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)

 

NACCHO #ClosetheGap Aboriginal Health : Read Download Top 10 Press releases #Closethegapday

 

In this NACCHO Alert you can read /download Close the Gap Press Releases from

1.AMA 2.NACCHO 3.RACGP 4. FVLPS/#JustJustice 5. Healing Foundation

6.Pallative Care 7.Labor Party 8.Stroke Foundation

9.NSW Aboriginal Land Council .10. Australian Psychological Society (APS) is

Please note  :  Only a selection and in no particular order from hundreds released

” The Close the Gap Campaign 2017 Progress and Priorities Report, released today, shows that, despite their best efforts, all Australian governments are failing in their endeavours to meet their own targets in closing the gap – but we can turn this around,” Dr Gannon said.

The AMA believes that positive progress can be made if governments work directly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and better understand the approaches that they know work in their own communities.”

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said today that genuine cooperation between all political parties and across all levels of government is needed if Australia is to achieve significant improvements in closing the gap in life expectancy and health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

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

Read full article here

2.NACCHO

” Hard figures and targeted investment, not rhetoric, are key to solving indigenous disadvantage, Aboriginal health leader Pat Turner said as she called for at least 4000 homes to be built in remote Australia to help tackle the ­problem.”

As published in The Australian

Ms Turner, chief executive of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Care Organisation, said indigenous health problems would be ­addressed only through “far greater ­investment … in the physical environment including safe houses, communities and roads.

“I would estimate there are 4000 dwellings required in remote Australia alone.

“We have not had this investment,” she said. “We need to take account of the factors that contribute to good health: housing, education, employment and access to justice.

“And why hasn’t there been far greater innovation, why is the passing on of knowledge of language and culture not recognised as legitimate work? This sounds fuzzy, but it’s not. We know that around 30 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health problems are to do with social and cultural factors.

“The context of people’s lives is what matters most in determining health outcomes, and that is something that individuals are unlikely to be able to control. We ask that the federal government replace its rhetoric about economic empowerment with significant public policy initiatives that produce specific outcomes.”

Close the Gap Campaign

Download CTG Press Release : 17.03.16 MR for CTG Progress & Priorities report launch FINAL

Download PHAA Press Release :PHAA CTG 2017

Close the Gap Campaign report: Australia ‘going backwards’ in fight to end Indigenous disadvantage

Download the Press Release NACCHO CTG 2017

A peak Northern Territory  Aboriginal community controlled  health organisation which  was on track  to close  the life expectancy gap between First Nations peoples and other Australians  has challenged Governments to listen to what programs really work… and then give their people the capacity to deliver them.

Speaking to CAAMA  on  National Close the Gap Day  Donna Ah Chee CEO of the Alice Springs based Central Australian Aboriginal Congress , AMSANT Chair and NACCHO Board member  was scathing in her criticism of Government and  its inability to actually listen to what her people have been saying for decades.

Listen here :

Download the report HERE CTG Report 2017

3.RACGP

The RACGP recognises the importance of supporting our members to be great doctors for all Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

 We are committed to developing culturally safe GPs and practice staff so that they are able to work effectively in the cross-cultural context and in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. ”

RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said the organisation was an active member of the Close the Gap Steering Committee, proudly committed to ending the health gap by 2030.

Download the Press release RACGP CTG 2017

4.FVPLS / #JustJustice

” We know being incarcerated affects someone’s health and yet it is not one of the Closing the Gap targets. It’s Close the Gap Day and the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee’s Progress and Priorities report 2017 has been released.

The 2017 report calls for a social and cultural approach and covers many issues, including justice. This is the fourt report from the Steering Committee to call for Justice Targets.

Since 2004, there has been a 95 per cent increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody. Over the same time, we have seen the crime rates decrease across the country.

Urgent action is required to reduce incarceration if we are ever to see life expectancy parity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

Despite the urgency of the need, and the calls by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations for an urgent response to this need, there has been no indication that governments are responding with the level of urgency required.”

Summer May Finlay from Croakey : Read Full report HERE

5. Healing Foundation

 “The social determinants of health need to be realigned in a cultural context of understanding the impact of trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how to overcome – to heal – from this. Focusing on changing just economic or education levels alone will not fix the profound challenges we face without also giving people the opportunity to improve their social and cultural connectedness and feel greater inclusion.”

Meanwhile, Richard Weston, CEO of the Healing Foundation, writes in The Guardian of the vital importance of trauma-informed practices and services, as well as for broadening discussion of the social determinants of health.

6.Palliative Care Australia

While this report doesn’t address palliative care, it is important that all people with a life-limiting illness are able to access palliative care.

“We understand that while some parts of the country offer exceptional levels of palliative care, culturally appropriate care is still not done well everywhere in Australia. We need to see that good work spread,” Ms Callaghan said.

