NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #ChronicDisease #Prevention News : @ACDPAlliance Health groups welcome action on added sugars labelling and further consider 10 recommendations to improve the Health Star Rating system

 

“Industry spends vast amounts of money advertising unhealthy foods, so it is essential that nutrition information is readily available to help people understand what they are eating and drinking.

Two in three Australian adults are overweight or obese and unhealthy foods, including those high in added sugars, contribute greatly to excess energy intake and unhealthy weight gain”

Chair of the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance Sharon McGowan said food labelling is an important part of understanding more about the products we consume every day

Read previous 70 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Nutrition Healthy foods articles

The five year review of the HSR system (the Review) has now been completed. See Part 2 Below

Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System – PDF 3211 KB

The Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance welcomes the recent decisions to improve food labelling and provide clear and simple health information on food and drinks.

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation announced yesterday it would progress added sugars labelling and further consider 10 recommendations to improve the Health Star Rating system.

Decisions were also made to provide a nationally consistent approach to energy labelling on fast food menu boards and consider the contribution of alcohol to daily energy intake.

Current Health Star Rating system.

Ms McGowan said overweight and obesity is a key risk factor for many chronic diseases.

“We welcome improvements to existing labelling systems to increase consumer understanding and provide an incentive for industry to create healthier products.”

The Ministerial Forum also released the independent review of the Health Star Rating system with 10 recommendations for strengthening the system, including changes to how the ratings are calculated, and setting targets and timeframes for industry uptake.

The Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance has been advocating to improve the Health Star Rating system for years. While the Alliance supports stronger changes to the ratings calculator, Ms McGowan said it was promising to see recommendations enhancing consistency of labels and proposing a mandatory response if voluntary targets are not met.

“Under the current voluntary system, only around 30 percent of eligible products display the health star rating on the label and some manufacturers are applying ratings to the highest scoring products only,” Ms McGowan said.

SMH Editorial The epidemic of childhood obesity and chronic health conditions linked to bad diet has turned supermarket aisles into the front line of one of the hardest debates in politics.

“To truly achieve its purpose and help people compare products, the rating needs to be visible and consistently applied to all foods and drinks.”

The recommendations to improve the Health Star Rating system will be considered by Ministers later this year.

Ms McGowan added “We know that unhealthy food and drinks are a major contributor to overweight and obesity, and that food labelling should be part of an overall approach to creating healthier food environments.”

Read the Health Star Rating report here and the Ministerial Forum communique here.

The five year review of the HSR system (the Review) has now been completed.

Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System – PDF 3211 KB
Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System – Word 16257 KB

The five year review of the HSR system considered if and how well the objectives of the system have been met and has identified several options for improvements to the system, including communication, monitoring, governance and system/calculator enhancements.

The Review found that the HSR system has been performing well. Whilst there is a broad range of stakeholders with diverse opinions, there is also strong support for the system to continue.

The recommendations contained in the Review Report are designed to address some of the key criticisms of the current system. The key recommendations from the report are that:

  • the HSR system continue as a voluntary system with the addition of some specific industry uptake targets and that the Australian, state and territory and New Zealand governments support the system with funding for a further four years;
  • that changes are made to the way the HSR is calculated to better align with Dietary Guidelines, and including fruit and vegetables into the system; and
  • that some minor changes are made to the governance of the system, including transfer of the HSR calculator to Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

The next steps will be for members of the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation to respond to the Review Report, and the recommendations contained within. It is anticipated that Forum will respond before the end of 2019.
Five Year Review – Draft Report

A draft of the review report was made available for public comment on the Australian Department of Health’s Consultation Hub from Monday 25 February 2019 until midnight Monday 25 March 2019. Following consideration of comments received, the report will be finalised and provided to the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (through the HSRAC and the Food Regulation Standing Committee) in mid-2019. mpconsulting sought targeted feedback on the draft recommendations – in particular, any comments on inaccuracies, factual errors and additional considerations or evidence that hadn’t previously been identified.

Draft Five Year Review Report – PDF 2928 KB
Draft Five Year Review Report – Word 21107 KB

A list of submissions for which confidentiality was not requested is below; submissions are available on request from the Front-of-Pack Labelling Secretariat via frontofpack@health.gov.au.

List of submissions: draft five year review report – PDF 110 KB
List of submissions: draft five year review report – Excel 13 KB
Five Year Review – Consultation

Detail on previous opportunities to provide feedback during and on the review are available on the Stakeholder Consultation page.

public submission process for the five year review was conducted between June and August 2017. mpconsulting prepared a report on these submissions and proposed a future consultation strategy. A list of submissions made is also available.

Submissions to the five year review of the HSR system – PDF 446 KB
Submissions to the five year review of the HSR system – Excel 23 KB

Report on Submissions to the Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System – PDF 736 KB
Report on Submissions to the Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System – Word 217 KB

5 Year Review of the Health Star Rating system – Future Consultation Opportunities – PDF 477 KB
5 Year Review of the Health Star Rating system – Future Consultation Opportunities – Word 28 KB

mpconsulting also prepared a Navigation Paper to guide Stage 2 (Wider Consultations Feb-Apr 2018) of their consultation strategy.

Navigation Paper – PDF 355 KB
Navigation Paper – Word 252 KB

Drawing on the early submissions and public workshops conducted across Australia and New Zealand in February- April 2018, mpconsulting identified 10 key issues relating to the products on which the HSR appears and the way that stars are calculated. A range of options for addressing identified issues were identified and, where possible, mpconsulting specified its preferred option. These issues are described in the Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System – Consultation Paper: Options for System Enhancement.

Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System – Consultation Paper: Options for System Enhancement – PDF 944 KB
Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System – Consultation Paper: Options for System Enhancement – Word 430 KB

This Consultation Paper is informed by the TAG’s in-depth review of the technical components of the system. The TAG developed a range of technical papers on various issues identified by stakeholders, available on the mpconsulting website.

From October to December 2018, mpconsulting sought stakeholder views on the issues and the options, input on the impacts of the various options, and any suggestions for alternative options to address the identified issues. Written submissions could be made via the Australian Department of Health’s Consultation Hub.

mpconsulting held three further stakeholder workshops in Melbourne, Auckland and Sydney in November 2018 to enable stakeholders to continue to provide input on key issues for the review, including on options for system enhancements.
Five Year Review – Process

In April 2016, the Health Star Rating (HSR) Advisory Committee (HSRAC) commenced planning for the five year review of the HSR system.

Terms of Reference for the five year review follow:
Terms of Reference for the five year review of the Health Star Rating system – PDF 23 KB
Terms of Reference for the five year review of the Health Star Rating system – Word 29 KB

In September 2016, the HSRAC established a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to analyse the performance of the HSR Calculator and respond to technical issues and related matters referred to it by the HSRAC.

HSRAC Members agreed that, in order to achieve a degree of independence, consultant(s) should be engaged to complete the review. In July 2017, following an Approach to Market process, Matthews Pegg Consulting (mpconsulting) was engaged as the independent reviewer.

The timeline for the five year review.
Five year review timeline – PDF 371 KB
Five year review timeline – Excel 14 KB

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #715HealthCheck 3 of 3 : @healthgovau Your Health is in Your Hands – Download resources to boost the rates of the #715healthcheck. Information available for patients and health professionals!

” A 715 it’s a health check that Aboriginal and Torres Strait on the people’s can have done on an annual timetable.

But it should be comprehensive in nature, and offer you not just the usual, hi, how are you?

What’s your name? Where do you live?

But take full consideration of your social background and social histories, ask you about your family history.

Is there anything important not just in your own personal medical background, but that of your family, so we can take that into consideration?

We know that we have many families with long backgrounds of chronic disease, for example, diabetes, cardiovascular risk, and they’re super important we’re considering how we tailor our history, our examination, our investigations, and then a treatment plan for you.

 It goes through the steps of that history and they’ll ask you questions about, you got a job at the moment, where are you working?

What are you exposed to? What are your interest? Do you play sport?

Are you involved in any other sort of social activities, cultural activities, for example, which I think is really important.

They’ll then make determinations around the kinds of examination if they need to tailor that at all, depending upon your age, and where you live and your access to services and what your history brought up, for example, male, female, young or old.

And then the investigations and X-ray, for example, or some bloods taken, and referrals as appropriate.

For allied health professionals, pediatrists, nutritionists, diabetes educators, but also perhaps you might need to see a cardiologist or a diabetes and endocrinologist as a specialist.

And then we wrap that all up in a specific and individualised kind of plan for you, that we discuss and we negotiate and we try to educate so that you then are able to play a part in your own health and take responsibility for some of those aspects.

But also you then get to choose what you share with family and the other providers.

It’s supposed to be a relationship and partnership for your health, that you understand, that you agree to and then together, you can move forward on how to be healthy and stay healthy.

From interview with Dr Ngaire Brown 

Download resources below or from HERE

Podcasts

Annual health checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can access a health check annually, with a minimum claim period of 9 months. 715 health checks are free at Aboriginal Medical Services and bulk bulling clinics to help people stay healthy and strong.

We acknowledge that many individuals refer to themselves by their clan, mob, and/or country. For the purposes of the health check, we respectfully refer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander throughout.

Your Health is in Your Hands

Having a health check provides important health information for you and your doctor.

Staying on top of your health is important. It helps to identify potential illnesses or chronic diseases before they occur. It is much easier to look at ways to prevent these things from occurring, rather than treatment.

The 715 Health Check is designed to support the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients of all ages. It is free at Aboriginal Medical Services and bulk billing clinics.

What happens at the health check?

Having the health check can take up to an hour. A Practice Nurse, Aboriginal Health Worker or Aboriginal and Torres Starlit Islander Health Practitioner may assist the doctor to perform this health check. They will record information about your health, such as your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, height and weight. You might also have a blood test or urine test. It is also an opportunity to talk about the health of your family.

Depending on the information you’ve provided, you might have some other tests too. You’ll then have a yarn with the doctor or health practitioner about the tests and any follow up you might need. It’s also good to tell them about your family medical history or any worries you have about your health.

Information for patients

Only about 30 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are accessing the 715 health check. Resources have been developed to help improve the uptake of 715 health checks in the community.

These are available for patients, community organisations, PHNs and GP clinics to download or order

Read all NACCHO 715 Health Check articles Here

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens at the health check?

Health checks might be different depending on your age.

Having the health check should take between 40-60 minutes. A health practitioner might check your:

  • blood pressure
  • blood sugar levels
  • height and weight

You might also a have blood test and urine test.

It’s also good to tell your health practitioner about your family medical history or any worries you have about your health.

Follow up care

Once you finish the check, the Practice Nurse, Aboriginal Health Worker or Doctor might tell you about other ways to help look after your health. They might suggest services to help you with your:

  • heart
  • vision
  • hearing
  • movement
  • mental health

You may also get help with free or discounted medicines you might need. Your Doctor can give you information about Closing the Gap scripts if you have or at risk of having a chronic disease.

