NACCHO Aboriginal Youth Health : AMSANT calls for urgent response to Don Dale crisis and a stronger focus on Aboriginal-led programs : Incarceration is not a road to rehabilitation.

We are calling for better and more effective engagement with Aboriginal leadership in dealing with this crisis

AMSANT’s offer to partner in brokering solutions still stands and we urge Territory Families to engage with us and other Aboriginal leaders more closely.

Moving to a youth development approach within these facilities, as recommended by the Royal Commission, is not being approached with the urgency required.

More should be occurring by this stage down the track, such as the establishment of an elders visiting and mentoring program, which is an obvious gap at present

We need the government to work in partnership with us.

Ultimately, a stronger focus on Aboriginal-led programs that support children and their families in communities, so they don’t end up in detention in the first place, is where we need to be

AMSANT CEO, John Paterson

Full Press Release AMSANT-Media-release-Urgent-action-required-over-Don-Dale

 ” It has been twelve months since the Royal Commission handed down its report into the protection and detention of children in the Northern Territory.

This week’s disturbing events are further proof that locking children and young people up in places like Don Dale does not prepare them for life as a responsible adult.

Incarceration is not a road to rehabilitation.

Aboriginal children and young people represent upwards of 95% of detainees in NT youth detention facilities. In recent times Aboriginal children and young people made up 100% of detainees in Don Dale.”

Making Justice Work Press Release Download read in full

Making Justice Work

“The Royal Commission final report recommendations aligns with the path of reform that we have undertaken since coming to Government, including sweeping alcohol reforms announced yesterday.”

 217 of the recommendations relate to action by the Northern Territory Government, which have been mapped into a framework of 17 work programs.

There are another 10 recommendations which we accept the intent and direction of, however they require actions by the Commonwealth Government and other organisations.

“We need coordinated effort to make effective, meaningful and generational change to our youth justice and child protection systems. Now more than ever, we need the support of the Commonwealth Government working in collaboration with the Northern Territory Government and the Aboriginal-controlled and non-government sector.”

March 2018 Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield announced that the Territory Labor Government will accept the intent and direction of all 227 Royal Commission recommendations, delivered in its final report late last year.

Download 35 Page NACCHO PDF

Download NT Government responses to 227 NTRC recommendations

Part 1 Media Coverage background from the Guardian

Another violent incident at the Don Dale detention centre has sparked widespread criticism of the Northern Territory government for continuing to operate the maligned facility, a year after the royal commission called for its closure.

The NT government said on Wednesday it couldn’t guarantee there wouldn’t be a repeat of the previous night, after young detainees allegedly attacked a staff member, stole keys and burned down the facility’s school room.

It was the second time in three weeks that young detainees had stolen keys and caused damage, and was the latest in a long line of violence at the centre in recent years.

All 25 young people are now being held in the Darwin police watch house, and their lawyers are applying for immediate bail, saying it is an unsafe environment, the ABC reported.

Reports that the centre has been closed indefinitely were incorrect, Guardian Australia has confirmed, and it’s understood police are likely to return the unburned majority of the centre to the control of Territory Families once inspections are completed.

Part 2 AMSANT Press Release continued 

Download full Press Release HERE

AMSANT-Media-release-Urgent-action-required-over-Don-Dale

AMSANT today called for urgent change to the Northern Territory Government’s approach to youth justice reform following another serious incident at the Don Dale Detention Centre.

“AMSANT is extremely concerned about the welfare of the children and staff currently held or working in the detention facilities”, said AMSANT CEO, John Paterson.

“The fact that police were called and tear gas was used and that the children are now languishing in the Darwin Watch House indicates that what is currently being done at Don Dale is not working.

“At present there are serious questions over whether the Northern Territory Government has in place the capacity to manage the change processes required for these reforms.

“There remain significant issues around the training and numbers of staff, and an ongoing situation of children being subject to long periods of lock-down.

“It’s a pressure cooker situation that will keep resulting in serious incidents such as occurred this week .

“Of the children in detention at least half are in the child protection system and many are on remand.

“We call for urgent action for the release of young people held on remand (not yet sentenced) with non-serious offences to be returned to community and families as a matter of priority.

