NACCHO Aboriginal Health #IHMayDay17 : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #WA #VIC #NSW #QLD #NT #TAS @KenWyattMP

1.1 NSW Katungul Aboriginal Corporation and Medical Service commemorated Bringing Them Home report 20 years

1.2 NSW : Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) Holistic Wellbeing Centre planned

2. ACT Aspiring marathon runner Cara Smith has a healthy future

3. QLD : Apunipima Stands Up Against Domestic and Family Violence in Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw

4.SA Tackling Tobacco Team – Nunkuwarrin Yunti

5. WA Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia – AHCWA

6. Tas : The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC)

7.VIC VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team celebrates NRL Indigenous Round

 8. NT Miwajtj Health : Unfolding public health emergency in north-east Arnhem Land

 

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

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media     Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1.1 NSW Katungul Aboriginal Corporation and Medical Service commemorated Bringing Them Home report 20 years

Two decades have passed since the Bringing Them Home report, but the healing continues for the Eurobodalla’s Indigenous community.

From the local News

Katungul Aboriginal Corporation and Medical Service commemorated the anniversary on Monday with a formal gathering and smoking ceremony at their Batemans Bay centre.

Guest speakers Shanna Provost and Muriel Slockee shared their experiences as part of the hidden and stolen generations.

Ms Provost said sharing personal stories was vital to healing the trans-generational scars.

“These events are really important for community members to get together to provide support to each other,” she said.

Many still felt the effects of the damage done to the stolen generations.

“It is a sad story and this is a safe place for all people to sit in the sadness of that story,” she said.

It’s a long journey, it’s a long road to travel. As a nation, we are only starting on that journey. – Shanna Provost

The report was tabled in the Australian Parliament in 1997 and documented the effect of the stolen generations on Indigenous communities. The report handed down more than 50 recommendations in response to the findings, but many are yet to be implemented.

“It’s a long journey, it’s a long road to travel. As a nation, we are only starting on that journey,” Ms Provost said.

She hoped the next 20 years would see young Indigenous people continue to rise to more prominent roles in the community.

Mrs Slockee, a child of the stolen generations, said it was painful to witness the lasting effect of forcible removal.

“Bringing Them Home still is really sore,” Mrs Slockee said.

“Children are still being stolen, it still hurts, it’s just happening in a different way.

“I hope that when we have our jubilee, we can celebrate by stopping all this rubbish and being open and honest as a nation to our first people.

“We need a fair go.”

Katungul’s commemorations will conclude on Friday, May 19, with a day of coil weaving, oyster shucking, ochre face painting, possum cloak photos and a communal canvas painting. Activities start 10am.

1.2 NSW : Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) Holistic Wellbeing Centre planned

THE Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) is charging ahead to expand its offerings, all it needs now is a little more funding.

From Local

OAMS has received development approval from Orange City Council for an $780,000 wellbeing centre at Cameron Place.

It will be located next to its existing $4 million premises at Perc Griffith Way, which was completed in 2014.

Chief executive officer Jamie Newman said the centre would incorporate nutritional and exercise services for those recovering from an operation or illness, mothers before and after pregnancy and those with mental illnesses.

He said the idea had come from clients’ requests

2. ACT Aspiring marathon runner Cara Smith has a healthy future

“Indigenous people face health and education issues. Young females, young mothers with two, three, seven children. It’s so easy to fall into a trap but there’s no excuse not to exercise, not to walk or run,”

Cara Smith is one of only six women selected for the Indigenous Marathon foundation program and will compete in the New York City Marathon at the end of the year. Photo: Rohan Thomson from Canberra Times

Aspiring marathon runner Cara Smith braves the Canberra cold to train at 3am so she can spend more time with son Zac, but her desire to change a family history of diabetes and obesity is her No. 1 motivation.

The 29-year-old is one of 12 athletes as part of the latest intake for the Robert de Castella inspired Indigenous marathon project.

They will train for six months before targeting a goal of completing the New York marathon on November 5.

The Queanbeyan mother of one wants to be the trigger for family change for one-year-old Zac to ensure he lives a healthy life.

“I have a family history of diabetes and obesity and I don’t want that for my son. I want to be healthy and I want to be active and I want it to be a part of his [Zac Jnr] daily life,” Smith said.

Former marathon world champion de Castella started the project in 2011 as a vehicle to promote healthy lifestyles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Smith will balance full-time work with family duties as she begins a tough training schedule to be ready for the 42-kilometre run.

She has never run a marathon, having only completed a half marathon in New Zealand 13 months ago, and will again test herself in another half marathon on the Gold Coast in July.

She is running up to 30 kilometres a week in preparation for not only the Gold Coast but to run her first full length marathon.

“It was scary and exciting to be honest, when [coach] Adrian Dodson-Shaw gave me the call I couldn’t believe it,” Smith said.

“My husband Zac [Snr] is so supportive so that helps a lot and I try not to think about my son [Zac Jnr], otherwise I get caught up and just want to spend time with him.”

Although in the early stages of the program, Smith is already feeling the intensity. She trains four times per week and draws motivation from her family as the work load looks to increase.

“My baby [Zac], he’s my driving force and motivation, he’s a reminder of what I can achieve. ” Smith said.

Running her first marathon, Smith also looks to inspire all indigenous females to get active and improve their health.

“Indigenous people face health and education issues. Young females, young mothers with two, three, seven children. It’s so easy to fall into a trap but there’s no excuse not to exercise, not to walk or run,” Smith said.

Smith will be one of 50,000 to compete in the New York marathon when she completes her journey with the Indigenous Marathon Foundation and knows exactly what will be going through her mind.

“Butterflies, don’t fall, don’t stop, my son, my husband, mom, dad , brother, sister. It’s exciting but I’ve worked hard to get here, I want to show everyone from Northern NSW [New South Wales] what we can do,”

3. QLD : Apunipima Stands Up Against Domestic and Family Violence in Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw

May is Domestic Violence Prevention Month. Domestic violence prevention is always a part of Apunipima’s wellbeing conversation, and for the month of May Apunipima is advocating and supporting capacity in Community to have the conversation around domestic violence and prevention.

Picture above from White Ribbon Day

Domestic and family violence can be both in the form of physical and emotional abuse. The messages are:

  • Learn to identify domestic violence and when it could be taking place
  • Create a supportive environment, know who you can go to and where safe places are in your community
  • Be prepared to leave, have a bag packed, know how to exit and if children need to exit too
  • Both men and women can be a victim of domestic and family violence

A number of events in community will be marking the importance of preventing domestic and family violence.

Kowanyama

Apunipima is partnering with the Women’s Shelter and community in Kowanyama to facilitate yarning circles, candlelight vigil, and a march to raise awareness about Domestic Violence Prevention. Men and women from the Men’s Group, Women’s Group, school, Apunipima, and other organisations in the community will be participating in the March. A Reflections session will be held to make time to think about those who have been lost to domestic violence in Community.

  • May 16th & May 25th Women’s Shelter Yarning Circle
  • May 29th Women’s Group and Candlelight Vigil and Reflections Session
  • May 30th Domestic Violence Prevention March

 

Pormpuraaw

Apunipima is partnering up with the school and Women’s Shelter to deliver Domestic Violence Prevention education through the Pormpuraaw Healthy Kids programme.

  • May 23rd Healthy Kids Domestic Violence Education Session

Help is available. If you are a victim of domestic violence, help is available. You can:

  • Go to a Women’s Shelter
  • Call the 24/7 confidential helpline – 1800 RESPECT
  • Call 000 (or 112 from a mobile) in an emergency
  • DVConnect Womensline – phone 1800 811 811 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • DVConnect Mensline – phone 1800 600 636 (9am to 12 midnight, 7 days)
  • Kids Helpline – phone 1800 551 800 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Elder Abuse Helpline – Queensland phone 1300 651 192, rest of Australia phone (07) 3867 2525 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)
  • State-wide Sexual Assault Helpline – phone 1800 010 120 (7.30am to 11.30pm, 7 days)

4.SA Tackling Tobacco Team – Nunkuwarrin Yunti

Time to Join The Movement. Get ready for World No Tobacco Day on the 31st May and make a pledge http://tacklingtobacco.nunku.org.au/join-the-movement/

5. WA Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia – AHCWA

The Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia are conducting a final survey on the Aboriginal Youth Services Investment Reform process in WA.

It is important for the sector to provide feedback on our understanding of the Reforms, so that future processes can be improved. If you are or your organisation has been involved, please follow the link – it will take 20 to 25 minutes to fill out.

Please share! 🙂

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SX85KWV

6. Tas : The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC)

Three Tasmanian Aboriginal children have starred in a new animated television series, broadcast in one of the state’s Indigenous languages.

The new animated television series Little J and Big Cuz is set in “nana’s backyard” and looks at everyday situations for Aboriginal children.

The 13-episode series has been recorded in both English and several of Australia’s Indigenous languages, including Tasmania’s palawa kani which is made up of nine dialects.

It was spoken across Tasmania until colonisation, when the Indigenous community was forced to speak English.

The language was revived in the 1990s and has been taught across the state ever since.

Three local school children, who have been learning the language, were chosen to be involved in the series.

Seth Gardiner, 11, has been learning palawa kani for three years.

“[I find it] fun because you get to interact with other people and speak our own language,” he said.

“Our alphabet is different to English, we don’t have some of the letters.

“We went to the studio and we had to stand in front of the microphones and we had to go over our script again and again until it was perfect.

“The character I’m playing is … in a wheelchair and his favourite animal is kangaroos and he’s doing show and tell.”

Peta Cabalza, 10, has also been learning the language for several years.

“It can be a tricky language,” she said. “It was really nice to be able to do the voices.”

Twelve-year-old Skye Cox was also involved.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) describes palawa kani as being “the revived form of the original Tasmanian Aboriginal languages. It incorporates authentic elements of the original languages remembered by Tasmanian [Aboriginal peoples] from the 19th to the 21st centuries. It also draws on an extensive body of historical and linguistic research”.

“There are no living speakers of the original Tasmanian languages.

“Spoken records of the original sounds are limited to a few sounds that can only just be heard when Fanny Cochrane Smith spoke on the records of her songs in 1899.

“So to attempt to recover the original sounds and meanings, we have to start from written records made by early Europeans of the sounds they heard, and the meanings they thought they understood when they heard our ancestors speak.”

Keeping the language alive

Rosetta Thomas, a youth language worker at the TAC’s Launceston office, is one of several Tasmanian adults who voice the other characters in the episode.

She started learning palawa kani on Cape Barren Island when she was 12, and is now passing on her language skills to school children.

“Language is a really big part of our history and our culture and it means a lot to us and it’s great to pass on to the children, so it can be happening for future generations,” she said.

Ms Thomas said the cartoon was a great opportunity for the kids to showcase the language to a wider audience.)

“They’re famous, so they say. They’re super-excited. The kids who’re involved have worked really hard for years,” she said.

“I think it’s fabulous for the community, for families, for children to be able to view this for future years and see how far we’ve come from starting language learning in the late 1990s to where it is today.”

The lack of a cartoon speaking to Indigenous kids in Aboriginal language had irked the show’s director, Tasmanian Tony Thorne.

“Never before has an Australian animated show targeted an Indigenous four- to six-year-old audience. As an Indigenous person this seemed wrong,” he said.

The series, being screened on NITV, involved animators from Hobart company Blue Rocket and received financial support from Screen Tasmania.

7.VIC VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team celebrates NRL Indigenous Round

 

The Healthy Lifestyle Team celebrated the Indigenous round at the NRL in Brisbane with a joint Deadly Choices and Victorian Aboriginal Health Service guernsey worn by the kids at the half time entertainment! #DeadlyChoices #VAHSHLT #StaySmokeFree Brisbane Broncos #IndigenousRound Melbourne Storm Gold Coast Titans Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

8. NT Miwajtj Health : Unfolding public health emergency in north-east Arnhem Land

“If these children don’t stop, they will have a very serious brain damage issue,” 

In an effort to educate young people about the dangers of sniffing, Miwatj’s mental health team has been meeting with the families of those involved.

It has also developed a poster in English and Yolngu Matha, which explains that continued sniffing could lead to death.

“The community has taken steps and are still looking at other steps to stop what is happening,”

Joan Djamalaka Dhamarrandji, an Aboriginal health practitioner at Miwatj Health ( Member of AMSANT and NACCHO ) which runs clinics across north-east Arnhem Land.

