NACCHO #MensHealthWeek Media Release : @NACCHOChair and Dr Mark Wenitong  “ Closing the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male health : Plus case study Ingkintja Male Health Service at Congress ACCHO in Alice Springs

The commitment of our Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) is to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males to live longer, healthier lives by providing a wide range of preventative men’s programs that address critical social and emotional issues that our men face.

The overall aim is reduce the rate of hospitalisations, which is almost three times higher than for other Australian men and to reduce the number of Aboriginal men in prison who are imprisoned at 11 times the rate of the general male population.”

I would urge our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to focus on their overall health after these two-three months of isolation and get a comprehensive annual 715 health check at their nearest ACCHO.  Annual health checks are crucial in picking up little things before they become worse, give peace of mind, and they are free.”

On the occasion of National Men’s Health Week, NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills

Download the NACCHO press release HERE

NACCHO Media Statement – Men’s Health Week v2.1 15 June

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has long recognised the importance of addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male health as part of the Close the Gap initiatives.

Read over 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men’s Health articles published by NACCHO over 8 Years

Read this article above 

The history of NACCHO OCHRE Day events 2013- 2019

Ingkintja: Wurra apa artwuka pmara Male Health Service at Congress ACCHO has for many years been a national leader in Aboriginal health, not only through its male-only comprehensive primary health care service providing a full suite of medical care complemented by social support services, but through the emphasis that the service places on preventative health with annual 715 health check and weekly engagements, servicing over 1,000 men every year.

See case study part 1 below : Photo above : Left right Terry Braun , John Liddle Manager , David Galvin , Wayne Campbell , Ken Lichleitner

 

The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO), Apunipima Cape York Health Council’s Public Health Medical Officer, Dr Mark Wenitong, has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to improve their overall health and mental health.

His expertise and experience have led to his involvement in health reform with the Cape York Aboriginal communities with a dedicated team of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male workers, who are getting great traction with their community men.

“The strength-based men’s programs delivered by Apunipima continue to see rise in participation rates and better outcomes for Cape York men. Though we still have a long way to go, more of the men are taking control and utilising our programs to support improving their mental health and overall wellbeing,” said Dr Wenitong.

Dr Mark Wenitong on what works in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s health

Part 1 Case Study Ingkintja Male Health Service at Congress ACCHO in Alice Springs 

Ingkintja: Wurra apa artwuka pmara is an Aboriginal Male Health Service at the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress that takes the lead in providing cultural activities and social and emotional wellbeing services for male health for many years.

The ACCHO delivers a full suite of medical care complemented by social support services with emphasis on preventative health with annual 715 health check, servicing over 1,000 men every year.

Ingkintja takes the lead in supporting men in cultural activities across central Australia by providing equipment and medical support when requested by community leaders.

Incorporated into the male-only service are washing facilities (showers and laundry facilities), a gym and ‘Men’s Shed’.

Congress’ decentralisation of social and emotional well-being services meant that a psychologist and Aboriginal care management worker are available through Ingkintja, allowing therapeutic care (counselling, violence interventions), brief interventions, cultural and social support to men.

Ingkintja has a history of hosting national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Heath events

male_health_summit_jun09

Ingkintja also delivers the Jaila Wanti prison to work program, which provides support to Aboriginal prisoners 90 days prior to release and also post release to reintegrate back into community through the coordination of health, wellbeing and social support services.

Male prison transitional care coordinators work with clients on health and wellbeing, and facilitate linkages with employment and training provider. Through the program, Ingkintja deliver regular visits to Aboriginal prisoners in the Alice Springs Correctional facility; conducting sessions with Aboriginal prisoners on their holistic health and wellbeing including health promotions with a focus on staying off the smokes and grog.

Sessions also focus on cultural roots and family connections to rebuild cultural identify and self-worth, and to reinforce positive behaviours while also reflecting on the consequences of impulsivity and violent behaviours.

The team establish trust and respect and assist in reconnecting the men with family and culture and to reintegrate into community.  Corrections staff have provided encouraging feedback on the positive impact that these visits have on the Aboriginal prisoners, noting changed attitudes and behaviours as the men reflect on the impact of their actions and ask for the next Ingkintja session.

The Inkintja men’s wash facilities were recently upgraded and continue to be a vital and highly accessed service, especially for men living rough. The facility gives men the obvious benefit of being able to wash and gain self-worth, and provides a critical engagement opportunity for the team to perform health checks, medical follow-up and other necessary referrals to services to improve their health and wellbeing.

The Ingkintja men’s shed and gym has regular sessions that enable males, both young and old, to come together and access valuable skills, such fitness, comradery and practical life skills.

Ingkintja have also been equipped with a men’s health truck, currently being fitted out with three consult rooms, which will increase the reach of the service’s holistic approach further to remote communities in a culturally responsive – and mobile – way.

 

Aboriginal Health and #BlackLivesMatter News Alerts : Aboriginal deaths in custody with commentary from Pat Turner , Helen Milroy , Marcia Langton , @KenWyattMP @David_Speers @GayaaDhuwi @pat_dudgeon @SenatorDodson

1.1 NACCHO COVID-19 advice to Black Lives Matter protesters.

1.2 VACCHO press release responding to a Black Lives Matter protester testing COVID-19 positive.

1.3 Aboriginal Deaths in custody : Black Lives Matter referred to 432 deaths : its now 437 !

2.Listen to Pat Turner podcast canvassing both causes and solutions, advocating major changes to the justice system.

3.Minister Ken Wyatt press release: Indigenous incarceration rates

4. Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia welcomes reports of Australian governments adopting Indigenous incarceration Closing the Gap targets.

5. View Senator Patrick Dodson speech plus download Senate debate Black lives Matter.

6.Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and hearing loss.

7. Watch Professor Marcia Langton AO and Black Lives Matter video.

8. ABC’s David Speers Black Lives Matter and slavery

1.1 NACCHO COVID-19 advice to Black Lives Matter protesters.

Click here for advice

1.2 VACCHO press release responding to a Black Lives Matter protester testing COVID-19 positive.

Last week, VACCHO supported a harm minimisation approach to the peaceful protests. We recognised that large crowds were likely to congregate in Melbourne’s CBD regardless of any discouragement.  We wanted to ensure those deciding to attend, could do this as safely as possible.

Our messaging to those who decided to go to the rally was loud and clear; say home if unwell or vulnerable, have chronic conditions, or care for anyone who does; be sensible and wear face masks, bring sanitisers and wash your hands; and maintain safe distance of 1.5 meters apart.

Today, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, announced that a non-Aboriginal man in his thirties who attended the BLM rally held in Melbourne, has tested positive to COVID-19. Victoria reported another 7 cases overnight. These 7 cases are not linked or traced back to the rally.

Brett Sutton also advised that this man, who wore a mask at the rally, showed no symptoms Saturday. Mr Sutton reaffirmed that he was diagnosed 24 hours following the rally, meaning it was ‘highly unlikely’ that he caught the virus there.

Normally people show symptoms 4-6 days after being exposed to the virus. Currently, 179 of the 1,699 cases of COVID-19 are linked to cases of community transmission in Victoria which are unable to be traced back to a known source.

Read full Press Release HERE

1.3 Aboriginal Deaths in custody : Black Lives Matter referred to 432 deaths : its now 437 !

Last weekend, Black Lives Matter protests brought thousands on to the streets campaigning for an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Many signs at rallies referred to the 432 deaths that are known to have happened since the royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody delivered its final report in 1991.

That figure is based on Guardian Australia’s findings from a two-year long project to monitor Aboriginal deaths in custody, Deaths Inside.

We updated the database and published new results on Saturday. We found the number had risen to 434.

But by Saturday morning even that number was already out of date. Just before marches began in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and towns around the country, the department of corrective services in Western Australia confirmed that a 40-year-old Aboriginal man had died in custody at Acacia prison, near Perth.

Read full article HERE

2.Listen to Pat Turner podcast canvassing both causes and solutions, advocating major changes to the justice system

Pat Turner, for decades a strong Aboriginal voice, is the lead convenor of the Coalition of Peaks, which brings together about 50 Indigenous community peak organisations. In this role she is part of the negotiations for a new agreement on Closing the Gap targets.

Unlike the original Rudd government targets, the refreshed Closing the Gap agreement, soon to be finalised, will set out targets for progress on justice and housing.

But the issue is, how much progress should be the aim?

Read this Pat Turner interview HERE

“We want to push the percentages of achievement much higher, but we are in a consensus decision-making process with governments … what the targets will reflect is what the governments themselves are prepared to commit to,” Turner says.

The Australian Black Lives Matter marches have focused attention on the very high rates of incarceration of Aboriginal people, often for trivial matters.

In this podcast Turner canvasses both causes and solutions, advocating major changes to the justice system.

She points to “huge issues with drug and alcohol abuse”, with inadequate resourcing to deal with these problems.

She urges reform for sentencing arrangements for those charged with minor offences, criticising a system which imprisons people who cannot pay fines, or post bail. “It would be less expensive overall for the jurisdictions, and it would more beneficial to the community [if those people weren’t in prison]”. And she identifies the “the over-incarceration of women [as] a major concern.”

Among the changes needed, she says, is better training of police.

“Now I’m not saying that all the police behave badly – we have got outstanding examples of how the police work with our communities.” But “we just can’t wait for ad hoc ‘good guys’ to come out of the system and engage properly – we need wholesale reform of the police departments.”

Listen Here

3.Minister Ken Wyatt press release: Indigenous incarceration rates

” The Federal  Government is progressing with the Closing the Gap refresh in partnership with the Coalition of Peaks, and while we’re still in final negotiations, it has been agreed that there will be justice targets contained within that agreement that focus on incarceration rates.

What’s important is that this Agreement has been developed in Partnership with Indigenous Australians and so we’re all working towards better outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

I will keep on working to empower Indigenous Australians – improve health, education and employment outcomes – and reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in custody.

Minister Ken Wyatt Press Release:

Every death in custody is a tragedy.