“Community-based local approaches to end-of-life care are preferred, which leads to a significant role for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals in the delivery of quality end-of-life care.

“It is also very important that non-Indigenous health professionals develop culturally safe practice through education or training and appropriate engagement with local Indigenous communities.

“Culturally safe palliative and end-of-life care means that providers or practitioners must understand how these communities want health care to be provided

Download the Press Release Pallative Care CTG 2017

7. Labor Party

 ” The 2017 Close The Gap Progress and Priorities Report reiterates the need for all levels of Government to recommit and refocus, Labor stands ready to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their Communities.”

Labor is committed to working in a bi-partisan way, striving for the best possible outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples. Labor recognizes the importance of relationships that harness the knowledge, creativity and innovation that community controlled originations bring to driving decisions; strong relationships, working in partisanship, is the only way forward.

“Genuine partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations, are essential to improving the quality of life for our First Peoples. As stated in the Report, the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples cannot be considered at the margins”,

Senator Dodson said.

Download the Press Release Labor Party CTG 2017

8.Stroke Foundation

 ” Currently, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer stroke at a younger age, are more than twice as likely to be hospitalised with a stroke and 1.4 times as likely to die from stroke as non-Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders experience multiple risk factors for stroke and cardiovascular disease and there are significant challenges around identifying and managing that risk. 

As a healthcare community we need to come together to close the stroke gap which is claiming the lives of too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Stroke Foundation is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations to improve the health outcomes of Indigenous communities.”

By Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan

Today is Close the Gap day – a national movement demanding equal access to healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Most Australians enjoy one of the highest life expectancies of any country in the world – but this is not true for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live 10 –17 years less than fellow Australians.  The mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is on par with some of the world’s most impoverished nations. The United Nations Report, The State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (2009) indicated Australia and Nepal have the world’s worst life expectancy gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people – we must do better.

Here at the Stroke Foundation we believe everyone should have the opportunity to lead a healthy life and have access to best practice healthcare. While Australia has made some big strides towards improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, as a nation we have a long way to go.

Equal access to healthcare is a basic human right. Everyone in Australia should have the opportunity to live a long and healthy life. It is time our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities get the health care and support they need and deserve.

The facts

• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more than twice as likely to be hospitalised with stroke.
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 1.4 times as likely to die from stroke as non-indigenous Australians.
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 1.5 times as likely as non-Indigenous people to be obese – seven in 10 adults are overweight or obese.
• Two in five indigenous Australians smoke daily, 2.6 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians.
• More than half of Indigenous Australians (over 15) put themselves at risk of harm by drinking alcohol.
• 64 percent of Indigenous adults do not get enough exercise.
• 85 percent on Indigenous children and 97% of Indigenous adults do not eat enough fruit and vegetables.
• One in five Indigenous adults have high blood pressure.
• One in four Indigenous adults have abnormal or high cholesterol levels

– See more at: https://strokefoundation.org.au/

9.NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live 10 to 17 years younger than other Australians and the data on preventable illness and infant mortality is an appalling reminder of the challenges we face.

“The inequalities in health are a generational challenge and we have to continue the fight because the lives of our children depend on it.

“Positive change is possible – particularly when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations are driving those changes.

“Solutions that are generated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are a key part of any efforts to Close the Gap on health and living standards in Australia.”

Further progress to Close the Gap can be made if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are able to drive change, the Chair of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) Roy Ah-See said today

Please note the above NACCHO TV was recorded when Roy was Chair of Yerin ACCHO

Download Press release NSW Land Councils CTG 2017

10. Australian Psychological Society (APS)

” There is a need for more community-based, culturally appropriate mental health services that include strengthening culture and identity, and that are delivered by culturally responsive health professionals “

Leading Aboriginal psychologist and Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health (NATSILMH) Professor Pat Dudgeon FAPS, agrees that building on social and emotional wellbeing and cultural strengths is the foundation for improving Indigenous health and preventing suicide.

Picture : Our NACCHO CEO Pat Turner as a contributor to the report attended the launch pictured here with Senator Patrick Dodson and co-author Prof. Pat Dudgeon

 Download Press Release dAustralian Psycholigical Society CTG 2017

 

#ClosetheGap NACCHO Chair Matthew Cooke and Minister @KenWyattMP #ClosetheGapDay Press Releases

  

“ Close the Gap Day is a day to acknowledge the critical role Aboriginal medical services and health professionals must play in turning around the significant health gap 

Last month, the government said it was committed to a new partnership with Aboriginal groups who presented the Redfern Statement to the Prime Minister, and the Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt said Primary Health Networks must start working properly with ACCHOs.