Authorities are warning of an unfolding public health emergency in north-east Arnhem Land, where dozens of young people are recording dangerously high lead levels after sniffing aviation fuel.

Security camera vision obtained by the ABC shows children climbing onto the fuselage of planes on Elcho Island and siphoning avgas from fuel tanks in the wings.

Watch vision here

“If these children don’t stop, they will have a very serious brain damage issue,” said Joan Djamalaka Dhamarrandji, an Aboriginal health practitioner at Miwatj Health, which runs clinics across north-east Arnhem Land.

Petrol sniffing is not uncommon in remote communities, but rarely does it involve avgas, which contains lead.

At least 70 young people on Elcho Island are known to have sniffed the volatile substance, with the youngest believed to be seven years old.

About 30 more young people have elevated lead levels at Gapuwiyak.

Children in Milingimbi are also believed to be sniffing avgas.

Nine children and one adult have been transported from the region to Royal Darwin Hospital for medical treatment.

“This is a public health emergency,” said Dr Lucas de Toca, the chief health officer for Miwatj Health.

“We are talking about a high number of children with high blood lead levels.”

Yolngu leaders on Elcho Island are deeply concerned and have held community meetings in an effort to end the problem.

“Our kids are ending up in hospital by getting infected by chemicals which is bad for them,” said John Gurrumgurrum Burarrwanga from Makarr Dhuni, an organisation which represents clan groups on Elcho Island.

Lead levels of sniffers well above health guidelines

National health guidelines require investigations of blood lead levels higher than five micrograms per decilitre.

The majority of Elcho Island sniffers have levels six to 10 times that amount.

“We are seeing levels that are almost unprecedented in current society,” Dr de Toca said.

The health risk is particularly great for children, with lead exposure causing long-term physical and behavioural problems, as well as learning difficulties.

Young people have been breaking into the airport and sniffing avgas since March last year.

The behaviour follows a previous sniffing outbreak, which involved aerosol spray cans, in 2015.

“The issue became an absolute crisis because it became a practically every night event,” said Yvonne Sutherland, the chief executive of the local Marthakal Group, which runs the airport.

Concerns of avgas explosion

Ms Sutherland is concerned not only for the health of the children, but also the safety of aircraft.

There is also the real risk of an explosion involving avgas, which is extremely flammable.

“If we are not careful, and this is probably one of my highest concerns … we may have a fireball that will be just devastating for everybody,” Ms Sutherland said.

Marthakal has taken numerous steps to prevent access to avgas, including increased security lighting and CCTV coverage at the airport.

It also tried relocating three of its charter planes each night to Nhulunbuy, hundreds of kilometres away, over a two-week period last year.

But at a cost of $32,000 for the fortnight, it was an unsustainable measure.

Hopes guard dog will curtail break-ins

The Department of Chief Minister has now provided $70,000 for a guard dog and security officer to be stationed at the airport for 10 hours each night over the next three months.

“That’s been extremely successful,” Ms Sutherland said.

“There has not been a single incursion into the airport since the security guard was installed.”

Marthakal believes building a high-secure facility to lock its planes in overnight would be the best long-term solution.

That would cost about $400,000, but Ms Sutherland said it would be money well spent.

“If the avgas [sniffing] continues, the impost on the health and disability budget will be enormous,” she said.

‘Kids are important’

In an effort to educate young people about the dangers of sniffing, Miwatj’s mental health team has been meeting with the families of those involved.

It has also developed a poster in English and Yolngu Matha, which explains that continued sniffing could lead to death.

“The community has taken steps and are still looking at other steps to stop what is happening,” Ms Dhamarrandji said.

Community leaders want extra government funding for local staff to expand health education campaigns in Yolgnu Matha, as well as extra recreational programs to keep young people on the island engaged.

“Kids are very important to our life because they are the future generations,” Mr Burarrwanga said.

“So we don’t want these things happening in the community or elsewhere.”

The Northern Territory Government says it has set up a “critical response” involving all stakeholders affected by avgas sniffing.

“Any volatile substance abuse is very dangerous and concerning,” said Jim Rogers from the NT Department of Chief Minister.

“However the emergence of avgas sniffing and the potential long-term consequences of elevated blood lead levels is a significant concern.”

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #WA #VIC #NSW #QLD #NT #TAS @KenWyattMP

1.1 VIC : Aunty Pam Pedersen Aboriginal Health advocate

1.2 VIC : Ballarat #ACCHO lands $6 million Health infrastructure Funding

2.QLD : Deadly Choices 2017 Charleville Senior Games

3. NSW : Ready Mob in Gumbaynggirr , Dunghutti, and Biripai nations

4.Tasmania  : Minister Ken Wyatt visits Launceston

5. WA : Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia News

6. ACT Winnunga’s $12 million Ngunnawal bush healing farm 

7. NT : AMSANT to visit Burunga Festival

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

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media     Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1.1 VIC : Aunty Pam Pedersen Aboriginal Health advocate

Aunty Pam is a Yorta Yorta woman and an Elder of the Victorian Aboriginal community. She is the daughter of Pastor Sir Douglas and Lady Nicholls who fought for the struggle of all Aboriginal people.

Aunty Pam is a very active woman taking part in many community events as well as being on various committees.  Her passion is working for her people and is employed by Jesuit Social Services working with young people and their families who have come in contact with the criminal justice system as well as working in a capacity building role.

Aunty Pam is an Elder sitting on the various Koorie Courts in Melbourne a position which she has held since 2005.  She is also a Community Member of the Adult Parole Board of Melbourne.

Aunty Pam at the age of 50 years started looking at herself and her health by walking to send out a message to other Aboriginal people that they need to take care of their health through regular exercise and healthy diets.

She is a keen sportsperson and a role model and an inspiration to all who know her. Aunty Pam has represented Victoria and World Masters Games in many sporting activities such as swimming, running half marathons, triathlons, open water swimming and yachting events.

Aunty Pam is an active supporter of the VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team

Her achievements are –

.           Australia Day – Federal Award

.           2005 NAIDOC National Sportsperson of the Year

.           Taking part in the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games as well as a participant in the Baton Relay

.           Winner Melbourne to Devonport Yacht Race 1996

.           World and Australian Masters Swimming 2002, 2005

.           Victorian and Gold Coast Half Marathons 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012

.           Gatorade Triathlon series 2003-2004,  2004 -2005

.           Koorie Women Mean Business Awards 1997, 2002 and 2004

.           Ambassador for the Indigenous Marathon Project

A quote which Aunty Pam says is –

Age is no barrier – “If you dream it – you can achieve it”

1.2. VIC : Ballarat #ACCHO lands $6 million Health Infrastructure Funding

The Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative is set to undergo a major overhaul after landing a $6 million investment from the state government last week.

Services boost: Jo Warren, Faye Clarke and Karen Heap, of the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative, with Wendouree MP Sharon Knight at Friday's funding announcement. Picture: Supplied.

Services boost: Jo Warren, Faye Clarke and Karen Heap, of the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative, with Wendouree MP Sharon Knight at Friday’s funding announcement. From The Courier

BADAC was one of the recipients of first round funding from the $200 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which will allow the Aboriginal health organisation to dramatically expand its operations.

As of 2015 the organisation employed more than 50 staff to perform 18 different services ranging across health, housing and community care, drug and alcohol support, justice support and social wellbeing.

BADAC chief executive Karen Heap said the funds would allow the organisation to deliver better tailored programs to more people in the one space.

2.QLD : Deadly Choices 2017 Charleville Senior Games

Congratulations to all the participants in the Outback Seniors Games held in Charleville this past week.

Pictures supplied by Deadly Choices : Above Deadly Choices would like to thank Mayor Paul Pisasale & his councillors for donating additional funding so our Kambu Health elders could compete in the Charleville Elders Games.

Out of the 22 competing teams, special mention goes to the Purga Porcupines who won the team champions trophy

Other winners included Aunty Elaine Anderson from the Kambu Koalas

Narella Simpson of the Goodna Woogaroo,

and Henry Thompson from the Purga Porcupines.

Congratulations to everyone who trained, played, and had a great time! Look forward to seeing that competitive spirit again soon!

3. NSW : Ready Mob in Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti, and Biripai nations

Ready Mob in NSW  are committed to continue delivering our programs across the entire region.

Ready Mob offers early intervention, support and education around tackling smoking for community, schools, and organisations throughout the Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti, and Biripai nations.

We have a number of programs available for different age groups.
If you would like to know more please visit our website www.smokefreecommunity.com.au or

If you would like support to quit or cut down smokes please

email Ready Mob at readymob@galambila.org.au

or ring
66520800 for Coffs Harbour/Nambucca and
65894000 for Port Macquarie/Kempsey.

4.Tasmania  : Minister Ken Wyatt visits Launceston

Last week I was in the City Of Launceston, Tasmania and had the privilege of opening the Implementation Plan Advisory Group Consultation Forum as well as touring the NACCHO Aboriginal Health Australia Tasmanian facility.

Special thanks to Aunty Sharon Holbrook for your warm welcome to country at the IPAG Forum.

#IndigenousHealth

5. WA : Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia News

Edith Cowan University (ECU) in partnership with GRAMS – Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS), Bega Garnbirringu Health Services and other stakeholders across the state, are collaborating to study the effects and incidences of traumatic brain injury in Aboriginal people.

ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander Australians are more than twice as likely as non-Aboriginal Australians to suffer a traumatic brain injury or stroke.

Despite this, Aboriginal stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors are under-represented in mainstream hospital-based rehabilitation services.

The effects of brain injury can be long term or permanent and can effect a person’s movement, communication and overall quality of life.

An ECU project titled ‘Enhancing rehabilitation services for Aboriginal Australians after brain injury’ is aiming to address this imbalance after receiving a $900,000 grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Led by Professor Beth Armstrong and the ECU speech pathology team, the grant will allow a team of researchers, health service providers and industry partners to develop and implement a culturally secure intervention package for Aboriginal people.

It aims to enhance their rehabilitation experience and engagement with rehabilitation services and improve quality of life after stroke or traumatic brain injury.

The project is a collaboration with The University of WA and the WA Centre for Rural Health, Monash and Notre Dame universities and the University of Technology Sydney.

It will be carried out in partnership with the Department of Health, WA Country Health Service, Geraldton Regional and Kimberley Aboriginal medical services, Bega Garnbirringu Health Services in Kalgoorlie, Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation, Neurological Council of WA, Stroke Foundation and St John of God Midland Hospital.

6. ACT Winnunga’s $12 million Ngunnawal bush healing farm 

The future of an Aboriginal drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre south of Canberra is in doubt after it was revealed the zoning of the land does not allow for some clinical services.

The $12 million Ngunnawal bush healing farm in the Tidbinbilla Valley was completed in November last year, but since then Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service chief executive Julie Tongs said it has been “sitting empty” after confusion over what the land could be used for.

 

Ms Tongs said despite the ACT government asking Winnunga to submit a tender to provide drug and alcohol services on the site last year, she was told in February no clinical services could be run from there.

A briefing this week confirmed her fears the site would be little more than “a campsite”, Ms Tongs said.

“If that’s not going to be a rehab then they have to find us one and they have to find it fast or they have to find the funding in this budget,” Ms Tongs said.

Local Indigenous community leaders have long pushed for a place of healing to aid in the rehabilitation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the ACT.

Planning for the drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic near Tharwa began about a decade ago.

Planning minister Mick Gentleman sidestepped community objection to the facility by pushing the proposal through with his call-in powers and construction began on the eight-bed bush retreat in 2014.

In question time on Tuesday, Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe said Ms Tong’s rebuke was a “damning indictment” of the government’s management of Indigenous affairs.

The Canberra Liberals’ Indigenous affairs spokesman James Milligan described it as a “major stuff up”.

“The Chief Minister cannot try to shift blame to the Indigenous community claiming that it doesn’t understand what the Farm is for, when as far back 2004, there was a commitment that the Healing Farm would be a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre,” Mr Milligan said.

But Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the characterisation was unfair and the government was working to address Ms Tong’s concerns.

“ACT Health acknowledges there’s been some confusion in the community about the role and purpose of the farm and its zoning,” Mr Barr said.

“There are some differences within the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community about the services that should be delivered at the bush healing farm.

“Some stakeholders want a medical model of rehabilitation delivered on the site but the government is committed to delivering the vision of the United Ngunnawal Elders Council to deliver a healing service that works to rebuild a fractured community where recurring alcohol and drug addictions are a barrier to a better life.”

