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.

NACCHO Aboriginal Community Control and #Justice Health : @NACCHOChair Donnella Mills full speech at the @_PHAA_   #JusticeHealth2019 Conference #ClosingtheGap #justicereinvestment

” 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.[i]

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.

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 Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Selected extracts from Donnella Mills Acting Chair of NACCHO keynote speaker 9 April 

See PHAA #JusticeHealth2019 Website

Aboriginal community control and justice health

A justice target has been proposed to focus government efforts towards closing the gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ overrepresentation in the justice system.

Discussion of the role of community leadership to address this serious issue must begin with a commitment to self-determination, community control, cultural safety and a holistic response. Aboriginal community controlled health services understand the interplays between intergenerational trauma, the social determinants of health, family violence, institutional racism and contact with the justice system.

As trusted providers within their communities, they deliver services based on community identified needs.

The presentation explores how the principles, values and beliefs underpinning the Aboriginal community controlled health service model provide the foundations for preventing and reducing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ exposure to the justice system

I would like to acknowledge that the land we meet on today is the traditional lands for the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and that we respect their spiritual relationship with their Country.

I also acknowledge the Gadigal people as the traditional custodians of this place we now call Sydney. Their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Gadigal people today.

This is also true for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that are here this morning. We draw on the strength of our lands, our Elders past and on the lived experience of our community members.

For those who don’t know me, I am a proud Torres Strait Islander woman with ancestral and family links to Masig and Nagir.

I thank the Public Health Association of Australia for welcoming me here so warmly. I am delighted to be here today to share ideas with you on a topic that I care so deeply about.

Scene setting

Some of you may be aware that, late last month, a Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap was signed between the Council of Australian Governments and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies.

The agreement sets out how governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives will work together on targets, implementation and monitoring arrangements for the Close the Gap strategy.

NACCHO and almost 40 other peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bodies negotiated the terms and conditions of this historic agreement on the understanding that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are included and have a real say in the design and delivery of services that impact on them, the outcomes are far better. This understanding informs the premise of my presentation.

I am here to talk to you about how the principles, values and beliefs underpinning the Aboriginal community controlled service model provide the foundations for preventing and reducing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ exposure to the justice system.

But first, a little bit about NACCHO, for those of you who are unfamiliar with our work.

NACCHO, which stands for the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, is the national peak body representing 145 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations – ACCHOs – across the country, on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues.

Our members provide about three million episodes of holistic primary health care per year for about 350,000 people.

In very remote areas, our services provide about one million episodes of care in a twelve-month period. Collectively, we employ about 6,000 staff (56 per cent whom are Indigenous), which makes us the single largest employer of Indigenous people in the country.

SLIDE 2: Rates of representation in prisons and youth detention facilities

It is timely to come together and consider justice health issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It is likely that, for the first time, a justice target may be included in the Close the Gap Refresh strategy.

I am heartened to know that, for the first time, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies will guide the finalisation of targets and oversee the strategy’s implementation, monitoring and evaluation. I am hopeful that, for the first time, we can begin to address the issues and see some improvements.

All of you hear today will have read and heard the shocking statistics, the increasing rates of incarceration among Indigenous Australians.

Last month it was reported that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are imprisoned at a rate 14.7 times greater than non-Indigenous men, and for women the rate is even higher, 21.2 times higher than non-Indigenous women.[ii]

Our women represent the fastest growing population group in prisons; their imprisonment rate is up 148% since 1991.[iii]

Imprisoning 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.[iv] Communities suffer, and the cycle of intergenerational trauma and disadvantage is perpetuated.

Figures on the incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in detention facilities reveal alarmingly high trends of overrepresentation:

  • On an average night in the June quarter 2018, nearly 59% of young people aged 10–17 in detention were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, despite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people making up only 5% of the general population aged 10–17.
  • Indigenous young people aged 10–17 were 26 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be in detention on an average night.[v]

A concerning factor is the link between disability and imprisonment. A Senate Inquiry found that about 98% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners also have a cognitive disability.[vi]

People living with physical disabilities such as hearing loss, and people with undiagnosed cognitive or psycho-social disabilities may struggle to negotiate the justice system and their symptoms are likely to be correlated with their offending behaviours, and receive punitive responses rather than treatment and care.