Where can you access a 715 health check?

You can choose where you get your 715 health check. If you can, try to go to the same Doctor or clinic.

This helps make sure you are being cared for by people who know about your health needs.

Do I need to pay for the 715 health check?

The health check is free at your local Aboriginal Medical Service. It is also free at bulk billing health clinics. If you are unsure whether it will be free at your local Doctor, give them a call to ask about the 715 health check before you book.

Why Should I Identify?

It’s important to tell the Doctor if you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander so that they can make sure you get access to health care you might need. Medicare can help record this for you, and their staff are culturally trained to help.

Call the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access line on 1800 556 955.

Information for Health Professionals

For more information about for health professionals and medical practitioners delivering the 715 health checks please go to Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Video Case Studies

Social Media Tiles

2 boys stand with a woman in a school basketball court. They look happy and healthy/
An Aboriginal Health worker measures the weight of a child was part of the 715 health check.
A doctor takes a man’s pulse as part of the 715 health check.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #715HealthChecks 2 of 3 : Report 1 : Indigenous health checks and follow-ups : Report 2 Download @AIHW We contrast the geographical variation in Indigenous PPH and PAD with the variation in uptake of Indigenous-specific health checks at the local-area level

Report 1 : Indigenous health checks and follow-ups

Through Medicare (MBS item 715), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can receive Indigenous-specific health checks from their doctor, as well as referrals for Indigenous-specific follow-up services.

  • In 2017–18, 230,000 Indigenous Australians had one of these health checks (29%).
  • The proportion of Indigenous health check patients who had an Indigenous-specific follow-up service within 12 months of their check increased from 12% to 40% between 2010–11 and 2016–17.

See online date HERE or extracts Part 1 below 

Report 2 : Regional variation in uptake of Indigenous health checks and in preventable hospitalisations and deaths

Potentially preventable hospitalisations (PPH) and potentially avoidable deaths (PAD) are hospitalisations and deaths that are considered potentially preventable through timely access to appropriate health care.

While the risk of these health outcomes depends on population characteristics to some degree, relatively high rates indicate a lack of access to effective health care.

In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have PPH and PAD rates that are more than 3 times as high as those for non-Indigenous people.

All Indigenous Australians are eligible for Indigenous-specific health checks, which are a part of the Australian Government’s efforts to improve Indigenous health outcomes. The health checks are conducted by GPs and are listed as item 715 on the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

In this report, we contrast the geographical variation in Indigenous PPH and PAD with the variation in uptake of Indigenous-specific health checks at the local-area level (Statistical Area Level 3), by Primary Health Network and by state or territory.

Download the report aihw-ihw-216

Overall, areas with large Indigenous populations tend to have high rates of PPH and PAD and high uptake rates of Indigenous health checks. That areas with high rates of health checks also tend to have high rates of PPH and PAD may seem counterintuitive. However, any effects of the health checks on the rates of PPH and PAD are likely to become more apparent over time as there has recently been a dramatic increase in the rates of Indigenous health checks in many parts of Australia. It is reasonable to expect that there will be some lag time between an increase in the uptake of health checks and when positive effects on health outcomes can be seen.

We use a regression model to identify areas with unexpectedly high or low rates of PPH given the demographic composition of their populations and other characteristics of the areas (such as remoteness). Cape York, Tasmania and the northern parts of the Northern Territory stand out as regions with unexpectedly low rates of PPH. Regions with unexpectedly high rates include Central Australia, the Kimberley and some inner parts of Darwin, Perth and Brisbane.

Unexpectedly high or low rates of PPH can be due to a number of factors including:

  • performance of the local health-care services, including past performance affecting the health of local people
  • accessibility of hospitals and relative use of hospitals or other health-care services
  • people with poor health moving from areas without services to areas with services (for high rates)
  • unaccounted factors that influence the risk of PPH
  • data issues.

These factors are all potentially important. How they influence reported health outcomes needs to be better understood to ensure that policy and management decisions are based on the best available information.

Part 2

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can receive an annual health check, designed specifically for Indigenous Australians and funded through Medicare (Department of Health 2016).

This Indigenous-specific health check was introduced in recognition that Indigenous Australians, as a group, experience some particular health risks.

The aim of the Indigenous-specific health check is to encourage early detection and treatment of common conditions that cause ill health and early death—for example, diabetes and heart disease.

NACCHO note : Many of ACCHO’s throughout Australia offer incentives like Deadly Choices shirts to have a 715 Health Check 

During the health check, a doctor—or a multidisciplinary team led by a doctor—will assess a person’s physical, psychological and social wellbeing (Department of Health 2016). The doctor can then provide the person with information, advice, and care to maintain and improve their health.

The doctor may also refer the person to other health care professionals for follow-up care as needed—for example, physiotherapists, podiatrists or dieticians.

This report presents information on the use of:

  • health checks provided under the Indigenous-specific Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item 715; and
  • follow-up services provided under Indigenous-specific MBS items 10987 and 81300 to 81360.

The data include all Indigenous-specific health checks and follow-ups billed to Medicare by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services or other Indigenous health services, as well as by mainstream GPs and other health professionals.

Note that the data are limited to Indigenous-specific MBS items, so do not provide a complete picture of health checks and follow-ups provided to Indigenous Australians.

For example, Indigenous Australians may receive similar care through other MBS items (that is, items that are not specific to Indigenous Australians), or through a health care provider who is not eligible to bill Medicare (see also Data sources and notes).

Throughout the report, ‘Indigenous-specific health checks’ is used interchangeably with ‘health checks’ to assist readability. Similarly, ‘Indigenous-specific follow-ups’ is used interchangeably with ‘follow-ups’.

Indigenous-specific health checks and follow-ups: data summary

Number of health checks

In 2017–18, there were about 236,000 Indigenous-specific health checks provided to about 230,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The minimum time allowed between checks is 9 months, and so people can receive more than 1 health check in a year.

Between 2010–11 and 2017–18, the number of Indigenous Australians receiving a health check more than tripled—from about 71,000 to 230,000 patients.

See More Info

Geographic variation

 

Figure 3 shows the rate of Indigenous-specific health checks by four different geographic classifications—state/territory, remoteness area, Primary Health Network (PHN), and Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3s).

This analysis is based on the postcode of the patient’s given mailing address. As a result, the data may not reflect where the person actually lived—particularly for people who use PO Boxes. This is likely to impact some areas more than others, and will also have a greater impact on the SA3 data than the larger geographic classifications. See Data sources and notes for information on areas most likely to be affected.

In 2017–18:

  • across states and territories, the Northern Territory had the highest rate of Indigenous-specific health checks (with 38% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population receiving an Indigenous health check), followed by Queensland (37%). Tasmania had the lowest rate (13%).
  • across PHNs, the rate of Indigenous-specific health checks ranged from 4% (in Northern Sydney) to 42% (in Western Queensland).

See More Info

Number of follow-ups

Health checks are useful for finding health issues; however, improving health outcomes also requires appropriate follow-up of any issues identified during a health check (Bailie et al. 2014, Dutton et al. 2016).

Based on needs identified during a health check, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can access Indigenous-specific follow-up services—from allied health workers, practice nurses, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health practitioners—through MBS items 10987, and 81300–81360 (see also Box 2).

Indigenous Australians may receive follow-up care through other MBS items that are also available to non-Indigenous patients. For example, if a person is diagnosed with a chronic health condition, the GP might prepare a GP Management Plan, or refer the person to a specialist. Data in this report relate to Indigenous-specific items only.

In 2017–18, there were about 324,000 Indigenous-specific follow-up services provided to 133,000 Indigenous Australians. This was an increase from around 18,500 follow-ups provided to 9,900 patients in 2010–11 (Figure 7).

See more info 

NACCHO Members #VoteACCHO #Election2019 #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : #NSW @ahmrc @Galambila #Armajun ACCHO #VIC @VACCHO_org @VAHS1972 #NT @CAACongress #KatherineWest #QLD @DeadlyChoices #Gidgee #Mamu #SA #ACT

Feature Article this week from Apunipima ACCHO Cape York leading the way vaccinating the mob against the flu at no cost to the patient

1.1 National :  Report from the recent Close the Gap for Vision by 2020: Strengthen & Sustain National Conference 2019 hosted by AMSANT released

1.2 National : Survey Yarning with New Media Technology:
Mediatisation and the emergence of the First Australians’ cyber-corroboree.

1.3 NACCHO calls on all political parties to include these 10 recommendations in their election platforms

2.1 NSW : AHMRC April Edition of Message Stick is out now!

2.2 Brand new Ready Mob team and Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour CEO Reuben Robinson participate in Team Planning & Meet n’ Greet day.

2.3 NSW : Adam Marshall MP  catches up with the team from Inverell-based Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation to discuss their exciting $5.7 million expansion plans

3.1 VIC : VACCHO Launches its #Election 2019 Platform

3.2 VIC : VAHS ACCHO launches new new 2019 Deadly Choices Health Check Shirts

4.1 NT : Katherine West Health Board ACCHO prepare healthy lunches for the kids at Kalkarindji School everyday.

4.2 NT Congress farewells and thanks Sarah Gallagher from our Utju Health Service after 22 years of exceptional service as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner.

5.1 QLD : Gidgee Healing ACCHO Mt Isa Comms & Marketing team were up in Doomadgee this week attending the ‘Get Set for School 2020 & Career Expo

5.2 QLD : MAMU Health Service Innisfail celebrates 29 Years of Service to community 

5.3 QLD : Deadly Choices Patrick Johnson say winter is coming!! Book into your local Aboriginal Medical Service ASAP for your flu shot and health check.

6.1 SA : Morrison Government is providing almost $250,000 to three South Australian Aboriginal medical services to replace outdated patient information systems.

7.1 ACT : Download the April edition of our Winnunga ACCHO Newsletter.

8.1 WA: KAMS ACCHO as an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services encourages the use of traditional bush medicines

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

Feature Article this week from Apunipima ACCHO Cape York leading the way vaccinating the mob against the flu at no cost to the patient

The Federal Government has recently announced a program that will ensure almost 170,000 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents are vaccinated against the flu at no cost to the patient, with an additional provision of $12 million provided to boost a national immunisation education campaign.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children aged between 6 months and 14 years will have access to the influenza vaccine. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander experience a higher burden from influenza infection and are more likely to be hospitalised with the disease. This funding is a welcomed initiative.

The ‘Get the Facts about Immunisation’ campaign will be delivered over the next three years and will include a national television campaign, to help raise awareness around the benefits and importance of immunisation.

FOR MORE INFO about immunisation

1.1 National :  Report from the recent Close the Gap for Vision by 2020: Strengthen & Sustain National Conference 2019 hosted by AMSANT released

The conference report from the recent Close the Gap for Vision by 2020: Strengthen & Sustain National Conference 2019 held by Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) and co-hosted by Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) in Alice Springs on 14 and 15 March 2019.