But Ms Tongs refuted Mr Barr’s claims that the site was not intended as a clinical facility.

“It was. We’ve got the deed of contract,” Ms Tongs said.

“It’s not about what the elder’s council wanted, it’s about what’s best for our community. The fellows sitting in prison, that we can’t get into rehab, what hope have they got now? They’ve ripped the rug out from underneath them and that’s not fair.”

On Wednesday, health minister Meegan Fitzharris reaffirmed her commitment to opening the healing farm as soon as possible and confirmed it would provide rehabilitation services.

“We need to have that service there, there has been some confusion which I regret and which I am seeking to now understand about the type of care and type of services that will be provided there,” she said.

“It will be able to be used as a rehabilitation centre, what it will not be able to be used for is a detoxification centre.”

7. NT : AMSANT to visit Burunga Festival

Get ready for a huge weekend of music at Barunga Festival 2017, Queen’s Birthday Tickets or at the gate!

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

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media     Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #WA #VIC #SA #NSW #QLD #NT #TAS @KenWyattMP

1.SA : Nganampa Health Service  :Seven new ambulances 

1.2 SA : Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia : Tackling tobacco

2. ACT Winnunga : Family-focused Justice Reinvestment trial to help reduce over-representation of Aboriginal in justice system

3.1 QLD: Deadly Choices World No Tobacco Day, 31 May

3.2 QLD Deadly Choices : Junior Murri Rugby League and Netball Carnival 2017

4.Tasmania Aboriginal Centre Launceston plans health facility improvement

5. NSW : Awabakal Health Service Newcastle Breastfeeding Workshop

6.NT Danila Dilba Flu shots

7.WA : Carnarvon Medical Service attends state Conference

8.1 VIC : Gunditjmara welcomes visionary leadership team

8.2 VIC : Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association : Healthy Lifestyle

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

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media     Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1.SA : Nganampa Health Service  :Seven new ambulances 

“It will really improve the clinical staff and their ability to respond to any emergencies whether they be in between the communities, or whether it be in the communities,”

Nganampa Health Service’s executive director John Singer said staff had “made do” with the service’s current ambulance fleet. 

Photo Above : South Australian Health Minister Jack Snelling and Premier Jay Weatherill at the ambulance announcement.

Photo opening : Clinic staff and government staff including John Singer (second on the left) in front of an ambulance. (ABC News: Lauren Waldhuter)

Seven new ambulances will be stationed in South Australia’s remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in an effort to improve the region’s health services and boost staff safety.

The $770,000 grant announcement from the State Government was made at Umuwa during a country cabinet tour of the region and more than a year after outback nurse Gayle Woodford was murdered.

It is the first time the country cabinet has visited the Aboriginal communities.

The vehicles will be purpose-built for outback conditions and contain GPS trackers, two-way radios, and satellite communications.

Nganampa Health Service’s executive director John Singer said staff had “made do” with the service’s current ambulance fleet.

“It will really improve the clinical staff and their ability to respond to any emergencies whether they be in between the communities, or whether it be in the communities,” Mr Singer said.

The health service received federal funding after Ms Woodford’s death to improve security systems, which has resulted in nurses not travelling alone.

Ms Woodford was fitted with a GPS at the time of her death.

Mr Singer said the service would continue to look at security.

The service is waiting to learn if that funding will continue.

South Australian Health Minister Jack Snelling said the ambulances would be a major boost for the service.

“If someone is critically injured here on the Lands, they need an ambulance, one of the ambulance goes out to provide assistance,” Mr Snelling said.

“And often those can be quite serious illnesses and injuries, and in the past Ngnampa Health have had to get by with basically troop carriers which just have ambulance painted on the side.”

Mr Snelling called for the Federal Government to confirm funding to continue to ensure nurses were not called out alone.

“To provide an escort guarantee … and no nursing staff ever goes out unaccompanied, that has considerable resource implications for Ngnampa Health and I think it is only fair that the Federal Government support them in doing that

1.2 SA : Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia : Tackling tobacco

2. ACT Winnunga : Family-focused Justice Reinvestment trial to help reduce over-representation of Aboriginal in justice system

“I feel like, at the moment, all we do is Band-Aid .There’s too many of our people incarcerated and that’s what we are trying to prevent.”

Julie Tongs, chief executive of Winnunga Nimmityjah, said the program was badly needed in the ACT, where the number of prisoners has doubled in the past 10 years. See The Guardian Interview

The Government has partnered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community provider Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service to develop a family-focused response to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our justice system, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Shane Rattenbury announced.

Mr Rattenbury and Winnunga Nimmityjah chief executive officer Julie Tongs today launched Yarrabi Bamirr, the ACT’s first Justice Reinvestment Trial.

Yarrabi Bamirr, Ngunnawal words for Walk Tall, responds to the need for a whole of government and community service system response in addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system.

A collaborative partnership between Winnunga Nimmityjah and the Justice and Community Safety Directorate, the Yarrabi Bamirr trial places particular focus on families at risk, assisting them to become self-managing, healthy and safe. As part of the program, social health team workers from Winnunga Nimmityjah will work together with families to co-design unique family plans to address their goals related to matters such as housing, health, justice, education and employment. Cross-government support will then be provided to families to address identified needs.

“Justice Reinvestment is one of the ways we are striving to develop smarter, community and family-focused, inclusive and cost-effective outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Mr Rattenbury said. “Justice Reinvestment also looks to reduce crime by diverting those at risk from the criminal justice system. The evidence shows that where justice reinvestment measures are put in place, families and the wider community benefit.”

“In establishing Yarrabi Bamirr, the Government reaffirms our commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to deliver programs that respond to the needs of communities by being inclusive, family-focused and culturally appropriate,” Mr Rattenbury said.

The Yarrabi Bamirr program has been co-designed with a range of stakeholders, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service providers, community groups, academics and those with lived experience of the justice system. Other agencies providing critical support to the trial include the Aboriginal Legal Service, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and ACT Policing.

The Justice and Community Safety Directorate has also employed an Aboriginal trial coordinator to oversee the operational and evaluation requirements of the trial. The trial will also seek to build upon the successes and lessons of related programs, such as the Strengthening Families program.

Where appropriate, clients will also be provided with timely and relevant legal advice, support in dealing with statutory agencies (including Care and Protection), support prior to, during, and following the serving of a sentence, and referrals to relevant diversionary programs.

The Australian National University has also been commissioned to develop an evaluation framework to measure the trial’s success in improving life outcomes and preventing future contact with the justice system.

“The Government is committed to justice reinvestment as a way forward in addressing these very real concerns in relation to the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our criminal justice system. This work is further strengthened by our commitments in the Labor-Greens Parliamentary Agreement, to reduce recidivism by 25 per cent by 2025.

“Only by listening to, and working collaboratively together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, can we comprehensively address the troubling over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system,” Mr Rattenbury added.

3. QLD: Deadly Choices World No Tobacco Day, 31 May

 Take the #DeadlyPlaces pledge today to make your home, car & workplace Deadly Smoke-Free Spaces #WNTD2017 #NoTobacco

Deadly Places, Smoke-Free spaces is educating community around the dangers of environmental tobacco smoke and the importance of Deadly, Smoke-Free homes, cars, and workplaces.

On World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2017, look after your family, sign the pledge, and win great prizes!

Enter Here

3.2 QLD Deadly Choices : Junior Murri Rugby League and Netball Carnival 2017

The Carnival is being held on the 26th – 29th of June at the University of Queensland, St Lucia campus.

Registrations are open until Friday 16th of June 2017.

Download the frequently asked questions.

Terms and Conditions
Please read prior to submitting registration

To participate in this Carnival, all Rugby League and Netball players must have proof of having received an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 715 Health Check from an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) or GP in the past 9 months (forms will be provided).

If your child completed their health check at one of our participating clinics (through ATSICHS, MATSICHS, Yulu-Burri-Ba, Kalwun or Kambu), you won’t need to get a signed health check form, as Deadly Choices will follow up directly with the clinic. If you are registering more than one child, please register each child separately.

Register here

4.Tasmania Aboriginal Centre Launceston plans health facility improvement

New consulting rooms will create a better health facility when Launceston’s Aboriginal Centre is gutted and refurbished.

From The Examiner

A development application has been lodged for the interior of the Charles Street centre to be stripped and rebuilt in a project expected to cost about $1 million.

The federal government has granted $500,000 towards the development.

The Launceston centre houses the Aboriginal Health Service, an Aboriginal legal service, the palawa kani language workers and Aboriginal cultural workers.

The refurbishment will include four purpose-built consulting rooms for the health service’s doctors, nurses and workers.

The rooms will also facilitate visiting physiotherapy, paediatric and psychologist clinics.

Aboriginal Health Service practice manager Lisa Coulson said the services had “outgrown the current premises”.

“Currently they [health workers] are in a very small and cramped room,” she said.

“Once the renovations are finished the health service will be more open and client friendly.”

The development will be completed in three stages and the centre will remain open during construction.

Ms Coulson said the renovations came after years of calls by the Aboriginal community for a larger, purpose-built centre.

She said it was vital to continue investment in Aboriginal health services to improve health outcomes.

Aboriginal Australians are more likely to be unemployed, die earlier and have lower numeracy and literacy rates than white Australians.

The health service will be more open and client friendly. – Lisa Coulson.

Ms Coulson hoped the Launceston centre’s focus on health would help improve quality of life.

“Closing the Gap programs and funding has helped that a little bit but unfortunately the data shows, if at all, it has reduced very minimally,” she said.

“I think that’s going to be an issue and support that’s needed through health programs will cross generations.

By having a larger, newer, purpose-built health service connected within a community service can only improve the health outcomes I believe.”

Ms Coulson said there was no plan to increase the number of health professionals employed at the centre but said the service would reevaluate opportunities when renovations were comple

5. NSW : Awabakal Health Service Newcastle Breastfeeding Workshop

6.NT Danila Dilba Flu shots

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can now get a free vaccination any time from your local Danila Dilba clinic:

7.WA : Carnarvon Medical Service attends state Conference

Great recap in the Mid-West Times about CMSAC members attending the state conference: From Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia – AHCWA

8.1 Vic : Gunditjmara welcomes visionary leadership team

The Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative Board of Directors are pleased to announce the appointment of a strengthened leadership team.

The team will implement the Board’s vision for the organisation to move into the future as a proud, strong and inclusive Aboriginal Community Controlled organisation.

Picture above : Gunditjmara smoking ceremony today celebrating new opportunities & new leadership team

Jason Kanoa, a strong and proud Guditjmara/Bunitj man will commence as CEO on 17th April.

The Chair of the Board, Billy McGuinness said …‘We have a strong future in front of us as the leadership team builds on the strengths of past and current leaders.  We have full confidence the community, our partners and our stakeholders will see us evolving quickly and enhance our reputation over the coming months.

Jason has vision, lived experience and the skills we were looking for to steer the organisation into a period of reform and the opportunities this brings.’….

Jason said: …‘I’m looking forward to living on country again. I’m particularly looking forward to working with the Board and the newly formed leadership team and positioning the organisation to secure the opportunities ahead’…

The new team builds on the strengths of Glenda Thompson, Manager of Aged Care and Disabilities, and has grown to include two full-time positions which commence this week. The Board and staff welcome to the organisation: Operations Manager, John Coxon and Primary Health Care Manager, Julieanne Crow. Both John and Julieanne bring extensive experience, skills and networks to further enhance the capacity of the organisation and our staff.

The team will initially focus internally to strengthen processes to ensure robust, high quality systems are in place to ensure our reputation gains strength. Stakeholder engagement will be a high priority once this occurs.

The Interim CEO, Jill Gallagher AO said: ‘…We see a clear future of growth and strength for the organisation in the coming months. Our staff work very hard to provide the best services possible and I’m proud to have worked with them.  We must be able to provide the highest quality inclusive services to our community, and we must ready ourselves for many changes coming through Government reforms. The Board, Leadership team and staff at Gunditjmara will secure that future.’

Download the full media release here. PDF

••••••••••••

8.2 VIC : Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association : Healthy Lifestyle

 

An East Gippsland Beach was turned into a film set as part of an indigenous Gippsland film production. The Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association initiative is centred around strengthening cultural ties in a bid to reduce stress

Check out the Facebook Page

View VIDEO  here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr Naomi Mayers at the University of Sydney.

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

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

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

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

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

Dr Naomi Mayers.

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

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

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

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #RuralHealthConf : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #WA #VIC #SA #NSW #QLD #NT #TAS @KenWyattMP

1.WA : South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) WA

 2.NSW Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) launches new services

3. SA : AHCSA Clinton’s Walk For Justice arrives Adelaide  

4. NT Congress Alice Springs Deadly Choices Team

5. QLD Apunipima ACCHO :

Indigenous CBA Interns Raise Money for Kowanyama

6. Victoria : VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team

7. Tasmania’s Flinders Island Tackling Indigenous Smoking

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate

or Members Good News Story ? 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media     Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

 

1.WA : South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) WA

Federal minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt visited Bunbury on Monday and took the opportunity to visit the South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) clinic.

Joined by Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino, Mr Wyatt admired the state-of-the-art clinic and discussed health care challenges affecting the community.

From HERE

Ministers Wyatt and Marino met the Clinic on Wheels before a sit down with the SWAMS board of directors and staff to discuss achievements, challenges and future plans.

SWAMS chief executive officer Lesley Nelson said opportunities to highlight the needs of the Aboriginal community with key politicians were encouraging for the future of targeted health care in the South West.

“It’s an honour to meet with Minister Wyatt, who is the country’s first Indigenous minister,” Ms Nelson said.

“Our vision is about providing high-quality, holistic and accessible services to the Aboriginal people of the South West and making sure our clients have more opportunities to access support.”

Since opening its new clinic on Forrest Avenue in August 2015, SWAMS has seen a steady increase in client numbers, resulting in boosted health screening rates and regular visits to all clinics.

SWAMS opened its fourth outreach clinic in March, to now operate from Brunswick Junction, Busselton, Collie and Manjimup.

“SWAMS is also focused on bringing specialists to our clinics to help bridge the gap for our clients and community,” Ms Nelson said.

“We recently held an ear, nose and throat clinic with renowned Clinical Professor Harvey Coates, which saw more than 30 children attend.

“SWAMS supports Aboriginal health through a range of tailored programs and services, we are committed to being able to provide quality health care – it’s a vital need.”

Mr Wyatt was born at Roelands Mission farm and entered the federal parliament in 2010 as the Member for Hasluck. Prior to entering Parliament, Wyatt served as Director of the WA office of Aboriginal Health as well as a similar post with NSW Health.

For more information about SWAMS, visit swams.com.au

2.NSW Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) launches new services

The Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) has received Primary Health Network funding, meaning it can deliver care coordination programs for members of the Aboriginal community with complex medical needs.

From Here

The Biripi AMS celebrated the official opening of its upgraded clinic facilities on March 10 with the announcement of Primary Health Network funding.

“The new clinic at Purfleet provides primary care and specialists’ services to close the ‘access’ gap for Biripi people,” Biripi Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre CEO Brett Cowling said. The Purfleet clinic has been partially funded by the Commonwealth government.

“Historically, specialist services could only be accessed by travelling to Newcastle, leaving family and leaving Biripi country. The Biripi people also opened a new self funded clinic in 2016 that is closer to the Bushland community where a large population demographic reside.”

“Biripi AMS is now 37 years old and the commissioning of these valuable new assets will help secure the financial viability of the organisation into the future.”

Primary Health Network CEO Richard Nankervis said the aim of the funding is to better treat and manage chronic conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by improving access to services and better care coordination.

“Major chronic diseases in our community include asthma, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and mental illness and it is it is vital that these conditions are effectively managed in primary care to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

“The alarming increase in preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity are placing and a huge financial burden on the financial sustainability of the health system and by conducting care coordination programs we can support the patient and facilitate their care needs so we can keep them out of hospital,” Mr Nankervis said.

“A key benefit of care coordination programs is that they are patient-centred, and this is a key focus of all the programs funded by the PHN.

“There is strong evidence that engaging patients more fully in their own healthcare not only improves the experience for patients and those who care for them but it also improves the quality of care and lessens the cost to all.”

Mr Cowling said the funding provided through the Intergrated Team Care (ITC) program will make an important contribution to closing the gap in life expectancy by improving access to culturally appropriate primary care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“As part of this funding we will be providing care coordination activities that help patients get to medical appointments; get the patient’s family or carer appropriately involved; utilising relevant electronic clinical software to maintain, update and where required transfer the patient’s medical records to improve clinical handover and share clinical information with other members of the patients’ health care team.”

3. SA : AHCSA Clinton’s Walk For Justice arrives Adelaide  

Along the way the team are spending time in Aboriginal communities; meeting with elders, hearing their stories, talking with school kids and community groups.

Clinton will bring the words of these communities all the way to Canberra

Support Clinton thru Go Fund ME

Photos above shared by  Janette Milera-Kaurna ArabunaNarunga.

 4. NT Congress Alice Springs Deadly Choices Team
The Congress Team in the Barrett Drive Mile this month was lead by CEO Donna Ah Chee ( and NACCHO Board member )
A team of congress GPs, allied health practitioners, Aboriginal health workers, youth workers, smoking cessation workers, social support staff, corporate service staff, senior managers and Executive Directors including the CEO Donna Ah Chee formed the Deadly choices Congress team 2018 in Lasseters mile team event. Gold medal performance.

6. Victoria : VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team

SO much FUN at Melbourne Colour Run . We ran, danced and laughed our way to the finish line!!

It really was the happiest 5K run ever! Well done to all our HerTribe women and their families. Fluro colours look great on everyone!!

#behappy #bepositive #bedeadly #staysmokefree

 

6. QLD Apunipima ACCHO : Indigenous CBA Interns Raise Money for Kowanyama

After a tragic incident in Kowanyama earlier this year, Indigenous interns from the Commonwealth Bank’s CareerTrackers Intern Programme have raised money to support the Kowanyama community.

Interns were led by their manager Kyle, a Koko-Berra man who grew up in Cairns though now lives in Sydney where he works as an Indigenous Careers Acquisition Consultant for Commonwealth Bank.

After Kyle heard about the Kowanyama tragedy he wanted to return to his family in the Cape, some of whom were flown to hospital with severe injuries from the incident. Unfortunately, due to work commitments in other Indigenous communities Kyle could not return to Cairns or Kowanyama to support his family at this difficult time.

Reflecting on what was going through his mind when he heard about the incident, Kyle said, “I saw the news about the incident in Kowanyama on Facebook first, so then I called my Uncle who is up there as asked him what’s going on and if any of our family were there. He said that some of our family were in the house when it happened and they have been flown to hospital in Cairns and Townsville.

“I wanted to go up there and help but I couldn’t because I had some work to do with Indigenous communities and I didn’t want to let them down, so I decided to help by raising funds.”

Apunipima Cape York Health Council were assisting with the injured after the incident. Apunipima put Kyle in touch with Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council who spoke with Kyle about raising funds.

Kyle explained that, “We agreed that the funds raised would go towards building a memorial and help cover costs for the families. When discussing the idea of the community project the Shire Council thought it would be important to make that area a happy place again so maybe they will build a child playground or something as a memorial.”

The project was put to the interns and they came up with the idea to hold a fundraiser event. The event celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, and gave the attendees a chance to win prizes through a raffle and silent auction. The interns succeeded in securing a range of donated prizes, as well as some entertainment for the event.

One of the highlights of the raffle was a jersey donated by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) which was signed by the 2016 Wallabies team. Gym franchise Anytime Fitness donated a three month membership which was also raffled off.

The Commonwealth Bank donated a range of cricket memorabilia, including two signed bats. Life Wear also donated some of their garments for the raffle.

Indigenous artist Aunty Bibi Barba donated a painting which successfully raised money through the silent auction.

The CBA CareerTrackers Indigenous Interns also organised a cultural aspect to the event with a few different performances and speakers. The proceedings, included a lesson in language and dance by Tribal Warrior, a not-for-profit Indigenous organisation initiated and directed by Aboriginal people with Aboriginal Elders in Sydney. Two of the interns, Seraphina Lauenstein a Wuthathi women (Cape York, Shelburne Bay) and Jonah Johnson Wiradjuri man (Three ways mission, Griffith), were the MCs for the night.

Other performances included dances by the Butterfly Dancers – a Sydney based Indigenous dance group, as well as a digeridoo performance by one of the interns.

As a thank you to the groups who donated the prizes, the interns donated their time back to Tribal Warrior where they did some community service activities, including boat maintenance, a boxing class, and some language classes.

Altogether $5230 was raised which was donated to Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council for a memorial to be placed at the site as well as to offer support the affected families.

7. Tasmania’s Flinders Island Tackling Indigenous Smoking

Tasmanian Aboriginals are proud of our history and culture;
smoking’s not a tradition we want passed on.

The 12 of US were chosen to represent our communities
and for our belief that together, we can crush the smokes

See all 12 HERE

Download the Newsletter FIAAI Tackling Smoking Newsletter Quarter 1 2017

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #WA #VIC #SA #NSW #QLD #NT #TAS @KenWyattMP

1.WA : South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) WA

2.NSW : New $4.7 million Casino Djanangmum Health Clinic opens

3.SA : Clinton’s Walk For Justice arrives Adelaide  

4. ANZAC DAY Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial

5. NT Danila Dilba Darwin Health Minister visits

6.QLD :  CEO Cleveland Fagan Farewells Apunipima ACCHO

7. Victoria : VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team

8. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

 9.NACCHO Board meets with Minister Ken Wyatt

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate

or Members Good News Story ? 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media     Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1.South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) WA

Aboriginal health workers are the latest graduates of a program which teaches them how to administer vaccinations to children, with the aim of increasing immunisation rates.

The health workers graduated after taking part in the two week course at the South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) in Bunbury.

Source of story

The Aboriginal Health Council of WA (AHCWA) launched the training program in partnership with the Communicable Disease Control Directorate at the Department of Health in March 2015.

The program aims to help improve immunisation rates among Aboriginal children in WA, which are the lowest in the country.

The program has been rolled out in a number of locations around the state, and almost 30 Aboriginal Health Workers have been trained to administer and promote immunisation.

AHCWA Chairperson Michelle Nelson-Cox said until the program was launched, only nurses and doctors were authorised to carry out immunisations.

“The benefit of also training Aboriginal Health Workers is that they can relate to Aboriginal children and gain the trust of parents in order to educate them about the importance of immunisation,” she said.

Talicia Jetta from SWAMS said the course gave her not only practical skills, but also confidence.

“I now have the confidence to administer vaccines to our community and the knowledge to provide education to community members about the importance of vaccinating our children,” she said.

Tammy McGrath said she believed it was very important for Aboriginal health workers to have the skills to administer vaccinations.

“Because we are the first point of contact for our clients, we can promote and follow through with immunisations,” she said.

“Aboriginal people are getting the best care from Aboriginal people. Hopefully we can inspire other Aboriginal people to become health professionals too.”

A report released recently by the auditor general suggested the program had already contributed to increasing the low immunisation rates among Aboriginal children.

The report shows in the 12 months from June 2015 to June 2016, immunisation rates for Aboriginal infants in a number of regions improved by an average of 8.5 per cent.

“We are thrilled that it appears this training program has already contributed to immunisation rates among Aboriginal children increasing significantly in some areas,” said Ms Nelson-Cox.

“We hope that as more Aboriginal health workers are trained, the rates will go up further.”

Ms Nelson-Cox said the training program would be expanded this year and she hoped it could be rolled out to several remote locations later in the year

2.Casino NSW : New $4.7 million Djanangmum Health Clinic opens

Pictured elders : Uncle Charles Moran and Uncle Harry Mundine Walker

Updated 21 April from The Echo

A Federal Government-funded $4.7 million Djanangmum Health Clinic has been officially opened to meet the primary health needs of the Indigenous community of the Richmond Valley.

Operated by the Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation, the clinic will provide primary health care services, preventative health programs, dietician/nutritionist services, child and adult dental services, mental health case management, alcohol and other drug counselling and sexual health programs.

Page MP Kevin Hogan said the new clinic would service the health needs of the Indigenous community of Casino and Richmond Valley.

‘The clinic was previously housed in rented premises that did not meet the needs of health workers or the community,’ he said.

‘This clinic will help improve the health and life expectancy, as well as early childhood health and development, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community.’

The Casino Aboriginal Health Service Aboriginal (AMS) provides a culturally appropriate health service for the Aboriginal population in Casino and surrounding communities in New South Wales.