“Moving to a youth development approach within these facilities, as recommended by the Royal Commission, is not being approached with the urgency required.

“More should be occurring by this stage down the track, such as the establishment of an elders visiting and mentoring program, which is an obvious gap at present.

“With new facilities not due to open till 2021, this is too long to wait for the changes needed.

“AMSANT is also concerned that the government has decided to plan for only two, expensive, urban based facilities in Darwin and Alice Springs.

We have advocated for smaller, regionally based facilities that will enable the engagement of families in the development of their children.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #IDW2018 #NACCHOagm2018 Report 5 of 5 @Mayi_Kuwayu Landmark study to examine health benefits of Indigenous connection to country launched at #NACCHOagm2018

We are trying to plug gaps in data and change the mistaken narrative that being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is the cause of ill health,

It is important because past policies likely contribute to intergenerational health and wellbeing outcomes for our mob.”

“Governments and statistical agencies are very reluctant to collect and report information on that.”

Professor Ray Lovett said the main reason for the study was to highlight how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity, cultural participation and knowledge was linked to better health outcomes.

” From Thursday, 20,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be mailed a copy of the survey, and a further 180,000 will have one by the end of January.

All Indigenous people over 16 who are registered with Medicare will receive a copy, or will be eligible to fill it out online.

Known as Mayi Kuwayu (from the Ngiyampaa-Wongaibon language, meaning to follow people over time), the study will follow the respondents for up to 50 years.”

See Guardian article Part 2 below 

Mayi Kuwayu biggest ever study of health and wellbeing among Indigenous adults was launched at our National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Members’ Conference. in Brisbane last week

Among the data to be collected by researchers is the impact of historical policy decisions such as the Stolen Generations and exposure to racism, as well as how culture is linked to wellbeing.

It is spearheaded by Australian National University Associate Professor and Wongaibon man Ray Lovett and is the first of its kind.

Hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are expected to participate.

Watch Video HERE 

Professor Lovett said the main reason for the study was to highlight how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity, cultural participation and knowledge was linked to better health outcomes.

“For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people this concept is intuitive,” he said.

“We know if we maintain a connection to our country, to our languages, to strong family and kinship networks then that it is good for us, but we need the data.”

Associate Professor Lovett’s own grandmother was a member of the Stolen Generation, which has impacted on his own family.

“I’m a product of the Stolen Generations — my grandmother was taken,” he said. “This has had traumatic impacts within my own extended family.”

He said he hoped in the future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing policy focussed on connecting and reconnecting people to their country and cultural knowledge.

The study has been more than three years in the planning.

People can tell their story online at mkstudy.com.au or call 1800 531 600

Part 2 From the Guardian

The health benefits of connections to identity, culture and land for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are to be measured in a study, beginning on Thursday, that will follow them for up to 50 years.

Published HERE 

It has taken the Australian National University research team four and a half years, including two and a half years of consultation with dozens of Indigenous communities, to decide how to measure such long-held anecdotal beliefs in a statistically useful way.

“For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, this concept is intuitive,” said the study leader, Assoc Prof Ray Lovett. “We know if we maintain a connection to our country, to our languages, to strong family and kinship networks, that it is good for us, but we need the data.”

Lovett said pilot studies in Victoria and central Australia had already demonstrated that better connections to country vastly improved the mental health of its Aboriginal participants. “Those two studies are showing the same thing in two totally different areas,” he said.

The survey also seeks to measure how racism, discrimination and past policies of forced removals have affected Aboriginal people’s physical and mental health.

“It’s personal for me, that question,” Lovett said. “Growing up, my grandmother was from the stolen generations, and that legacy lasted through my mother’s generation.

“In my own family there was a constant concern I sensed as a child, that they were quite worried about being monitored, about being under surveillance.

“There’s a constant level of stress we experience, from subtle or overt racism, and that level of distress is a real thing for many Aboriginal families. The intergenerational effects are profound.

“People confuse indigeneity with ill health and poor outcomes. A big part of our study is looking at how, when people are connected to culture, they are better off, and how those things really matter and should be part of our national health policy.”

