomed calls by the Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, to better integrate the skills and experience of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations into Primary Health Networks.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Matthew Cooke, said this was something Aboriginal people had been calling for since the introduction of Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and it was great to see the Minister take it on board.

“The evidence tells us that Aboriginal people respond best to health care provided by Aboriginal people or controlled by the Aboriginal community,” Mr Cooke said.

“Armed with this evidence, Primary Health Networks should be doing everything they can to make sure Aboriginal people are involved in their structures and programs.

“They need to better recognise and acknowledge the experience, history and expertise within the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector.

“They should ensure all Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s, their regional bodies and state peaks are the preferred providers for any targeted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs.

“They should also have representation from Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s on their Board of Directors, Clinical Councils and Community Advisory Committees.

“And they should put into practice the guiding principles developed by NACCHO and PHN’s with the Department of Health Indigenous Health Division.

“These simple but critical steps will ensure Primary Health Networks facilitate the best available service, in the most culturally appropriate way, to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their region and ultimately have the best chance of improving their health outcomes.

“Ken Wyatt is to be commended for his leadership in encouraging PHNs to take a look at their structures and question whether they have the relevant expertise at hand.

“Our services across the country welcome the opportunity to work with the Minister and the PHNs to offer the best of support and primary care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation provided almost 3 million episodes of care to over 340,000 clients over the last 12 months and employ 3,300 Indigenous staff across Australia which makes them the largest single employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the nation.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #WorldImmunisationWeek : @healthgovau Vaccination for our Mob

 ” Health disparities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians continue to be a priority for Australian governments.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are significantly more affected by: low birth weight, chronic diseases and trauma resulting in early deaths and poor social and emotional health.

Historically, immunisation has been and remains, a simple, timely, effective and affordable way to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples health, delivering positive outcomes for Australians of all ages.

Reports that focus on vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) and vaccination coverage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are published regularly by the National Centre for Immunisation Research (NCIRS).

They are modelled on the national surveillance reports and provide a comparison of VPDs and vaccination coverage between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians. The latest (third) report, which covered the period 2006–2010, was published as a supplement issue of Communicable Diseases Intelligence in December 2013.

These reports have also been modified for use by Aboriginal Health Workers and other staff without clinical experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health “

From the Department of Health Website : This week is #WorldImmunisationWeek. Check here on Twitter @healthgovau each morning next week for 5 facts on vaccines

Pictured above the Chair of NACCHO Matthew Cooke having his annual flu shot

Download vaccination-for-our-mob-2006-2010

A number of immunisation programs are available for people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. These programs provide protection against some of the most harmful infectious diseases that cause severe illness and deaths in our communities.

Immunisations are provided for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in the following age groups:

  • Children aged 0-five
  • Children aged 10-15
  • People aged 15+
  • People aged 50+

Free vaccinations under the National Immunisation Program can be accessed through community controlled Aboriginal Medical Services:

Find locations of most of our 302 ACCHO clinics on our Free NACCHO APP

local health services or general practitioners.

Children aged 0-five

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0-five should receive the routine vaccines given to other children. You can see a list of these vaccines in the Children 0-five page.

In addition, children aged 0-five of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent can receive the following additional vaccines funded under the National Immunisation Program:

Pneumococcal disease

An additional booster dose of pneumococcal vaccine is required between the ages of 12 and 18 months. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia continue to be at risk of pneumococcal disease for a longer period than other children.

This program does not apply to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania or the Australian Capital Territory, where the rate of pneumococcal disease is similar to that of non-Indigenous children.

Hepatitis A

This vaccination is given because hepatitis A is more common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in in Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia than it is among other children. Two doses of vaccine are given six months apart starting over the age of 12 months.

The age at which hepatitis A and pneumococcal vaccines are given varies among the four states and territories.

Influenza (flu)

From 2015, the flu vaccine will be provided free for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged six months to five years is available under the National Immunisation Program. The flu shot will protect your children against the latest seasonal flu virus.

Some children over the age of five years with other medical conditions should also have the flu shot to reduce their risk of developing severe influenza.

Children aged 10 – 15

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 10-15 should receive the following routine vaccines given to other children aged 10-15:

  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (whooping cough) (dTpa)

People aged 15+

Pneumococcal disease

Pneumococcal vaccines are free for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from 50 years of age, as well as those aged 15 to 49 years who are at high risk of invasive pneumococcal disease.

Influenza (Flu)

Due to disease burden influenza vaccines are free for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months to five years old and 15 years old or over. The flu shot will protect you against the latest seasonal flu virus.

More information:

Vaccination for the mob Data analysis

Source reference

NCIRS have been leaders in the use of surveillance data to evaluate and track trends in morbidity due to vaccine preventable diseases in Aboriginal people.

Since 2004, NCIRS has produced regular reports on vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) and vaccination coverage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These reports bring together relevant routinely collected data on notifications, hospitalisations and deaths, and childhood and adult vaccination coverage.

Production of these reports has required the development and/or application of new methods to determine the quality and completeness of Aboriginal data. Establishing minimum criteria of data quality has led to the availability of improved data from more Australian states and territories. This has allowed wider use of data and subsequent publication through these reports. While the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has developed methods for assessing data quality for hospitalisations in Aboriginal people, NCIRS is the only organisation to systematically apply similar standards to VPD hospitalisations and vaccination coverage.

Reports are modelled on the national surveillance reports (also produced by NCIRS) and provide a comparison of VPDs and vaccination coverage in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians and a focus on the quality of Aboriginal health data. The latest (third) report, which covered the period 2006–2010, was published as a supplement issue of Communicable Diseases Intelligence in December 2013.

The reports have also been modified for use by Aboriginal health workers and other staff without clinical experience working in Aboriginal health (published as Vaccination for our Mob).

NACCHO Press Release #WCPH2017 : NACCHO welcomes funding of $35.2 million for 36 #ACCHO Tackling Indigenous Smoking Programs

 

 “ NACCHO welcomes the government’s commitment to provide $35.2 million for aboriginal controlled community health bodies to lead the fight against smoking in urban remote and regional communities.

