NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Education #RightWrongs #NRW2017 #Uluru : PM announces $138 million #1967Referendum 50th Anniversary Indigenous Education Package

The Turnbull Government will invest an additional $138 million to increase opportunities and improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The 1967 Referendum 50th Anniversary Indigenous Education Package will support First Australians through their education and into employment.

Please note graphic above provided by Prime Ministers Office @ThePMO

The announcement today honours the spirit and determination of those who campaigned for the successful 1967 referendum, and will further enable the social and economic inclusion for which they fought.

 

Download full details PDF here nrw-education-package

The referendum, one of Australia’s greatest acts of reconciliation to date, enabled the Commonwealth to make laws relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and for our First Australians, who had always been here, to finally be counted in the official population.

A key component of the Education Package is a $25 million fund to leverage partnerships between governments, businesses, industry and philanthropic organisations to offer scholarships to First Australians to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The fund will support the development of a STEM academy for girls to inspire a future generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women into STEM jobs.

The Indigenous education package offers the same level of assistance to girls and boys and builds on the Government’s significant investment in Indigenous education through mentoring, scholarships and school-based academies.

A summary of the education package is available here.

NACCHO Aboriginal Youth Health : Youth programs deliver a social return of more than $4.50 to every dollar of investment

 

” The report found the programs resulted in improved health outcomes and self-esteem, greater engagement with education and training, and increased school attendance and literacy.

They also saw a decrease in anti-social and criminal behaviour, reduced drug and alcohol abuse, and fewer children sentenced to youth detention. Relationships between children and their families, the community and authorities also improved.

Well-funded and consistent youth programs deliver a social return of more than $4.50 to every dollar of investment, a report on Northern Territory services has found.”

Nous Group consulting firm, examined three youth programs in Utopia, Hermannsburg, and Yuendumu, which each had “different levels of program size, resourcing and sophistication of activities

Report by Helen Davidson The Guardian

Photo above : Children play in Utopia, where the youth programs were forecast to return $3.48 for every dollar spent. Photograph: Getty Images

Download the report HERE

The study, on the impact of youth programs in remote central Australia, found that, with enough support and effort, youth programs provided significant support to children, their families and communities, as well as the broader health, education and justice systems.

They also actively reduced rates of crime and drug and alcohol abuse among young people.

The report, presented in Canberra on Tuesday, comes amid ongoing issues with youth crime and substance abuse in the Northern Territory, and skyrocketing rates of incarceration – particularly among Indigenous youth – across the country.

The royal commission into the protection and detention of children in the NT has spent recent weeks hearing of the importance of early intervention in stopping the cycle of criminal behaviour and incarceration.

It found all three were forecast to create a positive return over the next three years, ranging from $3.48 in Utopia to $4.56 in Yuendumu.

The study said a successful youth program was “reliant on stable and skilled youth workers, regular and consistent activities and community involvement in the design and delivery of the program”.

“Creating conditions that can deliver these prerequisites in the remote environment takes resourcing, time and skilled support,” it said. “However, if time, resourcing and support is insufficient, there is a high risk that youth programs will be unable to produce the value identified in this study.”

The Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation (Wydac) – formerly known as the Mt Theo program – was found to have the biggest return.

Based on Nous’s social return on investment formula, it had a projected a social return worth $14.14m for a two-year investment of $3.01m in 2017/18 and 2019/20.

Wydac, in the community of Yuendumu, 300km north-west of Alice Springs, employs seven staff and has up to 120 young Indigenous trainees, a number of whom go on to become youth workers themselves, Wydac said.

The Hermannsburg youth program, which has run since the mid-1990s but saw increased funding from 2007/08, also saw positive outcomes and a projected return of $8.05m of social value on a funding investment of $1.95m.

In Utopia, a region home to fewer than 300 people about 250km north-east of Alice Springs, a youth program, which centred on a drop-in centre and with emphasis on sport and recreational activities, has operated consistently since

The anticipated investment of $1.02m in the Utopia program was forecast to generate about $3.56m of social value.

The findings were guided and verified by a stakeholder group that included the youth programs, regional shire councils and territory and federal government departments.

The report was commissioned by the Central Australian Youth Link Up Service (Caylus), which was set up by the federal government in 2002 to address an epidemic of petrol sniffing in remote central Australian communities. It now coordinates and supports youth programs and responds to sniffing and other substance abuse outbreaks across the region.

The organisation has consistently maintained that substance abuse issues must addressed on both the supply and demand sides, and youth programs effectively addressed demand.

“Stakeholders in remote communities across our region consistently state that youth programs are essential to give kids good things to do, keeping them busy and away from trouble,” it said in the report.

Blair McFarland, co-manager of operations at Caylus, said it had been difficult to get successive federal and governments on board with the idea that consistency in delivery is key. “No one seems to have understood the value of those youth programs – partly because [people in cities] don’t understand the context of where they’re happening,” he said.

“Communities of 300 people with no coffee shops, movie theatres, and local parks which are dusty things which you could fry eggs on in summer.”

In these places, where extreme poverty, high unemployment, and low engagement with Centrelink support are also factors, there is “literally nothing else” for young people to occupy themselves with without a youth program.

“In that context the youth programs were a little island of hope, it demonstrated to the little kids that somebody cared about them,” he said.

McFarland said there had been vast improvements over the past 15 years but there were still big gaps in resourcing – and the situation was far better in central Australia than in the Top End.

“We’re hoping governments think about that and focus on every kid having the opportunity to attend a youth program.”

The Nous Group principal, Robert Griew, said his company partnered with Caylus as part of its work supporting community organisations.

“The big takeout message [from the report] is the longer those programs are sustained and supported you get an increasing return,” he said. “This is just really fabulous news and an opportunity for the community and government to invest in working on the ground and largely employing Indigenous staff.”

Aboriginal #heart #stroke Health : $15 million #HealthBudget17 Investment in #PhysicalActivity and #healthylifestyles to #takethepressuredown

“We walk from the pier to the swimming pool, but everyone walks their own pace and distance.

