- Huge prizes up for grabs in the HIV Awareness Week Trivia ON THIS WEEK!
- COVID-19 is spreading in the NT: ACCHOs say the Top End is unprepared
- Lowitja Institute at COP28
- New Medicare Urgent Care Clinic opens in Alice Springs
- WA doctors call for urgent climate change action, stressing health risk
- “I hope other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel comfortable seeking help when they see people like me”
- Sector Jobs
The NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health News is a platform we use to showcase the important work being done in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, focusing on the work of NACCHO, NACCHO members and NACCHO affiliates.
We also share a curated selection of news stories that are of likely interest to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, broadly.
Huge prizes up for grabs in the HIV Awareness Week Trivia ON THIS WEEK!
A friendly reminder the fourth annual HIV Awareness Week Virtual Trivia is on this week, Thursday 7 December with some great prizes up for grabs!
Promised loads of laughs, participants will also be in the running for a significant amount of funding towards sexual health resources for ACCHOs.
- First place: $3,000 towards sexual health resources for your ACCHO.
- Second place: $2,000 towards sexual health resources for your ACCHO.
- Third Place: $3,000 towards sexual health resources for your ACCHO.
Sexual Health costumes are highly encouraged, with additional prizes for Best Dressed, Best Props and People’s Choice.
HIV Awareness Week provides an opportunity to engage our communities, as well as HIV researchers, doctors, health workers and policy-makers.
There are two types of registrations available:
- Individual registration and
- Group registration: only one member will need to register per team. During the quiz your group members will need to be in front of the one screen so we can see you all.
Once you have registered, the NACCHO team will confirm your participation and will send you out a Zoom link with instructions. For all questions and queries please contact the communicable diseases team at NACCHO: email@example.com
- 12 pm – WA
- 1.30 pm – NT
- 2 pm – QLD
- 2.30 pm – SA
- 3 pm – NSW, ACT, TAS, VIC
To register go here.
NACCHO would like to acknowledge Prof. James Ward, University of Queensland’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and SAHMRI, creators of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week. HIV Awareness Week will continue to build on the successes of the previous programs for years to come. For more information on the original program and the history, please visit: https://www.atsihiv.org.au/
COVID-19 is spreading in the NT: ACCHOs say the Top End is unprepared
The Top End’s peak Aboriginal health body has warned that the region is dangerously under-prepared for the wave of COVID-19 infections currently sweeping the continent. The Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) says low vaccination rates, little public messaging, and a lapse in communication between hospitals and health organisations leave the population vulnerable to the latest outbreak.
Dr John Paterson, AMSANT chief executive says a new communication drive spruiking vaccinations for the latest variants is critical.
“There isn’t as much of that public messaging … that had previously been done in the recent pandemic that we experienced,” he told NITV.
“Our vaccination numbers are well down … There are new vaccines that are out now that will [reduce] hospitalisation and severe infections for those most at risk.”
“We need to ensure that [messaging] is consistent, and it’s done with appropriate language.
“English might be a third or fourth part of their language, so we need to ensure that that messaging is done in language.”
Read the full National Indigenous Times article here.
Lowitja Institute at COP28
Adjunct Professor Janine Mohamed, Lowitja Institute CEO spoke at COP28 about how the deficit discourse impacts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and how tackling climate change requires eliminating the deficit discourse. According to the Lowitja Institute, deficit discourse refers to disempowering patterns of thought, language and practice that represents people in terms of deficiencies and failures.
The Lowitja Institute shared on Facebook: Since colonisation, this disempowering discourse has placed responsibility for problems onto Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, instead of the larger socio-economic structures in which they are embedded. When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strengths are recognised and communities are empowered to lead their own action, this is proven to be effective. Ultimately, empowering communities means knowing one’s power and sharing it. This is vital for an effective response to climate change.
At COP28, Lowitja Institute leaders advocated for urgent actions in response to the health issues caused by the changing and changed climate through the establishment of a Coalition on Climate and Health and for the full implementation of the UNDRIP.
New Medicare Urgent Care Clinic opens in Alice Springs
The Alice Springs new Medicare Urgent Care Clinic, operated by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC), started seeing patients with urgent needs as of Monday 4 December. The clinic will be open seven days a week and offers bulk billed, walk-in care. A government statement said almost half of presentations to the emergency department in Alice Springs during 2021-22 were for non-urgent or semi-urgent care. The centre aims to ease pressure on local emergency departments and provide convenient medical care for the community.
“I’ve heard from people across Alice Springs how difficult it can be to access medical care when they have a pressing health concern, but they can’t get in to see a GP,” Marion Scrymgour, member for Lingiari said.
“Most people in this situation end up in the emergency department, or, worse, they simply go without care.”
Malarndirri McCarthy, NT Senator and proud Yanyuwa woman said the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Medicare UCC will make health care in the Red Centre more accessible and affordable.
“Congress has a proud history of providing exceptional medical care and it’s exciting to see this new bulk-billed service open to the people of Alice Springs,” Ms McCarthy said.
“Patients can walk in without an appointment, see a doctor or nurse and access imaging and pathology services.
“The clinic will ease pressure on the Alice Springs Hospital, so that their hard-working doctors and nurses can focus on higher priority emergencies.”
Read the National Indigenous Times article here.
WA doctors call for urgent climate change action, stressing health risk
Doctors in WA’s north say the state government needs to strengthen its climate policies or risk a health disaster in the Kimberley. The calls come after the WA government introduced its Climate Change Bill into parliament last week, the proposed legislation receiving criticism regarding a non-existent 2030 target and a failure to address resource sector emissions. Dr Penny Wilson, Broome GP obstetrician was one of 15 Kimberly health professionals and experts who gathered in Broome to protest for strong action on Friday.
“More than just being about weather and weather events, it is about the health of our communities,” Dr Wilson said.
“The Kimberley is where we see these impacts in our patients as we live and work here.”
The total number of days with maximum temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius in Broome was projected to increase from 56 to 87 by 2030. Dr Wilson said the key challenges facing the Kimberley’s health system – namely access to healthcare and a higher burden of chronic disease – would be worsened by a changing climate.
“People have chronic kidney disease, worsening heart disease, worsening respiratory disease,” she said.
“We also see people presenting with direct heat injuries like heat stroke and heat stress.”
The WA government acknowledged urgent action was needed to reduce emissions, but defended its current approach.
Read the full ABC News article here.
“I hope other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel comfortable seeking help when they see people like me”
Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) is hosting a first of its kind forum in Townsville, aiming to bridge health gaps in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Held between Monday 4 December and Wednesday 6 December, the focus of the forum is to champion cultural and organisational leadership for positive change in communities. Caleb, a proud Gangalidda man, shared his journey from growing up in Mount Isa to becoming a participant in the QAS Indigenous Paramedic Program. Now also a member of QAS’ leadership committee, Caleb emphasised the important role it had in fostering representation and engagement within the health system.
“Being able to relate to patients on a cultural level, and them being able to relate to me, has made a real difference in my ability to best care for the people in my community if they get sick,” he said.
“I’m proud to be giving back and representing my people, and I hope other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel comfortable seeking help when they see people like me.”
Read the full article here.
Sector Jobs – you can see sector job listings on the NACCHO website here.
Advertising Jobs – to advertise a job vacancy click here to go to the NACCHO website current job listings webpage. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find a Post A Job form. You can complete this form with your job vacancy details – it will then be approved for posting and go live on the NACCHO website.