 There is still a long way to go in reducing smoking rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people but we are making some progress through innovative, effective, evidence led programs by our members with the support of research organisations

NACCHO Chair Matthew Cooke said Minister Ken Wyatt had recognised the work that NACCHO’s member organisations do to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In this NACCHO News Alert you will find

1.NACCHO Press Release

2.Kimberley AMS Tackling Indigenous Smoking  Program (Photo above)

3.Tackling Indigenous Smoking Programme components

4. TIS Resources and information Centre

5.Check-out monitoring and evaluation videos for Tackling Indigenous Smoking programs

6. Examples of our ACCHO / TIS programs that work

7.Links to Grant Recipient websites

Read  NACCHO Aboriginal Health Smoking 100 + Research / Articles Here

The peak body for Aboriginal medical services today welcomed the government’s commitment to provide $35.2 million for aboriginal controlled community health bodies to lead the fight against smoking in urban remote and regional communities.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Care Organisation Chair Matthew Cooke said the funding would go to front line services to prevent people taking up smoking and encourage smokers to quit.

Mr Cooke said 36 Aboriginal medical services would receive the funding to continue leading programs targeting smoking in their local communities.

See all ACCHO / TIS website links below or View here

“Smoking is responsible for 23 per cent of the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians – and is an overwhelming contributor to higher rates of cancer, strokes and heart disease in our communities,” Mr Cooke said,

“Evidence by researchers in Darwin shows that there are historical reasons why smoking rates are higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“That’s why it is so critical that any programs tackling smoking are designed, led and implemented on the ground by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people so they are meaningful for our people and they are effective.”

About 40% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 and over smoke daily. Aboriginal people living in remote communities smoke at three times the rate of other Australians.

The latest Closing the Gap report shows that while targets to halving the smoking rates by next year are not on track, there has been a 9 per cent reduction in smoking rates among Aboriginal people since 2002.

2.Photo Above : Deadly Dan and local health representatives are urging Kimberley smokers to kick the habit.

A team of Kimberley smoke-busters has been established to help Aboriginal people kick the habit.

The Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services’ Tackling Indigenous Smoking program was launched in Broome in 2016 to coincide with World No Tobacco Day.

The 13-person team, embedded in Aboriginal Medical Services in Broome, Derby, Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing, will provide support to Aboriginal people to become smoke-free through individual and family-based case management, education programs and other training initiatives.

The program has been funded by the Federal Department of Health and will run until June 2018.

To celebrate the launch of the Kimberley TIS program, KAMS and community health partners hosted a barbecue event at Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Services.

Read full article HERE

Tackling Indigenous Smoking Programme components

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, tobacco smoking is the most preventable cause of ill health and early death, and responsible for around one in five deaths. More national statistics.

The Australian Government has delivered a targeted program to reduce Indigenous smoking rates (Tackling Indigenous Smoking) with regional grants since 2010.

It has also supported the important complementary role of primary health care services in the delivery of brief interventions, and developed nationwide media campaigns targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as part of the National Tobacco Campaign, including Break the Chain television, radio, digital and print advertising, the More Targeted Approach, Quit for You, Quit for Two targeting pregnant women and Don’t Make Smokes Your Story.

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that all actions taken to address high rates of smoking are based on available evidence and delivered in the most appropriate, effective and efficient way. To support this, a review of Tackling Indigenous Smoking was commissioned by the Department of Health. The review was undertaken by the University of Canberra in 2014 and included stakeholder input in various forms.

Informed by the review, the revised TIS programme with a budget of $116.8 million over 3 years ($35.3 million in 2015-16; $37.5 million in 2016-17 and $44 million in 2017-18) was announced by the Government, on 29 May 2015.

See current

Programme components

The programme consists of the following components:

    • Regional tobacco control grants to support multi-level approaches to tobacco control that are locally designed and delivered to prevent the uptake of smoking and support smoking cessation among Indigenous Australians, Funding for the new grants commenced from 1 January 2016;
    • A National Best Practice Unit (NBPU) to support regional tobacco control grant recipients through evidence-based resource sharing, information dissemination, advice and mentoring, workforce development, and monitoring and evaluation, with support and leadership provided by the National Coordinator – Tackling Indigenous Smoking, Professor Tom Calma AO. The NBPU was sourced through an open tender process with a consortium led by Ninti One and including the University of Canberra, University of Sydney and Edith Cowan University is operating the NBPU;
    • Enhancements to existing Quitline services and provision of frontline community and health worker brief intervention training;
    • Program Evaluation and Monitoring which includes the design of an evaluation and monitoring framework to be used for the development of local and national performance indicators for grant reporting and to guide overall programme evaluation. The Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre (CIRCA) has been contracted to develop the Programme Evaluation and Monitoring Framework and undertake the evaluation of the TIS program as a whole; and
    • Innovation grants in remote and very remote areas which have high smoking rates and within specific groups such as pregnant women and young people susceptible to taking up smoking, for commencement in mid-2016.

In addition to the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program, the Australian Government provided $10 million for an Indigenous specific campaign for the National Tobacco Campaign 2016, which commenced on 1 May 2016 across various media.

The campaign, “Don’t Make Smokes Your Story” aims to increase sustained efforts to quit smoking and to reduce smoking uptake, targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, by highlighting the risks associated with smoking and avenues of support within a cultural context.

Website

4. Resources and TIS portal information Centre

The TIS Programme aims to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by reducing the prevalence of tobacco use. The Programme has a number of parts:

  • Regional Grants to organisations
  • A National Best Practice Unit (NBPU)
  • Enhancements to Quitline services
  • Quitskills training
  • Innovation Grants
  • A National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking
  • An evaluation of the overall Programme

Website Portal Here

5.Check-out monitoring and evaluation videos for Tackling Indigenous Smoking programs

View Vidoes Here

6. Examples of our ACCHO / TIS programs that work

Check thru to the NACCHO site page to view videos

 

NSW Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service

NSW Galambila / Durri / Werin Coffs Harbour Kempsey and Port Macquarie

Do you love your sport? Don’t let smoking impact your ability to breathe free and easily. Chuck those smokes away; get outside and play #deadlynready #ToMakeOurMobSmokeFree

Drop into your local AMS for support on your quit journey today #readymob if you would like Ready Mob to attend your school or community group please see our page for more details http://smokefreecommunity.com.au/ Galambila Aboriginal Health Service

NT Danila Dilba

 Check out the Facebook Page

 

NT Katherine West Health Board

Indigenous Hip Hop Projects was proud to partner with Katherine West Health Board and Bulla Camp to create this follow up deadly Music Video/ Health Resource.