Before walking, an Aboriginal health worker takes the blood pressure of the walkers to let them know how their general health is.

The group was about “more than just walking”, with general health checks and healthy food offered as part of the weekly meet-up .We have young and old, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and everyone gets on really well.”

Community liaison officer Joe Malone : Run jointly by Heart Foundation Walking and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Community Health Service Northgate QLD , the meetings help keep local residents active.

Read Full story HERE

To find a local walking group, head to the Heart Foundation Walking website or call 1300 362 787

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : ” High blood pressure is a silent killer ” new Heart Foundation guidelines

“Disturbingly, about half of Australian adults are not physically active enough to gain the health benefits of exercise. This includes just under half of young people aged 25 to 34 years old. This puts them at higher risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers and dementia in later life.

“But even moderate exercise is like a wonder drug. Being active for as little as 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can reduce risk of death from heart attack by a third, as well as help you sleep better, feel better, improve your strength and balance, and maintain your bone density. It also manages your weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol. So we are delighted by the news of the Prime Minister’s $10 million walking challenge.”

Heart Foundation National CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly see full below

 ” The Stoke Foundation is excited to announce that the Stroke Foundation is partnering with Priceline Pharmacy for the 2017 Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check campaign.

Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check will take place Wednesday 17 May – Wednesday 14 June with a target to deliver 80,000 free health checks at over 320 locations around Australia including Priceline Pharmacy stores, selected shopping centres and Queensland Know your numbers sites.

Find your nearest free health check location HERE or your Aboriginal Community Controlled Health ( ACCHO )

Heart Foundation applauds Budget funding for Healthy Heart package

At a glance

Regular walking or other physical activity reduces:

  • All-cause mortality by 30%
  • Heart disease and stroke by 35%
  • Type 2 diabetes by 42%
  • Colon cancer by 30%
  • Breast cancer by 20%
  • Weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol

The Heart Foundation welcomes a $10 million commitment in the Federal Budget to get more Australians active by investing in a walking revolution, and $5 million dedicated to helping GPs to encourage patients to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced that $10 million over two years will be allocated to the Heart Foundation to lead the Prime Minister’s Walk for Life Challenge, which will support up to 300,000 Australians to adopt the easy way to better health – regular walking – by 2019.

“Physical inactivity takes an immense toll on the Australian community, causing an estimated 14,000 premature deaths a year – similar to that caused by smoking,” said Heart Foundation National CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly.

Heart Foundation Walking is Australia’s only national network of free walking groups. It has helped more than 80,000 Australians walk their way to better health since the program began in 1995, and currently has nearly 30,000 active participants. “We need to inspire Australians to be more active, and walking groups are a cheap, fun and easy way for them to get moving,” Professor Kelly said.

The Heart Foundation wants to see everyone ‘Move More and Sit Less’, including school students, sedentary workers and older Australians. “So we welcome the Government’s National Sports Plan, also announced in the Budget, to encourage physical activity at all levels, from community participation to elite sports.

“The Heart Foundation is also pleased to see a renewed commitment of more than $18 million to the National Rheumatic Fever Strategy, a critical program if we are to Close the Gap in health for Indigenous communities,” said Professor Kelly. “And we welcome the listing of the new heart failure medication Entresto on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, making it affordable for many more Australians, as well as funding for research into preventative care, and the development of a National Sport Plan, with its emphasis on participation.”

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who experience and die from cardiovascular disease at much higher rates than other Australians. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, when compared with other Australians, are:

  • 1.3 times as likely to have cardiovascular disease (1)
  • three times more likely to have a major coronary event, such as a heart attack (2)
  • more than twice as likely to die in hospital from coronary heart disease (2)
  • 19 times as likely to die from acute rheumatic fever and chronic rheumatic heart Disease (3)
  • more likely to smoke, have high blood pressure, be obese, have diabetes and have end-stage renal disease.(3)

From Heart Foundation website

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health @KenWyattMP Press Release : Indigenous health programs boost in the Federal Budget

 ” Budget measures will improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the Government is now investing $3.6 billion over four years from 2017-18 for the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program, representing an increase of $724 million compared to expenditure over the previous four years.

“Continued growth in the Program will improve access to culturally appropriate comprehensive primary health care for Indigenous Australians, as well as address areas of critical need through targeted investments that are expected to accelerate progress in closing the gap in health disparity,”

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt pictured above from 2008 Close The Gap launch

“Many of the other mainstream budget health measures will also impact on Indigenous Health,

In particular re-introducing indexation to MBS payments will provide increased Medicare funding to eligible providers including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs). The unfreezing of indexation will be a staged approach commencing in 1 July 2017 with GP bulk-bulling incentives.”

“I am particularly pleased that 46 of the 200 preferred sites for Health Care Homes are Aboriginal Medical Services, including ACCHSs, although the final number of participating sites will not be known until agreements are reached.”

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs)

Download copy of this Release  KEN Wyatt Minister release

The Australian Government has continued its commitment to provide better health services for Indigenous Australians with a funding boost in the Federal Budget.

The Turnbull Government has continued its commitment to provide better health services for Indigenous Australians with a funding boost in the Federal Budget.

“The growth in the Program has allowed us to develop innovative targeted initiatives. For example, an additional investment of approximately $6 million for the extension of the Reducing Rheumatic Heart Fever among Indigenous Children Budget measure will expand the Rheumatic Fever Strategy to include other environmental and health care measures to prevent the incidence of Acute Rheumatic Fever, and improve data and reporting systems.

“The majority of investment in Indigenous health continues to rely on mainstream health expenditure through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), hospitals and National Partnership Payments of $53 million (2015-16 to 2019-20).”

Minister Wyatt said the Support for Community Pharmacies – Increasing Patient Access to Medication Management Services budget initiative allows pharmacists to offer services during patient home visits – or at an alternative preferred location for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients – to identify medication or compliance problems and to provide education on the correct use of medicines and monitoring devices.