“Yet right now just three or four of the 31 Primary Health Networks are genuinely working with theACCHO sector and the bulk of funding is going to mainstream services that are not showing results.

“Today, it’s time to remind governments of all levels that Aboriginal people must be equal partners in every single program and policy that affects them. It’s time for action not just more words.”

NACCHO Chair Matthew Cooke pictured above with Minister Ken Wyatt at the launch of NACCHO Healthy Futures last December

Download todays 2017 Close the Gap Report HERE : CTG Report 2017

Download copy NACCHO Healthy Futures Report Card Here

“As Minister for Indigenous Health it is my job to work for better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this country.

Today, is National Close the Gap Day. We all want health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that are equal to those of non-Indigenous people.

Vaccination coverage rates are the highest ever among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children entering school and since 2009 there has been an increase in children fully immunised – particularly at five years of age – from 76.8 per cent in 2008 to 95.2 per cent in 2016.

I want to acknowledge the role the Aboriginal Medical Services and State and Territory health systems for supporting the Commonwealth to achieve these figures.

Increasing immunisation is part of Closing the Gap and is community-driven, tailored, innovative and sensitive to individual and community needs “

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP  Minister for Indigenous Health see full story article 2 below

Close the Gap Day: a greater role for Aboriginal health services essential

Close the Gap Day is a day to acknowledge the critical role Aboriginal medical services and health professionals must play in turning around the significant health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation said today.

NACCHO Chair Matthew Cooke said after a decade of the Close the Gap campaign, programs andprojects managed by Aboriginal services on the ground in local communities are the only model proven to be making inroads in closing the Indigenous health gap.

In the past 12 months, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations provided almost 3 million episodes of care to over 340,000 clients and employed 3,300 Indigenous staff across Australia.

“Despite endless reports, studies and recommendations – just one in seven of the targets under the Closing the Gap Strategy are on track to be met by 2030,” Mr Cooke said.

“The lives of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people are still on average 10 years shorter, we have far higher incidences of chronic diseases such as Diabetes and cancer and our children have less access to good quality education than the average non-Indigenous Australians.

“The evidence tells us that Aboriginal people respond best to health care provided by Aboriginalpeople or controlled by the Aboriginal community.

“Last month, the government said it was committed to a new partnership with Aboriginal groups who presented the Redfern Statement to the Prime Minister, and the Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt said Primary Health Networks must start working properly with ACCHOs.

“Yet right now just three or four of the 31 Primary Health Networks are genuinely working with theACCHO sector and the bulk of funding is going to mainstream services that are not showing results.

“Today, it’s time to remind governments of all levels that Aboriginal people must be equal partners in every single program and policy that affects them. It’s time for action not just more words.”

Mr Cooke said at least one-third of the health gap can be attributed to the social and cultural determinants of health.

“If we are serious about improving health outcomes for Aboriginal people, governments at all levels must do more to join the dots between education, housing, employment and other determinants and make sure that Indigenous led solutions are at the centre of strategies that make those links.”

The political needle recently swung to the issue of childhood vaccination with a call for parents to do their own research before deciding if they would or should immunise their children.

The issue of childhood vaccination is too important to be left hanging as just another claim by a politician in a “post-truth” world where facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.

I believe it is important for parents to be fully informed of the medical facts before they make what can be life or death decisions affecting their children – and the children of others.

Immunisation is the most significant public health intervention in the past 200 years because it provides a safe and effective way to prevent the spread of many diseases that cause hospitalisation, serious ongoing health conditions and sometimes death.

Since the introduction of vaccination for children in Australia in 1932 deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases have fallen by 99 per cent despite a threefold increase in the Australian population.

As Minister for Indigenous Health it is my job to work for better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this country.

Today, is National Close the Gap Day. We all want health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that are equal to those of non-Indigenous people. Until that happens we cannot claim to have a truly universal health system that meets the needs of all Australians.

This year’s Closing the Gap Report has mixed results and provides us with an opportunity to consider our course and reinvigorate our commitment to this fundamental task. We are making some strides in tackling Indigenous health issues, however, we have to do more.

Immunisation rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are improving. Five-year-old Indigenous children have higher immunisation coverage than non-Indigenous five-year-olds.

In December 2016, Australian Immunisation Register data showed that 95.20 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged five were fully immunised compared with 93.19 per cent of all children of the same age.

These statistics confirm that we have nearly achieved the 2023 goal of 96 per cent of children aged five being fully immunised.

Vaccination coverage rates are the highest ever among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children entering school and since 2009 there has been an increase in children fully immunised – particularly at five years of age – from 76.8 per cent in 2008 to 95.2 per cent in 2016.

I want to acknowledge the role the Aboriginal Medical Services and State and Territory health systems for supporting the Commonwealth to achieve these figures.