SLIDE 3: Overrepresentation – causal factors

Our experiences of incarceration are not only dehumanising. They contribute to our ongoing disempowerment, intergenerational trauma, social disadvantage, and burden of disease at an individual as well as community level. Indeed, ‘imprisonment compounds individual and community disadvantage.’[vii]

The question – why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are overrepresented in prisons – is complex. It can partly be explained by exploring how structural, geographic, historic, social and cultural factors intersect and impact individuals’ lives.

While people have some agency in how they respond to the circumstances they are born into, they are also constrained by many generations’ experiences of marginalisation, discrimination, poverty and disadvantage. This is particularly relevant and disturbing when one considers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ experiences in navigating the justice system.[viii]

Issues of access and equity also disadvantage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their dealings with the justice system. Some of these may relate to their geographical location – remote and very remote regions have limited legal services. Given the limited service infrastructure available in remote settings, geography also determines people’s access to community based options.

Some of the other barriers faced by our people relate to the lack of language interpreters and inappropriate modes and technologies of communication. People have different levels of English language literacy and IT capacities. These factors can result in peoples’ experiences of structural discrimination in the justice system and result in miscarriages of justice.[ix]

We have heard of the over-policing of Indigenous Australians and how this impacts on their exposure to the justice system. In his submission to the Senate Inquiry into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences of law enforcement and justice services, Chief Justice Martin referred to ‘systemic discrimination’ through over-policing:

Aboriginal people are much more likely to be questioned by police than non-Aboriginal people. When questioned they are more likely to be arrested rather than proceeded against by summons. If they are arrested, Aboriginal people are much more likely to be remanded in custody than given bail. Aboriginal people are much more likely to plead guilty than go to trial, and if they go to trial, they are much more likely to be convicted. If Aboriginal people are convicted, they are much more likely to be imprisoned … and at the end of their term of imprisonment they are much less likely to get parole … So at every single step in the criminal justice process, Aboriginal people fare worse than non-Aboriginal people.[x]

There are other contributing factors that explain the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the justice system. The inadequate resourcing of Aboriginal community controlled legal services plays a major role in the growing level of unmet need in communities.[xi] As noted by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people don’t just need access to more legal services; they need greater access to culturally appropriate legal services. … Cultural competency is essential for effective engagement, communication, delivery of services and the attainment of successful outcomes.[xii]

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ experiences of institutional racism and discrimination, the trauma caused to members of the Stolen Generations and entire families and communities, which continues today with increasing numbers of children being placed in out-of-home care, contribute to the distrust, fear and unwillingness of many people to engage with legal services.

The Senate Inquiry into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences of law enforcement and justice services heard that ‘for Aboriginal people in particular, there is this historical fear of about walking into a legal centre’.[xiii]

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.

SLIDE 4: Justice reinvestment

Increasing funding for the corrective service sector will not and does not address the issue of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ exposure to the justice system. As Allison and Cunneen note, ‘the solutions to offending are found within communities, not prisons.’[xiv] They are referring to justice reinvestment, a strategy and an approach, whereby correctional funds – a portion of money for prisons – are diverted back into disadvantaged communities.

The concept of justice reinvestment centres on the belief that imprisoning people does not address the causal factors that give rise to their exposure to the justice system. Ignoring the causal factors leads not only to recidivism and repeat incarceration, it also reproduces intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and exposure to the justice system.

Reinvesting the money into community identified and led solutions not only addresses causation; it also strengthens communities. Depending on the project, 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 peoples.

Allison and Cunneen’s 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. Justice reinvestment projects address the driving factors of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ interactions with the justice system: their historical experiences of colonisation, discrimination, dispossession and disempowerment.[xv]

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 Finance and Public Administration References Committee recommended that the Commonwealth Government support Aboriginal led justice reinvestment projects.[xvi] 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.[xvii]

SLIDE 5: Closing the gap on justice outcomes: best practice approach

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, cultural safety and a holistic response.

Appropriately resourced, culturally safe, community controlled services are essential for addressing these barriers. Best practice approaches for developing solutions to preventable problems of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ exposure to the justice system must begin with enabling their access to trusted services that are governed by principles and practices of self-determination, community control, cultural safety and a holistic response.[xviii]

NACCHO’s member services – the ACCHOs – embody these principles. The cultural safety in which ACCHOs’ services are delivered is a key factor in their success. They provide comprehensive primary care consistent with clients’ needs.

This includes home and site visits; provision of medical, public health and health promotion services; allied health, nursing services; assistance with making appointments and transport; help accessing child care or dealing with the justice system; drug and alcohol services; and providing help with income support.