We also include for your interest and information a two-page conference summary report and an A3 poster to celebrate activities at the Conference.

Over two days of the Conference, more than 220 delegates and over 60 speakers from all state and territories and including representation from community, local and regional services, state organisations, national peak and non-government agencies, and government came together to share, learn, and be inspired.

Conference attendance has grown significantly year to year since the first conference (+83%) held in Melbourne in 2017. This increase also reflects over 50 regions, covering more than 80% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, that are now engaged in activities to close the gap for vision.

IEH would like to thank everyone that attended and contributed to the Conference and especially the speakers for sharing their stories, thoughts and learnings. Congratulations again to our deserved 2019 Leaky Pipe Award winners.

The feedback IEH has received from delegates and speakers has been very positive and supports the joint commitment to close the gap for vision by 2020.

The Conference reports, presentations, photo gallery, and other supplementary materials can be accessed here on IEH website. Please feel free to forward this email and information to your colleagues and networks and we also continue to welcome your further feedback, input and commentary.

We will look forward to welcoming you to the next national conference planned in March 2020 and in the year ahead let’s keeping working together to close the gap for vision.

Hugh R Taylor AC
Harold Mitchell Chair of Indigenous Eye Health
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
The University of Melbourne

1.2 : National : Survey Yarning with New Media Technology:
Mediatisation and the emergence of the First Australians’ cyber-corroboree.

Throughout this study, we use the terms ‘First Australian’ or ‘Indigenous Australian’ when referring to people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, and ‘Peoples’ when referring to the collective group of Aboriginal nations.

We acknowledge the inadequacy of these homogenising Western terms used to describe such a diverse range of Peoples, languages and cultures.  However, we hope this terminology is sufficient for the purposes of this survey in describing the multi-dimensional relationship that this survey covers. We offer an unreserved apology in lieu of our inadequate terminology causing any undue annoyance or umbrage; this was not our intention.

Take the survey HERE

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FVPD3K6

Any questions or concerns should be addressed to:- keith.robinson2@griffithuni.edu.au

1.3 NACCHO calls on all political parties to include these 10 recommendations in their election platforms

NACCHO has developed a set of policy #Election2019 recommendations that if adopted, fully funded and implemented by the incoming Federal Government, will provide a pathway forward for improvements in our health outcomes.

We are calling on all political parties to include these recommendations in their election platforms and make a real commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and help us Close the Gap.

With your action and support of our #VoteACCHO campaign we can make the incoming Federal Government accountable.

See NACCHO Election 2019 Website

2.1 NSW : AHMRC April Edition of Message Stick is out now!

Welcome to the April edition of the Message Stick!

Yaama from me, Dr Merilyn Childs! I recently joined AH&MRC in the role of Senior Research Advisor. This means that I help researchers improve the quality of research applications before they are sent to the AH&MRC Ethics Committee. I’ll be providing Professional Learning Opportunities and resources for researchers, and feedback on applications where appropriate.

While I’m with AH&MRC 3 days a week, I have other roles. For example, I’m Honorary Associate Professor at Macquarie University, and I’m on Academic Board for the newly proposed College of Health Sciences at the Education Centre of Australia.

As I write this, I think of my mother Helen. When I was a child in the 1960s, Helen taught me about racism, stolen land, and stolen Aboriginal lives and languages. She was a passionate advocate of land rights. With her, and my two-year-old toddler, I marched as an ally of First Nations people on January 26th, 1988 in Sydney.

Two decades later at Charles Sturt University I was fortunate enough to work for some years with the amazing team embedding Indigenous Cultural Competence into curriculum. Because of them I continued the journey I began with my mother as I tried respectfully to develop ‘yindiamarra winhanga-nha’ – the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in, from the voices of the Wiradjuri people’. In 2015 I joined Macquarie University and collaborated with Walanga Muru colleagues to amplify Aboriginal voices in Higher Degree Research training.

I feel privileged to continue my journey working at AH&MRC with warm and amazing colleagues and with those of you I meet in the future, to improve the quality of research applications that are submitted to the AH&MRC Ethics Committee.

Read View HERE

2.2 Brand new Ready Mob team and Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour CEO Reuben Robinson participate in Team Planning & Meet n’ Greet day.

Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour CEO Reuben Robinson joined in the interactive activities and shared his vision for Ready Mob and Galambila  in moving forward in service of our communities. SEE FACEBOOK PAGE

2.3 NSW : Adam Marshall MP  catches up with the team from Inverell-based Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation to discuss their exciting $5.7 million expansion plans

Adam Marshall MP  catches up with the team from Inverell-based Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation to discuss their exciting $5.7 million expansion plans last week.

Armajun is planning to build a new and expanded health service centre next door to its current premises in River Street to cater for for patients and offer more health services to the community.

Part of this will be a $400,000 expanded dental clinic, which Adam will be approaching the State Government to fund.

Armajun provides services to many communities across the Northern Tablelands and do a wonderful job!

3.1 VIC : VACCHO Launches its #Election 2019 Platform

It’s out! We’ve just published our #auspol  #AusVotes2019  Election Platform.
Read all about what Aboriginal Communities need from the Federal Government to improve our health and wellbeing, to not just Close the Gap, but eliminate it all together.
Sustainability, Prevention Accountability to & for us.
Download HERE

3.2 : VAHS ACCHO launches new new 2019 Deadly Choices Health Check Shirts

VAHS, Essendon Football Club and The Long Walk have continued to work collaboratively that empowers our community to be more aware of their personal and family health by completing an annual health assessment.

An annual Health Assessment is a deadly way to monitor your own health and identify or prevent a chronic disease. Plus its 100% free if you complete this health assessment at VAHS. Anyone can complete an Health Check.

We have plenty of shirts for our mob all year, so don’t stress if you have completed an Health Check recently. You only allowed an annual Health Check every 9 months. Ring VAHS on 9419-3000 if you’re due for a health check.

Also we have another exciting news to announce very soon. Stay tune

4.1 NT : Katherine West Health Board ACCHO prepare healthy lunches for the kids at Kalkarindji School everyday.

This is Gabrielle and Mary they help prepare healthy lunches for the kids at Kalkarindji School everyday.  They are both great cooks and are working with myself to make their meals high iron and vitamin C so kids can have strong blood to learn and play.
#oneshieldforall

4.2 NT Congress farewells and thanks Sarah Gallagher from our Utju Health Service after 22 years of exceptional service as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner.

For 22 years with us, Sarah has been delivering culturally safe and responsive health care and programs to her people in the Utju community.

Born and raised in Utju, Sarah commenced her training as an AHP in the Utju Clinic, received her Certificate IV in AHP and progressed her career as a senior health practitioner and clinic manager.

In 2014 Sarah was a finalist at the ATSIHP Awards in the excellence in remote service delivery category. Sarah remains committed to the health and wellbeing of her people as elected Chairperson of the Utju Health Services board.

5.1 QLD : Gidgee Healing ACCHO Mt Isa Comms & Marketing team were up in Doomadgee this week attending the ‘Get Set for School 2020 & Career Expo’

Was lovely to see so many people and services attend this event. If you pop down to the Gidgee Healing stall Guy Douglas our new Practice Manager at Doomadgee Clinic, Andrew, Trish or Gavin would be happy to help you fill in birth registration forms. There are a few goodies also so please go check them out and say hello.

5.2 QLD : MAMU Health Service Innisfail celebrates 29 Years of Service to community 

5.3 QLD : Deadly Choices Patrick Johnson say winter is coming!! Book into your local Aboriginal Medical Service ASAP for your flu shot and health check.

Make a Deadly Choices a healthy choice and get your DC beanie.

I’m sporting my North Queensland Toyota Cowboysbeanie what DC beanie are you sporting? Institute of Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH)

6.1 SA : Morrison Government is providing almost $250,000 to three South Australian Aboriginal medical services to replace outdated patient information systems.

Picture Above Minister Ken Wyatt visit earlier this year 

Ensuring high quality primary health care, delivered in a culturally competent way, is a key to improving the health and wellbeing of First Australians.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said it was important that all medical services across Australia were provided with the right tool kit to do their work.

“As a result of this announcement three Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in Grey, Nunyara in Whyalla, Pika Wiya in Port Augusta and and the Ceduna Kooniba Health Service will receive assistance to install new “state-of-the-art” patient record keeping systems”, Mr Ramsey said. “The efficiency of any good health system is dependent on good record-keeping and accurate, easy-to-access patient information.

“Streamlined modern information systems will enable healthcare professionals to gain instant, secure, and efficient access to the medical and treatment histories of patients. This can be especially valuable where we have transingent populations as is particularly the case with some indigenous families.”

This funding through the Morrison Government’s Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme will contribute to new systems to provide better patient care.

Under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme, the Morrison Government funds around 140 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across Australia to provide culturally appropriate comprehensive primary health care services to First Australians.

The Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt said the Federal Government is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to develop practical, evidence-based policy and deliver programs that will make a real difference to the lives of First Australians.

”It is part of our focus on closing the gap and supporting culturally appropriate primary health care and programs,” Mr Wyatt said.

“Good health is a key enabler in supporting children to go to school, adults to lead productive working lives, and in building strong and resilient communities.”

The Morrison Government is providing $4.1 billion to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the next four years.

7.1 ACT : Download the April edition of our Winnunga ACCHO Newsletter.

 

April edition of our Winnunga Newsletter.

Read or Download Winnunga AHCS Newsletter April 2019 (1)

Please also note that the details for Winnunga’s National Sorry Day Bridge Walk for 2019 is included in this newsletter, so please Save the Date and join us.

8.1 WA: KAMS ACCHO as an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services encourages the use of traditional bush medicines

 ” Back in 2017 when I found some funding ($3,000) to start the idea of making some Bush medicine with a couple of ex- AHW’s at Balgo, was a very exciting time for us and them.

 The Bush medicines an integral part of Aboriginal culture and traditional customs.

Jamilah Bin Omar Acting SEWB Manager Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Ltd.

 As an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services encourages the use of traditional bush medicines and talk up the bush medicine information through the Certificate III and Cert. IV Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Program under the competency units;

  • Support the safe use of medicines
  • Administer medicines

Myself and Joanna Martin (Pharmacist) from the KAMS Pharmacy Support team spent one week in Balgo working with the community Women Elders to make three different types of bush medicines.  These were;

  • Piltji (used on all parts of the body to heal internal injuries, organs, arthritis and many other problems)
  • Ngurnu Ngurnu (used for cold and flu and rubbed on the chest and head)
  • Yapilynpa (used as a rub on the chest and head for the relief of colds and headaches)

At the completion, bush medicines became available in the Balgo Health Centre, for patients to select and use individually or in conjunction with western medicine.

The Bush Medicines program is an opportunity for KAMS staff to collaborate with community members.  It will provide a forum for traditional practices to be used and passed onto future generations.