Immunisation is one of the key goals of the Implementation Plan of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023, which guides national action on Closing the Gap on health

Immunisation is critical for the health of children and the wider community. Interventions within the first three years of life have been shown to have the greatest impact on health and life outcomes.

There is a close relationship between health and educational outcomes. Developmental delays, including sight and hearing issues, and early incidence of chronic diseases directly impact a child’s ability to grow and learn.

I recently announced $27 million for children and maternal health programs. This funding will go towards services such as antenatal and postnatal care, breastfeeding assistance, health and development checks and also ensuring children are properly immunised.

When I was a teacher I saw children with measles. I suffered from whooping cough and ended up with lung damage and I do not want to see children compromised because of a philosophical stance that some parents may have because they are influenced by Doctor Google or misinformation from anti-vaxxers.

It’s not just about protecting your child, it is about protecting other children who use child health centres or childcare. The more people who are vaccinated the fewer opportunities a disease has to spread.

The success of the National Immunisation Program and policies such as No Jab, No Pay has not happened by accident. It is backed by science and virtually every medical and health expert in Australia.

Increasing immunisation is part of Closing the Gap and is community-driven, tailored, innovative and sensitive to individual and community needs. We want to see parents empowered by information, supported by appropriate services and accessing care in ways that suit them.

Increasing immunisation coverage is the result of community action and I want to see that continue.

NACCHO Aboriginal #prevention Health : #ALPHealthSummit : With $3.3 billion budget savings on the table, Parliament urged to put #preventivehealth on national agenda

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 ” Recently the Federal Government has spoken in favour of investment in preventive health.

 In an address to the National Press Club in February this year, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, “in 2017, a new focus on preventive health will give people the right tools and information to live active and healthy lives”.

Health Minister Greg Hunt echoed that sentiment on 20 February announcing the Government was committed to tackling obesity.

Prevention 1st, however, argues the need for a more comprehensive, long-term approach to the problem. Press Release

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NACCHO was represented at the #ALPHealthSummit by Chair Matthew Cooke pictured above with Stephen Jones MP

Leading health organisations are calling on the Commonwealth to address Australia’s significant under-investment in preventive health and set the national agenda to tackle chronic disease ahead of Labor’s National Health Policy Summit today.

Chronic disease is Australia’s greatest health challenge, yet many chronic diseases are preventable, with one third of cases traced to four modifiable risk factors: poor diet, tobacco use, physical inactivity and risky alcohol consumption.

Adopting preventive health measures would address significant areas flagged as critical by the both major parties, including ensuring universal access to world-class healthcare, preventing and managing chronic disease, reducing emergency department and elective surgery waiting times, and tackling health inequalities faced by Indigenous Australians.

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Prevention 1st – a campaign led by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF Australia), and Alzheimer’s Australia – is urging the ALP to adopt the group’s Pre-Budget submission recommendations as part of the party’s key health policy framework.

FARE Chief Executive Michael Thorn says it is up to federal policymakers to address Australia’s healthcare shortfalls and that Labor has the perfect opportunity to reignite its strong track record and lead the way in fixing the country’s deteriorating investment in preventive healthcare.

“Australia’s investment in preventive health is declining, despite chronic disease being the leading cause of illness in Australia. Chronic disease costs Australian taxpayers $27 billion a year and accounts for more than a third of our national health budget. The ALP has both the opportunity and a responsibility as the alternate government to set the national agenda in the preventive healthcare space. Ultimately, however, it falls to the Government of the day to show leadership on this issue,” said Mr Thorn.

Its Pre-Budget submission 2017-18, Prevention 1st identifies a four-point action plan targeting key chronic disease risk factors.

Prevention 1st has called for Australia to phase out the promotion of unhealthy food and beverages, and for long overdue national public education campaigns to raise awareness of the risks associated with alcohol, tobacco, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. Under the proposal, these measures would be supported by coordinated action across governments and increased expenditure on preventive health.

The costed plan also puts forward budget savings measures, recommending the use of corrective taxes to maximise the health and economic benefits to the community. Taxing products appropriate to their risk of harm will not only encourage healthier food and beverage choices but would generate much needed revenue – around $3.3 billion annually.

With return on investment studies showing that small investments in prevention are cost-effective in both the short and longer terms, and the opportunity to contribute to happier and healthier communities, Consumers Health Forum of Australia Chief Executive Officer Leanne Wells urged both the Australian Government and Opposition to take advantage of the opportunity to stem the tide of chronic disease.

“There is an obvious benefit in adopting forward-thinking on preventive healthcare to reduce pressure on the health budget and the impact of preventable illness and injury on society,” Ms Wells said.

The ALP National Health Policy Summit will be held at Parliament House in Canberra on Friday 3 March.