The key message was focused on the tobacco and smoking issues in the community particularly with people smoking in cars and in the house

South Australia Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia

Allan Sumner is a talented South Australian artist. He is a descendant of three Aboriginal peoples being the Ngarrindjeri people from the lower river and lakes of the Murray River along the Coorong, the Adelaide plains Kaurna people and the Yankunytjatjara people from central Australia.

The Nunkuwarrin Yunti Tackling Tobacco Team contracted Ochre Dawn who approached Allan to create an artwork to illustrate the story that Nunkuwarrin Yunti and the community share in tackling tobacco.

Drawing upon his own experience, 20 years of working in health, tobacco control and on personal health battles “It came to me very easy, to create the artwork” said Allan.

“The Tackling Tobacco Teams new artwork is a contemporary view which has traditional elements present, in particular the symbol in reference to the pregnant mothers and children are popular across many cultural groups. Some of the other symbols, you wouldn’t necessarily see in Aboriginal artwork but they do have meaning.

These new symbols will be used into the future. I think that’s how Aboriginal artwork is bold, it was never ever the same before, the fact is, it’s always taken someone to sit down and recreate something to give it meaning to say this is what I want it to represent, and that’s exactly what I’m doing. My artwork in years to come, my children’s children are going to say ‘that symbol means this’. Aboriginal culture is living and always transforming, it’s never set, it changes over a long period of time, and I’m just a part of creating that culture.”

“Quitting smoking isn’t easy and it’s a narrow path. In the Tackling Tobacco Team artwork, I came up with the idea to illustrate that narrow path. There’s always barriers to why people can’t give up the smokes, so I thought it’s like a river, to get across the river there is narrow paths, then there’s stepping stones in the river, you have to find those stepping stones of support to get across to the fresh air on the other side”.

Further “I wanted the artwork to be vibrant and eye catching so that people stop and take a look. I wanted to really portray the messages well, therefore I put a lot of thought into the descriptions of the symbols used, so that when people look at the artwork they understand the full meaning and story behind it”. Allan explained that the artwork being contemporary in nature containing new stories, cultural symbols and significant meaning, will continue to be linked to Aboriginal history, it will in time become a very valuable story to the viewers.

Tackling Tobacco Team & Robert de Castella, Adrian Dodson-Shaw and Elsie Seriat from Indigenous Marathon Foundation.Thanks for dropping in

QLD The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Deadly Choices

Murri Places, Smoke-free Spaces is an initiative by The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health aimed at reducing the prevalence of tobacco smoking, particularly within health services and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workplaces.

Follow on Facebook

It includes smoke-free policies, smoking cessation and nicotine dependence education and support programs for staff and their families. It also encourages creating and identifying smoke-free spaces – including workplaces, houses and cars to increase health and wellbeing in the community.

Going smoke-free is a Deadly Choice – why?

  • Tobacco smoking is the largest single preventable cause of death and disease in Australia
  • There are approx. 19,000 smoking related deaths each year
  • 47% of Indigenous people smoke compared to 17% of the Australian population
  • Smokes cost about $20 per pack, so if you smoke 1 pack of cigarettes a day you’ll spend $7280 per year!

Join the Smoke-Free Team today and get your limited edition jersey

If you have been thinking about giving up the smokes, now is a great time to get support from your local Aboriginal Medical Service.

How to get your limited edition Smoke-Free Team jersey:

  1. Tell your AMS you are interested in joining the Smoke-Free Team and giving up the smokes
  2. Attend four (4) Quit appointments
  3. Take home your limited edition Deadly Choices Smoke-Free Team jersey

Not a smoker? You can still get your jersy by referring a friend or family member. Once they have completed their four (4) Quit appointments, you’ll both get a jersey!

Are you interested in finding out more?

Contact your nearest Aboriginal Medical Service and ask about Quit Smoking programs, Nicotine Replacement Therapy and other supports they can offer.

programs 01

Download Smoking During Pregnancy Fact Sheet
Download Tips For Quitting Fact Sheet
Download Tobacco fact sheet

Make a Deadly Choice today.

Contact your nearest clinic for assistance and NRT if appropriate

QLD Apunipima Cape York Health Council.

Check out our TIS stall in Hopevale today! Kurtis & Dean have set up opposite the school to promote the key messages of our program 🙂

Have a yarn with them if you would like to be involved in your local social marketing campaign.

#DontMakeSmokesOurStory #CloseTheGap
National Best Practice Unit Tackling Indigenous Smoking — at Hopevale,Queensland

What’s Your Story, Cape York?’ Facebook page is administrated by the Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) Team at Apunipima Cape York Health Council.

‘Don’t Make Smokes Your Story’ is a national campaign on that shares the real, difficult stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have smoked tobacco. The campaign was initiated by the Australian Government as part of their plan to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking rates.

QLD Carbal Medical Service

Check out the website

WA   Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

The Tackling tobacco team is a part of the Healthy lifestyles team at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) and provides smoking cessation throughout the Aboriginal community in Victoria.

The team’s focus is to cut the smoking rates in the community and close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Activities include:

  • client support and education
  • pilot hypnotherapy program for community to quit smoking
  • health promotion/smoking cessation education at community events
  • presentations to young people and other organisations
  • referrals to Quit

The team partners with the Aboriginal Quit line counsellors wherever possible

Website Page

Tasmania Aboriginal Centre

 

Website

 

ACT Winnunga

Winnunga’s Tobacco/Healthy Lifestyle Workers offer health information sessions and stalls at events, schools and workplaces as well as referrals into our No More Boondah (link to be inserted here soon) quit smoking program. Onsite at Winnunga we offer access to a range of programs including healthy cooking and sporting/exercise groups.

