NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #SugarTax #5Myths @ausoftheyear Dr James Muecke pushing for Scott Morrison’s government to enact a tax on sugary drinks : Money $ raised could be used to fund health promotion

” This year’s Australian of the Year, Dr James Muecke, is an eye specialist with a clear vision.

He wants to change the way the world looks at sugar and the debilitating consequences of diabetes, which include blindness.

Muecke is pushing for Scott Morrison’s government to enact a tax on sugary drinks to help make that a reality.

Such a tax would increase the price of soft drinks, juices and other sugary drinks by around 20%. The money raised could be used to fund health promotion programs around the country.

The evidence backing his calls is strong. ” 

From the Conversation

” A study of intake of six remote Aboriginal communities, based on store turnover, found that intake of energy, fat and sugar was excessive, with fatty meats making the largest contribution to fat intake.

Compared with national data, intake of sweet and carbonated beverages and sugar was much higher in these communities, with the proportion of energy derived from refined sugars approximately four times the recommended intake.

Recent evidence from Mexico indicates that implementing health-related taxes on sugary drinks and on ‘junk’ food can decrease purchase of these foods and drinks.

A recent Australian study predicted that increasing the price of sugary drinks by 20% could reduce consumption by 12.6%.

Revenue raised by such a measure could be directed to an evaluation of effectiveness and in the longer term be used to subsidise and market healthy food choices as well as promotion of physical activity.

It is imperative that all of these interventions to promote healthy eating should have community-ownership and not undermine the cultural importance of family social events, the role of Elders, or traditional preferences for some food.

Food supply in Indigenous communities needs to ensure healthy, good quality foods are available at affordable prices.” 

Extract from NACCHO Network Submission to the Select Committee’s Obesity Epidemic in Australia Inquiry. 

Download the full 15 Page submission HERE

Obesity Epidemic in Australia – Network Submission – 6.7.18

Also Read over 40 Aboriginal Health and Sugar Tax articles published by NACCHO 


Taxes on sugary drinks work

Several governments around the world have adopted taxes on sugary drinks in recent years. The evidence is clear: they work.

Last year, a summary of 17 studies found health taxes on sugary drinks implemented in Berkeley and other places in the United States, Mexico, Chile, France and Spain reduced both purchases and consumption of sugary drinks.

Reliable evidence from around the world tells us a 10% tax reduces sugary drink intakes by around 10%.

The United Kingdom soft drink tax has also been making headlines recently. Since its introduction, the amount of sugar in drinks has decreased by almost 30%, and six out of ten leading drink companies have dropped the sugar content of more than 50% of their drinks.


Read more: Sugary drinks tax is working – now it’s time to target cakes, biscuits and snacks


In Australia, modelling studies have shown a 20% health tax on sugary drinks is likely to save almost A$2 billion in healthcare costs over the lifetime of the population by preventing diet-related diseases like diabetes, heart disease and several cancers.

This is over and above the cost benefits of preventing dental health issues linked to consumption of sugary drinks.

Most of the health benefits (nearly 50%) would occur among those living in the lowest socioeconomic circumstances.

A 20% health tax on sugary drinks would also raise over A$600 million to invest back into the health of Australians.

After sugar taxes are introduced, people tend to switch from sugar drinks to other product lines, such as bottled water and artificially sweetened drinks. l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock

 

So what’s the problem?

The soft drink industry uses every trick in the book to try to convince politicians a tax on sugary drinks is bad policy.

Here are our responses to some common arguments against these taxes:

Myth 1: Sugary drink taxes unfairly disadvantage the poor

It’s true people on lower incomes would feel the pinch from higher prices on sugary drinks. A 20% tax on sugary drinks in Australia would cost people from low socioeconomic households about A$35 extra per year. But this is just A$4 higher than the cost to the wealthiest households.

Importantly, poorer households are likely to get the biggest health benefits and long-term health care savings.

What’s more, the money raised from the tax could be targeted towards reducing health inequalities.


Read more: Australian sugary drinks tax could prevent thousands of heart attacks and strokes and save 1,600 lives


Myth 2: Sugary drink taxes would result in job losses

Multiple studies have shown no job losses resulted from taxes on sugar drinks in Mexico and the United States.

This is in contrast to some industry-sponsored studies that try to make the case otherwise.

In Australia, job losses from such a tax are likely to be minimal. The total demand for drinks by Australian manufacturers is unlikely to change substantially because consumers would likely switch from sugary drinks to other product lines, such as bottled water and artificially sweetened drinks.

A tax on sugary drinks is unlikely to cost jobs. Successo images/Shutterstock

 

Despite industry protestations, an Australian tax would have minimal impact on sugar farmers. This is because 80% of our locally grown sugar is exported. Only a small amount of Australian sugar goes to sugary drinks, and the expected 1% drop in demand would be traded elsewhere.

Myth 3: People don’t support health taxes on sugary drinks

There is widespread support for a tax on sugary drinks from major health and consumer groups in Australia.

In addition, a national survey conducted in 2017 showed 77% of Australians supported a tax on sugary drinks, if the proceeds were used to fund obesity prevention.

Myth 4: People will just swap to other unhealthy products, so a tax is useless

Taxes, or levies, can be designed to avoid substitution to unhealthy products by covering a broad range of sugary drink options, including soft drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks.

There is also evidence that shows people switch to water in response to sugary drinks taxes.


Read more: Sweet power: the politics of sugar, sugary drinks and poor nutrition in Australia


Myth 5: There’s no evidence sugary drink taxes reduce obesity or diabetes

Because of the multiple drivers of obesity, it’s difficult to isolate the impact of a single measure. Indeed, we need a comprehensive policy approach to address the problem. That’s why Dr Muecke is calling for a tax on sugary drinks alongside improved food labelling and marketing regulations.

Towards better food policies

The Morrison government has previously and repeatedly rejected pushes for a tax on sugary drinks.

But Australian governments are currently developing a National Obesity Strategy, making it the ideal time to revisit this issue.

We need to stop letting myths get in the way of evidence-backed health policies.

Let’s listen to Dr Muecke – he who knows all too well the devastating effects of products packed full of sugar.

NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health #BacktoSchool : What our kids eat can affect not only their physical health but also their mood, mental health and learning

“When kids eat a healthy diet with a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in that diet, they actually perform better in the classroom.​     

They’re going to have better stamina with their work, and at the end of the day it means we’ll get better learning results which will impact on them in the long term.”

Marlborough Primary School principal

We know that fuelling children with the appropriate foods helps support their growth and development.

But there is a growing body of research showing that what children eat can affect not only their physical health but also their mood, mental health and learning.

The research suggests that eating a healthy and nutritious diet can improve mental health¹, enhance cognitive skills like concentration and memory²‚³ and improve academic performance⁴.

In fact, young people that have the unhealthiest diets are nearly 80% more likely to have depression than those with the healthiest diets

Continued Part 1 Below

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer increased risk of chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Eating healthy food and being physically active lowers your risk of getting kidney disease and type 2 diabetes, and of dying young from heart disease and some cancers.

Being a healthy weight can also makes it easier for you to keep up with your family and look after the kids, nieces, nephews and grandkids. “

Continued Part 2 Below

Part 1

Children should be eating plenty of nutritious, minimally processed foods from the five food groups:

  1. fruit
  2. vegetables and legumes/beans
  3. grains (cereal foods)
  4. lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
  5. milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives.

Consuming too many nutritionally-poor foods and drinks that are high in added fats, sugars and salt, such as lollies, chips and fried foods has been connected to emotional and behavioural problems in children and adolescents⁵.

In fact, young people that have the unhealthiest diets are nearly 80% more likely to have depression than those with the healthiest diets¹.

Children learn from their parents and carers. If you want your children to eat well, set a good example. If you help them form healthy eating habits early, they’re more likely to stick with them for life.

So here are some good habits to start them on the right path.

Eat with your kids, as a family, without the distraction of the television. Children benefit from routines, so try to eat meals at regular times.

Make sure your kids eat breakfast too – it’s a good source of energy and nutrients to help them start the day. Good choices are high-fibre, low-sugar cereals or wholegrain toast. It’s also a good idea to prepare healthy snacks in advance for them to eat in between meals.

Encourage children to drink water or milk rather than soft drinks, cordial, sports drinks or fruit juice drinks – don’t keep these in the fridge or pantry.

Children over the age of two years can be given reduced fat milk, but children under the age of two years should be given full cream milk.

Why are schools an important place to make changes?

Schools can play a key role in influencing healthy eating habits, as students can consume on average 37% of their energy intake for the day during school hours alone!6

A New South Wales survey found that up to 72% of primary school students purchase foods and drinks from the canteen at least once a week7. Also, in Victoria, while around three-quarters (77%) of children meet the guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit, only one in 25 (4%) meet the guidelines for recommended daily serves of vegetables8; and discretionary foods account for nearly 40 per cent of energy intake for Victorian children9.

It’s never too late to encourage healthier eating habits – childhood and adolescence is a key time to build lifelong habits and learn how to enjoy healthy eating.

Get started today

You can start to improve students’ learning outcomes and mental wellbeing by promoting healthy eating throughout your school environment.

Some ideas to get you started:

This blog article was originally published on Healthy Eating Advisory Service . 

Part 2

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer increased risk of chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Eating healthy food and being physically active lowers your risk of getting kidney disease and type 2 diabetes, and of dying young from heart disease and some cancers.

Being a healthy weight can also makes it easier for you to keep up with your family and look after the kids, nieces, nephews and grandkids.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may find it useful to chose store foods that are most like traditional animal and plant bush foods – that is, low in saturated fat, added sugar and salt – and use traditional bush foods whenever possible.

The Healthy Weight Guide provides information about maintaining and achieving a healthy weight.

It tells you how to work out if you’re a healthy weight. It lets you know up-to-date information about what foods to eat and what foods to avoid and what and how much physical activity to do. It gives you tips on setting goalsmonitoring what you dogetting support and managing the challenges.

There are also tips on how to eat well if you live in rural and remote areas.

The national Live Longer! Local Community Campaigns Grants Program supports Indigenous communities to help their people to work towards and maintain healthy weights and lifestyles. For more information, see Live Longer!.

Part 3 Parents may not always realise that their children are not a healthy weight.

If you think your child is underweight, the following information will not apply to your situation and you should seek advice from a health professional for an assessment.

If you think your child is overweight you should see your health professional for an assessment. However, if you’re not sure whether your child is overweight, see if you recognise some of the signs below. If you are still not sure, see your health professional for advice.

Overweight children may experience some or all of the following:

  • Having to wear clothes that are too big for their age
  • Having rolls or skin folds around the waist
  • Snoring when they sleep
  • Saying they get teased about their weight
  • Difficulty participating in some physically active games and activities
  • Avoiding taking part in games at school
  • Avoiding going out with other children

Signs that a child is at risk of becoming overweight, if they are not already, include:

  • Eating lots of foods high in saturated fats such as pies, pasties, sausage rolls, hot chips, potato crisps and other snacks, and cakes, biscuits and high-sugar muesli bars
  • Eating take away or fast food meals more than once a week
  • Eating lots of foods high in added sugar such as cakes, biscuits, muffins, ice-cream and deserts
  • Drinking sugar-sweetened soft drinks, sports drinks or cordials
  • Eating lots of snacks high in salt and fat such as hot chips, potato crisps and other similar snacks
  • Skipping meals, including breakfast, regularly
  • Watching TV and/or playing video games or on social networks for more than two hours each day
  • Not being physically active on a daily basis.