Unfortunately, there is no simple solution and no single answer.

Through all the work I do as Minister for Indigenous Australian we’re working to address the factors that contribute to high incarceration rates – these include health, education and employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

If we want to reduce the number of deaths in custody we need to look very closely at what’s happening here in Australia – the factors contributing to incarceration rates and the way in which our systems are handling these incidents – this requires a co-operative approach between government and with communities, particularly when States and Territories hold the policies and levers relating to policing and justice matters.

The relationship between Indigenous Australians and the police, both the good and the bad, in respective jurisdictions must also be examined.

The Morrison Government, through the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), is playing a key role in ensuring that there are additional protections in place for individuals when they are taken into custody through the Custody Notification System (CNS).

But we also need to remember that reducing the number of Indigenous people in contact with the justice system, through addressing the underlying factors that lead to offending, is just as key in addressing the number of deaths in custody.

So we should be looking at these things every day – that’s why we fund a range of activities to complement State and Territories to improve justice and community safety outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

It takes more than money – it takes commitment – it takes listening and understanding, and it takes us working together.

4. Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia welcomes reports of Australian governments adopting Indigenous incarceration Closing the Gap targets.

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia welcomed today’s reports of Australian governments adopting Indigenous incarceration Closing the Gap targets.

Noting that Indigenous Australians are almost ten times proportionally overrepresented in prison, Professor Tom Calma AO, Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia Patron, said:

The 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was a response to too many Indigenous Australians being in jail, and dying in jail and in police custody. That this crisis is worse, not better, in 2020 is a scandal.

The legacies of colonisation: structural racism, poverty and social exclusion are at the root of the high rates of imprisonment we suffer. All these must be addressed along with policing and sentencing reform as set out in the Australian Law Reform Commission’s 2018 Pathways to Justice Report.

But in the shorter term, we must also address the pathways to prison that the resulting untreated trauma, mental health and alcohol and drug problems create for our people.

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia Chair Professor Helen Milroy continued:

We know that high rates of trauma, mental health issues and alcohol use are reported in Indigenous prisoners at the time of their offending, but also that – for many – prison is the first time they get any kind of mental health or other support. Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia calls on Australian governments to work together with us to develop a comprehensive mental health focused, justice reinvestment based strategic response to reducing Indigenous imprisonment rates.

This would feature integrated communitybased mental health, AOD and diversionary programs, continuing mental health support in prison, and – upon release – continuity of care to prevent recidivism and to support the reintegration of our people back into our families and communities.

Professor Pat Dudgeon, National Director of the Centre of Best Practice in Indigenous Suicide Prevention and Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia director, added:

Black lives do matter. And in addition to other causes of death in custody, we know that both the stress of pending court cases and the challenges of post-release life contributes to suicides among us, something often forgotten by policy makers. It is critical that diversionary programs and Indigenous prisoner mental health support are also considered within integrated approaches to suicide prevention among us.

Professor Calma closed by stating:

Over a decade ago as Social Justice Commissioner, I called for the development of Closing the Gap targets to reduce our incarceration rates, and for a justice reinvestment approach to doing so.

I repeat these calls today. Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia aims to implement the Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration’s Vision of Indigenous leadership delivering the best possible mental health system and standard of mental health to Indigenous Australians.

The organisation stands ready to lead and partner with stakeholders and Australian governments to develop a comprehensive mental health based strategic response to help close the imprisonment rate gap.

5. View Senator Patrick Dodson speech plus download Senate debate Black Lives Matter

Download Senate debate Black lives Matter

Black lives matter debate in Senate

6.Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and hearing loss

Download Report HERE

Hearing Loss

Read previous other report HERE 

7. Watch Professor Marcia Langton AO and Black Lives Matter video.

8. ABC’s David Speers Black Lives Matter and slavery

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #BlackLivesMatter : Pat Turner Lead Convener @coalition_peaks calls for more ambitious targets to reduce Indigenous incarceration

Aboriginal leaders are pushing for more ambition across all categories in the Closing the Gap refresh, including health, education, economic development and housing.

The 2018 draft agreement was “totally inadequate”and governments should be prepared to spend more money to meet ambitious targets rather than propose modest goals.

The Rudd government’s Closing the Gap initiative failed because of a lack of funding.

We have now got a national agreement very close to finalisation except the ambition of governments is very slack at the moment

We want to achieve parity across the board but unless governments invest correctly in the achievement of the targets, then it is going to be extremely difficult to (meet) them. There will be some movement (on the draft 2018 targets) but I don’t think it will be enough.

It would be the wrong lesson to adopt less-ambitious targets because of the failure to hit the ambitions set by Kevin Rudd in 2008.

There needed to be more control given to peak Aboriginal bodies to roll out the programs and control the funding.

We should be running our own affairs in this day and age.We don’t need bureaucrats to tell us what to do.

We want realistic targets. We don’t want what suits the bureaucracy. The money that has been spent to date has largely been eaten up by overly bureaucratic processes and very little of it hits the ground where it is most needed.”

Pat Turner NACCHO CEO and the Lead Convener  Coalition of Peaks  for the Closing the Gap “refresh

Full story front page of the Australian 9 June

Read previous NACCHO posts for Coalition of Peaks

More ambitious targets to reduce the number of Aboriginal Australians in jail will be put to state and territory governments as part of an overhaul of the Closing the Gap program to reduce Indigenous disadvantage.

Morrison government sources confirmed the commonwealth would scrap a draft agreement to reduce the rate of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in prisons by up to 19 per cent by 2028.

It will instead take a higher target to the states next month after thousands of protesters took to the streets to express their anger over indigenous incarceration rates and deaths in custody.

Officials from state and federal departments will meet Aboriginal representatives including Pat Turner, the chief indigenous negotiator for the Closing the Gap “refresh”, on Tuesday before a meeting of state and territory leaders to decide on the stricter targets on July 2.

Since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991, the rate at which indigenous people have died in jail as a percentage of the Aboriginal prison population has fallen and is now lower than for the non-indigenous prison population, according to data from both the Australian Institute of Criminology and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

But the number of indigenous people in the prison system has increased from 19 per cent in 2000 to nearly 30 per cent in March this year, according to ABS figures. There are now 12,900 indigenous people in prisons, out of a total prison population of 44,159.

Indigenous people made up almost 3 per cent of the population at the 2016 census

Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt is pushing for each state and territory to adopt specific incarceration targets, according to sources close to negotiations. The new targets will be more ambitious than the draft Closing the Gap target, released in December 2018, for a 5 per cent decline in the incarceration rate among adults and an 11 to 19 per cent reduction among youths.

The high rate of indigenous incarceration and associated frequency of deaths in custody were seized on by Australian Black Lives Matter protesters at the weekend marches, which fuelled a backlash over the breaching of coronavirus social-distancing restrictions.

Mr Wyatt declined to comment on the new targets but told The Australian he was “working to address the factors that contribute to high incarceration rates (including) health, education and employment”.

“If we want to reduce the number of deaths in custody, we need to look very closely at what’s happening here in Australia — the factors contributing to incarceration rates and the way in which our systems are handling these incidents,” Mr Wyatt said.

“This requires a co-operative approach between government and with communities, particularly when states and territories hold the policies and levers relating to policing and justice matters.

“It takes more than money; it takes an iron-stead commitment; it takes listening and understanding; and it takes us working together. The Morrison government is progressing with the Closing the Gap refresh in partnership with the Coalition of Peaks, and while we’re still in final negotiations, there will be a justice target contained within that agreement.”

The 2018 draft targets included: 65 per cent of indigenous youth (15-24 years) to be in employment, training or eduction by 2028; 60 per cent of Aboriginal Australians aged 25-64 to be in work; and 82 per cent to live in appropriate-sized housing by 2028.

Just two of the seven Closing the Gap targets set in 2008 — early childhood education and Year 12 attainment — were achieved. Ambitions failed in targets for school attendance, child mortality, employment, life expectancy and literacy and numeracy targets.

A report by the Productivity Commission estimated state and federal governments spent $33.4bn on services for indigenous Australians in the 2016 financial year, up from $27bn (in 2016 dollars) in 2009.

The direct government expenditure per Aboriginal Australian was $44,886 in 2016, compared with $22,356 on non-indigenous Australians.

Aboriginal Health #CoronaVirus #NRW2020 News Alert No 73 : May 28 #KeepOurMobSafe #OurJobProtectOurMob : @Change_Record launches 10 Recommendations for ” The impact of Covid-19 policies, policing and prisons on our First Nations communities

 

As restrictions ease for some of us in the community, we must not forget that the risk of Covid-19 and human rights abuses within prisons remains extremely high.

We have heard reports of people in prisons being denied soap, having to spend their own money to make phone calls to family after visits were banned, not being able to speak confidentially with their lawyers and being stuck on remand because with the current restrictions it has been impossible for lawyers to prepare adequately for a hearing.

This means once again our people are spending longer in prison in potentially dangerous conditions.

The report also documents the devastating challenges our families are facing staying connected with their children. Our children are still being taken from their families and communities at far higher rates than the rest of the population.

The Covid-19 pandemic has put enormous stress on everyone, but for Aboriginal families the burden is even greater. We’ve heard stories of babies being removed at birth and families having to fight to see a photograph, mothers being denied visits with their young children and the fear that this will impact on their future ability to be reunified as a family.

When we reflect on Sorry Day this week, and the fact that children are still being taken from our families at unacceptable and disproportionate rates, we are calling on the Federal Government to not allow Covid-19 to be yet another excuse to tear our families apart.”

Cheryl Axleby, Co-Chair of Change the Record

Download report HERE

CRITICAL CONDITION – the impact of Covid-19 policies, policing and prisons on First Nations communities (2)

Includes editorial from the Guardian

Aboriginal people in prisons are going without soap, and children in out-of-home care are being refused contact with their families under “punitive” restrictions enforced due to Covid-19, a report released on Wednesday has said.

Aboriginal people are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 policy responses at a state, territory and commonwealth level, the report by the Change the Record coalition, said.

Change the Record is the Aboriginal-led justice coalition including Amnesty International, the Law Council of Australia, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (Natsils) and National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (Naccho), representing hundreds of services across Australia.

The report said there have been increased use of lockdowns and isolation within correctional facilities, and a reduced access to education, family and legal visits.

It cites the case of Daniel*, remanded in prison in Tasmania since early 2020 on his first time in custody.

“His matter was heard by telephone in April but he was refused bail. His lawyer sought an adjournment of his matter because they were unable to prepare a defence without being able to see him, properly take his instructions or go through the material with him.

“Daniel is not allowed any visits with his family or his lawyer because of Covid-19 restrictions. He also has health issues, asthma and has extreme anxiety about the virus getting into the prison.

“He reports having no access to any type of sanitiser in prison and was frequently without soap.”

The report calls on governments to release low-risk prisoners from prisons and youth detention centres, but says it has been “difficult” to get up-to-date information about conditions due to “the withdrawal of independent oversight bodies and external scrutiny in many states and territories”.

Recommendations

We urgently call on state, territory and federal governments to:

  1. Release Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners who are low-risk, have chronic health conditions, are on remand, are elderly, children or are for whatever reason at increased risk of Covid-19
  2. Protect the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in prison by ensuring access to oversight and monitoring agencies, family, legal services, mental health care, education and programs
  3. Raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to at least 14 years old and urgently release children and young people from youth detention centres during Covid-19
  4. Enact a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child protection notification and referral scheme to reduce family violence driven child removal through proactive, culturally safe and holistic legal
  5. Connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who experience family violence, and who are engaged with the child protection system, with culturally appropriate services through their nearest Family Violence Prevention Legal
  6. Increase support and access to safe accommodation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families fleeing family violence to stop further removals of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  7. Implement immediate short-term changes in legislation, where applicable, in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out of home care to ensure parents don’t lose their children to permanent care during Covid-19.
  8. Resist punitive policy responses to Covid-19 and the over-policing of already targeted communities, and require transparency and oversight in policing;
  9. Ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including those with disability, are given equal access to high quality and culturally-appropriate health care during Covid-19; and
  10. Rebuild our justice system after Covid-19 to focus on investing in community, not prisons, to increase community safety and prevent black deaths in

“As restrictions ease for some of us in the community, we must not forget that the risk of Covid-19 and human rights abuses within prisons remains extremely high,” the Change the Record co-chair, Cheryl Axleby, said.

The report also highlights the “distress and anxiety” about Covid-19 restrictions felt by Aboriginal children and parents in the out-of-home care system.

It cited the case of Benjamin*, born in the Northern Territory in February and removed immediately.

In Tasmania, one Aboriginal legal service reported that “child safety will not facilitate face-to-face contact with children in out-of-home care and their Aboriginal parent”.

Julia* had been having multiple visits with her child every week but due to Covid-19 her contact has been reduced to one phone/video call a week.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has put enormous stress on everyone, but for Aboriginal families the burden is even greater,” Axleby said.

The report is one of two released to coincide with national reconciliation week. Amnesty International has renewed calls for state and territory governments to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14. Currently, the minimum age is 10, which Amnesty and Change the Record said is well below international standards.

“The medical evidence is clear – kids are still developing at 10, 11, 12 years old and need to be in school, at home and with their peers, not behind bars,” Axleby said.

The report also details allegations of police surveillance of Aboriginal communities, under the guise of Covid-19 restriction enforcement.

It quotes a witness to an incident in inner Sydney: “Two police vehicles were coming in the opposite direction. The second vehicle stopped to talk to an Aboriginal man who was walking slightly ahead of me in the same direction. I stopped in case he needed help or a witness.

“He was agitated and told the police he’d already been stopped twice in the preceding 10 minutes and that he was on his way to the Glebe police station to lodge a complaint about racial profiling.

“He had been stopped 37 times in the past month. He had lived in the area for more than 30 years.”

*Names have been changed

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Youth News Alerts : Download @AIHW Youth Justice Report “ Indigenous young people aged 10–17 were 16 times as likely to be under supervision as non-Indigenous young people in 2018–19 “

The rate of Indigenous young people aged 10–17 under supervision on an average day fell from 176 to 172 per 10,000. The rate of non-Indigenous young people fell from 12 to 11 per 10,000.

Although only about 6% of young people aged 10–17 in Australia are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, half (2,448) of the young people under supervision on an average day in 2018–19 were Indigenous.’

Indigenous young people aged 10–17 were 16 times as likely to be under supervision as non-Indigenous young people in 2018–19.”

From AIHW Youth Justice report : Download here or see summary Part 2 below

Youth Justice aihw-

“After the Northern Territory Royal Commission and all the evidence that diversion is much more effective, it’s hard to believe Indigenous kids make up 50% of those under youth justice supervision, but just 5.9% of the population of Australian children

What this tells us is that the need to raise the age of criminal responsibility is more urgent than ever. Until this happens, there must be a moratorium on arrests for children under the age of fourteen.”

Key findings of the latest report include that on average, Indigenous young people entered youth justice supervision at a younger age than non-Indigenous young people; 15.5% of kids in detention on an average day were 14 or under and that 24.7% of kids in detention overall were 14 or under.

It’s particularly alarming that of those in detention, 63% were unsentenced.

Amnesty International Australia Strategic Campaigns Advisor, Joel Clark : Download press release

Indigenous Kids In Prison Amnesty

 

Part 1 AIHW Press Release

The rate of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people under youth justice supervision has fallen over the past five years, a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has shown.

The report, Youth justice in Australia 2018–19, presents information on young people aged between 10 and 17 years under youth justice supervision both in the community and in detention.

On an average day in 2018–19, there were 5,694 (1 in 490) young people under youth justice supervision due to their involvement, or alleged involvement, in crime. Throughout the year, a total of 10,820 young people were under supervision.

‘Between 2014–15 and 2018–19, the level of Indigenous over-representation in youth justice supervision stabilised,’ said AIHW spokesperson Ms. Anna Ritson.

The report also shows that, on an average day in 2018–19, young males were about 4 times as likely to be under youth justice supervision as young females. Young females under supervision were more likely to be younger than males, with the most common age being 16 for young females and 17 for young males.

‘Being under youth justice supervision doesn’t always mean a young person is in detention. Around four in five young people (4,767) received community-based supervision such as home detention, bail, parole and probation,’ Ms. Ritson said.

‘The remaining 1 in 5 (956) were in detention, most of whom were remanded in custody awaiting the outcome of their charges.’

Part 2 Summary

This report looks at young people who were under youth justice supervision in Australia during 2018–19 because of their involvement or alleged involvement in crime. It explores the key aspects of supervision, both in the community and in detention, as well as recent trends.

About 1 in 490 young people aged 10–17 were under supervision on an average day

A total of 5,694 young people aged 10 and over were under youth justice supervision on an average day in 2018–19 and 10,820 young people were supervised at some time during the year.

Among those aged 10–17, this equates to a rate of 20 per 10,000, or 1 in every 489 young people on an average day.

Most young people were supervised in the community

More than 4 in 5 (84% or 4,767) young people under supervision on an average day were supervised in the community, and almost 1 in 5 (17% or 956) were in detention (some were supervised in both community and detention on the same day).

The majority of young people in detention were unsentenced

About 3 in 5 (63%) young people in detention on an average day were unsentenced—that is, awaiting the outcome of their legal matter or sentencing.

Young people spent an average of 6 months under supervision

Individual periods of supervision that were completed during 2018–19 lasted for a median of 132 days or about 4 months (this includes time under supervision before 1 July 2018 if the period started before that date).

When all the time spent under supervision during 2018–19 is considered (including multiple periods and periods that were not yet completed), young people who were supervised during the year spent an average of 192 days (about 6 months) under supervision.

Supervision rates varied among the states and territories

Rates of youth justice supervision varied among the states and territories, reflecting, in part, the fact that each state and territory has its own legislation, policies, and practices.

In 2018–19, the rate of young people aged 10–17 under supervision on an average day ranged from 11 per 10,000 in Victoria to 61 per 10,000 in the Northern Territory.

Rates of supervision have fallen slightly over the past 5 years

Over the 5 years from 2014–15 to 2018–19, the number of young people aged 10 and over who were under supervision on an average day saw a small decrease of 1%, while the rate of young people aged 10–17 dropped from 22 to 20 per 10,000.

The rate fell for community-based supervision (from 19 to 17 per 10,000), and fluctuated at 3–4 per 10,000 for detention.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rates have fallen

Although only about 6% of young people aged 10–17 in Australia are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, half (50%) of those under supervision on an average day in 2018–19 were Indigenous.

Between 2014–15 and 2018–19, the rate of Indigenous young people aged 10–17 under supervision on an average day fell from 176 to 172 per 10,000. The rate of non-Indigenous young people under supervision also fell over the period, from 12 to 11 per 10,000.

Rates of Indigenous (33–35 per 10,000) and non-Indigenous (1–2 per 10,000) young people in detention fluctuated over the same period.

Young people in remote areas were more likely to be under supervision

Although most young people under supervision had come from cities and regional areas, those from geographically remote areas had the highest rates of supervision.

On an average day in 2018–19, young people aged 10–17 who were from Remote areas were 6 times as likely to be under supervision as those from Major cities, while those from Very remote areas were   9 times as likely. This reflects the higher proportions of Indigenous Australians living in these areas.

Young people from lower socioeconomic areas were more likely to be under supervision

More than 1 in 3 young people (35%) under supervision on an average day in 2018–19 were from the lowest socioeconomic areas, compared with 6% from the highest socioeconomic areas.

More than 1 in 3 young people were new to supervision

More than one-third (35%) of young people under youth justice supervision in 2018–19 were new to supervision in that year. The rest (65%) had been supervised in a previous year.

Young Indigenous Australians (71%) were more likely than young non-Indigenous young people (62%) to have been under supervision in a previous year.

Young Indigenous Australians were younger when they entered supervision than their non-Indigenous counterparts

On average, Indigenous young people entered youth justice supervision at a younger age than non-Indigenous young people.

About 2 in 5 (38%) Indigenous young people under supervision in 2018–19 were first supervised when aged 10–13, compared with about 1 in 7 (15%) non-Indigenous young people.

A higher proportion of young people experience community-based supervision in their supervision history than detention

More than 9 in 10 (92%) young people who were supervised during 2018–19 had been under community-based supervision at some time during their supervision history (either during 2018–19 or in a previous year). More than 6 in 10 (65%) had spent time in detention. For Indigenous young people these proportions were 94% and 70% respectively

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alert  : How you can watch and support new documentary @InMyBloodItRuns in Australian cinemas Feb 20. Follow ten-year-old Dujuan as he discovers the resilience and resistance of many generations

” Werte. That means “hello” in my first language, Arrernte.

My name is Dujuan, I am 12 years old. I am from Arrernte and Garrwa Country. I came here to speak with you because our government is not listening. Adults never listen to kids – especially kids like me. But we have important things to say.

I grew up at Sandy Bore outstation and at Hidden Valley Town Camp in Alice Springs. Now I live in Borroloola.

Something special about me is that I am an Angangkere, which means I am a traditional healer. It is my job to look after my family with my healing powers.

I am the star in a new documentary, In My Blood It Runs. “

Dujuan Hoosan : From speech given to the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva on 11 September : See Part 1 below : 

Meet ten-year-old Dujuan, a child-healer, a good hunter and speaks three languages, as he discovers the resilience and resistance of many generations of his people and faces the history that runs straight into him.

Check out the In My Blood It Runs Website 

How you can share promote In My Blood it Runs  : See Part 3 below

From director Maya Newell (Gayby Baby), in collaboration with Arrernte and Garrwa families onscreen, you won’t want to miss this essential story about the strength and resilience of First Nations communities.

Where can you see the film national from February 20

” We begin to realize that Dujuan’s world does not exist in a vacuum, but is a microcosm of a much larger political and historical battle being waged in Australia. This event offers a stark insight into a potential future for Dujuan. How will his family and community rise above?

In My Blood It Runs looks beyond the ‘problem’ to see the people. Instead of seeing this Aboriginal boy as a ‘criminal’, we see a child who has experienced systematic abuse; instead of ‘bad parents’, we see a family who has been systematically stripped of all agency yet undeniably love their kids; instead of a ‘failure’ at school, we see a child whose talents have been completely overlooked.

And crucially, this child observes the inequality of the world he is presented with.”

Read full synopsis Part 2 below

Our children have to leave their identity at the school gate”

Felicity Hayes, Senior Traditional Owner of Mparntwe, Alice Springs and Executive Producer

Part 1 : Edited speech given to the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva on 11 September

It was filmed when I was 10 years old. It shows what it feels like to be an Aboriginal kid in Australia and how we are treated every day.

Many things happen to me in this film.

In school, they told me Captain Cook was a hero and discovered Australia. It made me confused. It’s not true because before cars, buildings and houses there were just Aboriginal people.

I want Australia to tell the truth that Aboriginal people were the first people who had the land.

My school report cards said that I was a failure.

Every mark was in the worst box.

I thought “is there something wrong with me?”.

I felt like a problem.

The film shows me working to learn Arrernte and about being an Angangkere.

I say, “If you go out bush each week you learn how to control your anger and control your life.”

I feel strong when I am learning my culture from my Elders and my land.

I think schools should be run by Aboriginal people.

Let our families choose what is best for us.

Let us speak our languages in school.

I think this would have helped me from getting in trouble.

The film shows Aboriginal kids tortured in juvenile detention. I know lots of kids that have been locked up. Police is cruel to kids like me. They treat us like they treat their enemies. I am cheeky, but no kid should be in jail.

I want adults to stop being cruel to 10-year-old kids in jail.

Welfare also needs to be changed. My great-grandmother was taken from her family in the stolen generation. My other great-grandmother was hidden away. That story runs through my blood pipes all the way up to my brain.

But I was lucky because of my family. They know I am smart. They love me.

They found a way to keep me safe. I am alright now, but lots of kids aren’t so lucky.

I think they should stop taking Aboriginal kids away from their parents – that’s wrong.

What I want is a normal life of just being me. I want to be allowed to be an Aboriginal person, living on my land with my family and having a good life.

My film is for all Aboriginal kids. It is about our dreams, our hopes and our rights.

I hope you think of me when you are telling the Australian government how to treat us better.

Thank you for listening to my story.

Baddiwa – that’s goodbye in my other language, Garrwa.

Dujuan Hoosan is 12 years old. This is an edited speech given to the Human Rights Council at the United Nationsin Geneva on 11 September

Part 2 Synopsis

Ten-year-old Dujuan is a child-healer, a good hunter and speaks three languages. As he shares his wisdom of history and the complex world around him we see his spark and intelligence. Yet Dujuan is ‘failing’ in school and facing increasing scrutiny from welfare and the police.

As he travels perilously close to incarceration, his family fight to give him a strong Arrernte education alongside his western education lest he becomes another statistic. We walk with him as he grapples with these pressures, shares his truths and somewhere in-between finds space to dream, imagine and hope for his future self.

Director Maya Newell’s first feature Gayby Baby (Hot Docs, Good Pitch Aus, London BFI), sparked a national debate in Australia when it was banned in schools. Told through the lens of four children in same-sex families during the fight for Marriage Equality, the film offered the voice of those being ignored. Made in collaboration with Dujuan and his family My Blood It Runs tackles another heated topic, First Nations education and juvenile justice and places the missing voice of children front and centre.

Filmed candidly and intimately, we experience this world on the fringes of Alice Springs through Dujuan’s eyes. Dujuan’s family light candles when the power card runs out, often rely on extended family to drop around food and live alongside the ingrained effects of colonization and dispossession.

Every day in the classroom, Dujuan’s strength as a child-healer and Arrernte language speaker goes unnoticed. While he likes school, his report card shows a stream of ‘E’s, which make him feel stupid. Education is universally understood as a ticket to success, but school becomes a site of displacement and Dujuan starts running away from the classroom.

In stark contrast to his school behaviour, on his ancestral homeland surrounded by is family, Dujuan is focused, engaged and learning.

We begin to see Country as a classroom and a place where the resilience can grow and revolution is alive.

But the pressures on Dujuan in Alice Springs are ever encroaching – educational failure, domestic violence, child removal and police. In May 2016, images of children being tortured at the Northern Territory’s Don Dale Youth Detention Centre are leaked and spike global uproar. In fact, 100% of children detained in the Northern Territory are Indigenous.

We begin to realize that Dujuan’s world does not exist in a vacuum, but is a microcosm of a much larger political and historical battle being waged in Australia. This event offers a stark insight into a potential future for Dujuan. How will his family and community rise above?

In My Blood It Runs looks beyond the ‘problem’ to see the people. Instead of seeing this Aboriginal boy as a ‘criminal’, we see a child who has experienced systematic abuse; instead of ‘bad parents’, we see a family who has been systematically stripped of all agency yet undeniably love their kids; instead of a ‘failure’ at school, we see a child whose talents have been completely overlooked. And crucially, this child observes the inequality of the world he is presented with.

In the end, when Dujuan cannot run nor fight alone, he faces the history that runs straight into him and realises that not only has he inherited the trauma and dispossession of his land, but also the strength, resilience and resistance of many generations of his people which holds the key to his future.

Part 3 How you can share promote In My Blood it Runs

Here are links to some assets below and sample copy that you can use – but please tweak as you see fit for your audience.

SAMPLE SOCIAL COPY

In My Blood It Runs hits Australian cinemas Feb 20!

Meet ten-year-old Dujuan, a child-healer, a good hunter and speaks three languages, as he discovers the resilience and resistance of many generations of his people and faces the history that runs straight into him. From director Maya Newell (Gayby Baby), in collaboration with Arrernte and Garrwa families onscreen, you won’t want to miss this essential story about the strength and resilience of First Nations communities.

In My Blood It Runs: a personal and moving film that should inspire us all.

Book your tickets now >>https://bit.ly/39TpM2j

Please don’t forget to follow/tag  on socials @inmyblooditruns

NACCHO Aboriginal Women’s Health Resources : #stopitatthestart #respectstartswithus 25 November : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are encouraged to join national efforts to help break the cycle of violence against women

We might say things that are harmful to our partners and children, sometimes we say things without even realising the danger it causes.

Most of us, at some time, have heard adults say things to boys like, ‘stop acting like a girl’, or they excuse disrespectful behaviour by saying things to girls such as, ‘it’s just boys being boys’.

I know I have been guilty of this in the past. “

Kuku-Yalanji and Gumbaynggirr man, father and cultural mentor Jeremy Donovan 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are encouraged to join national efforts to help break the cycle of violence against women, coinciding with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November.

Culturally appropriate resources have been developed to support communities to talk with young people about respect as part of the Stop it At the Start campaign.

Violence against women and their children is a serious issue in Australia.

One in four women has experienced violence from a current or former partner, boyfriend, girlfriend or date.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, the statistics are even more concerning.

One-third of Indigenous women has experienced physical violence from a partner, twice the level recorded among non-Indigenous women. In addition, Indigenous women in remote and regional areas experience rates of family violence up to 45 times higher and sexual assault 16 to 25 times higher than other women [1].

All members of the community have a role to play as role models for teaching children about respect. Parents, family members, teachers, coaches, employers and community leaders can help break the cycle of violence by reflecting on their own attitudes and talking with young people about respectful relationships and gender equality.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander role models and Stop it at the Start campaign supporters Jeremy Donovan, Lani Brennan and Leila Gurruwiwi have reflected on their own stories and experiences of disrespect to highlight the importance of having these conversations with young people.

Indigenous Support Worker, TV Host and role model Leila Gurruwiwi agrees that people should stop to reflect on the impact of their words.

When I hear people say, ‘he just did it because he likes you’, I think, ‘if he loved and respects you, he wouldn’t hurt you – whether that’s emotionally, physically, spiritually,” says Leila.

Lani Brennan, Nyawaygi woman and domestic violence survivor, says the campaign is important for the community and shaping behaviours built on respect.

The Stop it at the Start campaign is targeting the disrespectful attitudes and behaviours that parents and other role models teach our young people, often without realising it. I think this message is so important, because what we say to our kids and show them by our own actions, shapes their attitudes and beliefs,” Lani says.

The Stop it at the Start campaign is an initiative under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

Visit respect.gov.au for more information and to download free resources.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au

#stopitatthestart
#respectstartswithus

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #JustJustice : Leading #NT Aboriginal organisations like @CAACongress and @AMSANTaus call for an “immediate and exhaustive” investigation into recent shooting and closure of health clinics

” Congress, the Central Australian Aboriginal Health Service, said there were so many unanswered questions around the shooting that the inquest into Walker’s death in the town of Yuendumu should be given priority over all others and report within three months.

The Congress CEO, Donna Ah Chee, told the rally the NT Health department should also investigate why the Yuendumu medical clinic was closed and “why it has not been immediately reopened with full services, given increase of police in the community” since the shooting.

 “Clinic closures are a disturbing trend with life-threatening consequences – as we have seen this weekend,” 

From the Guardian report continued Part 1 below

Read all Aboriginal and Just Justice articles published by NACCHO Here

Photo above : NT police shooting: Quentin Walker Jurrah, whose grandson Kumanjayi Walker was killed on Saturday, demonstrates outside Alice Springs police station during a second day of protests . Photograph: Rhett Hammmerton

“We can’t afford to have remote clinics closed, especially during this time of year with the extreme heat.

It’s not like when you close them, the patients living with chronic conditions in those communities go away either.

The NT Government needed to restore the medical services in Yuendumu immediately.”

Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT chief executive John Paterson told the NT News he wanted answers from the Government on why they had to evacuate the entire clinic.

So a known aggressive criminal caucasian man can shoot up Darwin CBD and kill people and only gets tasered while still holding a gun in his hand, then gets taken into protective custody by police!!

Yet a young Aboriginal man in his own home on his community gets dragged out of his bed and shot because of what?

 A breach of bail! Tell me that’s not racism. #BlackLivesMatter

Social media post from concerned NT Citizen

Watch Skynews report

Part 1

Leading Aboriginal organisations in the Northern Territory are calling for an “immediate and exhaustive” investigation into the police shooting death of 19-year-old Warlpiri man Kumanjayi Walker at his family home on Saturday night.

The calls came as community members and supporters protested outside Alice Springs police station for a second day to demand answers about the shooting. Another rally is scheduled for tomorrow.

The Central Land Council has called for police to release the body camera footage.

“We want full transparency, we want to see the body camera evidence, we want it out in the open,” CEO, Joe Martin-Jard said.

“I call on the coroner to have this inquiry at Yuendumu and give families the chance to talk to him,” he said.

NAAJA, the Aboriginal legal service of the NT, said Walker’s death was “tragic and unnecessary”.

“The investigation of the police shooting in Yuendumu must be open, thorough and transparent and one that informs the family and community,” David Woodroffe, the service’s principal legal officer, said.

“NAAJA expects the independent coronial investigation into the death in custody to be immediate and exhaustive.”

Meanwhile, a Northern Territory MP is calling on the chief ministerto go to Yuendumu to meet with elders, as an “appropriate cultural response” to the shooting of Walker in the town, almost 300km north west of Alice Springs.

The independent member for Stuart, Scott McConnell, told ABC Radio on Monday it “would be helpful with the healing process” for Michael Gunner to sit down at Yuendumu with elders to explain how the inquiry into Walker’s death will involve them.

Organisers of Monday’s rally said they were concerned the increase in police presence in the community would only upset people further.

Walker was shot by police when they attempted to arrest him for an outstanding warrant. They took him to the police station, where he died while waiting for medical assistance to arrive.

His family were not told of his death on Saturday night.

Senior police officers visited the community on Sunday to speak to residents, who had been remarkably calm, McConnell said, despite their distress.

“There has been incredibly good leadership from elders who kept people calm in an absolute vacuum of information [from police],” McConnell said.

He said the government and the NT police needed to “explain and justify the inquiry” they were undertaking because “the community don’t believe it is independent enough and I support them in that”.

The health clinic was closed over the weekend, meaning there were no medical staff in the community at the time of the shooting. McConnell said the closure of the health clinic was an “inadequate” response to the needs of Yuendumu.

“Yuendumu is a difficult place to live and work at the moment. We do have an issue with law and order and crime in the NT, and I have been concerned about these things for a long time,” McConnell said. “I feel for health staff at Yuendumu … but the government’s response to that seem to have been inadequate.

“The police station has never been fully operational and [the government] is too willing to close community clinics. It’s not a minor community, it’s 1,000 people. The citizens of Yuendumu need to be kept safe with their clinic kept open.”

The clinic will open today during business hours, staffed by workers from nearby Yuelamu.

A spokesman for the chief minister said Gunner would visit “subject to consultation with the family and community leaders”.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News : Read Barb Shaw AMSANT Chair keynote speeches at the inaugural Indigenous Health Justice Conference #NILCIHJC2019 Darwin 13 Aug and #AMSANT25Conf Alice Springs 7 Aug

” The conference represents the coming together of two strands of community endeavour—health and justice—that I think naturally belong together, and about which I have had a close association with, and passion for, since I was young.

From my sector’s perspective—the primary health care sector—you simply cannot talk about health without invoking the principles of justice.

It’s in our DNA as health professionals.

Even more so when we are talking about Aboriginal community controlled primary health care services.

For our services are—first and foremost—acts of self-determination. There is no stronger expression of our community’s desire and hunger for justice than the pursuit of our rights as First Nations peoples to be self-determining.

To have our people making the decisions about what we need and how we should do things.

And to have our people governing and being employed in the organisations that deliver programs and services to our communities.

And yet we have never accepted, and we will never accept, this imposed status quo.

Aboriginal community controlled health services embody this determination and resolve.” 

Barb Shaw keynote address delivered 13 August to the inaugural Indigenous Health Justice Conference held in Darwin in conjunction with the National Indigenous Legal Conference.

Read in full Part 1 Below

” AMSANT provides a strong and respected voice nationally, which is evidenced by the high regard that we are afforded by the politicians we seek to influence, the bureaucrats we spar with on a daily basis, and by our peers who we work with at the national level, including our national peak body, NACCHO. AMSANT has been a consistent and significant contributor to NACCHO.

I will finish by sounding a note of concern that we can’t take our achievements or position for granted. We need to be forever vigilant, for despite all our efforts, the system has not fundamentally changed and is still configured to marginalise and disempower Aboriginal people. We have to work harder and smarter.

And we know we can because AMSANT is all of us. When we work together, when we combine our voices, and when we share a vision, then nothing is going to stop us.

May the next 25 years of AMSANT be as wonderful as the first.

AMSANT Chair Barb Shaw Keynote address for AMSANT 25th Anniversary Conference
Alice Springs Convention Centre, 7th August 2019 

At the #AMSANT25Conf Dinner 25 years of Aboriginal health leadership cutting the 25 year celebratory cake Our Barb Shaw Chair and John Paterson CEO , Pat Anderson , June Oscar and Donna Ah Chee 

Read and or download 25 Anniversary address here 

Barb Shaw – Keynote address for AMSANT 25th Anniversary Conference_FINAL (2)

Good morning everyone.

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land on which we’re meeting, the Larrakia people, and particularly their elders, past, present and emerging, and to thank James Parfitt for his warm welcome to country.

My name is Barb Shaw.

I am the Chairperson of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT—or AMSANT—and also the Chief Executive Officer of Anyinginyi Health Service.

I would like especially thank David Woodroffe for his insightful words of introduction, and particularly his highlighting of the importance of the words hope, optimism and resilience. These are qualities that have always been strong in our communities.

I am very grateful to the Winkiku [Win-kee-koo] Rrumbangi NT Indigenous Lawyers Association for their invitation to AMSANT to partner with them in holding the inaugural Indigenous Health Justice Conference, being held in parallel with this year’s National Indigenous Legal Conference.

The conference represents the coming together of two strands of community endeavour—health and justice—that I think naturally belong together, and about which I have had a close association with, and passion for, since I was young.

From my sector’s perspective—the primary health care sector—you simply cannot talk about health without invoking the principles of justice.

It’s in our DNA as health professionals.

Even more so when we are talking about Aboriginal community controlled primary health care services.

For our services are—first and foremost—acts of self-determination. There is no stronger expression of our community’s desire and hunger for justice than the pursuit of our rights as First Nations peoples to be self-determining.

To have our people making the decisions about what we need and how we should do things.

And to have our people governing and being employed in the organisations that deliver programs and services to our communities.

When we take a long, hard look at the many, many injustices our people face today, we can trace the path of injustice back to the persistent and variously callous, arrogant, or ignorant denials of our rights to self-determination that is our lived experience as First Nations peoples in this country.

And yet we have never accepted, and we will never accept, this imposed status quo.

Aboriginal community controlled health services embody this determination and resolve.

In the NT, we have been around more than 45 years, since Congress was first established in Alice Springs in 1974.

It was a time when one out of every four of our babies died before their first birthday! Just think about that.

It was a time when the life expectancy for Aboriginal males was just 52 years and for Aboriginal females, 54 years.

The community rallied—literally. It was a turning point and a movement was born.

Other communities followed and new community controlled services emerged—Urapuntja in 1977, Wurli Wurlinjang in the early 1980s, Pintupi and Anyinginyi in 1984, with more joining over the years.

As a sector, we didn’t sit back and wait for the government to do to us—we actively drove the agenda, took a leadership role, and did the hard work to advocate and lobby—and importantly—to provide the evidence and substance to what we were asking for.

Last week AMSANT held our 25th Anniversary celebrations in Alice Springs. One of our strong and amazing leaders, Pat Anderson, reminded us of our sector’s leadership in the early years, including in the international arena.

When primary health care leaders from around the world met in Russia in 1978, to set out a vision for primary health care, resulting in the historic Alma Ata Declaration—we were there—making our contribution to the Declaration’s drafting.

And in 1996, when the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations was drafting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples—UNDRIP—we were there, advocating for community control.

Back in Australia, we led the campaign to remove health from ATSIC’s responsibilities—where it was chronically underfunded—and transfer it to the Commonwealth Department of Health, where Commonwealth bureaucrats were made accountable for our people’s health.

Importantly, this meant we were finally able to begin to access the mainstream resources and services due to us, that we were not receiving.

This brought significantly increased funding to our sector and transformed the Aboriginal health landscape.

Today, our services provide over 60% of all primary health care to our people in the Northern Territory.

And we do it better. In 2010, a major study concluded that when ACCHSs deliver health programs there is fifty percent more health gain or benefit than if those programs were delivered by mainstream primary care services.

The important point here is that this didn’t come from government. It came from us.

This history also illustrates two fundamental principles that our two disciplines, justice and health, also hold in common—Truth and Evidence.

For our sector, our truth existed in the history of disadvantage, neglect, exclusion and institutional racism that our communities were facing.

But in order to get action from government we needed to provide the evidence to support our case.

The battles we were fighting were, in fact, situated within a much longer history of struggle to establish and protect human rights.

Advances in public health achieved during the 19th century laid the foundations for a set of rights as citizens and communities that we now regard as standard entitlements and the responsibility of good government—if not to provide—then at least to regulate.

These advances depended on evidence.

For example, discovery of the causes of infectious diseases, such as cholera, provided crucial evidence for the need for public infrastructure for clean water supply and sewage disposal.

Evidence of the impacts on health caused by poor and overcrowded housing contributed to establishing a role for government in the provision of public housing and building standards—the concept of shelter as a basic human right.

Such advances in our knowledge of health determinants underpin the rights and laws that have developed around these issues, which we largely take for granted.

In stating this, it is also apparent to all of us here that these rights have not become automatic and universally available, and that those who most often lack them, come from the poorest and most marginalised sections of our society.

Here in the Northern Territory, particularly in remote communities, the lack of adequate housing, water and sewerage are major issues of concern.

For our people, connection to country and the ability to live on our ancestral lands are fundamental to our identity, to our cultural and spiritual wellbeing, and to our right to maintain our relationships and communities.

However, we cannot achieve this without basic infrastructure and services that are routinely provided in cities and towns, but which in many of our communities, are either inadequately provided or don’t exist.

Poor quality and inadequate sources of potable water have become issues of public health concern which in some cases are threatening community viability.

The significant shortfall in housing and high levels of overcrowding and homelessness experienced in Aboriginal communities are unacceptable in themselves, but all the more so, because the evidence tells us that inadequate housing and homelessness are determinants of poor health and wellbeing.

This includes transmitted diseases such as rheumatic heart disease, communicable diseases, effects on stress and wellbeing, family violence and even school attendance.

Whichever way you look at it, Indigenous housing is an area of significant government failure.

In a large part this is because government made a series of ill-considered decisions to cut us out of any significant or meaningful governance and decision-making role in housing.

Our Indigenous Community Housing Organisations were abolished.

The Commonwealth’s Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program or SIHIP, and National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing or NPARIH, burned through some $1.7 billion over 10 years without much troubling to get our input.

And the NT Intervention saw the Commonwealth take over responsibility for remote community leases and housing, with housing transferred to the NT Government.

The latter has been its own disaster, with evidence of incompetent management of residential tenancy leases and rents and an inadequate system for responding to repairs and maintenance, leading to significant hardship for residents.

Despite evidence of its own failures, it is perhaps unsurprising that the government is not happy that communities have recently exercised their rights to adequate housing by launching a class action against the NT Government in relation to rents and repairs.

This is a good example of a health justice partnership—the community partnering with a group of lawyers who provided the expertise to document and launch an action at the direction of the community.

It is hard to look at this example as anything other than a spectacular own goal by government.

They should have listened to us, perhaps!

In saying this, it needs to be acknowledged that there are encouraging developments in government policy on housing at both the NT and Commonwealth levels.

The NT Government’s Local Decision Making policy extends to Aboriginal housing and the new National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous housing struck between the NT and the Commonwealth, includes the four Northern Territory Land Councils in a significant role.

However, this falls well short of self-determination in Aboriginal housing.

Here, the leadership has once again come from the Aboriginal community. Four years’ work—supported by the Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT, or APO NT—has resulted in the development of a new Northern Territory Aboriginal peak housing body, Aboriginal Housing NT, or AHNT.

This was our initiative and our hard work—not government’s.

With in-principle agreement to support the new body, it is now a matter of negotiation about what formal role the new peak body will be afforded.

Occasionally an issue emerges that cuts like a knife through the national consciousness, requiring immediate and strong action.

Such was the situation when the 4-Corners program revealed the appalling abuse that was occurring inside the Don Dale youth detention centre. The revelations prompted the immediate establishment of the Royal Commission into the protection and detention of children in the Northern Territory.

This issue blew wide open the systemic failures that exist in the treatment of our young people, mostly Indigenous children, and provided a huge opportunity for reform.

Our sector’s response, alongside our APO NT partners, provided leadership to ensure an evidence-based, therapeutic, public health response was considered by the Royal Commission.

We also advocated for a new Tripartite Forum with an oversight role in relation to reforms in child protection and youth justice. AMSANT is represented on the Forum as one of three APO NT representatives.

The NT Government’s acceptance of the recommendations of the Royal Commission is commendable, however progress on the reforms is concerning and the lack of a commitment of funding from the Commonwealth is disappointing.

It is also disappointing to see the Northern Territory Government waver in the face of a recent campaign to water down the reforms.

We know only too well the politics that have long played out in the Northern Territory to scapegoat and demonise our people as problems to be managed, and punished.

We have seen the law and order and mandatory sentencing campaigns that have directly contributed to outcomes such as Don Dale.  We have suffered under the NT Intervention.

The low road of political opportunism dressed up as community concern.

Anything but focus on the neglect and structural racism that are key underlying determinants of the situation.

We can and must do better as a community.

This brings me to two other moments of national consciousness pricking that bring us—I believe—to a watershed moment in this nation’s history.

The first is Closing the Gap—a policy that was well-intentioned but also typically forged without our consent or input and delivered as a top-down initiative.

What could possibly go wrong?

Burdened with annual, very public demonstrations of its failure according to its own indices—only two of 10 targets achieving reasonable improvement—the Prime Minister sensibly called for a re-fresh of the policy.

Perhaps not so sensibly, the re-fresh consultations were centrally controlled and once again failed to engage us meaningfully.

However, this time, faced with concern expressed by a national Coalition of Peak Indigenous organisations, the Prime Minister asked for our solution.

The result is a formal Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap with the Coalition of Peaks, and the establishment of a Joint Council on Closing the Gap with the Coalition of Peaks represented as a member—the first time that a non-governmental body has been represented within a COAG structure.

APO NT is a member of the Coalition of Peaks and the NACCHO CEO, our very own Pat Turner, is leading the Coalition.

Importantly, the central ask of the Coalition of Peaks, is not around the new indicators—although these are important tools to get right—but for a fundamental change in the way governments work with our people and the full involvement of our people in shared decision-making at all levels.

This includes the need for a commitment to building, strengthening and expanding the formal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled sector to deliver Closing the Gap services and programs.

The second watershed moment was the release of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

That this considered and heart-felt gesture from our communities was summarily dismissed by the Prime Minister of the day—and that it continues to be undermined by baseless scaremongering—represents a moment of national shame.

But we have taken great heart from the many, many non-Indigenous organisations and individuals who have taken the Statement to their hearts.

This includes the AMA and the Australian Law Society.

And what did we ask for? We asked for:

  • a process of treaty-making to lay a firm basis for the future relationship of First Nations and those who came to this country later;
  • a process of truth telling about our shared past; and
  • a constitutionally enshrined voice to Parliament to ensure ongoing structures for our input into policy making and the life of the nation.

If we were to try to pinpoint the essence of what justice for our people means and what it will take to address the health disadvantage we face, then we would probably find it contained within the pregnant potential of these two initiatives—Closing the Gap and the Uluru Statement.

We are not going anywhere.

And we will not give up on our dreams.

All we ask is to be afforded the responsibility to make our own decisions about our own lives.

To have the opportunity to participate in decision-making over the policies that affect us; and to have our organisations and our people serve our communities.

To be afforded respect as equals, side-by-side, safe and secure in our cultures and identity.

To have the courage and the decency to face the truth of this nation.

Over the next two days, these and many other issues will be discussed and I know it will be done with passion and with goodwill.

I commend this conference to you.

Thank you.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Conferences and Events #SaveADate : This weeks feature @LowitjaInstitut June 17 -20 #LowitjaConf2019 program @ausprogress #Progress2019 Plus July 10 @KenWyattMP at #NPC @IAHA_National @SNAICC @CATSINaM @IAHA_National @2019wihc #NACCHOAgm2019 #OCHREDay

This weeks featured NACCHO SAVE A DATE events

18 -20 June Lowitja Health Conference Darwin

Download the 2019 Health Awareness Days Calendar 

20 – 21 June First Nations led content and free tickets at Progress 2019

2019 Dr Tracey Westerman’s Workshops 

5 July NAIDOC week Symposium

6 July National NAIDOC Awards Canberra

10 July Minister Ken Wyatt at the National Press Club 

7 -14 July 2019 National NAIDOC Grant funding round opens

2-5 August Garma Festival 

4 August  National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day 2019

13- 14 August Indigenous Health Justice Conference (IHJ) Darwin 

29th  – 30th  August 2019 NACCHO OCHRE DAY

2- 5 September 2019 SNAICC Conference

23 -25 September IAHA Conference Darwin

24 -26 September 2019 CATSINaM National Professional Development Conference

2- 4 October  AIDA Conference 2019

9-10 October 2019 NATSIHWA 10 Year Anniversary Conference

16 October Melbourne Uni: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing Conference

November date TBA World Indigenous Housing Conference

4 November NACCHO Youth Conference -Darwin NT

5 – 7 November NACCHO Conference and AGM  -Darwin NT

5-8 November The Lime Network Conference New Zealand 

This weeks feature event 

Leading national and international experts in the field of Indigenous health and wellbeing will be in Darwin from 18 to 20 June 2019 for the Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2019.

Under the theme of ‘Thinking, Speaking, Being’ the conference will bring together some 760 delegates from around Australia and the world to celebrate, share and strengthen Indigenous knowledges.

Download the full program

2019 Lowitja Program

Or access digital program

The digital program is available HERE. This version of the program will allow you to search all presentations including posters, their abstracts, and presenter bios.

This will be the up-to-the-minute version of the conference program. You will also be able to tailor the program to your preference.

The event is organised by the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. The Chairperson, Ms Pat Anderson AO, said the conference would place where respectful, provocative conversations can take place about what concerns First Nations peoples today, and what our vision and ambitions are for future generations.

“We would like these conversations to explore new ways of thinking, speaking and being in the world, serve who we are, promote new ideas, and take a planetary approach. We want to facilitate opportunities for deep thought, for learning from each other, and for planning future action”, said Ms Anderson.

Larrakia Nation Elders representing the Traditional Custodians of the land on which the conference will be held — the Darwin Convention Centre — will welcome delegates with a traditional Welcome to Country on the evening of 17 June, before a conference program underpinned by a strong scientific and cultural framework.

In this United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, the conference theme Thinking, Speaking, Being: First Nations solutions for global changehighlights the importance of language in enabling empowerment, cultural strength, wellbeing, and identity. 

The theme also reminds delegates and presenters to consider the global implications of their work, to highlight the role of First Nations people in leading change, and to showcase Indigenous solutions. It frames First Nations people as the guardians and stewards of the solutions for many of the complex issues and mega trends that affect them.

The program will include keynote addresses from Mr Peter Yu (Chair of the Indigenous Reference Group to the Northern Ministerial Forum), renown author Mr Bruce Pascoe (winner of the Australia Council 2018 Lifetime Achievement in Literature Award), Professor Tahu Kukutai (Professor of Demography, University of Waikato), Dr Julia Kim (Program Director of the Gross National Happiness Centre of Bhutan), Mr Bruce Blankenfeld (Master Navigator with the Polynesian Voyaging Society), and Dr Abhay Bang (past Chairman of the Expert Committee on Tribal Health, Government of India). 

8:35am on Day 2, Wednesday 19 June, Donella Mills (Chair of NACCHO) and John Paterson (CEO, AMSANT) will address the conference plenary session.

A strong art, performance and social program will feature Indigenous artists Electric Field, Richard Fejo, Warren Corrowa, Rochelle Pitt and the Merindas, as well as MCs Ben Graetz, Kevin Kropinyeri and dance groups One Mob Different Country, and Upai Purri. 

Six awards will be presented recognising excellence in Indigenous health and wellbeing research. More information:  https://www.conference2019.lowitja.org.au.

Cultural determinants of health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

The Lowitja Institute has been commissioned by the Department of Health to identify priorities and future directions that recognise and maximise the cultural determinants of health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

In order to gather Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives on cultural determinants of health and applications to theImplementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023, Professor Kerry Arabena will be conducting three workshops at the conference.

The workshops will be held on each of the three conference days:

  • Day 1, Tuesday, Meeting Room 4, 4:00–5:00pm
  • Day 2, Wednesday, Meeting Room 4, 2:30–4:30pm
  • Day 3, Thursday, Meeting Room 4, 2.:30–4:30pm

We invite all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander researchers, community members and program specialists to offer contribute views of change agents and social influencers across the youth, climate change, social media, communications and other sectors who are agitating for recognition of the unique cultural contribution of Indigenous people to their own health and wellbeing.

Spaces are limited, so please select a session and register HERE as soon as you can.

Any questions should be directed to Alex Zurawski at the Lowitja Institute on 03 8341 5507 or alex.zurawski@lowitja.org.au.

Download the NACCHO 2019 Calendar Health Awareness Days

For many years ACCHO organisations have said they wished they had a list of the many Indigenous “ Days “ and Aboriginal health or awareness days/weeks/events.

With thanks to our friends at ZockMelon here they both are!

It even has a handy list of the hashtags for the event.

Download the 53 Page 2019 Health days and events calendar HERE

naccho zockmelon 2019 health days and events calendar

We hope that this document helps you with your planning for the year ahead.

Every Tuesday we will update these listings with new events and What’s on for the week ahead

To submit your events or update your info

Contact: Colin Cowell www.nacchocommunique.com

NACCHO Social Media Editor Tel 0401 331 251

Email : nacchonews@naccho.org.au

20 – 21 June First Nations led content and free tickets at Progress 2019

Progress 2019 is a two day conference to bring together 1,500 change makers from

across First Nations, racial justice, environment, social services, refugees, health, aid and union movements in Australia. Over the two days we’ll work to breakdown silos, build partnerships and campaigns to create stronger movements and set the tone for the new term of government.

Progress will take place at Melbourne Town Hall on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st June and we’re offering free tickets to all First Nationsparticipants –registerhere and use the code: full scholarship-progress2019.

At Progress 2019 we’re working to make sure issues of First Nations justice and self-determination are central to the conference agenda. On Thursday there will be a First Nations stream, which is being coordinated by Larissa (details on sessions below). It’ll be a chance to connect with folks from across the country, hear from people working with communities and organising at scale and talk about what First Nations people need from the rest of the movement.

We have free tickets available for First Nations people to attend Progress 2019 and we’d love if you could pass this email through your contacts and to First Nations people you work with. And if you have any suggestions for people to invite please let us know!

Some sessions that are being led by Larissa Baldwin that might be of interest to you:

· Progress 2019 opening plenary – Rod Little (National Congress), Larissa Baldwin (Getup!), Bruce Pascoe (Author), Lara Watson (ACTU), Ruby Wharton (WAR) and other First Nations community advocates will open Progress 2019 with a discussion about truth telling, the role of First Nations people in organising First Nations communities, how we’re agitating against the status quo, and what comes next.

· A breakout conversation on land justice, co-developed with Karrina Nolan from Original Power. Karrina and Larissa will be joined by Gadrian Hoosan (Borroloola community leader) and Dwayne Coulthard (SA advocate organising his community against underground coal seam gasification) for an open discussion to celebrate our achievements, and examine the challenges and opportunities ahead.

· Two First Nations caucus spaces – the first will be a breakout session after the opening plenary, offering the chance for participants to meet and greet, and space to talk about our issues. The second will be an informal caucus over lunch.

First Nations speakers on other sessions in the agenda include:

· Nayuka Gorrie,

· Tarneen Tarneen Onus-Williams

· Roxy Moore

· Ari Gorring

· Veronica Turner

· Judy Kay

· Phil Winzer

· Zane Sikulu

· Jeff Amatto

· Emily Wurramara (performing)

· Larissa Behrendt (tentative)

You can check out our full program here.

2019 Dr Tracey Westerman’s Workshops 

More info and dates

5 July NAIDOC week Symposium

Symposium: Our Voice, Our Truth
Kick off NAIDOC week in Canberra with a Symposium event with keynote speakers and expert panel on the topic of good governance through strong leadership. A daylong event, fully catered with morning and afternoon tea, lunch and post-event drinks and canapes with entertainment to conclude.
This is an exclusive ticketed event in a stunning lakeside venue with limited seats available.
6 July National NAIDOC Awards Canberra

10 July Minister Ken Wyatt at the National Press Club 

During NAIDOC week and in his first major Address as Indigenous Affairs Minister, Ken Wyatt will lay out the pathway towards possible constitutional recognition for Australia’s first peoples and the importance of its view on the voice to parliament.

Ken Wyatt AM will outline how he and the Government want to do things differently – how partnerships, pride, respect and responsibility underpin his vision for a better future for Indigenous Australians and a stronger nation, even more confident in its cultural heritage and history.

Our first Aboriginal Minister for Indigenous Australians will detail the critical role of education, culture, community safety, suicide prevention, health, hope, employment and business development.

He will share the importance of co-designing and planning with Indigenous Australians at all levels, from the grassroots to peak representative bodies – and how inclusion and understanding is the only pathway towards Constitutional recognition.

As he has said, his dream is to ensure the greatness of our many Indigenous nations is reflected in the greatness of our Australian nation, now and forever.


Ken Wyatt was elected in 2010 as the Federal Member for Hasluck, located east of Perth, making history as the first Aboriginal Member of the House of Representatives.

The traditional garment worn by Ken on special occasions is a booka, a traditional kangaroo skin cloak presented to him by Perth’s Noongar elders and decorated with cockatoo feathers that signify his status in Noongar culture as a leader.

Since his election, Ken has worked tirelessly to be a strong advocate for his electorate to help build a stronger local community.

In 2015 Ken became the first Aboriginal member of the Federal Executive after being sworn in as Assistant Minister for Health, responsible for Aged Care, as well as for Dementia, the Organ and Tissue Authority and Australian Hearing.

In January 2017, Ken made history as the first Aboriginal Minister to serve in a Federal Government, after being appointed as Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.

In August 2018, he was made Minister for Senior Australians & Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.

In May 2019, he again made history when he became the first Aboriginal person to be made Minister for Indigenous Australians.

Before entering politics Ken worked in community and senior government roles in the fields of health and education including as Director of Aboriginal Health in both New South Wales and Western Australia.