“This measure also releases funding previously held in the Contingency Reserve to continue programs under the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA), including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Programs.”

Other health initiatives that will impact on better health care for Indigenous people include:

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) – Improving access
The Government is reducing the cost of medicines by $1.8 billion over five years to make medicines more affordable. Our careful management of PBS spending means that we are able to list new, effective medicines on the PBS when they become available. This includes new listing of ferrous fumerate and ferrous fumerate with folic acid on the PBS which are used to treat iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemias which are prevalent in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Maintaining Remote Area Aboriginal Health Services Pharmaceutical Dispensing
Ensures continued remuneration for pharmacists supplying PBS medicines to individuals through the Remote Area Aboriginal Health Services (RAAHS) program.

“The Federal Budget gives us cause to pause and consider the many opportunities we have to accelerate progress in this space,” Minister Wyatt said.

Delivering Improved Mental Health Services
The Turnbull Government is building on its mental health reforms by delivering another boost of more than $170 million for mental health support, treatment and research that will directly benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This includes people living in rural and remote regions of Australia will now receive significantly improved access to psychologists, under a new $9.1 million telehealth initiative set to roll-out later this year.

Fighting childhood cancer
The Government is contributing $79 million to cancer research including $10.8 million to fight childhood cancer. This includes $1.4 million for pediatric brain cancer clinical trials and $4.4 million for Cancer Australia.

CanTeen will also receive $5 million to support clinical trials in adolescents and young adults as one of the first allocations from our landmark $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

Better support for children living with diabetes
The Government will provide $54.0 million over five years from 2016 17 to provide free access to continuous glucose monitoring devices for children and young adults under 21 years of age who face extra challenges managing their type 1 diabetes. Continuous glucose monitoring devices assist in managing type 1 diabetes by automatically checking an individual’s blood sugar levels and reducing the need for finger prick tests.

The Government will simplify and reduce patient contribution arrangements from 1 July 2017 for the Insulin Pump Program (the Program), which provides subsidised access to insulin pumps for children with type 1 diabetes. This will ensure children with type 1 diabetes will have more affordable access to insulin pumps.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Budget2017 : Indigenous leaders focus on health funding in May 2017 budget

The Close the Gap campaign priorities are not new. Governments know these priorities well. Yet the health gap remains a national tragedy. Indigenous people have a life expectancy of at least 10 years less than their non-Indigenous peers.

A nation as wealthy as ours should fund the critical health care of less than 3 per cent of its entire population. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is a national priority, and we are repeatedly told it has bi-partisan support.

We need to listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and involve them in developing solutions. We need to employ Indigenous people to deliver services in their own communities.”

Patricia Turner CEO of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation pictured above at last years Redfern Statement with Dr Jackie Huggins Co-Chair of the Close the Gap Campaign

Download the Campaign’s 2017 Budget Position paper list of nine priorities

2017 CTG Campaign Federal Budget Position Paper

The Close the Gap campaign has a close eye on the Federal Government’s commitment to Indigenous health in its May 2017 budget.

The Campaign’s 2017 Budget Position paper lists nine priorities that will help close the gap in health inequality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

The Close the Gap campaign urged the Federal Government to commit to adequately funding the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 and its subsequent Implementation Plan.

“The Implementation Plan has targeted activities that require adequate resourcing,” said Dr Jackie Huggins, Co-Chair of the Close the Gap Campaign and Co-Chair for the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

Example Recommendation 4

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) are supported to provide high-quality, comprehensive and accountable services that are locally responsive to identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health needs by:

a. Providing sufficient funding to identify and fill the primary health care service gaps; and

b. Systematic assessment of health outcomes/needs, workforce capability and service capacity undertaken to inform the development of the core services model, future workforce requirements and investment and capacity building priorities

c. Ensure Primary Health Networks are directed to support and partner with ACCHS as the preferred providers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.

The ACCHS sector provides inherent advantages for closing the gap. Firstly, its service model is the provision of comprehensive primary health care.

This model of care is needed because of the higher levels and earlier age onset of illness, the much greater levels of comorbidity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – and the need to address the fundamental determinants of health if the gap is to be closed.

ACCHS were established because of the inability of mainstream services to deliver for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and have a critical role to play in closing the Gap.

The ACCHS sector is a major employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at all levels. In many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the ACCHS operates as the primary employer. These are real and essential, skilled jobs. A long-term plan for building the capabilities of ACCHS is overdue.

The Campaign calls on Government to provide greater surety of funding to enable ACCHS to enhance their capacity to undertake long-term service and workforce planning – particularly in relation to primary health care service gaps. We know that sustainable, long-term services deliver the best health outcomes.

We further propose that ACCHS be treated as preferred providers for health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people unless it can be shown that alternative arrangements can produce better outcomes in terms of quality of care and access to services. We believe the evidence shows this and we support government using an objective, informed evidence base to guide future decisions

Press Release Cont:

Ms Donna Murray, CEO of Indigenous Allied Health Australia, urged the Government to invest for the long-term by supporting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce.

“Dedicated funding for allied health, medicine, nursing, midwifery and health workers as well as for the national Indigenous organisations who are involved in workforce development will contribute significantly to improving the health and wellbeing outcomes for our people and communities.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 3 per cent of our population but less than 1 per cent of our health workforce,” Ms Murray said.

The Close the Gap campaign called on the Government to ensure that funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) recognises the estimated 45 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.

“The NDIS and the Indigenous Advancement Strategy should prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability,” said Damian Griffis, CEO of the First Peoples Disability Network.

The Close the Gap campaign remains optimistic that health equality is possible if governments commit to long-term investment and to  working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

7 BETTER WAYS TO SPEND $7 BILLION – INDIGENOUS HEALTH

The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today called on the Government to re-direct funding in the upcoming Budget from the $7 billion private health insurance (PHI) rebate to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

AHCRA is a coalition of peak health organisations working together to create a better and fairer health system for Australia’s future.