Winnunga has a smoke free policy which states that smoking is prohibited on all grounds surrounding Winnunga’s main building, car park and art room.

If you would like to enquire about our team attending your event, workplace or school please call us on 02 6284 6222 and ask for Chanel Webb, Tobacco Action Worker or Ian Bateman, Healthy Lifestyle Worker.

If you would like information about Winnunga’s ‘No More Boondah’ quit smoking program click here  or call Perri Chapman, Tobacco Action Worker, on 02 6284 6222.

Be sure to visit our face book page ‘tackling Indigenous smoking & promoting healthy lifestyles’ for the latest updates on smoking and living healthy!

WEBPAGE

6.Links to Grant Recipient websites

Aboriginal Health Events / Workshops #SaveADate @First1000DaysOz #NACCHOAGM17 and Members Meeting

#Cyclone Debbie : Our thoughts and prayers today are with our 10 FNQ ACCHO health clinics , staff and community members

Stay safe Matthew Cooke Chair  and  Pat Turner CEO NACCHO

Full detail and contact information for all the 20 events below

Workshop of the week

April – November Introduction to First 1000 Days Australia

This two-day short course presents the overall objectives of First 1000 Days Australia, which aims to provide a coordinated, comprehensive intervention addressing the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from pre-conception to two years of age, thereby laying the foundation for their future health and wellbeing.

Through a mix of presentations, group work and case studies, the course will explore how the First 1000 Days Australia Model can be established and implemented across different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities Australia-wide in partnership with the University of Melbourne and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

For more information download our brochure (below) from the previous short course (update pending),

email iheu-admin@unimelb.edu.au or call Dr Rebecca Ritte on +61 3 9035 7505.

To register for the April 2017 Short Course in Melbourne follow the link here.

Upcoming Courses:

Date

Location

Registration opens

REGISTER
21–22 February 2017

Caboolture, Qld

01/02/2017

 Sold out
3–4 April 2017

Melbourne, Vic

02/03/2017

Register here
14–15 August 2017

Melbourne, Vic

05/04/2017

Register your interest here
6–7 November 2017

Townsville, Qld

16/08/2017

Register your interest here

Sponsored Attendance

First 1000 Days Australia offers up to five sponsored positions for community members and/or representatives from community organisations to cover registration to our Short Courses.

To secure a place, we are asking applicants to complete a brief Expression of Interest form explaining why you think this course will benefit you.

Please contact us if you would like to apply.

Applications close one week prior to the commencement of the course.

Funding $ and surveys OPEN

March : NACCHO #IPAG Aboriginal Health Consultation  Mylife #MyLead Consultation opens for #NATSIHP : Closes 30 April

March : Applications for Innovative (Disability) Workforce Fund CLOSES 27 March

March : NSW Funding for NAIDIC week opens

March – May   : NEW : Get NDIS Ready with a Roadshow NSW Launched

save-a-date

Events Workshops

29 March: RHD Australia Education Workshop Adelaide SA

3-7 Apr 2017  15TH WORLD CONGRESS ON PUBLIC HEALTH

4-7 Apr 2017, The Future of Indigenous Health Education: Leadership, Collaboration, Curriculum

26- 29 April The 14 th National Rural Health Conference Cairns

29 April:14th World Rural Health Conference Cairns

10 May: National Indigenous Human Rights Awards

23-25 May Conference Aboriginal People with Disability

26 May :National Sorry day 2017

6 June : Stomp out the Gap : Cathy Freeman Foundation

1-2 July Aboriginal Health Conference  Perth

2-9 July NAIDOC WEEK

7 July Awabakal 40th Anniversary Dinner

8-9 August 2nd World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis Alaska in August 2017

10 October CATSINAM Professional Development Conference Gold Coast

30 October2 Nov NACCHO AGM Members Meeting Canberra Details to be released soon

27-30 November Indigenous Allied Health Australia : IAHA Conference Perth

If you have a Conference, Workshop Funding opportunity or event and wish to share and promote contact

Colin Cowell NACCHO Media Mobile 0401 331 251

Send to NACCHO Media mailto:nacchonews@naccho.org.au

save-a-date

 

March : NACCHO #IPAG Aboriginal Health Consultation  Mylife #MyLead Consultation opens for #NATSIHP : Closes 30 April

My Life, My Lead is a new online public consultation portal to highlight the issues that support or impede Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have good health.

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said that the launch of the new portal will give more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people an opportunity to lead the discussion about the life they live now, and the life they want in the future for themselves, their families and their communities.

The Australian Government is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities, and other stakeholders to improve progress against the goals to improve health outcomes for Indigenous Australians, and is  welcoming participation in the IPAG Consultation 2017 from a broad range of stakeholders.

You can have your say by taking part in the online submission to the IPAG consultation 2017.

The online submission will be open from Wednesday 8 March 2017 and will close 11.59 pm Sunday 30 April 2017.

March Applications for Innovative (Disability) Workforce Fund open

nds-innovative-fund-applications-open

Applications for Innovative (Disability) Workforce Fund will be open 6 March to 27 March 2017. Click here to download the promotional flyer from National Disability Services (NDS).

The Innovative Workforce Fund (the Fund) is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Social Services to:

  • support projects that explore more efficient and effective ways to engage, develop and utilise the disability workforce;
  • build a strong evidence base that supports innovative approaches for participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Fund has been established from an allocation of the Sector Development Fund and will be administered by National Disability Services (NDS).

Applications will open on 6 March 2017, and will be accepted from organisations and individuals throughout Australia.

Applications for three project types will be sought, including showcase projects funded up to $200,000.

Applications will not open until 9am on Monday 6 March 2017. At this time, you will be able to apply and access funding guidelines at www.workforce.nds.org.au/innovation.

For more information, contact Leila Wright, Project Manager, Innovative Workforce Fund, National Disability Services, leila.wright@nds.org.au.

 March : NSW Funding for NAIDIC week opens

The NSW Government is urging grassroots organisations to hold local events during NAIDOC Week 2017 by providing a total of $200,000 in grants to help celebrate the history, culture and accomplishments of Aboriginal people.