In addition to Ken’s extensive public service career, he has made an enormous contribution to the wider community which was recognised in 1996 when he was awarded the Order of Australia for services to health, education and Indigenous affairs.

In 2000, Ken received a Centenary of Federation Medal for his contribution to improving the quality of life of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and mainstream Australian society.

BOOK HERE 

7 -14 July 2019 National NAIDOC 

VOICE. TREATY. TRUTH.

We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

The Indigenous voice of this country is over 65,000 plus years old.

They are the first words spoken on this continent. Languages that passed down lore, culture and knowledge for over millennia. They are precious to our nation.

It’s that Indigenous voice that include know-how, practices, skills and innovations – found in a wide variety of contexts, such as agricultural, scientific, technical, ecological and medicinal fields, as well as biodiversity-related knowledge.  They are words connecting us to country, an understanding of country and of a people who are the oldest continuing culture on the planet.

And with 2019 being celebrated as the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, it’s time for our knowledge to be heard through our voice.

For generations, we have sought recognition of our unique place in Australian history and society today. We need to be the architects of our lives and futures.

For generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have looked for significant and lasting change.

Voice. Treaty. Truth. were three key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. These reforms represent the unified position of First Nations Australians.

However, the Uluru Statement built on generations of consultation and discussions among Indigenous people on a range of issues and grievances. Consultations about the further reforms necessary to secure and underpin our rights and to ensure they can be exercised and enjoyed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

It specifically sequenced a set of reforms: first, a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution and second, a Makarrata Commission to supervise treaty processes and truth-telling.

(Makarrata is a word from the language of the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land. The Yolngu concept of Makarrata captures the idea of two parties coming together after a struggle, healing the divisions of the past. It is about acknowledging that something has been done wrong, and it seeks to make things right.)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people want their voice to be heard. First Nations were excluded from the Constitutional convention debates of the 1800’s when the Australian Constitution came into force.  Indigenous people were excluded from the bargaining table.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have always wanted an enhanced role in decision-making in Australia’s democracy.

In the European settlement of Australia, there were no treaties, no formal settlements, no compacts. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people therefore did not cede sovereignty to our land. It was taken away from us. That will remain a continuing source of dispute.

Our sovereignty has never been ceded – not in 1788, not in 1967, not with the Native Title Act, not with the Uluru Statement from the Heart. It coexists with the sovereignty of the Crown and should never be extinguished.

Australia is one of the few liberal democracies around the world which still does not have a treaty or treaties or some other kind of formal acknowledgement or arrangement with its Indigenous minorities.

A substantive treaty has always been the primary aspiration of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander movement.

Critically, treaties are inseparable from Truth.

Lasting and effective agreement cannot be achieved unless we have a shared, truthful understanding of the nature of the dispute, of the history, of how we got to where we stand.

The true story of colonisation must be told, must be heard, must be acknowledged.

But hearing this history is necessary before we can come to some true reconciliation, some genuine healing for both sides.

And of course, this is not just the history of our First Peoples – it is the history of all of us, of all of Australia, and we need to own it.

Then we can move forward together.

Let’s work together for a shared future.

Download the National NAIDOC Logo and other social media resources.

2-5 August Garma Festival 

Garma Website

4 August  National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day 2019

We Play, We Learn, We Belong
We play on our land.
We learn from our ancestors.

We belong with our communities.

In 2019, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is celebrating the early years, and promoting the importance of early years education and care for our little ones.

We recognise the critical role that family, community, country and culture play in their development.

And we will continue to fight for better access to culturally appropriate early childhood education for our children through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Our 2019 Ambassador is Nanna from the animated children’s series Little J & Big Cuz.

We are delighted to have Nanna representing Children’s Day this year.

Children’s Day has been celebrated on the 4th of August for more than 30 years. It’s a special time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to celebrate our children, and for all Aussies to learn about our cultures.

Around the 4th of August, schools, kinders and communities run Children’s Day events. On this website you can get ideas for how to run a Children’s Day event, and register your event so we can see Children’s Day growing each year across the nation.

We sell Children’s Day bags with fun toys and activities for kids to play with at your event. We can send you posters to promote Children’s Day and we will have a video of Nanna that you can show at your event.

Aboriginal Childrens Day Website

Are you holding a Children’s Day event this year? Call us on (03) 9419 1921 or email info@snaicc.org.au to order your FREE Children’s Day poster!

13- 14 August Indigenous Health Justice Conference (IHJ)

This year AMSANT is pleased to partner with the group representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander lawyers and law students in the Northern Territory – Winkiku Rrumbangi NT Indigenous
Lawyers Aboriginal Corporation – to host the Indigenous Health Justice Conference (IHJ) in Darwin

This conference will run parallel to the 14th National Indigenous Legal Conference being held in Darwin for the first time. Collaborations between Health and Justice services are gaining momentum nationally and internationally because the broadly accepted evidence shows these can lead to improved outcomes.

AMSANT’s policy focus has raised the importance of dealing with the social determinants of healthand, for some individuals, unresolved legal issues can also be determinants of health.

To discuss this conference further, please contact John Rawnsley via email
directors.wrnt@gmail.com.

 

Website 

29th  – 30th  Aug 2019 NACCHO OCHRE DAY

Venue: Pullman Hotel – 192 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne Vic 3000

Website to be launched soon

2- 5 September 2019 SNAICC Conference

Preliminary program and registration information available to download now!

Less than 3 weeks until our discounted early bird offer closes.

Visit  for more information.

23 -25 September IAHA Conference Darwin

24 September

A night of celebrating excellence and action – the Gala Dinner is the premier national networking event in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health.

The purpose of the IAHA National Indigenous Allied Health Awards is to recognise the contribution of IAHA members to their profession and/or improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The IAHA National Indigenous Allied Health Awards showcase the outstanding achievements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health and provides identifiable allied health role models to inspire all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to consider and pursue a career in allied health.

The awards this year will be known as “10 for 10” to honour the 10 Year Anniversary of IAHA. We will be announcing 4 new awards in addition to the 6 existing below.

Read about the categories HERE.

24 -26 September 2019 CATSINaM National Professional Development Conference

 

 

The 2019 CATSINaM National Professional Development Conference will be held in Sydney, 24th – 26th September 2019. Make sure you save the dates in your calendar.

Further information to follow soon.

Date: Tuesday the 24th to Thursday the 26th September 2019

Location: Sydney, Australia

Organiser: Chloe Peters

Phone: 02 6262 5761

Email: admin@catsinam.org.au

2- 4 October  AIDA Conference 2019

Print

Location:             Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin NT
Theme:                 Disruptive Innovations in Healthcare
Register:              Register Here
Web:                     www.aida.org.au/conference
Enquiries:           conference@aida.org.au

The AIDA 2019 Conference is a forum to share and build on knowledge that increasingly disrupts existing practice and policy to raise the standards of health care.

People with a passion for health care equity are invited to share their knowledges and expertise about how they have participated in or enabled a ‘disruptive innovation to achieve culturally safe and responsive practice or policy for Indigenous communities.

The 23rd annual AIDA Conference provides a platform for networking, mentoring, member engagement and the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of AIDA’S Indigenous doctor and students.

9-10 October 2019 NATSIHWA 10 Year Anniversary Conference

2019 Marks 10 years since the formation of NATSIHWA and registrations are now open!!!

Come and celebrate NATSIHWA’s 10 year Anniversary National Conference ‘A Decade of Footprints, Driving Recognition’ which is being held in Alice Springs. We aim to offer an insight into the Past, Present and Future of NATSIHWA and the overall importance of strengthening the primary health care sector’s unique workforce of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners throughout Australia.

During the 9-10 October 2019 delegates will be exposed to networking opportunities whilst immersing themselves with a combination of traditional and practical conference style delivery. Our intention is to engage Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners in the history and knowledge exchange of the past, todays evidence based best practice programs/services available and envisioning what the future has to offer for all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners.

Watch this space for the guest speaker line up, draft agenda and award nominations

16 October Melbourne Uni: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing Conference

The University of Melbourne, Department of Rural Health are pleased to advise that abstract
submissions are now being invited that address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and
wellbeing.

The Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Conference is an opportunity for sharing information and connecting people that are committed to reforming the practice and research of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health and celebrates Aboriginal knowledge systems and strength-based approaches to improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal communities.

This is an opportunity to present evidence-based approaches, Aboriginal methods and models of
practice, Aboriginal perspectives and contribution to health or community led solutions, underpinned by cultural theories to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.
In 2018 the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Conference attracted over 180 delegates from across the community and state.

We welcome submissions from collaborators whose expertise and interests are embedded in Aboriginal health and wellbeing, and particularly presented or co-presented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and community members.

If you are interested in presenting, please complete the speaker registration link

closing date for abstract submission is Friday 3 rd May 2019.
As per speaker registration link request please email your professional photo for our program or any conference enquiries to E. aboriginal-health@unimelb.edu.au.

Kind regards
Leah Lindrea-Morrison
Aboriginal Partnerships and Community Engagement Officer
Department of Rural Health, University of Melbourne T. 03 5823 4554 E. leah.lindrea@unimelb.edu.au

November date TBA World Indigenous Housing Conference

Want to be kept updated on the WIHC in November 2019 ?

Inbox us your email address and we will add you to the mailing list or email our Principal Project Manager- Brandon.etto@nationalcongress.com.au

4 November NACCHO Youth Conference -Darwin NT

Darwin Convention Centre

Website to be launched soon

Conference Co-Coordinator Ben Mitchell 02 6246 9309

ben.mitchell@naccho.org.au

5 – 7 November NACCHO Conference and AGM  -Darwin NT

Darwin Convention Centre

Website to be launched soon

Conference Co-Coordinator Ben Mitchell 02 6246 9309

ben.mitchell@naccho.org.au

5-8 November The Lime Network Conference New Zealand 

This years  whakatauki (theme for the conference) was developed by the Scientific Committee, along with Māori elder, Te Marino Lenihan & Tania Huria from .

To read about the conference & theme, check out the  website. 

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