“Indigenous health is the number one health issue facing Australia. It is unacceptable that in Australia today Indigenous people have significantly poorer health and a much lower life expectancy than the non-Indigenous population,” Jennifer Doggett, ACHRA Chair, said today.

“It is also unacceptable that despite their much greater health need, Indigenous Australians receive much less benefit from the $7b PHI rebate than non-Indigenous Australians (due to their much lower levels of PHI membership).

“Re-directing funding from the PHI rebate to Indigenous health services would help address this imbalance in funding. This should be used to support a comprehensive population-wide approach that incorporates the social determinants of health and empowers people to take control of their own lives and improve their health through culturally appropriate mechanisms.

“At the centre of efforts to close the health and life expectancy gap are community- controlled health services which provide person-centred and to culturally relevant care, including both a biomedical and preventative health focus. These services, and their representative body NACCHO, require more consistent and assured long-term funding to enable effective planning and capacity development that will deliver the best possible outcomes.

“Therefore, AHCRA supports the allocation of funding from the PHI rebate to achieve the following:

Allocate secure long-term funding to progress the strategies and actions identified in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan Implementation Plan.

Provide secure, long-term funding for the Rural Health Outreach Fund and Medical Outreach Indigenous Chronic Disease Program.

Allocate sufficient and secure long-term funding to the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector to support the sector’s continued provision of Indigenous-led, culturally sensitive healthcare.

Build and support the capacity of Indigenous health leaders by committing secure long-term funding to the Indigenous National Health Leadership Forum.

 Reinstate funding for a clearinghouse modelled on the previous Closing the Gap clearinghouse, as recommended in the latest draft of the Fifth National Mental Health Plan.

“The health and well-being of Indigenous Australians should be a higher priority for funding than PHI industry subsidies. AHCRA calls on the Federal Government to re-direct funding from the $7b rebate in order to close the health and life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” Ms Doggett said.

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Dr Naomi Mayers OAM Leader in Aboriginal health receives honorary degree

The University of Sydney has conferred a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) upon Naomi Mayers OAM, for her work delivering and transforming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care

“We’ve come a long way since the Aboriginal Medical Service first opened its doors, thanks to the efforts of so many people,

Of course there remains much work to be done and I urge the younger generations to continue fighting to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes.”

Dr Naomi Mayers in 1972 one of the founders of Aboriginal Medical Service in Redferna , a founding member of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW and the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation (now NACCHO )

“Australia owes a debt of gratitude to Dr Mayers, for her impressive contribution towards improving health care policy, system delivery and access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

She dedicated her working life to achieving health equity, and the empowerment of her community, in Redfern and beyond.”

Congratulating Dr Mayers, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) Professor Shane Houston said her work had made a tangible difference to countless people.

An advocate, leader and reformer, Dr Mayers has been at the forefront of change in health service provision to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities at local, state and national levels for over 40 years.

One of the founders of the first Aboriginal community-controlled health service in Australia in early 1972, the Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern, Dr Mayers worked as its Administrator, Company Secretary and finally Chief Executive Officer until her recent retirement.

Over 40 years, she guided its transformation from a small shop-front into a nationwide network of services.

Dr Naomi Mayers at the University of Sydney.

A Yorta Yorta/Wiradjuri woman, Dr Mayers was also a founding member of The Sapphires, the all-Aboriginal music group from country Victoria that formed the basis of the popular 2012 film of the same name.

Laurel Robinson, Beverly Briggs, Naomi Mayers and Lois Peeler are the women behind The Sapphires

Presented with the honour during a graduation ceremony at the University’s Great Hall, Dr Mayers acknowledged the importance of collaboration and persistence in achieving change.

At the age of 18, Dr Mayers began her work in health as a nurse, at the Royal Women’s Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, the Home Hill Hospital in Queensland and St Andrews Hospital in East Melbourne. She was also a board member of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

She was a founding member of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW and the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation (NAIHO, now the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation); founding president of the Federation for Aboriginal Women; and a member of the first Australian and Torres Strait Islander Commission Regional Council (Metropolitan Sydney).

Dr Naomi Mayers.

She was a witness during the inquiries of the 1977 House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal Health, and in 1981 she was appointed as a consultant by the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists.

Dr Mayers was also Chair of the National Aboriginal Health Strategy Working Party, which authored a pivotal report that introduced innovative Aboriginal health sector reforms which helped shape the 150 Aboriginal Medical Services across Australia today.

She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 1984 in recognition of her services to the community and holds a doctorate in Aboriginal Affairs from Tranby Aboriginal College in Sydney.

NACCHO Aboriginal Youth and Mental Health : Download Report from @MissionAust and @blackdoginst

 ” It is critical that responses to support a young person’s mental health be culturally sensitive and gender sensitive and that they address the structural issues that contribute to higher levels of psychological distress for young females and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

For example, we know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to be adversely affected by racism, disconnection from culture, and the long history of dispossession. All of these factors contribute to poor mental health, substance misuse and higher suicide rates.

As a matter of priority, suicide prevention programs that are tailored to the needs of the whole community and focussed on prevention should be available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. All programs should be offered in close proximity to community and should be age appropriate as well as culturally sensitive.”

Download a copy of the Five-Year Youth Mental Health Report

 youth-mental-health-report

NACCHO Background References (1-4)

Ref 1:  Read / research the 250 NACCHO Articles

about Aboriginal Mental Health published in past 5 years

about suicide prevention in the past 5 years

Ref 2 :Download the Draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan at the link below:

 “The release of the Draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan is another important opportunity to support reform, and it’s now up to the mental health sector including consumers and carers, to help develop a plan that will benefit all.”

A successful plan should help overcome the lack of coordination and the fragmentation between layers of government that have held back our efforts to date.”

NACCHO and Mental Health Australia CEO Frank Quinlan have welcomed the release of the Draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan and is encouraging all ACCHO stakeholders to engage with the plan during the upcoming consultation period.