The survey was launched at the annual conference of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, the peak body representing Aboriginal health agencies.

Talking about Culture

Our team have listened to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people speaking about what culture means to them. The following quotes are from the Mayi Kuwayu focus groups held around the country in 2017.

Torres Strait

There’s three tiers that we look at in culture. Our physical connection, our emotional connection and the spiritual. That’s the number one important factor – all of our belief system and our connectivity bases on spirituality.

……………..

Every generation stands on the shoulders of the last generation. So you and me stand up on shoulders of giants. That’s why we’re here. We as Indigenous people come from the mind set of survival, not economics. We’re built on survival, which is each other.

……………..

Culture is our traditions, dance, and languages. Campfire yarns, sharing from elders, talking, family, preserving our identity so it doesn’t die out – and sharing all these things.

Ulladulla

Culture is so important. We provide the knowledge to our young ones so that they have something that they can carry on.

……………..

As a kid you weren’t allowed to go talking languages. You weren’t allowed to go doing any – you were also told that you didn’t know what you were talking about. And the best thing today is the fact that we now get the chance to teach our own culture and teach our language.

……………..

Our culture has been suppressed through Government policies. The more time goes on, the more policies that are implemented to prevent us from celebrating our own cultures.

Bunbury

The other thing that’s the main thing, is connection to country, and knowing where you come from.

……………..

If you don’t know where you come from, how do you know where you’re going?

Cowra

I can see a change now with strengthening culture. I can see that happening as more young people think about their culture. I just think language, when you speak it, it’s like a song when you’re speaking it. It’s real rhythmical, the language.

……………..

I’ve grown up with positive role models with my aunties and my uncles. I’ve grown up spiritually strong. And Mum, with what happened with her, I just think that affected her spirit. I think that’s a lot of Aboriginal people, their spirit has been affected. And our culture is spiritual. That’s the basis of our culture.

……………..

My mother, when she did the Census, she never, ever said she was Aboriginal and she definitely is. But she would never say because she thought they’d come back on her and take the kids away, you know? Just fear of something happening. And I’m sure a lot of people didn’t do the Census. That’s why we haven’t got good statistics.

Tangantyere

Culture for me is respecting our elders. They are our first teachers, they’re our guidance. They are our backbone of our family.

……………..

I always start with elders because they’re our teachers and they help us connect back into country. They teach us knowledge, history, storylines, song-lines. Laws. Caring and sharing with family. That family kinship connection that keeps us strong.

……………..

Our law is the law of our land and that’s what makes us strong.

CLC Ranger Group

Knowing where the story is and how the story is being involved in your country – is pretty strong.

……………..

When we go out on our traditional land, we do get some positive energy and it builds our strength. And drinking water from waterholes and eating tucker from out bush, all that. That’s what builds our people’s strength up.

……………..

You’ve got to start at the beginning where you’re made. Your belonging, you know. Where you’re from. Where you’re connected through not only country, but also how you fit in with family members in that area. Regrouping or grouping each other in cultural, but it starts off with ceremonies to know where you stand as a person for being involved in culture.

Cairns

When we go up on country, it’s about taking the kids through the landscape, talking to them about special significant sites and what happened and showing them the fish traps and ground ovens and all those sorts of things. So sharing that understanding is not just having a connection to your land but actually understanding their lands is really important.

……………..

You can flow between two cultures, but as soon as you’re a mob together, you just go for it. It just connects you. And it feels good, you know. And so for someone that’s not getting any of that in their life, there’s got to be an impact.

……………..

For me, that cultural wellbeing the biggest, the most ultimate thing is being able to go home at some time, in some way, shape or form. This is what we’ve actually done with our clients that nobody ever bothered to do.

And the Government wouldn’t fund it and things like that, but we found a way to do it. And the difference it’s made in those peoples’ lives is significant.

It’s just phenomenal, the difference once they’ve been able to go back to their country, sit on that dirt and be surrounded by the people they haven’t seen for many years. The biggest thing for me is that cultural wellbeing.

South Australia

Yeah, that’s our main concern. And culture and how it affects wellbeing. If we don’t have culture, we don’t always have wellbeing.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #NACCHOagm2018 Report 4 of 5 : Minister @KenWyattMP full text keynote speech launching @AIHW  report report solely focusing on the health and wellbeing of young Indigenous people aged 10–24

” Culturally-appropriate care and safety has a vast role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of our people. In this respect, I want to make special mention of the proven record of the Aboriginal Community Health Organisations in increasing the health and wellbeing of First Peoples by delivering culturally competent care.

I’m pleased to be here at this conference, which aims to make a difference with a simple but sentinel theme of investing in what works, surely a guiding principle for all that we do

Providing strong pointers for this is a new youth report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Equipped with this information, we can connect the dots – what is working well and where we need to focus our energies, invest our expertise, so our young people can reap the benefits of better health and wellbeing “

Minister Ken Wyatt launching AIHW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adolescent and Youth Health and Wellbeing 2018 report at NACCHO Conference 31 October attended by over 500 ACCHO delegates 

In Noongar language I say, kaya wangju. I acknowledge the traditional custodians on the land on which we meet and join together in acknowledging this fellowship and sharing of ideas.

I acknowledge Elders, past and present and I also want to acknowledge some individuals who have done an outstanding job in the work that you all do and I thank you for the impact that you have at the local community level: John Singer, chair of NACCHO; Pat Turner AM, CEO of NACCHO; Donnella Mills; Dr Dawn Casey; Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman; Professor Sandra Eades; Donna Ah Chee; LaVerne Bellear; Chris Bin Kali; Adrian Carson – and I’m sorry to hear that Adrian’s not with us because of a family loss – Kieran Chilcott; Raylene Foster; Rod Jackson; Vicki Holmes; John Mitchell; Scott Monaghan; Lesley Nelson; Julie Tongs; Olga Havnen.

All of you I have known over a long period of time and the work and commitment that you have made to the pathways that you have taken has been outstanding. I’d also like to acknowledge Dr Tim Howle, Prajali Dangol, and Helen Johnstone, the report authors.

I’m pleased to be here at this conference, which aims to make a difference with a simple but sentinel theme of investing in what works, surely a guiding principle for all that we do.

Providing strong pointers for this is a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

I understand this is the very first study by the Institute that focuses solely on First Nations people aged 10 to 24.

Download a copy of report aihw-ihw-198

As such, it is a critical document.

Firstly because it puts at your fingertips high quality, targeted research about our young people.

Secondly, it gives us a clear understanding of where they are doing well, but also the challenges young people still face.

And thirdly, equipped with this information, we can connect the dots – what is working well and where we need to focus our energies, invest our expertise, so our young people can reap the benefits of better health and wellbeing.

I’m always passionate about all young people having the best start in life and marshalling the human resources necessary so that this care extends right through to early adulthood, laying strong foundations for the rest of their lives.

I want to run through some of the key findings of this report and then talk about Closing the Gap Refresh in our Government’s commitment to and support for our young people. I’m pleased some real positives have been identified.

The report found a majority of the 242,000 young First Australians, or 63 per cent, assessed their health as either excellent or very good. Further, 61 per cent of young people had a connection to country and 69 per cent were involved in cultural events in the previous 12 months.

As the oldest continuous culture, we know that maintaining our connections to country and our cultural traditions is a key to our health and wellbeing. Education is another important factor in our ability to live well and reach our full potential.

In the 20 to 24 age group, the number of young people who have completed Year 12 or the equivalent has increased from 47 per cent in 2006 to 65 per cent in 2016. Smoking rates have declined and there is also an increase in the number of young people who have never taken up smoking in the first place.

Eighty-three per cent of respondents reported they had access to a GP and between 2010 and 2016, the proportion of young people aged 15 to 24 who had an Indigenous health check – that’s the MBS Item 715 – almost quadrupled from 6 per cent to 22 per cent. These are some of the encouraging results, but challenges remain.

In 2016, 42 per cent of young First Australians were not engaged in education, employment or training. Although there has been a decline in smoking rates for young people, one in three aged between 15 and 24 was still smoking daily.

Sixty-two per cent of our young people aged 10 to 24 had a longer-term health challenge such as respiratory disease, eye and vision problems, or mental health conditions. These statistics inform us, and, critically in the work we are doing, point to an evidence-based pathway forward.

I know you’ll be interested to know that the Prime Minister has now confirmed the refresh of the Closing the Gap will be considered at the next COAG meeting on 12 December.

Closing the Gap requires us to raise our sights from a focus on problems and deficits to actively supporting the full participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the social and economic life of the nation. There is a need to focus on the long term and on future generations to strengthen prevention and early intervention initiatives that help build strong families and communities.

The Government has hosted 29 national roundtables from November 2017 to August 2018 in each state and territory capital city and major regional centres. We’ve also met with a significant number of stakeholders. In total, we reached more than 1200 participants. More than 170 written submissions were also received on the public discussion paper about Refresh.

The Refresh is expected to settle on 10 to 15 targets. These targets are aimed at building our strengths and successes to support intergenerational change. Existing targets on life expectancy, Year 12 enrolment, and early childhood will continue.

Action plans will set out the concrete steps each government will take to achieve the new Closing the Gap targets, and we have to hold state and territory governments to account. The plans to be developed in the first half of 2019 will be informed by the lived experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, community leaders, service providers, and peak bodies.

Dedicated and continuous dialogue along with meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities is fundamental to ensuring the refreshed agenda and revised targets meets the expectations and aspirations of First Australians and the nation as a whole.

These actions will be backed by positive policy changes in both prevention and treatment, such as the introduction from tomorrow of the new Medicare Benefits Schedule item to fund delivery of remote kidney dialysis by nurses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and practitioners, further improving access to dialysis on country.

The COAG health ministers in Alice Springs just recently on 3 August met with Indigenous leaders and asked for their views on a range of issues, and all of the leaders in attendance had an incredible impact on each state and territory Minister.

I know that because I attended the Ministers’ dinner later in which the discussion came to the very issues that were raised by our leaders from all over the nation.

And COAG, the next morning, made the decision that Aboriginal health will be a priority on the COAG agenda for all future meetings, and that whoever the Minister for Indigenous Health is will be ex officio on the Health Ministers’ Forum to inform and to engage in a dialogue around the key issues that were identified, not only by the leadership, but by the evidence of the work that we do; and there are six national priorities now that COAG will turn its mind to, the COAG health ministers.

Over the next decade, the Australian Government has committed $10 billion to improve the health of First Australians.

This is a substantial sum of money, but we are only going to achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes if we work and walk together. We have to build mutual trust and respect in all that we do, and I include in this every state and territory system.

We have to increase cultural capability and responsibility in all health settings and services. We must support and encourage the development of local and family-based approaches for health. As I’ve said before, we need every one of our men and women to take the lead and perpetuate our proud traditions that have kept us healthy for 65,000 years.

Culturally-appropriate care and safety has a vast role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of our people. In this respect, I want to make special mention of the proven record of the Aboriginal Community Health Organisations in increasing the health and wellbeing of First Peoples by delivering culturally competent care.

And while they’re widely canvassing the importance of supporting the growth and potential of children and young adults, I would like to make special mention of the support required for our senior people as well, our Elders.

We must ensure that all older First Nations Australians who are eligible for age or disability support can access the care they deserve; either through the My Aged Care System or the National Disability Insurance Scheme. With a holistic grassroots approach of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, I believe ACCHOs should work to ensure that our older, Indigenous leaders receive assessments and support options that are available.

In August, as I indicated, I met with Indigenous leaders as part of the COAG Health Council Roundtable. Coming out of this was not only a resolution to make First Peoples health a continuing council priority, but a commitment to develop a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Medical Workforce plan. I see this as being more about Aboriginal doctors, nurses and health workers working on country and in our towns and cities. It’s also about building capacity of health professionals across the entire health system to provide culturally safe services.

I was talking with Shelly Strickland some time ago, and she asked me a couple of questions, and I said to her: watch the movie Hidden Figures.

And at the time, I know she left me thinking what the hell is he talking about and why would you recommend a movie? When you look at that movie, it was about Afro-American women who put man on the moon.

The movie is based on the work of the women who gave the scientists the solutions to putting a rocket into space, landing man on the moon, and bringing them back; it was an untold story. And there are multiple layers when you look at that movie of overt racism. They were not allowed to use the same toilets as their white counterparts, they had to run two car parks away in any condition to use a toilet.

When something went wrong, people looked at them and saw them as the fault. But what they did very superbly was take their knowledge, apply science, apply the thinking that was needed, and demonstrated mathematically that man could land on the moon.

Not one NASA, non-Indigenous or non-American Afro-American had reached that solution. Those four women – I think it was four – provided the solution, but their story was never told. And they were the true leaders of space adventure and discovery. If they had not done the thinking and the tackling of the issue, then the solution would never have been reached. There are parallels in Aboriginal health.

We think of GP super clinics – they were modelled on our AMSs, about a holistic approach. There are other elements of what you do, and what we as a people do, that health systems have taken note of. But what we have to be better at is sharing where we have leadership.

I look at the work that Donna Murray is doing with Allied Health Staff – the outcomes that she achieves, they are stunning.

The work which she puts into helping make the journey a positive journey achieves outcomes that are disproportional to the work that we do as a government in many other areas in mainstream.

And we do lead – and if you haven’t seen that movie, you have to look at it and think of the parallels that our people went through. But, I think the other most salient point is, is that it was the Afro-American women who were the backbone of the space and science discovery program of America.

And I would like to acknowledge our women as well. I think the NAIDOC theme is one of the best themes I have seen in a long time; and I’ve been around a while. And I see it in health where our women play a very pivotal role and are the backbone of the frontline services that are delivered. Men always gravitate to the top; we tend to do that.

But, I do see that the actual hands-on work is done by our women, and so I thank you for that, because the progress we’ve made is because of the way in which you, like those Afro-American women, have helped shape the destiny and future. And I think of some of the people that I’ve known over the years who would be in a similar category.

And certainly, I’ll single out one because she was a great friend and taught me a lot, was Naomi Myers, whose leadership and dedication was parallel to that of the women in that movie Hidden Figures.

While the Medical Health Workforce Plan will be positive for Aboriginal Torres Islander jobs across Australia, it has particular potential for tackling chronic disease and improving the lives of our people in remote communities.

We are all well aware of the importance of health and wellbeing of our young children. There is ample evidence that investment in child and family health supports the health and development of children in the first five years; setting strong foundations for life.

And Kerry Arabena’s work certainly epitomises that along with many others. Good health and learning behaviours set in the early years continue throughout a young person’s life. Young people are more likely to remain engaged in education and make healthy choices when they’re happy, healthy and resilient, and supported by strong families and communities that have access to services and support their needs.

Connected Beginnings program is using a collective impact placed based approach to prepare children for the transition to school so they are able to learn and thrive. The program is providing children and their families with access to cohesive and coordinated support and services in their communities.

The Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program targets mothers from early pregnancy through to the child’s second birthday, and aims to improve pregnancy outcomes by helping women engage in good preventive health practices, supporting parents to improve their child’s health and development, and helping parents develop a vision for their own child’s future; including continuing education and work. Increasingly, research is also highlighting the long term value of investing in youth.

This investment benefits young people now as they become adults, and as they then have children of their own.

So I want to focus on some of the things that we are doing that is important, the take up of MBS 175, access to MBS items.

We’re improving the Practice Incentives Program, Indigenous Health Incentive which promotes best practice and culturally safe chronic disease care. We are reducing preventable chronic disease caused by poor nutrition through the EON Thriving Community programs in remote communities.

We’re tackling smoking rates through the Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program; and encouragingly, youth had the biggest drop. And we’re prioritising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health in the first round of funding under the Million Minds Research Mission.

More broadly, for our First Australians and the wider population, we are investing in services for the one in four who experience mental illness each year.

And this also includes through Minister Hunt funding to headspace Centres, Orygen, beyondblue’s new school-based initiative BU, Digital Mental Health child, and youth mental health research and working alongside Greg has been a tremendous opportunity, because I’ve been able to get into his ear about the need for him also to consider our people in key initiatives that he launches, and he’s been a great ally.

And our work on the 10-year National Action Plan for Children’s Health continues. I want to continue setting strong foundations for making sure our people have access to culturally safe and appropriate health services.

Let me also just go quickly to the report. I had a look at the report online, and I was impressed with the way in which the writers – and FAD were in AIHW and have pulled together this one and have taken elements out of the two major better health reports.

And it was great to see our profiling, in some cases being better, in some cases being challenging. But this is a good guide for all of us to use and I commend everybody who’s been involved, and it gives me great pleasure to launch the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adolescent and Youth Health and Wellbeing 2018 report.

So, congratulations to all of those involved and congratulations to each and every one of you who have contributed to this report in the data that you provide, the work that you do but your commitment to our people. Thank you.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #NACCHOagm2018 Report 1 of 5 : NACCHO welcomes the launch by @KenWyattMP of the first @AIHW report solely focusing on the health and wellbeing of young Indigenous people aged 10–24

 ” As the oldest continuous culture on Earth, we know that maintaining our connection to country and our cultural traditions is a key to our health and wellbeing.

The report also raises some of the challenges faced by young First Australians including 42 per cent who were not engaged in education, employment or training.

Although there has been a decline in smoking rates for young First Australians, one in three people aged between 15–24 was still a daily smoker in 2014-15 and 62 per cent of those aged 10-24 had longer-term health challenges such as respiratory or vision problems or mental health conditions.

Clearly there is much work to do to strengthen prevention and early intervention initiatives that will help build strong families and communities.’

Minister Ken Wyatt Press Release See Part 3 Below : Noting we will publish the Ministers full launch speech later this week 

We thank both the Minister and the AIHW for choosing our sell out NACCHO Members’ Conference attended by over 500 members and stakeholders to launch the first AIHW report that solely focuses on the health and wellbeing of our young Indigenous people aged 10–24.

By providing insights into their health and wellbeing including areas where they are doing well and challenges they face, the report aims to contribute to better outcomes for Indigenous young people today, as they move into adulthood, and for future generations of Indigenous Australians.”

Mr John Singer, Chairperson and Donnella Mills Deputy Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation last week welcomed the launching by Minister for Indigenous Ken Wyatt at NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM , the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW’s) report Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adolescent and Youth Health and Wellbeing 2018

Introduction

  1. Young Indigenous population
  2. Wellbeing of young Indigenous people
  3. Health of young Indigenous people
  4. Social and economic determinants
  5. Health risk factors
  6. Health services
  7. How do young Indigenous people compare

Download Copy of Report 

aihw-ihw-198

 ” NACCHO Youth Health Conference – future ACCHO “ leaders of tomorrow “

 ” Last Tuesday I welcomed seventy-five young people from around Australia to our inaugural NACCHO Youth Health Conference: Future leaders of Tomorrow where they discussed their health and public policy issues affecting our youth. I was inspired by these future ACCHO “ leaders of tomorrow “ with their positive and innovative report back to the plenary session”

John Singer NACCHO Chair: Noting a full NACCHO Youth report will be published later this week 

Mr Singer observed that this snapshot-style report has been designed to provide an easy overview of the key issues, suitable for a wide audience including his 145 NACCHO members operating 302 urban, regional and remote ACCHO plus other policymakers, researchers and service providers.

Youth is a key transition period in a person’s life. It is a time when decisions are made about relationships, education and career paths, employment and finances. The social, economic, environmental and technological changes that have occurred in recent decades mean that young people now face issues that previous generations may not have experienced.

Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may face additional obstacles in making a successful transition to adulthood. The effect of inter-generational trauma, racism and prejudice, and socioeconomic disadvantage are all relevant in understanding the experiences of young Indigenous people today

The report provides data on 65 indicators. The indicators are grouped according to their focus on health and wellbeing outcomes, social determinants and risk factors or the use of health services.

The report brings together data from a variety of sources, and includes information on health outcomes, determinants and service use for Indigenous youth with data disaggregated by age group, sex, state and territory and remoteness areas.

Part 2 Key findings:

  • In 2016, there were around 242,000 Indigenous people aged 10–24 in Australia. About 1 in 20 young people in Australia was Indigenous.
  • In 2014–15, a majority of young Indigenous people aged 10–24 assessed their health as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ (63%).
  • 61% of young Indigenous people aged 10 to 24 recognised their traditional homelands or traditional country, and 69% were involved in cultural events in the previous 12 months.
  • There was an increase in the proportion of young Indigenous people aged 20–24 who had Year 12 or equivalent attainment from 47% in 2006 to 65% in 2016.
  • Young Indigenous people aged 15–24 who smoked daily declined from 45% in 2002 to 31% in 2014–15. There was also an increase in young people who never smoked from 44% in 2002 to 56% in 2014–15.
  • The mortality rate for young Indigenous people has declined, from 70 per 100,000 in 2005 to 67 per 100,000 in 2015. There were an estimated 490 avoidable deaths for young Indigenous people aged 15–24, representing 83% of Indigenous deaths for this age group.
  • In 2012–13, most young Indigenous people aged 10–24 had access to a GP in their local area (83%).
  • Between 2010 and 2016, the proportion of young people aged 15–24 who had an Indigenous health check (MBS item 715) rose from 6% to 22%.

There remains key challenges to be addressed:

  • In 2016, 42% of young Indigenous people were not engaged in education, employment or training.
  • Although there has been a decline in smoking rates for young Indigenous people, 1 in 3 Indigenous youth aged 15–24 were still daily smokers in 2014–15.
  • 62% of young Indigenous people aged 10–24 had a long-term condition, most prevalent was respiratory disease (36%) and eye and vision problems (20%) and mental health conditions (10%).
  • In 2011, the leading contributors to the disease burden for Indigenous 10 to 24-year-olds were suicide and self-inflicted injuries (13%), anxiety disorders (8%), alcohol use disorders (7%) and road traffic accidents (6%).
  • In 2015-16, the leading causes of hospitalisations for young Indigenous people aged 10–24 were injury and poisoning (37 per 1,000) and mental and behavioural disorders (20 per 1,000).

Part 3 Minister Ken Wyatt Press Release

The health and wellbeing of First Australian teenagers and young adults is the focus of a unique new report released today.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adolescent and Youth Health and Wellbeing 2018 report reveals specific, national data on 10-24 year olds for the first time.

The positive outcomes highlighted in this Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) research show where concerted and targeted efforts by First Nations families, communities, government and health care organisations are getting results.

Sixty-three per cent of First Australians aged 10–24 assessed their health as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.

The number of First Australians aged 15-24 who smoked daily declined from 45 per cent in 2002 to 31 per cent in 2014-15. There was also an increase in young people who never smoked, up from 44 per cent in 2002 to 56 per cent in 2014 15.

In 2012-13, 83 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 10-24 had access to a GP in their local area.

Between 2010 and 2016, the proportion of young people aged 15–24 who had an Indigenous health check (MBS item 715) almost quadrupled, from 6 per cent to 22 per cent.

It is also pleasing to see 61 per cent of our young people reported having a connection to country and 69 per cent were involved in cultural events in the previous 12 months.

As the oldest continuous culture on Earth, we know that maintaining our connection to country and our cultural traditions is a key to our health and wellbeing.

The report also raises some of the challenges faced by young First Australians including 42 per cent who were not engaged in education, employment or training.

Although there has been a decline in smoking rates for young First Australians, one in three people aged between15–24 was still a daily smoker in 2014-15 and 62 per cent of those aged 10-24 had longer-term health challenges such as respiratory or vision problems or mental health conditions.

Clearly there is much work to do to strengthen prevention and early intervention initiatives that will help build strong families and communities.

While the health of babies and younger children creates a crucial foundation for healthier and longer lives, data like this is vital in ensuring a good start continues into adulthood.

It will inform the Closing the Gap refresh and help us to understand what is working well and where we need to focus our energies, so all young First Australians can reap the benefits of better health and wellbeing.

Our Government has committed to spending approximately $10 billion to improve First People’s health over the next decade.

I thank the AIHW and Professor Sandra Eades, Chair of the AIHW Expert Advisory Group and the team of experts for their work on this important and timely report.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adolescent and Youth Health and Wellbeing 2018 can be found on the AIHW website.