The national theme this year is ‘Our Languages Matter’, highlighting the importance of growing and sharing Aboriginal languages. NSW is linguistically diverse with over 35 Aboriginal languages – all currently critically endangered

Grant applications totalling $200,000, are open from today, Monday 6 March through to Thursday 27 April. Not-for-profit community groups are encouraged to apply via www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au.

NAIDOC, which stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, is held nationally each year in the first full week of July. This year NAIDOC will run from 2 – 9 July.

March ACEM Foundation Conference Grant (the Grant) Open Close 9 April

The purpose of the ACEM Foundation Conference Grant (the Grant) is to support Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori medical practitioners, medical students and other health professionals in attending the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM/the College) Winter Symposium or the ACEM Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM).

The ACEM Foundation acknowledges that increasing the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori health workforce is an essential step in reducing the current health disparities experienced by Indigenous people. By supporting attendance at the ASM or Winter Symposium, the Grant aims to provide the recipient with an opportunity for professional development and:

More INFO HERE

March – May   : Get NDIS Ready with a Roadshow NSW Launched

ndis

The Every Australian Counts team will be hitting the road from March – May presenting NDIS information forums in the NSW regional areas where the NDIS will be rolling out from July.

We’ll be covering topics including:

  • What the NDIS is, why we need it and what it means for you
  • The changes that the NDIS brings and how they will benefit you
  • How to access the NDIS and get the most out of it

These free forums are designed for people with disability, their families and carers, people working in the disability sector and anyone else interested in all things NDIS.

Please register for tickets and notify the team about any access requirements you need assistance with. All the venues are wheelchair accessible and Auslan interpreters can be available if required. Please specify any special requests at the time of booking.

Find the team in the following locations: 

 

Click on a link above to register online now! 

Every Australian Counts is the campaign that brought about the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Now it is a reality, the team are focused on engaging and educating the disability sector and wider Australian community about the benefits of the NDIS and the options and possibilities that it brings.

 7 April National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers 

 

Join the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers Association (NATSIHWA) for a one day CPD networking workshop focussed on current workforce development opportunities.

Register

7 April Perth   Register Free Entry  Here

11 April Broome  Register Free Entry Here

28 June Cairns Register Free Entry Here

Upskill and strengthen your skill level in a specialised area and find out what is happening through program development, education and funding opportunities.

Hear from organisations such as: PHN Primary Heath Network, CranaPlus, Autism QLD, Rheumatic Heart, PEPA Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach, Aboriginal Learning Circle, Diabetes Australia, IBA Indigenous Business Australia, HESTA Superannuation, 1800 RESPECT, Hearing Australia and more to be annuonced in the coming months (tailored for your specific region).

Current topics on the agenda:

Who is NATSIHWA? – an update on what is happening on a national level.

NATSIHWA Membership Benefits – Why join? Access to online members portal, web resources, weekly eNewsletter and social media.

Scope of Practice – An update on the development of the national framework for the scope of practice for ATSIHW’s and ATSIHP’s.

AHPRA – Who is AHPRA and what do they do? Why register with AHPRA? CPD requirements of ongoing registration.

Modern Award – An update on the progress of the modern award process with Fair Work Australia.

Workforce Development – Career development, training opportunities, CPD Points, GNARTN Tool, Scholarships.

 

29 March: RHDAustralia Education Workshop Adelaide SA

edit

Download the PDF brochure sa-workshop-flyer

More information and registrations HERE

3-7 Apr 2017  15TH WORLD CONGRESS ON PUBLIC HEALTH

www.wcph2017.com/   Registrations Close 31 March

 

It is our very great pleasure to invite you to Melbourne, Australia the host destination for the 2017 World Congress on Public Health.
We are planning a Festival of Public Health during the Congress to engage researchers, practitioners, academics, administrators, policy makers, industry representatives, students and stakeholders involved in public health from all over the globe.
It is our desire that they will share and enhance knowledge transfer about the latest advancements in public health, its challenges and opportunities, collaborations and advancements.

4-7 Apr 2017, The Future of Indigenous Health Education: Leadership,
Collaboration, Curriculum
Twitter hashtag

The conference will encourage strengths based presentations relating to Indigenous health teaching and learning, curriculum development and research; community engagement; and the recruitment and graduation of Indigenous students in the health professions.

LIME Connection provides an opportunity for:
– Collaboration, information sharing and networking across nations;
– Professional development and capacity-building;
– Linking with community, colleges and those from all health disciplines;
– Discussion and critique of current practices; and
– Exploration of emerging tools and techniques to drive improvement in Indigenous health education.

26- 29 April The 14 th National Rural Health Conference Cairns c42bfukvcaam3h9

INFO Register

29 April : 14th World Rural Health Conference Cairns

acrrm

The conference program features streams based on themes most relevant to all rural and remote health practitioners. These include Social and environmental determinants of health; Leadership, Education and Workforce; Social Accountability and Social Capital, and Rural Clinical Practices: people and services.

Download the program here : rural-health-conference-program-no-spreads

The program includes plenary/keynote sessions, concurrent sessions and poster presentations. The program will also include clinical sessions to provide skill development and ongoing professional development opportunities :

Information Registrations HERE

10 May: National Indigenous Human Rights Awards

nihra-2017-save-the-date-invitation_version-2

” The National Indigenous Human Rights Awards recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons who have made significant contribution to the advancement of human rights and social justice for their people.”

To nominate someone for one of the three awards, please go to https://shaoquett.wufoo.com/forms/z4qw7zc1i3yvw6/
 
For further information, please also check out the Awards Guide at https://www.scribd.com/document/336434563/2017-National-Indigenous-Human-Rights-Awards-Guide

 23-25 May Conference Aboriginal People with Disability

Save the date: Conference for #Aboriginal People with #disability May 23, 24, 25 in #WaggaWagga

On 23, 24 and 25 May 2017 FPDN is hosting a conference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability. Community members and service providers are also welcome. Sponsorship is available for First Peoples with disability.

Website

The agenda will be published in April 2017.