Download the Draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan at the link below:

PDF Copy fifth-national-mental-health-plan

You can download a copy of the draft plan;or see extracts below

Fifth National Mental Health Plan – PDF 646 KB
Fifth National Mental Health Plan – Word 537 KB

Ref 3: NACCHO Chairperson, Matthew Cooke see previous press Release

“Clearly Australia’s mental health system is failing Aboriginal people, with Aboriginal communities devastated by high rates of suicide and poorer mental health outcomes. 

Poor mental health in Aboriginal communities often stems from historic dispossession, racism and a poor sense of connection to self and community. It is compounded by people’s lack of access to meaningful and ongoing education and employment. Drug and alcohol related conditions are also commonly identified in persons with poor mental health.

While there was no quick fix for the crisis, an integrated strategy led by Aboriginal community controlled health services is a good starting point.

The National Mental Health Commission Review recommended the establishment of mental health and social and emotional wellbeing teams in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, linked to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specialist mental health services.

None of these can be fixed overnight but we can’t ignore the problems. We are on the brink of losing another generation of Aboriginal people to suicide, poor health and substance abuse.”

What we do know is the solution must be driven by Aboriginal leaders and communities – a model that is reaping great rewards in the Aboriginal Community Controlled health sector.

It must be a community based approach, backed up by governments of all levels.”

NACCHO Chairperson, Matthew Cooke

Ref 4 : Extra info provided by Tom Calma

Prof Pat Dudgeon and Tom Calma chair the ATSI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group to the Commonwealth and Pat Chairs NATSIMHL, the group who created the Gayaa Dhuwi.

Bottom line is that the community should feel confident that all the major initiatives in mental health and suicide prevention are being lead by our people and more can be found at http://natsilmh.org.au

and http://www.psychology.org.au/reconciliation/whats_new/

and http://www.atsispep.sis.uwa.edu.au

Action urgently needed to stem rising youth mental illness

Last week Mission Australia released its joint Five-Year Youth Mental Health Report with Black Dog Institute, sharing the insights gathered about the mental health of Australia’s young people during the years 2012 to 2016.

Learning what young people think is so important to the work we do at Mission Australia. By checking in with them we discover their thoughts about their lives and their futures, and what concerns them most.

The Five Year Mental Health Youth Report presents the findings of the past five years on the rates of psychological distress experienced by young Australians, aged 15-19.

  • Almost one in four young people met the criteria for having a probable serious mental illness – a significant increase over the past five years (rising from 18.7% in 2012 to 22.8% in 2016).
  • Across the five years, females were twice as likely as males to meet the criteria for having a probable serious mental illness. The increase has been much more marked among females (from 22.5% in 2012 to 28.6% in 2016, compared to a rise from 12.7% to 14.1% for males).
  • Young people with a probable serious mental illness reported they would go to friends, parents and the internet as their top three sources of help. This is compared to friends, parents and relatives/family friends for those without a probable serious mental illness.
  • In 2016, over three in ten (31.6%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents met the criteria for probable serious mental illness, compared to 22.2% for non-Indigenous youth.

In light of these findings, Catherine Yeomans, Mission Australia’s CEO said: “Adolescence comes with its own set of challenges for young people. But we are talking about an alarming number of young people facing serious mental illness; often in silence and without accessing the help they need.

The effects of mental illness at such a young age can be debilitating and incredibly harmful to an individual’s quality of life, academic achievement, and social participation both in the short term and long term.

Ms Yeomans said she was concerned that the mental health of the younger generation may continue to deteriorate without extra support and resources, including investment in more universal, evidence-based mental health programs in schools and greater community acceptance.

Given these concerning findings, I urge governments to consider how they can make a major investment in supporting youth mental health to reduce these alarming figures, Ms Yeomans said.

“We need to ensure young people have the resources they need to manage mental health difficulties, whether it is for themselves or for their peers. Parents, schools and community all play a vital role and we must fully equip them with the knowledge and skills to provide effective support to young people.”

The top issues of concern for those with a probable serious mental illness were: coping with stress; school and study problems; and depression. There was also a notably high level of concern about other issues including family conflict, suicide and bullying/emotional abuse.

The report’s finding that young people with mental illness are turning to the internet as a source of help with important issues also points to prevailing stigma, according to Black Dog Institute Director, Professor Helen Christensen.

“This report shows that young people who need help are seeking it reluctantly, with a fear of being judged continuing to inhibit help-seeking,” said Professor Christensen.

“Yet evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs are vital in reducing the risk of an adolescent developing a serious and debilitating mental illness in their lifetime. We need to take urgent action to turn this rising tide of mental illness.

“We know that young people are turning to the internet for answers and our research at Black Dog Institute clearly indicates that self-guided, online psychological therapy can be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

“While technology can be a lifeline, e-mental health interventions must be evidence-based and tailored to support young people’s individual needs. More investment is needed to drive a proactive and united approach to delivering new mental health programs which resonate with young people, and to better integrate these initiatives across schools and the health system to help young people on a path to a mentally healthier future.”

Armed with this information we are able to advocate on their behalf for the support services they need, and for the broader policy changes.

Download the NACCHO Mental Health Help APP to find your nearest ACCHO

 The Five-Year Youth Mental Health Report shows some alarming results with almost one in four young people meeting the criteria for a probable serious mental illness (PSMI). That figure has gone up from 18.7 per cent in 2012 to 22.8 per cent in 2016.

Girls were twice as likely as boys to meet the criteria for having a PSMI, and this figure rose from 22.5% in 2012 to 28.6% in 2016, compared to a rise from 12.7% to 14.1% for boys.

An even higher number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents met the criteria for having a probable serious mental illness (PSMI ) at 31%.

These results make it clear that mental illness is one of the most pressing issues in our communities, especially for young people, and one that has to be tackled by the governments, health services, schools and families.

Three quarters of all lifetime mental health disorders emerge by the age of 24, but access to mental health services for this age group is among the poorest, with the biggest barriers being community awareness, access and acceptability of services.

