NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI): Minister @KenWyattMP announces $2.8 million national project improving people’s health through better quality control and health data collection at local ACCHO’s Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services  

 ” Improving people’s health through better quality control and health data collection at local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services is the aim of a $2.8 million national project funded by the Federal Government.

Our Government recognises the importance of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS), with data showing they provide over 2.5 million episodes of care each year for more than 350,000 people.

However, to help achieve better health outcomes as our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population grows, we need to support accountability, quality improvement and accurate data reporting.”

Minister Ken Wyatt Press Release Part 1 Below

” This National Framework for Continuous Quality Improvement in Primary Health Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 2018-2023 booklet is designed to provide practical support for all primary healthcare organisations in their efforts to ensure that the health care they provide is high quality, safe, effective, responsive and culturally respectful.”

NACCHO Acting Chair Donnella Mills

” NACCHO is proud of the record of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) in delivering primary health care to our community. We have learnt many lessons over the last 50 years about how to structure, deliver and improve care so that it best meet the needs of our communities across Australia.

This experience is used in the Framework to describe how to do, support and inform culturally respectful continuous quality improvement (CQI) in primary health care.”

Further resources including the Framework are available on our NACCHO website.

Direct link to PDF –

Updated CQI page

Pat Turner CEO of NACCHO see Press Release Part 2 below


Part 1 Ministers Press Release

In 2017, the Department of Health engaged KPMG to develop a national baseline quality audit at the individual service level to identify issues impacting on data quality and reporting and make recommendations for improvement. From February to May last year, 53 ACCHS volunteered to participate in the project.

The final report found that, despite reporting on national Key Performance Indicators and Online Services Report data collections since 2012-13 and 2007-08 respectively, only 30 per cent of the services visited were rated as having effective and mature processes in place to support and measure health data. The remaining 70 per cent were classified as needing support to improve.

The reports found characteristics of mature services include:

* Leadership focussed on a strong culture of Continuous Quality Improvement

* Clear workflows including induction, training and monitoring programs

* Resources and staff dedicated to recording and reporting health care activities

In Stage 2 of this project this year, KPMG will offer all health services not involved in Stage 1 the opportunity to participate, plus follow-up consultations for ACCHS in Stage 1 and the development of online training resources.

KPMG will also convene a national forum on best practice so ACCHS can share successful and effective reporting processes and practices with each other.

Part 2

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has just published the National Framework for Continuous Quality Improvement in Primary Health Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 2018-2023.

Download the full NACCHO Press Release HERE 

al Community Controlled Health Services and Affiliates, health professional organisations and government. The project was funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

The CQI Framework provides principles and guidance for primary health care organisations in how to do, support and inform culturally respectful CQI.

It is designed to assist Aboriginal health services and private general practices, NACCHO Affiliates and Primary Health Networks, national and state/territory governments in their efforts to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to and receive the highest attainable standard of primary health care wherever and whenever they seek care.

It is relevant to clinicians, board members and practice owners, health promotion, administrative and management staff. Six case studies which illustrate how CQI has been implemented in ACCHSs are included.

NACCHO welcomes further case studies from other health services, general practice and Primary Health Networks.

Further resources including the Framework are available on the NACCHO website.

  1. Direct link to PDF –
  2. Updated CQI page –

For further information about the CQI Framework please contact:


.@NACCHOChair Season’s Greetings and a very Happy #ChooseHealth New Year from all the NACCHO mob : Make @DeadlyChoices a #sugarfree 2019 New Year #SugaryDrinksProperNoGood

Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year from the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

On behalf of NACCHO, the Board and our staff we wish you a safe, happy and healthy festive season.

Please note : Our Canberra Office Closes 20 December and Re Opens 4 January 2019

2018 has been a year of change, with many new members joining the NACCHO Board.

With change comes opportunity, 2019 will see many new and exciting developments as NACCHO continues to enhance better service for the sector.

We look forward to building strong relationships with you, maintain Aboriginal community control and work together in the new year to improve health and well-being outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

I hope you all have good health, happiness and a safe holiday season

Ms Donnella Mills Chair NACCHO

Click on our 2018 year in review

If the NACCHO Christmas card isn’t playing, click here to view in a web browser.

”  This campaign is straightforward – sugary drinks are no good for our health.It’s calling on people to drink water instead of sugary drinks.’

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Cape York and throughout all our communities experience a disproportionate burden of chronic disease compared to other Australians.’

‘Regular consumption of sugary drinks is associated with increased energy intake and in turn, weight gain and obesity. It is well established that obesity is a leading risk factor for diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and some cancers. Consumption of sugary drinks is also associated with poor dental health.

Water is the best drink for everyone – it doesn’t have any sugar and keeps our bodies healthy.’

Apunipima Public Health Advisor Dr Mark Wenitong

WATCH Apunipima Video HERE

“We tell ‘em kids drink more water; stop the sugar. It’s good for all us mob”

Read all 60 + NACCHO articles Health and Nutrition HERE

 ” Let’s be honest, most countries and communities (and especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders ) now face serious health challenges from obesity.

Even more concerning, so do our kids.

While no single mission will be the panacea to a complex problem, using 2017 to set a new healthy goal of giving sugar the kick would be a great start.

Understand sugar, be aware of it, minimise it and see it for what it is – a special treat for a rare occasion.

This New Year’s, make breaking up with sugar your planned resolution.

“Hey sugar – it’s not me, it’s you…”

Alessandro R Demaio  Global Health Doctor; Co-Founded NCDFREE & festival21; Assoc. Researcher, University of Copenhagen and NACCHO supporter ( First Published 2016 see in full below )

We recommend the Government establish obesity prevention as a national priority, with a national taskforce, sustained funding and evaluation of key measures including:

  • Laws to stop exposure of children to unhealthy food and drink marketing on free to air television until 9.30 pm
  • Mandatory healthy food star rating from July 2019 along with stronger food reformulation targets
  • A national activity strategy to promote walking, cycling and public transport use
  • A 20 per cent health levy on sugary drinks

Australia enjoys enviable health outcomes but that is unlikely to last if we continue to experience among the world’s highest levels of obesity.

 CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells

NACCHO Aboriginal #HealthStarRating and #Nutrition @KenWyattMP Free healthy choices food app will dial up good tucker

” Weight gain spikes sharply during the Christmas and New Year holiday period with more than half of the weight we gain during our lifetime explained just by the period between mid-November and mid-January.

Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA

 ” Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

The study used computer modelling to simulate daily activities like food and beverage shopping of the populations of three U.S. cities – Baltimore, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

It found that warning labels in locations that sell sugary drinks, including grocery and corner stores, reduced both obesity and overweight prevalence in the three cities, declines that the authors say were attributable to the reduced caloric intake.

The virtual warning labels contained messaging noting how added sugar contributes to tooth decay, obesity and diabetes.

The findings, which were published online December 14 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, demonstrates how warning labels can result in modest but statistically significant reductions in sugary drink consumption and obesity and overweight prevalence.”

Diabetes Queensland : Warning labels can help reduce sugary drinks consumption and obesity, new study suggests


Global recognition is building for the very real health concerns posed by large and increasing quantities of hidden sugar in our diets. This near-ubiquitous additive found in products from pasta sauces to mayonnaise has been in the headlines and in our discussions.

The seemingly innocuous sweet treat raises eyebrows from community groups to policy makers – and change is in the air.

Let’s review some of the sugar-coated headers from 2016 :

  • The global obesity epidemic continued to build while more than two-in-three Australian adults faced overweight or obesity – and almost one in four of our children.
  • Science around sugary drinks further solidified, with consumption now linked to obesitychildhood obesityheart diseasediabetes (type-2), dental caries and even lower fertility.
  • Australians were estimated to consume a staggering 76 litres of sugary drinks each since January alone, and new reports highlighted that as much as 15% of the crippling health costs associated with obesity could result from sugary drinks consumption.
  • Meanwhile around the planet, more countries took sound policy measures to reduce sugar consumption in their citizens. France, Belgium, Hungary, Finland, Chile, the UK, Ireland, South Africa and many parts of the United States implemented, continued or planned the implementation of pricing policies for sugary drinks.

In short, the over-consumption of sugar is now well recognised as a public health challenge everywhere.

With all this in mind and a New Year ahead, it’s time to put big words into local action. With resolutions brewing, here are seven helpful tips to breaking up with sugar in 2017.

1. Understand sugar

When it comes to sugar, things can get pretty confusing. Below, I shed some light on the common misunderstandings, but let’s recheck sugar itself – in simplest terms.

Sugar is a type of refined carbohydrate and a source of calories in our diet. Our body uses sugar and other sources of calories as energy, and any sugar that is not used is eventually stored as fat in our liver or on our bellies.

“Free sugars” are those added to products or concentrated in the products – either by us or by the manufacturer. They don’t include sugars in whole fruits and vegetables, but more on that later. For a range of health reasons, the World Health Organization recommends we get just 5% of our daily calories from free sugars. For a fully grown man or woman, this equates to a recommended limit to sugar consumption of roughly 25 grams – or 6 teaspoons. For women, it’s a little less again.

Consume more than this, and our risk of health problems rises.

2. Quit soft drinks

With 16 teaspoons of sugar in a single bottle serving – that’s more than 64 grams– there’s nothing “soft” about soft drinks. Including all carbonated drinks, flavoured milks and energy drinks with any added sugars, as well as fruit drinks and juices, sugary drinks are a great place to focus your efforts for a healthier 2018. Sugary drinks provide no nutritional value to our diets and yet are a major source of calories.


What’s more concerning, evidence suggests that when we drink calories in the form of sugary drinks, our brains don’t recognise these calories in the same way as with foods. They don’t make us feel “full” and could even make us hungrier – so we end up eating (and drinking) more. In this way, liquid calories can be seen as even more troubling than other forms of junk foods. Combine this with studies that suggest the pleasure (and sugar spike) provided by sugary drinks may make them hard to give up – and it’s not difficult to see why many of us are drinking higher amounts, more often and in larger servings. This also makes cutting down harder.

The outcome is that anything up to one-seventh of the entire public cost of obesity in Australia could now result from sugary drinks. In other words, cut out the sugary drinks and you’ll be doing your own health a favour – and the health of our federal and state budgets.

3. Eat fruit, not juice

When it’s wrapped in a peel or a skin, fruit sugars are not a challenge to our health. In fact, the sugars in fruit are nature’s way of encouraging us to eat the fruit to begin with. Fruits like oranges, apples and pears contain important fibres. The “roughage” in our foods, this fibre is healthy in many ways but there are three in particular I will focus on. First, it slows our eating down; it is easy to drink a glass of juice squeezed from 7 apples, but much harder to eat those seven pieces whole. Second, it makes us feel full or satiated. And third, it slows the release of the sugars contained in fruit into our blood streams, thus allowing our bodies to react and use the energy appropriately, reducing our chances of weight gain and possibly even diabetes.

Juice, on the other hand, involves the removal of most of those fibres and even the loss of some of the important vitamins. What we don’t lose though, is the 21 grams or more than five teaspoons of sugar in each glass.

In short, eat fruit as a snack with confidence. But enjoy whole fruit, not juice.

4. Sugar by any other name

High-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, malt sugar and molasses – they all mean one thing: sugar.

As the public awakens to the health challenges posed by sugar, the industry turns to new ways to confuse consumers and make ‘breaking up’ more difficult. One such way is to use the many alternative names for sugar – instead of the ‘s’ word itself. Be on the lookout for:

Evaporated cane juice, golden syrup, malt syrup, sucrose, fruit juice concentrate, dextrose and more…

5. Eat whole foods where possible

Tomato sauce, mayonnaise, salad dressings, gravies, taco sauces, savoury biscuits and breakfast cereals – these are just some of the many foods now often packed with hidden, added sugars.

study found that 74% of packaged foods in an average American supermarket contain added sugars – and there is little evidence to suggest Australia would be dramatically different. Added to food to make it more enjoyable, and moreish, the next tip when avoiding such a ubiquitous additive is to eat whole foods.

It’s hard to hide sugar in plain flour, or a tomato, or frozen peas. Buying and cooking with mostly whole foods – not products – is a great way to ensure you and your family are not consuming added sugars unaware.

6. See beyond (un)healthy claims

Words like “wholesome”, “natural” and “healthy” are clad on many of our favourite ingredients. Sadly, they don’t mean much.

Even products that are full of sugar, like breakfast cereals and energy bars, often carry claims that aim to confuse and seduce us into purchase. Be wary – and be sure to turn the package over and read the ingredients and nutrition labelling where possible (and if time permits).

7. Be okay with sometimes

The final but crucial message in all of this is that eating or drinking sugar is not a sin. Sugar is still a part of our lives and something to enjoy in moderation. The occasional piece of cake, or late night chocolate – despite the popular narrative painted by industry to undermine efforts for true pricing on sugar – these occasional sweet treats are not the driving challenge for obesity. The problem is that sugary drinks, and sugar in our foods, have become every day occurrences.

With this in mind, let’s not demonise sugar but instead let’s see it for what it is. Enjoy some juice or bubbles from time to time but make water the default on an everyday basis. With the average can of cola containing 39 grams or 9 teaspoons of sugar, be OK with sometimes.

Bitter truth

Let’s be honest, We now face serious health challenges from obesity.

Even more concerning, so do our kids.

Learn more about our ACCHO making Deadly Choices

NACCHO pays tribute to Dr Bonita Mabo AO educator, social justice and human rights activist and “one of Australia’s greatest matriarchs of all time ” #BecauseofHerWeCan

 ” We can all take inspiration from Bonita’s courage and determination.”

Ms Donnella Mills summarizing the impact Dr Mabo had on all her family ,friends and the broader Australian community she inspired over her lifetime  

You Download a PDF copy of this Press Release HERE

NACCHO Chair Ms Donnella Mills speaking on behalf of all the 145 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services throughout Australia has extended condolences to the Mabo family for the loss of their mother, sister, aunty, cousin and grandmother Dr Bonita Mabo, South Sea Islander reconciliation activist , who passed away Monday.

“As her Australian South Sea Islander Alliance said in their tribute Dr Bonita’s contribution to social justice and human rights for First Nations People and the Australian South Sea Islander recognition was monumental and relentless. A formidable ‘Woman Tanna’ Aunty Bonita will be greatly missed as Australia has lost one of the greatest matriarchs of all time.” Ms Mills said

“ Dr Mabo as the wife of Eddie Mabo, an Australian hero known for his long fight for Indigenous land rights, but Dr Mabo was more than a supportive partner, she was an educator and an advocate who  was the co-founder of Australia’s first Indigenous community school, the Black Community School in Townsville, where she worked as a teacher’s aide and overseeing the day-to-day operations, including providing continuity and cultural training to all children including 10 of her own.

She was considered to be a stabilising influence at the school at a time when it was considered unacceptable to have discrete curricula and teaching policies for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children “ Ms Mills said.

Only this month Bonita Mabo received one of James Cook University’s highest awards, an Honorary Doctor of Letters, in recognition of her outstanding contribution of 45 years of service to the community and her advocacy for Indigenous Australians and Australian South Sea Islanders.



NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Closingthegap : Reconciling a policy mess : But research shows ACCHO’s significantly more effective at improving Indigenous health outcomes than the mainstream system.

 ” The present National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO )network provides a different working model for governments devolving decision-making power to the people directly affected. Research shows the network is significantly more effective at improving indigenous health outcomes than the mainstream system.

In its submission to a parliamentary committee considering options for indigenous constitutional recognition, the peak health body says: “We know that governments, of all persuasions and at all levels, struggle to … ensure full participation from ­Aboriginal and Torres Strait ­Islander peoples to have a genuine say over matters that impact on us. This can be seen now in the poorly conceived and led consultations on the Closing the Gap Refresh.”

From The Australian 5 September Stephen Fitzpatrick Indigenous affairs editor 

To get to the bottom of why the decade-old Closing the Gap program designed to reduce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage has been such an underwhelming enterprise, it helps to trawl through the confused muddle of a half-century of indigenous affairs policy in Australia.

The Council of Australian Governments scheme, with its range of targets tracking outcomes across health, education and employment based on rigorous data sets, emerged in Kevin Rudd’s hands from the formal reconciliation era to become an annual showpiece addressing the state of the First Nations within the broader nation.

That this concept was even possible dates to 1967, when a referendum gave the commonwealth powers to join with state and territory governments to create a national system of indigenous affairs. For the first time, indigenous Australians could be treated — in theory — the same as everyone.

But theory and practice often don’t align. The fact Closing the Gap now is undergoing a root-and-branch review, labelled a “refresh”, shows this. So does the Turnbull government’s malign rejection last year of the Uluru Statement from the Heart’s proposal for indigenous constitutional recognition, which would have put indigenous Australians at the heart of policy made about them.

Now the latest top-down spasm in indigenous affairs policy, the appointment of Tony Abbott to an ill-defined role as “special envoy” in the field, is being seen in many quarters as yet another abrogation of repeated government promises to do things “with, not to” Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

Academic Marcia Langton has called the appointment a “punch in the guts to indigenous Australia”, and it has been described by others as being more about solving Scott Morrison’s political problems than black Australia’s lived ones. The Prime Minister’s indigenous advisory council was not even consulted, co-chairman Roy Ah See revealed to The Australian.

There are just three Closing the Gap targets still formally being considered, only two of them on track: halving the gap on Year 12 attainment and getting 95 per cent of four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education. The third, closing the gap on life expectancy by 2031, remains derailed.

Four more targets expired recently. Just one — halving the child mortality rate — is trending to be met, although data experts query whether the underlying figures used to demonstrate this are accurate. The other three still off course when their timelines ran out were on reading, writing and numeracy; school attendance; and employment.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare charts a life expectancy gap of 10 years and says that between one-third and one-half of the health gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians are associated with differences in socio-economic position such as education, employment and income.

Linked to this, it recently released a report documenting the ongoing impact of trauma suffered by the Stolen Generations, of whom it calculates there are 17,150 survivors.

Many of the detailed written submissions to the official government “refresh” point out that structural reform is the only thing capable of overcoming the inequity born of more than two centuries of dispossession and trauma. Not a blind adherence to meeting targets — or, as expressed in ­Abbott’s acceptance of his new role, the rather hollow platitude that improved school attendance rates “is the absolute key to a better future for indigenous kids and this is the key to reconciliation”.

The overwhelming conclusion is that long-term failure has been the result of a lack of consistent indigenous voices in policymaking — and although peak groups and individuals are being consulted on the “refresh”, there is not much expectation of ongoing co-design.

After a series of workshops involving peak groups and individuals, there are 23 revised targets on the table. Several continue on the original themes, ­although the reliance on a mix of state and territory data and policies, as well as those at the commonwealth level, is a reminder that the 1967 referendum’s unanticipated result was an overall indigenous affairs policy incoherence.

Measures on health, education and employment take up the first nine proposed targets, with existing data on each of these assessed to be largely adequate for integrating into a revised scheme.

A new category of entrepreneurship acknowledges that getting out of poverty is crucial to escaping disadvantage, but analyst Charles Jacobs, from the Centre for Independent Studies, warns that its reliance wholly on government procurement spending increases could mask the need for also boosting indigenous business participation in the private sector.

“Small enterprises, for instance tourism businesses, are part of this, so the measure should perhaps be achieving a certain percentage of self-employment in the whole sector,” Jacobs says. “You’ve got to include businesses in the free market because the government procurement approach is limited.”

Areas such as housing, child protection, justice and family violence also are categorised as having sufficient data streams to create realistic targets, but the worry is that measuring inequitable rates of out-of-home care and imprisonment could be meaningless at the commonwealth level if the state and territory jurisdictions that determine them do not also introduce actual policy change.

Among the Uluru Statement’s most powerful lines is a direct reference to this dilemma: “Proportionally, we are the most incar­cerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are alienated from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.”

The remaining areas being considered in the current blueprint cover targets that may address some of the root causes of this, but for which the review’s briefing notes admit there is no useful data being collected.

This raises the question of whether measurability on these should even be the key goal or whether the voice to parliament proposed at Uluru might be a better lever because it could have a direct influence on policymaking. They include disability and social inclusion, culture and language, racism and systemic discrimination, healing and trauma: issues that inquiry after inquiry has acknowledged are influencers of overall poor indigenous outcomes.

The First Peoples Disability Network submission to the review describes the flaws as being built in to the system.

“Once a year the Prime Minister delivers his report on outcomes to parliament, but after the report is delivered there is no systematic process that involves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander expertise on how to respond to the outcomes and issues,” it says. “The process needs to be transformed from a retrospective, static and non-participatory process into a dynamic and responsive process.”

There is even speculation that the 11th report, due in February, simply will be an announcement of a new measurement regime for the revised series of targets, thereby avoiding the dismal recitation in recent years of failure.

There is a further fly in the ointment, though: an Australian National Audit Office inquiry also is under way, investigating whether appropriate data governance arrange­ments are in place for estab­lishing progress in the official program and whether there is effec­tive evaluation of what impact indigenous programs are having. That audit is due in February, right when the annual Prime Minister’s report lobs. The outcome could be a jarring crossover, as the Auditor-General, a statutory official, is under no pressure to make the government look good.

Richard Weston, chief executive of the Healing Foundation, which came into being after the 1997 Bringing Them Home report identified unresolved trauma as a key driver of continuing indigenous family and community dysfunction, says the “huge economic cost to the Australian taxpayer of only addressing symptoms of trauma” is just one of the issues at stake in whether Closing the Gap works.

“There’s no simple fix; it’s complex,” Weston tells The Australian. “We don’t have a vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy or people. We’re trying to fix a complex problem with simple solutions, which become like a flavour-of-the-month approach, just throwing a bit of money first at one thing and then another.”

His foundation’s submission to the government review is damning. “Empirical evaluation designs that seek to prove a statistically significant impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing are failing to shed light on what elements of the program failed, why they failed or how they could have succeeded, and have not given recognition to those considered effective in the eyes of the people who deliver or engage with the services,” it reads.

“While there is a place for quantitative evaluation of programs, evaluation needs to go beyond the finding of ‘nothing works’ to consider whether the program has actually failed, whether the evaluation methodology has failed, or if both the program and evaluation have disregarded key underlying factors associated with poor outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Which is where going back to the 1967 referendum outcome is helpful. A Productivity Commission report last year said 44 per cent of the $33.4 billion allocated to indigenous spending annually came via the commonwealth, a direct result of that vote.

Of this total, $27.4bn (or 88 per cent) was channelled through mainstream services available to all Australians, such as health, ­policing and education.

The remaining $6bn came through indigenous-specific programs and, of this, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet administered almost $2bn, but the whole often is delivered via a spaghetti bowl of overlapping service and program providers, with ­inade­quate evaluation of effici­ency or results and frequent shifts in policy.

One example of this was the implementation in 2014 of an overarching Indigenous Advancement Strategy federal funding model, an approach broadly canned by a later Senate inquiry for its poor design and implementation and that stripped $500 million from the field.

This all raises the question of whether the commonwealth should be providing programs at all or, as University of Queensland professor Mark Moran puts it, deciding to “fix a failing public ­administration system”.

“This could include innovations in new funding methods, with collaboration and accountability measures that wrap and build around the discrete place or dispersed urban population, instead of targeting individual recipients with more grants,” Moran says. “Mainstream services — such as education, school, health, police and child protection — are essential and must remain.

“But if the funds for all of the ‘additional’ programs were pooled and channelled into a small number of ­locally based organisations, or into all-encompassing community development program(s), it could create a more effective and enabling environment for innovation and locally led reform to occur.”

It’s what the Uluru Statement’s framers say the voice to parliament is designed to address, with very likely a regional, traditional owner-based network feeding up to a national body but directing it towards locally determined needs.

So, too, is the Empowered Communities model, being trialled in nine discrete indigenous communities nationwide including in Sydney’s Redfern and La Perouse, or Cape York’s Pama Futures approach, a collaboration between local people and governments that its advocates describe as “the best chance we have to close the gap on indigenous disparity in our region”.

There has not been a national approach to inviting representative indigenous input to policy since the Howard government dissolved the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in 2004, and even Amanda Vanstone, the minister at the time, said recently that “in hindsight (it) might have been a mistake” to abolish that body in its entirety.

Law professor Megan Davis, pro vice-chancellor indigenous at the University of NSW (and one of the authors, with Cape York lawyer Noel Pearson, of the Uluru Statement), says a key feature of ATSIC was its impact on regional policymaking, in particular the provision of remote infrastructure and the importance of this to closing the gap on indigenous disadvantage.

Before ATSIC, bodies such as the National Aboriginal Conference, established by the Fraser government in 1977, exploited what then minister Fred Chaney has recently described as a “loud and often critical voice” that was nonetheless “useful and effective” in determining the needs of indigenous Australia.

Post-ATSIC, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples was an attempt at providing a representative voice but it lost all funding with the introduction of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

But perhaps Gumatj clan leader Djawa Yunupingu put it best when he asked in a fiery and, as it turns out, prescient speech recently at the annual Garma festival in Arnhem Land, the same forum Abbott used in 2013 to declare he would be a “prime minister for indigenous affairs” should he win office.

“How long do we have to wait to get this right?” Yunupingu said. “Another committee? Another meeting? Another prime minister?

NACCHO Save a date Aboriginal Health Conferences and Events #OchreDay2018 #MaleHealth Program Released #NACCHOAgm2018 Presenters Wanted and Institute for Urban Indigenous Health @IUIH_ System of Care Conference, 27 -28 August Brisbane

NACCHO AGM 2018 Brisbane Oct 30—Nov 2 Registrations and Expressions of Interest now open

Follow our conference using HASH TAG #NACCHOagm2018

Register HERE

Conference Website Link:

Accommodation Link:                   

The NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM provides a forum for the Aboriginal community controlled health services workforce, bureaucrats, educators, suppliers and consumers to:

  • Present on innovative local economic development solutions to issues that can be applied to address similar issues nationally and across disciplines
  • Have input and influence from the ‘grassroots’ into national and state health policy and service delivery
  • Demonstrate leadership in workforce and service delivery innovation
  • Promote continuing education and professional development activities essential to the Aboriginal community controlled health services in urban, rural and remote Australia
  • Promote Aboriginal health research by professionals who practice in these areas and the presentation of research findings
  • Develop supportive networks
  • Promote good health and well-being through the delivery of health services to and by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people throughout Australia.

Conference Website Link

Expressions of Interest to present see below 

NACCHO is now calling for EOI’s from Affiliates , Member Services and stakeholders for Case Studies and Presentations for the 2018 NACCHO Members’ Conference. This is an opportunity to show case grass roots best practice at the Aboriginal Community Controlled service delivery level.

Download the Application

NACCHO Members Expressions of Interest to present to the Brisbane Conference 2018 on Day 1

In doing so honouring the theme of this year’s NACCHO Members Conference; ‘Investing in What Works – Aboriginal Community Controlled Health’. We are seeking EOIs for the following Conference Sessions.

Day 1 Wednesday 31 October 2018

Concurrent Session 1 (1.15 – 2.00pm) – topics can include Case Studies but are not limited to:

  • Workforce Innovation
  • Best Practice Primary Health Care for Clients with Chronic Disease
  • Challenges and Opportunities
  • Sustainable Growth
  • Harnessing Resources (Medicare, government and other)
  • Engagement/Health Promotion
  • Models of Primary Health Care and
  • Clinical and Service Delivery.

EOI’s will focus on the title of this session within the context of Urban, Regional, Rural or Remote.  Each presentation will be 10-15 minutes in either the Plenary or Breakout rooms.


Table Top Presentations (2.00-3.00pm)

Presenters will speak from the lectern and provide a brief presentation on a key project or program currently being delivered by their service.

Presentation will be 10 minutes in duration-with 5 minutes to present and
5 minutes for discussion and questions from delegates.

How to submit an EOI

Please provide the following information and submit via email to by COB Monday 21st August 2018.

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

Provide the key points you want to cover – in no more than 500 words outline the program/ project/ topic you would like to present on. Describe how your presentation/case study supports the 2018 NACCHO Members’ Conference theme ‘Investing in what works – Aboriginal Community Controlled Healt



Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) System of Care Conference, 27 -28 August Brisbane 

Registrations are currently open for the inaugural Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) System of Care Conference, to be held on Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 August 2018 in Brisbane.

This conference will focus on IUIH’s successful approach to Closing the Gap in Indigenous health and would be of interest to people working in

• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services
• Primary Health Networks (PHNs)
• Health and Hospital Boards and management
• Government Departments
• the University Sector
• the NGO sectorCome along and gain fresh insights into the ways in which a cross-sector and integrated system can make real impacts on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as we share the research behind the development and implementation of this system.
Featuring presentations by speakers across a range of specialisations including clinic set up, clinical governance, systems integration, wrap around services such as allied and social health, workforce development and research evidence.
For more information you can
·         Watch this video –
·         Visit the conference registration website –
·         Call us (07) 3828 3600
·         Email


Dr Tracy Westerman’s 2018 Training Workshops
For more details and July dates


Download HERE

The recent week-long #MensHealthWeek focus offered a “timely reminder” to all men to consider their health and wellbeing and the impact that their ill health or even the early loss of their lives could have on the people who love them. The statistics speak for themselves – we need to look after ourselves better .

That is why I am encouraging all men to take their health seriously, this week and every week of the year, and I have made men’s health a particular priority for Indigenous health.”

Federal Minister for Indigenous Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt who will appear via Video 

Please note this EVENT is now closed Fully Booked

To celebrate #MensHealthWeek NACCHO has launched its National #OchreDay2018 Mens Health Summit program

Download OCHRE DAY 2018 Program HERE

NACCHO Ochre Day Program_WEB 2018

The NACCHO Ochre Day Health Summit in August provides a national forum for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male delegates, organisations and communities to learn from Aboriginal male health leaders, discuss their health concerns, exchange share ideas and examine ways of improving their own men’s health and that of their communities




Aboriginal male health is approached negatively, with programmes only aimed at males as perpetrators. Examples include alcohol, tobacco and other drug services, domestic violence, prison release, and child sexual abuse programs. These programmes are vital, but are essentially aimed at the effects of males behaving badly to others, not for promoting the value of males themselves as an essential and positive part of family and community life.

To address the real social and emotional needs of males in our communities, NACCHO proposes a positive approach to male health and wellbeing that celebrates Aboriginal masculinities, and uphold our traditional values of respect for our laws, respect for Elders, culture and traditions, responsibility as leaders and men, teachers of young males, holders of lore, providers, warriors and protectors of our families, women, old people, and children.

More Details HERE

NACCHO’s approach is to support Aboriginal males to live longer, healthier lives as males for themselves. The flow-on effects will hopefully address the key effects of poor male behaviour by expecting and encouraging Aboriginal males to be what they are meant to be.

In many communities, males have established and are maintaining men’s groups, and attempting to be actively involved in developing their own solutions to the well documented men’s health and wellbeing problems, though almost all are unfunded and lack administrative and financial support.

To assist NACCHO to strategically develop this area as part of an overarching gender/culture based approach to service provision, NACCHO decided it needed to raise awareness, gain support for and communicate to the wider Australian public issues that have an impact on the social, emotional health and wellbeing of Aboriginal Males.

It was subsequently decided that NACCHO should stage a public event that would aim to achieve this and that this event be called “NACCHO Ochre Day”.


7. NATSIHWA National Professional Development Symposium 2018

We’re excited to release the dates for the 2018 National Professional Development Symposium to be held in Alice Springs on 2nd-4th October. More details are to be released in the coming weeks; a full sponsorship prospectus and registration logistics will be advertised asap via email and newsletter.

This years Symposium will be focussed on upskilling our Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners through a series of interactive workshops. Registrants will be able to participate in all workshops by rotating in groups over the 2 days. The aim of the symposium is to provide the registrants with new practical skills to take back to communities and open up a platform for Health Workers/Practitioners to network with other Individuals in the workforce from all over Australia.

We look forward to announcing more details soon!

8.AIDA Conference 2018 Vision into Action

Building on the foundations of our membership, history and diversity, AIDA is shaping a future where we continue to innovate, lead and stay strong in culture. It’s an exciting time of change and opportunity in Indigenous health.

The AIDA conference supports our members and the health sector by creating an inspiring networking space that engages sector experts, key decision makers, Indigenous medical students and doctors to join in an Indigenous health focused academic and scientific program.

AIDA recognises and respects that the pathway to achieving equitable and culturally-safe healthcare for Indigenous Australians is dynamic and complex. Through unity, leadership and collaboration, we create a future where our vision translates into measureable and significantly improved health outcomes for our communities. Now is the time to put that vision into action.

Registrations Close August 31

9.CATSINaM Professional Development Conference

Venue: Hilton Adelaide 

Location: 233 Victoria Square, Adelaide, SA 

Timing: 8:30am – 5:30pm

We invite you to be part of the CATSINaM Professional Development Conference held in Adelaide, Australia from the 17th to the 19th of September 2018.
The Conference purpose is to share information while working towards an integrated approach to improving the outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The Conference also provides an opportunity to highlight the very real difference being made in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by our Members.
To this end, we are offering a mixed mode experience with plenary speaker sessions, panels, and presentations as well as professional development workshops.

More info

The CATSINaM Gala Dinner and Awards evening,  held on the 18th of September, purpose is to honour the contributions of distinguished Members to the field.

10.Healing Our Spirit Worldwide

Global gathering of Indigenous people to be held in Sydney
University of Sydney, The Healing Foundation to co-host Healing Our Spirit Worldwide
Gawuwi gamarda Healing Our Spirit Worldwidegu Ngalya nangari nura Cadigalmirung.
Calling our friends to come, to be at Healing Our Spirit Worldwide. We meet on the country of the Cadigal.
In November 2018, up to 2,000 Indigenous people from around the world will gather in Sydney to take part in Healing Our Spirit Worldwide: The Eighth Gathering.
A global movement, Healing Our Spirit Worldwidebegan in Canada in the 1980s to address the devastation of substance abuse and dependence among Indigenous people around the world. Since 1992 it has held a gathering approximately every four years, in a different part of the world, focusing on a diverse range of topics relevant to Indigenous lives including health, politics, social inclusion, stolen generations, education, governance and resilience.
The International Indigenous Council – the governing body of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide – has invited the University of Sydney and The Healing Foundation to co-host the Eighth Gathering with them in Sydney this year. The second gathering was also held in Sydney, in 1994.
 Please also feel free to tag us in any relevant cross posting: @HOSW8 @hosw2018 #HOSW8 #HealingOurWay #TheUniversityofSydney

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #IHMayDay18 #ACCHO Deadly Good News stories : Features #WorldNoTobaccoDay events from #NSW @ReadyMob @Galambila #QLD @Apunipima #VIC @VAHS1972 #SA #WA #NT @DanilaDilba

1.1 National :The Northern Territory Government, a serial offender, has again received the Dirty Ashtray Award, for putting in the least effort to reduce smoking over the past 12 months.

1.2 RACGP and NACCHO presents Smoking podcast

2 .NSW : Galambila ACCHO – READY MOB Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyles team host #IHMayday18

3.1 VACCHO Quit the smokes today 

3.VIC : VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team launch new Deadly Dan movie and education package on World No Tobacco Day

4.QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Cape York launches 3 great videos on World No Tobacco Day


5.WA : Listen in, as Jodi from the TIS team at Wirraka Maya ACCHO , offers a few key messages to help you protect those around you from harmful second-hand smoke.

6 .SA : Zena Wingfield is the Tackling Indigenous Smoking Project Officer at Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service

7.1 NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin launches community campaign

7.2 NT Congress Alice Springs World No Tobacco Day Event  

8. ACT : Deadly Choices World No Tobacco Day

Video From Congress Alice Springs


 View hundreds of ACCHO Deadly Good News Stories over past 6 years

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

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media    

Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday /Friday


1.National : The Northern Territory Government, a serial offender, has again received the Dirty Ashtray Award, for putting in the least effort to reduce smoking over the past 12 months.

“Smoking kills. Smoking robs people, including young people, of their health.

“Governments must do more to help people to stop smoking, or to not take up the deadly habit in the first place.

“Strong government actions, including making packaging unappealing, keeping tobacco products out of view, and keeping tobacco prices high, have helped to encourage people to quit, or young people not to start.

“The Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, is to be commended for continuing funding of $183.7 million over four years for the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.

Releasing the AMA/ACOSH National Tobacco Control Scoreboard 2018 on World No Tobacco Day, AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said it is the third year in a row that the NT has earned the dubious honour.

“The NT scored an E this year, and continues to fail miserably when it comes to protecting Territorians from the harms from smoking,” Dr Bartone said.

“This completes a ‘dirty dozen’ for the Territory – its 12th ‘win’ since the Award was first presented in 1994.

“The Queensland Government has won the Achievement Award for the second year in a row, but it still only scored a C – a C for complacency.”

Queensland was narrowly the best of the C-graders, scoring highest in the provision of smoke-free environments. It was just ahead of the Australian Government for its appropriate, evidence-based decisions about liquid nicotine and e-cigarettes.

Dr Bartone said that all Australian governments must urgently step up their efforts to combat smoking, including reintroducing education campaigns, and banning shop assistants and employees under the age of 18 from selling tobacco products.

“While Australia has made remarkable progress in tackling tobacco, we are in danger of losing momentum in the face of constant efforts by the tobacco industry to promote smoking,” Dr Bartone said.

“Tobacco is unique among consumer products in that it causes disease and premature death when it is used exactly as intended. Two out of three smokers will die from their habit.

“We know that public education and awareness campaigns can have a powerful effect on people’s decisions, yet there has been no national media campaign on tobacco since 2012.

“It is especially disappointing that, yet again, the latest Federal Budget provides no new funding, despite expecting to raise more than $11 billion a year from tobacco taxes.

“It is important that we stay vigilant against any attempts to normalise smoking, or make it appealing to young people.

Above : Katherine West Health Board NT

“This includes regulating e-cigarettes in exactly the same manner as tobacco cigarettes, and not allowing them to be marketed as quit smoking aids until such time as there is scientific evidence that they work as cessation aids, and do not cause further harm

“But no one government is excelling.

“Tobacco control is still a public health priority, here and around the world.

“Australia has to reclaim its reputation as the world leader in tobacco control.”

The AMA/ACOSH National Tobacco Control Scoreboard is compiled annually to mark World No Tobacco Day on 31 May.

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

The judges called on all jurisdictions to allocate consistent funding for strong media campaigns, and to ban all remaining forms of tobacco marketing and promotion.

They also called on all States and Territories to strengthen controls on the sale of tobacco by banning employees under 18 from selling tobacco products.

1.2 RACGP and NACCHO presents Smoking podcast

‘Do you smoke?’ A simple preventive activity for clinicians to engage with every patient. Listen to Episode one:

Smoking & Smoking Cessation with Prof David Thomas on The National Guide Podcast

2 .NSW : READY MOB ACCHO’s Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyles team host #IHMayday18

Kristy Pursch and David ReidStepping into a smoke free future

Pursch and Reid are members of the READY MOB Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyles team, and are passionate about raising the awareness of the health impacts of tobacco smoking and chronic disease in Aboriginal communities and promoting positive lifestyle changes.


READY MOB is: Really Evaluate And Decide Yourself Make Ourselves Better.

We couldn’t do what we do without great relationships and collaboration. Working together for community

The name also signifies that the team is READY to work with the community to promote healthy lifestyles. They are based at the Galambila Aboriginal Health Service on the mid north coast of NSW.

Follow – @KristyPursch


2.2 NSW  : Tamworth says no to smokes

How young minds are getting blown away from  smokes via @The_NDL

3.1 VACCHO Quit the smokes today 

Quit the smokes today on to improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Contact your local ACCO or the Aboriginal Quitline today for support


3.VIC : VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team launch new Deadly Dan movie and education package on World No Tobacco Day



The VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team and Darebin City Council launched the Deadly Dan Education Suite to teachers within the Darebin area. The new resource will include the book, our new film and 2 lesson plans with heaps of resources!

Thank you to Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf for attending and supporting this resource!

We’re excited to continue spreading Deadly Dan’s healthy lifestyle messages to early years and primary schools across Darebin.

If you couldn’t make it to the education launch or want more info about Deadly Dan’s education suite pleas contact Lena at 9403 3300 or message

4.QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Cape York launches 3 great videos on World No Tobacco Day

Today is #WNTD #WorldNoTobaccoDay is a day to raise awareness about the devastating health effects that tobacco use and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke has on an individual, their family and the community

The Team in Coen

This we have launched 3 more of our campaign videos, we are showcasing some locals in Hope Vale’s real stories. Check out why Desmond stopped smoking


“My brother had emphysema, he would be still here if he didn’t smoke.” Lex from Hope Vale.

View Lex’s inspiring video here

Watch Here

Giving up is not as hard as what everyone predicted it to be” What’s your story Cape York?

Don’t make smokes your story!

5.WA : Listen in, as Jodi from the TIS team at Wirraka Maya ACCHO , offers a few key messages to help you protect those around you from harmful second-hand smoke.

Are you aware of the dangers of passive smoking?

Listen in, as Jodi from the TIS team at Wirraka Maya, offers a few key messages to help you protect those around you from harmful second-hand smoke.
If you need help quitting smoking, give us a call on 08 9172 0444#WMHSAC #BeAtYourBest #WirrakaMaya


6 .SA : Zena Wingfield is the Tackling Indigenous Smoking Project Officer at Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service

chatting on Community Soapbox today about , next Wednesday, 31st May.

Listen up: 

7.NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin launches community campaign\

Thanks to Larrakia TV (Aboriginal TV) for sharing this video showing Danila Dilba’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking team out and about promoting World No Tobacco day all this week in the community.

Great work by our team in spreading the message about the dangers of smoking.

Watch Here


7.2 NT Congress Alice Springs World No Tobacco Day Event  



8. ACT : Deadly Choices World No Tobacco Day

Did you know that pack-a-day smoking can cost more than just your health? Give it up for a year, and you could save $10,000!

Contact our clinics to have a yarn about quitting the smokes

8. Tasmania Aboriginal Centre not available at publication date




NACCHO Aboriginal #HealthBudget18 Press Release @KenWyattMP Federal Government announces new funding model for ACCHS Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services #Budget2018NACCHO


 ” It is important to strengthen and expand our Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services  role as primary care providers in our communities as there will be 1 million Aboriginal people 2030, ”

NACCHO Chair Mr John Singer believes ‘that funding certainty is critical to ACCHSs achieving good health outcomes.


See our live interviews on NACCHO Facebook

Picture above : Day after Budget night and NACCHO Chair faces media at Parliament House

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has welcomed the Budget announcement of a new needs based funding formula model for the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program (IAHP).

Although this new model requires further refinement, feedback and work.

Download this NACCHO Press Release

NACCHO Press Release Government announces new funding model for ACCHS

This new model for our 144 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) provides funding for our primary health care services and now excludes 7 inconsistent data points related to NKPIs.

NACCHO Chair Mr John Singer believes ‘that funding certainty is critical to ACCHSs achieving good health outcomes.

Mr John Singer called on the government to ensure there was no adverse impact on our Model of Care.

NACCHO welcomes the 5-year funding agreements and grandfathering arrangements under this new model.

NACCHO welcomes the new money for preventing and treating complex chronic health conditions such as Eye disease ($34.3 million) hearing loss ($30.0 million) and crusted scabies ($4.8 million).

Acknowledges the new investment in remote renal services and infrastructure with a MBS item for dialysis.

Also, the $105.7 over four years to deliver additional residential aged care places and home care packages in remote Indigenous communities.

The Government has advised that the new funding model can be varied up to July 2019 and NACCHO will continue work in consultation with the Funding Model committees.

Aboriginal controlled health services provide about three million episodes of care each year for about 350,000 people and employ about 6,000 staff.

Post 1 of our NACCHO Posts on #Budget2018 NACCHO HERE

Post 2 will be the NACCHO Chair Press Release and Analysis above

Post 3 will be Health Peak bodies press release summary

Post 4 will be Government Press Releases


Minister @KenWyattMP launches NACCHO @RACGP National guide for healthcare professionals to improve health of #Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients


All of our 6000 staff in 145 member services in 305 health settings across Australia will have access to this new and update edition of the National Guide. It’s a comprehensive edition for our clinicians and support staff that updates them all with current medical practice.

“NACCHO is committed to quality healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and will work with all levels of government to ensure accessibility for all.”

NACCHO Chair John Singer said the updated National Guide would help governments improve health policy and lead initiatives that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

You can Download the Guide via this LINK

A/Prof Peter O’Mara, NACCHO Chair John Singer Minister Ken Wyatt & RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel launch the National guide at Parliament house this morning

“Prevention is always better than cure. Already one of the most widely used clinical guidelines in Australia, this new edition includes critical information on lung cancer, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and preventing child and family abuse and violence.

The National Guide maximises the opportunities at every clinic visit to prevent disease and to find it early.It will help increase vigilance over previously undiagnosed conditions, by promoting early intervention and by supporting broader social change to help individuals and families improve their wellbeing.”

Minister Ken Wyatt highlights what is new to the 3rd Edition of the National Guide-including FASD, lung cancer, young people lifecycle, family abuse & violence and supporting families to optimise child safety & wellbeing : Pic Lisa Whop SEE Full Press Release Part 2 Below

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) have joined forces to produce a guide that aims to improve the level of healthcare currently being delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and close the gap.

Chair of RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Associate Professor Peter O’Mara said the third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (the National Guide) is an important resource for all health professionals to deliver best practice healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

“The National Guide will support all healthcare providers, not just GPs, across Australia to improve prevention and early detection of disease and illness,” A/Prof O’Mara said.

“The prevention and early detection of disease and illness can improve people’s lives and increase their lifespans.

“The National Guide will support healthcare providers to feel more confident that they are looking for health issues in the right way.”

RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said the RACGP is committed to tackling the health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“The National Guide plays a vital role in closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health disparity,” Dr Seidel said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should have equal access to quality healthcare across Australia and the National guide is an essential part of ensuring these services are provided.

“GPs and other healthcare providers who implement the recommendations within the National Guide will play an integral role in reducing health disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and ensuring culturally responsive and appropriate healthcare is always available.”

The updated third edition of the National Guide can be found on the RACGP website and the NACCHO website.


Free to download on the RACGP website and the NACCHO website:


Part 2 Prevention and Early Diagnosis Focus for a Healthier Future

The critical role of preventive care and tackling the precursors of chronic disease is being boosted in the latest guide for health professionals working to close the gap in health equality for Indigenous Australians

The critical role of preventive care and tackling the precursors of chronic disease is being boosted in the latest guide for health professionals working to close the gap in health equality for Indigenous Australians.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, today launched the updated third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Prevention is always better than cure,” said Minister Wyatt. “Already one of the most widely used clinical guidelines in Australia, this new edition includes critical information on lung cancer, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and preventing child and family abuse and violence.

“The National Guide maximises the opportunities at every clinic visit to prevent disease and to find it early.

“It will help increase vigilance over previously undiagnosed conditions, by promoting early intervention and by supporting broader social change to help individuals and families improve their wellbeing.”

The guide, which was first published in 2005, is a joint project between the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners RACGP).

“To give you some idea of the high regard in which it is held, the last edition was downloaded 645,000 times since its release in 2012,” said Minister Wyatt.

“The latest edition highlights the importance of individual, patient-centred care and has been developed to reflect local and regional needs.

“Integrating resources like the national guide across the whole health system plays a pivotal role in helping us meet our Closing the Gap targets.

“The Turnbull Government is committed to accelerating positive change and is investing in targeted activities that have delivered significant reductions in the burden of disease.

“Rates of heart disease, smoking and binge drinking are down. We are on track to achieve the child mortality target for 2018 and deaths associated with kidney and respiratory diseases have also reduced.”

The National Guide is funded under the Indigenous Australian’s Health Programme as part of a record $3.6 billion investment across four financial years.

The RACGP received $429,000 to review, update, publish and distribute the third edition, in hard copy and electronic formats.

The National Guide is available on the RACGP website or by contacting RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health on 1800 000 251 or




Aboriginal Health Download NACCHO Pre #Budget2018 Submission : Budget proposals to accelerate #ClosingTheGap in #Indigenous life expectancy


 ” A December 2017 report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that the mortality gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians are widening, not narrowing.

Urgent action is needed to reverse these trends to have any prospect of meeting the Council of Australian Governments’ goal to Close the Gap in life expectancy within a generation (by 2031).

The following submission by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) in relation to the Commonwealth Budget 2018 aims to reverse the widening mortality gaps.”

Download the full NACCHO submission HERE


Also read NACCHO Aboriginal Health @AMAPresident Download AMA Pre-Budget Submission 2018-19 #Indigenous health reform – needs significant long-term investment

Widening mortality gaps require urgent action

The life expectancy gap means that Indigenous Australians are not only dying younger than non-Indigenous Australians but also carry a higher burden of disease across their life span, impacting on education and employment opportunities as well as their social and emotional wellbeing.

Preventable admissions and deaths are three times as high in Indigenous people yet use of the main Commonwealth schemes, Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) are at best half the needs based requirements.

It is simply impossible to close the mortality gaps under these conditions. No government can have a goal to close life expectancy and child mortality gaps and yet concurrently preside over widening mortality gaps.

Going forward, a radical departure is needed from a business as usual approach.

Funding considerations, fiscal imbalance and underuse of MBS/PBS

The recent Productivity Commission Report found that per capita government spending on Indigenous services was twice as high as for the rest of the population.

The view that enormous amounts of money have been spent on Indigenous Affairs has led many to conclude a different focus is required and that money is not the answer.

Yet, the key question in understanding the relativities of expenditure on Indigenous is equity of total expenditure, both public and private and in relation to need.

In terms of health expenditure, the Commonwealth spends $1.4 for every $1 spent on the rest of the population, notwithstanding that, on the most conservative assumptions, Indigenous people have at least twice the per capita need of the rest of the population because of much higher levels of illness and burden of disease.

This represents a significant market failure. The health system serves the needs of the bulk of the population very well but the health system has failed to meet the needs of the Indigenous population.

A pressing need is to address the shortfall in spending for out of hospital services, for which the Commonwealth is mainly responsible, and which is directly and indirectly responsible for excessive preventable admissions funded by the jurisdictions – and avoidable deaths.

The fiscal imbalance whereby underspending by the Commonwealth leads to large increases in preventable admissions (and deaths) borne by the jurisdictions needs to be rectified.

Ultimately, NACCHO seeks an evidenced based, incremental plan to address gaps, and increased resources and effort to address the Indigenous burden of disease and life expectancy.

The following list of budget proposals reflect the burden of disease, the underfunding throughout the system and the comprehensive effort needed to close the gap and ideally would be considered as a total package.

NACCHO recommends initiatives that impact on the greatest number of Indigenous people and burden of preventable disease and support the sustainability of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) sector – see proposals 1. a) to e) and 3. a) and b) as a priority.

NACCHO is committed to working with the Australian Government on the below proposals and other collaborative initiatives that will help Close the Gap.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

NACCHO is the national peak body representing 144 ACCHOs across the country on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues

. In 1997, the Federal Government funded NACCHO to establish a Secretariat in Canberra, greatly increasing the capacity of Aboriginal peoples involved in ACCHOs to participate in national health policy development.

Our members provide about three million episodes of care per year for about 350,000 people. In very remote areas, our services provided about one million episodes of care in a twelve-month period.

Collectively, we employ about 6,000 staff (most of whom are Indigenous), which makes us the single largest employer of Indigenous people in the country.

The following proposals are informed by NACCHO’s work with Aboriginal health services, its members, the views of Indigenous leaders expressed through the Redfern Statement and the Close the Gap campaign and its engagement and relationship with other peak health organisations, like the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

Guiding principles

Specialised health services for Indigenous people are essential to closing the gap as it is impossible to apply the same approach that is used in health services for non-Indigenous patients.

Many Indigenous people are uncomfortable seeking medical help at hospitals or general practices and therefore are reluctant to obtain essential care. Access to healthcare is often extremely difficult due to either geographical isolation or lack of transportation.

Many Indigenous people live below the poverty line so that services provided by practices that do not bulk bill are unattainable. Mainstream services struggle to provide appropriate healthcare to Indigenous patients due to significant cultural, geographical and language disparities: ACCHOs attempt to overcome such challenges.

An ACCHO is a primary health care service initiated and operated by the local Aboriginal community to deliver holistic, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate health care to the community which controls it, through a locally elected Board of Management.

They form a critical part of the Indigenous health infrastructure, providing culturally safe care with an emphasis on the importance of a family, community, culture and long-term relationships.

Studies have shown that ACCHOs are 23% better at attracting and retaining Indigenous clients than mainstream providers and at identifying and managing risk of chronic disease.

Indigenous people are more likely to access care if it is through an ACCHO and patients are more likely to follow chronic disease plans, return for follow up appointments and share information about their health and the health of their family.

ACCHOs provide care in context, understanding the environment in which many Indigenous people live and offering true primary health care. More people are also using ACCHOs.

In the 24 months to June 2015, our services increased their primary health care services, with the total number of clients rising by 8%. ACCHOs are also more cost-effective providing greater health benefits per dollar spent; measured at a value of $1.19:$1.

The lifetime health impact of interventions delivered our services is 50% greater than if these same interventions were delivered by mainstream health services, primarily due to improved Indigenous access.

If the gap is to close, the growth and development of ACCHOs across Australia is critical and should be a central component to policy considerations.

Mainstream health services also have a significant role in closing the gap in Indigenous health, providing tertiary care, specialist services and primary care where ACCHOs do not exist.

The Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme accounts for about 13% of government expenditure on Indigenous health.

Given that other programs are responsible for 87% of expenditure on Indigenous health, it reasonable to expect that mainstream services should be held more accountable in closing the gap than they currently are.

Greater effort is required by the mainstream health sector to improve its accessibility and responsiveness to Indigenous people and their health needs, reduce the burden of disease and to better support ACCHOs with medical and technical expertise.

The health system’s response to closing the gap in life expectancy involves a combination of mainstream and Indigenous-specific primary care providers (delivered primarily through ACCHOs) and where both are operating at the highest level to optimise their engagement and involvement with Indigenous people to improve health outcomes.

ACCHO’s provide a benchmark for Indigenous health care practice to the mainstream services, and through NACCHO can provide valuable good practice learnings to drive improved practices.

NACCHO also acknowledges the social determinants of health, including housing, family support, community safety, access to good nutrition, and the key role they play in influencing the life and health outcomes of Indigenous Australians.

Elsewhere NACCHO has and will continue to call on the Australian and state and territory governments to do more in these areas as they are foundational to closing the gap in life expectancy.

Addressing the social determinants of health is also critical to reducing the number of Indigenous incarceration. Comprehensively responding to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory must be a non-negotiable priority.


The following policy proposals are divided into four areas below and summarised in the following table:

  1. Proposals that strengthen and expand ACCHOs’ capacity and reach to deliver health services for Indigenous people
  2. Proposals that improve responsiveness of mainstream health services for Indigenous people
  3. Proposals that address specific preventable diseases
  4. Proposals that build in an Indigenous position into policy considerations that impact on health.

NACCHO is committed to working with the Australian Government to further develop the proposals, including associated costings and implementation plans and identifying where current expenditure could be more appropriately targeted

Continued HERE NACCHO-Pre-budget-submisison-2018