View the submission

View media release in PDF

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #RDA #18C and #Racism News Alerts : 22 Recommendations : Download 189 Page Inquiry Report

18c

 ” In fact, many Aboriginal people feel the RDA is not strong enough. It has been bypassed three times in its history – and every time it was to undermine the rights of Aboriginal people (the Hindmarsh Island affair, watering down of native title, and the Northern Territory intervention).

Nevertheless, today the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has tabled its recommendations on proposed changes to the RDA (and the government is expected to respond in due course). The Sydney Morning Herald reports that one of the key recommendations is the replacement of the words “offend, insult and humiliate” with the word “harass”.

Another proposed option is to change the way the Australian Human Rights Commission (HRC) functions, such as allowing it to knock back so-called vexatious complaints earlier in the process. ”

Fighting words Reform of section 18C is back on the agenda By Amy McQuire see full report 2 below

Download or Read the Full Freedom of Speech Report Here

inquiry-report-rda

 “Surveys suggested racism was already a near-universal experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, with 97% having experienced it in the past year and more than 70% reporting eight or more incidents in that period. Almost one-third said they had experienced racism in the health setting.

By settings standards of conduct, the law had an important role in containing the spread of racism and race hate, and described the watering down of sections 18c & d of the RDA as a “major risk” for the effective implementation of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

The Plan envisages a health system free of racism, offering effective, high quality, appropriate and affordable health services to Indigenous Australians “

Matthew Cooke Chair of NACCHO

From post 21 December 2016 Aboriginal Health and #Racism : NACCHO submission to #SavetheRDA #18C Inquiry into #Freedomofspeech

Download our full submission here

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

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Photo Above :Federal Labor MPs are speaking out against the Turnbull Govt attempts to weaken & water down Section of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Download or Read Labor Press Release

labor-18-c

Plus Download or Read Greens Press Release

greens-defend-protections-against-hate-speech-fed

Parliamentary inquiry sidesteps making recommendation on 18C

 ” Malcolm Turnbull had hoped that throwing the controversial section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to a parliamentary inquiry would help resolve an issue that has become totemic for conservatives in the increasingly vitriolic culture wars.”

Writes Michelle Grattan in the Conversation

As is his luck these days, it has done no such thing. The joint committee on human rights has provided extensive and sensible advice on how to improve the processes for dealing with complaints, including to weed out vexatious ones early. But on the core question of the section’s wording, it has tossed that very hot potato right back into the laps of the Prime Minister and his cabinet.

In a search for maximum consensus among its members the committee, after hearing extensive evidence for the status quo on the one hand and various changes on the other, has presented a “range of proposals that had the support of at least one member of the committee”.

No one can say it’s not been comprehensive. But the list could have been written without the inquiry.

The current 18C outlaws actions “reasonably likely … to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” someone or a group of people, on the basis of race, colour or national or ethnic origin.

Section D provides exemptions and defences, including that of “good faith”, “public interest” and “fair comment”.

The options the committee has put are:

  • No change in wording of 18C and 18D.
  • Amending the act to ensure that the effect of it “is clear and accessible” by codifying the judicial interpretation. This would deal with the problem of the gap between what words like “offend” and “insult” mean in legal cases and their everyday meaning.
  • Removing the words “offend”, “insult” and “humiliate” and replacing them with “harass”.
  • Amending 18D to also include a “truth” defence similar to that of defamation law.
  • Changing the objective test, from assessing the likely effect of the conduct on a “reasonable member of the relevant group” to “the reasonable member of the Australian community”; and
  • Further investigating criminal provisions on incitement to racially motivated violence on the basis that existing state and federal laws have been ineffective.

The 18C debate is a microcosm of the divisions within the present Liberal Party. Even Liberal members of the committee are split and, as the report was released, were arguing their separate cases in the media.

Committee chair Ian Goodenough, a Liberal from Western Australia, says his personal opinion is that the bar is too low – he would favour replacing “offend” and “insult” with “harass”, leaving “humiliate” and “intimidate” as is.

But fellow Liberal Julian Leeser, from NSW, argues the current wording is satisfactory and sufficient reform can be achieved by altering the processes.

Those conservatives – politicians and vocal sections of the media – who have their teeth into this issue will put strong pressure on Turnbull to rework the wording.

The Human Rights Commission and its outgoing president Gillian Triggs have become high profile and symbolic targets for the conservatives; the case involving QUT students and the controversy over the Leak cartoon gave them bountiful ammunition.

Cory Bernardi, who recently quit the Liberal party, has a private member’s bill to which last year he signed up almost all Coalition senators; the bill, removing the words “insult” and “offend”, has gone to a committee and is expected to be debated this year.

Former Senate leader Eric Abetz reminded the government about the bill, saying he hoped it progressed changes to 18C and D “in line with the private senators bill, supported by all backbench senators, and with our values”.

The critics won’t be satisfied with just the better processes that have been recommended. This has been set up as a test of Turnbull’s credentials with the “base”.

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce injected a real-world reality check into the debate when he told Sky on Tuesday that in his recent travels in regional areas people hadn’t been raising 18C with him. Conservative Victorian senator James Paterson acknowledged Joyce had a specific constituency but said he was “disappointed” to hear his comment. Apparently in circles in which Paterson (a member of the committee) moves there is a “very high community expectation that we address this issue”.

Turnbull originally did not want to touch 18C. Under pressure from the agitators, he became more amenable to overhaul – hence the inquiry.

But a glance through the summary of evidence to the committee shows this is another issue on which he can’t win, because feeling runs high on each side of the public debate. It’s also a dangerous issue in marginal seats with big ethnic votes.

Meanwhile Triggs’ term ends mid-year. The government will be searching for a replacement. Turnbull will not adopt the Abbott advice to scrap the commission. Whoever is chosen will have the task of overseeing not only significant changes to the processes for complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act but also, one would expect, to the commission more broadly. It will be an appointment closely watched.

Article 2

Fighting words Reform of section 18C is back on the agenda By Amy McQuire

It is telling that those who claim section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) is an assault on freedom of speech have the largest microphones. Despite their claims of victimhood, what they say is heard in the most powerful halls of the country. Why else are we still having a debate around the RDA?

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Australia, everytime it talks about repealing the racial discrimination act. #18C #auspol

The fact that we are still talking about it shows that their fears are completely unfounded. They have not been silenced, so what else could be motivating them?

It’s been more than two years since Senator George Brandis announced that people had the right to be bigots, and Tony Abbott was forced to back down from abolishing section 18C following outrage from ethnic and minority groups.

Aboriginal groups in particular have been vocal in their condemnation of the proposed changes, and for good reason – it was the legal victory against News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt’s vitriol that first sparked the furore.

In fact, many Aboriginal people feel the RDA is not strong enough. It has been bypassed three times in its history – and every time it was to undermine the rights of Aboriginal people (the Hindmarsh Island affair, watering down of native title, and the Northern Territory intervention).

Nevertheless, today the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has tabled its recommendations on proposed changes to the RDA (and the government is expected to respond in due course). The Sydney Morning Herald reports that one of the key recommendations is the replacement of the words “offend, insult and humiliate” with the word “harass”.

Another proposed option is to change the way the Australian Human Rights Commission (HRC) functions, such as allowing it to knock back so-called vexatious complaints earlier in the process.

Speaking on behalf of the HRC today, Gillian Triggs told Senate Estimates that the complaint against News Corp cartoonist Bill Leak, one of the conservatives’ favourite causes, could have been dropped earlier if Leak had worked in “good faith”.

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He apparently hadn’t taken up the HRC’s invitation to demonstrate good faith.

Conservatives have already responded to the 18C recommendations: Dennis Shanahan for instance argues somewhat predictably [possible paywall] that the HRC should be reformed.

The general conservative consensus is that the RDA as it stands represents an unwarranted obstacle to free speech and therefore must be changed.

Aboriginal Labor MP Linda Burney is concerned that changes to the RDA would unleash racists, while Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce says it is a distraction and voters “do not invite me into their shed … and then say ‘Barney, sit down in this chair, I want to talk to you about the Racial Discrimination Act’. They are thinking about bigger issues, he says.

Those issues played out against the backdrop of Senate Estimates today, where it was perhaps ironic that South Australian Liberal Senator David Fawcett compared asylum seekers to “fleas” during an immigration hearing.

Meanwhile the “debate” around the RDA and the HRC is likely to dominate, while the people who deal with its fallout are pushed to the back of the papers.

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Aboriginal Health #Sugartax debate : Sugar consumption is critical to reducing chronic health conditions, including diabetes says NACCHO

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“The high costs of transporting food and groceries to remote communities mean that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in these areas are already paying inflated prices for these types of products, and all other grocery items.

“These communities are also less able to pay higher costs and have limited access to alternatives, particularly fresh fruit and vegetables – which, because of the long distances they need to be transported, are often past their prime and overpriced when they arrive,”

“Reducing sugar consumption is critical to reducing chronic health conditions, including diabetes; however, there needs to be more work done on how these issues would be overcome before NACCHO could support any tax-based approach such as a sugar tax.”

Chair Matthew Cooke from peak Indigenous health body, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has expressed reservations about the tax to MJA InSight.

See NACCHO Previous obesity articles HERE

 “sugary drinks were “killing the population” in remote communities, after the senate heard evidence of an “astounding” level of soft drink sales at remote community stores.

Senator Scullion said he has been working with remote stores to restrict the sale of larger bottles of soft drink.

“I’ve been trying to negotiate the two litre and 1.5 litres off the shelves completely,”

“It’s a difficult thing but the evidence shows that whatever portion you buy, a child will drink oneand-a-half litres.”

More recently he went to a community store where water was free, but despite trying to “hide the full-strength coke” it was the popular choice.

He gave one example where a remote community store was drawing half of its total profits from soft drink sales.

“It was the most expensive liquid in that store and everyone went straight there,”

Indigenous affairs minister, Nigel Scullion,

 ” TAXES on unhealthy foods, not subsidies on fruit and vegetables, are effective at reducing the burden of obesity, new research suggests, amid renewed clamour for a sugary drinks tax.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have found that a subsidy on fresh fruit and vegetables would not on its own produce health gains, because it would lead to an undesirable increase in sodium and energy intake.”

Authored by Sarah Colyer from MJA Insight

However, adding a subsidy to a package of taxes on sugar, fat, salt and sugar-sweetened beverages could be effective, they wrote. The combination of taxes plus the subsidy could avert 470 000 disability-adjusted life years and save $3.4 billion from the health budget, the modelling study found.

The study drew on detailed New Zealand price–elasticity data – which track variations in product uptake with changes in product prices – to quantify disease risk reductions associated with each change in risk factor exposure.

A sugar tax would be most cost-effective, the study found, followed by a salt tax, a saturated fat tax and a sugar-sweetened beverages tax.

Writing in the journal PLOS Medicine, Dr Linda Cobiac and colleagues said that their findings added to the “growing evidence of large health benefits and cost-effectiveness of using taxes and regulatory measures to influence the consumption of healthy foods”.

The findings about the subsidy might at first appear counterintuitive, they said.

“However, using price subsidies or discounts as an incentive to purchase more fruits and vegetables may have the effect of increasing real income available to buy food, including unhealthy products, and could therefore lead to an overall increase in dietary measures such as saturated fat, sodium, or total energy intake,” they wrote.

The federal government is facing growing pressure from public health advocates to tax sugary drinks, with the Australian Greens pledging to introduce a bill on the measure later in 2017.

Writing in the MJA, the University of Sydney’s Professor Stephen Colagiuri urged the government to make the tax a priority as part of a multicomponent strategy against obesity.

That call was echoed in a separate report released last week by the Obesity Policy Coalition, whose member organisations include Cancer Council Victoria, Diabetes Australia (Victoria) and Deakin University.

In his MJA article, Professor Colagiuri cited the introduction of Mexico’s sugary drinks tax in 2014, which was followed by a 12% decline in the consumption of taxed beverages and a spike in bottled water consumption.

“The ongoing impact of [Mexico’s] tax has been challenged with new data suggesting a small increase in sales of SSBs [sugar-sweetened beverages] in 2015, but still lower than the increase in pre-tax sales,” he wrote.

“Arguments that an SSB tax is an ineffective means to reduce consumption are inconsistent with food industry claims of potential damage and job losses, which instead may point to the industry believing that a tax would substantially impact consumption.”

Professor Colagiuri noted that Australia was among the largest global markets for sugar-sweetened beverages, with males aged 4–30 years drinking an average 750 mL (two cans) per day.

“Government pays for health services and consequently has a right and duty to address externalities to promote and protect public health,” he wrote.

However, the federal government last week continued its resistance to any form of sugar tax, with health minister Greg Hunt commenting: “We’re committed to tackling obesity, but increasing the family’s weekly shop at the supermarket isn’t the answer.”

Decrying the proposed tax as a “nanny state” response, assistant minister for health, Dr David Gillespie, noted that Denmark had repealed its sugar tax and dropped plans for a tax on saturated fats.

Indigenous affairs minister, Nigel Scullion, said in 2016 that sugary drinks were “killing the population” in remote communities, after the senate heard evidence of an “astounding” level of soft drink sales at remote community stores.

David Butt, CEO of the National Rural Health Alliance told MJA InSight that his organisation supported “the possibility of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages and using the revenue to subsidise access to healthier food options”.

Professor Andrew Wilson, director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney, said that compared with taxing sugar per se or salt, the proposed tax on sugary drinks had “the virtue of being fairly easy to define”.

“However, these drinks are so cheap to make that the tax will need to be substantial,” he added.

A recent report by the Grattan Institute recommended that sugar-sweetened beverages be taxed at a rate of 40 cents per 100 grams of sugar, increasing the price of a 2-litre bottle of soft drink by 80 cents. This would raise about $500 million a year, according to the Grattan Institute, which predicted a resultant 15% drop in consumption of sugary drinks and a small decrease in obesity rates.

Professor Wilson stressed that any taxation approach should be “part of a package that includes education and support for good nutrition, promotion and facilitation of physical activity, with particular focus on school-aged and older teens, planning considerations and, possibly for some areas and groups, subsidies for fruit and vegetables”.

Dr Cobiac agreed, commenting: “Our modelling shows that the potential health benefits of using taxes and subsidies to improve dietary choices and the nutritional quality of our foods in Australia are huge, but ultimately, they are just one of a number of measures that are needed to tackle obesity.”

Dr Cobiac noted that 13 other countries had announced taxes on unhealthy foods or sugar drinks in the past 5 years.

“It was true that Denmark had revoked its policies,” she said; however, she added that it was likely that as early initiators “they did not fully foresee or plan for dealing with the resulting backlash from the food industry”.

“We will never know what effect the taxes would have had in Denmark; they were repealed before there was a chance to properly evaluate them,” Dr Cobiac said.

“While many people want to eat better and lose weight, it is not easy to sustain the changes in behaviour when we live in an environment where unhealthy foods are widely available, heavily marketed and cheap.

“That environment is unlikely to change without a really comprehensive strategy to tackle the obesity problem.”

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7 thoughts on “Sugar tax: what you need to know”

    1. Anonymous says:

      This debate has been going around and around for far too long. In the meantime, overweight and obesity rates are increasing. Public health advocates need to change tack and get on with their ‘real’ jobs to make a positive difference. Scrap the idea of additional taxes on processed foods. And as for ‘modelling studies’ to underpin an evidence base to guide action. We know what to do: listen to people demonstrating ‘Lived Experience’.

    1. Andrew says:

      I second the previous comment. “Modelling” is not evidence. Let’s see real world evidence first — does a tax on sugar actually reduce obesity rates? That is the only evidence that counts.

      As a side point, imposing a “sugar tax” will cause food manufacturers to substitute sugar with other sweeteners, e.g. stevia. The long term health implications of stevia (and other additives) are unknown. Of course public health “experts” love to pretend that they are omniscient and infallible, but some caution is warranted. Let’s not repeat the massive public health failures of the past, such as the notorious food pyramid which was based on the flimsiest of evidence.

    1. Dr Rosemary Stanton says:

      We do know what to do, but the political power of the processed food industry means we get obstruction to anything that might decrease sales of its products. Junk food and drinks contribute 35% of adults’ and over 40% of children’s energy intake. That is the elephant in the room and we need multiple actions to tackle it. A sugar tax is one that is simple to implement, especially applied to drinks.

      Even more importantly, we need to stop promoting junk food and drinks. That means stopping advertising these products during TV programs that children watch. It means sporting teams and sports heros not acting as walking billboards. It needs bans on advergames for children where product placement of junk foods and drinks are visible for the time spent playing the game – which may be 30 minutes. It needs schools to stop selling children junk food and drinks from the school canteen (which negates anything they might learn in the classroom).

      We also need to talk about foods rather than nutrients. The Dietary Guidelines talk about foods. Sadly, almost no one follows them – as shown by the fact that less than 7% eat even the minimal amount of vegetables and fruit recommended, and junk food consumption is so high.

    1. Roger McMaster-Fay MRCOG FRANZCOG says:

      Oh great, another tax and it worked so well on cigarettes!. We are one of the most highly taxed countries in the world! We need a new paradigm to tackle this problem and we doctors should be able to come up with one. What about tax deductions for people who loose weight?

    1. Dr. ARC says:

      Lot’s of salient comments from Rosemary and Roger. I do not believe that drinks alone are the major cause of obesity. As always if you put more calories in than you need or use in exercise the extra calories are stored as fat, period! We need to return to the era of good home cooking and stop eating out at expensive restaurants and quick take away options which are loaded with fat and sugar. Then and only then can we begin to tackle the problem of obesity.

    1. Virginia Fazio says:

      What will the food industry use to replace ingredients that are taxed? Instead of sugar in foods will they use starches and intense sweeteners? Metabolically very little difference between starch and sugar. Will saturated fat be replaced with unsaturated fats that may be less heat stable and produce byproducts may have other health risks? Will consumers go back to adding more salt during cooking and at the table to processed foods with lower salt levels? Research needs to be on the whole diet outcomes if some processed foods carry an additional tax. We know that how the food industry meet consumer demand for low cholesterol and low saturated fat foods did not always result in a “healthy” food. Perhaps as a community we need improved cooking and gardening skills so we rely less on highly processed foods.

  1. Andrew Jamieson says:

    Education, education, education!! Where is ‘health’ on the syllabus at our schools? What public education is there on nutrition despite the valiant efforts of the likes of Rosemary Stanton. We might as well tax cars even more more as we kill lots of people with them! And it has been well pointed out that sugar alone is not responsible for our health woes. Logically we need more put GST on food, however no government would seriously consider this