What we need is greater investment in mental health services that are tailored to the concerns and help seeking strategies of young people and are part of a holistic wrap around approach to their diverse needs.

For young women, we know that a large proportion (64%) were extremely or very concerned about body image compared to a far smaller number of males (34.8%).

Such a finding suggests that social pressures such as discrimination based on ideals of appearance may need to be addressed to tackle this gender disparity in the levels of probable serious mental illness among girls.

And although girls are more likely to be affected negatively by body image issues, they are more likely to seek help when they need it than boys.

Clearly then, and for a variety of reasons, an awareness of gendered differences is a crucial component in the management of mental health issues.

We need to ensure that all young people, whether they live in urban areas or regional, have the resources they need to manage mental health difficulties, whether it is for themselves or for their peers. Parents, schools and community all play a vital role and we must fully equip them with the evidence-based knowledge and skills to provide effective support to young people.

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : NT Government invests in safer and healthier families / communities: cuts grog to problem drinkers

Budget 2017 is delivering on the Territory Labor Government’s election commitments, investing $33 million in our communities and tackling the causes of domestic, family and sexual violence to ensure that Territorians feel safe

“The Northern Territory has the highest rates of domestic and family violence in Australia, and that comes at an enormous social and economic cost.

Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield (see article 1 below )

 ” The BDR supported police in stopping alcohol related crime and antisocial behaviour and its return will make a difference. Police previously described it as one of the best tools for combating antisocial behaviour.

“We know that 60% of domestic violence incidents are alcohol related – this is simply unacceptable and cutting grog to problem drinkers will help address this blight.”

Chief Minister Michael Gunner today said returning the Banned Drinker Register (BDR) on September 1 is the number one thing the Territory Labor Government can do to tackle antisocial behaviour and crime – including the devastating rates of domestic violence.         (see article 2 below )

 ” The Territory Labor Government says the new Banned Drinkers Register will help ease pressures on frontline health workers by reducing the supply of alcohol to those who cause so much harm.

We’ve listened to concerns from medical professionals and community that critical resources are being diverted to deal with alcohol related harm and violence.

While every Territorian is entitled to have a drink and enjoy that responsibly, we know too many people are drinking at dangerous levels, harming themselves, their families and their communities.”

The Minister for Health Natasha Fyles ( See Article 3 below )

Article 1

More than $33 million will be invested in frontline services, infrastructure and strategies to support the prevention of domestic and family violence that will help keep Territorians safe.

Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield said Budget 2017 acknowledges the cost and serious impact that domestic and family violence has on our society, and today’s announcement will improve services and facilities for Territorians.

“Budget 2017 is delivering on the Territory Labor Government’s election commitments, investing in our communities and tackling the causes of domestic, family and sexual violence to ensure that Territorians feel safe,” Ms Wakefield said.

“The Northern Territory has the highest rates of domestic and family violence in Australia, and that comes at an enormous social and economic cost.

“This budget will address both infrastructure and policy issues to ensure we have the necessary foundations to firstly reduce the rates of domestic and family violence, but also to provide victims essential support.”

This includes:

  • $6.2 million to continue current domestic violence services in the Territory, left unfunded by the CLP government
  • $3 million to refurbish Alice Springs Domestic Violence Court to improve the safety, experience and outcomes for people affected by domestic and family violence
  • $6 million for the replacement of the Alice Springs Women’s Shelter, so that women can establish independence and recover from trauma
  • $1 million to establish a remote women’s safe house in Galiwinku.

The Territory Labor Government is restoring trust in Government, creating jobs, investing in children and building safer, fairer and stronger communities – right across the Territory.

The Minister also reaffirmed additional investments being made right now into domestic and family violence programs that allow for community led solutions, including:

  • $700,000 over two years to expand the “NO MORE” violence prevention campaign
  • $350,000 to Charles Darwin University and Menzies School of Research to review key domestic and family violence reduction programs in the NT, particularly their impact and effectiveness in remote communities
  • $150,000 to NTCOSS to build the capacity of the domestic and family violence sector
  • $80,000 to improving services provided by the Gove Crisis Accommodation service
  • $30,000 to NPY Women’s Council towards a sexual violence research project.

Minister Wakefield said Budget 2017 is investing in the Territory’s future through jobs, children and community.

“We are going through a challenging economic period – everyone knows this and we have been very upfront about it,” Ms Wakefield said.

“This budget will create and support jobs, deliver on our election commitments and be a fair plan for our future

Article 2 : A BETTER BDR TACKLING SECONDARY SUPPLY AND CUTTING RED TAPE

Chief Minister Michael Gunner today said returning the Banned Drinker Register (BDR) on September 1 is the number one thing the Territory Labor Government can do to tackle antisocial behaviour and crime – including the devastating rates of domestic violence.

Mr Gunner today announced that the new BDR would address weaknesses in the old version by better addressing the problem of secondary supply and cutting red tape.

“We have listened to Police, the community and local businesses and taken action – we will introduce tougher punishment for secondary suppliers to banned drinkers,” Mr Gunner said.

“It will now be a criminal offence to intentionally supply alcohol to a person known to be on the BDR. Once charged with this offence police have the power to place the secondary supplier on the BDR. The offence can also carry significant fines.

“Another improvement cutting red tape is that once given a Banned Drinker Order, a person will go straight onto the BDR and will not require a tribunal hearing or appearance.

“Importantly, Banned Drinker Orders issued by Police will be automatically processed through the Integrated Justice Information System to immediately place problem drinkers on the BDR. This will happen within 48 hours which will help both Police and victims in urgent domestic and family violence situations.”

Mr Gunner said the Territory Labor Government introduced the BDR in July 2011 and the chaotic CLP Government scrapped it in 2012 for political reasons.

“Territorians hated that the chaotic CLP Government scrapped the BDR and they want it returned because it worked – we have listened and taken action,” he said.

“The BDR supported police in stopping alcohol related crime and antisocial behaviour and its return will make a difference. Police previously described it as one of the best tools for combating antisocial behaviour.

“We know that 60% of domestic violence incidents are alcohol related – this is simply unacceptable and cutting grog to problem drinkers will help address this blight.”

Mr Gunner said alcohol related crime and antisocial behaviour in our city centres is an issue facing many businesses and is hindering efforts to revitalise these areas.

“We want to make our city centres a vibrant place and the BDR will combat antisocial behaviour, in turn encouraging tourists and locals back into these areas,” he said.

“Undoing the CLP’s failed replacement scheme and bringing back the BDR is a significant piece of work and new legislation will be introduced into Parliament in May we are working as fast as we can because we know this will make a difference.”

Mr Gunner said Government is taking action on the causes of crime because every Territorian has the right for them and their homes and business to be safe.

He said measures including the recent $18.2 million overhaul of the broken youth justice system (which includes 52 Youth Diversion Workers, more funding for boot camps, supporting the enforcement of bail conditions and victims conferencing), greater powers for police (including electronic monitoring bracelets), more police officers and better training for staff in youth justice facilities showed his Government was taking crime very seriously.

Article 3 FRONTLINE HEALTH WORKERS TO BENEFIT FROM BDR (NT)

The Territory Labor Government says the new Banned Drinkers Register will help ease pressures on frontline health workers by reducing the supply of alcohol to those who cause so much harm.

The Minister for Health Natasha Fyles said Territorians have the right to access the high quality services our hospitals offer.

“We’ve listened to concerns from medical professionals and community that critical resources are being diverted to deal with alcohol related harm and violence,” Ms Fyles said.

“We’re empowering Territorians by creating more pathways to the BDR.

“The new BDR unveiled this week will have new provisions allowing medical officers, families and carers to refer problem drinkers to the BDR and to the rehabilitation they need.

“While every Territorian is entitled to have a drink and enjoy that responsibly, we know too many people are drinking at dangerous levels, harming themselves, their families and their communities.

“Our paramedics and hospital staff are dealing with the highest rates of alcohol related harm and injury at rates not seen in any other jurisdiction across the country

“The Territory continues to have the highest rates of alcohol related injury and disease in the nation – the number of deaths related to alcohol in the NT is three times the national average.

“Alcohol related harm costs the Territory more than $642 million a year and that is continuing to grow.

“The BDR was scrapped by the chaotic former CLP government in 2012 – delivering a sharp spike in alcohol related harm over the two most violent years on record.

“Department records show alcohol related Emergency Department presentations peaked at over 3000 across the Territory in 2013.

“We made an election promise to Territorians that we would bring back the BDR and we are delivering on that promise

“Seventy per cent of alcohol sold in the Territory is takeaway, so we know cutting supply to problem drinkers is a key way to curb alcohol fuelled violence and crime.

From September 1 the BDR will be reinstated, with Territorians and tourists having to show ID to purchase takeaway alcohol.

Those identified as being on the BDR won’t be able to buy takeaway alcohol.

More than a thousand people will be automatically included on the BDR from day one.

That figure is expected to grow to around 2500 by Christmas.

The legislation will be introduced to parliament next month.

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : From #WCPH2017 an international spotlight on #Indigenous public health equity

” The Indigenous Working Group will provide an opportunity to bring to the global public health and civil society arena a visible and prominent Indigenous voice that privileges an Indigenous world view and narrative.

We intend to creates a platform for change with the aim to address the health inequities experience by Indigenous peoples worldwide.”

From the 15th World Congress of Public Health Melbourne 

Full 4 Page WCPH2017 Demand for Action Download

WCPH2017-Melbourne-Demand-for-Action

See full report article 2 below

WCPH2017 Indigenous Press Release Working Group

 “I want to see Indigenous people not just at the table but at the head of the table, leading. I don’t want to continue to see the token black. I want our mob designing, implementing and evaluating our business.

No one should be speaking on our behalf. I expect to see Indigenous people’s voices preferenced and prioritised.

We shouldn’t just be consulted on issues affecting us. We should be making the decisions ourselves

And I am proud to announce, on the 50th anniversary of the World Federation of Public Health Associations, that the World Federation of Public Health Associations has endorsed the Indigenous Working Group

Nothing about us without being led by us

Video Former NACCHO Policy officer Summer May Finlay announcing the Indigenous Working group on the last day of #WCPHH2017 , Summer is Yorta Yorta. Social Justice. Public Health. Croakey Contributor. Writer. PhD Candidate

Read her full speech here on Croakey OR

Watch Video Here or Live Below

 

 ” I’ve written here and here  that mainstream health promotion has largely failed Indigenous people and communities.

My aim is not to blame health promotion for poor Indigenous health outcomes, or to blame the many dedicated health promoters working to improve Indigenous health. I acknowledge there are cases where health promotion has positively impacted the health of Indigenous people.

However, the majority of mainstream health promotion has shown little impact upon the burden of disease in Indigenous communities, and generally not enabled Indigenous Australians to take control of their lives.

In Australia, colonisation began with British imperialism to establish British control over land, involving many inhumane strategies that continue to profoundly impact Indigenous health  and cause disadvantage.

Australia’s health system, including health promotion practice and policy, is heavily implicated in these damaging colonising practices, as many have written about .

Consider that while Indigenous Australians were experiencing their first access to appropriate health care through the Aboriginal community controlled health service (ACCHS) movement, the first International Conference on Health Promotion was held in Ottawa in 1986.

At the conference, there were only two people present as ‘Indigenous representation’: an Indigenous consultant from the First Nations Confederacy in Manitoba, Canada; and a participant from Research and Development in Health and Welfare Canada who referenced Indigeneity in their professional background.

This representation, and the conference focus on wealthy countries, is a substantial shift away from the globally inclusive agenda promoted by the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, yet remains largely unacknowledged within the health promotion literature.

Dr Karen McPhail-Bell is a non-Indigenous early career academic and public health professional at the University Centre for Rural Health.

Her interest lies in the operation of power in relation to people’s health, and in strengths-based and reciprocal processes to support of community-controlled and Indigenous-led agendas.

Read her Croakey article in Full HERE

 ” While the Indigenous cultures in the four countries are different in some obvious and critical ways, they also share key commonalities in their colonial heritages and challenges in addressing development needs. 

 Through collaboration and sharing of new thinking and innovative processes Indigenous peoples can address their contemporary needs and aspirations. ”

Michelle Deshong is a global leader in governance. She’s completeing a PhD at James Cook University in Townsville and draws her connection to the Kuku Yulanji Nation.

The World Federation of Public Health Associations has formed its first Indigenous Working Group on its 50th Anniversary.

At the 15th World Congress of Public Health Melbourne conference, 40 Indigenous and non- Indigenous conference delegates of the yarning circle unanimously supported in principle the establishment of the World Federation of Public Health Associations Indigenous Working Group.

The Public Health Association of Australia, on Tuesday 4th April 2017, hosted a yarning circle to talk about establishing an Indigenous Working Group.

The yarning circle was led by Adrian Te Patu, the inaugural Indigenous representative on the World Federation of Public Health Association (WFPHA) Governing Council.

The Yarning Circle was hosted by the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation ( VACCHO )

Once supported by the delegates, the formation of the Indigenous Working Group was accepted by acclimation by the world assembly of Public Health Associations.

Under Mr. Te Patu’s leadership, the next steps are to formalise the Indigenous Working Group and develop its vision.

The WFPHA’s function and mandate includes its link into the global health governance mechanisms such as the World Health Organisation.

Contacts

New Zealand :  Adrian Te Patu Email: adriantepatu@gmail.com

Australia  : Summer May Finlay Email: summermayfinlay@gmail.com

Article 2 Health in all policies

At the recently concluded 15th World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne, the partner organisations, together with delegates from over 83 countries articulated their concerns for the public’s health and demanded that world leaders make the public’s health a priority.

They outlined a future vision for a healthier world based on Protection, Prevention and Health Promotion as set out in the World Federation of Public Health Associations’ paper ‘A Global Charter for the Public’s Health’ http://bit.ly/2odN1MO and the UN Sustainable Development Goals http://bit.ly/2d4dcA4 .

The Congress called on governments to enable public health professionals and their organisations to carry out their work to develop further public health functions and quality health systems as global public resources.

They also called on governments to hold all sectors accountable for the health impacts of their policies and actions, consistent with the intent of the social determinants of health and their responsibilities to strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

You can access the WFPHA Call for action here:

https://t.co/MunOH2KT3N or

read the Congress statement as an online book: http://online.fliphtml5.com/eeyoy/adza/

Aboriginal Health #WCPH2017 #WorldActivityDay : Snapshot report physical activity programs for Aboriginal people in Australia

 

” This is important as sharing information about program practice is an important part of effective health promotion and can serve to guide future initiatives.

The Ottawa Charter outlines a settings based approach to effective health promotion. We found most programs were delivered in community, followed by school, settings. Both have proven efficacy in achieving health outcomes.

They are likely be particularly effective settings for reaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people given the importance of holistic health promotion and whole-of-community approaches

Capturing current practice can inform future efforts to increase the impact of physical activity programs to improve health and social indicators.

Targeted, culturally relevant programs are essential to reduce levels of disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Rona Macniven, Michelle Elwell, Kathy Ride, Adrian Bauman and Justin Richards Prevention Research Collaboration, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, & Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

Picture above : Redfern All Blacks recently won the Women’s Division Ella Sevens Rugby Union tournament in Coffs Harbour beating the Highlanders 36-7

Download

 A snapshot of physical activity programs targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia

 

Picture above :The Knight Riders beat the Shindogs 28-21 in the Men’s Final Ella Sevens Rugby Union tournament in Coffs Harbour

Issue addressed

Participation in physical activity programs can be an effective strategy to reduce chronic disease risk factors and improve broader social outcomes. Health and social outcomes are worse among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders than non-Indigenous Australians, who represent an important group for culturally specific programs.

The extent of current practice in physical activity programs is largely unknown. This study identifies such programs targeting this population group and describes their characteristics.

Aboriginal Health

Almost a third of programs aimed to promote physical activity to achieve broader social benefits such as educational and employment outcomes and reduced rates of crime. Health and sport programs are worthy crime prevention approaches.

There are also recognised relationships between physical activity and fitness level and academic achievement as well as social and mental health benefits specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

However, a cautious approach to alluding to wider social benefits directly arising from individual programs should be taken in the absence of empirical evidence, as well as the direct effects of standalone programs on health.

Yet the documentation of existing program evaluation measures in this snapshot represents a vital first step in reviewing programs collectively and some have demonstrated encouraging evidence of positive educational and employment outcomes.

There is also some evidence of social benefits, such as community cohesion and cultural identity; derived from sport programs in this snapshot, which are important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Such programs might therefore contribute to corresponding ‘Closing the Gap’ policy indicators and should be resourced accordingly.

Methods

Bibliographic and Internet searches and snowball sampling identified eligible programs operating between 2012 and 2015 in Australia (phase 1). Program coordinators were contacted to verify sourced information (phase 2). Descriptive characteristics were documented for each program.

Results

A total of 110 programs were identified across urban, rural and remote locations within all states and territories. Only 11 programs were located through bibliographic sources; the remainder through Internet searches.

The programs aimed to influence physical activity for health or broader social outcomes. Sixty five took place in community settings and most involved multiple sectors such as sport, health and education.

Almost all were free for participants and involved Indigenous stakeholders. The majority received Government funding and had commenced within the last decade. More than 20 programs reached over 1000 people each; 14 reached 0–100 participants. Most included process or impact evaluation indicators, typically reflecting their aims.

Conclusion

This snapshot provides a comprehensive description of current physical activity program provision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia. The majority of programs were only identified through the grey literature. Many programs collect evaluation data, yet this is underrepresented in academic literature.

 The Famous AFL “Fitzroy All Stars from Melbourne