Download the PDF Save the Date – Living Our Way Conference

26 May :National Sorry day 2017
bridge-walk
The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998 – one year after the tabling of the report Bringing them Home, May 1997. The report was the result of an inquiry by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families.
 6 June : Stomp out the Gap : Cathy Freeman Foundation

More info Here

 1-2 July Aboriginal Health Conference  Perth .

We would like to invite NACCHO and any partnering organisations to submit an Abstract on these projects for consideration in our Aboriginal Health Conference taking place at the Parmelia Hilton Perth on the 1-2 July 2017.

Abstract submissions are now being invited that address Aboriginal health and well-being.

Underpinned by a strong conference theme; Champions | Connection | Culture, it will provide an inspirational platform for those with evidence based approaches, improved health outcomes and successful projects in

  • Aboriginal Health;
  • Community Engagement;
  • Education;
  • Workforce Development.

If you are currently engaged in work, research or other collaborations relating to Aboriginal health you are encouraged to submit an abstract of 300 words. Abstracts will be reviewed by our Education Steering Committee. Abstracts that fulfil the requirements as outlined in the Submissions Guidelines will be considered. Due consideration will be given to originality and quality.  Receipt of abstracts will be acknowledged within one week of them being received and successful applicants will be notified by 23 May 2017. Successful abstracts will be published in the Conference Program handbook.

Attached for your reference is the Abstract Submission Form and the Abstract Submission Guidelines.

Download Here abstract-submission-form_2017-v1

Closing date for abstract submission is Monday 10 April 2017.

Should you have any further questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Should you have any further questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact the Events team.
events@ruralhealthwest.com.au | T: 6389 4500 | F: 6389 4501
 
2-9 July NAIDOC WEEK
17_naidoc_logo_stacked-01

The importance, resilience and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages will be the focus of national celebrations marking NAIDOC Week 2017.

The 2017 theme – Our Languages Matter – aims to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.

More info about events

7 July Awabakal 40th Anniversary Dinner

40 years respecting the past, leading the future – the legacy lives on

Since 1977, Awabakal has been providing primary health care, aged care, children and family services to Indigenous people living throughout the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and Hunter Valley regions. Our legacy lives on through the services we provide.

More info

8-9 August 2nd World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis Alaska USA

2nd World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis in Anchorage Alaska in August 2017 after the 1st which was held in Alice Springs in 2014.

Download Brochure Save the date – World Indigenous Hepatitis Conference Final
Further details are available at https://www.wipcvh2017.org/

10 October CATSINAM Professional Development Conference Gold Coast

catsinam

Contact info for CATSINAM

30 October2 Nov NACCHO AGM Members Meeting Canberra

Details to be released

27-30 November Indigenous Allied Health Australia : IAHA Conference Perth

iaha

save-a-date

NACCHO Press Release : Aboriginal Health #18C and #Racism : Proposed changes to #18C will throw Reconciliation out the window

It is so disappointing that after all the talk in Canberra in February and the goodwill that was generated, the Government is sending such a poor message to Aboriginal people about acceptance in our own country,

“Racism and discrimination have well documented negative impacts on mental health. If we fail to deal with the alarming rates of poor Mental Health in Aboriginal people, it will have ongoing detrimental impacts in preventing and managing chronic disease

 Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people take their own lives at a rate five times that of other Australians and infant mortality rates are going backwards “

NACCHO Chair Matthew Cooke said just a month after the Prime Minister committed to a new partnership with Aboriginal people through the Redfern Statement, he has put forward measures that would have potentially devastating impacts on the health and well-being of Aboriginal people.

Download a copy of the NACCHO Press Release or read in full below

NACCHO Press Release response to 18c amendments

Download NACCHO full submission to #RDA #18c enquiry here

submission-to-inquiry-into-freedom-of-speech-and-rda-draft

The Kenbi land claim was a hard-fought land rights battle, but it represents so much more than a battle over land. It was a story that epitomised the survival and the resilience of the first Australians, the survival and resilience of the Larakia people“.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Great photo opportunity above for the PM during the 2016 election campaign , but what would be the #healthyfutures for these children with increased racial hate speech ?  

 ” In question time today, I asked Senator Brandis about the watering down of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

What insulting, offensive or humiliating comments does the Prime Minister think people should be able to say to me?

It’s sad that on Harmony Day, a day that celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity, inclusiveness and builds a sense of belonging for everyone, the Government wants to give permission for more racial hate speech

  Being the target of racist, hurtful comments is deeply distressing and causes deep harm “

Senator Malarndirri McCarthy addressing the Senate see video and text below

Along with powerful videos of MPs Linda Burney and Tony Burke addressing Parliament over 18C

“The challenging thing with regard to proposals to change the act is that they are being put forward by those who have never felt vulnerable. These are the people who have never been on the receiving end of racist comments or attacks.

“Our first Australians hold a special place in the Australian community. Our government should be taking action to empower, rather than to disempower them. To be serious about ‘Closing the Gap’, the evidence is clear around racism and all Australian governments should be doing everything in their power to address these issues .”

Members of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) were shocked by the Government’s announcement being made on World Harmony Day the intention to change Section18c of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, according to PHAA CEO Michael Moore.

”  The government’s reforms should, as the Inquiry recommended, address that problem specifically, and not be distracted with an abstract ideological debate, divorced from the social realities.

Section 18C is not needed to protect members of minority groups who are popular in the wider community. It is needed to protect members of unpopular minorities, and also vulnerable minorities, especially our First Peoples, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders.

We support the idea of improving the process for handling section 18C complaints, so that trivial or spurious complaints are terminated quickly.”

Rod Little and Dr Jackie Huggins, Co-chairs, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples

As leaders of 10 organisations representing a wide range of culturally diverse communities in Australia, we are profoundly disappointed at today’s announcement by the Federal government of its intention to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

The Government’s planned changes to the Racial Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Commission will weaken the protection of Aboriginal Australians from racial abuse in this country at a time when suicide rates in Indigenous communities are among the worst in the world, the peak body for Aboriginal medical services said today.

NACCHO Chair Matthew Cooke said just a month after the Prime Minister committed to a new partnership with Aboriginal people through the Redfern Statement, he has put forward measures that would have potentially devastating impacts on the health and well-being of Aboriginal people.

Mr. Cooke said all Senators must carefully consider the issues and rise above petty point scoring politics to defeat these amendments – which are based on an hysterical media campaign about the merits of the legislation due to a single court case and a recently published cartoon.

“Any changes to section 18C will alienate the very Aboriginal people the government says it is trying to support, and create even deeper divisions in our community,” he said.

“I urge all Senators to respect the voice of the first Australian peoples in this debate, listen to Aboriginal people about what needs to be done to close the gap, and vote down changes to laws that are likely to make it even wider.”

Mr Cooke said it was outrageous that watering down racial hate laws is a priority for the Government when the latest Closing the Gap report showed just one of seven targets are on track, and the Don Dale Royal Commission is shining a light on the treatment of Aboriginal children in detention.

Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people take their own lives at a rate five times that of other Australians and infant mortality rates are going backwards.

“It is so disappointing that after all the talk in Canberra in February and the goodwill that was generated, the Government is sending such a poor message to Aboriginal people about acceptance in our own country,” Mr Cooke said.

“Racism and discrimination have well documented negative impacts on mental health. If we fail to deal with the alarming rates of poor Mental Health in Aboriginal people, it will have ongoing detrimental impacts in preventing and managing chronic disease.

“The Government’s priorities should be on positive measures like the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan, which recognises the impacts of racism and discrimination inherent in the health system, and supporting the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector to fix the national crisis in Aboriginal health.”

PHAA urges all MPs and Senators to leave 18c alone

“Members of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) were shocked by the Government’s announcement being made on World Harmony Day the intention to change Section18c of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975,” according to PHAA CEO Michael Moore.

Earlier this week Mr Moore attended a meeting on Aboriginal and Torres Islander Health where the issue of impact of racial discrimination on health was discussed at length. “The challenging thing with regard to proposals to change the act is that they are being put forward by those who have never felt vulnerable. These are the people who have never been on the receiving end of racist comments or attacks”.

“Our first Australians hold a special place in the Australian community. Our government should be taking action to empower, rather than to disempower them. To be serious about ‘Closing the Gap’, the evidence is clear around racism and all Australian governments should be doing everything in their power to address these issues”.

“A similar impact on health will be experienced by anyone who is discriminated against on the grounds of their racial or ethnic background,” said Mr Moore.

“It really is those who are vulnerable, and those who have been subjected to hateful jibes and vilification, who should be the ones making suggestions for change rather than those who are in the dominant group,” added Mr Moore.

“The PHAA calls on all MPs and Senators to leave the Act as it is”.

“People who already feel exposed to inappropriate comments do not need to be made even more vulnerable,” Mr Moore added.

The Report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights “Freedom of Speech in Australia” set the tone. Over ten thousand submissions were made and the Committee did not recommend changes. Of the twenty two recommendations, there was no consensus about a change to Section 18c.

Mr Moore concluded that “MPs and Senators should be taking guidance from the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights that examined the issue rather than kowtowing to a small hump of ultraconservatives who have played political games in order to get the numbers for a proposal that will undermine the health of the most vulnerable groups in Australia”.

Harmony Day 21 March 2017

As leaders of organisations representing a wide range of culturally diverse communities in Australia, we are profoundly disappointed at today’s announcement by the Federal government of its intention to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

If implemented, these proposals will weaken, perhaps emasculate, existing legal protections against racist hate speech. They will give a free pass to ugly and damaging forms of racial vilification which do not satisfy the stringent legal criteria of harassment and intimidation. The publication of virtually any derogatory generalisation about an entire community group would, of itself, be permissible.

To offend, insult or humiliate a person or group because of their race or ethnic background necessarily sends a message that such people, by virtue of who they are, and regardless of how they behave or what they believe, are not members of society in good standing.

This cannot but vitiate the sense of belonging of members of the group and their sense of assurance and security as citizens, and constitutes an assault upon their human dignity. This has nothing to do with a contest of ideas or free speech – which is in any event protected under section 18D – and falls far short of the mutual respect about which we have heard.

Under the government’s proposals vulnerable community groups will now have no peaceful, legal means of redress against these kinds of attacks against their dignity. This would send a signal from government of a more lenient attitude to racism and would damage social cohesion. It is especially ironic that the government has put forward these proposals on Harmony Day.

The proposal to insert a generic “reasonable person” standard into the legislation has superficial appeal, but is unfair and unworkable. The proverbial person in the pub or on the “Bondi tram” does not have the background knowledge and insight into the particularities of a minority group that would be needed to make a fair and informed assessment of what is reasonably likely to “harass or intimidate” members of that group.

Under the existing law, the assessment is made by a reasonable member of the targeted community, that is, by a member of that community who is neither overly sensitive nor overly thick-skinned. This is both more logical and more just.

A generic reasonable person test would also create the possibility that members of a group that happens to be unpopular at any time for any reason would be unfairly treated. Section 18C is not needed to protect members of minority groups who are popular in the wider community. It is needed to protect members of unpopular minorities, and also vulnerable minorities, especially our First Peoples, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders.

We support the idea of improving the process for handling section 18C complaints, so that trivial or spurious complaints are terminated quickly.

We note that the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights was unable to reach a consensus, or even a majority opinion, in favour of any of the government’s proposals to amend the substantive law. Its recommendations were all limited to suggested reforms to the complaints-handling process.

This is the sensible way forward. The problems identified by the QUT case and the Bill Leak complaint all related to deficiencies of process. The government’s reforms should, as the Inquiry recommended, address that problem specifically, and not be distracted with an abstract ideological debate, divorced from the social realities.