For more information:

References for Part 1

1 Jacka FN, et al. Associations between diet quality and depressed mood in adolescents: results from the Australian Healthy Neighbourhoods Study. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2010 May;44(5):435-42. https://doi.org/10.3109/00048670903571598571598
2 Gómez-Pinilla, F. (2008). Brain foods: The effects of nutrients on brain function. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(7), 568-578. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/
3 Bellisle, F. (2004). Effects of diet on behaviour and cognition in children. British Journal of Nutrition, 92(2), S227–S232
4 Burrows, T., Goldman, S., Pursey, K., Lim, R. (2017) Is there an association between dietary intake and academic achievement: a systematic review. J Hum Nutr Diet. 30, 117– 140 doi: 10.1111/jhn.12407. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jhn.12407
5 Jacka FN, Kremer PJ, Berk M, de Silva-Sanigorski AM, Moodie M, Leslie ER, et al. (2011) A Prospective Study of Diet Quality and Mental Health in Adolescents. PLoS ONE 6(9): e24805. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0024805
6 Bell AC, Swinburn BA. What are the key food groups to target for preventing obesity and improving nutrition in schools? Eur J Clin Nutr2004;58:258–63
7 Hardy L, King L, Espinel P, et al. NSW Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS) 2010: Full Report (pg 97). Sydney: NSW Ministry of Health, 2011
8 Department of Education and Training 2019, Child Health and Wellbeing Survey – Summary Findings 2017, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne.
9 Department of Health and Human Services 2016, Victoria’s Health; the Chief Health Officer’s report 2014, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne.

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Nutrition News : @CAACongress and @Apunipima ACCHO’s partner with Queensland Uni @UQ_NEWs in 3 year study to fight food insecurity in our Indigenous communities

“We have high rates of iron deficiency anaemia in women and young children and we know this is caused by inadequate iron in the diet.

Iron-rich foods are very expensive in remote communities, and it is believed this is a key factor in causing the deficiency.

The study will enable key foods to be reduced in price and determine the impact this has on their consumption and subsequent health concerns. It will also enable the issue of food security to be more widely discussed.”

Congress chief executive Donna Ah Chee (And NACCHO board member ) said the organisation was pleased to be partnering with Apunipima Health Service and the UQ “in this really important study, the first of its kind in Central Australia”.

Download also Congress obesity submission 

Congress-Submission-to-the-National-Obesity-Strategy-Dec-2019

You can read all Aboriginal Health and Nutrition articles published by NACCHO 2012 to 2019 HERE

Working with communities to improve food security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will be the focus of a significant University of Queensland study.

The three-year research project, designed in conjunction with the Apunipima Cape York Health Council and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, will be funded by a $2 million-plus National Health and Medical Research Council grant to UQ’s School of Public Health.

The study’s phase one will analyse how price discounts, offered via loyalty cards, impact on affordability of a healthy diet.

Phase two will capture participants’ experiences through photos, and use these to develop a framework of solutions that can be translated to health policy.

Dr Megan Ferguson said growing poverty and high food costs were key causes of food insecurity for 31 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote communities, although research suggests this may be as high as 62 per cent.

“Food insecurity leads to hunger, anxiety, poor health, including under-nutrition, obesity and disease, and inter-generational poverty,” Dr Ferguson said.

“We will be working with communities to identify effective mechanisms to improve food security and enable healthy diets in remote Australia.”

This would be done through a community-led framework and knowledge-sharing solutions.

“Pregnant and breastfeeding women, and carers of children aged under five, will be involved in the study in Central Australia and Cape York,” Dr Ferguson said.

“Improving food security for the whole family, especially women and children, will improve diet quality and health, and give children the best start in life for generations to come.”

Clare Brown, Apunipima’s Nutrition Advisor, said the organisation was pleased to co-lead “this important project”.

“It has come together through a very positive co-design process between researchers and Aboriginal community controlled health service providers,” Ms Brown said.

“The project’s community-led focus supports our way of working respectfully with Cape York communities, and is reflected in the Food Security Position Statement of Apunipima’s board,” Ms Brown said.

Menzies School of Health Research, Monash University, James Cook University and Canada’s Dalhousie University are also involved in the study.

 

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.