The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health model of care recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples require a greater level of holistic care due to the trauma and dispossession of colonisation, dispossession and discrimination, which are linked to our poor health outcomes and over-representation in prisons.

ACCHOs understand the interplays between intergenerational trauma, the social determinants of health, family violence, and institutional racism, and the risks these contributing factors carry in increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ exposure to the criminal justice system. We understand the importance of comprehensive health services that are trauma informed; and providing at risk families with early support. Within the principles, values and beliefs of the Aboriginal community controlled service model lie the groundwork for our communities’ better health outcomes.

SLIDE 6: Health justice partnerships

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.[xix]

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, an ACCHO representative describes 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.’[xx]

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 and Chair of the Cairns-based Wuchopperen Health Service, I was 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 justice health 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 and urban communities about their legal problems and connect them to legal help. 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.

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.

SLIDE 8: Law Yarn – your law story

SLIDE 9: 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.

SLIDE 11: Launch of Law Yarn

Law Yarn was officially launched at Wuchopperen Health Service, Cairns, on 30 May 2018 by the Queensland Attorney General as a Reconciliation Week Event.

The trial has been funded to 30 June 2019 and will be comprehensively evaluated by independent academic researchers who specialise in this field.

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 Indigenous and non-Indigenous 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.[xxi] With Aboriginal community control at the front and centre of service design, these partnerships are able to deliver both preventive law and preventive health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

SLIDE 12: Thank you

[i] 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.

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

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

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

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

[vi] Ibid., 2010 Senate Inquiry into hearing health in Australia.

[vii] Australian Human Rights Commission. 2009. Social Justice Report, pp. 53-54, cited in Finance and Public Administration References Committee. 2016. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience of law enforcement and justice services. The Senate: Australian Parliament House.

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

[ix] Finance and Public Administration References Committee. 2016. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience of law enforcement and justice services. The Senate: Australian Parliament House; Law Council of Australia. 2018.

[x] Finance and Public Administration References Committee. 2016. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience of law enforcement and justice services. The Senate: Australian Parliament House. Testimony from Chief Justice Martin.

[xi] Finance and Public Administration References Committee. 2016. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience of law enforcement and justice services. The Senate: Australian Parliament House; Law Council of Australia. 2018. The Justice Project, Final Report – Part 1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

[xii] National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, Submission No. 109 to ALRC, 60, cited in Law Council of Australia. 2018. The Justice Project, Final Report – Part 1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

[xiii] 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 Porteous, NACLC, Committee Hansard, 23 September 2015, p. 28.

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

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

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

[xvii] 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.

[xviii] 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.

[xix] 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.

[xx] 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

[xxi] 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.

Aboriginal Health #Budget2019 2 of 5 CEO Pat Turner NACCHO Press Release and @NACCHOChair Donnella Mills #NACCHOTV Interview : Funding for #IndigenousHealth Absent from Federal Budget

This weeks NACCHO Budget Coverage 

Post 1: NACCHO Intro #AusVotesHealth #Budget2019

Post 2: NACCHO Chair Press Release

Post 3:  Health Peak bodies Press Release summary

Post 4 : Government Press Releases

Post 5 : Opposition responses to Budget 2019 

Read all Budget 2019 Posts 

Part 1 Acting Acting Chair Donnella Mills discusses #Budget2019

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) is disappointed at the lack of funding allocated in the 2019-2020 federal budget for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector. 

The gap between the health outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians will continue to persist unless there is a significant commitment to supporting the work of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations,

NACCHO has long called for an increase to the baseline funding for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to support the sustainable delivery of high quality, comprehensive primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. 

We know that closing the gap will never be achieved until primary health care services are properly funded and our clinics have good infrastructure and are fit for purpose; until our people are living in safe and secure housing; until there are culturally safe and trusted early intervention services available for our children and their families; and until our psychological, social, emotional and spiritual needs are acknowledged and supported.

The physical and mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities needs to be a priority for the Australian government. Our communities suffer disproportionately higher rates of suicide, cancer, kidney disease and obesity compared to non-Indigenous Australians,”

We are disappointed that the Federal funding commitment does not match this critical need,” she said.

We call on the all political parties to put Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and full funding of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector at the heart of their election commitments. ” 

Pat Turner CEO NACCHO

Read and or DOWNLOAD Full NACCHO Budget Press Release Here

NACCHO Aboriginal #AusVotesHealth and #Budget2019 1 of 5 : @nakarithorpe @NITV Reports  : A cash splash but what’s in it for Indigenous mob like @NACCHOChair @LowitjaInstitut @congressmob @NATSILS_ @NationalFVPLS?

This weeks NACCHO #Budget2019 Coverage

Post 1: NITV Indigenous mob #AusVotesHealth #Budget2019

Post 2: NACCHO Chair Press Release

Post 3:  Health peak bodies Press Release summary

Post 4 : Government Press Releases

Post 5 : Opposition responses to Budget 2019

“The treasurer kept on about how we are geared towards surplus. We need to focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised in our community, but this budget does nothing for my mob.

I don’t need another reminder that colonisation is still living. I don’t need to be reminded of that; we see it every day. I need to be reminded of the Uluru statement from the heart.

It just shows we have a long way to travel toward real equity and real social justice outcomes.”

Chair of NACCHO (the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation) Donnella Mills told the Guardian ( and expressed frustration)  that there’s $12m in the budget for a Captain Cook memorial, but only $15m to address Indigenous youth suicide :

See full NACCHO Press Release and NACCHO TV interviews to be posted later this morning

Post 1: NITV Indigenous mob #AusVotesHealth #Budget2019 Nakita Thorpe NITV

 

For more discussion of Budget 2019, watch NITV’s The Point, 8.30pm tonight on Channel 34.

Originally published Here

Federal treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has handed down his first budget and has described it as being “back in the black” with a budget surplus of $7.1 billion expected to be delivered next financial year, but the treasurer acknowledged “serious challenges” lay ahead.

“The global economy is slowing. Communities are feeling the impacts of flood, fire and drought. Families face cost of living pressures. And every one of us wants to see wages growing faster. But let me be clear: the answer to these challenges is not higher taxes,” he said.

The 2019 Budget sees further tax relief for low to middle-income earners. It also includes a record $100 billion National Infrastructure Plan and a $525 million skills package which the treasurer said will create 80,000 apprenticeships.

However, despite the Coalition’s rhetoric about a “stronger economy”, spending on Indigenous programs and services was lacklustre, with specific expenditure buried deep in the budget papers.

The government said it will invest $160 million for Indigenous health, with $10 million going to the Lowitja Institute, the national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research.

Ms Janine Mohamed, interim CEO fro the institute welcomed the investment and thanked Ken Wyatt, the minister for Indigenous Health.

“The new funding will ensure that the Lowitja Institute continues to deliver public value of more than $3 per every $1 invested, and will enable us to remain as a key component of the national research architecture,” she said.

$35 million will go toward funding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific solutions to family violence.

$5 million over four years will also go toward implementing Indigenous suicide prevention, to be led by young Indigenous leaders.

A further $4.5 million will be for Indigenous leadership to create a national plan for culturally appropriate care, and $3 million for a centre of excellence in childhood wellness.

Chief executive of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINAM), Melanie Robinson, said she was disappointed about the lack of expenditure in youth suicide.

“As we know there is a massive issue going on in our communities around suicide and lots of our young people are struggling,” she told NITV. “I thought there would have been more of a commitment … in that space.”

An additional $60 million will be spent upgrading roads in the Tiwi Islands, as part of a $492.3 million Roads of Strategic Importance to the Northern Territory, which was provided for in last year’s federal budget.

The government will also put $276.5 million over five years into supporting Indigenous students as part of its  Closing the Gap refresh. A further $5 million will go to promote school attendance in remote communities.

Another $70.6 million will cover the cost of extinguishing Higher Education Loan Program (Help) debts for teachers after they undertake a four-year placement in very remote locations, as announced in February.

An increase of less than $20 million has gone towards legal assistance, prompting the Law Council of Australia to label the allocation “abysmal”. They say the figure falls well short of the additional $310 million per year needed to provide adequate access to legal justice.

“The Budget may be in surplus but Australia will remain in a significant justice deficit so long as the government fails to deliver adequate funding for Legal Aid Commissions (LACs), Community Legal Centres (CLCs), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS) and Family Violence Prevention Legal Services,” said Arthur Moses, the president of the Law Council of Australia.

Mr Moses did however acknowledge that reversing proposed cuts and providing additional funding of $16.7 million over three years for ATSILS was welcome, saying the decision to dissolve the Indigenous Legal Assistance Program and roll funding for ATSILS into a single funding mechanism could threaten the independence of those services.

“ATSILS provides specialised and culturally appropriate legal services for some of the most marginalised people in our community,” he said. “They need to maintain independence to effectively continue their vital work.”

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Co-Chair, Dr Jackie Huggins, said it was still too early to know the “actual detail” of the impact of the budget on funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and interests.

There are some glimmers of hope, said Ms Huggins, particularly around the Royal Commission into the abuse and neglect of people with a disability, women’s safety and health initiatives and education, but she said Congress still had questions.

“No progress has been made on the economic empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” she said.

Ivan Simon, co-chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Authority, said he was sad and disappointed about the lack of remote housing commitment.

“I didn’t see much in there. I guess the devil is in the detail,” he told NITV News.

Mr Simon said he was concerned about how Indigenous housing service providers will be involved in the rollout of a $315 million social bond into mainstream community housing.

“We find it very difficult to play in that mainstream system,” he said.

Finance Minister Matthias Cormann told NITV News his government considered Indigenous Australians a priority.

“From Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, it’s been a very strong personal priority of three prime ministers, and of course it’s a priority for Nigel Scullion… We are strongly committed to Closing the Gap and there is increased funding right across the board,” he said.

  • For more discussion of Budget 2019, watch NITV’s The Point, 8.30pm tonight on Channel 34.

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #ClosingtheGap “ @NITV ‘The buck will stop with us’: As representatives of 40 Indigenous peak groups meet with #COAG in historic #ClosingtheGap partnership

“ It’s the first time ever that COAG has Aboriginal people as equal partners at the table negotiating how we work over the next decade to Close the Gap for our people

We’re at a crossroads, and we’ve decided to take up our rightful role.

I want our people living in safe, secure housing. I want them to have access to community-controlled health services no matter where they live. I want our people to have the best access to all education services, and I want our people to generally have the same opportunities as other Australians,” Ms Turner said.

I want our people to have full-time jobs. We’ve got to scrap the negative issues that we have deal with every day. We have to take a strengths-based approach and we have to make sure that we are getting our people out of poverty.”

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) CEO  Pat Turner.

 See NACCHO Press Release and CTG Agreement Here

“If we’re stepping up to this level than we have to take on the responsibility and be prepared to work extensively to achieve the outcomes we’re all aspiring to, and if there are changes along the way, then so be it. The buck will stop with us.”

Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory chief executive, John Paterson, said the agreement also means Indigenous groups are just as accountable as governments.

“ Labor welcomes the Closing the Gap Partnership Agreement announced by the Coalition Government and the Coalition of Peaks, made up of some 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander national and state /territory peaks and other organisations across Australia.

A formal agreement with First Nations organisations and providers to work together to Close the Gap is long overdue.

This announcement comes after years of delay, dysfunction and poor communication due to the failure in leadership of this government. It has been two years since the government announced a ‘refresh’ of the Close the Gap”

For Labor Party response /support see Full Press Release attached

Labor Party CTG Press Release

Representatives of around 40 Indigenous peak bodies, making up a ‘coalition of peaks’ will co-chair a new joint council alongside ministers. Picture Brisbane Yesterday

The Council of Australian Governments has unveiled an historic partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, as they look to refresh the Closing the Gap strategy and turn around a decade of disappointing results.

Our thanks to NITV for this excellent coverage Nakari Thorpe

Original article 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups have sat down with state, territory and Commonwealth ministers, for the first time, to work on Closing the Gap.

Under a ten-year agreement, Indigenous peak bodies will share ownership and accountability to deliver real, substantive change for Indigenous Australians.

The partnership marks an historic turning point for the Closing the Gap strategy, which for the past eleven years has seen dismal results in delivering better outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Last year, just two of the seven targets were on track to being met.

Representatives of around 40 Indigenous peak bodies, making up a ‘coalition of peaks’ will co-chair a new joint council alongside ministers.

Ms Turner and Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion co-convened the first meeting in Brisbane on Wednesday.

The Morrison government is committing $4.6million over three years to fund the coalition’s secretariat work, and additional funding is expected in next Tuesday’s budget for the Closing the Gap refresh framework.

But Ms Turner warns the new coalition is not a substitute for an ‘Indigenous voice to the parliament.’

“Our focus is on the Close the Gap. We in no way are the ‘voice’ – that is a process that still has to be settled by the incoming government at the federal level,” she said.

The framework will undergo Indigenous-led evaluations every three years.

Details of new targets are expected to be revealed in mid-2019 but Indigenous groups have already flagged key areas of concern.

“We’ve got too many people in juvenile justice, we’ve got too many children being removed from their families, we’ve got so much family violence, drug and alcohol abuse.

And all those issues, this Closing the Gap can do something about,” said Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation chief executive, Muriel Bamblett.

Ms Bamblett told NITV she hopes the new agreement will bring about real outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the ground.

“We’re tired of going to the table and saying this is wrong … We know we’ve got the answers.”

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #ClosingTheGap Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces new #ClosingtheGap Partnership Agreement 2019-2029 with 40 Indigenous peak bodies able to engage and negotiate as equal partners with governments to design and monitor Closing the Gap.

“The Closing the Gap Partnership Agreement will focus all of our efforts to deliver better health, education and employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

It recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples must play an integral part in making the decisions that affect their lives. This agreement will put Indigenous peoples at the heart of the development and implementation of the next phase of Closing the Gap, embedding shared decision making and accountability at the centre of the way we do business.

In order to effect real change, governments must work collaboratively and in genuine, formal partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples because they are the essential agents of change. The change we all want to see will only come if we work together.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new Closing the Gap Partnership Agreement between the Federal Government, states, territories and the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (Coalition of Peaks) would ensure decision makers worked closer than ever to deliver real change for Indigenous Australians.

Download the CTG FACT Sheet and Partnership Agreement from Here

CTG Final fact sheet (1)

– Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap 2019-2029[73948]

“The historic Partnership Agreement means that for the first time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, through their peak bodies, will share decision making with governments on Closing the Gap.

Closing the gap is not just about targets and programs. It is about making sure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can share in the decision making about policies and programs that impact on them and have a real say over their own lives.

The Partnership Agreement is a significant step forward in this direction and the Coalition of Peaks is looking forward to working closely with the Council of Australian Governments to honour our shared commitment to closing the gap.”

Patricia Turner (CEO of NACCHO ) on behalf of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations said almost 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies across Australia had come together as partners with governments on Closing the Gap. See Also NACCHO Press Release Part 2

PRIME MINISTER

THE HON. SCOTT MORRISON MP

MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
SEN. THE HON. NIGEL SCULLION
 

PATRICIA TURNER
ON BEHALF OF THE COALITION OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEAK ORGANISATION

PARTNERING WITH INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS TO CLOSE THE GAP

Read all NACCHO COAG Articles Here 

An historic agreement is set to change the way governments and Indigenous Australians work together on Closing the Gap.

The Agreement was developed collaboratively with the Coalition of Peaks, the largest group of Indigenous community controlled organisations, and committed to by all levels of government. It builds on the December 2018 decision by the Council of Australian Governments to  establish a formal partnership on Closing the Gap between governments and Indigenous Australians.

The partnership will include a Joint Council on Closing the Gap, which for the first time will include ministers nominated by jurisdictions, together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives chosen by the Coalition of Peaks.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion will co-chair the first meeting of the Joint Council alongside Pat Turner, CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and on behalf of the Coalition of Peaks.

“The Joint Council represents an historic step forward in the practical working relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and governments,” Minister Scullion said.

“This is the first time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives and ministerial leaders have met formally as part of a Joint Council to progress the Closing the Gap agenda and improve the lives of Indigenous Australians no matter where they live.

“To support this historic partnership, we will deliver $4.6 million to the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations to ensure the representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are able to engage and negotiate as equal partners with governments to design and monitor Closing the Gap.

“This is a new way of doing business that reflects that the top-down approach established in 2008 while well-intentioned, did not truly seek to partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Australians. We enter this partnership recognising that Canberra cannot change it all and that we need more then lofty goals and bureaucratic targets.

“Finalising the refresh of the Closing the Gap framework and monitoring its implementation over the next ten years is critical to the future and prosperity of all Australians.

“We are committed to working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.”

Patricia Turner on behalf of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations said almost 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies across Australia had come together as partners with governments on Closing the Gap.

The refreshed Closing the Gap framework and targets will be finalised through the Joint Council by mid-2019, ahead of endorsement by COAG. The Joint Council will meet for the first time on 27 March 2019 in Brisbane.

“Closing the gap is not just about targets and programs. It is about making sure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can share in the decision making about policies and programs that impact on them and have a real say over their own lives.

“The Partnership Agreement is a significant step forward in this direction and the Coalition of Peaks is looking forward to working closely with the Council of Australian Governments to honour our shared commitment to closing the gap.”

Part 2

Download a copy of this NACCHO Press Release

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has welcomed the signing of an historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap between the Commonwealth Government, State and Territory Governments and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies.

The announcement will be made at the first Joint Council Meeting between the new partners in Brisbane

The Coalition of Peaks is made up of around forty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled organisations that have come together to negotiate with governments and be signatories to the Partnership Agreement.

NACCHO Chief Executive, Pat Turner, said the Agreement means that for the first time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through their peak body representatives, will share decision making with governments on Closing the Gap.

“For some time now, NACCHO, along with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations have been calling for a greater say with governments on efforts to close the unacceptable gaps in life outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader community,” said Ms Turner.

“The Coalition of Peaks believe that shared decision making between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled representatives in the design, implementation and monitoring of Closing the Gap is essential to closing the gap”.

The Partnership Agreement sets out how governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks bodies will work together to agree a refreshed national agreement on Closing the Gap, including any new Closing the Gap targets and implementation and monitoring arrangements.

Ms Turner said the Partnership Agreement also marks the establishment of a new, Joint Council on Closing the Gap that will be co-chaired by a Minister and a representative of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies.

“We look forward to a hardworking and constructive partnership with the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to secure better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples,” said Ms Turner.

The Partnership Agreement can be accessed at After 8.00am : https://www.naccho.org.au/ programmes/coalition-of-peaks/

NACCHO Aboriginal Youth Health : ‘Dark days of old Don Dale’: John Paterson CEO @AMSANTaus and Human rights groups condemn #NT Government and Minister Dale Wakefield’s new youth justice laws

“ The NT government talks proudly about its commitment to Aboriginal-led solutions, to co-design and to collaboration,

So why was this bill kept from those who are part of those solutions and collaborations until the moment it was introduced into the parliament?

The bill went “far beyond” clarifying technical matters,

It does not reflect the royal commission recommendations or the government’s previous policy position to accept and implement those recommendations.

These amendments bring back the draconian treatment of young people and will see children restrained and isolated at the discretion of detention staff.

Far from reducing ambiguity as the minister claims, the amendments reintroduce ambiguity with subjective definitions and powers.

The Chief Executive Officer of AMSANT, John Paterson The Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT) today condemned the Labor Government and Minister Wakefield in the strongest possible terms for its behaviour in avoiding debate and scrutiny in order to ram through retrograde changes to the Youth Justice Act for the operation of youth detention.

Read The Guardian Amnesty coverage 

Read full AMSANT Press Releases Part 1 Below

Read over 60 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Don Dale detention articles 

“The Territory Labor Government is creating generational change and safer communities by overhauling the Youth Justice system and putting at-risk young people back on track.

“The safety of youth detention staff and detainees is absolutely paramount. These amendments will help to better manage security risks that puts lives in danger.

“Last year we amended the Youth Justice Act to ensure that force, restraints and isolation could not be used for the purpose of disciplining a young person in detention.

“The new amendments provide clarity by removing ambiguities in the Act to ensure that youth detention staff can better respond to serious and dangerous incidents. Laws often need adjusting to reflect operational realities

Minister for Territory Families, Dale Wakefield Read Full Press release Part 2 Below 

Part 1

Mr Paterson, said “The Minister has been misleading and disingenuous in her speeches and answers to the limited questioning that was allowed in the Legislative Assembly. Despite the Minister’s assertions, these amendments are not mere technical clarifications.

They are substantive changes that erode the small improvements that were made in 2018 in response to the Royal Commission.

They will allow harsh treatment of young people in detention to continue unopposed and unscrutinised.”

WATCH TV NEWS COVERAGE

Mr Paterson said that the Bill passed this afternoon with no scrutiny, is clearly intended to retrospectively make lawful, actions that were unlawful under the law as it existed until today. “We must ask ourselves whether this unseemly and undemocratic haste is intended to defeat legal actions currently on foot by young people who believe their treatment in detention has been unlawful.

Does the government know that unlawful treatment occurred and is now seeking to avoid accountability? It is difficult to draw any other conclusion despite the Minister’s obfuscation in the Assembly” said Mr Paterson.

AMSANT believes that the harsh treatment of young people now permitted under the law will lead to increased tensions and incidents in detention. When the next major incident occurs, the government, not the young people, must be held to account. “Let’s not forget” said Mr Paterson “that a large proportion of young people in detention have significant cognitive disabilities.

The government is condoning the use of restraint, isolation and physical force against young people with disabilities because they do not have the capacity to comply with the demands of the detention environment.

Right now, young people are being restrained in handcuffs and waist shackles to simply walk from one part of Don Dale to another under the control of a guard.”

“AMSANT is disgusted by this behaviour by a government and calls on the Chief Minister to withdraw this legislation prior to it receiving the assent of the Administrator. To do otherwise is to walk away from the Royal Commission recommendations.” said Mr Paterson. Mr Paterson seeks to remind the Chief Minister of his words and apparent distress when he responded to the Royal Commission.

The Chief Minister said in November 2017, “Our youth justice and child protection systems are supposed to make our kids better, not break them, they are supposed to teach them to be part of society, not withdraw”. “This legislation is not consistent with that statement”, Mr Paterson concluded

Protestor at Alice Springs Market yesterday 

1.2 Youth Justice Amendment Bill a return to the bad old days!

Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT) Chief Executive Officer, John Paterson, today called on the Chief Minister to halt the progress of the Youth Justice Amendment Bill 2019 through the Legislative Assembly until Aboriginal people and organisations have the chance to have a say.

“The government talks proudly about its commitment to Aboriginal led solutions, to co-design and to collaboration” said Mr Paterson.

“So why was this Bill kept from those who are part of those solutions and collaborations until the moment it was introduced into the Parliament?”

“The Minister has said the Bill simply clarifies technical matters and keeps faith with 2018 amendments.” Mr Paterson said.

“The Bill goes far beyond that. It undoes the positive progress in the 2018 changes which were a start in implementing the Royal Commission recommendations. The government consulted with Aboriginal organisations and other youth advocates and we supported the 2018 amendments.”

Mr Paterson said that this Bill is a u-turn on the progress in 2018. It does not reflect the Royal Commission recommendations or the Government’s previous policy position to accept and implement those recommendations.

“These amendments bring back the draconian treatment of young people and will see children restrained and isolated at the discretion of detention staff. Far from reducing ambiguity as the Minister claims, the amendments reintroduce ambiguity with subjective definitions and powers.”

Mr Paterson also questioned the need for retrospective effect of these amendments. “The only reason for retrospective effect is to legalise actions that were illegal when they were taken.” AMSANT said that the safety of both staff and young people is important and called on the government to work with Aboriginal organisations and other experts to explore the safety concerns and solutions. The government needs to think more carefully about the way forward. “

If the workforce cannot safely deliver a detention system under current laws which give quite considerable powers over the young people, the government needs to look at the skills, training and support of the workforce to ensure that they can. Attacking the human rights of young people is not the solution” Mr Paterson emphasised.

Mr Paterson noted that under the Diagrama Foundation which runs 70% of youth detention in Spain, for example, highly qualified staff with expertise in youth development, trauma and de-escalation work with young people in a therapeutic way that does not involve restraint, force and isolation. “Diagrama facilities rarely experience incidents of the kind seen last year at Don Dale.

Mr McGuire from Diagrama told audiences in Darwin last year that it is at least 10 years since there was a significant incident at a Diagrama facility. And Diagrama experiences a reoffending rate of only 20% across all its residents compared to 80% in the NT.”

Part 2

Passage of Youth Justice Act Amendments to Manage Security

Risks in the Territory’s Youth Detention Centres

March 2019

Today the Territory Labor Government passed amendments to the Youth Justice Act which will clarify and tighten the existing framework for managing safety and security risks within the youth detention centres.

The amendments will provide youth detention centre staff with a clear and unambiguous framework for exercising their powers, and will enable them to have a very clear guideline in their decision making when responding to dangerous and challenging situations.

The amendments include:

  • Clarify the circumstances in which force and restraints may be used, to account for situations where detainees mayact in a way that threatens the safety or security of a detention centre, but not in a way that presents an imminent risk
  • Create a consistent test to determine what is a reasonable use of force and restraints
  • Clarify the meaning of an emergency situation, which is relevant to the general application of all uses of force • Clarify the definition of separation
  • Enable screening and pat down searches of detainees in a broader range of circumstances
  • Include an express power to transfer a detainee from one detention centre to another

The amendments will remove any uncertainty around the operation of existing powers in the legislation, for both youth detention centre staff and detainees.

The amendments will apply retrospectively to the date in which the original provisions of the Act commenced (May 2018). This will remove any doubt about the original intention of these key provisions in the legislation.