 

NACCHO #VoteACCHO Aboriginal Health #AusVotesHealth : @SenatorDodson  launches @AustralianLabor  #FirstNationsPeople #Election2019 Plan Download HERE : Plus $11.8 million investment 2 new Institute for Urban Indigenous Health @IUIH_ hubs

Our Shadow Cabinet, guided by our First Nations’ Caucus Committee, has identified targeted and focused initiatives, launched today, that will bring the vision of justice and fairness to the lives of First nations’ peoples.

In education, we have many new and powerful initiatives that work directly to build bridges for the futures of our young people.

Our unprecedented investments in Indigenous health will be community designed and delivered, more than ever before.

Our new policies and programs in the environment will help visitors to understand the complex national cultural web from which our landscapes arise from.

It will be a challenge for us, to do all we have set out in our new policies and programs.

But we will work to achieve that.

We want to be the party of choice for First Nations Peoples “

Senator Patrick Dodson speaking at the Australian Labor Party national launch in Brisbane Sunday full speech Part 1 below 

Download 13 Pages PDF  ALP Election 2019 Fair_Go_for_First_Nations

” South East Queensland is home to Australia’s second-largest Indigenous population. Over 65,000 Indigenous Australians live in urban South East Queensland – more than the Indigenous population of Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Since 2009, IUIH has led the planning and delivery of primary health care to Indigenous people in this area. It currently has a network of 20 multidisciplinary primary health clinics, providing Indigenous-led and culturally appropriate services to 30,000 people.

However, population growth means that 70,000 Indigenous people won’t have access to IUIH’s services within three years.

There is also an imperative to expand IUIH’s services in line with the best models of care for First Nations people around the world, such as in Alaska.

That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will invest $11.8 million to establish two new IUIH hubs at Kallangur and Coomera.”

See Australian Labor Party Press Release Part 2 below

“NACCHO has developed a set of policy #Election2019 recommendations that if adopted, fully funded and implemented by the incoming Federal Government, will provide a pathway forward for improvements in our health outcomes.

We are calling on all political parties to include these recommendations in their election platforms and make a real commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and help us Close the Gap.

With your action and support of our #VoteACCHO campaign we can make the incoming Federal Government accountable.

See NACCHO Election 2019 Website

Part 1

My friends.

I thank the Turrbal and Yagera dancers for their inspiring Welcome to their Country here in Brisbane.

On behalf of the Shorten Labor team, I pay my respects to both the Yagera people and the Turrbal people and their Elders, past, present and emerging.

I am a Yawuru man from the far reaches of the Kimberley.

I come to you today after visiting people in the remote towns of the East Kimberley, on the campaign trail.

At Fitzroy Crossing, I sat down with the First Nation service managers in the complex areas of health, of women’s shelters, of repatriation of human remains, of community safety, young people’s futures and the trials of humanising the CDP program.

One of the senior women was in a very sombre mood.

There had been another youth suicide the night before.

She looked out into the distance and quietly said through her tears, “Sometimes I wake up and I go to work simply hoping that one small child sees this old lady going to work and thinks, maybe that they can get a job and become a future role model as well.

“The future of our kids keeps us going. Sometimes it gets too hard and you want to chuck it all in.

“The only things that keeps me going is the children and hope.”

The funding is always difficult, the rules are always hard and prolific, and the officials controlling the programs don’t listen to them.

They are desperate for change, for a change of government.

The Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison regimes have worn them out.

Constantly being treated as of no value and incapable of managing one’s own affairs is so disrespectful.

Today I am standing with you conscious of the aspirations and dreams entrusted to us.

Our pledge is to walk with First Nations peoples’ and allow them to lead us forward, together.

A Shorten Labor government has plans and commitments to bring back a fair go for all Australians and a fair go for First Nations people.

Justice can be delivered, and must be pursued.

We know that Government decision-making processes have led to pain, to poverty and to powerlessness.

First Nations people deserve better than this:

  • Like the massive cuts of First nations’ programs under Tony Abbott
  • Like dismissing the simple aspiration of a Voice as a third chamber
  • Like the cruel penalties of the CDP program causing starvation and hunger to families

Labor will reset this relationship. Our new programs will be set with First Nations leadership, across the country.

We will work with First Nations on the principles of co-design and free, prior and informed consent.

A Shorten Labor Government is ready, willing and able:

  • to step up and work in partnership with First Nations leadership;
  • to deliver long overdue justice and equality for First Nations peoples and all Australians;
  • to create a Voice to the National Parliament;
  • to deliver Constitutional change in our first term; and
  • begin the journey of truth telling and treaty making.

We will be building together a framework of Regional Assemblies, where First Nations peoples are empowered to make decisions, to identify their priorities, to sponsor place-based solutions, and deliver lasting change recognizing the cultural and well-being drivers within First Nations communities.

Labor, under a Shorten Government, will apply the principles of Honour, Equality, Respect, and Recognition as we develop our new relationship and approaches to reconciliation through:

  • a national Makarrata commission;
  • local Truth-telling programs;
  • a National Resting Place for the unknown warriors; and
  • justice and compensation for survivors of the Stolen Generation.

Our Shadow Cabinet, guided by our First Nations’ Caucus Committee, has identified targeted and focused initiatives, launched today, that will bring the vision of justice and fairness to the lives of First nations’ peoples.

In education, we have many new and powerful initiatives that work directly to build bridges for the futures of our young people.

Our unprecedented investments in Indigenous health will be community designed and delivered, more than ever before.

Our new policies and programs in the environment will help visitors to understand the complex national cultural web from which our landscapes arise from.

It will be a challenge for us, to do all we have set out in our new policies and programs.

But we will work to achieve that.

We want to be the party of choice for First Nations Peoples.

And we can become that party.

We want to deliver for Australians across the country who yearn for a decent, responsible and committed Government.

Under Prime Minister Bill Shorten and our team, we will be that.

Kaliya.

Part 2 :A Shorten Labor Government will improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in South East Queensland with an $11.8 million investment in two new Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) hubs.

South East Queensland is home to Australia’s second-largest Indigenous population. Over 65,000 Indigenous Australians live in urban South East Queensland – more than the Indigenous population of Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Since 2009, IUIH has led the planning and delivery of primary health care to Indigenous people in this area. It currently has a network of 20 multidisciplinary primary health clinics, providing Indigenous-led and culturally appropriate services to 30,000 people.

However, population growth means that 70,000 Indigenous people won’t have access to IUIH’s services within three years. There is also an imperative to expand IUIH’s services in line with the best models of care for First Nations people around the world, such as in Alaska.

That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will invest $11.8 million to establish two new IUIH hubs at Kallangur and Coomera.

Building on IUIH’s existing System of Care, the hubs will provide a range of colocated health services, including GP care, allied health including optometry and audiology, pharmacy and dental care.

The hubs will also focus on the social determinants of health – the ‘causes of the causes’ of illness. As well as health services, they will provide early years education, employment and social services – giving all kids the best start in life and supporting people across the life course.

Labor believes innovative and culturally appropriate healthcare models are central to improving the health outcomes of First Australians and closing the gap.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for better hospitals and health care for Indigenous Australians, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.

This investment is part of Labor’s plan to invest $1 billion in vital upgrades to Australia’s hospitals and health infrastructure.

It also builds on Labor’s $115 million commitment to improve the health of First Nations peoples – including a $16.5 million investment to roll out IUIH’s ‘Deadly Choices’ program nationally.

Labor can afford to spend more on health care because we’ve made the tough decisions to make multinationals pay their fair share and close unfair tax loopholes.

Only Labor can be trusted to fix Australia’s hospitals and health infrastructure and deliver new IUIH hubs at Kallangur and Coomera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #VoteACCHO #Prevention : Urban Indigenous Health @IUIH_ #Katungul @DanilaDilba #Mulungu #GidgeeHealing @VAHS1972 #ACCHO’s welcome @DeadlyChoices Healthy Lifestyle Program $16.5 million funding announcement by Labor

The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), the organisation behind the Deadly Choices Healthy Lifestyle Program, welcomed $16.5 million funding announcement by Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten which will resource Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) for critical health service responses for Indigenous Australians.

Deadly Choices partner organisation CEOs across Australia joined IUIH CEO Adrian Carson in congratulating Mr Shorten for his strong commitment to working with ACCHSs to improve health outcomes and with First Nations people to realise a renewed commitment to closing the gap.

For more information about the Deadly Choices Program


Read full Labor Press Release Here 

Quotes from Adrian Carson, CEO of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), the organisation behind the Deadly Choices campaign:

  • This is a significant funding package and it will make a huge difference to our communities across the country.
  • To reduce rates of preventable chronic disease that are impacting our community and to close the gap our people must be empowered to make healthy choices – to stop smoking, to eat good food, to exercise and to get regular health checks. But only our communities can make this happen.
  • Since IUIH was established in South East Queensland in 2009 we have achieved a 340% increase in client numbers – from 8,000 in 2009 to 35,000 in 2017/18.
  • We’ve also seen the number of people having a regular health check at their local community controlled health service increase by almost 4000%, from 550 in 2009 to more than 20,000 people in 2017/18.
  • As a result, in South East Queensland our life expectancy gap is closing at a rate 2.3 times faster than predicted trajectories.
  • We also know that people participating in Deadly Choices programs are twice as likely to engage with their local health clinic – so funding a national expansion to Deadly Choices will have an immediate and significant impact on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Deadly Choices is the perfect example of an initiative that has been designed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • The solutions that we’re coming up with to improve health outcomes in our communities are actually solutions that can benefit the whole country.
  • At a local level, we are seeing these significant improvements in a whole range of areas, particularly those being led by community controlled organisations.
  • We can deliver these outcomes nationally, we just need the resources to do it. So we welcome this announcement – as it puts control in the hands of those who can make the biggest impact.

Quotes from Joanne Grant, Acting CEO of Katungul Health in South Coast NSW:

  • Katungul’s vision is for Aboriginal people to live healthy lives enriched by a strong living culture, dignity and justice.
  • Following the introduction of Deadly Choices to our clinics we have seen a marked increase in the number of health checks performed.
  • In the first year offering Deadly Choices we more than doubled the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients who had a health check. That’s more than double the number of people who are checking in with their health service regularly and being able to access the healthcare that they need, when they need it. In that first year we also attracted almost 400 new patients to our service.
  • Expanding this program to community controlled health services nationally means that in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, more people will have access to health services when they need them.

Quotes by Olga Havnen, CEO of Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin:

  • Funding the national expansion of Deadly Choices nationally will significantly impact the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Here in Darwin, Deadly Choices has been very successful in engaging and educating people of all ages, and particularly young people in our communities.
  • Our Deadly Choices Ambassadors – Steven Motlop (Port Adelaide AFL Player), Kylie Duggan (Tracy Village Jets Basketballer), Patrick Johnson (Sprinter) and Sam Rioli (Basketballer) are all prominent members of the community and positive role models in the greater Darwin community. They attend community events and activities to promote healthy lifestyles and the benefits of getting regular health checks in maintaining and improving health.

Quotes from Gail Wason, CEO of Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre in Far North Queensland:

  • A significant area of impact we’ve seen is that kids enrolled in the Deadly Choices education program at school look forward to attending the program – and that means their school attendance rate is up.
  • It also means that they’re engaging with us as their health service and getting their health checks on a regular basis
  • The difference is in the way that we are able to deliver these programs and health messages to our community – it’s a better way. It’s done our way and it meets the needs of our people.
  • Our ACCHS sector are delivering these key messagesto our community in a culturally appropriate manner which makes it work for our mob.

Quotes from Michael Graham, CEO of Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, Melbourne:

  • We welcome today’s funding announcements and Labor’s commitment to work with Aboriginal Medical Services to close the health gap.
  • VAHS looks forward to continuing to build on our current capacity to deliver sustainable improvements in health outcomes for First Nations people.

Quotes from Julie Tongs, CEO of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service, ACT:

  • We are very excited to be launching the Deadly Choices Healthy Lifestyle Program in the ACT in the next few weeks.
  • We strongly support Labor’s commitment to working with Aboriginal Medical Services to delivery culturally capable healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Quotes from Renee Blackman, CEO of Gidgee Healing, Mt Isa

  • This additional funding commitment would mean that Gidgee Healing will be able to further extend our programs into the communities that we work with.
  • There is just so much demand for these services and programs in these communities.

 

NACCHO Members #VoteACCHO #Election2019 Update and #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : #NSW Katungul and Armajun #QLD @DeadlyChoices @Wuchopperen #VIC @VAHS1972 #NT @CAACongress #ACT @WinnungaACCHO #WA

This weeks feature #VoteACCHO Good News Story

5.1 QLD : Deadly Choices : Deadly Days Ahead for Queensland Murri Carnival

Plus

1.1 NACCHO Launches new #VoteACCHO website resources page for #Election2019

Press Release  : NACCHO welcomes ALP Pledge of additional $115.1 million to focus on Aboriginal health

1.2 National : Pat Turner ACOSS Budget Breaky panel Speaker

1.3 National : All NACCHO members should be aware of Corporation Act Changes 

2.1 NSW : Katungul ACCHO one of only six high-performing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services who were selected as part of the Deadly Blues Origin Partnership

2.2 NSW : Armajun Aboriginal Health Service staff can’t wait for work to begin on their new $4.7 million building.

2.3 NSW : Armajun Aboriginal Health Service in Tenterfield couples the Walkabout Barber with mental health

3.VIC : VAHS ACCHO to open new clinic in northern suburbs of Melbourne

4. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO hosted our CTG event  with a screening of “Take Heart

5.2 QLD : Wuchopperen Health Service Cairns launches for their Deadly Choices Health Program 

6. WA  : Indigenous youth health forum focus  : Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial’s Empowered Young Leaders Project

7. NT : The Administrator of the Northern Territory, the honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM visits Congress Alukura to learn about the service to Aboriginal women and babies in Central Australia.

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

This weeks feature #VoteACCHO Good News Story

Deadly Choices QLD  : Deadly Days Ahead for Queensland Murri Carnival

Great to have the support of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, the Arthur Beetson Foundation and Moreton Bay Regional Council at the Launch of the 2019 Queensland Murri Carnival at South Pine Sports Complex.

Queensland rugby league royalty and Deadly Choices Ambassadors, Steve Renouf, Petero Civoniceva and Bo de la Cruz, came together at South Pine Sports Complex on Wednesday, to launch the 2019 QAIHC Arthur Beetson Foundation Queensland Murri Carnival.

This year’s format is bound to entice interest from right across Queensland, with up to 30,000 people expected at the venue across five days of competition from October 1-5.

Established in 2011, the Carnival draws on the popularity of rugby league in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to promote the value of health and education to young Indigenous people.

“Upwards of 100 teams across Open Men’s and Women’s divisions, plus under-age grades in boys and girls will compete in our annual showpiece, focussed on community connection and overall health and well-being among participants and spectators,” confirmed ABF Director Brad Beetson.

“We encourage all Queensland communities to start thinking about their plans for the week, as the 2019 QMC will be an event not to be missed.

“On the back of last year’s successes at the Bindal Sharks in Townsville, we’ll see an expansion of underage competition with Under 13s, 15s and 17s for boys and Under 15s and 17s for the girls.

“With the support of the various Deadly Choices regional teams scattered throughout Queensland, we’re looking to have all regions well represented across the grades and in open competition.

“Our smoke-free, alcohol-free event will require participants to have their 715 health checks up to date, adults enrolled to vote, while youngsters also need a 90% school attendance rate.”

Local, State and Federal funding, coupled with the valued support of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), Moreton Bay Regional Council and Queensland Rugby League (QRL), sees the annual showpiece make its debut appearance at South Pine Sports Complex.

“The Murri Rugby League Carnival is a major health promotion event in Queensland and contributes to increased health literacy and access to primary and preventative health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It’s so much more than just a football carnival”, said CEO of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), Neil Willmett.

“The Murri Carnival achieves significant health and education outcomes, and the requirements for all participants to have a health check and those of school age to maintain a high level of school attendance emphasise the important messaging underpinning the event.

“QAIHC is proud to sponsor the Murri Carnival and its contribution to closing the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” said Mr Willmett.

“QAIHC is excited to be undertaking a study to explore how Carnival participation as a player, spectator, or an official, may influence levels of accessing health services and overall knowledge and understanding of preventive health, contributing important data to inform evidence-based health promotion.”

As proud hosts, the Moreton Bay Regional Council sees major benefit in its association with such a prestigious sporting tournament that attracts visitation from right across Queensland.

“Moreton Bay Regional Council is a proud sponsor of this deadly event and I’m looking forward to the carnival taking place at the South Pine Sports Complex, home of the Albany Creek Crushers, later this year,” Mayor Allan Sutherland said.

“Sport is more than just a game – it’s culture, community and opportunity. Sport has the power to give us something to strive for.

“It teaches discipline, work ethic and above all, solidarity with our peers and teammates.

“The Queensland Murri Carnival takes this to another level — championing the health, education and Deadly Choices for Indigenous people.

“We are proud to be sponsors of a carnival which stands for so much more than just a game.”

Registrations are now open for the QAIHC ABF Queensland Murri Carnival. Team coaches and managers need to ensure all their players are up-to-date with their 715 health checks, adults currently enrolled to vote, while youngsters must maintain a 90% school attendance rate.

If not, book in for your 715 at your local Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS), before going online to register for the QMC at www.murrirugbyleague.com.au.

1.1 NACCHO Launches new #VoteACCHO website resources page for #Election2019

“ Welcome to the launch of our NACCHO #Election2019 #VoteACCHO campaign for Affiliates, ACCHO members, stakeholders and supporters.

 The health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is not a partisan political issue and cannot be sidelined any longer.

NACCHO has developed a set of 10 policy #Election2019 recommendations that if adopted, fully funded and implemented by the incoming Federal Government, will provide a pathway forward for improvements in our health outcomes.

We are calling on all political parties to include these recommendations in their election platforms and make a real commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and help us Close the Gap.

With your action and support of our #VoteACCHO campaign we can make the incoming Federal Government accountable. ” 

Donnella Mills Acting Chair NACCHO

Check out the new #VoteACCHO Website Page

and add #VoteACCHO to your Twitter Handle

NACCHO welcomes ALP Pledge of additional $115.1 million to focus on Aboriginal health

NACCHO welcomes the commitment made by Labor leader Bill Shorten to pledge an additional $115.1 million toward Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health if a Labor government is elected on 18 May.

“We are encouraged by the funding commitment made by the Labor Party today,” said NACCHO Acting Chair, Donnella Mills.

“This level of funding shows an acknowledgment of the unequal burden Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities face when it comes to health outcomes.”

“Our communities face a life expectancy gap of ten years less than non-Indigenous Australians – and this gap is only widening. And the death rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is more than double the rate of non-Indigenous children. How can this be?” Ms Mills said.

“The current national health policy hasn’t addressed the urgent needs that Indigenous peak organisations and medical professionals have been advocating for.”

“We hope to see a new direction embraced by all parties – one that places Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health at the forefront of national policy and one that has a genuine partnership and shared decision making with community health providers and organisations,” Ms Mills said.

Read or Download the Full NACCHO Press Release HERE

1.2 National : Pat Turner ACOSS Budget Breaky panel Speaker

At the ACOSS #BudgetBreaky #VoteACCHO event this morning our CEO of NACCHO Pat Turner said

1.That she’s sick of a ‘body parts’ approach to health funding. We need a comprehensive approach.

2 The Importance of preventative health and social determinants of health totally missed in budget and budget response

3.Calls on next Federal Govt to strengthen universal health care for every person in Australia, as well as resourcing the Aboriginal specialist services addressing additional health concerns using #SDOHand holistic care models

1.3 National : All NACCHO members should be aware of Corporation Act Changes 

Any changes to the Corporations Act either automatically apply to the CATSI Act or are closely followed by amendments dependent upon the relevant rules.

http://aicd.companydirectors.com.au/membership/company-director-magazine/2019-back-editions/april/advocacy

Particular changes of concern:

Maximum prison terms increase from five years to 15 years for serious criminal offences such as:

  • Recklessly or dishonestly breaching directors’ and officers’ duties (s184).
  • Dishonestly failing to comply with financial and audit obligations (s344(2)).
  • Intentionally or recklessly breaching the duties of officers or employees of the responsible entity of a registered scheme (ss601FD, 601FE).
  • Knowingly or recklessly providing defective disclosure documents or statements (ss952D, 952F, 1021D).

See ORIC Website

Changes to the CATSI Act

More accountability, less red tape

The Australian Government is proposing reforms to strengthen and improve the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) 2006 (CATSI Act). The reforms are intended to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations by reducing red tape, especially for small corporations. Other proposed changes seek to increase transparency for members. There are also minor changes to streamline and clarify some parts of the CATSI Act.

The proposed changes cover the topics of:

  • size classifications
  • rule books
  • business structures
  • meetings and reporting
  • membership
  • transparency of senior executives
  • payments to related third parties
  • special administrations
  • voluntary deregistration
  • compliance powers.

See ORIC website

2.1 NSW : Katungul ACCHO one of only six high-performing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services who were selected as part of the Deadly Blues Origin Partnership

Nathan Blacklock, Chin Weerakkody, Jaden Hansen and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs at the Deadly Blues launch in Batemans Bay.

This week Katungul launched a new health campaign at its Batemans Bay Clinic that aims to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to receive regular medical check-ups and improve their health.

From The Bega District News

The Deadly Blues health campaign, which involves the NSWRL, NRL clubs and other elite sports, is being run by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) and has been backed by the Australian government with $1.2million in funding.

It aims to target chronic disease, nutrition, physical activity and smoking which can have a negative impact on Indigenous Australian communities.

 NRL’s Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and Nathan Blacklock with supporters at the launch.

It will begin this month in the lead-up to the Holden State of Origin series in June and July 2019.

When clients visit any of Katungul’s three clinics on the South Coast for a health check, they will receive a free NSWRL-inspired jersey.

Katungul is one of only six high-performing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services who were selected as part of the Deadly Blues Origin Partnership.

2.2 NSW : Armajun Aboriginal Health Service staff can’t wait for work to begin on their new $4.7 million building.

The service is currently finalising designs for the purpose-built centre, which has already received development approval from the Inverell Shire Council. A $2.35 million federal government grant will help fund the building.

With construction expected to begin before the end of the year, the new centre could be ready by early 2021.

“We’ve been here since 2011. It’s OK, but it’s not really fit for purpose. Downstairs we’ve done a lot of renovations, but we’ve renovated it all that we can, and it’s a rabbit warren,” chief executive officer Debbie McCowen said of the current centre.

She said Armajun had been lucky to find such a convenient location, but had outgrown the rented space. The upstairs area has limited use due to a lack of accessibility for patients and, because they are not purpose-built, several consultation rooms have awkward layouts.

“The new building for Armajun AHS will be beneficial to both staff and patients as it will add much needed space and accessibility to the health care that we can offer our patients,” registered nurse Tara Price said.

“The new centre will enable us to try to reduce the impact of early mortality on the current and next generation of Aboriginal people in our community.”

Dental services are currently limited to a small office with two desks for a dental manager, two dentists, two dental assistants and an oral health therapist. Staff are looking forward to having a two chair dental clinic as well as a new sterilisation room to create mouth guards and dentures – which are currently made in the carpark due to space limitations.

The new space also promises a gym, children’s area, an outside meeting area and 10 consultation rooms for both in-house and visiting medical professionals.

“We’ve been limited by the number of doctors we’ve been able to have, because of the size of the current building,” Ms McCowen said.

“We’ve got about 3500-4000 clients who use Armajun. And there’s a lot of services. We have the medical clinic, the dental clinic, we have the drug and alcohol service, we have a mental health service.” With an exercise physiologist for the gym and visiting specialists ranging from paediatricians to ear, nose and throat specialists to optometrists; Ms McCowen said there’s often “a lot of traffic”.

She hopes the new space might attract more permanent general practitioners, and says it will allow Armajun to expand their services. “This makes the service more sustainable and viable into the future.”

2.3 NSW : Armajun Aboriginal Health Service in Tenterfield couples the Walkabout Barber with mental health,

Few can resist opening up to their hairdresser as they relax in the chair.

That’s the aim of an initiative that couples grooming with mental health, and it was all happening at Armajun Aboriginal Health Service in Tenterfield on Tuesday.

From The Tenterfield Star 

Walkabout Barber is the brainchild of Newcastle-based Brian Dowd, with the creed We cut hair anywhere. Mr Dowd and his team of cutters — and their customised Walkabout Barber truck — were part of a health roadshow the service was hosting, including dental and hearing checks.

The truck had visited Inverell, Tingah and Armidale communities earlier in the year. On this tour it stopped in at Ashford before Tenterfield, continuing on to Glen Innes the next day.

“Our main objective is to make people fresh on the outside, and to come out fresher on the inside,” Mr Dowd said.

“The barber’s chair is a magical experience especially for men. I’ve built the business as a healing space, for men and women to have a chat.”

The operation can do upwards of 60 cuts a day, so that’s a far reach. Mr Dowd said his barbers can also provide the styles and patterns that clients may find difficult to access in city areas.

He said that Armajun is an amazing partner to have on this journey, which is turning out to be a huge success.

It’s also providing employment for barbers to do a job they enjoy. Some of the crew come from Dubbo and Moree and just the previous day Mr Dowd had recruited someone from Ashford.

He’s going to need a lot more. A fixed Walkabout Barber location is about to open in Newcastle, and more trucks are on the way. One will be Walkabout Beautiful offering pedicures and manicures, and another one is heading to Western Australia.

One constant, however, will be the Walkabout moniker.

“The name sticks with our culture’s way of moving around,” Mr Dowd said.

He hopes the Walkabout truck will be a regular visitor to Tenterfield, in conjunction with Armajun. He feels positive repetition will be helpful, providing a safe place to not only receive a trim but also to have a talk especially about matters that people are finding difficult to discuss with family.

“I have to thank Armajun for the opportunity to let us do what we do,” he said.

3.1 VIC : VAHS ACCHO to open new clinic in northern suburbs of Melbourne

It’s finally completed!!!!! After 10 weeks of construction of our new Epping Clinic, it is now officially done!!! VAHS received the keys to our new building today.

VAHS will notify the community very soon on the official opening date but it’s definitely opening in a few weeks.

We need to add more medical equipment, supplies, I.T. hardware, accreditation and upskill the new staff members on our new clinical system. Stay tune for further updates! Very exciting!

4. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO hosted our CTG event  with a screening of “Take Heart

Winnunga hosted our CTG event recently with a screening of “Take Heart”, The quest to rid Australasia of Rheumatic Heart Disease (DVD) narrated by Stan Grant.

What powerful stories from such brave kids.

Also check out the Take Heart Info 

5.2 QLD : Wuchopperen Health Service Cairns launches for their Deadly Choices Health Program 

The Bumma Bippera Team were broadcasting live from Wuchopperen Health Service Ltd for their Deadly Choices launch 🚀

The Deadly Choices team

Check out these prizes at the Deadly Choices launch 

6. WA Indigenous youth health forum focus  : Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial’s Empowered Young Leaders Project

Young indigenous health and social workers from across the region united in Broome recently to brainstorm ideas for encouraging youth to speak up about their mental health.

From HERE

The workshop and forum was held across three days last fortnight, as part of the Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial’s Empowered Young Leaders Project, which provides resources for Aboriginal role models between 18 and 30 to drive change in the region.

The seminar consisted of a panel discussion about unique challenges faced by indigenous people in the region, a number of speakers, including senator Pat Dodson, as well as team-building and self-care activities.

EYLP working group member Jacob Smith said the event took a very positive approach and left many feeling ready to create change.

“The forum focused more on the strengths of us as young people and not just on the negatives, such as the statistics around suicide,” he said. “The goal was to build the people here up and empower them to recognise themselves as leaders and celebrate the role they can play in the community.

“It was put together by young people for young people and I think there are a lot of people leaving feeling very motivated with the tools and techniques to drive change.”

Soleil White, also a member of the working group, said self-care was a major topic highlighted throughout the three days.

“The realities of suicide can be very heavy and daunting and so it is important for us as young leaders to take care of ourselves before taking care of family and community,” she said.

“This includes coping mechanisms and skills to deal with the issues we are being faced with to have a strong body, spirit and mind.

“Overall I think this forum has absolutely been a success and a number of the delegates have expressed that it has been extremely helpful for them.”

The Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial was launched by the Federal Government in 2016 in response to the high rate of suicide in the region.

It is led by the WA Primary Health Alliance and Country WA Primary Health Networks in partnership with Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services and the region’s working group.

7. NT : The Administrator of the Northern Territory, the honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM visits Congress Alukura to learn about the service to Aboriginal women and babies in Central Australia.

Congress Alukura has always been at the forefront of providing comprehensive and cultural responsive health care to Aboriginal women and babies, embedded in the knowledge of our traditional Grandmothers.

We were thrilled to receive a visit from the Administrator of the Northern Territory, the honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM who was keen to learn about the unique service Alukura provides to Aboriginal women and babies in Central Australia.

NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health : #SaltAwarenessWeek #UnpackTheSalt #EatLessSalt @georgeinstitute Report : Which fast #junkfood giants packs the most amount of salt in your kids’ meal?

New research has revealed the hidden toll that fast food kids’ meals can have on young children’s health. Some meals aimed at kids contain more than an entire day’s maximum recommended salt intake.

Most disturbing, the salt content of fast foods like chicken nuggets in Australia can be more than twice as salty as similar meals in the UK.

A new report from The George Institute for Global Health, VicHealth and the Heart Foundation analysed the salt content in kids’ meals from four major fast food outlets (Hungry Jack’s, KFC, McDonald’s and Subway) as part of a global push to reduce the salt content in children’s food during World Salt Awareness Week.

Originally Published HERE 

The report found high levels and a huge variation in the salt content of children’s meals across the four chains. A kids’ chicken nuggets meal from Hungry Jack’s contained more than an entire day’s worth of salt for a 4-8 year old child, a McDonald’s Cheeseburger Happy Meal with fries contained almost two thirds of a day’s worth of salt, and a KFC Kids Meal Snack Popcorn contained almost half a days’ worth of salt.

Subway Kids’ Paks were the least salty meal options, providing mini subs and purees rather than burgers with chips. All of their meals were found to be in the top five lowest salt kids’ meal options and contained one gram of salt or less per meal.

Meals with fries were among the saltiest options. McDonalds was the only chain that provided apple slices, yoghurt and cherry tomatoes as an option, instead of fries.

Heart Foundation dietitian Sian Armstrong said while none of the popular meals are healthy options, it was concerning to see some kids’ meals containing more than an entire day’s worth of salt.

“An alarming 80 per cent of Aussie kids are eating too much salt with most of it coming from processed food and fast food takeaways,” Ms Armstrong said.

“Consuming excess salt can lead to high blood pressure, a major risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. Studies suggest that children with elevated blood pressure may go onto suffer it as adults.

“Most parents know that fast food isn’t a healthy option for their kids, however they may not realise that a single kids’ meal could blow out an entire day’s salt intake.

“This research shows fast food doesn’t have to be this salty. There is no reason why chicken nuggets at KFC and Hungry Jack’s should be almost twice as salty as the chicken nuggets from McDonald’s. The same goes for fries. Fast food outlets can and must reduce the salt content of their meals.”

Read over 100 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Nutrition articles HERE 

Key findings:

  • The average salt content of children’s meals across the four outlets was 1.57g of salt or 45% of a child’s recommended daily salt intake.
  • The highest salt children’s meal was the Hungry Jack’s 6 Chicken Nugget Kids’ pack (includes a dipping sauce and small chips), which contained 3.78g salt or 108% of a 4-8-year-old child’s recommended daily salt intake.
  • The lowest salt children’s meal was the Subway Kids’ Pak Veggie Delite Mini Sub, (includes a mini-sub and SPC puree snack), which contained 0.44g salt or 13% of a 4-8-year-old child’s daily recommended salt intake.
  • McDonald’s is the only fast-food outlet offering fresh fruit (apple slices) and vegetables (grape tomatoes) with the Kids Meal packs.
  • Within the retailers, there was a range in salt levels for children’s meals. For example, a McDonald’s Happy Meal containing 3 chicken nuggets, apple slices and water contains 16% of a 4-8-year-old child’s salt intake, whereas the saltier option of a cheeseburger, fries and water contains 66% of a 4-8-year-old child’s salt intake.
  • There are huge variations in the same product at the different outlets; a 6 pack of chicken nuggets from KFC and Hungry Jack’s contained twice as much salt as 6 pack of chicken nuggets from McDonald’s
  • The UK set salt targets for takeaway kids’ meals of less than 1.8 grams of salt per meal. Thirty per cent of the meals analysed in this report exceeded this target. All Subway products met this target.

The George Institute’s Public Health Nutritionist and the report’s lead author Clare Farrand said it was clear there needed to be more regulation on fast food outlets to make their products healthier.

“It is unacceptable that some children’s meals in Australia are significantly saltier than similar meals purchased in the UK,” Ms Farrand said.

“Hungry Jack’s 6 pack nugget meal was 1.5 times saltier in Australia than in the UK and McDonald’s 6 pack nugget meal was a whopping 1.7 times saltier.”

“The fact that some companies produce the same foods with a lot less salt in the UK demonstrates that they can, and should for all countries.”

“We know that some companies are doing better than others – all of the Subway kids’ meals meet the UK targets – but clearly more needs to be done to reduce the salt content across the board.”

VicHealth dietitian Jenny Reimers said when it comes to kids’ meals it was time for fast food outlets to make the default choice the healthier option.

“Kids aren’t born craving salty food – we develop this taste preference based on exposure so it’s really important parents limit the amount of salty food their kids eat,” Ms Reimers said.

“Fast food really should be occasional treats, yet the average family has takeaway almost once a week. If you’re going to have takeaway foods, try less salty options with fresh fruit and vegetables included.

“While it’s encouraging that some fast food outlets are including fresh fruit and vegies as options in their kids’ meals this should be the default and it should be offered at all restaurants.”

Tips for consumers:

  • Limit fast food – these discretionary foods should only be eaten in small amounts as a treat every now and again
  • If you are eating fast food, try to choose options with fruit and vegetables as these are likely to be lower in salt
  • Parents looking to lower their family’s salt intake can sign up to the Unpack Your Lunch 10-Day Salt Challengewhere they will receive tips to reduce salt, blogs and low salt recipes.

About the Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership

The Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership was established in 2014 in response to alarming high levels of salt consumption by the Victorian public.

The partnership comprises of peak public health organisations: VicHealth, Heart Foundation, The George Institute for Global Health, Deakin University Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), National Stroke Foundation, Kidney Health Australia, The Victorian Department for Health and Human Services, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Food Innovation Australia Ltd, CSIRO and the High Blood Pressure Research Council.

Australia is committed to meeting the World Health Organization’s target of 30 percent reduction in average population salt intake by 2025. To achieve this, the partnership has developed a comprehensive set of actions aimed at gaining consensus and commitment for salt reduction action from governments, public and industry in Victoria.

NACCHO Aboriginal #MentalHealth and #JunkFood : Increasing how much exercise we get and switching to a healthy diet can also play an important role in treating – and even preventing – depression

” The review found that across 41 studies, people who stuck to a healthy diet had a 24-35% lower risk of depressive symptoms than those who ate more unhealthy foods.

These findings suggest improving your diet could be a cost-effective complementary treatment for depression and could reduce your risk of developing a mental illness.

From the Conversation / Megan Lee

 ” NACCHO Campaign 2013 : Our ‘Aboriginal communities should take health advice from the fast food industry’ a campaign that eventually went global, reaching more than  20 million Twitter followers.”

See over 60 NACCHO Healthy Foods Articles HERE

See over 200 NACCHO Mental Health articles HERE 

Worldwide, more than 300 million people live with depression. Without effective treatment, the condition can make it difficult to work and maintain relationships with family and friends.

Depression can cause sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, and a lack of interest in activities that are usually pleasurable. At its most extreme, it can lead to suicide.

Depression has long been treated with medication and talking therapies – and they’re not going anywhere just yet. But we’re beginning to understand that increasing how much exercise we get and switching to a healthy diet can also play an important role in treating – and even preventing – depression.

So what should you eat more of, and avoid, for the sake of your mood?

Ditch junk food

Research suggests that while healthy diets can reduce the risk or severity of depression, unhealthy diets may increase the risk.

Of course, we all indulge from time to time but unhealthy diets are those that contain lots of foods that are high in energy (kilojoules) and low on nutrition. This means too much of the foods we should limit:

  • processed and takeaway foods
  • processed meats
  • fried food
  • butter
  • salt
  • potatoes
  • refined grains, such as those in white bread, pasta, cakes and pastries
  • sugary drinks and snacks.

The average Australian consumes 19 serves of junk food a week, and far fewer serves of fibre-rich fresh food and wholegrains than recommended. This leaves us overfed, undernourished and mentally worse off.

Here’s what to eat instead

Mix it up. Anna Pelzer

Having a healthy diet means consuming a wide variety of nutritious foods every day, including:

  • fruit (two serves per day)
  • vegetables (five serves)
  • wholegrains
  • nuts
  • legumes
  • oily fish
  • dairy products
  • small quantities of meat
  • small quantities of olive oil
  • water.

This way of eating is common in Mediterranean countries, where people have been identified as having lower rates of cognitive decline, depression and dementia.

In Japan, a diet low in processed foods and high in fresh fruit, vegetables, green tea and soy products is recognised for its protective role in mental health.

How does healthy food help?

A healthy diet is naturally high in five food types that boost our mental health in different ways:

Complex carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains help fuel our brain cells. Complex carbohydrates release glucose slowly into our system, unlike simple carbohydrates (found in sugary snacks and drinks), which create energy highs and lows throughout the day. These peaks and troughs decrease feelings of happiness and negatively affect our psychological well-being.

Antioxidants in brightly coloured fruit and vegetables scavenge free radicals, eliminate oxidative stress and decrease inflammation in the brain. This in turn increases the feelgood chemicals in the brain that elevate our mood.

Omega 3 found in oily fish and B vitamins found in some vegetables increase the production of the brain’s happiness chemicals and have been known to protect against both dementia and depression.

Salmon is an excellent source of omega 3. Caroline Attwood

Pro and prebiotics found in yoghurt, cheese and fermented products boost the millions of bacteria living in our gut. These bacteria produce chemical messengers from the gut to the brain that influence our emotions and reactions to stressful situations.

Research suggests pro- and prebiotics could work on the same neurological pathways that antidepressants do, thereby decreasing depressed and anxious states and elevating happy emotions.

What happens when you switch to a healthy diet?

An Australian research team recently undertook the first randomised control trial studying 56 individuals with depression.

Over a 12-week period, 31 participants were given nutritional consulting sessions and asked to change from their unhealthy diets to a healthy diet. The other 25 attended social support sessions and continued their usual eating patterns.

The participants continued their existing antidepressant and talking therapies during the trial.

At the end of the trial, the depressive symptoms of the group that maintained a healthier diet significantly improved. Some 32% of participants had scores so low they no longer met the criteria for depression, compared with 8% of the control group.

The trial was replicated by another research team, which found similar results, and supported by a recent review of all studies on dietary patterns and depression. The review found that across 41 studies, people who stuck to a healthy diet had a 24-35% lower risk of depressive symptoms than those who ate more unhealthy foods.

These findings suggest improving your diet could be a cost-effective complementary treatment for depression and could reduce your risk of developing a mental illness.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Obesity : #refreshtheCTGrefresh : Download the Select Committee into the #Obesity Epidemic in Australia 22 recommendations : With feedback from @ACDPAlliance @janemartinopc

The Federal Government must impose a tax on sugary drinks, mandate Health Star Ratings and ban junk food ads on TV until 9 pm if it wants to drive down Australia’s obesity rates, a Senate committee has concluded.

The Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic, comprising senators from all major parties and chaired by Greens leader Richard Di Natale, has tabled a far-reaching report with 22 recommendations.”

See SMH Article Part 1 below

Download PDF copy of report

Senate Obesity report

Extract from Report Programs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

The committee heard that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) run effective programs aimed at preventing and addressing the high prevalence of obesity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Ms Pat Turner, Chief Executive Officer of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), gave the example of the Deadly Choices program, which is about organised sports and activities for young people.

She explained that to participate in the program, prospective participants need to have a health check covered by Medicare, which is an opportunity to assess their current state of health and map out a treatment plan if necessary.

However, NACCHO is of the view that ACCHOs need to be better resourced to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity.

Access to healthy and fresh foods in remote Australia

Ms Turner also pointed out that ‘the supply of fresh foods to remote communities and regional communities is a constant problem’.

From NACCHO Submission Read here 

Recommendation 21 see all Recommendations Part 2

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce is funded to develop and oversee culturally appropriate prevention and intervention programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Recommendation 22

The committee recommends the Commonwealth develop additional initiatives and incentives aimed at increasing access, affordability and consumption of fresh foods in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Unhealthy weight is a major risk factor for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Preventing obesity in children is particularly important, as it is difficult to reverse weight gain once established,” 

Chair of the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance Sharon McGowan said limiting unhealthy food marketing would reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food and its subsequent consumption.See in full Part 3

“Obesity in this country has reached epidemic proportions, but it is not a problem without a solution. Today’s report demonstrates a willingness from representatives across all political parties to investigate the systemic causes of obesity and develop a way forward.”

A key recommendation from the Inquiry’s report is the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks; something the OPC has led calls for, and which has been supported by around 40 public health, community and academic groups in the Tipping the Scales report.

Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition, said that when two thirds of Australians are overweight or obese, the Inquiry’s comprehensive report provides an acknowledgement of the scale of the problem and a blueprint for tackling it .See part 4 Below for full press release

Part 1 SMH Article 

About 63 per cent of Australian adults are overweight or obese.

In a move that will likely delight health groups and enrage the food and beverage industries, it has recommended the government slap a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), saying this would reduce sugar consumption, improve public health and push manufacturers to reformulate their products.

“The World Health Organisation has recommended governments tax sugary drinks and, at present, over 30 jurisdictions across the world have introduced a SSB tax as part of their effort and commitment toward preventing and controlling the rise of obesity,” the report said.

While health groups, such as Cancer Council, have demanded a 20 per cent levy, the committee suggested the government find the best fiscal model to achieve a price increase of at least 20 per cent.

“The impacts of sugary drinks are borne most by those on low income and they will also reap the most benefits from measures that change the behaviour of manufacturers,” it said.

About 63 per cent of Australian adults and 27 per cent of children aged 5 to 17 are overweight or obese, which increases the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

At the heart of the report is the recognition of the need for a National Obesity Taskforce, comprising government, health, industry and community representatives, which would sit within the Department of Health and be responsible for a National Obesity Strategy as well as a National Childhood Obesity Strategy.

“Australia does not have an overarching strategy to combat obesity,” it said.

“Many of the policy areas required to identify the causes, impacts and potential solutions to the obesity problem span every level of government.”

The committee has also urged the government to mandate the Health Star Rating (HSR) system, which is undergoing a five-year review, by 2020.

The voluntary front-of-pack labelling system has come under fire for producing questionable, confusing ratings – such as four stars for Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain – and becoming a “marketing tool”.

“Making it mandatory will drive food companies to reformulate more of their products in order to achieve higher HSR ratings,” the report said.

“The committee also believes that, once the HSR is made mandatory, the HSR calculator could be regularly adjusted to make it harder to achieve a five star rating.”

Pointing to a conflict-of-interest, it has recommended the HSR’s Technical Advisory Group expel members representing the industry.

“Representatives of the food and beverage industry sectors may be consulted for technical advice but [should] no longer sit on the HSR Calculator Technical Advisory Group,” it said.

The government has also been asked to consider introducing legislation to restrict junk food ads on free-to-air television until 9pm.

The group said existing voluntary codes were inadequate and also suggested that all junk food ads in all forms of media should display the product’s HSR.

The committee is made up of seven senators – two  Liberals, two Labor, one each from the Greens and One Nation and independent Tim Storer.

The Liberals wrote dissenting statements, saying a taskforce was unnecessary, HSR should remain voluntary, there shouldn’t be a sugar tax, and current advertising regulations were enough.

“No witnesses who appeared before the inquiry could point to any jurisdiction in the world where the introduction of a sugar tax led to a fall in obesity rates,” they said.

Labor senators also said there was no need for a sugar tax because there isn’t enough evidence.

“Labor senators are particularly concerned that an Australian SSB would likely be regressive, meaning that it would impact lower-income households disproportionately,” they said.

Committee chair, Dr Di Natale said: “We need the full suite of options recommended by the committee if we’re serious about making Australians happier, healthier, and more active.”

Part 2 ALL 22 Recommendations

Recommendation 1

The committee recommends that Commonwealth funding for overweight and obesity prevention efforts and treatment programs should be contingent on the appropriate use of language to avoid stigma and blame in all aspects of public health campaigns, program design and delivery.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that the Commonwealth Department of Health work with organisations responsible for training medical and allied health professionals to incorporate modules specifically aimed at increasing the understanding and awareness of stigma and blame in medical, psychological and public health interventions of overweight and obesity.

Recommendation 3

The committee recommends the establishment of a National Obesity Taskforce, comprising representatives across all knowledge sectors from federal, state, and local government, and alongside stakeholders from the NGO, private sectors and community members. The Taskforce should sit within the Commonwealth Department of Health and be responsible for all aspects of government policy direction, implementation and the management of funding

Recommendation 3.1

The committee recommends that the newly established National Obesity Taskforce develop a National Obesity Strategy, in consultation with all key stakeholders across government, the NGO and private sectors.

Recommendation 3.2

The committee recommends that the Australian Dietary Guidelines are updated every five years.

Recommendation 6

The committee recommends the Minister for Rural Health promote to the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation the adoption of the following changes to the current Health Star Rating system:

  • The Health Star Rating Calculator be modified to address inconsistencies in the calculation of ratings in relation to:
  • foods high in sugar, sodium and saturated fat;
  • the current treatment of added sugar;
  • the current treatment of fruit juices;
  • the current treatment of unprocessed fruit and vegetables; and
  • the ‘as prepared’ rules.
  • Representatives of the food and beverage industry sectors may be consulted for technical advice but no longer sit on the HSR Calculator Technical Advisory Group.
  • The Health Star Rating system be made mandatory by 2020.

Recommendation 7

The committee recommends Food Standards Australia New Zealand undertake a review of voluntary front-of-pack labelling schemes to ensure they are fit-forpurpose and adequately represent the nutritional value of foods and beverages.

Recommendation 8

The committee recommends the Minister for Rural Health promote to the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation the adoption of mandatory labelling of added sugar on packaged foods and drinks.

Recommendation 9

The committee recommends that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council work with the Department of Health to develop a nutritional information label for fast food menus with the goal of achieving national consistency and making it mandatory in all jurisdictions.

Recommendation 10

The committee recommends the Australian Government introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, with the objectives of reducing consumption, improving public health and accelerating the reformulation of products.

Recommendation 11

The committee recommends that, as part of the 2019 annual review of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice, Free TV Australia introduce restrictions on discretionary food and drink advertising on free-to-air television until 9.00pm.

Recommendation 12

The committee recommends that the Australian Government consider introducing legislation to restrict discretionary food and drink advertising on free-toair television until 9.00pm if these restrictions are not voluntary introduced by Free TV Australia by 2020.

Recommendation 13

The committee recommends the Australian Government make mandatory the display of the Health Star Rating for food and beverage products advertised on all forms of media.

Recommendation 14

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce is funded to develop and oversee the implementation of a range of National Education Campaigns with different sectors of the Australian community. Educational campaigns will be context dependent and aimed at supporting individuals, families and communities to build on cultural practices and improve nutrition literacy and behaviours around diet, physical activity and well-being.

Recommendation 15

The committee recommends that the National Obesity Taskforce, when established, form a sub-committee directly responsible for the development and management of a National Childhood Obesity Strategy.

Recommendation 16

The committee recommends the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) consider adding obesity to the list of medical conditions eligible for the Chronic Disease Management scheme.

Recommendation 17

The committee recommends the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and other college of professional bodies educate their members about the benefits of bariatric surgical interventions for some patients.

Recommendation 18

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce commission evaluations informed by multiple methods of past and current multistrategy prevention programs with the view of designing future programs.

Recommendation 19

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce is funded to develop and oversee the implementation of multi-strategy, community based prevention programs in partnership with communities.

Recommendation 20

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce develop a National Physical Activity Strategy.

Recommendation 21

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce is funded to develop and oversee culturally appropriate prevention and intervention programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Recommendation 22

The committee recommends the Commonwealth develop additional initiatives and incentives aimed at increasing access, affordability and consumption of fresh foods in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Part 3 Protect our children chronic disease groups support calls to restrict junk food advertising

Junk food advertising to children urgently needs to be better regulated.

That’s a recommendation from the Senate report on obesity, released last night, and a message that the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance strongly supports.

Chair of the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance Sharon McGowan said limiting unhealthy food marketing would reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food and its subsequent consumption.

“Unhealthy weight is a major risk factor for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Preventing obesity in children is particularly important, as it is difficult to reverse weight gain once established,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms McGowan said one in four children are already overweight or obese, and more likely to grow into adults who are overweight or obese with greater risk of chronic disease.

“While there are multiple factors influencing unhealthy weight gain, this is not an excuse for inaction,” she said. “Food companies are spending big money targeting our kids, unhealthy food advertising fills our television screens, our smartphones and digital media channels.

“Currently, self-regulation by industry is limited and there are almost no restrictions for advertising unhealthy foods online – this has to stop.

“We need to act now to stem this tide of obesity and preventable chronic disease, or we risk being the first generation to leave our children with a shorter life expectancy than our own.”

The Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance also welcomed the Report’s recommendations for the establishment of a National Obesity Taskforce, improvements to the Health Star Rating food labelling system, development a National Physical Activity Strategy and introduction of a sugary drinks levy.

“We support the recent Government commitment to develop a national approach to obesity and urge the government to incorporate the recommendations from the Senate report for a well-rounded approach to tackle obesity in Australia,” Ms McGowan said.

Part 4

Sugary drink levy among 22 recommendations

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has welcomed a Senate Inquiry report into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia as an important step toward saving Australians from a lifetime of chronic disease and even premature death.

Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition, said that when two thirds of Australians are overweight or obese, the Inquiry’s comprehensive report provides an acknowledgement of the scale of the problem and a blueprint for tackling it.

“Obesity in this country has reached epidemic proportions, but it is not a problem without a solution. Today’s report demonstrates a willingness from representatives across all political parties to investigate the systemic causes of obesity and develop a way forward.”

A key recommendation from the Inquiry’s report is the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks; something the OPC has led calls for, and which has been supported by around 40 public health, community and academic groups in the Tipping the Scales report.

“Sugar is a problem in our diets and sugary drinks are the largest contributor of added sugar for Australians. Consumption of these beverages is associated with chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and tooth decay,” Ms Martin said.

“We have been calling for a 20% health levy on sugary drinks for a number of years, but Australia continues to lag behind 45 other jurisdictions around the world that have introduced levies. When sugary drinks are often cheaper than water, it’s time to take action.”

The report also calls for a review of the current rules around junk food advertising to children.

Ms Martin insisted any review should prioritise an end to the advertising industry’s selfregulated codes.

“We know industry marketing is having a negative effect; it directly impacts what children eat and what they pester their parents for. It’s wallpaper in their lives, bombarding them during their favourite TV shows, infiltrating their social media feeds and plastering their sports grounds and uniforms when they play sport,” Ms Martin said.

“With more than one in four Australian children overweight or obese, it’s time for the Government to acknowledge that leaving food and beverage companies to make their own sham rules allows them to continue to prioritise profits over kids’ health.”

While the Inquiry’s report calls for a National Obesity Strategy, a commitment announced by the COAG Health Ministers earlier this year, Ms Martin stressed that this must be developed independently, without the involvement of the ultra-processed food industry, which has already hampered progress to date.

“The OPC, along with 40 leading community and public health groups, have set out clear actions on how best to tackle obesity in our consensus report, Tipping the Scales. These actions came through strongly from many of the groups who participated in the inquiry and we are pleased to see them reflected in the recommendations.

“The evidence is clear on what works to prevent and reduce obesity, but for real impact we need leadership from policy makers. We need to stop placing the blame on individuals. The Federal and State governments must now work together to push those levers under their control to stem the tide of obesity.”

The senate inquiry report contains 22 recommendations which address the causes, control of obesity, including:

  • The establishment of a National Obesity Taskforce, with a view to develop a National Obesity Strategy
  • Introduction of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages
  • The Health Star Rating system be made mandatory by 2020
  • Adoption of mandatory labelling of added sugar
  • Restrictions on discretionary food and drink advertising on free-to-air television until 9pm
  • Implementation of a National Education Campaign aimed at improving nutrition literacy and behaviours around diet and physical activity
  • Form a sub-committee from the National Obesity Taskforce around the development and management of a National Childhood Obesity Strategy

BACKGROUND:

On 10 May 2018, the Senate voted to establish an inquiry to examine the impacts of Australia’s obesity epidemic.

The Select Committee into the obesity epidemic was established on 16 May 2018 to look at the causes of rising levels of obese and overweight people in Australia and how the issue affects children. It also considered the economic burden of the health concern and the effectiveness of existing programs to improve diets and tackle childhood obesity. The inquiry has received 145 submissions and has published its full report today.

The Committee held public hearings from public health, industry and community groups. The OPC provided a submission and Jane Martin gave evidence at one of these sessions.