Rod Little and Dr Jackie Huggins, Co-chairs, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples

John Kennedy, President, United Indian Association

George Vellis, Co-ordinator, and George Vardas, Secretary, Australian Hellenic Council NSW

Peter Wertheim AM, Executive Director, Executive Council of Australian Jewry

Patrick Voon, Immediate Past President, Chinese Australian Forum

Tony Pang, Deputy Chair/Secretary, Chinese Australian Services Society

Randa Kattan, CEO, Arab Council Australia

Vache Executive Director, Armenian National Committee of Australia

 

Senator McCarthy:  My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Brandis. The Prime Minister has on at least 16 occasions ruled out his government amending section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Today, on Harmony Day, we learned that the Turnbull government is proposing the removal of the words ‘insult’, ‘offend’ and ‘humiliate’ from section 18C. What insulting, offensive or humiliating comments does the Prime Minister think people should be able to say to me?

Senator Brandis: Might I begin by correcting the premise of your question: the Prime Minister has never, not on 16 occasions and not once, said that the government would never reform section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. He did say, as was the case at the time, that it was not a priority for the government.

Nevertheless, I think we all know that events have happened in this country in the recent past, in particular, the treatment of the QUT students, which was disgraceful, and the treatment of the late Bill Leak, which was disgraceful. The report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, to which Labor senators and members of the House of Representatives continue, proposed beneficial law reform. What the Prime Minister and I announced a short while ago was a strengthening of the antivilification provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act.

What you did not mention in your question, which I think is a very important consideration, is the insertion, into section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, of a prohibition against racial harassment. Did you know that in 1991, when the then—

Senator Brandis: If your leader, Senator Wong, would just control herself, I might be able to address your question. You may or may not know that in 1991 the then Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission—

Senator Cameron: On relevance. The question was: ‘What insulting, offensive or humiliating comments does the Prime Minister think that people should be able to say to the senator?’ That was the question, and he has not gone near it. He should actually take off that Harmony Day badge. It is absolutely crazy that he has that on.

The PRESIDENT: On the point of order, the Attorney-General has been giving a detailed response to a detailed question. He is aware of the question.

Senator BRANDIS: In 1991, when the current part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act was recommended, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission actually recommended to the parliament that one of the grounds of racial vilification should be harassment. That was one of the grounds recommended by the predecessor body of the Human Rights Commission. For some unaccountable reason that was not done by the then Labor government.

The PRESIDENT: Senator McCarthy, a supplementary question.

Senator McCarthy:  Minister Wyatt has twice indicated he would cross the floor to vote against changes to section 18C. What consequences will there be for members of the coalition who vote against the Turnbull government’s attempt to water down protections against racism?

Senator Brandis: I am absolutely certain that every member of the coalition will be voting for these changes to strengthen section 18C, every last one of them.

The PRESIDENT:  Senator McCarthy, a final supplementary question.

Senator McCarthy:  When asked why the government had no plans to amend section 18C, the Prime Minister said, ‘We did not take an 18C amendment proposal to the election.’ Why is Prime Minister Turnbull willing to cave in to the Right of his party room on section 18C, while he continues to refuse a free vote on marriage equality, despite the defeat of his proposed plebiscite?

Senator Brandis: Although I am a little loath to dwell on internal politics, may I say that strengthening protections against racial vilification and vindicating freedom of speech are causes that are embraced by all elements of the Liberal Party and the coalition. You may say that section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and the complaint-handling procedures of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act are perfect and incapable of reform. You may say that, but if you do you would be alone because there is no serious person in this country who has followed human rights debate who says that section 18C in its current form, which actually omits to prohibit racial harassment, or the complaint-handling procedures of the Human Rights Commission cannot be improved. Certainly, that is what Professor Gillian Triggs has said, and I agree with her. (Time expired)

 

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: TAKE NOTE OF ANSWERS

Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Senator McCarthy:  The answer was incredibly disappointing, in particular on this day, Harmony Day. As we reflect on Harmony Day, I want to go to some of the answers to me and my questions by Senator Brandis. I want to begin with Senator Brandis’s response in terms of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. I asked, first up, about the fact that Mr Turnbull has said on at least 16 occasions that he had ruled out his government amending section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Senator Brandis said that he had not said that—certainly not that many times. I just want to point out some very important media coverage of the moments when Mr Turnbull denied that it was a distraction for his government. In news.com, on 31 August 2016: ‘The government has no plans to make changes to section 18C’. He said it again on 30 August in The Australian:

It’s filled the op-ed pages of newspapers for years and years but the government has no plans to make any changes to section 18C. We have other more pressing, much more pressing priorities to address.

Then again on 14 November 2016, on ABC 7.30, Mr Turnbull said:

18(C) is talked about constantly on the ABC. It’s talked about constantly in what’s often called the ‘elite media’. I’ve focused overwhelmingly on the economy.

It appears that Prime Minister Turnbull has changed tack. Today is one of the most significant days in Australia and across the world. The purpose behind Harmony Day is to reflect on the diversity of culture across this country, something that unfortunately has been really stained by the Prime Minister’s move to change the Racial Discrimination Act on this day in particular. It is incredibly sad. It really is a watering down of protections against racial vilifications. The irony of it being done on this day! The Attorney-General says he does not believe the Australian people are racist.

Senator Brandis: No, I do not.

Senator McCarthy:  As a white man growing up in Petersham, attending private schools, I am sure you have never been denied access or service in a shop. You have never had taxis drive past, pretending not to see you. You have never received hateful letters and emails because of your race or the colour of your skin. I really wish I could believe there are not any racists in Australia. But certainly my personal experience, and my family’s experience, informs me of the reality that I live in this country. It is deeply unfortunate.

I asked you in my question: what else do you need to say to me and to many other people of different races in this country that you cannot say now? What is it that you are so determined to say that you cannot say to people now?

My predecessor, Senator Nova Peris, had a disgraceful time in this Senate, standing here, being called all sorts of things—in fact, even on her Twitter account today—in terms of what racism she received from the general public. Just to clarify, in case you were thinking I meant it occurred in the Senate; I meant this is where she raised the issue about the racism that was displayed against her by the general public across Australia. It is really important to put this on the record. She stood courageously here to point out from her own personal experiences that racism is very much alive and strong in this country. We as parliamentarians in both the Senate and the House of Representatives must show leadership about the importance of harmony, diversity and cultural respect. That is something that is not happening now today in the Turnbull government.

Being the target of racist, hurtful comments is deeply distressing and causes deep harm. expired)

 

%d bloggers like this: