NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce : Donnella Mills @NACCHOChair Keynote Address at #CATSINaM19 Building a workforce and embedding #CulturalSafety : Connecting care through culture

” I’m keen to hear your ideas on how we can cooperate across the sector to develop a better workforce with cultural safety embedded throughout the hundreds of clinics and hospitals across the country.

I was impressed by the theme you chose for your conference: ‘connecting care through culture’. That simple phrase captures so much of what we do in our sector each and every day.

Cultural safety, I believe, is what makes us unique and what represents our greatest strength.

In the Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations – the ACCHOs – you have this reinforced through the operating model.

Community control’ is not just a term – it is a 48-year-old model – forged at Redern in 1971 – and now exercised in 144 local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country.” 

Donnella Mills Acting Chair, NACCHO Keynote address at the CATSINaM National Professional Development Conference Sydney 26 September 

I would like to acknowledge that this conference is being held on Aboriginal land. I recognise the strength, resilience and capacity of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation who are the traditional custodians of this place we now call Sydney. I pay my respects to their elders.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a Torres Strait Islander woman with ancestral and family links to Masig and Nagir. I am the Acting Chair of NACCHO, which stands for the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

I thank the CATSINaM Board for inviting me to deliver this address. It is a privilege to be talking with you today and a special pleasure to be among so many hard-working and dedicated healthcare professionals.

Without you, the Health gap would be so much wider than it is now. Without you, there would be little cultural safety in our hospitals and medical services. I have seen how important your work is on the ground at Wuchopperen and in the other services I have visited. You are the backbone of Aboriginal health.

I plan to speak for about 25 minutes. That will leave us about 20 minutes for yarning at the end. I’m keen to hear your ideas on how we can cooperate across the sector to develop a better workforce with cultural safety embedded throughout the hundreds of clinics and hospitals across the country.

Community control

Our people trust us with their health. We build ongoing relationships to give continuity of care so that chronic conditions are managed and preventative health care is effectively targeted.

Studies have shown that Aboriginal controlled health services are 23% better at attracting and retaining Aboriginal clients than mainstream providers.

Through local engagement and a proven service delivery model, our clients ‘stick’. The cultural safety in which we provide our services is a key factor of our success. In this way, ACCHOs are already ‘leading the way’.

We also build partnerships that make things work. Leadership is not all about the strength to stand up on your own, it is about being smart enough to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with one another. It is about galvanising support on the ground. It is about forging alliances in the sector and building strategic partnerships at the national level.

Employment

Another strength – one that we tend to overlook – is the sheer size of our sector. Let’s have a look at the ACCHO part of it alone. It is not widely known, but the 144 ACCHOs, collectively, are the single largest employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. That means that one in every 44 Indigenous jobs in Australia is at one of our health services.

If we add the Aboriginal health workers in the mainstream and the rest of the sector, these numbers become all the more impressive.

Our sector is doing more to close the employment gap than any of the employment measures dreamed up by Government agencies.

If the Government really wants to get people off welfare, don’t punish vulnerable people with cashless welfare cards, robo-debts or by sending them off to meaningless Work for the Dole activities.

Work with our sector and grow the Aboriginal workforce together. We have real jobs located in real communities. That is where the investment needs to go.

We should remind our politicians of this when they visit us.

They may see a small clinic somewhere with a few staff, but if they understood that we are part of a huge national network of Aboriginal professionals, they might take more notice of us and realise what we have to offer.

Comprehensive primary health care

Another challenge for us is continuing the development of a comprehensive primary health care model. I think we have been hearing this since the release of the National Aboriginal Health Strategy way back in 1989.

Twenty-one years later, a study concluded that ACCHOs are one of a very few settings where ‘comprehensive primary health care’ is delivered. If we keep offering a comprehensive approach for primary health care across the nation, our people will be much less likely to fall between the cracks.

We can do this through colocation of services or forming partnerships at the local level. This can include clinical care, immunisation and environmental health programs, on-site pharmaceutical dispensing and partnerships with family violence, child protection counselling and legal services.

We can also develop links with sports programs, homelessness services, dental services, aged care and disability support. None of these elements can fully succeed when they stand alone. The voluminous literature on the social determinants of health tell us that. But more importantly, it is what we all know from our own personal experiences.

You don’t need an academic to tell you that comprehensive primary health care is the best approach. We all know this intuitively and from our experiences on the ground.

I am not saying that we should all diversify or ‘dilute’ what we are doing. What I am saying is that while we focus on our core activities, we should also be taking every opportunity we can to link up with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and programs in complementary areas.

From my own experience ….

When you think about it, it should not be hard to promote ourselves; to sell ourselves to a new Government. After all, we provide value for money. ACCHOs result in greater health benefits per dollar spent; measured at a value of $1.19 for every $1 spent.

Studies have also shown that the lifetime health impact of interventions delivered by ACCHOs is 50% greater than if these same interventions were delivered by mainstream health services. This is primarily due to improved Aboriginal access and outcomes.

I don’t need to tell you that we also have some pretty significant challenges ahead of us. And I’d like to address these now, one by one.

Remuneration

If we are serious about workforce development, then we cannot ignore the issue of wages. Correct me if I am wrong, but from what I have heard, remuneration is a big issue for nurses and midwives. The ALP, as part of its election platform in May of this year had much to say about improving wages and conditions in the childcare sector, and justifiably so. Childcare is another industry in which women dominate, but are underpaid.

We need the Commonwealth and State Governments to take a similar approach to nurses and midwives. As you all know, women make up almost 90% of all employed nurses and midwives. Representative bodies like NACCHO and CATSINaM need to work together to drive this message home to Governments across the country. Remuneration is an important aspect in attracting and retaining staff.

Vocational development

I think we need to keep improving the career development opportunities and skills acquisition not just for nurses and midwives, but for all Aboriginal health workers. Currently, there is an imbalance in the medical services in which we see more Aboriginal people on the lower levels and amongst the non-clinical staff.

The graph in my presentation shows the situation for ACCHOs. We need more Aboriginal non-clinical staff but we need even more Aboriginal clinical staff.

Recruitment

I see that CATSINaM has a proud record in increasing its membership in recent years. I think you had a record number in your 2018 Annual Report – 1,366 members – representing a jump of 35%. Clearly, you are doing something right to have recruited so many new members.

You must have won the trust of your members to have such a healthy and expanding membership base. With almost half of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwifes in Australia as your members, CATSINaM is the key organisation in addressing many of the workforce development issues in our sector.

Certainly, much more needs to be done to develop career pathways to secure more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwifes as well as more doctors and allied health professionals.

Across Australia in 2015 the AIHW reported that there were only about 180 medical practitioners, 750 allied health professionals, and 3,200 nurses (including 230 midwives) who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. For nurses, this represents just over 1% of all employed nurses and midwives Australia-wide.

The Northern Territory (2.4%) and Tasmania (2.2%) had the highest proportion of Aboriginal nurses and midwives, while Victoria had the lowest (0.5%). Compare these figures to our proportion of working-age Australians – close to 3.%. We should have 3% of all nurses and midwives, not 1%.

As I have already said, our sector is the largest employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country.

Now, if the ACCHOs as a group employ about 6,000 staff, of which 56 per cent are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, then we still have another 2,500 jobs in our own sector which could be filled by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We have a significant opportunity here. Think of what we could do for our people if we filled such a large number of jobs.

Retention

A big challenge that we confront every day – particularly in the bush – is retention. Stress and burnout is a real problem as Fran Baum’s research has shown. Turnover of staff is high and vacancies remain unfilled for longer than we would like.

With so many vacancies, particularly in remote clinics, a concerted effort could also have a significant positive impact on the size and health of our workforce. It is troubling to hear of the high reported vacancy rate of 6% (i.e. about 380 vacancies at any point in time).

Nevertheless, ACCHOs are doing pretty well in comparison with mainstream and non-Aboriginal organisations. The proportion of health vacancies was 6% compared with 9% for other organisations. My guess is that it is cultural safety that explains the advantage here.

So, if we have a good model and we have sector already working hard for Aboriginal health, then how are we going?

Life expectancy target not met

If we look at just one of the ‘Closing the Gap’ targets – life expectancy – you can see how stark the differences are. According to ABS data, which probably overestimate Aboriginal life expectancy, non-Aboriginal Australians can expect to live to about the age of 82. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are lucky to make it to 72. T

hat’s a ten-year difference. We would be better off living in other countries where the life expectancy is higher. Countries – believe it or not – like Bangladesh or Azerbaijan. Life expectancy is longer in some Third World countries than it is for our people.

Funding for Aboriginal health has fallen

Despite all the words we have heard from Commonwealth and State Governments over the years about ‘Closing the Gap’, instead of increasing expenditure, Governments have actually decreased expenditure on Aboriginal health over the past decade.

Governments need to spend two to three times more on Aboriginal health if we are to have a level of funding commensurate with the actual cost of the burden of disease. This is a huge sum – about $1.4 billion per year – on one estimate.

In real terms health expenditure (excluding hospital expenditure) for Aboriginal people fell 2% from $3,840 per person in 2008 to $3,780 per person in 2016. Over the same period, expenditure on non-Aboriginal people rose by 10%. How can you expect to close the gap when you are reducing funding for our people and increasing it for the non-Aboriginal population?

If we act as one, we can turn things around.

Look at the way that the Aboriginal peaks, like NACCHO and CATSINaM, stood together to force the nine Australian governments to restart the Closing the Gap process. Before we came together and complained to them, the consultation process was expensive lip service.

Before we stood together with one voice, our separate voices were ignored. Now they are listening. Now things are back on track.

Funds are tighter than ever to procure, but, over the years, we have built a world class model of health care and there is too much at stake for us now to start drifting backwards now.

The timing is critical, especially now that we have a re-elected Government and the new arrangements in the administration of Aboriginal programs. It is great to see Ken Wyatt as the first Aboriginal Cabinet member as the Minister for Indigenous Australians.

But we need to engage as closely as we can with him and with Minister Hunt. We also need to keep the dialogue open with Senator Dodson, Senator McCarthy and the Member for Barton in NSW, Linda Burney.

There are also plenty of good Aboriginal leaders in the State and Territory Governments and I urge you to keep talking to them. It is important to have our voice heard.

Especially when we face a mainstream system that continues to overlook us; especially when we have a mainstream system that continues to patronise us. If we don’t act now and keep the pressure up, we will lose some of our recent hard-won gains.

The future

Despite the appalling funding neglect for programs and the low wages paid to our health workers, you have shone in adversity. You are resilient. You survive despite whatever circumstances you find yourselves in.

It’s self-determination and the need to control our own health programs that led to the ACCHO model of care in the first place. It is a lesson for our sector.

If the system was working now, we would have zero preventable hospital admissions. The evidence is not just here, it is overseas as well.

In Canada it has been shown that First Nations communities that transitioned from government-control to community-control of health services experienced a 30% reduction in hospitalisation rates compared with communities where government control was maintained.

In a perfect world our model of primary care through community control would also be complete. We would have full coverage across the land.

We would also have an Aboriginal NDIS workforce in fully-funded models for disability services rolled out, Australia-wide.

And of course, all this hinges on a more accountable public health system and an uncapped needs-based funding model. Who knows, if we had all these things, we may even seriously imagine a future in which we have actually closed the health gap.

With Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands I know that we can get there eventually.

NACCHO and CATSINaM can continue to work together and to set the way forward for Aboriginal health.

But we can also show the non-Aboriginal population what is possible. It is this future that I imagine for my daughter and my own family.

I am sure that it is a vision that we all share.

Leading the way for all of Australia through cultural safety and respect.

Have your say about what is needed to make real change in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people #HaveYourSay about #closingthegap

There is a discussion booklet that has background information on Closing the Gap and sets out what will be talked about in the survey.

The survey will take a little bit of time to complete. It would be great if you can answer all the questions, but you can also just focus on the issues that you care about most.

To help you prepare your answers, you can look at a full copy here

The survey is open to everyone and can be accessed here:

https://www.naccho.org.au/programmes/coalition-of-peaks/have-your-say/

 

NACCHO Health and #austph2019 Read full speech HERE : Acting @NACCHOChair Donnella Mills #Humanrights Panel – 48 years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Control’

 ” I believe that the development of collaborative, integrated service models can provide innovative and effective solutions for addressing not only the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the justice system, but also the indefensible health gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Justice health partnerships provide a model of integrated service delivery that goes to the heart of the social determinants of health, key causal factors contributing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ over-exposure to the justice and health systems. In this way we are also focussing on the rights of our people.

Address the legal issues, and you will have better health outcomes.

In the health and justice areas the message is simple. Community-control works, cultural safety works and collaborative partnerships work.

With Aboriginal community control at the front and centre of service design, we can deliver both preventive law and preventive health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. ”

Donnella Mills, Acting Chair NACCHO

Speaking at the Australian Public Health Conference, Adelaide Panel Plenary session titled ‘Human Rights’

I would like to acknowledge that the land on which we are meeting today is the traditional land of the Kaurna Nation. I respect the continuing culture of the Kaurna people and the contribution they make to the life of this important city.

You may wish to say ‘hello, how are you’ in the Kaurna language. If so, say:

“I understand that the traditional greeting in the Kaurna language is ‘Ninna Marni’.”

I am the Acting Chair of NACCHO, which stands for the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a Torres Strait Islander woman with ancestral and family links to Masig and Nagir islands.

You may also want to add ‘welcome’ in Meriam Mir. If so, “In the language of Masig Island, ‘Maiem’.”

Thanks are due to the Public Health Association of Australia for welcoming me here to speak today. I am delighted to be able to share ideas with you on a topic that is close to my heart. I am also honoured to be part of a panel with such two inspiring colleagues: Barri Phatarfod (Founder, Doctors for Refugees) and Mohammad Al-Khafaji (CEO, FECCA).

In this presentation I will look at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice issues and the role of NACCHO’s member organisations: the 144 Aboriginal Community-controlled health organisations (our ‘ACCHOs’).

It is always tempting to focus on problems. I could talk about the fact that our life expectancy is at the level of a Third-World nation: about ten years lower than the non-Aboriginal population.

I could talk about the unconscionably high rates of incarceration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and our over-representation in state and territory gaols and institutions across the country. I could ask why nothing has changed since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was initiated in 1988. But most of you are already very familiar with these topics and frustrations.

What I will focus on instead is the ACCHO model of health care, how it started and how it has evolved. Why? Because I think that our model of community control is a way forward. It gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people control. It gives our people the framework in which we can deliver our own health outcomes and develop our own solutions and are able to form genuine partnerships.

So, before we look forward, let’s look backwards for a moment, so that we can appreciate the context in which this model was forged.

NACCHO and the model of Aboriginal community control

 

The Public Health Association is celebrating 50 years since its foundation in 1969. Two years after that, in 1971, the first Aboriginal medical service was established at Redfern. It was a response to the urgent need to provide decent, accessible health services for the largely medically uninsured Aboriginal population of Redfern.

The mainstream was not working. So it was, that forty-eight years ago, Aboriginal people took control and designed and delivered our own model of health care.

Similar Aboriginal medical services quickly sprung up around the country. In 1974, a national peak organisation was formed to represent them at the national level. All this predated the huge Medibank reforms of 1975.

The ACCHO sector has been growing bigger and stronger every year since 1971. NACCHO – the national peak – now represents 144 ACCHOs across the country. Our members provide about three million episodes of care per year for about 350,000 people – that’s over half the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Collectively, we employ about 6,000 staff (the majority of whom are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people), which makes us the single largest employer of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people in the country.

It also shows the flow on effect of what we have been doing. In this case, that our health organisations are doing more to Close the Gap in Aboriginal employment than any government program or scheme.

There is a dangerous myth that Aboriginal and Torres Strait people receive ample funding. The Government’s own numbers show that, in real terms, health expenditure (excluding hospital expenditure) for Aboriginal people fell 2% from $3,840 per person in 2008 to $3,780 per person in 2016.

Over the same period, expenditure on non-Aboriginal people rose by 10%. How can Governments seriously expect to Close the Gap in health if funding is decreasing? The burden of disease for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island population is 2.3 times higher than for the rest of the population. The burden of disease can be six-times higher in remote areas.

Despite the funding shortfall, our ACCHOs continue to deliver excellent results.

The primary health care approach developed by Redfern and other early ACCHOs was innovative. It mirrored international aspirations at the time for accessible, effective and comprehensive health care with a focus on prevention and social justice. It even foreshadowed the WHO Alma Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care in 1978.

Just like we did in the 1970s, NACCHO has continued to play a leadership role. Some of you may be aware that, recently, NACCHO and almost 40 other peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bodies forced the nine Australian governments to get the Closing the Gap process back on track.

This is community control at the national level. It is the first time that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peaks have come together in this way, to work collectively and as full partners with the nine Australian governments.

We need this sort of radical shift to the way governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at all levels of policy design and implementation. We need a seat at the table and responsibility for making decisions about what governments do in our communities.

Another priority reform area is placing Aboriginal community-controlled services in all sectors – not just health – at the heart of delivering programs and services to our people. When we are in control and lead the design and implementation of services in our communities the outcomes are so much better.

We have also had some staunch allies along the way. ACOSS and the AMA, for example, continue to be a key friends in our sector. For example, the 2018 AMA Report Card was launched in November of last year. It highlighted research showing that the mortality gaps between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians are widening. NACCHO called for the immediate adoption of its recommendations.

Closing the gap on justice outcomes

Now that I have referred back to the history of the community-controlled model and where it is today, let me now switch the focus onto human rights and justice outcomes.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) sees the “highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental human right”. I agree with this statement.

Most of you here today know the shocking statistics. I have already mentioned that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have ten-years less in life expectancy than other Australians.

We must take a rights-based approach in addressing health inequities, if we are ever going to close the gap. This means that we need to address the social determinants of health, such as: education, housing, and other social and economic factors. This, of course, is a huge topic, so let’s just focus on justice outcomes.

Earlier this year it was reported that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are imprisoned at a rate almost 15-times greater than non-Aboriginal men, and for women the rate is even higher, 21-times worse than non-Aboriginal women.

Our women represent the fastest growing population group in prisons; their imprisonment rate is up 148% since 1991. Locking up our women affects the whole community. Children may be removed and placed in out-of-home care. Research has found there are links between detainees’ children being placed into out-of-home care and their subsequent progression into youth detention centres and adult correctional facilities. Communities suffer, and the cycle of intergenerational trauma and disadvantage is perpetuated.

Figures on the incarceration of our children and young people in detention facilities also reveal alarmingly high trends of overrepresentation. Our young people aged 10–17 are 26-times as likely as non-Aboriginal young people to be in detention on any given night. How can this be justified?

Governments’ inertia and lack of commitment to genuinely addressing the issues have contributed to a worsening situation. The National Indigenous Law and Justice Framework 2009-2015 was never funded, attracted no buy in from state and territory governments, and the review findings of the Framework were never made public.

It is encouraging to note that in its 2016 report of the inquiry into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience of law enforcement and justice services, the Senate committee recommended that the Commonwealth Government support Aboriginal-led justice reinvestment projects. In December 2017, the Australian Law Reform Commission recommended that Commonwealth, state and territory governments should provide support for:

  • the establishment of an independent justice reinvestment body; and
  • justice reinvestment trials initiated in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Emerging out of these inquiries is a growing understanding that an improvement in justice outcomes must begin with a commitment to self-determination, community control, and cultural safety. These are three of the most critical elements of the community-controlled model itself.

Appropriately resourced community controlled services are essential for addressing these barriers. Best-practice solutions to preventable problems of our peoples’ exposure to the justice system must begin with enabling their access to trusted services that are governed by these three principles.

But let’s see some traction on the ground with these statements. The intentions are there, but now is the time to act.

Case study – Law Yarn

As a lawyer myself and the ex-Chair of the Cairns-based Wuchopperen Health Service, I have become aware of the need to provide better legal supports for my community. In conversations with local Elders and LawRight, Wuchopperen entered into a justice health partnership in 2016.

LawRight is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based legal organisation which coordinates the provision of pro bono legal services for individuals and community groups. The aim of the partnership was to improve health outcomes by enhancing access to legal rights and early intervention. Initially, it was decided that, as community member and lawyer employed by LawRight, I would provide the free legal services at Wuchopperen’s premises.

One of the challenges of health justice partnerships is ongoing funding, and in 2017 we were forced to close our doors for several months. We knew the partnership was addressing a real need in our community, so we submitted a funding proposal to the Queensland Government, and received funding of $55,000 to trial ‘Law Yarn’.

Law Yarn is a unique resource that supports good health outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It helps health workers to yarn with members of remote, regional and urban communities about their legal problems and connect them to legal help.

Representatives from LawRight, Wuchopperen Health Service, Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service and the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Legal Services came together and created a range of culturally safe resources based on LawRight’s successful Legal Health Check resources. A handy how-to guide includes conversation prompts and advice on how to capture the person’s family, financial, tenancy or criminal law legal needs as well as discussing and recording their progress.

Legal and health services throughout Australia have expressed interest in this holistic approach to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. And we are hopeful that the evaluation findings will support the rollout of our model to ACCHOs across Australia.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I believe that the development of collaborative, integrated service models can provide innovative and effective solutions for addressing not only the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the justice system, but also the indefensible health gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Justice health partnerships provide a model of integrated service delivery that goes to the heart of the social determinants of health, key causal factors contributing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ over-exposure to the justice and health systems. In this way we are also focussing on the rights of our people. Address the legal issues, and you will have better health outcomes.

If the Government really wants to help vulnerable populations, don’t punish them with cashless welfare cards, with robo-debts or by sending them off to meaningless Work for the Dole activities. Work with us, not against us.

In the health and justice areas the message is simple. Community-control works, cultural safety works and collaborative partnerships work.

With Aboriginal community control at the front and centre of service design, we can deliver both preventive law and preventive health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Thank you.

 

Aboriginal Health and Justice #LawYarn : @NACCHOChair Donnella Mills speech at #NILCIHJC2019 #NILC2019 Justice health partnerships provide a model of integrated service delivery

Legal and health services throughout Australia have expressed interest in this holistic approach to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

And we are hopeful that the evaluation findings will support the rollout of our model to ACCHOs across Australia.

I believe that the development of collaborative, integrated service models such as Law Yarn can provide innovative and effective solutions for addressing not only the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the justice system, but also the health gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Address the legal problems, and you will have better health outcomes. Justice health partnerships provide a model of integrated service delivery that go to the heart of the social determinants of health, key causal factors contributing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ over-exposure to the justice system.[i]

With Aboriginal community control at the front and centre of service design, these partnerships can deliver both preventive law and preventive health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” 

Acting NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills speaking at the Indigenous Health Justice Darwin August 13

Picture above : Barb Shaw Chair AMSANT , Donnella , Priscilla Atkins and MC Christine Ross 

I would like to acknowledge that the land on which we are meeting today is the traditional land of the Larrakia Nation. I wish to acknowledge and respect the continuing culture of the Larrakia people and the contribution they make to the life of this important region.

I thank the convenors of the Indigenous Health Justice Conference for welcoming me so warmly. I am delighted to be here to share ideas with you on a topic that is close to my heart. For those who don’t know me, I am a Torres Strait Islander woman with ancestral and family links to Masig and Nagir. I am the Acting Chair of NACCHO, which stands for the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

It was tempting to focus today on the problem rather than a solution. I could have talked about the unconscionably high rates of incarceration for our people and their over-representation in the gaols and institutions across the country. I could have asked why nothing has changed since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was initiated in 1988. But most of you are already very familiar with these topics and frustrations.

What I would like to focus on instead is the Aboriginal community-controlled model of health care, how it started, how it evolved over time and where it is going. Why? Because I think that the model of community control is the future, not just in health, but in justice and other areas.

It gives us control. It gives us a way forward in which we assume control of our own health and justice outcomes and develop our own solutions and genuine partnerships.

I want to talk to you about how the principles, values and beliefs underpinning the Aboriginal community-controlled model provide a sensible foundation for preventing and reducing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ exposure to the justice system.

But before we look forward, let’s look backwards for a moment, so that we can appreciate the context in which this model was forged.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health since 1971

The first Aboriginal medical service was established at Redfern in 1971 as a response to the urgent need to provide decent, accessible health services for the largely medically uninsured Aboriginal population of Redfern. The mainstream was not working. So it was, that forty-eight years ago, Aboriginal people took control and designed and delivered their own model of health care.

Similar Aboriginal medical services quickly sprung up around the country. In 1974, NAIHO (the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation) was formed to represent them at the national level. All this predated Medibank in 1975. NAIHO became NACCHO in 1992 and the ACCHO sector has been growing bigger and stronger every year.

We now represent 144 ACCHOs across the country. Our members provide about three million episodes of care per year for about 350,000 people. Collectively, we employ about 6,000 staff (56 per cent whom are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders), which makes us the single largest employer of Aboriginal or Torres Strait people in the country.

The primary health care approach developed by Redfern and other early ACCHOs was innovative. It mirrored international aspirations at the time for accessible, effective and comprehensive health care with a focus on prevention and social justice. It even foreshadowed the WHO Alma-Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care in 1978.

NACCHO has often played a leadership role in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Some of you may be aware that, recently, NACCHO and almost 40 other peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bodies have worked hard to force the nine Australian governments to get the Closing the Gap process back on track.

Closing the Gap

As the ‘refreshed’ strategy was being prepared for sign off by the Australian Governments, our frustration with the process galvanised a small group of community-controlled organisations to come together to write to the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers asking that it not be agreed. NACCHO led the bringing together of organisations for this purpose.

Along with NACCHO, APONT, Central Land Council, and Northern Land Council here in the Northern Territory were four of the first fourteen organisations that signed up to this letter to the Prime Minister. I would like to acknowledge the great work that John Paterson and other Territorians have done in this respect.

Governments could see that we weren’t going away. There were three important messages that we wanted them to hear. These were:

  1. Include us in the design and delivery of services that impact on us and the outcomes will be far better.
  2. We need to be at the centre of Closing the Gap policy as the gap won’t close without our full involvement.
  3. COAG cannot expect us to work constructively with them to improve outcomes if we are excluded from the decision making.

By staying strong and unified, our voice could not be ignored. On 6 December 2018, the Prime Minister met with us and acknowledged that the current targets were ‘government targets’ not ‘shared targets’, and that for Closing the Gap to be realised we had to be able to take formal responsibility for the outcomes through shared-decision making.

Six days later, the nine Australian Governments publicly committed to developing a genuine partnership with us through which a new Closing the Gap policy would be agreed.

The initial fourteen organisations have since grown to almost forty, as we brought together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks bodies across the country to form a Coalition of Peaks to negotiate a new Closing the Gap framework with Australian Governments.

This is community control at the national level. It is the first time that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks have come together in this way, to work collectively and as full partners with Australian Governments. It’s also the first time that there has been formal decision making with our peoples and the Australian Governments in this way.

We need this sort of radical shift to the way governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at all levels of policy design and implementation. We need a seat at the table and responsibility for making decisions about what governments do in our communities. Another priority reform area is placing Aboriginal community-controlled services in all sectors – not just health – at the heart of delivering programs and services to our people. When we are in control and lead services for our communities the outcomes are so much better.

Throughout our negotiations with government, we learned the importance of staying strong and presenting a unified voice. Our membership may be large and reflective of very diverse organisations. But this diversity is also a strength, as long as we are willing to stay true to our common cause.

Let me now focus more closely on health and justice.

All of you here today know the shocking statistics. Earlier this year it was reported that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are imprisoned at a rate almost 15-times greater than non-Aboriginal men, and for women the rate is even higher, 21-times worse than non-Aboriginal women.[1]

Our women represent the fastest growing population group in prisons; their imprisonment rate is up 148% since 1991.[2] Locking up our women affects the whole community. Children may be removed and placed in out-of-home care. Research has found there are links between detainees’ children being placed into out-of-home care and their subsequent progression into youth detention centres and adult correctional facilities.[3] Communities suffer, and the cycle of intergenerational trauma and disadvantage is perpetuated.

Figures on the incarceration of our children and young people in detention facilities also reveal alarmingly high trends of overrepresentation. Our young people aged 10–17 are 26-times as likely as non-Aboriginal young people to be in detention on any given night.[4] How can this be justified?

Governments’ inertia and lack of commitment to genuinely addressing the issues have contributed to a worsening situation. The National Indigenous Law and Justice Framework 2009-2015 was never funded, attracted no buy in from state and territory governments, and the review findings of the Framework were never made public. We need to come together – like we have done in the Closing the Gap process – to force governments to work with us to fix this.

Emerging out of these inquiries is a growing understanding that Closing the Gap on justice outcomes must begin with a commitment to self-determination, community control, and cultural safety. These are three of the most critical elements of the community-controlled model itself.

Appropriately resourced community controlled services are essential for addressing these barriers. Best practice solutions to preventable problems of our peoples’ exposure to the justice system must begin with enabling their access to trusted services that are governed by the principles and practices of self-determination, community control, and cultural safety.[5]

Increasing funding for the corrective service sector will not (and does not) address the issue of our peoples’ exposure to the justice system. As Allison and Cunneen note, ‘the solutions to offending are found within communities, not prisons.’[6] Their research is referring to what we call ‘justice reinvestment’, a strategy and an approach, whereby a portion of correctional funds – a portion of money for prisons – are diverted back into disadvantaged communities.

Reinvesting the money into community-identified and community-led solutions not only addresses causation; it also strengthens communities. Depending on the project itself, justice reinvestment may not only help to reduce people’s exposure to the justice system; it may also improve education, health, and employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Analysis of justice reinvestment projects in Northern Australia shows how the underpinning principles of this approach reaffirm self-determination and strengthen cultural authority and identity.[7]

It is encouraging to note that in its 2016 report of the inquiry into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience of law enforcement and justice services, the Senate committee recommended that the Commonwealth Government support Aboriginal led justice reinvestment projects.[8] In December 2017, the Australian Law Reform Commission recommended that Commonwealth, state and territory governments should provide support for:

  • the establishment of an independent justice reinvestment body; and
  • justice reinvestment trials initiated in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.[9]

Health justice partnerships on the ground

Given ACCHOs’ commitment to providing services based on community-identified needs, it is not surprising, then, to learn that we are starting to address justice inequities by developing innovative partnerships with legal services.

Health justice partnerships are similar to justice reinvestment in that they target disadvantaged population groups and are community-led. They differ in that funding is not explicitly linked to correctional budgets and secondly, the primary population groups targeted through these partnerships are those people at risk of poor health.[10]

Health justice partnerships in the ACCHO context address people’s fears and distrust about the justice system, by providing a culturally safe setting in which to have conversations about legal matters. In testimony given to a Senate Inquiry, a NSW ACCHO representative described how:

We form relationships with the health services and actually provide a legal service, for example, within the Aboriginal medical service. We have a lawyer embedded in the Aboriginal medical service in Mount Druitt so that when the doctor sees the person and they mention they have a housing issue – ‘I’m about to get kicked out of my place’ – they can say, ‘Go and see the lawyer that is in the office next door.’[11]

ACCHOs are increasingly recognising the benefits of working with legal services to develop options that enable services to be delivered seamlessly, safely, and appropriately for their communities. Lawyers may be trained to work as part of a health care team or alternatively, health care workers may be upskilled to start a non-threatening, informal conversation about legal matters with the clients, which results in referrals to pro bono legal services.

 Case study: Law Yarn

 

As a lawyer myself and the ex-Chair of the Cairns-based Wuchopperen Health Service, I have become aware of the need to provide better legal supports for my community. In conversations with local Elders and LawRight, Wuchopperen entered into a justice health partnership in 2016.

LawRight is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based legal organisation which coordinates the provision of pro bono legal services for individuals and community groups. The aim of the partnership was to improve health outcomes by enhancing access to legal rights and early intervention. Initially, it was decided that, as community member and lawyer employed by LawRight, I would provide the free legal services at Wuchopperen’s premises.

One of the challenges of health justice partnerships is ongoing funding, and in 2017 we were forced to close our doors for several months. We knew the partnership was addressing a real need in our community, so we submitted a funding proposal to the Queensland Government, and received funding of $55,000 to trial ‘Law Yarn’.

Law Yarn is a unique resource that supports good health outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It helps health workers to yarn with members of remote, regional and urban communities about their legal problems and connect them to legal help.

Representatives from LawRight, Wuchopperen Health Service, Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service and the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Legal Services came together and created a range of culturally safe resources based on LawRight’s successful Legal Health Check resources.

A handy how-to guide includes conversation prompts and advice on how to capture the person’s family, financial, tenancy or criminal law legal needs as well as discussing and recording their progress.

Four aspects of Law

These symbols have been created to help identify and represent the four aspects of law that have been identified as the most concerning for individuals when presenting with any legal issues. If these four aspects can be discussed, both the Health worker and Lawyer can establish what the individual concerns are and effectively action a response.

Each symbol is surrounded by a series of 10 dots; these dots can be coloured in on both the artwork and the referral form by the Health worker to help establish what areas of law their clients have concerns with.

Building trust and relationship

Questions for engaging with clients about legal problems.

Launch of Law Yarn

Law Yarn was officially launched at Wuchopperen Health Service, Cairns, in May 2018 by the Queensland Attorney General as a Reconciliation Week Event.

Read NACCHO Coverage

Legal and health services throughout Australia have expressed interest in this holistic approach to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. And we are hopeful that the evaluation findings will support the rollout of our model to ACCHOs across Australia.

In conclusion, I believe that the development of collaborative, integrated service models such as Law Yarn can provide innovative and effective solutions for addressing not only the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the justice system, but also the health gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Address the legal problems, and you will have better health outcomes. Justice health partnerships provide a model of integrated service delivery that go to the heart of the social determinants of health, key causal factors contributing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ over-exposure to the justice system.[12]

With Aboriginal community control at the front and centre of service design, these partnerships can deliver both preventive law and preventive health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

[1] https://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/media/media-releases/recommendations-to-reduce-disproportionate-indigenous-incarceration-must-not-be-ignored

[2] Law Council of Australia. 2018. The Justice Project, Final Report – Part 1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

[3]. Law Council of Australia. 2018. The Justice Project, Final Report – Part 1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

[4] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2018. Youth detention population in Australia. AIHW Bulletin 145.

[5] Thorburn, Kathryn and Melissa Marshall. 2017. The Yiriman Project in the West Kimberley: an example of justice reinvestment? Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, Current Initiatives Paper 5; McCausland, Ruth, Elizabeth McEntyre, Eileen Baldry. 2017. Indigenous People, Mental Health, Cognitive Disability and the Criminal Justice System. Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse. Brief 22; AMA Report Card on Indigenous Health 2015. Treating the high rates of imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as a symptom of the health gap: an integrated approach to both; Richards, Kelly, Lisa Rosevear and Robyn Gilbert. 2011. Promising interventions for reducing Indigenous juvenile offending Ibid. Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, Brief 10.

[6] Allison, Fiona and Chris Cunneen. 2018. Justice Reinvestment in Northern Australia. The Cairns Institute Policy Paper Series, p. 5.

[7] Allison, Fiona and Chris Cunneen. 2018. Justice Reinvestment in Northern Australia. The Cairns Institute Policy Paper Series, p. 8.

[8] Finance and Public Administration References Committee. 2016. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience of law enforcement and justice services. The Senate: Australian Parliament House.

[9] Australian Law Reform Commission. 2017. Pathways to Justice—An Inquiry into the Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Final Report No 133, p. 17.

[10] Health Justice Australia. 2017. Integrating services; partnering with community. Submission to national consultation on Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

[11] Finance and Public Administration References Committee. 2016. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience of law enforcement and justice services. The Senate: Australian Parliament House, p. 31. Testimony from Ms Hitter, Legal Aid NSW, Committee Hansard, 23 September 2015, p.28

[12] Ibid., p. 4; Chris Speldewinde and Ian Parsons. 2015. Medical-legal partnerships: connecting services for people living with mental health concerns. 13th National Rural Health Conference, Darwin; Barry Zuckerman, Megan Sandel, Ellen Lawton, Samantha Morton. Medical-legal partnerships: transforming health care. 2008. The Lancet, Vol 372.

NACCHO and ACCHO Members Deadly Good News Stories : National @NACCHOChair #NSW @Walgett_AMS #VIC @VACCHO_org #QLD @QAIHC_QLD @Apunipima #WA South West #SA PLAHS #NT @CAACongress @DanilaDilba #Tas Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

1.1 National : NACCHO Chair meets Productivity Commissioner to discuss current evaluation of Indigenous government policies and programs

1.2 AMA President in National Press Club address supports Uluru Statement from the Heart

1.3 National Chair of AMSANT and CEO of of Anyinginyi Aboriginal Health Corporation Barbara Shaw will deliver the opening plenary for the Indigenous Health Justice Conference in Darwin

2. NSW : The Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service and the Dharriwaa Elders Group have both expressed concerns about saltwater solution for drought and the potential effect on community health.

3. VIC : VACCHO partners with other peak health organisations to develop and support 8 actions for a A Healthier Start for Victorians Strategy

4.1  QAIHC will hold Youth Health Summit in September

4. 2 Qld : The Apunipima ACCHO TIS Team launches smoke-free signage at Charkil Om in Napranum Cape York 

5. WA : South West Aboriginal Medical Service in partnership to upgrade youth centre

6. SA : PLAHS ACCHO and Port Lincoln community come together for this year’s NAIDOC Week events .

7.1 NT : Congress CEO, Donna Ah Chee delivering the powerful history of the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program 

7.2 NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin mobile clinic provides back to school health checks for Palmerston Indigenous Village

8. TAS : Two seats should be set aside for Tasmanian Aboriginal MHAs to be chosen by Aboriginal people in an enlarged State Parliament, traditional owners say.

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : NACCHO Chair meets Productivity Commissioner to discuss  current evaluation of Indigenous government policies and programs

Donnella Mills Acting Chair of NACCHO this week met in Cairns with Romlie Mokak Productivity Commissioner to discuss the current Indigenous evaluation strategy : pictured above Left to Right Donnella , Romlie , Wuchopperen Chair  Sandra Levers and CEO Dania Ahwang

The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to develop a whole-of-government evaluation strategy for policies and programs affecting Indigenous Australians, to be used by all Australian Government agencies. The Commission will also review the performance of agencies against the strategy over time.

They will consult widely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and organisations, and with all levels of government. We will also consult with non-Indigenous organisations and individuals responsible for administering and delivering relevant policies and programs.

The Commission released an issues paper to guide people in preparing a submission. It sets out some of the issues and questions the Commission has identified as relevant at the early stage of the project. Participants should provide evidence to support their views, including data and specific examples where possible.

The paper was released on 26 June 2019.

Initial submissions are due by Friday 23 August 2019.

More info Submissions HERE

1.2 AMA President in National Press Club address supports Uluru Statement from the Heart

 “The ongoing failure to address Indigenous health is also unforgivable and unacceptable. There are immediate things we can do to turn things around.

The AMA supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Australian Parliament must make this a national priority.

Giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a say in the decisions that affect their lives would allow for healing through recognition of past and current injustices. It would underpin all Government endeavours to close the health and life expectancy gap.

We need to also look at and address the broader social determinants. This requires cooperation and unity of purpose from all relevant Ministers and portfolios.

We must take out the politics and fearmongering. We must do the right thing by the First Australians. The AMA welcomed the stated intent of the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, to hold a referendum on Constitutional recognition for Indigenous peoples.

It is time for unity. Let’s build on that. ”

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, who addressed the National Press Club as part of Family Doctor Week, 

Download full speech HERE

AMA President Press Club Address

1.3 National Chair of AMSANT and CEO of of Anyinginyi Aboriginal Health Corporation Barbara Shaw will deliver the opening plenary for the Indigenous Health Justice Conference in Darwin

Also speaking will be Donella Mills (Chair) Lawyer and A/Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Donella is leading the development of Health Justice Partnerships in North Queensland and is recognised nationally as a leader in this field in the Indigenous context.

 Indigenous Health Justice Conference, 13 & 14 August 2019. #NILC2019 #IHJC2019

Download the full program HERE 

2. NSW : The Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service and the Dharriwaa Elders Group have both expressed concerns about saltwater solution for drought and the potential effect on community health.

Key points:

  • Residents and some experts are concerned about the health implications of bore water high in sodium
  • It may taste bad, but there are no regulated health-based limits on sodium levels in drinking water
  • A process of reverse osmosis is used to take sodium out of drinking water, but councils are worried about the cost

Chairman of the Elders Group Clem Dodd said the bore water was not healthy.

“You got to have water. I don’t care who you are — animal or person, you can’t go without water,” he said.

“But too much salt in it [is not good] … you got to get good water.”

The salt in the Bourke and Walgett bore water meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines but it exceeds the aesthetic (taste) limit.

There is no health-based sodium limit in those guidelines.

Health authorities contacted local doctors about potential health implications for patients with kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart failure, or who are pregnant.

‘Too much salt’

Jacqui Webster, a salt reduction expert from the George Institute for Global Health, has been working with the Walgett community on improving health outcomes there.

She said, while most salt in the average diet came from food, high salt levels in drinking water was a genuine health concern in these communities.

“Too much salt in the diet increases blood pressure, and increased blood pressure is one of the key contributors to premature death from heart disease and stroke in Australia,” Dr Webster said.

“You’ve got a high proportion of the community who are Aboriginal people, and we know Aboriginal communities already suffer disproportionately from high rates of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease.

“It’s really important that poor diets — including the high sodium content of the water — are addressed.”

Dr Webster said sodium could also make the drinking water taste unpleasant and people may turn to sugary drinks instead, which could compound health issues.

 Read full report HERE 

3. VIC : VACCHO partners with other peak health organisations to develop and support 8 actions for a A Healthier Start for Victorians Strategy

This consensus statement outlines practical recommendations to the Victorian Government to turn the tide on obesity. The focus is on children and young people to give them the best chance for a healthier start to life.

Download: A Healthier Start for Victorians – Summary (PDF, 701 KB)

Download: A Healthier Start for Victorians – Full Report (PDF, 2 MB)

A Healthier Start for Victorians has been developed by the Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Roundtable and is supported by a broad base of health and wellbeing organisations.

 

Over the past two decades, Victorian adult obesity rates have increased by 40 per cent and today two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. Almost one in four Victorian children are overweight or obese.

The combined impact of poor diet and being overweight or obese is one of Victoria’s greatest health challenges.

Overweight and obesity, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are avoidable risks for chronic health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several cancers.

A Healthier Start for Victorians lists eight practical recommendations to the Victorian Government to turn the tide on obesity.

These recommendations focus on children and young people to give them the best chance for a healthier start to life. They are as follows.

Action to prevent obesity in Victoria

1.Engage and support local communities to develop and lead their own healthy eating and physical activity initiatives

These should be community-based and focus on local areas or population groups with the highest rates of overweight and obesity.

2.Protect children from unhealthy food and drink marketing

This includes prohibiting advertising, promotion and sponsorship in publicly owned and managed places. Priority should be given to areas around schools, children’s sporting events and activities, and public transport.

3.Implement a statewide public education campaign to encourage healthy eating

This should focus on population groups with the highest rates of overweight and obesity.

4.Implement initiatives to improve family diets, particularly in children’s early years

This should focus on increasing food literacy and prioritising specific population groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

5.Support schools to increase students’ physical activity and physical literacy

This should take a whole-of-school approach, be reflected in the curriculum and be supported by training and professional development.

6.Increase the scope of and strengthen compliance with the existing School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy

This should take a whole-of-school approach, be reflected in the curriculum and be backed by a monitoring and enforcement framework.

7.Develop a whole-of-government policy that requires healthy food procurement

This should incorporate the Healthy Choices guidelines and apply to all publicly owned and managed facilities and settings.

8.Develop and implement a strategy to get Victorians walking more

This should emphasise the need for walking infrastructure and urban design to make it safer and easier for people to walk to local destinations like shops, public transport, and schools.

Recommendations should be supported by an overarching Victorian obesity prevention plan that is overseen by a ministerial taskforce. This will ensure a whole-of-government approach to addressing obesity prevention as a Victorian health priority.

4.1  QAIHC will hold Youth Health Summit in September

Addressing disparity amongst our youth, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisation (ATSICCHO) Model of Care is designed to be responsive to the needs of the communities that we serve.

According to the 2016 ABS Census data, one third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders are aged between 15–34 years. As such, it is vital that we monitor the health of this cohort to support a stronger First Nations culture in Australia’s future.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are overrepresented in youth justice, and alcohol and other drugs are at harmful levels of use. Childhood obesity, rheumatic heart disease, social and emotional distress, and trauma are also present at high rates. To support our young people to thrive, physically and mentally, QAIHC and its Member Services are developing a Youth Health Strategy 2019–2022.