Formally the Dharah Gibinj Medical Service, Casino AMS is limited to assisting the community in the design and implementation of health policy and comes under the auspice of Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Corporation.

Casino AMS provides a range of services including:

  • general practice
  • alcohol and other drugs services
  • post natal services
  • sexual health services
  • diabetes services
  • counselling
  • general primary health care

Watch television coverage here

Why a new clinic ? Read the history of the 10 year battle HERE

3.South Australia  : Clinton Walk For Justice arrives Adelaide  

Keep Clinton and the Walk For Justice Team going… All the way to Canberra!

Clinton left from Matargarup last September and has walked all the way from Perth to Uluru, and on to Adelaide see below . It’s been a long and hot walk but Clinton and the Walk For Justice Team keep pressing on.

Adelaide 24 April

Along the way the team are spending time in Aboriginal communities; meeting with elders, hearing their stories, talking with school kids and community groups.

Clinton will bring the words of these communities all the way to Canberra

Support Clinton thru Go Fund ME

 

4. South Australia ANZAC DAY Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial

5. NT Danila Dilba Darwin Health Minister visits

6.Queensland CEO Cleveland Fagan Farewells Apunipima

CEO websmall

It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Board of Apunipima Health Council announces Cleveland Fagan’s departure as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) today.

Since 2006, Cleveland has played a pivotal role in the development and success of the organisation.

Throughout the past 11 years Cleveland through the guidance of Cape Communities, the board and his team he made many significant organisational accomplishments.

Some of these include the establishments of the foundation to community control in Cape York to five communities and the transition of four wellbeing centres from RFDS to Apunipima.

Cleveland has the led the organisation from 34 board members and 15 staff to one of the largest community controlled health organisation in Queensland with over 180 staff with 50% of our workforce identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and 30% of those are community based employees.

These are just a few of the noted accomplishments that Cleveland has made in his time.

Chair of Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Thomas Hudson shares his gratitude for Cleveland’s time, passion and commitment to see through several aspirations.

“Cleveland has poured love and passion into the organisation to nurture it to where it is today, without his commitment the people of the Cape may not have as strong a voice to what they have today, I am proud to have worked alongside him as Chair.”

Cleveland shares his parting words of guidance for the next chapter of Apunipima;

“I came to this organisation knowing of the future challenges ahead and had a clear vision on how to obtain those goals, with many accomplishments gained already this year alone, I know the passion of our board and executive team will lead the organisation to further success, I have worked with some of the most inspirational leaders across the Cape and the leaders within the four walls of this organisation, I have no doubt that Apunipima will continue to be strong advocates for the people of the Cape.

“I have a mix of emotions as I move into this next chapter of my life and career. I feel at ease knowing I have done what I came to do for our mob in Cape York, thank you to all the board and staff for supporting me on this journey.”

Apunipima cannot thank Cleveland enough for the dedication, passion, enthusiasm and motivation he has given Apunipima over the past 11 years. He will be greatly missed by the staff, Board, members and partners alike.

Working alongside the Board of Directors, Paula Arnol our Primary Health Care Executive will act in the CEO position while recruitment for a new CEO is underway. This will ensure that Apunipima will continue along this successful trajectory.

7. Victoria : VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team

Great set up and ready for a great day at Sisters Day Out.

Thanks Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service Victoria for having us!

#SistersDayOut #SistersStandStrong #VAHShlt #BeStrong #BeBrave #StaySmokeFree

8.Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre : Cultural event

Mutton Bird Feast at Piyura kitina (Risdon Cove) on Friday 5th May 2017 from 6.00 pm- 8.00 pm. LINK

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #NT #WA #VIC #SA #NSW #QLD @KenWyattMP

1.South Australia Pika Wiya Aboriginal Health Service 

2.Victoria : Kirrae Health Service

3. Queensland: Institute for Urban Indigenous Health /Apunipima Cape York Health Council 

4.Aboriginal Health Council of WA

5.WA : Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

6.Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service

7.NT : Maningrida community Living ” Sugar Free “

8.Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

 Lets celebrate and share our ACCHO’s success

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate

or Members Good News Story ? 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media     Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

NACCHO supported survey : Help us to help you : What the most important health issues are for people living in the bush.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) of Australia has been caring for country people for almost ninety years.

Together with the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), we are conducting research to know what the most important health issues are for people living in the bush.

If you are 18 years of age or older, we would like to invite you to complete our 10 minute survey and share it with those you know who live in country Australia.

All responses are confidential and responses will be compiled together and analysed as a group.

To complete the survey click on this link at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/bushhealth.

1.South Australia Pika Wiya Aboriginal Health Service 

THE PIKA Wiya Aboriginal Health Service will receive about $2.4 million over four years through a major grant from the Department of Health, addressing the healthcare of mothers and babies. From HERE

Pika Wiya will focus on extending its services in healthcare for pregnant women, new mums and their young children, and information and support for baby care and parenting issues.

Services for women and children are currently provided at Pika Wiya’s Well Women’s House, but Pika Wiya Board Chairperson Margaret Stuart said they will seek more suitable accommodation to cope with their growth in these services.

“We don’t think we can work this new program within the confines of the highly successful Well Women’s House,” Ms Stuart said.

“Having said that, it is a really exciting time for Aboriginal mothers and babies with the expansion of our service.

“It is exciting to think that we can strengthen our services in the areas of immunisation, breast feeding, nutrition, parenting and child health generally.”

Pika Wiya will gain $817,000 by June 30, 2018, before receiving about $530,000 annually for at least a further three years. The health practitioners and management have begun planning how to implement the grant as quickly as possible.

Ms Stuart congratulated staff for their enormous effort to win the funding.

“The commitment by Dr Julia Vnuk, Kate Warren and Therese McCourt to work so hard to get this grant was fantastic,” she said.

Pika Wiya’s Well Women’s House was opened in November 2013, with an aim to provide a targeted, confidential screening and support service to Aboriginal women within the community. Located at 2 Marryatt Street, the house is open from Tuesday through to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Pika Wiya Aboriginal Health Service is located on Dartmouth Street, providing culturally appropriate health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In addition to Port Augusta, the organisation has clinics in the communities of Davenport, Copley and Nepabunna.

2.Victoria : Kirrae Health Service 

Kirrae Health Service and IHHP joined forces to tackle Indigenous smoking, thru Easter school holiday program, producing this song and video clip.

Tanaya Harradine organised for IHHP crew to attend Fram Community and run an intense week of song writing and filming in various locations around Framlingham.

The youth of Fram have been doing early education on tackling Indigenous smoking, and produced

View Here

3. Queensland: Institute for Urban Indigenous Health /Apunipima Cape York Health Council 

The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Deadly Choices program with support of the Queensland Government today renewed and extended their partnership  for 3 yrs with the Brisbane Broncos.

Announced in the Far North Qld community of Coen, IUIH CEO Adrian Carson, Minister for Qld Health Cameron Dick, Apunipima Cape York Health Council CEO Cleveland Fagan, CEO Brisbane Broncos Paul White and Mayor Cook Shire Council Peter Scott along with Benji Marshall & ScottPrince7 were proud to also announce the extension of the Deadly Choices program into the Cape.

Updated PM 13 April

Minister of Health, Hon Cameron Dick visited Coen on Tuesday (11 April) under the Ministerial Government Champion’s program.

Minister Dick’s first visit was back in September, where he worked closely with the mayor and community leaders from Coen to establish the current needs of the community.

On Tuesday he presented to community the developments the government has committed to, the expansion of the ambulance service and the upgrade of the recreation field.

With the news of the new field, The Coen Cults football team tightening up their football boots with excitement. With thanks to the Department of Sport, Cook Shire Council and Queensland health commitment the upgrade is estimated to cost $500,000 which will include Irrigation, new turf, goal posts and lighting. He spoke of how he saw the projects potential to expand leadership within community through new possible activities.

Minister Dick visioned the field becoming a community hub for health and engagement, with the grounds becoming the home of the next Jonathan Thurston.

“We want this field to be owned by community, not to just be seen as something the government funded. With the upgrade to include lighting, this gives community the opportunity to hold more events at night and grow and nurture that next Jonathan Thurston.”

Along with the excitement of the field upgrade, Minister Dick presented to an interagency meeting announcing the expansion of the Ambulance service, which is to include an additional paramedic for Coen from the months April to October. Along with a new vehicle to accompany the additional paramedic, office and accommodation to the estimated investment is $580,000.

“Coen being a community that welcomes a tourist population over the months of April to October, this will ensure that we can follow the health motto of right place, right time and right people and skills to provide best practice care.”

Chair of Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Thomas Hudson travelled along with the Apunipima executive team in Coen and had nothing but praise for the Ministerial Government Champions program.

“Palaszczuk governments introduction to the Ministers champions program for the communities are proving to be a great success, already showing how a collaborative approach to community health brings a harmony and cohesive approach to different services and the government departments.”

The evidence will be in the improvements on the close the gap targets, healthy babies, Cap York people living longer, healthier lives.

Mr Hudson says “He is looking forward to seeing this evidence in day to day health care services for Cape York people.”

With dates yet to be set of when both projects are to be completed, the community eagerly await for what is next to come in Coen

4.Aboriginal Health Council of WA,

Around 200 delegates have wrapped up a three-day conference in Perth which highlighted some of the major issues in Aboriginal health.

The annual state sector conference, hosted by the Aboriginal Health Council of WA, was held at the International on the Water Hotel in Ascot from April 4-6.

The conference was attended by representatives of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services from around WA, as well as state and federal government delegates and observers from the not-for-profit sector.

New Minister for Health Roger Cook addressed the member planning day on April 4, summarising the relevant WA Labor election promises, such as a patient ‘meet and greet’ service for remote Aboriginal patients flown to Perth to help them with orientation.

The conference was officially opened by new Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt, who said one of his key ambitions for this term of government was to significantly reform the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

Some of the topics discussed at the conference included child growth and development, a patient-centred Medicare model, the needs of LGBTI people, the role of Aboriginal men in addressing family violence, and dealing with suicide.

AHCWA Chairperson Michelle Nelson-Cox said the conference was a great opportunity for people involved in Aboriginal health to come together.

“Because our state is so large and so remote, we don’t get many opportunities to all come together and talk about common issues in the sector,” she said.

“This conference gave people the chance to discuss problems, hear stories about what is working and what’s not, and put forward culturally appropriate solutions.

“It’s very important that Aboriginal people are given opportunities to find our own solutions to problems and then work out how to implement them.”

The conference also hosted a youth forum facilitated by AHCWA’s Youth Coordinator which identified the key health issues affecting young people around the state.

Over the two days, more than 10 workshops were held. The recommendations from those workshops will be collated into a report and presented to the state and federal governments.

5.WA : Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

Our view video HERE

 6.Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service

Congratulations to all winners of the Easter Hampers, Art competition and 715 Health Check prizes.

Great to see so many families come and join in to help celebrate Youth Week and Easter! Happy Holidays from all the team at the AMS

Photo 2 CEO Laverne Bellear with Community and team members

7.NT : Maningrida community Living ” Sugar Free ”

Indigenous Hip Hop Projects was so proud to partner with GYS Maningrida and Menzies School of Health Research to work with Maningrida community NT to create this deadly Music Video titled ‘Sugar Free’.

Our View HERE

8.Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

Cultural Awareness Training at piyura kitina (Risdon Cove) Tuesday, 23rd May 2017 from 9.30am – 3.30pm.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #WCPH2017 : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #NT #WA #VIC #SA #NSW #QLD @KenWyattMP

1.1 Queensland :Apunipima Cape York Health Council 

1.2 Institute for Urban Indigenous Health /Deadly Choices

2.NT : Katherine West Health Board

3. Tasmania Aboriginal Centre

4. SA Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc

5 .Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

6. NSW Galambila Aboriginal Medical Service Coffs Harbour

7.Western Australia : Aboriginal Health Council of WA.

8. ACT /Canberra Winnunga

 Lets celebrate and share our ACCHO’s success

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate

or Members Good News Story ? 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media     Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1.Queensland :Apunipima Cape York Health Council 

“The opening of the Coen Health Care Centre is crucial to Apunipima’s commitment towards closing the gap in health for the people of Cape York.

As stated before, there is incontrovertible evidence that community driven, community led, culturally appropriate primary health care is key to improving health outcomes amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Apunipima will be working with Queensland Health and the Royal Flying Doctor Service to ensure that we are collectively able to meet the health needs of the Coen People

Apunipima CEO Cleveland Fagan : Photo above The Tackling Indigenous Smoking team

Part 1  : As of April 1st 2017, Apunipima Cape York Health Council will be responsible for the running of Wellbeing Centres in Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge.

Apunipima Cape York Health Council now responsible for the running of Wellbeing Centres in Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge.

The four centres were operated by the Royal Flying Doctor Services (RFDS) for the past eight years.

RFDS implemented a project in 2009 to support the broad social and emotional wellbeing needs of those communities. They had great success and Apunipima is excited to work closely with each community to ensure all needs are met and to continue the vital work RFDS has already done.

Apunipima CEO, Cleveland Fagan said, “This is further confirmation that the community are on the way to achieving community control in the Cape. It is an exciting time for the communities and the organisation, and we are looking forward to continuing on with the great work RFDS has already done.”

CEO Cleveland Fagan went on to explain the approach Apunipima is taking, saying, “The centres will be following our comprehensive model of care, which we adopt across all our centres in the Cape. It’s a holistic approach to improve health and wellbeing for communities and families in Cape York.”

Apunipima has been providing advocacy for the people of Cape York for over 21 years. The organisation employs over 180 staff and services 11 communities across Cape York.  Apunipima independently operates Primary Health Care Centres in Aurukun, Coen, Kowanyama, Napranum and Mossman Gorge, and welcomes the addition of the Wellbeing Centres in Aurukun, Coen, Hopevale, and Mossman Gorge.

The four centres will employ a total for 40 positions. There are eight staff members from RFDS coming over to Apunipima to fill eight of the 40 positions. 25 of the positions are community based, the remaining are fly in fly out staff.

Part 2: Apunipima Cape York Health Council’s newest Primary Health Care Centre is in Coen and doors open to the community on Monday April 3rd.

The Coen Apunipima Health Care Centre is Apunipima’s fifth independent Primary Health Care Centre, all of which are community driven and community led facilities on Cape York.

Staff will spend the first week of opening becoming familiar with the new work environment. Coen residents will be welcome to drop by for a look and a BBQ in the second week of opening.

The Apunipima Healthcare Centre in Coen will offer culturally appropriate primary health care services including GP/Nurse Practitioner services, Maternal and Child Health services, Social Emotional Wellbeing services, as well as Allied Healthcare services which include Podiatry, Diabetes Education, Dietetics, and Tackling Indigenous Smoking.

Louise Pratt, an Umpilawoman who grew up in Coen, is the Primary Healthcare Manager who will be running both new Centres in Coen. Louise has been with Apunipima for over 7 years, before which she worked as a Health Worker for Queensland Health. She has over eleven years’ experience working in Health which has provided her with a firm grasp on healthcare needs in Coen.

Louise said “this has been nearly ten years in the making and I just want to acknowledge all people from the staff to the CEO who have put in the hard work to make it happen. I especially want to acknowledge Verna Singleton who was the health worker in Coen before me. She was the first ever Indigenous Health Worker in Coen. She played an important part in getting Apunipima off the ground here, connecting community with healthcare.”

Apunipima CEO Cleveland Fagan said, “The opening of the Coen Health Care Centre is crucial to Apunipima’s commitment towards closing the gap in health for the people of Cape York. As stated before, there is incontrovertible evidence that community driven, community led, culturally appropriate primary health care is key to improving health outcomes amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Apunipima will be working with Queensland Health and the Royal Flying Doctor Service to ensure that we are collectively able to meet the health needs of Coen people. ”

The new centre will work closely with Coen Health Action Team and community leaders to ensure services reflect and respond to the health needs of the local community.

The Department of Health provided funding to Apunipima to build new primary health care centres and accommodation in Coen.

An official opening for the new Coen Primary Health Care Centre is yet to be scheduled

1.2 Institute for Urban Indigenous Health

Join our team!

We are hiring for multiple positions in management, administration, and clinical services.

Get all the info, including vacancies and how to apply at: http://www.iuih.org.au/Jobs/IUIH-Vacancies

2.NT : Katherine West Health Board

Last week we shared a great morning down a Hickey’s Beach with ladies from Timber Creek, talking about women’s health.

Thanks to KWHB Board Directors, Deb our AHP and Julie at CDP for support.

Follow on Facebook

3. Tasmania Aboriginal Centre and General Practice Training Tasmania.

CLOSING the gap on health disadvantage for Tasmanian Aboriginals requires highquality , innovative, regionally based training programs, says General Practice Training Tasmania.

One of the organisations responsible for training the state’s next generation of GPs yesterday held an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health training workshop at the piyura kitina/Risdon Cove Pyramids.

Last month, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull handed down the ninth annual Closing the Gap report, which tracked the progress made so far in curbing disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

It found just one of seven targets set almost a decade ago to improve outcomes in indigenous health, education and employment was on track.

GPTT medical educator Maureen Ryan said hearing stories from members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community had helped the more than 20 GP registrars who attended the workshop better understand their health care requirements.

“There’s still a 10-year lifeexpectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians and the parameters that are being aimed for in the Government’s Closing the Gap initiative are not being met,” she said.

GP registrar Peta Gardam said medical information from the Close the Gap program was particularly helpful.

Copyright © 2017 Mercury

3.Tasmanian Aboriginal group welcomes council move to change Australia Day celebrations

 From the ABC report

 Tasmania’s Aboriginal community will be consulted about shifting Australia Day celebrations, under changes being considered by Hobart City Council.

The first step would be to move the citizenship ceremony from January 26.

But not all are on board.

Lord Mayor Sue Hickey was one of the naysayers, but her amendment to lobby the Federal Government on the issue was supported.

Alderman Helen Burnet said January 26 was a day of mourning for many.

“We don’t want to be isolating people, it’s really important in the process of reconciliation for Tasmanians that we think about how we celebrate Australia day and when we celebrate Australia Day,” she said.

Last year, Kingborough Council announced it was shifting its Australia Day ceremony but said it was mainly due to a clash in venue availability.

The head of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, Heather Sculthorpe, welcomed the Hobart move and said Alderman Hickey was right to refer it on to the Commonwealth as it was their legislation which had to be changed.

“By Hobart and other councils setting the way like they have been, the pressure will really be on for [Premier] Will Hodgman to come out to support it would be a fantastic thing and it will make it all the quicker so that we can move on to something else more significant,” she said.

About 1,000 people attended this year’s “invasion day” rally in Hobart.

Ms Sculthorpe has again questioned the merits of Australia Day and said it was not about a date.

“It’s about what do people want to celebrate,” she said.

“The issue for the Aboriginal community is, what conditions have to be met before what people feel there is something to celebrate and we’re a way off from that.

“It’s not about when will we celebrate Australia Day it’s how do we reconcile, how do we form a proper relationship with the Aboriginal community.”

Hobart’s Lord Mayor came under fire late last year after the Museum of Old and New Art unveiled their vision for a former industrial area on Hobart’s waterfront, which included a large-scale memorial to Tasmanian Aboriginal warriors.

Alderman Hickey said she did not support a “guilt-ridden memorial” at Macquarie Point because she “did not kill the Aborigines”.

Ms Sculthorpe said she had since had discussions with the mayor but was yet to sit down with the Premier.

4. SA Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc

The Tackling Tobacco Team can help you on your journey to quit smoking! To find out more visit http://tacklingtobacco.nunku.org.au/how-can-we-support-you/ or call us on 08 8406 1600

5 .Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

VACCHO this week hosted the First Peoples Yarning Circle at the World Congress of Public Health in Melbourne (2,700 visitors) Pictured Aunty Joy who conducted the Welcome to Country : Photo below : Summer May Finlay

 

Strong Gunditjmara Artists & Weavers Bronwyn Razem & Vicki Couzens sharing culture in our Yarning Circle, FPNS

6. NSW Galambila Aboriginal Medical Service Coffs Harbour

Acknowledging clients, staff, community & partners for their contribution and commitment to  Close the Gap .

Dr Palmer has been with Galambila from the start. Without the Doctors real changes in our clients and community health would not be possible. We ask the Doctors at Galambila to nominate clients that have been dedicated to the management of their own health. Doctors Choice Award for Improved Health Rose Butterworth, Kim Pocock and Carol Mills

7.Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia

“You have to involve Aboriginal people in the process of decisions that impact on them,

Health was the biggest challenge for the Aoriginal community as there were large numbers of people with chronic disease, and said health minister Roger Cook wanted to see better results and accountability.”

After his opening address at the Aboriginal Health Council of WA’s conference, Mr Wyatt said all options were on the table for reforms, not ruling out abolishing the Department of Aboriginal Affairs or introducing a government advocate.

Reform of Indigenous affairs sector in WA

The West Australian minister for Aboriginal Affairs says he plans to reform the sector, and has not ruled out abolishing his own department.

Ben Wyatt, who made history as the first indigenous treasurer when Labor recently won the state election, said there was dissatisfaction as legislation was from the early 1970s and outdated.

“There’s frustration from Aboriginal people, from government, and indeed the public servants within the department,” he told AAP on Wednesday.

“The legislation no longer enables them do that they want to do, or what needs to be done.”

Members of the community expressed frustration at the department, with Mr Wyatt saying “paternalistic” legislation needed to better reflect the modern relationship between the indigenous and government, which he hoped to improve.

“You have to involve Aboriginal people in the process of decisions that impact on them,” he said.

Mr Wyatt said health was the biggest challenge for the aboriginal community as there were large numbers of people with chronic disease, and said health minister Roger Cook wanted to see better results and accountability.

The former Barnett government flagged the closure of up to 150 remote indigenous communities in WA in late 2014, which Mr Wyatt described as belligerent and disrespectful.

He hoped there would be relief that this was no longer happening, and that he would work to ensure Aboriginal communities had greater legal rights to live where they do.

“I’ll be a minister for a very short period of time in the grand sweep of history,” he said.

“If I can reform and update the legislation that governs the relationship between Aboriginal people and the government, I’ll be very pleased.”

Some of the highlights of the AHCWA 3 days summit

A fantastic Welcome To Country by Prof. Ted Wilkes and performance by Wadumbah alongside the Derbarl Yerrigan to open our WA ACCHO Sector Conference in Perth this week

 

8.ACT Canberra Winnunga AMS

Thank you Please share

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #NT #WA #VIC #SA #NSW #QLD @KenWyattMP

1. NSW Jullums , Bullinah and Bulgarr Ngaru ACCHO/AMS

2. NSW Wellington Aboriginal Corporation AMS

3. South Australia Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service 

4.Western Australia : Aboriginal Health Council of WA.

5.Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

6. NT 6. NT Katherine West Health Board

7. QLD Deadly Choices and  Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service

 For NACCHO the acceptance that our Aboriginal controlled health services deliver the best model of integrated primary health care in Australia is a clear demonstration that every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person should have ready access to these services, no matter where they live.

 Lets celebrate and share our ACCHO’s success

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate

or Members Good News Story ? 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media     Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

 

1.Jullums (Lismore), Bullinah (Ballina), Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation (Casino, Maclean and Grafton) Clinic’s

The idea of these workshops is to raise awareness around the different signs and symptoms of heart disease, and also around prevention and management of the disease.

“This is a new, collaborative approach to addressing this issue, but we’re also working together with existing avenues such as healthy lifestyle and exercise programs to assist participants to make the most of what they’ll be learning.”

Aboriginal Chronic Care Officer with NNSWLHD, Anthony Franks

A series of workshops is being held in Northern NSW to raise awareness of the risk factors for heart disease and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women on ways to reduce their chances of becoming one of the statistics.

Download dates and venues Northern NSW Workshops dates and Venues

ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander women are at least three times more likely to be hospitalised due to heart disease than their caucasian counterparts.

Heart disease is the leading single cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The program consists of three one-day workshops, with the first being held in March at various sites across the North Coast.

The participants will attend each of the three workshop days in March, May and July, with the aim of continuing the education and providing feedback and follow up at the later meetings.

The workshops are a collaboration between the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD), local Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS), North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN), Solid Mob, and the NSW and Queensland Government health coaching services, Get Healthy and On Track. They are funded by the National Heart Foundation.

Workshops are being held in Grafton, Muli, Casino, Ballina, Maclean, Goonellabah and Tweed Heads.

2. Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service 

Health expo to change bad habits in men

The Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service hosted the QuiBFit Aboriginal Men’s Health Expo in Dubbo.

About 120 men participated from across the region which includes Orange, Coonabarabran, Walgett, Wellington, Dubbo, Parks and Goodooga.

A major focus was tackling Indigenous smoking and mental health and wellbeing.

Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service chief executive Darren Ah See said a lot of th e focus in the Indigenous health sector is on “mums and bubs”.

“It’s good to have an event like this for men because they are the reluctant ones about getting their health checks”, he said.

“We want to try to change that norm and get men to take responsibility not only around their health and wellbeing but to be the leaders of their communities and families.

“It’s all about social and health wellbeing but it is also about mentorship and trying to encourage families and individuals to head in the right direction”.

The expo culminated with a corroboree, with more than 300 people attending.

Western NSW Local Health District Aboriginal health and wellbeing director Brendon Cutmore said it was extremely important to focus on preventive health at the expo.

“It is really our opportunity as Aboriginal men to take control of our lives, whether that be through eliminating some of the negative habits people have, things such as smoking, drugs and alcohol, “he said.

“Coming to these types of event sand having discussions around how to make your life healthier, how to be a leader in the community and how to be a leader in your family and how your actions reflect on the people around you – that’s a big take home message.

 3.Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service Whyalla SA

 “ I encouraged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to attend the gathering in Whyalla to benefit from the stories and experiences of their peers.

It is important that these gatherings to take place in regional areas so Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women living outside of Adelaide have the chance to network and share community news.

Previous gatherings have been very successful and attracted many participants from across the state.

These events are also an opportunity for the State Government to strengthen ties with local service providers and gain insight into matters affecting the community.

Status of Women Minister Zoe Bettison

Co-facilitator’s Kimberley from OfW and Zena Wingfield for the in Whyalla today

The first State Aboriginal Women’s Gathering for 2017 was held in Whyalla this week

The gathering took place on Tuesday 28 March at Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service, Whyalla Stuart.

The gatherings gave Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women an opportunity to discuss a range of issues and share news from their communities.

Guest speakers presented information on topics including health, women’s legal services, sports and recreation, mental health and wellbeing, and caring support.

Status of Women Minister Zoe Bettison said the gatherings give women the opportunity to learn from each other, share experiences and discuss issues, in a safe and supportive environment.

The Office for Women has partnered with Whyalla’s Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service to convene this event.

Background

In 2016, five separate State Aboriginal Women’s Gatherings were held across the state to make it easier for women in regional areas to participate.

Whyalla was identified as a significant location for the first gathering of 2017 as a way to provide support and information to Aboriginal women in the region.

Gatherings have also been planned for 2017 in the Far West Coast and the South East.

For more information about the State Aboriginal Women’s Gatherings visit www.officeforwomen.sa.gov.au

4. Aboriginal Health Council of WA.

“ The prevalence of ear disease and hearing loss in Aboriginal kids has a major effect on their speech and educational development, social interactions, employment and future wellbeing,

While many children are vulnerable to chronic ear disease, in WA it represents a significant burden for Aboriginal children who can experience their first onset within weeks following birth.

Aboriginal children can also have more frequent and longer lasting episodes compared to non-Aboriginal children.”

AHCWA Chairperson Michelle Nelson-Cox said poor ear health was a significant problem among Aboriginal people, particularly children.

Training program to improve ear health among Aboriginal people

A training program to assist Aboriginal Health Workers to provide ear health care to their communities is being delivered around the state by the Aboriginal Health Council of WA.

The two week ear health training program was delivered in four different locations last year, and 23 Aboriginal Health Workers (AHWs) have graduated from the course so far.

The program is scheduled to be delivered in at least four more locations this year including Perth, Broome and Kalgoorlie. More trainings will be scheduled for the second half of the year.

The program teaches AHWs how to manage ear infections, carry out screening, identify risk factors and plan ear health promotion and strategies.

AHCWA Chairperson Michelle Nelson-Cox said poor ear health was a significant problem among Aboriginal people, particularly children.

“The prevalence of ear disease and hearing loss in Aboriginal kids has a major effect on their speech and educational development, social interactions, employment and future wellbeing,” she said.

“While many children are vulnerable to chronic ear disease, in WA it represents a significant burden for Aboriginal children who can experience their first onset within weeks following birth.

“Aboriginal children can also have more frequent and longer lasting episodes compared to non-Aboriginal children.”

Ms Nelson-Cox said people in regional areas were more susceptible to ongoing ear problems.

“Children living in remote communities have some of the highest rates of chronic ear disease in the world,” she said.

“We want to spread the message in regional communities that early detection and treatment of ear diseases in children is vital to ensure optimum development of speech, language, and to minimise the long term effects on educational performance.”

AHCWA has also launched a giant inflatable ear to be used as an interactive teaching tool among Aboriginal communities.

Koobarniny, which means ‘big’ in the Noongar language, is believed to be the first of its type in Australia.

Koobarniny is currently being used at different events around the metropolitan area, but it’s hoped it will travel to regional areas in the future.

 5. Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)
 
 7. QLD Deadly Choices and  Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service

It’s been a great couple of days in the North with today’s visit by Steve Renouf, Lote Tiquiri & Brisbane Broncos James Roberts at the DC Yarrabah Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

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NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Our #ACCHO Members Good News Stories from #NT #WA #VIC #SA #NSW #QLD #TAS

1. Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

2. Queensland :  Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH)

3.NSW Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Service

4.Northern Territory : AMSANT Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Alice Springs

5.Western Australia : Wirraka Maya Health Service

6. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

 For NACCHO the acceptance that our Aboriginal controlled health services deliver the best model of integrated primary health care in Australia is a clear demonstration that every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person should have ready access to these services, no matter where they live.

 Lets celebrate and share our ACCHO’s success

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate

or Members Good News Story ? 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media             Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1. Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

Major Mural for VAHS – originally published in the Koori Mail

A huge mural has been completed on the two-storey Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) building in the Melbourne suburb of Preston.

The mural, at the busy Bell Street/Plenty Road intersection, tells a story of struggle, loss and hope.

Supported by Darebin Council and VAHS, the mural pays tribute to the services’s history of working with Darebin’s Indigenous community and families and saving lives.

It was painted by 2013 Victorian Aboriginal artist of the year Ray Thomas (Gunnai Nation) and internationally renowned mural artist Matt Adnate.

VAHS acting chief executive Michael Graham said the mural represented a journey of self-determination in both holistic health and equality for Aboriginal people.

“The mural includes an Aboriginal community march depicting the faces of the people who campaigned hard to establish VAHS and to fight for recognition of, and equality for, Aboriginal people,” he said.

“Passersby can take a photo of themselves or friends in between the people on the mural at the march.”

Mother and daughter Nikita Rotumah and Yindi are featured on one side of the mural. They represent the importance of support in good health outcomes. The mural also features a poem by creative writer and VAHS employee Joanne Dwyer, written for the 40th anniversary of VAHS. It reads :

Many, many years ago some Elders decided,

That their people needed a meeting place,

Where they could come and be united.

Their aim was community control,

To make decisions of their own,

But it was more than just a meeting place,

For many it was home.

The VAHS was established in 1973 to address the specific medical needs of Victorian Aboriginal communities. The organisation has expanded over the past 40 years to provide a range of medical, dental and social services.

2. Queensland :  Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH)

“Evaluation of this unique model of pregnancy care has shown that women able to access the program engage with health services earlier in their pregnancy and more often,” Mr Carson said.

“They are also less likely to smoke during their pregnancy and are more likely to deliver their bub at the right gestation and at a healthy weight.

“Having the resources to establish this Hub has been integral to our ability to double the number of women able to access this program each year – and it means that we can link more women in with the IUIH Model of Care, a wrap-around service providing accessible and efficient primary health care to our community in South East Queensland.”

IUIH CEO Adrian Carson said the Hub’s establishment would significantly improve the wellbeing of mothers and their children in South East Queensland.

Photo above : Renee Blackman from Brisbane ATSICHS, Chelsea and Health Minister Cameron Dick visiting the Salisbury Mums & Bubs Hub today. Read IUIH press release here : http://bit.ly/2o30kyw

Mums and Bubs Hub closing the gap

Health Minister Cameron Dick today joined the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) at the official opening of the Birthing in Our Community (BiOC) Mums and Bubs Hub, which offers antenatal and family support services to improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and their babies.

Mr Dick said the BiOC program was aimed at closing the gap in maternity and birthing outcomes and giving Indigenous infants the best possible start in life.

He said the Hub was established with the help of $3 million of Palaszczuk Government funding for the BiOC program over two years.

“This integral funding has supported the expansion of the program through additional staff to help more mothers and their babies,” Mr Dick said.

“More employees at the Salisbury hub will allow a doubling of the number of women in the program from about 100 per year to about 200 per year.

“The funding has also helped move the program from the Mater Mother’s Hospital (MMH) to establish it at a more accessible location – Salisbury.”

He said the MMH program was limited by its location, due to issues such as parking, transport and logistical barriers to accessing primary care services.

“The new location with expanded services, and the collaborative approach that drives the BiOC, will help us to reach the Close the Gap target for child mortality rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies,” Mr Dick said.

“Through the BiOC program every woman has their own midwife on-call 24/7, and a support team that includes Indigenous health workers, Indigenous student midwives, doctors, and other health professionals.

“The hub will provide continuity of care through pregnancy, birth and labour care, up to six weeks postnatal care, birthing support, Stop Smoking in its Tracks incentive program, perinatal mental health, breastfeeding support and family support services.”

He said research funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council found 97.8 per cent of the women supported by the BiOC program had five or more antenatal visits and only 4 per cent had birthed a low weight baby (less than 2500gms).

Other encouraging improvements between women in the BiOC program and Indigenous women across Australia include:

  • 80 per cent of women in BiOC had their first antenatal visit in the first trimester of pregnancy, compared with the national Indigenous average of 52 per cent
  • 36 per cent of women in BiOC smoked during pregnancy, compared with the national Indigenous average of 48 per cent
  • 7 per cent of women in BiOC gave birth preterm, compared to the national Indigenous average of 14 per cent.

IUIH CEO Adrian Carson said the Hub’s establishment would significantly improve the wellbeing of mothers and their children in South East Queensland.

“Evaluation of this unique model of pregnancy care has shown that women able to access the program engage with health services earlier in their pregnancy and more often,” Mr Carson said.

“They are also less likely to smoke during their pregnancy and are more likely to deliver their bub at the right gestation and at a healthy weight.

“Having the resources to establish this Hub has been integral to our ability to double the number of women able to access this program each year – and it means that we can link more women in with the IUIH Model of Care, a wrap-around service providing accessible and efficient primary health care to our community in South East Queensland.”

3.NSW Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Service

 ” This year, Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Service has been welcomed to the Dalang Project.

“Dalang” is a Dharug word for learning and the Dalang Project has four key outcomes:

  • Improve Aboriginal oral health and prevent obesity in Aboriginal communities
  • Improve local capacity and provide employment for Aboriginal people 
  • Provide a positive learning experience for new graduates in Aboriginal health 
  • Strengthen the evidence in Aboriginal health promotion and early intervention.

“Oral health promotion interventions are more likely to be effective in Aboriginal communities if they achieve community ownership of the intervention or program. ”

Indigenous children on the Far South Coast should have great smiles and healthy teeth thanks to an innovative project funneling resources and training into the local Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Service.

The Dalang Project combines oral health service delivery, with graduate training and delivery of oral health promotion and obesity prevention in Aboriginal communities, and the project is made possible by the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health in the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Sydney.

Rachael Moir is senior project officer Oral Health (Research) at the Poche Centre and visited Katungal medical centre at Narooma last week to catch up with the recent graduates and see the project being implemented in the region.

“It is really exciting to be working with the team at Katungul and we look forward to the year ahead,” Ms Moir said.

The staff at Katungul Medical Service are very grateful for the support and the project as allowed dental therapist Kylie Tran to move and practise in Narooma for 12 months.

Working alongside her is dental assistant Stephanie Morris, who already has her Certificate III in Oral Health and is now working on her Certificate IV, while trainee dental assistant Jaydean Lonsdale is now working on her Certificate III.

Katungal’s dental coordinator Yvonne Stewart said the Dalang Project had allowed these two local women to receive training and start working on improving the health of their fellow Koori people.

“It’s contributing to the oral health of our people from Batemans Bay to Eden and the whole catchment areas of Katungal,” Mrs Stewart said.

“Their primary focus is working on the dental van that will visit as many schools as possible over the next 12 months while we have our dental therapist here.”

Mrs Stewart said Katungul medical service was very grateful for the support of the Poche Centre and the Dalang Project, which meant not only were people being treated but that young people were being educated about how to take care of their teeth and oral hygiene.

“We’re very grateful as it has enabled us to deal with the very high need that people have for dental treatment,” she said. “All our children need a lot more dental treatment.”

Ms Moir explained the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health was established and funded by philanthropists Greg Poche AO and Kay Van Norton Poche in 2008.

The Poches, along with their friend and co-founder Reg Richardson AM, had seen an opportunity for the skills, expertise and resources of the University of Sydney to be harnessed to improve Aboriginal Health.

The focus for the Poche Centre is on “Healthy Kids, Healthy Teeth and Healthy Hearts” and its approach is to ensure each project is guided by the principles of respect and collaboration; following a collective impact process; and incorporating service delivery, service learning, workforce development and research, Ms Moir said.

“Our work is informed by evidence about what works, both from a community capacity building perspective and a prevention, early intervention, treatment and rehabilitation perspective,” Ms Moir said. “As always we work in partnership with communities, Aboriginal health services and local organisations to develop unique responses that meet the particular needs of the communities.”

The Dalang Project is a collaboration between Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD), Centre for Oral Health Strategy (COHS), the Rotary Club of Sydney and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.

In February, seven oral health therapy graduates were allocated to a host Aboriginal Medical/Health Service. Majority of the graduates moved away from their family and friends and will embed themselves into their new communities for one year.

This year, Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Service has been welcomed to the Dalang Project.

“Dalang” is a Dharug word for learning and the Dalang Project has four key outcomes:

  • Improve Aboriginal oral health and prevent obesity in Aboriginal communities
  • Improve local capacity and provide employment for Aboriginal people
  • Provide a positive learning experience for new graduates in Aboriginal health
  • Strengthen the evidence in Aboriginal health promotion and early intervention.

“Oral health promotion interventions are more likely to be effective in Aboriginal communities if they achieve community ownership of the intervention or program. In order to provide sustainable and long term oral health promotion in these communities, a large proportion of time will be dedicated to community consultation with each community to identify what type of oral health promotion strategies are needed and culturally competent; and to ensure community ownership of the program,” Ms Moir said.

“Healthy teeth are extremely important for overall health. This is why our Heathy Teeth strategy covers the full spectrum: from influencing oral health policy to delivering oral health services, building capacity within communities, and promoting oral health.”

4. AMSANT and Congress Alice Springs

Close the Gap event in Alice Springs – just some of the moments captured by Patrick Johnson

With Normie Gee and Elisabeth Heenan in Alice Springs.

5. Western Australia : Wirraka Maya Health Service

Wirraka Maya Health Service is leading the fight against FASD in the Pilbara.

Picture: Courtney Fowler

Wirraka Maya Health Service is leading the fight against Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Pilbara, raising awareness through a two-month project with a leading FASD consultant on an issue which is a having devastating impact on the community.

FASD occurs when pre-born babies are exposed to alcohol in the womb.

It can cause facial abnormalities, growth deficiencies, skeletal deformities, organ deformities, central nervous system handicaps and behavioural problems in later life and its impact on Pilbara children, while not statistically documented, is suspected to be widespread.

Bringing more than 20 years experience working in the US, Canada and India, Carolyn Hartness is working closely with Pilbara Aboriginal medical services, a Telethon Kids research team and remote communities.

She said increasing awareness of the vast spectrum of disorders associated with FASD was crucial to better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disorders.

“I will provide training and consultation in any way I can to keep the message out there that FASD is with us, it’s going to stay with us and people need to be educated,” Ms Hartness said.

“There is a lot of turnover in the health services — that means when we educate people. We can’t think the job is done, we have to continue to educate workers regularly.

“I’m hoping we can train people who are really interested in keeping the information out there and confident enough to facilitate discussions about the topic.

“This is a community issue; the recognition of it has to be a community-driven intervention.”

For many Pilbara health, childcare workers and police, tackling FASD is one of the Pilbara’s most important social issues.

Wirraka Maya chief executive June Councillor said the effects of fetal alcohol exposure were life-long and could include poor health, developmental and educational outcomes.

Senior Sergeant Dean Snashall said because people with FASD were less likely to engage at school, they had a higher likelihood of ending up in the judicial system.

“Often people with FASD have problems educationally, are less likely to go to school and therefore more likely to (play truant) or on the streets when they should be in school,” he said.

“By nature, that leaves them at risk to harming themselves or at risk of committing criminal offences.

“Ninety per cent of crime in the Pilbara is alcohol or drug related … it would be fair to say many of the kids we deal with could be FASD children.”

The Telethon Kids Institute has been studying the spectrum disorder in the WA youth justice system, but a lack of FASD clinics had prevented authorities getting a grip on numbers.

Ms Hartness said when she became aware of FASD in the 1990s, she realised there was a clinical reason behind many of the problems she was seeing within the native American community in the US.

“This is why these kids are in prison, this is why grandparents are coming to parenting classes (instead of parents), this is why all these kids in classes (are restless and can’t learn) … I was just amazed,” she said.

Yet, while FASD is the most common preventable cause of intellectual impairment in developed countries, affecting up to five per cent of people, there still has not been enough research conducted into its various disorders, Ms Hartness said.

She said the biggest challenge was the lack of funding for FASD research and programs and the fact at this stage there was no single tool available to diagnose those with the disorder.

She also said FASD was not just an issue for indigenous communities — research showed it was a wider societal problem.

“Now the research shows, more than likely the next woman in America to have an affected kid is a white professional and educated woman,” she said.

“And a lot of that is the glass of wine (she might have) with dinner every night.”

Ms Hartness said while 80 per cent of women quit drinking during pregnancy, it was the 20 per cent who found it hard to stop that needed help.

She also said the alcoholic drinking women did in the weeks or months before they realised they were pregnant could also play a critical role in causing FASD.

Ms Hartness added the best way to avoid putting a fetus at risk of FASD was by carefully planning pregnancies to avoid the effects of the initial period drinking before women realise they were with child.

“I’m not asking everyone to quit drinking. I am just saying let’s plan pregnancies and let’s be sober during the pregnancy,” she said.

Ms Councillor said although there was a long road ahead in the fight against FASD, Wirraka Maya’s programs were making a difference in the Pilbara community.

“We have established the FASD network, that is a forum or a vehicle to bring people together across the services, across the community to talk about FASD and some of the strategies that we need to put in place to address it and prevent it,” she said.

“We have got our primary health care that we provide to the community, we also provide social and emotional wellbeing programs to the community and that includes family and domestic violence, indigenous family hearings so child sexual abuse, severe mental illness through our personal helpers and mentors program.

“Fetal alcohol goes across all of the whole spectrum and we have them all those services in the one place … we are very well placed in the community to be able to be leading the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder strategy.

“It is quite a broad project, but I think it is important that we do it because for us to make a difference in the future, we have to start now.”

6. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

Penalty for deliberate damage to Aboriginal relics in Tasmania jumps to $1.6m

The penalty for deliberately damaging Aboriginal relics will jump from $1,570 to a maximum of $1.57 million under new legislation tabled by the Tasmanian Government.

The Aboriginal Relics Amendment Bill 2017, which aims to remove or amend outdated elements of the 1975 act, also removes the 1876 “cut-off” date for what is considered Aboriginal heritage.

The date marks the death of prominent Aboriginal woman Truganini, inferring that anything made after that date had no heritage value.

Under the changes, a new Aboriginal Heritage Council will be established and the time available for commencing prosecutions will be extended from six months to two years.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) chief executive Heather Sculthorpe welcomed parts of the bill, but said it did not go far enough.

“There are two good things about the Relics Amendment,” she said.

“One is they have removed 1876 as the cut-off date beyond which there can be Aboriginal heritage, and secondly, they have significantly increased the penalties for offences under the act,” she said.

“But on the other hand they have removed the offences of strict liability and they have enabled only two years for a prosecution to be brought — that is better than the six months that it was, but we have urged the Government to say that there should be no time limit.”

Ms Sculthorpe said it was “contradictory” of the State Government to introduce stronger protections for Aboriginal relics, while also trying to reopen four-wheel drive tracks in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area on Tasmania’s west coast, an area of Indigenous significance.

“What they have not done is look at all the other ways Aboriginal heritage needs to be protected,” she said.

“On the one hand they are amending the relics act, then … they are determined to let four-wheel drive vehicles run amok in takayna [Tarkine].

“Then they are acquiring land to put a cable car on kunanyi [Mount Wellington], as well as to cut down trees and destroy much of the pristine nature of takayna.”

The TAC called on the State Government to increase penalties under the Aboriginal Relic Act 1975 last year, after vandals defaced “priceless” Indigenous rock art believed to be up to 8,000 years old in Tasmania’s Central Highlands.

The ancient ochre paintings in a rock shelter had been scratched with a rock.

Ms Sculthorpe said charges had still not been laid.

Under the current legislation, the maximum penalty for offences against the act is 10 penalty units ($1,570) or up to six months’ jail.

Under the changes, maximum penalties for deliberate acts related to harming relics will be 10,000 penalty units ($1.57 million) for companies and 5,000 penalty units ($785,000) for individuals .

The maximum penalties for reckless or negligent offences will be 2,000 penalty units ($314,000) for companies and 1,000 penalty units ( $157,000) for individuals.

For “lesser offences” the maximum penalty will be 100 penalty units ($15,700) for companies and 50 penalty units ($7,850) for individuals.

Driving over middens to attract fine

Tasmanian Regional Aboriginal Communities Alliance (TRACA) co-chair Rodney Dillon said the changes were overdue and would better protect Indigenous sites under threat from four-wheel drives.

“This act will support us in stopping those sites from being destroyed. If people are going to drive over middens these penalties apply,” he said.

Heritage Minister Matthew Groom said if the legislation was enacted it would be the most significant advancement in the protection of Aboriginal heritage in 40 years.

“It has resulted from consultation with the Aboriginal community,” he said.

“We recognise up front that there will be many people that will think this legislation does not go far enough.

“But what we have seen time and time again where previous governments have sought to do this in one go is that it has failed.”

Government showing ‘two faces’: Greens

Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said the Government was showing “two faces” on Aboriginal heritage.

“You have got this Government with two faces; it says it wants to reset the relationship with Aboriginal Tasmanians and protect Aboriginal heritage, but it wants to unleash four wheel drives in the Tarkine,” she said.

“It just does not make sense, and Aboriginal Tasmanians are not buying it.”

Mr Groom said the Government stood by its position on the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Reserve.

“We have stated very clearly that we believe that there should be access to the Arthur-Pieman but that it should be done in a way which is consistent with the proper protection of natural and cultural values in that area,” he said.

In February the ABC reported volunteers from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) and the Wilderness Society found middens, artefact scatters and stone tools in the wilderness region in Tasmania’s north-west.

Following the find, the TAC called for the area to be declared a national park to better protect the sites.

The legislation is expected to be debated next month.

State government’s proposed amendments to the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975 met with lukewarm reception from Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

The state government’s positive changes to the Aboriginal Relics Act are undermined by its disregard for Indigenous Tasmanians, a leading voice in the Indigenous community says.

While she applauded the government’s efforts to amend the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975 so that it was more sensitive to indigenous heritage, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre chief executive Heather Sculthorpe said the changes did not accord with some of the government’s other policies.

“Whilst they’re bringing in small amendments to the Relics Act, they’re continuing with their determination to open tarkayna [the Tarkine] to 4WD tracks, which will … wreck aboriginal heritage,” Ms Sculthorpe said.

“They’re still chopping down trees in tarkayna … to offend us as the owners of tarkayna.”

The Aboriginal Relics Amendment Bill 2016 seeks to better protect aboriginal heritage in Tasmania.

Some of the amendments the bill proposed were: changing the name of the original act to ‘Aboriginal Heritage Act’; removing a reference to the year 1876 as the so-called cut-off date for aboriginal heritage; increasing penalties for damaging aboriginal heritage; and removing the six-month time limit for the prosecution of offences.

Environment Minister Matthew Groom said the Hodgman government was committed to “reset[ting]” the state’s relationship with the Tasmanian aboriginal community.

He said the government would further consult the aboriginal community to resolve any remaining issues with the act.