NACCHO Press Release : Aboriginal Health and #NTRC Download : The NT Govt. must work with #ACCHO’s in true partnership on Royal Commission recommendations

NT RC

The extent of this over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people compared with all other children and young people compels a special Aboriginal led response.

The Northern Territory Government must now sit down with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to work in true partnership on the implementation of the recommendations.”

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO) have the greatest coverage across the Territory and work with Aboriginal children, young people and families everyday on child protection and youth justice system prevention and early intervention support.”

NACCHO Chief Executive Officer Ms Pat Turner

Download the Report : The Report of the Royal Commission and Board of Inquiry into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory was tabled in Parliament on 17 November 2017.

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) calls on the Northern Territory and Australian Governments to work with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations on the implementation of recommendations of the Royal Commission and Board of Inquiry into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory released today.

It is clear from the report that the current system of detention in the Northern Territory is failing our children and young people, leaving many more damaged than when they entered. The system of detention is punitive, harsh, and not in keeping with modern rehabilitative standards. We also know that the child protection system in the Northern Territory is letting down children and their families and is inextricably linked to youth justice issues.

Aboriginal children and young people living in the Northern Territory are overwhelmingly impacted with ninety four per cent of children and young people in detention being Aboriginal.

Ms Turner called on the Northern Territory Government to show national leadership in responding to the recommendations, “The Northern Territory Government has a unique opportunity to lead the rest of the nation in developing a children and family centered public health approach to youth justice and child protection, responsive to Aboriginal people needs.”

NACCHO acknowledges the young people and their families who shared their stories of trauma and survival and the Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations that supported them.

“I particularly want to acknowledge the work of Danilla Dilba, led by Ms Olga Haven, in providing evidence based submissions to the Northern Territory Government and the Royal Commission to inform their considerations,” said Ms Turner.

“Danilla Dilba has also provided immense support to families and young people to share their own stories and experiences throughout this time, as well as ongoing health and wellbeing services to Aboriginal people across the top end.”

It is now time for the Northern Territory Government to take full responsibility and lead a change by working with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations on the implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations

Background briefs

Link to briefing documents:

 

Royal Commission and Board of Inquiry into protection and detention systems of the Northern Territory has revealed systemic and shocking failures

Fundamental reform is needed to end approaches that continue to fail children, families and the community

The closure of the current Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, a new Children’s Court, implementation of an early intervention family support program and a Commission for Children and Young People are key elements of a comprehensive reform program aimed at restoring the failed detention and child protection systems in the Northern Territory.

Increasing the age of criminal responsibility to 12, closing the High Security Unit at Don Dale, improving the youth justice system including the approach to bail, only allowing children under 14 to be detained for serious offences and new models of secure detention are also proposed.

The Royal Commission and Board of Inquiry has found shocking and systemic failures occurred over many years and were known and ignored at the highest levels.

Children and young people were subjected to regular, repeated and distressing mistreatment in detention and there was a failure to follow the procedures and requirements of the law in many instances.

The detention system failed to comply with basic binding human rights standards in the treatment of children and young people and the Commission has found that children were denied basic needs, such as water, and that isolation continues to be used punitively and inconsistently with the Youth Justice Act (NT).

The child protection system has failed to provide the support needed to some children in care to assist them to avoid pathways likely to lead into the youth justice system, and the Northern Territory Government has failed to comply with the statutory requirements that all children in out of home care have timely care plans.

“The Northern Territory and Commonwealth Governments were right to commission this Inquiry and what we have found vindicates their decision,” said Commissioner Margaret White AO and Commissioner Mick Gooda.

“These things happened on our watch, in our country, to our children.

“The time for tinkering around the edges and ignoring the conclusions of the myriad of inquiries that have already been conducted must come to an end.

“Only fundamental change and decisive action will break the seemingly inevitable cycle we have found of many children in care continuing to progress into the youth justice system and detention.

“Perpetuating a failed system that hardens young people, does not reduce reoffending and fails to rehabilitate young lives and set them on a new course, is a step backwards.

“The failures we have identified have cost children and families greatly, they have not made communities safer and they are shocking.”

In detention, the Commission has found that:

  •  youth detention centres were not fit for accommodating, let alone rehabilitating, children and young people
  •  children were subject to verbal abuse, physical control and humiliation, including being denied access to basic human needs such as water, food and the use of toilets
  •  children were dared or bribed to carry out degrading and humiliating acts, or to commit acts of violence on each other
  •  youth justice officers restrained children using force to their head and neck areas, ground stabilised children by throwing them forcefully onto the ground, and applied pressure or body weight to their ‘window of safety’, being their torso area, and
  •  isolation has continued to be used inappropriately, punitively and inconsistently with the Youth Justice Act (NT) which has caused suffering to many children and young people and, very likely in some cases, lasting psychological damage.

In child protection, the Commission has found that:

  •  the Northern Territory Government has failed to comply with the statutory requirements that all children in out of home care have timely care plans
  •  there is a major shortage of available foster and kinship care placements
  •  Territory Families and its predecessors failed to provide the support needed to some children in care to assist them to avoid pathways likely to lead into the youth justice system, and
  •  the Office of the Children’s Commissioner is under-resourced to perform its full range of statutory functions in relation to the care and protection of vulnerable children in the Northern Territory.

To address the failed child protection, youth justice and detention systems, the Royal Commission and Board of Inquiry have recommended wide ranging reforms including:

1. Closing the current Don Dale Youth Detention Centre and High Security Unit.

2. Raising the age of criminal responsibility to 12 and only allowing children under 14 years to be detained for serious crimes.

3. Developing a 10 year Generational Strategy for Families and Children to address child protection and prevention of harm to children.

4. Establishing a network of Family Support Centres to provide place-based services to families across the Northern Territory.

5. A paradigm shift in youth justice to increase diversion and therapeutic approaches.

6. Developing a new model of bail and secure detention accommodation.

7. Increasing engagement with and involvement of Aboriginal Organisations in child protection, youth justice and detention

“Our recommendations are based on best practice and the proven experience of other jurisdictions that have experienced the same problems. They have taken bold steps and delivered paradigm change that has improved outcomes for children, families and communities.

“We recognise some of what we are proposing marks a profound shift from past practice in the NT. But it is necessary as what has been relied upon to date has and continues to simply fail the entire community.

“Increasing the age of criminal responsibility to 12, making greater use of diversion, ending detention for children under 14 unless there are exceptional circumstances and changing the model of secure detention are the bold but essential actions that must be taken if communities are to be safer and children protected.

“If no action is taken the financial cost to the Northern Territory will remain unsustainable in the short term, with detention costs rising from $37.3 million in 2016-17 to $113.4 million in 2026-27, according to Deloitte Access Economics.

“Conversely, changing the current approach to youth justice and detention as we recommend is estimated conservatively to deliver savings of $335.5 million by 2027.

“Human costs dwarf financial considerations and if no action is taken these will continue to escalate beyond the already unacceptable levels that are seen in the Northern Territory.

“The tragic conclusion we have drawn is that not only have the systems failed to address challenges faced by children and young people, that have in some cases made the problems worse.

“We now hope that both governments commit to a new course for child protection and detention based on our recommendations and the evidence that supports them,” said Commissioner White and Commissioner Gooda.

1. Key Detention recommendations in summary

The Northern Territory Government close the current Don Dale Youth Detention Centre and within three months report on the program for that closure.

  • Immediately close the High Security Unit at the current Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.
  • Prohibit the use of tear gas, and continue to prohibit the use of spithoods and the restraint chair.
  • Prohibit force or restraint being used for the purposes of maintaining the ‘good order’ of a youth detention centre or to ‘discipline’ a detainee.
  • Prohibit isolation for the purposes of behaviour management or punishment, and that isolation be permitted only in certain circumstances, such as to protect the safety of another person or restore order but only after all reasonable behavioural or therapeutic options have been attempted.
  • Prohibit extendable periods in isolation beyond 24 hours.
  • Investigate alternatives to strip searches, such as body scanners, pat down searches or metal detectors.
  • Retain CCTV footage for at least 12 months.
  • Introduce video and sound recording, in the form of body-worn video cameras, in youth detention centres.
  • No child under the age of 14 years be ordered to serve detention unless they have been convicted of a serious and violent crime against a person, present a serious risk to the community, and the sentence is approved by the President of the proposed Children’s Court.
  • The powers of the Commission for Children and Young People to be expanded to allow free and unfettered access to detention facilities, children and young people in detention, people who work with them and documents and records in the possession of the department.
  • Ensure that an initial health risk assessment of any young person in detention take place within 24 hours of admission.
  • Implement monthly medical checks for those in secure detention and provide specialist drug and alcohol treatment to detainees after release if needed.
  • The Commonwealth enable the payment of Medicare benefits for medical services provided to children and young people in detention in the Northern Territory, and ensure that supply of pharmaceuticals to children and young people in detention in the Northern Territory is provided under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
  • Design, develop and construct a new model of secure accommodation.
  • Ensure that the selection criteria for a youth justice officer include demonstrated experience working with vulnerable young people, that youth justice officers be required to obtain a Certificate IV in Youth Justice in the first 12 months of their employment, and they be required to participate in induction training before commencing work in youth detention centres.
  • Develop an integrated, evidence-based throughcare service to deliver adequate planning for release of young people from detention.
  • Appoint a female youth justice officer in each youth detention centre as a ‘Girl’s Officer’, who is responsible for monitoring female detainees’ access to education, training, recreation, health and facilities.
  • Ensure that staff members working in education in youth detention are appropriately qualified to conduct special education.
  • Tutors proficient in major Aboriginal languages deliver at least once a week a literacy program in Aboriginal language.
  • Transfers over long distances to or between detention centres should be conducted by air transport. If transfers occur by road, sufficient breaks (including toilet breaks) should be given and drinking water must always be available to the detainee.
  • Only transfer detainees to an adult facility with the approval of a Judge.

2: Key Child Protection recommendations in summary

The Northern Territory Government:

o commit to a public health approach to child protection and the prevention of harm to children

o establish consultation procedures with the sector, organisations and communities

o carry out prevalence, needs, service mapping and service referral studies (the studies) to gather information about the needs of children, families and subpopulations, and what services are currently available to meet those needs

o create and maintain a Services Register containing information about the services available in communities

o establish an early support research unit, which would implement a research agenda relating to risk factors, service needs and evaluated outcomes, and

o develop and implement an outcomes and evaluation framework.

Develop a 10-year Generational Strategy for Children and Families.

Establish a network of no fewer than 20 Family Support Centres, their location to be based on information gathered in the studies and specified in the Generational Strategy for Children and Families, to:

o provide services to and support families and children

o help families understand the child protection system

o act as Recognised Entities, and

o act as an entry point in a dual pathway model.

Amend legislation to enable organisations that are qualified and meet relevant criteria to participate and advise in child protection matters and be heard relation to a proceeding about a child.

Only use residential care as a therapeutic placement option for children with complex behavioural needs or disabilities, in accordance with therapeutic care criteria.

Phase out the current model of purchased home-based care over a 24 month period.

Develop a strategy to address the current backlog of overdue investigations.

Develop and implement a campaign in conjunction with Foster Carers Association NT, current carers and other relevant organisations to recognise the contribution of existing foster and kinship carers, draw attention to the current shortage of carers and encourage people in the Northern Territory, particularly in remote areas, to apply to become carers

Review the financial support provided to carers in the Northern Territory.

Work with Aboriginal organisations to implement a joint program dedicated to increasing the number of Aboriginal foster and kinship carers, using community awareness and individualised community engagement.

Ensure that quality respite care is available to foster and kinship carers.

Improve access for children and young people in out of home care to effective rehabilitation and counselling services including the prevention and treatment of substance abuse.

Ensure that all young people between aged 15 and 18 have leaving care plans in compliance with the relevant legislation.

Develop a new accommodation service model which meets the specific needs of young people leaving out of home care to live independently. The service should be responsible for finding and securing acceptable accommodation for all young people who have left care and be available to those young people until they are 25 years old.

Undertake further research in the Northern Territory to understand the characteristics and needs of children and young people who have been in both out of home care and detention.

Ensure that child protection caseworkers

o have regular face-to-face contact with any child in detention who is also under care and protection orders

o monitor the wellbeing of children in detention and ensure that their needs are being met, and

o be involved in transition planning for a child in detention from the time of their entry into detention, in consultation with detention staff, key stakeholders and the child.

Establish a Crossover Unit employing specialised case managers employing with training in supporting children in child protection and youth detention contexts, who are to provide flexible and dynamic support personalised to children in the crossover group who experience both out of home care and detention.

Establish a Commission for Children and Young People, with jurisdiction for all children and young people in the Northern Territory.

3. Key youth justice recommendations in summary

Raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 years.

Within the police, establish a specialist, highly trained Youth Division similar to New Zealand Police Youth Aid.

Expand the role of Aboriginal Community Police Officer to include the position of Youth Diversion Officer.

Ensure all police officers involved in youth diversion or youth engagement be encouraged to hold or gain specialist qualifications in youth justice and receive ongoing professional development in youth justice.

Amend the law so that a child or young person must not be interviewed by police until they have sought and obtained legal advice and assistance, or after exercising their right to silence.

Amend legislation to remove the restriction on police consideration of diversion.

Ensure that all police cells are made suitable for detaining children.

Ensure that appropriate facilities are available in Alice Springs for girls or young women who need to be held on remand.

Introduce a custody notification scheme requiring police to notify a lawyer from an appropriate legal service as soon as a child or young person is brought into custody.

Amend the bail legislation so that a child or young person is not denied bail unless:

(a) charged with a serious offence and a sentence of detention is probable if convicted

(b) they present a serious risk to public safety

(c) there is a serious risk of the youth committing a serious offence while on bail, or

(d) they have previously failed to appear without a reasonable excuse.

Provide bail support services for children and young people in Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Nhulunbuy, together with other such locations as are appropriate, which include the following features:

o accommodation services in small homelike residences, and

o bail support plans developed with a specialist youth worker, covering education, employment, recreation and sporting goals.

Establish a separate court venue in Alice Springs for proceedings under the Youth Justice Act (NT) and Care and Protection of Children Act (NT) as a matter of urgency.

Establish a Children’s Court, which is independent of the Local Court, to hear and determine matters currently within the jurisdiction of the Youth Justice Court and the Family Matters Division of the Local Court.

The new Children’s court will have a President appointed by the Executive Council and who has extra judicial powers and functions modelled on those conferred on the President of the Children’s Court in NSW.

Ensure that all legal practitioners appearing in a youth court be accredited as specialist youth justice lawyers after training in youth justice which includes child and adolescent development, trauma, adolescent mental health, cognitive and communication deficits and Aboriginal cultural competence.

 

News from #NACCHOagm2017 143 #ACCHO members vote in new NACCHO Chair and Deputy Chair

At the 2017 NACCHO Members AGM here in Canberra yesterday 143 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations operating 302 ACCHO clinics throughout Australia voted Mr John Singer from South Australia the new NACCHO Chair and Ms Donnella Mills from Cairns his new Deputy Chair.

Outgoing Chair Matthew Cooke from Queensland and his Deputy Sandy Davies from WA congratulated the new chair and deputy who in return presented both Matthew and Sandy with special gifts from the members for their  many years of service to the NACCHO board

All Photos Colin Cowell and above Geoff Bagnall

A formal media press release will be released next week but in the interim here are some background notes on both John and Donnella

John Singer Chair Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia

Photo above : John Singer has a strong interest in Aboriginal Male Health and in 2013 was the co founder of our annual NACCHO Ochre Day event

John’s family is from Ngaangtjara, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunyatjara Lands, which is the cross border area of Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

He began working in community control at the Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service where he started his health worker training, which he later completed in the late 1980s with the Nganampa Health Council.

John worked in Community Administration from 1989 to 1996 at Iwantja, Fregon, Pukatja and Papunya. In 1997, he became the Manager of Iwantja Clinic, which is one of Nganampa Health Council’s clinics.
In 2000, he was appointed Director of the Nganampa Health Council and still holds this position.

Over the years, John has participated on several Boards and Committees, including NACCHO. Was on the Board of the Aboriginal Health Council of SA Inc. (a representative since 1998 and Chairperson 2005, 2006–2009), Country Health SA, and the Anangu Remote Health Alliance (influential in establishing this group in 2005; Chairperson 2005 and 2006).

He has a good understanding of governance, community control and government structures, and is very committed to improving the health and well being of Aboriginal people.
” The Deadly Choices program’s intent is to provide a measurable difference in addressing Aboriginal health issues. 

“Aboriginal people have far higher mortality rates than the average population and die at much younger ages. Despite government intentions to ‘close the gap’, the problem isn’t getting any better,

Chronic disease and preventable health conditions are taking a toll on our communities and we need to find innovative ways to move the dial toward better health outcomes.

We hope, with support from the Port Adelaide Football Club, our Deadly Choices initiative will encourage our young people to take responsibility and stop smoking, stay active and look after their own wellbeing, and that of their families.”

Aboriginal Health Council of SA chairperson John Singer talking national partnerships (pictured above )

SEE NACCHO POST HERE

BACKGROUND : Donnella Mills Chair Wuchopperen Health Service: 

 Donnella as a LawRight lawyer presented at #NACCHOagm2017 on the current practices and highlights of the Wuchopperen Health Justice Partnership

Health Justice Partnerships

Building on Wuchopperen Health Service’s comprehensive suite of services, March 2016 saw the commencement of the Wuchopperen Health Justice Partnership through a partnership with LawRight (formerly Queensland Public Interest Law

Clearing House). LawRight is an independent community legal centre delivering services throughout Queensland.

Evidence confirms that health needs and legal needs often overlap, and legal advocacy improves social conditions which impact on people’s health — legal issues such as housing, income, decision-making frameworks and access to legal rights.

‘Virtually all legal needs (ranging from housing to domestic violence) are directly or proximally connected to health status.’ [Zuckerman, Sandel, Lawton & Morton, The Lancet 2008]. A Health

Justice Partnership provides ‘holistic legal assistance to vulnerable people in a health care setting’. [Health Justice Australia 2016,

http://www.healthjustice.org.au/what-are-health-justice-partnerships%5D.

Health Justice Partnerships are effective models of service delivery for disadvantaged communities, as evidence confirms that most vulnerable people do not or cannot access legal services directly.

Moreover, addressing legal issues in a health setting enables holistic, client-centred practices.

Since 2016, LawRight and Wuchopperen have built the capacity of each other’s staff and community to identify health harming legal needs and positively impacted over 200 patients. The Queensland

Department of Justice and Attorney-General have further invested in this model to evaluate its impact, to develop culturally appropriate resources and to collaborate effectively with

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #SaveADates : #NACCHOagm2017 Only 36 days to go : Download 12 Page Draft Program

29 September : Closing the Prison Gap Focus on the Children Tweed Heads NSW

4 October  : Nunkuwarrin Yunti of SA Inc and Aboriginal Sobriety Group Community Fun Day

4- 5 October Aboriginal Male Health Ochre Day Darwin NT

9- 10 October  : Indigenous Affairs and Public Administration Conference : Can’t we do better?

10 October  : CATSINAM Professional Development Conference Gold Coast

11-12 October 3rd Annual Ngar-wu Wanyarra Aboriginal Health Conference

18 -20 October  : 35th Annual CRANAplus Conference Broome

20 October : ‘Most influential’ health leaders to appear in key forum at major rural medicine conference

18- 20 October First 1000 Days Summit

26-27 October  :Diabetes and cardiovascular research, stroke and maternal and child health issues.

31 October –2 Nov  :NACCHO AGM Members Meeting Canberra

15 November  One Day NATSIHWA Workshop SA Forum

14- 15 November  : 6th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation.

15 -18 November  :National Conference on Incontinence Scholarship Opportunity close 1 September

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

14 December Shepparton  One Day NATSIHWA Workshop VIC Forum

11-12 April 2018  :6th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium  Canberra call for extracts

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

Colin Cowell NACCHO Media Mobile 0401 331 251

Send to NACCHO Social  Media

mailto:nacchonews@naccho.org.au

REGISTER HERE

Register and Download full 2 day program HERE

      Register /Download full 12 Page draft program HERE

NACCHO 2017 Members Conference and AGM Draft

NACCHO CONFERENCE WEBSITE

 29 Sept : Closing the Prison Gap Focus on the Children Tweed Heads NSW

  • Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson and Margaret Hayes will “Focus on the Children”, describing their work with young people excluded from mainstream schools due to their behaviour.
  • Leanne Phillips and Cathy Stillwell will talk about “Healing the Womyn Healing the Child”
  • Jyi Lawnton and Casey Bird will describe “Indigenous Policy and the Scientific Gaze”
  • Chris Lee and Associate Professor Helen Farley discuss “Making the Connection”, the use of technology to address the issues of literacy and numeracy in juvenile justice settings
  • Dr Anthea Krieg will talk about her work in Ceduna, South Australia, coordinating services to prevent incarceration of First Nations children.

More info bookings Website

30 Sept : The 2017 Human Rights Photography competition 

The 2017 Human Rights Photography competition is now open to children and adults around the country, with a $600 camera prize up for grabs for the most outstanding image!

For almost a decade, the Australian Human Rights Commission has been holding photo competitions every couple of years. Our last competition attracted a record 450 entries.

Photography is a powerful medium with a long history in the promotion and advancement of human rights around the world. Photos foster empathy for the suffering and experience of others, community engagement and positive social change. No one can forget the impact of photos such as Nick Ut’s famous photo The Terror of War of child Kim Phuc after a napalm attack during the Vietnam War.

Our focus for this year’s competition will be the experiences of people at home. The theme for the 2017 competition is Home, inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous quote “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home…

The shortlisted and winning photos to be displayed at the 2017 Human Rights Awards on 8 December in Sydney.

So, what are you waiting for?

About the competition

  • Enter at https://photocompetition.humanrights.gov.au/
  • There will be two categories for entries: Under 18 and 18 & over.
  • Overall winners will receive their prizes at the 2017 Human Rights Awards on December 8 in Sydney. A selection of photos from the Competition will also be on display.
  • Main prizes worth $600.
  • The competition will close on 30 September 2017.

If you have a query about the competition, please email photocomp@humanrights.gov.au

Photo Credit: Nimboi’s Bat by Sean Spencer, from the 2011 competition.

4 October  : Nunkuwarrin Yunti of SA Inc and Aboriginal Sobriety Group Community Fun Day 

Nunkuwarrin Yunti of SA Inc and Aboriginal Sobriety Group will be holding a Community Fun Day on Wednesday 4th October 2017, 10.30am- 2.30pm at Whitmore Square Adelaide. This will be a fun day filled with musical performances, BBQ lunch and activities such as jumping castle, mini health checks, pop up circus workshop, face painting, henna, mini golf, smoothie bike, magician, balloon art and much more

4- 5 October Aboriginal Male Health Ochre Day Darwin NT  

2017 Ochre Day Registration

Where: Darwin
When: 4th & 5th October 2017

This year NACCHO is pleased to announce the annual NACCHO Ochre Day will be held in Darwin during October 2017.

Beginning in 2013, Ochre Day is an important NACCHO Aboriginal male health initiative. Aboriginal males have arguably the worst health outcomes of any population group in Australia.

NACCHO has long recognised the importance of addressing Aboriginal male health as part of Close the Gap by 2030.

All information provided in registering for the NACCHO Ochre Day remains entirely confidential and will only be used to assist with planning i.e. catering etc.

  • There is no registration cost to attend the NACCHO Ochre Day (Day One or Two)
  • All Delegates will be provided breakfast & lunch on Day One and morning & afternoon tea as well as lunch on Day Two.
  • All Delegates are responsible for paying for and organising your own travel and accommodation.

For further information please contact Kyrn Stevens:
Phone: 08 8942 5400
Email: naccho.ochre@ddhs.org.au

Each Delegate is required to complete a separate applicatiom

REGISTER HERE 

9- 10 October Indigenous Affairs and Public Administration Conference : Can’t we do better?

This year marks 50 years since the 1967 referendum resulted in the Commonwealth gaining national responsibilities for the administration of Indigenous affairs. This is a shared responsibility with state and territory administrations.

Website

ANZSOG and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet are providing travel support and waiving conference fees for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders and public servants attending the conference from remote locations.

To enquire about your eligibility, please contact conference2017@anzsog.edu.au

In partnership, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), the University of Sydney, and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) are holding an international conference that questions the impact of the past 50 years of public administration and raise issues for the next 50 years in this important nation building area.

DPMC is seeking to build and foster a public canon of knowledge to open the history of Indigenous policy and administrative practice to greater scrutiny and discussion.

The Indigenous Affairs and Public Administration Conference will be attended by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, other Indigenous peoples, public servants from state and federal governments, and the academic community.

 The conference will feature a range of guest presenters, including Australia’s Chris Sarra, Andrea Mason and Martin Nakata, New Zealand’s Arapata Hakiwai and Geraint Martin, as well as other international speakers.

The deliberations and discussions of the conference will feed into a final report that will be used to guide Federal government policy formation at a series of roundtables in late 2017 and early 2018.

REGISTER

2017 Indigenous Affairs and Public Administration Conference

October 9-10
The Refectory, University of Sydney

October 9, 6:00pm – 9:30pm: Pre-conference dinner
October 10, 8:30am – 5:00pm: Conference

Cost:

Early bird tickets (until September 1): $150
Regular tickets: $250
Full time PhD student concession tickets: $25

Register Here

10 October CATSINAM Professional Development Conference Gold Coast

catsinam

Contact info for CATSINAM

11-12 October 3rd Annual Ngar-wu Wanyarra Aboriginal Health Conference

3rd Annual Ngar-wu Wanyarra Aboriginal Health Conference

The Ngar-wu Wanyarra Aboriginal Health conference is an opportunity for sharing information and connecting people that are committed to reforming the practice and research of Aboriginal health and celebrates Aboriginal knowledge systems and strength based approaches to improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal communities.

The conference will include evidence based approaches, Aboriginal methods and models of practice, Aboriginal perspectives and contribution to health or community led solutions, underpinned by cultural theories to Aboriginal health and wellbeing.

In 2016 the Ngar-wu Wanyarra Aboriginal Health conference attracted over 130 delegates from across the community and state.

Please register online by midday Thursday 5th October, 2017.

18 -20 October 35th Annual CRANAplus Conference Broome

We are pleased to announce the 35th Annual CRANAplus Conference will be held at Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa in Broome, Western Australia, from 18 to 20 October 2017.

THE FUTURE OF REMOTE HEALTH AND THE INFLUENCE OF TECHNOLOGY

Since the organisation’s inception in 1982 this event has served to create an opportunity for likeminded remote and isolated health individuals who can network, connect and share.

It serves as both a professional and social resource for the Remote and Isolated Health Workforce of Australia.

We aim to offer an environment that will foster new ideas, promote collegiate relationships, provide opportunities for professional development and celebrate remote health practice.

Conference Website

18- 20 October First 1000 Days Summit

 

The First 1000 Days Australia Summit is a three-day event that will bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, researchers, community members, front- line workers and policy makers involved in areas relevant to the work of First 1000 Days Australia. Lectures, panel discussions and workshops will address topics such as caring and parenting, infant and child development, family strengthening, implementation and translation, as well as a number of other areas.

The theme for the Summit is ‘Celebrating our leadership, strengthening our families’. We invite interested presenters to submit abstracts for oral presentations, workshops and posters that align with the aims, principles and research areas of First 1000 Days Australia, and of First 1,000 Days international.

20 October : ‘Most influential’ health leaders to appear in key forum at major rural medicine conference 


‘Most influential’ health leaders to appear in key forum at major rural medicine conference

RMA Presidents’ Breakfast
Friday 20 October 2017
Pullman Albert Park, Melbourne


www.ruralmedicineaustralia.com.au

Australia’s most influential health leaders will discuss critical health policy issues in a key Presidents’ Breakfast forum at the Rural Medicine Australia 2017 conference, to be held in Melbourne in October.Dr Ewen McPhee, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), will host the forum and will be joined on the panel by Associate Professor Ruth Stewart, President of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM); Dr Bastian Seidel, President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP); and Dr Tony Bartone, Vice President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

26-27 October Diabetes and cardiovascular research, stroke and maternal and child health issues.

‘Translation at the Centre’ An educational symposium

Alice Springs Convention Centre, Alice Springs

This year the Symposium will look at research translation as well as the latest on diabetes and cardiovascular research, stroke and maternal and child health issues.  The event will be run over a day and a half.
The Educational Symposium will feature a combination of relevant plenary presentations from renowned scientists and clinicians plus practical workshops.

Registration is free but essential.

Please contact the symposium coordinator on 1300 728 900 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) or via email at events@baker.edu.au  

31 October2 NovNACCHO AGM Members Meeting Canberra

We welcome you to attend the 2017 NACCHO Annual Members’ Conference.

Download the 12 page PDF Draft Program as at 26 September

NACCHO 2017 Members Conference and AGM Draft

On the new NACCHO Conference Website  you find links to

1.Registrations now open

2. Booking Your Accommodation

3. Book Your Flights

4. Expressions of Interest Speakers, case studies and table top presentations Close

5. Social Program

6.Conferences Partnership Sponsorship Opportunities

7.NACCHO Conference HELP Contacts

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.

Where :Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Dates :Members’ Conference: 31 October – 1 November 2017
Annual General Meeting: 2 November 2017

CLICK HERE

15 November  One Day NATSIHWA Workshop SA Forum

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers Association (NATSIHWA) 

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

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

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

Register HERE

14-15 November : 6th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, are proud to be co-hosting the 6th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation.

This partnership indicates an alignment of priorities and a strong commitment from our two institutions to deliver a measurable, positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples.

Under the theme “The Butterfly Effect: Translating Knowledge into Action for Positive Change”, the Symposium will be an opportunity to bring relevant expertise to the business of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research translation and put forward Indigenous perspectives that inform the most effective policies and programs. It will also be a forum to share knowledge of what successful research looks like at community level and what the key elements of success are.

We look forward to the participation of delegates with community, research and policy expertise, including outstanding keynote speakers Dr Carrie Bourassa (Canada) and Sir Mason Durie (New Zealand). We are confident that through our joint commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, the Symposium will make a significant contribution to the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, families and individuals. This commitment also signals the importance of working together as equal partners, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

More info HERE

15 -18 November :National Conference on Incontinence Scholarship Opportunity

The Continence Foundation of Australia is offering 10 scholarships to support health professionals to attend the 26th National Conference on Incontinence. The conference will be held in Sydney on 15-18 November 2017.  The conference program and registration brochure can be found here.
This scholarship program is open to registered nurses and physiotherapists with an interest in continence care working in rural and remote areas of Australia. The scholarship includes full conference registration, including clinical workshops and social events, flights and accommodation. The top applicant also has the opportunity to participate in a placement at a Sydney continence clinic. Previous unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to apply.
Applications closed Friday 1 September.
Applications are being taken online. Click here to find out more and to apply.  

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

iaha

Abstracts for the IAHA 2017 National Conference are now open!

We are calling for abstracts for concurrent oral presentations and workshops under the following streams:
– Care
– Cultures
– Connection

For abstract more information visit the IAHA Conference website at: https://iahaconference.com.au/call-for-abstracts/

14 December Shepparton  One Day NATSIHWA Workshop VIC Forum

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers Association (NATSIHWA) 

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

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

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

Register HERE

11-12 April 2018 6th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium  Canberra call for extracts

About the Symposium

Drawing upon a tradition which commenced with the first rural and remote health scientific conference ‘Infront Outback’ held in Toowoomba in 1992, the 6th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium will be held in Canberra, 11-12 April 2018.

The Symposium will celebrate 20 years since the establishment of the first university department of rural health in 1997 and will highlight the research and knowledge that followed this innovation.

Outback Infront will celebrate the leadership that has emerged from the rural and remote health research community, while at the same time, support early career academics and the next generation of rural health researchers.

The Symposium will focus on rural and remote health research that informs strategic health policy and health service challenges in rural and remote Australia.

The Symposium will provide an opportunity to share and develop research that seeks to understand and deliver innovative change through building evidence that has the potential to transform health outcomes and service delivery.

Who should attend

The Symposium program will be designed to engage academics, policy makers, expert researchers in rural and remote health and clinician-researchers, as well as emerging and early career researchers.

It will also be relevant to policy makers, university departments of rural health, rural clinical schools, research collaborations and bodies, rural workforce organisations and health services delivery networks and providers.

Program

As well as key presentations from respected researchers in rural and remote health the Symposium will also feature Rogano presentations (scholarly debate on a current research project that answer “how to” questions and encourage scholarly thinking and debate) and a return of the popular Lightning Talk presentations to support early career academics and the next generation of rural health researchers.

Abstracts are now being sought for general presentations, Lightning talks and Rogano presentations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media    

Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

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

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

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

How to submit an EOI

Please provide the following information and submit via email to

mailto:NACCHO-AGM@naccho.org.au

by COB Monday 21st August 2017.

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

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

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

SUBMIT HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The final stages were completed recently with residents moving in.

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

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

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

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

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

AHCWA Youth Series Newsletter

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

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

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

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

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

SEE NBN TV coverage HERE

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

See more pictures HERE

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

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

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

Purpose

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the carnival dates and closing dates for applications:

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

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

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

Looking forward to another great year of carnivals!

#BePositive #BeBrave #BeFocused #BeStrong #StaySmokeFree

 

APPLY HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Follow Clinton on FACEBOOK

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

NAIDOC Week 2017 Our Language Matters

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

Here are videos and photos of some of the celebrations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links to Download the APP HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow all the FDW action on Twitter: #amafdw17

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

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

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

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

Federal Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt

Download

NACCHO Ken Wyatt Press Release June 20 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download Press release Ken Wyatt Press release #NRW2017

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

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

Download Health Performance Framework  

2017-AIHW health-performance-framework-report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous NACCHO Press Release Good News :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria and Tasmania were runners-up for the Award.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NACCHO Chairperson Matthew Cooke on #IHMayDay17

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

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

Announcing #IHMayDay17 program – make sure to tune in

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

See previous NACCHO Press Release Part 2 below

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From 2 March

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

local health services or general practitioners.

Children aged 0-five

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

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

Pneumococcal disease

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

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

Hepatitis A

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

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

Influenza (flu)

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

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

Children aged 10 – 15

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

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

People aged 15+

Pneumococcal disease

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

Influenza (Flu)

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

More information:

Vaccination for the mob Data analysis

Source reference

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

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

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

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

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

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