Central to the development of the Strategy is the QAIHC Youth Health Summit 2019. The Summit will be held in Brisbane on 12 September and is intended to be an open conversation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (ages 18-25) about their current state of wellbeing.

The Summit will be focussing on Calm Minds, Strong Bodies, Resilient Spirit addressing a range of topics including:

  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Healthy relationships
  • Support networks
  • Mental health
  • Sexual health
  • LGBTQI needs
  • Chronic disease.

Sessions will be facilitated in an environment of cultural safety to promote honest and free discussions between delegates.

If you’re an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person aged 18-25 living in Queensland and want to express an interest in attending, go to

Website 

4.2 Qld : The Apunipima ACCHO TIS Team launches smoke-free signage at Charkil Om in Napranum Cape York 

The TIS Team launched smoke-free signage at Charkil Om in Napranum. Professor Tom Calma, National Coordinator for the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program unveiled the signage alongside HAT member Roy Chavathun and Sonia Schuh PHC Manager.

TIS staff Dallas McKeown, Neil Kaigey, Darlene Roberts and Lorna Bosen hosted the launch and provided health information to those present.

5. WA : South West Aboriginal Medical Service in partnership to upgrade youth centre

The Bunbury PCYC unveiled its newly renovated youth space on Monday, July 15, designed to foster positive social and emotional development for local youth.

The upgrade is the product of a partnership between the youth centre, South West Aboriginal Medical Service, Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation and the Red Cross, with financial support from the City of Bunbury.

Originally published HERE

The upgrade included new interiors, a pool table, an air hockey table, a games console, a TV and lounges to complement the existing sporting facilities available at the Bunbury PCYC, which is used by more than 100 people weekly.

The Bunbury PCYC is one of 19 community youth centres in WA and provides a number of activities and accredited training programs for youth people of all ages.

South West Aboriginal Medical Service chief executive officer Lesley Nelson said the space was bound to have a positive impact on both the social and emotional development of local youth.

“The environment in which young people spend their time has been found to decisively impact on a young person’s health and development,” she said.

“We currently host a very active and engaged youth program at the Bunbury PCYC so we have been able to involve them directly in the planning of this space.

“With their help, we have been able to design an area that has a really positive energy, a space that encourages social development and active participation.”

Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation chair Renee Pitt echoed Ms Nelson’s sentiments and said the nature of the all inclusive programs allowed youth to come together in a positive environment.

“Breakaway and their partners are creating a safe environment where the kid’s involvement has given them ownership of the space, care and responsibility,” she said.

“The programs and activities that are being offered is emphasising the uniqueness of coming together that has not been available previously until now.

6. SA : PLAHS ACCHO and Port Lincoln community come together for this year’s NAIDOC Week events .

NAIDOC Week in 2019 had the theme of ‘Voice, Treaty, Truth’ with Port Lincoln celebrations beginning with the community march along Tasman Terrace on July 5.

Aboriginal Family Support Services hosted a dress up disco for children at the Mallee Park Clubrooms on July 9 before the annual Community Cookout was held at the Mallee Park Wombat Pit the following day, hosted by Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service.

The annual event involved PLAHS preparing foods including kangaroo stew and wombat while Centacare Port Lincoln provided a barbecue and a morning tea area was organised by Port Lincoln Red Cross.

PLAHS health promotions officer and NAIDOC Week Committee member Morgan Hirschausen said the weather was not ideal but the event was well supported.

Port Lincoln Aboriginal Community Council, with support from Gidja Club held the Elders Lunch at the Grand Tasman Hotel on Thursday, which was attended by about 30 elders.

The council’s indigenous community links manager Heather Hirschausen-Cox said they were happy with the turnout and the event continued to be an important part of NAIDOC Week.

7.1 NT : Congress CEO, Donna Ah Chee delivering the powerful history of the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program 

Congress CEO, Donna Ah Chee delivering the powerful history of the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP) at the tenth annual conference. ANFPP is a nurse-led home visiting program that supports families pregnant with an Aboriginal child to help them become the best parents possible.

ANFPP Team Congress! Pictured here with CEO, Donna Ah Chee; General Manager Health Services, Tracey Brand and Chief Medical Officer Public Health, Dr John Boffa

7.2 NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin mobile clinic provides back to school health checks for Palmerston Indigenous Village

This week the Mobile Clinic spent time with the Palmerston Indigenous Village to provide back to school health checks for kids. They put on a BBQ lunch, face painting and a jumping castle! Children participating in the health check received a back pack to prepare them for their return to school.

8. TAS : Two seats should be set aside for Tasmanian Aboriginal MHAs to be chosen by Aboriginal people in an enlarged State Parliament, traditional owners say.

“If successful, Tasmania will be the first State to guarantee an Aboriginal voice in the parliament,” 

New Zealand has done it for 150 years. The State of Maine in the US has 3 seats for Indians. It’s time for Tasmania to catch up and lead the rest of Australia.

The change would enable Aborigines to speak for the dispossessed and powerless and participate in governing Tasmania.”

Tasmanian Land Council spokseman Michael Mansell said the move would be an Australian first

See Full Report 

Under the proposal, a separate electoral roll would be created to elect indigenous representatives from a single electorate encompassing the entire state.

The proposal has been put forward jointly by the Elders Council of Tasmania Aboriginal Corporation, Cape Barren Island Aboriginal Association, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania, and will be presented on Monday to a parliamentary committee conducting an inquiry into the number of seats in the lower house.

Download the Submission HERE

No. 13 Joint Submission Aboriginal Organisations_Redacted

Their submission likens the idea to parliaments in the US state of Maine, and in New Zealand, where designated seats have been set aside for Maori representatives since 1867.

The groups said their proposal was “about improving representative democracy in Tasmania” .

“Providing for political representation of a people denied such access for over 200 years is overdue,” it said.

“It can be argued the political system in Tasmania has been racially prejudiced against Aboriginal representation . The system is geared against Aboriginal people effectively participating in parliamentary democracy.”

While it acknowledges the concept would give more value to a single vote in an Aboriginal electorate than a vote in one of the five existing lower house seats, it said dispossession and discrimination had left Aboriginal people “without a sound land and economic base, and a modicum of justice” .

“Political representation is more crucial for the survival and welfare of Aboriginal people than it is for any other sector in Tasmania,” the submission read.

The groups said the state’s constitution should be amended to create the Aboriginal electoral roll and designated seats in parliament, even if the push to increase the number of MHAs was rejected.

Twenty submissions have been lodged with the inquiry, which held its first public hearing in Launceston last month.

Premier Will Hodgman told the committee that a 35-seat House of Assembly would require an estimated $7.9 million to set up and about $7.2 million in extra ongoing costs each year.

 

NACCHO and ACCHO Members #NAIDOC2019 Good News Stories : 5 of 5@NACCHOChair #NSW @Galambila @ahmrc #Vic @VACCHO_org @VAHS1972 #QLD @QAIHC_QLD @Apunipima #SA @AHCSA_ #WA @TheAHCWA #NT @DanilaDilba @CAACongress #Tas

1.1 National : NACCHO supports the pledge this week by the Coalition Government to hold a national referendum on constitutional change to recognise Indigenous voices in the constitution.

1.2 National : Our Acting NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills this week was on the panel at the NAIDOC Corporate breakfast in Cairns talking #VoiceTreatyTruth

1.3 National : The new National Indigenous Australians Agency was launched on 1 July 2019

2.1 NSW : The team at AH&MRC celebrate NAIDOC week

2.2 NSW : Huge NAIDOC Week turnout at Galamibila ACCHO and Ready Mob Picnic in the Coffs Harbour sunshine

2.3 NSW: Greater Western ( Sydney ) AMS Thanks the South Sydney Rabbitohs for a sharing NAIDOC Week

3.1 VIC : Parliamentary Secretary for Health (VIC) shares a NAIDOC morning team with Team VACCHO

3.2 VIC: Deadly day at the annual NAIDOC March in Melbourne that started at VAHS ACCHO 

4.1 QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Cape York coverage of Cairns NAIDOC celebrations

4.2 QLD : The QAIHC AOD Our Way 2 Project aims to address the use and harms of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and other substances.

5. WA : Midland NAIDOC is AHCWA’s main event for the week, where all of our staff were on hand to help out for the day.

6. SA : Good news story about AMIC Mums and Bubs trainee Cherie Burnett who is currently doing her studies at AHCSA.

7.1 NT : The Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin Mobile team went down to Mindil Beach with the Mobile Clinic for Larrakia Nation’s Road Safety Barbeque.

7.2 NT : Congress Alice Springs NAIDOC Sports and Family Fun Day

8.TAS : It’s NAIDOC Week, so here’s nipaluna (Hobart’s) weather in palawa kani

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : NACCHO supports the pledge this week by the Coalition Government to hold a national referendum on constitutional change to recognise Indigenous voices in the constitution.

We welcome Minister Wyatt’s call to all Australians to join him on the journey to constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Nations peoples and support the creation of a voice for Indigenous Australians to influence the Australian Parliament.

NACCHO stands ready to do our part in achieving the best possible outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia, and we will continue to take a leadership role in the Coalition of Peaks Partnership with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on Closing the Gap.”

NACCHO Chief Executive Officer, Ms Patricia Turner AM said after the Ministers speech. Pictured above Left to Right with Pat : Tom Calma Co Chair Reconciliation Karen Mundine CEO Reconciliation and Donnella Mills Acting NACCHO Chair 

” Truth-telling about Indigenous Australians’ experience of colonisation is not a new idea, says Pat Turner, who heads the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

“I think our people have been engaged in truth-telling in many different forums over many decades,” she said. “It’s a question of whether there is a willingness in the greater Australian population to come to terms with the history of Indigenous people since colonisation.”

Ms Turner , who along with Mr Wyatt is co-chair of the joint council on Closing the Gap questioned the Minister’s seeming failure to commit to an Indigenous “Voice” of the kind envisaged in the landmark 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart.

“People want more clarity on what the Minister means when he refers to hearing the ‘voices’ of individuals, families, communities and organisations.

What does that mean? The Uluru statement was very clear on having a more formal voice at a national level”, she said.

Additional text Pat Turner interview with SMH 10 July READ In FULL HERE

Pat will be a panellist on the ABC The Drumshow on Friday 12 July at 6pm.

Download full PDF Copy of NACCHO Press Release HERE

Read the Minister’s full National Press Club speech HERE

Or watch replay on ABC TV I View HERE

The NACCHO executive team attended the National Press Club conference by Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians for NAIDOC Week 2019.

1.2 National : Our Acting NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills this week was on the panel at the NAIDOC Corporate breakfast in Cairns talking #VoiceTreatyTruth

Pictured below from Left to Right Founder of IndigenousX LukeLPearson , Donnella Mills ,Joann Schmider CQ Uni and Former NACCHO Chair 2001-03 Pat Anderson ( now Chair Lowitja Institute )

1.3 National : The new National Indigenous Australians Agency was launched on 1 July 2019

2.1 NSW : The team at AH&MRC celebrate NAIDOC week

2.2 NSW : Huge NAIDOC Week turnout at Galamibila ACCHO and Ready Mob Picnic in the Coffs Harbour sunshine

CEO Reuben Robinson ( Left ) with team Galambila member 

Watch Channel 9 interview with Reuben HERE

NAIDOC CELEBRATES WITH A HEALTHY MESSAGE

2.3 NSW: Greater Western ( Sydney ) AMS Thanks the South Sydney Rabbitohs for a sharing NAIDOC Week

SEE MORE PHOTO’s HERE

3.1 VIC : Parliamentary Secretary for Health (VIC) shares a NAIDOC morning team with Team VACCHO

VACCHO Exec were joined by Karen Heap VACCHO Chair and CEO of Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative ( And NACCHO Board Member) , Anthony Carbines Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Tiana Koehrer and Allara Pearce

3.2 VIC: Deadly day at the annual NAIDOC March in Melbourne that started at VAHS ACCHO 

4.1 QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Cape York coverage of Cairns NAIDOC celebrations 

 

4.2 QLD : The QAIHC AOD Our Way 2 Project aims to address the use and harms of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and other substances.

Phase 1 of the project involved training 480 frontline workers, mostly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations in 22 communities across Queensland, to better support clients and families impacted by problematic Ice and other substance use.

Phase 2 of the project is currently in the planning stage. Jermane Herbohn and Rita Francis have recently started at QAIHC as AOD Project Officers joining Eddie Fewings, AOD Manager. More information about the QAIHC AOD Our Way 2 Project will be released shortly.

#QAIHCdelivers #IndigenousHealth

5. WA : Midland NAIDOC is AHCWA’s main event for the week, where all of our staff were on hand to help out for the day.

Hundreds of our mob visited Midland Oval and joined us celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The event was free and combines cultural activities, live entertainment, youth zone, family friendly attractions and FREE food.#NAIDOC2019

6. SA : Good news story about AMIC Mums and Bubs trainee Cherie Burnett who is currently doing her studies at AHCSA.

7. NT : The Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin Mobile team went down to Mindil Beach with the Mobile Clinic for Larrakia Nation’s Road Safety Barbeque.

Larrakia Nation put on a breakfast and their Arts in the Grass program, NT Remote Alcohol and Other Drugs provided community education, Orange Sky was there with their free laundry and shower service van and OneDisease came along to engage with the community. It was fantastic to see all of these services coming together to provide support and to see the community members enjoying this fresh dry season morning!

7.2 NT : Congress Alice Springs NAIDOC Sports and Family Fun Day

See more pics Here

8.TAS : It’s NAIDOC Week, so here’s nipaluna (Hobart’s) weather in palawa kani

Listen Hear 

NACCHO Our Members #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : Features National @NACCHOChair #LowitjaConf2019 @Apunipima #715HealthChecks #QLD @QAIHC_QLD #CEOSleepout $ #NT @KenWyattMP visits @AMSANTaus #NSW Katungul #Vic MDAS #WA South West AMS #SA #ACT

Feature article this week 715 Health Checks 

1.1 National : Relationships key to better Indigenous Health – and the 715 health check is paving the way says Dr Mark Wenitong

1.2 National : Donnella Mills Acting @NACCHOChair broadcast interview at Lowitja Conference in Darwin

1.3 National : Donnella Mills Acting @NACCHOChair and John Paterson CEO AMSANT presents at Lowitja  the Coalition of ACCO Peaks on #ClosingtheGap

1.4 National : Michaela Coleborne the new NACCHO Director of Policy visits Lowitja Conference Darwin meeting many of our stakeholders like End RHD

2. NSW : Katungul ACCHO newly appointed CEO for the next 12 months, Joanne Grant talks about what motivates her to get out of bed every day

3. Vic MDAS Family and Community Services team supports our clients as they strive to achieve their own goals in life.

4. QLD :QAIHC CEO sleeps out to raise vital funds for homelessness : Please Donate HERE

5.1 WA : The South West Aboriginal Medical Service and City of Bunbury have been working together to deliver a $28 million multi-faceted facility for those living in the region. 

5.2 WA : AHCWA Starts new course in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Primary Health Care Practice

6. SA : AHCSA_ Study redefines gender policy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 

7. NT : Minister Ken Wyatt visits AMSANT office in Darwin after opening Day 2 Lowitja Conference ( See Video )

8.ACT : Winnunga ACCHO adviser says reports expose ACT disinterest in Aboriginal care

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

Feature article this week

1.1 National : Relationships key to better Indigenous Health – and the 715 health check is paving the way says Dr Mark Wenitong

“You really have to engage with the local Aboriginal community, so they feel comfortable to come in and get their 715.

 You need to understand cultural sensitivities to get a proper medical history – you can’t diagnose if you don’t know what’s really going on with a patient, so building that trust is really critical.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the worst health outcomes of any community in Australia.

We have a responsibility as health professionals to take care of this community, the same way that we take care of any part of our community. 

 Our people can actually take care of themselves if they have the education and the information in their hands.”

Dr Mark Wenitong Apunipima Health Service

Mark is one of a kind. Descending from the Kabi Kabi tribal group of South Queensland, Mark is one of the first Aboriginal men to graduate as a Doctor and is now a powerful advocate for improving Indigenous health outcomes.

Mark says he was inspired to become a Doctor by his mother who was one of the first Aboriginal Health Workers to be trained in Queensland. Her work with the Cape York community, in particular tackling the surge of sexually transmitted diseases in the region at the time, inspired a passion for better health within the family.

“Mum’s legacy was what really made me want to become a Doctor. I wanted to be able to help our mob to look after their own health, to provide a cultural lens. For me, that’s why it’s so important that Aboriginal Doctors are part of our service system, we can translate research, evidence and even program work into real practice” says Mark.

“With more Aboriginal Doctors, we can relate to our people, overcome barriers and build cultural resonance.”

After studying and graduating from the University of Newcastle in 1995, Mark is now based in Cairns at Apunipima Health Service, working with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities up north, both in the clinic and out in communities.

Mark says, the annual health check for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, item 715 under the Medicare Benefits Schedule, provides enormous opportunities for GPs to engage with Indigenous communities about their health needs.

View the video case study herehttps://youtu.be/lUgJsjtiItA

“The importance of 715s can’t be overstated – it’s one of the most important innovations that Medicare, and the Government, has brought in. We needed to do it, because we needed to get an understanding of what people’s health profile was before they were unwell. Why wait until patients come to us with a chronic disease? Let’s start screening early,” says Mark.

With Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2.3 times more likely to suffer a chronic condition, the annual health check is designed to provide early detection and prevention. Mark says the assessment is critically important in improving Indigenous health outcomes.

“There’s a couple of aspects to a 715 that are really important. The first is the screening – there are lots of people that are asymptomatic – meaning they aren’t showing symptoms yet –  that could have early disease like diabetes, hypertension. These patients may not come in until they get symptoms because people still think they have to be sick to come to a clinic. It’s an important way to engage the community, so they know they can come to a clinic whenever they need do,” says Mark.

“The other important aspect is that it’s a comprehensive assessment – a complete head to toe. By screening a broad array of physical, social and emotional factors, we get a really good picture of individual and community level health. Because we can identify problems early, we can also start early treatment.

“At a community level, we get really great data from undertaking the 715. We work with the local Elders groups to deliver 715 health check days out in the community, and screen people that otherwise wouldn’t come to the clinic. It gives us an idea of what the issues are at a really local level. We can then look at broader issues that affect the whole community, like immunisation, dementia, mental health and social wellbeing and can work to develop appropriate programs that tackle the specific issue a community might be experiencing.”

The annual health check is available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all ages, however nationally less than 30 per cent of patients are accessing the check.

Mark says it’s important to engage young patients with getting a 715 early as part of educating people about how to stay healthy.

“I see young people come in for their 715 and they’re very well. But I talk to them about health maintenance, talk to them about what they could end up like. Their uncle whose overweight, with no teeth and smoking outside. Our young people want to look deadly and fit, so we can help them with information and tips to stay in good health.

But with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Doctors representing less than 1% of the general practitioner workforce it’s important that all GPs understand the benefits of a 715 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Mark says the key to improving mainstream health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients is to encourage practices to engage with their local community to build cultural competency.

“If Aboriginal people walk into a service and don’t feel welcome, they won’t come back. Access is a big issue – creating a safe space for people to feel welcome is important,” says Mark.

“You really have to engage with the local Aboriginal community, so they feel comfortable to come in and get their715. You need to understand cultural sensitivities to get a proper medical history – you can’t diagnose if you don’t know what’s really going on with a patient, so building that trust is really critical.

“Most GPs can do this fairly well with most people, so it’s just a matter of then learning a little bit more about Aboriginal social and cultural issues to be able to relate to these patients in the right way. If you do, you’ll make a big difference.

“Some mainstream practices I’ve worked with have done really simple things, like putting Aboriginal health posters up in the waiting room or hiring and Aboriginal Health Worker or Aboriginal receptionist to help people feel welcome.”

Mark’s message to health professionals is simple – help your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in the same way you help any others.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the worst health outcomes of any community in Australia. We have a responsibility as health professionals to take care of this community, the same way that we take care of any part of our community.  Our people can actually take care of themselves if they have the education and the information in their hands.”

The 715 health check is available annually to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all ages. Further information, including resources for patients and health practitioners is available at www.health.gov.au/715-health-check.

1.2 National : Donnella Mills Acting @NACCHOChair broadcast interview at Lowitja Conference in Darwin

1.3 National : Donnella Mills Acting @NACCHOChair and John Paterson CEO AMSANT presents at Lowitja  the Coalition of ACCO Peaks on #ClosingtheGap

Read Full Speech Here

1.4 National : Michaela Coleborne the new NACCHO Director of Policy visits Lowitja Conference Darwin meeting many of our stakeholders like End RHD

NACCHO are a founding member of the RHD alliance, leading work to across Australia. ( with Vicki Wade on right )

Read NACCHO and RHD HERE

2. NSW : Katungul ACCHO newly appointed CEO for the next 12 months, Joanne Grant talks about what motivates her to get out of bed every day

What motivates you to get out of bed every day to come and work at Katungul and why?
I firstly want to pay my respects to the Walbunja peoples, some of whom are family, of the Yuin nation and I am really honoured to be able to work on their land and with the local Aboriginal Communities along the far South Coast of NSW.
There is well documented evidence of the disparity faced by Aboriginal people in Australia and still today our people are denied their basic human rights. The opportunity to make a change for our people is what really motivates me.

Working in the health sector has been an eye opening experience for me as we see daily the ‘real’ effects of colonisation and trans-generational trauma which presents in many forms, for our mob eg AOD, mental health, chronic disease, family breakdown to name a few. To be able to work in an organisation like Katungul, that can provide services and programs directly to our communities, and who value cultural safety is what I believe will make a genuine difference.

What are you most excited about taking on in the next 12 months?

I am keen for the challenge that lies ahead of me. Whilst I have been apart of the executive team at Katungul for nearly 4 years, to take the reins of our organisation requires a whole new level of responsibility, way of thinking and commitment.
I see my role as an opportunity to build on our successes and have us recognised for the work we do.

It disappoints me at times that our Government still does not fully value the significant role of an Aboriginal community controlled organisation, which is evident when you look at the funding options that bypass us. I believe, we hold the vital keys and answers to our solutions!  I am keen to take the lead and have us write our own narrative of change as we move forward.

What can you personally bring to you role?

MMM.. talking myself up is not a big strength of mine, but when I look at my employment history I believe I can bring 30 plus years of demonstrated experience and commitment of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples with me.

When I left year 12 my first real job was with the Human Rights Commission, handling complaints of racial discrimination around Australia. This was a not just a job but a real life lesson for me, at that young age.It really opened my eyes up to the injustices my people faced. These stories have stayed with me throughout my employment journey and always motivates me to champion change.

What do you think will be your biggest challenges?

Working in any Aboriginal organisation is a hard ask, as we face many political challenges, at all levels including by our own communities. There seems to be a perception out there that we, Aboriginal organisations, receive a plethora of funding and are able to address ALL issues faced by our communities.

Unfortunately this is not the case, and we need to be clear and concise about what we can and cannot do and exceed where we are able to.  Living in regional Australia itself is a challenge as local resources are limited which means we have to access support and services for our clients out of area. This is clearly evident in the AOD space with all clients requiring residential treatment/care having to leave the area and  their family and Kinship networks which at times can be problematic.

What can the community expect to see from you in this role?

They can expect to see an Aboriginal woman lead with integrity, take on the challenges as they arise and to put the needs of the communities we serve  at the centre of our business.

3. Vic MDAS Family and Community Services team supports our clients as they strive to achieve their own goals in life.

We have specialist teams focussing on the different needs within our community:

• Aged and Disability
• Children’s Placement Services
• Family Services
• Youth Services
• Homelessness and Housing Services

Our staff work from a “Best-Interest Case Practice Model” – that means we support clients to achieve their goals and maintain their connections to their community, their families and, importantly, their culture.

Website

4. QLD :QAIHC CEO sleeps out to raise vital funds for homelessness : Please Donate HERE

Last night ( Thursday 20 June ) the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) CEO, Neil Willmett, slept out on the cold, hard concrete of Brisbane’s Powerhouse as part of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

The annual event raises much needed funds and awareness to address homelessness in Australia. For the CEOs involved it is one night of discomfort, but for more than 116,427 Australians, including more than 22,000 Queenslanders, homelessness is a constant reality.

This is the third year that Mr Willmett has participated in the CEO Sleepout, a cause close to his heart.

“It is well known that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are over-represented in the homeless population. Across Australia, approximately 25% of people who access specialist homelessness services identified as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander,” said Mr Willmett.

Mr Willmett is striving to raise a minimum of $5,000 to help the St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland (Vinnies) provide support to people in crisis.

“I am proud to participate in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. As the CEO of QAIHC, I lead an organisation whose membership has a positive impact on the most vulnerable. Across the whole of Queensland, the homeless population is in the thousands. Homelessness can have profound and ongoing effects on people and their health and wellbeing,” Mr Willmett said.

Funds raised at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout enables Vinnies to provide vital services to people experiencing homelessness. Vinnies provides emergency accommodation, advocacy support, budgeting services, living skills programs, emergency relief, transitional housing and access to programs that help rebuild the lives of Australians living in poverty.

To donate, visit www.ceosleepout.org.au/fundraisers/neilwillmett/brisbane

5.1 WA : The South West Aboriginal Medical Service and City of Bunbury have been working together to deliver a $28 million multi-faceted facility for those living in the region. 

Plans for the construction of an all-encompassing Indigenous health hub are progressing despite the project not yet receiving state or federal funding.

Last week council agreed to transfer city-owned land to SWAMS to develop the health campus.

Originally published HERE

Lot 4669 Forrest Avenue, Carey Park which is known as Jaycee Park will be transferred to SWAMS with the city agreeing to waive the development application fee of $34,196.

City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said the health hub would be a welcomed addition to the region.

“We are pleased to be able to provide the land to SWAMS for their health precinct and council would like to acknowledge all the hard work they do as well as the excellent service they provide to the community,” he said.

“By expanding their practice they will be able to do even more for their clients and make health care available and more accessible to those who need it.”

SWAMS chief executive Lesley Nelson thanked council for prioritising Indegenous health.

“This is about looking at a one-stop health hub to bring all of our programs and services under the one roof, in the one location,” she said.

“Strong local commitment and continuity are required to close the gap and that is why this purpose built, local facility is so important.”

During planning for the new purpose-built hub, SWAMS has partnered with University of Technology Sydney, to ensure an innovative, cutting edge design which will deliver positive outcomes for clients.

The build will include clinical and research facilities, administrative offices, dedicated maternal and child health facility and an outdoor Indigenous park in the one location.

There will also be a fenced-off children’s playground, landscaped gardens and new toilet facilities all open to the public.

Ms Nelson said they were still looking for funding partners and had sent the health hub plans out to a number of ministers.

“The total project will be around $28 million but if there is opportunities to undertake work at different stages that’s what we’ll do,” she said.

“We’re positive that it will happen, the first stage we’ll be looking at is building the health and wellbeing community centre and the landscaping and the park.

“That will get us started and showcase to the local community that something is happening on the site that is exciting.

“We know it’s important and this is part of trying to close the gap at a local level from the community – in terms of driving what they want to see here.”

SWAMS will now submit the development application to the City for assessment.

Once it has been approved, construction is expected to be completed within 12 months.

For more information visit www.swams.com.au.

5.2 WA : AHCWA Starts new course in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Primary Health Care Practice

NEW COURSE STARTING THURSDAY JULY 25th 2019

If you are interested in completing the Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Primary Health Care Practice” course or would like more information please email shirley.newell@ahcwa.org. or phone 92771631.

6. SA : AHCSA_ Study redefines gender policy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 

Read and /Or Download Report HERE

7. NT : Minister Ken Wyatt Visits AMSANT office in Darwin after opening Day 2 Lowitja Conference 

8.ACT : Winnunga ACCHO adviser says reports expose ACT disinterest in Aboriginal care

 ” THE release in late 2018 of two reports – “The Family Matters Report 2018”, which concerns  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care or in touch with the child protection system, and the Bureau of Statistics report “Prisoners in Australia 2018″– are a wake-up call for Canberra.” 

Jon Stanhope is employed as an adviser at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Service

Originally Published HERE 30 Jan 2019

Jon Stanhope
Jon Stanhope.

“The Family Matters Report 2018”, which measures the trends in over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home-care is as depressing as it is distressing. The report includes a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction report card on the implementation of best practice in child protection as represented by the Aboriginal Child Placement Principles and the four building blocks of the Family Matters Roadmap. “The Family Matters Report” is a collaborative effort of SNAICC-National Voice for our Children, the University of Melbourne and Griffith University. In other words, it is rigorous and credible.

In summary, the report reveals (and not for the first time) that the ACT is among the worst-performing jurisdictions in Australia and, on a number of specific and major measures, the worst-performing jurisdiction in Australia when it comes to the care of Aboriginal children in contact with the child-protection system.

In relation to the Aboriginal Child Placement Principles, recognised nationally as of fundamental importance to the management and care of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care, the ACT is identified as the only jurisdiction in Australia that has refused to include in its child-protection legislation any of the recognised elements of self-determination or a human-rights-based framework for participation in child protection decision making such as consulting Aboriginal community controlled organisations and involving them in decisions about the placement or care of Aboriginal children.

In light of the ACT government’s practice of excluding Aboriginal participation in child protection it is no surprise that the ACT has the highest rate of Aboriginal children in touch with the care and protection system in Australia and the third highest rate of removal of Aboriginal children from their families in Australia. An Aboriginal child in the ACT is 14 times more likely than a non-Aboriginal child to be in out-of-home care.

Stunningly, despite these quite shameful outcomes the ACT has the lowest level of funding in Australia for intensive family support and the second lowest level of family support generally.

Unsurprisingly, there are clear linkages between children who have been removed from their family by care and protection services and poverty, disadvantage and ultimately contact with the criminal justice system. The ABS report – “Prisoners in Australia 2018” – to the extent that it exposes and details the over-representation of Aboriginal men and women in prison in the ACT, confirms the depth of the failure of the ACT government and justice system to address either the causes of or appropriate response to Aboriginal offending.

The headline finding in the ABS report is that the ACT has the highest ratio of Aboriginal people in jail in Australia. An Aboriginal person in Canberra is 17.5 times more likely than a non-Aboriginal person to be sent to prison. The next highest is WA with a ratio of 16 followed by the NT where the ratio is 12. The ACT also stands out as the jurisdiction with the highest increase in relative imprisonment of Aboriginal people between 2008 and 2018, with an increase over the 10 years of a massive 100 per cent. In that same period WA and SA reduced the relative imprisonment rate by 9 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.

There is perhaps no single better illustration of the extent of inequality in Canberra than that the city with the highest median household income, the highest rates of home ownership and private health insurance, the fastest growing median house price and the highest mean income in the nation also has the highest rate of indigenous incarceration.

There is a range of other data reported by the ABS that is as equally shocking as the raw rate of indigenous incarceration. For instance the rate of prior imprisonment (or recidivism rate) of Aboriginal prisoners currently in the AMC is a mind blowing 90 per cent, the highest in Australia. Of the 109 Aboriginal detainees in the AMC on June 30 a staggering 99 of them were recidivists.

Equally alarming is the rate of increase in the ACT in the crude imprisonment rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Between 2017 and 2018 the rate in the ACT increased by 12 per cent to produce an increase over the six-year period from 2012 to 2018 of 89 per cent against a national average of 24 per cent. By way of comparison the growth in incarceration, over the same six years, in the NT, WA and SA was 8 per cent, 15 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

That the rate of increase in the incarceration of Aboriginal people in the ACT, over the last six years, is 65 per cent higher than the national average and that the rate of relative imprisonment has doubled in the last 10 years is deeply alarming and surely demands immediate and independent investigation and an urgent response. However, for that to occur there needs to be someone in government who actually cares.

My fear is that the ACT government has sensed that the Canberra community doesn’t really care that much about the level of indigenous disadvantage and poverty in Canberra and has accordingly decided that there is no need for it to either.

Jon Stanhope is employed as an adviser at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Service.

NACCHO Our Members #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : Features National @NACCHOChair @KenWyattMP #NSW @ahmrc #RedfernAMS #KatungulACCHO#VIC @VACCHO_org #QLD @QAIHC_QLD @DeadlyChoices #WA @TheAHCWA #WirrakaMayaACCHO #NT @CAACongress

1.1 National : Minister’s ongoing talks about the Closing the Gap refresh

1.2 National : CEO Pat Turner presents at international Conference in New Zealand about developing a  ” Roadmap to end RHD “

1.3 National : Our Deputy CEO Dawn Casey co chair Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Systems Evaluation: Health Sector Co-design Group (HSCG) Download Communiqué for February 2019

2.1 NACCHO joins Redfern AMS congratulating Aunty Dulcie Flower OAM  on receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM)

2.2 NSW : Download the 75 Page AH&MRC report om World No Tobacco Day and the work being done by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) in tobacco control.

2.3 NSW : Katungul ACCHO Fathers and Sons video launched

3.VIC : VACCHO SEWB Gathering for members , training ,celebrating culture and spending time together.

4.1 QLD : QAIHC  Mobile health scoping study to address cardiovascular disease risk factors

4.2 QLD : The Deadly Choices Maroons health campaign being implemented by Community Controlled Health Services throughout Queensland kicks in over coming weeks

5.1 WA : AHCWA recently delivered our Aboriginal Health Worker Immunisation Course at the Bega Garnbirringu Health Service in Kalgoorlie.

5.2 WA : Alfred Barker Chairperson of Wirraka Maya working to educate and support men about the role they can play in preventing FASD

6.NT : Congress ACCHO Alice Springs Medical Director on Queens Birthday Honour List

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

 

1.1 National : Minister’s ongoing talks about the Closing the Gap refresh

Our Acting NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills and representatives of the Coalition of Peaks met in Canberra this week with Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt for constructive and positive ongoing talks about the Closing the Gap refresh and the Partnership Agreement with the Coalition of Peaks.

1.2 National : CEO Pat Turner presents at international Conference in New Zealand about developing a  ” Roadmap to end RHD “

Our CEO Pat Turner presenting powerful case studies at Indigenous Cardiovascular Health Conference in NEW Zealand this – keeping governments accountable to community priorities in health

Developing a new Roadmap to end RHD Pat talked about the partnership of NACCHO with the RHD coalition

1.3 National : Our Deputy CEO Dawn Casey co chair Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Systems Evaluation: Health Sector Co-design Group (HSCG) Download Communiqué for February 2019

The Department of Health commissioned a national evaluation of the Australian Government’s investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care, which occurs primarily through the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme.

This evaluation is occurring over four years from 2019-2022 and includes the evaluation team working closely with a Health Sector Co-Design Group (HSCG).

The HSCG’s third meeting in February was the first meeting in the implementation phase of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Systems Evaluation.

After an Acknowledgement of Country and a welcome by the acting co-chairs – Dr Casey and Ms Young – members were invited to discuss what was ‘top of mind’ coming into the meeting.

Download Communique HSCG Meeting No.3 Communique – 2019_05_31

2.1 NACCHO joins Redfern AMS congratulating Aunty Dulcie Flower OAM  on receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM)

On behalf of the Aboriginal Medical Service Board, Staff and Community we wish Aunty Dulcie Flower congratulations on receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) on the weekend.

Aunty Dulcie is an AMS founding member, volunteer, a staff member and continues today as a long standing board member.

Dulcie was instrumental in the development of the Aboriginal Health Worker Program, which ensures our communities are advocated and cared for by appropriately skilled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce staff.

Read Dolcie’s interview about Indigenous rights activism HERE

Dulcie has had distinguished career as a Registered Nurse and Lecturer, an activist and mentor, but above all a friend to many.

Congratulations Aunty Dulcie!

2.2 NSW : Download the 75 Page AH&MRC report om World No Tobacco Day and the work being done by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) in tobacco control.

Around the world last month, activities for World No Tobacco Day 2019 put the spotlight on “tobacco and lung health”, aiming to increase awareness of tobacco’s impact on people’s lung health and the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people.

The campaign also served as a call to action, advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption and engaging stakeholders across multiple sectors in the fight for tobacco control.

In Australia, the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW (AH&MRC) sponsored an innovative Twitter Festival, hosted by Croakey Professional Services, to profile the work being done by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) in tobacco control.

Download the report from Here

NoTobaccoDay_Report_Final

Or from Croakey

https://croakey.org/read-all-about-it-download-the-communitycontrol-twitter-festival-report/

NACCHO social media contribution page 11 -15

2.3 NSW : Katungul ACCHO Fathers and Sons video launched

Katungul Koori Connections Officer Wally Stewart talking about last years Father & Sons Camp; a fantastic program that brings people back to country, helping to keep culture alive and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Music created by participants of the Katungul Music/Dance program run by Sean Kinchela & Wally Stewart.

Video courtesy of Afterglow. We’d like to thank them for their generosity & partnership – www.afterglow.net.au S

 

3.1 VIC : VACCHO SEWB Gathering for members , training ,celebrating culture and spending time together.

VACCHO’s Whitney Solomon, ETU Program Coordinator SEWB, delivering Ice Prevention training to Victoria’s awesome SEWB Aboriginal Health Workers at VACCHO’s SEWB Gathering


Proud Waywurru woman Sam Paxton from Djimba (in red), guides SEWB Aboriginal Health workers through a yarning circle at our SEWB Gathering

Proud Wagiman man Nathan Patterson from Iluka Art & Design [-o-] leads a painting workshop while proud Gunditjmara woman Laura Thompson from The Koorie Circle teaches SEWB Aboriginal health workers to create contemporary Aboriginal designed and inspired jewellery made from sustainably sourced timber.

So it’s not all work at our SEWB Gatherings, it’s also about celebrating culture and spending time together.

4.1 QLD : QAIHC  Mobile health scoping study to address cardiovascular disease risk factors

“This type of m-health innovation has the potential to provide culturally responsive and appropriate primary health care that can be embedded in our models of care.

Preliminary data suggest m-health technology can increase engagement and ownership throughout the patient journey and facilitate sustainable positive heath behaviour changes.

As cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of disease for First Nations Peoples, we are committed to exploring options that empower individuals to improve the management of their health, as well as improve access to health services.”

Chief Executive Officer of QAIHC, Neil Willmett, is excited about the potential the app has to improve health care access and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with hypertension.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples taking antihypertensive medication has increased, indicating a rise in the number of people at risk of cardiovascular disease.

The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have partnered on a mobile health (m-health) scoping study for the screening and management of cardiovascular disease.

CSIRO have developed an app that can be customised for blood pressure monitoring and are interested in learning how it could work within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisation (ATSICCHO) sector’s models of care. Specifically, CSIRO and QAIHC are seeking input from the sector about how m-health could help manage risk factors for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with cardiovascular disease.

An m-health based model of care could facilitate blood pressure and medication management in people who have been diagnosed with hypertension, reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Additionally, the scoping study will assess how a m-health based model of care could be adapted or enhanced to support preventative health interventions addressing cardiovascular disease risk factors such as increasing physical activity, improving dietary intake, and reducing smoking rates.

Between April and June 2019, QAIHC and CSIRO are conducting consultations to seek input from regional, remote, and urban ATSICCHOs on the use of m-health for the management of risk factors for people with cardiovascular disease. This feedback will be used to inform development of the hypertension m-health app.

Outcomes of the scoping study will be shared with the ATSICCHO Sector in the coming months.

4.2 QLD : The Deadly Choices Maroons health campaign being implemented by Community Controlled Health Services throughout Queensland kicks in over coming weeks

Two legends of QRL, supporting our state-wide Deadly Maroons campaign.
Book in now for your health check, at a participating AMS and score one of these deadly shirts.

“ The Deadly Maroons health campaign is being implemented by Community Controlled Health Services throughout Queensland and further strengthens delivery of our Deadly Choices messages which aim to empower our people to take control of their health – to stop smoking, to eat healthier and exercise more,”

Institute for Urban Indigenous Health CEO Adrian Carson

The Deadly Choices – Deadly Maroons State-wide preventative health campaign moves full throttle over coming weeks, with a host of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women featuring for Queensland in the annual State of Origin match on Friday June 21 in Sydney, before the men do battle in Perth on Sunday June 23.

Fans will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with all the NRLW superstars this weekend during the QRL’s traditional pre-Origin Fan Day on Sunday at South Pine Sporting Complex at Brendale, where the Deadly Maroons team will also be out in force.

NRLW forward mainstay Tallisha Harden, who was a standout in the Indigenous All Stars match earlier in the year, has made a speedy recovery from ankle surgery to earn her place in the side and is hoping to turn the tables on the Blues this year.

Former Jillaroo and World Cup winner, Jenni-Sue Hoepper returns to the representative scene following an extended maternity break, while livewire centre Amber Pilley caps off a stellar 12 months, earning her first Queensland cap after an NRLW Premiership-winning season with the Brisbane Broncos.

There’s been considerable talk surrounding the injection of Stephanie Mooka, who was a standout at the recent NRLW National Championships and is likely to form a formidable centre pairing with Pilley.

All four proud, Indigenous women advocate the importance of healthy living and are supportive of the Deadly Maroons program, which helps promote healthy lifestyle choices among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“The Deadly Maroons campaign is an amazing partnership initiative between the Queensland Rugby League and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health’s Deadly Choices preventative health program,” confirmed Harden.

“As a speech pathologist with the Institute, a representative of the Deadly Maroons and a Deadly Choices Ambassador, I’ve seen first-hand how these programs make a positive difference in the lives of so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Winning next Friday is what we’re all about when we go into camp this weekend, but I also know all the girls are aware of the Deadly Maroons campaign and are looking forward to supporting this deadly promotion.”

The support of the women is matched by an unwavering commitment among the men’s team who have already generated immense interest right across Queensland.

“The Deadly Maroons health campaign is being implemented by Community Controlled Health Services throughout Queensland and further strengthens delivery of our Deadly Choices messages which aim to empower our people to take control of their health – to stop smoking, to eat healthier and exercise more,” added Institute for Urban Indigenous Health CEO Adrian Carson.

“Football is so much more than a game – it is a vehicle to drive important health messages for our people and to encourage our people to access their local Community Controlled Health Services for support to make deadly choices, including completing a regular Health Check.

“Our Deadly Choices shirts have played a key role in driving demand for preventative health care, contributing to an incredible 4000% increase in Health Checks in South East Queensland and leading to the expansion of Deadly Choices across Queensland, with support from Queensland and Australian Governments.”

“Through Deadly Choices, we’re making a real difference in closing the health and life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and with the support and commitment of the QRL, and ongoing support from Queensland and Australian Governments, momentum will be enhanced over coming years.”

5.WA : AHCWA recently delivered our Aboriginal Health Worker Immunisation Course at the Bega Garnbirringu Health Service in Kalgoorlie.

The training is run in conjunction with the Communicable Disease Control Directorate Department of Health and is a nationally accredited immunisation course that provides Aboriginal Health Practitioners with the knowledge and skills to promote and safely immunise clients across all ages.

For more information on the course, contact our Immunisation Coordinator, Stacee Burrows at stacee.burrows@ahcwa.org

5.2 WA : Alfred Barker Chairperson of Wirraka Maya working to educate and support men about the role they can play in preventing FASD

Meet Alfred Barker. He’s a Traditional Owner and the Chairperson of Wirraka Maya, where he works to educate and support men about the role they can play in preventing FASD, through supporting their partners not to drink during pregnancy. “‘Grog before, during and after pregnancy is no good for Dad, Mum and bub’.

6.NT : Congress ACCHO Alice Springs Medical Director on Queens Birthday Honour List

“Congress is very proud to have Dr Sam’s outstanding contribution recognised on the 2019 Queens Birthday Honours list with an OAM” 

Congress Chief Executive Officer, Donna Ah Chee.

Congress Medical Director, Dr Sam Heard has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday honours, for his contribution to Medicine. Dr Heard was recognised for his work as a GP across the Northern Territory and his tireless commitment to the education of doctors and other medical staff for over 20 years, particularly through extensive training of GP registrars.

He served 9 years as Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Regional Director and 10 years as Chair of Northern Territory General Practice Education.

As Congress’ Medical Director, Dr Heard is applying his wealth of knowledge and experience to assist Congress in the vital work we are doing in Aboriginal health especially in the recruitment, retention and training of our current and future medical workforce.

 Dr Heard provides clinical leadership to Congress’ 14 clinics in Alice Springs and across six remote Central Australian communities.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health @NACCHOChair Press Release and Media wrap #SorryDay #BridgeWalk @TheLongWalkOz @DeadlyChoices #Racism and @RecAustralia #ReconciliationWeek #NRW2019 a time to encourage national conversation on truth-telling and cultural understanding

 In this special NACCHO Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Edition

1.NACCHO Chair Press Release

2.National Sorry Day : School resources

3.Sorry Day Bridge Walk Canberra

4.National Reconciliation Week : Download the Guide

5. NRL and AFL  Indigenous Round will see moving ceremonies and grand sentiments — and then what?

6. The Long Walk : Racism #DreamtimeatheG

“National Sorry Day and Reconciliation week remind us that Australia’s colonial past has resulted in different outcomes for different people. Our shared story of Australia needs to be grounded in truth so that we can cultivate positive race relations and work to make our country stronger, together

As a nation we must continue to speak about our history as a way to understand and heal deep wounds suffered as a result of our colonial past which laid the groundwork for decades of harmful policies directed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We must continue to work together as a community, and indeed, as a country, to support the health and well-being of those from the Stolen Generations who are still recovering from loss of family, loss of culture and loss of life.

Truth-telling is a difficult yet courageous act. The journey of reconciliation takes time but every step forward creates a more solid foundation for our country to walk together, hand in hand, towards a hopeful future.

Acting Chair of NACCHO, Ms Donnella Mills.

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) encourages all Australians to take time to engage in conversations about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and reflect on the ways we can support reconciliation in Australia

Download Read in full NACCHO Chair Press Release

2.National Sorry Day : School resources

Sorry Day (26 May) is a time to remember the past policies of forced child removal, and reflect on the sad and painful stories of the Stolen Generations.

It is a time to recognise the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the power of saying Sorry.

Did you know?

  •  The first Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998—exactly one year after the Bringing Them Home Report was presented to the Parliament.
  •  The Bringing Them Home Report was the result of an inquiry into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, and recommends both an apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and reparations.
  •  The term “Stolen Generations” refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who were forcibly removed as children from their families by government, welfare, or church authorities, and placed into institutional care or with non-Indigenous foster families.
  •  The forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children began as early as the mid-1800s and continued until the 1970s.

The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students has been created to educate young people about the Stolen Generations.

It makes it easy for school communities to start the conversation and inform classroom discussions using facts, real examples and stories.

Cultural consultation and guidance from Stolen Generations members has been an essential part of this project. The Healing Foundation has also worked closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous teachers, parents, early childhood specialists and curriculum writers.

This teaching resource has been developed to introduce students from Foundation to Year 9 to the firsthand experiences of Stolen Generations members. While the policies and suffering of the Stolen Generations is only one part of the ongoing story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it is an essential one to learn and to teach so students have a full understanding of the history of Australia.

Cultural consultation and guidance from Stolen Generations members has been an essential part of creating this project.

We would like to acknowledge the Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Reference Group members who guided the development of this project.

DOWNLOAD THE OVERVIEW

3.Sorry Day Bridge Walk Canberra

Our NACCHO , Winnunga ACCHO and Reconciliation Australia staff joined thousand of marchers on 24 May : The walk each year is organised by Julie Tongs CEO Winnunga

4.National Reconciliation Week : Download the Guide

Our purpose is to inspire and enable all Australians to contribute to the reconciliation of the nation.

Our vision is for a just, equitable and reconciled Australia.

Reconciliation Australia was established in 2001 and is the lead body for reconciliation in the nation. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation that promotes and facilitates reconciliation by building relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Our vision of national reconciliation is based on five critical dimensions: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity and historical acceptance. These five dimensions do not exist in isolation; they are inter-related and Australia can only achieve full reconciliation if we progress in all five Case Studies

 Download the 22 Page Reconciliation 2019 Guide

ra-nrw-2019-guide_v8

5. AFL, NRL Indigenous Round will see moving ceremonies and grand sentiments — and then what?

Over the weekend, both the AFL and NRL celebrated the vast contribution of Indigenous players who provide welcome visibility and wonderful role models for a people too easily overlooked and forgotten.

First published Here on ABC News

There was colourful jerseys,

moving ceremonies, the soothing drone of the didgeridoo and grand sentiments about how much the first Australians have given to the game.

The sights and sounds of 40,000 years of Indigenous culture was symbolised at football grounds across the country before vast audiences and then… what?

The answer lies in whether the AFL and NRL see Indigenous Round as an opportunity to go beyond the comfortable symbolism of inclusion and use the occasion to express support for more direct action and even controversial causes on behalf of their players.

Or whether they are merely appropriating Indigenous culture for yet another orgy of feel-good celebration that does more to advance the corporate interests of Australia’s most predominant football codes than those it purports to honour.

There are many who will argue that it is possible for Indigenous Rounds to be both a powerful celebration of Indigenous culture and politics-free; that unity rather than confrontation will help “bring more Australians along for the ride” on contentious issues such as granting treaty and a voice to Parliament.

The investment of the Indigenous players who design guernseys and choreograph celebrations demonstrate they have now appropriated their own round and are using it to drive their personal messages.

But having created such a powerful platform around Indigenous culture, surely we are also entitled to ask the AFL and NRL where they stand on the really big issues confronting Indigenous Australians.

Same-sex marriage is just one recent example of an issue on which both the AFL and NRL took sides on behalf of their playing groups.

Although, as the non-binding postal ballot proved, they were surfing a wave of public support, not entering the more turbulent political waters of Indigenous affairs.

For the AFL, this Indigenous Round has proven particularly problematic because of the imminent release of The Final Quarter — a reportedly confronting documentary about the treatment of Adam Goodes in the bitter finals seasons, marred by racist jeering.

Typically, AFL officials have been heavily briefed and are “on message” about the documentary. Mea culpas have been issued and we’ve-learned-from-this statements released even before next week’s media preview.

Indeed such are the depths of the AFL’s official contrition you could be forgiven for thinking the league executives, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and other heavyweights, are delighted to have been cast in the most unflattering terms because it will help “show how much we’ve grown as a competition”.

Of course, the AFL’s craven failure to acknowledge and respond to the racist element of Goodes’s awful treatment, for fear of offending the sensibilities of the vilest element of its support base, is not absolved by the current frenzy of self-flagellation.

It merely presents a challenge: Do much better next time when confronted with similar circumstances or be condemned as opportunistic cause merchants who use the Indigenous brand to satisfy the clauses in government contracts and project good corporate citizenship.

The NRL’s more tactile message

As it is, even as the lights go out and 80,000 fans celebrate the “Dreamtime at the G”, there will be an uncomfortable sense that Indigenous Round merely highlights how out of touch the AFL remains with the real, dirt-under-the-fingernails problems confronting Indigenous Australians.

You might even argue that the symbolism of Indigenous Round is being used to absolve the league from confronting the hardcore issues in the communities from which many of its Indigenous players emerge.

The AFL’s relatively strong response to the racial vilification of Nicky Winmar and Michael Long is rightly celebrated on Indigenous Round, along with their bravery.

Yet it is only six years since then Adelaide Crows recruiting chief Matthew Rendell lost his job for clumsily stating clubs would not recruit an Indigenous player unless he had one white parent — a statement rightly condemned, but which also revealed the massive disconnection between clubs intoxicated by what they once called “Aboriginal magic” and the everyday realities of the players they seek to recruit.

If the AFL sells an ethereal message around Indigenous Round, there is something more tactile about the NRL version.

That stems from the more organic connection between the regions and the clubs from which Indigenous players have come, compared with the AFL where there remains a sense Indigenous stars are “imported” from another planet.

As a consequence, the NRL has seemed better placed to use the Indigenous message to create practical solutions, such as the initiative whereby Indigenous youths were given jerseys if they met certain health conditions. Note Deadly Choices 715 Health Checks

Great to have Indigenous players and legend stop in at our activation as we launch our partnership with Winnunga Nimmityjah AH&CS – at GIO Stadium

This direct connection with community is exemplified by Sydney Roosters star Latrell Mitchell’s words in The Daily Telegraph about what he hopes to achieve in his Indigenous jersey this weekend.

“Because with Indigenous Australians there’s this stereotype that says we’re lazy, on the dole, get given houses,” Mitchell said.

“Well, I want kids to know I’ve never been on the dole in my life. Want them to know I finished school and just went out and got myself a house. It wasn’t given to me for free. I bought it.”

6. The Long Walk

Website

Stand against racism 

VAHS ACCHO Thanks  to Essendon Football Club and The Long Walk for allowing our Deadly Choices Students to do a guard of honour at Dreamtime At The G.

All students enjoyed themselves. Also thanks to our schools for selecting the students on our behalf. #vahsdc

Treaty

NACCHO Our Members #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : Features #NT @AMSANTaus @ailcleaders #NSW #715HealthChecks @awabakalltd #Werin #VIC @DeadlyChoices @VAHS1972 #BADAC #QLD @GidgeeHealing #SA Pika Wiya #WA

1.1 Our CEO Pat Turner and Acting Chair Donnella Mills congratulate the newly elected Morrison Government

2.1 NT :  AMSANT and Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre enter into Leadership Development Partnership

2.2  NT : Red Lily Health Board in Jabiru now in the hands of a community controlled health board .

3.1 NSW : Werin ACCHO : Ngambaga Bindarry Girrwaa Elders win 21st Elders Olympics held in Port Macquarie

3.2 NSW : Awabakal ACCHO Newcastle : Your health is in your hands, says the 715 Health Checks team 

3.3 NSW : Greater Western ACCHO and Deadly Choices last night launched a partnership with the at BankWest Stadium.

4.1 VIC : VAHS would like to thank all 300+ community members who attended our Epping community day to help celebrate VAHS new Epping Clinic.

4.2 VIC : Deadly Choices facilitator training in beautiful Bendigo with the BDAC team

5. QLD : Gidgee Healing Mt Isa . Big day for Mt Isa’s first Deadly Choices Indigenous Senior Elders Games

6.SA : Pika Wiya Health Corporation provides the 715 health check and runs a range of support programs

7.1 WA : Her Rules Her Game is proud to support the BGA leadership camp to Melbourne.

7.2 WA : Team AHCWA up and running

8. TAS  2019-20 Budget: Investing in Tasmania’s Aboriginal communities

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 Our CEO Pat Turner and Acting Chair Donnella Mills congratulate the newly elected Morrison Government

CEO of The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Pat Turner, spoke on the ABC News Channel on Sunday

Our thanks to Croakey for this report .

Turner congratulated the newly elected Government and said she hoped that the Parliament would take a bipartisan approach to dealing with all matters for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

She also thanked the Labor party for all the hard work they did in putting forward their policy platform which “unfortunately the Australian people decided they weren’t ready to take on”.

“Regardless of the election result,” Turner said, “we need a radical rethink by governments  regarding the way they work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Turner said NACCHO was grateful for Scott Morrison’s leadership on closing the gap.

We need to see the colour of the money and I’m hoping that the Prime Minister will announce that very soon.

We also urge all the state and territory governments to work with us on a collaborative basis, to ensure the self-determination of our people is given legs.”

Turner said self determination had been a policy since the early 1970’s but that infrastructure and support for Indigenous systems of government  “to ensure our cultural values remain, our languages remain and our culture is strong” had not been forthcoming:

The resources need to be directed at the Aboriginal communities and through Aboriginal controlled organisations.

The old way of doing things and business as usual are over. Scott Morrison has the mandate to ensure that he takes on our advice.”

She also said the days of government appointed advisory bodies were over:

Aboriginal people need a real say in who they want to speak for them.

The community controlled organisations should be respected, and have a seat at the negotiating table, making sure the decisions are made in partnership with us.”

Turner said there were more than 40 organisations in the Coalition of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies and that they were “extremely united” in their efforts to close the gap.

We came together because we were devastated over the past.

We would like the 500 million dollars taken out of the Aboriginal Affairs budget by Abbott and Hockey reinvested in Aboriginal community control.”

She said the states and local government also need to be more accountable for the programs they are responsible for.

We are always accountable as Aboriginal people and we will continue. We want the responsibility and we have to be given the role, to play it.”

Turner thanked Scott Morrison for his commitment to ending youth suicide and invited him to visit one of the high risk areas to meet the people on the ground and “make sure we really hear from our communities how we can overcome this tragedy of youth suicide.”

Ten proposals from NACCHO

NACCHO’s Acting Chair Donnella Mills presented ten policy proposals (fleshed out in this statement,) to “seize the moment and make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health a national priority”.

Read full Release HERE

2.1 NT :  AMSANT and Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre enter into Leadership Development Partnership

“Aboriginal Health in Aboriginal Hands remains fundamental to the success and growth of our services throughout the NT.

We need to be empowered and inspired to continue to grow our leadership capacity to meet demands of today and the future.

Whilst our leadership journeys continue beyond training, the right training and motivation to spark and drive ideas provides the perfect starting point.

This partnership is testament of how working together can reap real and meaningful gains as we support and invest in our future leaders “.

CEO of AMSANT, John Paterson

Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT) and The Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC) last week embarked on a new partnership to work together to continue to deliver Regional Leadership Workshops to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service staff and other related service staff throughout the Northern Territory.

The parties signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the relationship between the two organisations, and build on and further strengthen the success of the program which AMSANT has delivered since 2006.

This partnership comes at an opportune time as AILC now have a permanent presence here in the NT.  AILC are the experts in delivery of leadership training and AMSANT are the peak body of a membership of 25 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in the NT. The partnership is a practical and mutually beneficial arrangement where each organisation can bring their collective capacity to the table to make certain that the commitment to Aboriginal Health Leadership training continues and our future leaders are supported to realise their aspirations and to continue to develop and grow the sector.

Following the success of a trial of regional leadership workshops held in Alice Springs last year, the regional model and approach will remain a feature of how they are planned and delivered under the term of this partnership.

Robyn Forester, CEO AILC welcomed the partnership. “The AILC is excited for the partnership with AMSANT. It provides both organisations with the opportunity to support and grow current and emerging Aboriginal Leadership in the NT. It will also allow the AILC to be accessible to many communities that have not benefited from AILC training in the past”, Ms Forester said.

2.2  NT : Red Lily Health Board in Jabiru now in the hands of a community controlled health board .

“The Red Lily Health Board acknowledges the assistance provided over many years by elders and community members in the West Arnhem region as well as Top End Health Service, NT Health, AMSANT, Northern Territory PHN and the Commonwealth Department of Health.”

“Communities have local advisory groups who are actively involved in the community control of health services to determine their priorities “

Red Lily Health Board Chair, Reuben Cooper

Photo attached – Left to Right:

Andrew Bell (Independent Director), Rosemary Nabulwad (Director – Gunbalanya Outstations), Mary Djurundudu (Director – Warruwi (South Goulburn Island)), Health Minister Natasha Fyles, Reuben Cooper (Chair, representing Cobourg Peninsula), Steven Fejo (Director – Minjilang (Croker Island)), Steve Hayes (Transition Manager

Local Decision Making has been put into the hands of a community controlled health board in Jabiru.

The Red Lily Health Board is now overseeing the provision of public health services in Jabiru after the transfer of funding from Northern Territory PHN in April.

The Territory Labor Government is determined to restore local decision making to communities.

Minister for Health Natasha Fyles has personally congratulated the board while they were in Darwin for meetings.

Most of the board members have been on the board since 2008 and are confident they are well prepared to deliver the care required by their communities. These communities include Gunbalanya, Jabiru, Minjilang, Warruwi, and related Homelands/Outstations.

Red Lily Health Board has plans underway to broaden the promotion of health and wellness to the Aboriginal people of the West Arnhem region with Red Lily commencing planning to transfer further health service delivery in the coming year.

Quotes from the Minister of Health, Natasha Fyles:

“Transitioning health services to community control is a key election commitment of the Territory Labor Government and I look forward to Red Lily’s success with managing additional services in the year ahead.”

“The Red Lily Health Board members should be recognised for their dedication to promoting health and wellness to the Aboriginal people of the West Arnhem region.”

Quotes from the Member for Arafura, Lawrence Costa:

“To build a strong Territory we must have strong communities. Transitioning to Aboriginal controlled health services is an important part of delivering this.”

“This is a key milestone for communities in West Arnhem Land.”

3.1 NSW : Werin ACCHO : Ngambaga Bindarry Girrwaa Elders win 21st Elders Olympics held in Port Macquarie

What legends! After a drought of nearly 20 years our Ngambaga Bindarry Girrwaa Elders from the Nambucca Valley have brought home a swag of medals and won the overall event at the Elders Olympics held in Port Macquarie last month.

The 2019 Elders Olympics are being hailed as the best ever.

Originally published HERE

Organised by the Werin Aboriginal Elders team, representing their auspicing body Werin Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre, 519 competitors and support workers participated on the day.

There was also plenty of spectators on hand to soak up the atmosphere.

Ngambaga with two teams of ten, it was Team 2 that scored the runs … or rather the shots, the hits and more as they competed in egg and spoon races, quoits, netball, bean bags, softball and of course a relay.

Absolute champion of the day was Noelene Ballangarry – she broke the record for shots in Pass the Football, which requires players to shoot a big ball through a little hole.

“She just kept slotting them through, and I’m saying go, go, go,” Ngambaga chair Aunty Ann Edwards said.

The Elders Olympics started back in 2001 in the Nambucca Valley – with two teams. Now there are 38 teams from all around NSW, including Tamworth, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Inverell, Dubbo and Moree.

“It is the best time – we all look forward to it, to seeing friends and family and having a good chin wag,” Aunty Ann said.

What about training?

“Oh I think we threw a few bean bags once!” Aunty Val Balir laughed.

Already thoughts have turned to next year … even more so because Bowraville will host it.

3.2 NSW : Awabakal ACCHO Newcastle : Your health is in your hands, says the 715 Health Checks team 

For more than 40 years, Awabakal has been looking after the health of the Newcastle mob.

The New South Wales mid north coast region is home to one of the largest populations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.

The 715 health check is a preventative health assessment designed specifically to support the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“A 715 health check is critical to the overall health of our Aboriginal community. We need to make sure that our community are coming in, accessing the service and getting their health check completed.

“It is important GP’s build rapport with our patients and our community to get them the health support that they actually need. We want to get to know you, as a person, your health is a key part of that.”

Toni Johnston A/g CEO Awabakal Medical Service NSW

“The 715 Health Check is a really important part of how we keep our mob healthy. It’s a really good health assessment that checks on physical, social and emotional health to keep us all as healthy as we can be.

After a 715 Health Check we see that people are more aware of what their health is like, as it is. They’re more aware of what they need to do to improve their health, and we have a better connection in terms of medical staff and patients to work together to help health improve.”

Dr Joyce Hyde, General Practitioner, Awabakal Medical Service NSW

For born and bred local, Rod Smith, the 715 health check has helped him look after his mental health.

“Like many Aboriginal men, I grew up thinking that men don’t cry – that men have to be tough. I’d always been a happy go lucky person but as I got older I experienced a few hurdles in life. I got to a point one day where I started thinking negative,” says Rod.

“Like most men out there, I thought, if I go and talk for a doctor about mental health, does that mean I’m crazy?

“It was that fear creeping in. That’s a big reason why a lot of Aboriginal people don’t go for a health check, is it’s the fear of what they’re going to find out.

“But I did it, I got the 715 health check and I found the mental health aspects of the 715 so valuable. I’m now a member of the Awabakal team myself, looking after our promotions.”

It’s a whole of team commitment to looking after the mob’s health at Awabakal. Simone Jordan, Community Relations manager, helps people like Rod to overcome the fear and other barriers to going to the Doctor and getting a health check.

“There are different barriers for people. I think the main one is making the time. Reminding people to look after themselves, have that self-care. Aboriginal mothers, we tend to look after everyone else and forget ourselves. So, we’re trying to instil that your own health is important,” says Simone.

Patients that complete the 715 health check are able to access a range of support services to better manage conditions and stay in good health. At Awabakal, this includes nutrition and diet programs, dental care and family and youth support services.

“I can’t stress how important they are. A 715 health check gives us a whole range of options then to refer you to our other services. We look at how we can make looking after your health, part of everyday normal life,” says Simone.

Dr Joyce has a simple message for the region.

“Come on in, have a yarn to us and get your 715 health check done today. Your Health is in Your Hands,” says Dr Joyce.

“Yes! Looking after your health, you’ll be kicking goals!” adds Toni, Awabakal Acting CEO.

The 715 health check is free at Aboriginal Medical Services and bulk billing clinics, and is available annually to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all ages. Further information, including resources for patients and health practitioners is available at http://www.health.gov.au/715-health-check.

3.3 NSW : Greater Western ACCHO and Deadly Choices last night launched a partnership with the at BankWest Stadium.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members who complete a 715 Health Check can receive one of these Deadly Eels Jerseys.

4. 1 VIC : VAHS would like to thank all 300+ community members who attended our Epping community day to help celebrate VAHS new Epping Clinic.

 

There was heaps of smiles, laughs and all positives vibes from everyone.

We’ve captured a great number of people who wasn’t accessing VAHS regularly who lives in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, the reason why VAHS established a new clinic in Epping and hosted this event to engage with families to start accessing VAHS services more regularly.

Videos from this day will be uploaded onto our social media very soon.

4.2 VIC : Deadly Choices facilitator training in beautiful Bendigo with the BDAC team.

Day 2 with the Bendigo team

Nutrition  

Physical Activity  

Harmful Substances  

Healthy Relationships

Great to have so many passionate mob keen to deliver the program

5.QLD : Gidgee Healing Mt Isa . Big day for Mt Isa’s first Deadly Choices Indigenous Senior Elders Games

Big day for Mt Isa’s first Deadly Choices Indigenous Senior Elders Games – a atmosphere of country music playing (Charlie Pride) lots of cheers, laugher and competition

 Gidgee Healing thank you too our inspirational elders. Patrick Johnson

6.SA : Pika Wiya Health Corporation provides the 715 health check and runs a range of support programs

Aboriginal residents in Port Augusta are being encouraged to get their annual 715 health check in a bid to help curb the early mortality rate of the First Nation peoples.

The free yearly check up ensures Aboriginal people receive primary health care matched to their needs, by encouraging early detection, diagnosis and intervention for common and treatable conditions

The Pika Wiya Health Corporation provides the 715 health check and runs a range of support programs, from birth right through to parenthood, encouraging residents to undertake their regular check.

Amy Walters runs the Kinderling’s program at Pika Wiya, which is designed for babies from birth through to six years old.

“715 health checks on our babies are very important. It gives us a benchmark on where they are at birth and makes sure they’re growing healthy and meeting development milestones throughout their childhood,” Ms Walters said.

“While they’re here, we talk to the mums, making sure it’s a safe environment for them to come to to talk about health.”

The Kinderling’s program provides incentives to help encourage mums to make sure their babies health checks are up to date.

“We give them or their babies free clothing – we have little onesies, t-shirts, dresses – the mothers love the dresses!” Ms Walters said.

Pika Wiya also offers a Well Women’s program, designed to help new mums look after their own health too.

The ‘Well Women’s House’ provides education and counselling about diet, social and emotional wellbeing, and offer a veggie pack when mums complete their 715.

Local GP Dr Julia Nook said the annual health check is a critical first step to engage with patients about their health needs.

“It’s not just about having a 715 health check. We use the initial screening consultations to build trust with our patients, getting to know them and their family,” she said.

“We work together to try and look at issues identified in the health check, like tackling smoking or weight, and when people are ready, we refer them to follow up services like a dietitian.

“Sometimes there are underlying issues that might be causing some of their health issues and we can explore those further with patients too.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are 2.3 times more likely to experience burden of disease than non-Indigenous Australians.

The 715 health check is free at Aboriginal Medical Services and bulk billing clinics for people of all ages.

7.1 WA : Her Rules Her Game is proud to support the BGA leadership camp to Melbourne.

How great is this update on their visit to Essendon Football Club

7.2 WA : Team AHCWA up and running

This morning AHCWA staff members (and Taj) took part in all 3 categories of the HBF Run for a Reason, the 4km, 12km and 21km, finishing at Gloucester Park.

Congratulations to Marianne (missing from the photo) who ran the 21km half marathon. Well done everyone 😊
#hbfrun

8. TAS  2019-20 Budget: Investing in Tasmania’s Aboriginal communities

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to our Reset agenda with the Tasmanian Aboriginal people, while investing to grow social, cultural and economic outcomes and to promote greater understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture.

To further support the Reset, the 2019-20 State Budget includes new funding of $542,000 across the forward estimates to support activities and initiatives that demonstrate that our commitment today to the Reset is as strong as ever.

This includes:

  •  $90,000 per annum to support greater involvement of Aboriginal communities in government decisions, consistent with the Statement of Intent between the Tasmanian Regional Aboriginal Alliance and the Tasmanian Government;
  •  New funding to support the Young Tasmanian Aboriginal Women Leader’s Awards to support emerging female leaders and to promote and advance career and academic pathways for Aboriginal girls.

Across Government we are also working to close the gap in inequalities experienced by Aboriginal people.

This includes initiatives such as continued support for Aboriginal Tasmanian’s impacted by family violence, and permanent funding to support a coordinated approach to increase the number of Aboriginal people employed in the State Service.

There is also ongoing funding to enable the Cultural Management Group to continue its work with nongovernment Aboriginal organisations and other stakeholders on the management of cultural values, tourism and a program for Aboriginal Tasmanians to access important resources within the TWWHA, as well as for Aboriginal Trainee Rangers to work in our national parks and reserves.

This Government has a genuine desire to make a positive difference – a true difference that recognises a remarkable 40,000 plus years of Aboriginal heritage and culture, and one that points to a brighter future for Aboriginal Tasmanians.

NACCHO’s 10 policy proposals for Aboriginal Health #VoteACCHO Acting @NACCHOChair Donnella Mills encourages the @ScottMorrisonMP Government to seize the moment and make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health a national priority

 

“NACCHO welcomes the opportunity to work with Prime Minister Morrison and his Government to reduce the burden of disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We are calling on Prime Minister Morrison to take a holistic approach to Indigenous health. Closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health requires a range of measures including increased funding for comprehensive primary health care, housing and infrastructure.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are disproportionately affected by many chronic diseases. Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is rare in the wider Australian community but remains substantially high in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

To this end, NACCHO is calling on Prime Minister Morrison and his government to support the following 10 policy proposals “

NACCHO Acting Chair, Ms Donnella Mills

Download the full NACCHO Press Release HERE

Read all the 37 + Vote ACCHO Articles published over the past 5 weeks

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) congratulates the Honourable Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Coalition on the federal election win.

To this end, NACCHO is calling on Prime Minister Morrison and his government to support the following 10 policy proposals:

These proposals are made in the knowledge that an appropriately resourced Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector represents an evidence-based, cost-effective and efficient solution for Closing the Gap in health outcomes.

1.Increase base funding of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations

  • Increase the baseline funding for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to support the sustainable delivery of high quality, comprehensive primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.
  • Work together with NACCHO and its State Affiliates to agree to a new formula for the distribution of comprehensive primary health care funding that is relative to need.

2.Increase funding for capital works and infrastructure upgrades

  • Increase funding allocated through the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme for:
    • capital works and infrastructure upgrades, and
    • Telehealth services
  • Around $500 million is likely to be needed to address unmet needs.

3.End rheumatic heart disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

  • Support END RHD’s proposal for $170 million over four years to integrate prevention and control levels within 15 rural and remote communities across the country.
  • END RHD is a national contingent of peak bodies committed to reducing the burden of RHD for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia and NACCHO is a co-chair. Rheumatic heart disease is a preventable cause of heart failure, death and disability that is the single biggest cause of disparity in cardiovascular disease burden between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

4.Address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth suicide rates

  • Provide $50 million over four years to ACCHOs to address the national crisis in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth suicide in vulnerable communities
  • Fund new Aboriginal support staff to provide immediate assistance to children and young people at risk of self-harm and improved case management
  • Fund regionally based multi-disciplinary teams, comprising paediatricians, child psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses and Aboriginal health practitioners who are culturally safe and respectful, to ensure ready access to professional assistance; and
  • Provide accredited training to ACCHOs to upskill in areas of mental health, childhood development, youth services, environment health, health and wellbeing screening and service delivery.

5.Improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing and community infrastructure

  • Expand the funding and timeframe of the current National Partnership on Remote Housing to match at least that of the former National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing.
  • Establish and fund a program that supports low cost social housing and healthy living environments in urban, regional and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

6.Allocate Indigenous specific health funding to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations

  • Transfer the funding for Indigenous specific programs from Primary Health Networks to ACCHOs.
  • Primary Health Networks assign ACCHOs as preferred providers for other Australian Government funded services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples unless it can be shown that alternative arrangements can produce better outcomes in quality of care and access to services

7.Expand the range and number of MBS payments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce

  • Provide access to an increased range and number of Medicare items for Aboriginal health workers, Aboriginal health practitioners and allied health workers.

8.Improve the Indigenous Pharmacy Programs

  • Expand the authority to write Close the Gap scripts for all prescribers.
  • Simplify the Close the Gap registration process and expand who may register clients.
  • Link medicines subsidy to individual clients and not practices through a national identifier.
  • Improve how remote clients can receive fully subsidized medicines in non-remote areas.
  • Integrate the QUMAX and s100 Support programs into one unified program.

9.Fund Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations to deliver dental services

  • Establish a fund to support ACCHOs deliver culturally safe dental services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Allocate Indigenous dental health funding to cover costs associated with staffing and infrastructure requirements.

10.Aboriginal health workforce

  • Increased support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce and increased support for workforce for the ACCHO sector which includes the non-Indigenous health professionals on which ACCHOs rely
  • Develop an Aboriginal Employment Strategy for the ACCHS sector

NACCHO is the national peak body representing 145 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations across the country on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues.