NACCHO Our Members #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : Features #NT @AMSANTaus @ailcleaders #NSW #715HealthChecks @awabakalltd #Werin #VIC @DeadlyChoices @VAHS1972 #BADAC #QLD @GidgeeHealing #SA Pika Wiya #WA

1.1 Our CEO Pat Turner and Acting Chair Donnella Mills congratulate the newly elected Morrison Government

2.1 NT :  AMSANT and Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre enter into Leadership Development Partnership

2.2  NT : Red Lily Health Board in Jabiru now in the hands of a community controlled health board .

3.1 NSW : Werin ACCHO : Ngambaga Bindarry Girrwaa Elders win 21st Elders Olympics held in Port Macquarie

3.2 NSW : Awabakal ACCHO Newcastle : Your health is in your hands, says the 715 Health Checks team 

3.3 NSW : Greater Western ACCHO and Deadly Choices last night launched a partnership with the at BankWest Stadium.

4.1 VIC : VAHS would like to thank all 300+ community members who attended our Epping community day to help celebrate VAHS new Epping Clinic.

4.2 VIC : Deadly Choices facilitator training in beautiful Bendigo with the BDAC team

5. QLD : Gidgee Healing Mt Isa . Big day for Mt Isa’s first Deadly Choices Indigenous Senior Elders Games

6.SA : Pika Wiya Health Corporation provides the 715 health check and runs a range of support programs

7.1 WA : Her Rules Her Game is proud to support the BGA leadership camp to Melbourne.

7.2 WA : Team AHCWA up and running

8. TAS  2019-20 Budget: Investing in Tasmania’s Aboriginal communities

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 Our CEO Pat Turner and Acting Chair Donnella Mills congratulate the newly elected Morrison Government

CEO of The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Pat Turner, spoke on the ABC News Channel on Sunday

Our thanks to Croakey for this report .

Turner congratulated the newly elected Government and said she hoped that the Parliament would take a bipartisan approach to dealing with all matters for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

She also thanked the Labor party for all the hard work they did in putting forward their policy platform which “unfortunately the Australian people decided they weren’t ready to take on”.

“Regardless of the election result,” Turner said, “we need a radical rethink by governments  regarding the way they work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Turner said NACCHO was grateful for Scott Morrison’s leadership on closing the gap.

We need to see the colour of the money and I’m hoping that the Prime Minister will announce that very soon.

We also urge all the state and territory governments to work with us on a collaborative basis, to ensure the self-determination of our people is given legs.”

Turner said self determination had been a policy since the early 1970’s but that infrastructure and support for Indigenous systems of government  “to ensure our cultural values remain, our languages remain and our culture is strong” had not been forthcoming:

The resources need to be directed at the Aboriginal communities and through Aboriginal controlled organisations.

The old way of doing things and business as usual are over. Scott Morrison has the mandate to ensure that he takes on our advice.”

She also said the days of government appointed advisory bodies were over:

Aboriginal people need a real say in who they want to speak for them.

The community controlled organisations should be respected, and have a seat at the negotiating table, making sure the decisions are made in partnership with us.”

Turner said there were more than 40 organisations in the Coalition of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies and that they were “extremely united” in their efforts to close the gap.

We came together because we were devastated over the past.

We would like the 500 million dollars taken out of the Aboriginal Affairs budget by Abbott and Hockey reinvested in Aboriginal community control.”

She said the states and local government also need to be more accountable for the programs they are responsible for.

We are always accountable as Aboriginal people and we will continue. We want the responsibility and we have to be given the role, to play it.”

Turner thanked Scott Morrison for his commitment to ending youth suicide and invited him to visit one of the high risk areas to meet the people on the ground and “make sure we really hear from our communities how we can overcome this tragedy of youth suicide.”

Ten proposals from NACCHO

NACCHO’s Acting Chair Donnella Mills presented ten policy proposals (fleshed out in this statement,) to “seize the moment and make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health a national priority”.

Read full Release HERE

2.1 NT :  AMSANT and Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre enter into Leadership Development Partnership

“Aboriginal Health in Aboriginal Hands remains fundamental to the success and growth of our services throughout the NT.

We need to be empowered and inspired to continue to grow our leadership capacity to meet demands of today and the future.

Whilst our leadership journeys continue beyond training, the right training and motivation to spark and drive ideas provides the perfect starting point.

This partnership is testament of how working together can reap real and meaningful gains as we support and invest in our future leaders “.

CEO of AMSANT, John Paterson

Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT) and The Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC) last week embarked on a new partnership to work together to continue to deliver Regional Leadership Workshops to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service staff and other related service staff throughout the Northern Territory.

The parties signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the relationship between the two organisations, and build on and further strengthen the success of the program which AMSANT has delivered since 2006.

This partnership comes at an opportune time as AILC now have a permanent presence here in the NT.  AILC are the experts in delivery of leadership training and AMSANT are the peak body of a membership of 25 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in the NT. The partnership is a practical and mutually beneficial arrangement where each organisation can bring their collective capacity to the table to make certain that the commitment to Aboriginal Health Leadership training continues and our future leaders are supported to realise their aspirations and to continue to develop and grow the sector.

Following the success of a trial of regional leadership workshops held in Alice Springs last year, the regional model and approach will remain a feature of how they are planned and delivered under the term of this partnership.

Robyn Forester, CEO AILC welcomed the partnership. “The AILC is excited for the partnership with AMSANT. It provides both organisations with the opportunity to support and grow current and emerging Aboriginal Leadership in the NT. It will also allow the AILC to be accessible to many communities that have not benefited from AILC training in the past”, Ms Forester said.

2.2  NT : Red Lily Health Board in Jabiru now in the hands of a community controlled health board .

“The Red Lily Health Board acknowledges the assistance provided over many years by elders and community members in the West Arnhem region as well as Top End Health Service, NT Health, AMSANT, Northern Territory PHN and the Commonwealth Department of Health.”

“Communities have local advisory groups who are actively involved in the community control of health services to determine their priorities “

Red Lily Health Board Chair, Reuben Cooper

Photo attached – Left to Right:

Andrew Bell (Independent Director), Rosemary Nabulwad (Director – Gunbalanya Outstations), Mary Djurundudu (Director – Warruwi (South Goulburn Island)), Health Minister Natasha Fyles, Reuben Cooper (Chair, representing Cobourg Peninsula), Steven Fejo (Director – Minjilang (Croker Island)), Steve Hayes (Transition Manager

Local Decision Making has been put into the hands of a community controlled health board in Jabiru.

The Red Lily Health Board is now overseeing the provision of public health services in Jabiru after the transfer of funding from Northern Territory PHN in April.

The Territory Labor Government is determined to restore local decision making to communities.

Minister for Health Natasha Fyles has personally congratulated the board while they were in Darwin for meetings.

Most of the board members have been on the board since 2008 and are confident they are well prepared to deliver the care required by their communities. These communities include Gunbalanya, Jabiru, Minjilang, Warruwi, and related Homelands/Outstations.

Red Lily Health Board has plans underway to broaden the promotion of health and wellness to the Aboriginal people of the West Arnhem region with Red Lily commencing planning to transfer further health service delivery in the coming year.

Quotes from the Minister of Health, Natasha Fyles:

“Transitioning health services to community control is a key election commitment of the Territory Labor Government and I look forward to Red Lily’s success with managing additional services in the year ahead.”

“The Red Lily Health Board members should be recognised for their dedication to promoting health and wellness to the Aboriginal people of the West Arnhem region.”

Quotes from the Member for Arafura, Lawrence Costa:

“To build a strong Territory we must have strong communities. Transitioning to Aboriginal controlled health services is an important part of delivering this.”

“This is a key milestone for communities in West Arnhem Land.”

3.1 NSW : Werin ACCHO : Ngambaga Bindarry Girrwaa Elders win 21st Elders Olympics held in Port Macquarie

What legends! After a drought of nearly 20 years our Ngambaga Bindarry Girrwaa Elders from the Nambucca Valley have brought home a swag of medals and won the overall event at the Elders Olympics held in Port Macquarie last month.

The 2019 Elders Olympics are being hailed as the best ever.

Originally published HERE

Organised by the Werin Aboriginal Elders team, representing their auspicing body Werin Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre, 519 competitors and support workers participated on the day.

There was also plenty of spectators on hand to soak up the atmosphere.

Ngambaga with two teams of ten, it was Team 2 that scored the runs … or rather the shots, the hits and more as they competed in egg and spoon races, quoits, netball, bean bags, softball and of course a relay.

Absolute champion of the day was Noelene Ballangarry – she broke the record for shots in Pass the Football, which requires players to shoot a big ball through a little hole.

“She just kept slotting them through, and I’m saying go, go, go,” Ngambaga chair Aunty Ann Edwards said.

The Elders Olympics started back in 2001 in the Nambucca Valley – with two teams. Now there are 38 teams from all around NSW, including Tamworth, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Inverell, Dubbo and Moree.

“It is the best time – we all look forward to it, to seeing friends and family and having a good chin wag,” Aunty Ann said.

What about training?

“Oh I think we threw a few bean bags once!” Aunty Val Balir laughed.

Already thoughts have turned to next year … even more so because Bowraville will host it.

3.2 NSW : Awabakal ACCHO Newcastle : Your health is in your hands, says the 715 Health Checks team 

For more than 40 years, Awabakal has been looking after the health of the Newcastle mob.

The New South Wales mid north coast region is home to one of the largest populations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.

The 715 health check is a preventative health assessment designed specifically to support the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“A 715 health check is critical to the overall health of our Aboriginal community. We need to make sure that our community are coming in, accessing the service and getting their health check completed.

“It is important GP’s build rapport with our patients and our community to get them the health support that they actually need. We want to get to know you, as a person, your health is a key part of that.”

Toni Johnston A/g CEO Awabakal Medical Service NSW

“The 715 Health Check is a really important part of how we keep our mob healthy. It’s a really good health assessment that checks on physical, social and emotional health to keep us all as healthy as we can be.

After a 715 Health Check we see that people are more aware of what their health is like, as it is. They’re more aware of what they need to do to improve their health, and we have a better connection in terms of medical staff and patients to work together to help health improve.”

Dr Joyce Hyde, General Practitioner, Awabakal Medical Service NSW

For born and bred local, Rod Smith, the 715 health check has helped him look after his mental health.

“Like many Aboriginal men, I grew up thinking that men don’t cry – that men have to be tough. I’d always been a happy go lucky person but as I got older I experienced a few hurdles in life. I got to a point one day where I started thinking negative,” says Rod.

“Like most men out there, I thought, if I go and talk for a doctor about mental health, does that mean I’m crazy?

“It was that fear creeping in. That’s a big reason why a lot of Aboriginal people don’t go for a health check, is it’s the fear of what they’re going to find out.

“But I did it, I got the 715 health check and I found the mental health aspects of the 715 so valuable. I’m now a member of the Awabakal team myself, looking after our promotions.”

It’s a whole of team commitment to looking after the mob’s health at Awabakal. Simone Jordan, Community Relations manager, helps people like Rod to overcome the fear and other barriers to going to the Doctor and getting a health check.

“There are different barriers for people. I think the main one is making the time. Reminding people to look after themselves, have that self-care. Aboriginal mothers, we tend to look after everyone else and forget ourselves. So, we’re trying to instil that your own health is important,” says Simone.

Patients that complete the 715 health check are able to access a range of support services to better manage conditions and stay in good health. At Awabakal, this includes nutrition and diet programs, dental care and family and youth support services.

“I can’t stress how important they are. A 715 health check gives us a whole range of options then to refer you to our other services. We look at how we can make looking after your health, part of everyday normal life,” says Simone.

Dr Joyce has a simple message for the region.

“Come on in, have a yarn to us and get your 715 health check done today. Your Health is in Your Hands,” says Dr Joyce.

“Yes! Looking after your health, you’ll be kicking goals!” adds Toni, Awabakal Acting CEO.

The 715 health check is free at Aboriginal Medical Services and bulk billing clinics, and is available annually to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all ages. Further information, including resources for patients and health practitioners is available at http://www.health.gov.au/715-health-check.

3.3 NSW : Greater Western ACCHO and Deadly Choices last night launched a partnership with the at BankWest Stadium.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members who complete a 715 Health Check can receive one of these Deadly Eels Jerseys.

4. 1 VIC : VAHS would like to thank all 300+ community members who attended our Epping community day to help celebrate VAHS new Epping Clinic.

 

There was heaps of smiles, laughs and all positives vibes from everyone.

We’ve captured a great number of people who wasn’t accessing VAHS regularly who lives in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, the reason why VAHS established a new clinic in Epping and hosted this event to engage with families to start accessing VAHS services more regularly.

Videos from this day will be uploaded onto our social media very soon.

4.2 VIC : Deadly Choices facilitator training in beautiful Bendigo with the BDAC team.

Day 2 with the Bendigo team

Nutrition  

Physical Activity  

Harmful Substances  

Healthy Relationships

Great to have so many passionate mob keen to deliver the program

5.QLD : Gidgee Healing Mt Isa . Big day for Mt Isa’s first Deadly Choices Indigenous Senior Elders Games

Big day for Mt Isa’s first Deadly Choices Indigenous Senior Elders Games – a atmosphere of country music playing (Charlie Pride) lots of cheers, laugher and competition

 Gidgee Healing thank you too our inspirational elders. Patrick Johnson

6.SA : Pika Wiya Health Corporation provides the 715 health check and runs a range of support programs

Aboriginal residents in Port Augusta are being encouraged to get their annual 715 health check in a bid to help curb the early mortality rate of the First Nation peoples.

The free yearly check up ensures Aboriginal people receive primary health care matched to their needs, by encouraging early detection, diagnosis and intervention for common and treatable conditions

The Pika Wiya Health Corporation provides the 715 health check and runs a range of support programs, from birth right through to parenthood, encouraging residents to undertake their regular check.

Amy Walters runs the Kinderling’s program at Pika Wiya, which is designed for babies from birth through to six years old.

“715 health checks on our babies are very important. It gives us a benchmark on where they are at birth and makes sure they’re growing healthy and meeting development milestones throughout their childhood,” Ms Walters said.

“While they’re here, we talk to the mums, making sure it’s a safe environment for them to come to to talk about health.”

The Kinderling’s program provides incentives to help encourage mums to make sure their babies health checks are up to date.

“We give them or their babies free clothing – we have little onesies, t-shirts, dresses – the mothers love the dresses!” Ms Walters said.

Pika Wiya also offers a Well Women’s program, designed to help new mums look after their own health too.

The ‘Well Women’s House’ provides education and counselling about diet, social and emotional wellbeing, and offer a veggie pack when mums complete their 715.

Local GP Dr Julia Nook said the annual health check is a critical first step to engage with patients about their health needs.

“It’s not just about having a 715 health check. We use the initial screening consultations to build trust with our patients, getting to know them and their family,” she said.

“We work together to try and look at issues identified in the health check, like tackling smoking or weight, and when people are ready, we refer them to follow up services like a dietitian.

“Sometimes there are underlying issues that might be causing some of their health issues and we can explore those further with patients too.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are 2.3 times more likely to experience burden of disease than non-Indigenous Australians.

The 715 health check is free at Aboriginal Medical Services and bulk billing clinics for people of all ages.

7.1 WA : Her Rules Her Game is proud to support the BGA leadership camp to Melbourne.

How great is this update on their visit to Essendon Football Club

7.2 WA : Team AHCWA up and running

This morning AHCWA staff members (and Taj) took part in all 3 categories of the HBF Run for a Reason, the 4km, 12km and 21km, finishing at Gloucester Park.

Congratulations to Marianne (missing from the photo) who ran the 21km half marathon. Well done everyone 😊
#hbfrun

8. TAS  2019-20 Budget: Investing in Tasmania’s Aboriginal communities

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to our Reset agenda with the Tasmanian Aboriginal people, while investing to grow social, cultural and economic outcomes and to promote greater understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture.

To further support the Reset, the 2019-20 State Budget includes new funding of $542,000 across the forward estimates to support activities and initiatives that demonstrate that our commitment today to the Reset is as strong as ever.

This includes:

  •  $90,000 per annum to support greater involvement of Aboriginal communities in government decisions, consistent with the Statement of Intent between the Tasmanian Regional Aboriginal Alliance and the Tasmanian Government;
  •  New funding to support the Young Tasmanian Aboriginal Women Leader’s Awards to support emerging female leaders and to promote and advance career and academic pathways for Aboriginal girls.

Across Government we are also working to close the gap in inequalities experienced by Aboriginal people.

This includes initiatives such as continued support for Aboriginal Tasmanian’s impacted by family violence, and permanent funding to support a coordinated approach to increase the number of Aboriginal people employed in the State Service.

There is also ongoing funding to enable the Cultural Management Group to continue its work with nongovernment Aboriginal organisations and other stakeholders on the management of cultural values, tourism and a program for Aboriginal Tasmanians to access important resources within the TWWHA, as well as for Aboriginal Trainee Rangers to work in our national parks and reserves.

This Government has a genuine desire to make a positive difference – a true difference that recognises a remarkable 40,000 plus years of Aboriginal heritage and culture, and one that points to a brighter future for Aboriginal Tasmanians.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #AusVotesHealth #VoteACCHO : @RenBlackman CEO @GidgeeHealing #ACCHO Mt Isa : Highlights Inequality and climate change: the perfect storm threatening the health of our #Remote communities

 

“ Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services have a long history of working holistically and innovatively to address the wider determinants of health, and Gidgee Healing incorporates legal services, knowing that legal concerns “cause a lot of worry for families”

However, many of the levers for addressing the determinants of health lie outside of the health sector’s control.

 What would help Gidgee Healing clients includes increases to Newstart and other social security payments, with a loading for remoteness.

We would also like to see better access to education and training for remote communities, many of which do not have high schools.

As well, Blackman would like a “whole of government” approach to addressing the social determinants of health, as was recommended in 2008 by the World Health Organisation commission on social determinants of health.

My job is challenging enough at the best of times. But climate change and extreme weather events, such as recent flooding that cut road access to many remote communities for several weeks, are making it ever-more difficult “

Renee Blackman runs Gidgee Health ACCHO health service covering a vast chunk of north-west Queensland – about 640,000 sq km, an area larger than Spain – that provides services to about 7,000 Aboriginal people in communities from Mount Isa to the Gulf.

Reporting in this series is supported by VivCourt through the Guardian Civic Journalism Trust

Written by Melissa Sweet for The Guardian

While the cultures and circumstances of these communities are diverse, Blackman says they share a common health threat: that the harmful impacts of poverty are magnified in remote locations.

Blackman, a Gubbi Gubbi woman and CEO of an Aboriginal community-controlled health service Gidgee Healing, sees poverty contributing to poor health in remote communities in many ways.

People cannot afford healthy foods, to access or maintain housing, to buy vital medications, or to travel to regional centres such as Cairns or Townsville for surgery that would help them or their children, she says.

But mostly, she says, poverty means people have more pressing priorities than whether their diabetes is being well controlled.

“None of that matters if the priority is to put food on the table first, or a roof over the table,” she says. “Worrying about medication or a specialist appointment or an allied health wraparound service isn’t a priority.”

Blackman says she gets really frustrated when health groups put out simplistic messages for people to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. It reminds her that so much health debate is far removed from the realities of people living in poverty.

Renee Blackman interviewed by NACCHO TV in 2016

Likewise, there is also a disconnect between much of the mainstream debate about health, which tends to focus on funding of medical services and hospitals, and the evidence about what matters most for people’s health.

The Western Australian government’s recent Sustainable Health Review cites US research suggesting that only 16% of a person’s overall health and wellbeing relates to clinical care and the biggest gains, especially for those at greatest risk of poor health, come from action on the social determinants of health. These are “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age”, and are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources.

In the case of Gidgee Healing’s clients, the determinants of health include the ongoing legacy of colonisation, such as poverty and racism, as well as protective factors such as connection to culture and country.

Tackling the social determinants of health is critical to address health inequities, which arise because people with the least social and economic power tend to have the worst health, live in unhealthier environments and have worse access to healthcare.

A study cited in the last two editions of Australia’s Health (in 2016 and 2018) estimates that if action were taken on the social determinants to close the health gap between the most and least disadvantaged Australians, half a million people could be spared chronic illness, $2.3bn in annual hospital costs saved and pharmaceutical benefits scheme prescriptions cut by 5.3 million.

In the absence of such action, she says Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services have to work hard and be creative in the face of government silos in their efforts to provide holistic services.

Blackman’s job is challenging enough at the best of times. But climate change and extreme weather events, such as recent flooding that cut road access to many remote communities for several weeks, are making it ever-more difficult.

“You have got these massive weather events sweeping through our communities, decimating structures, infrastructure – which means health services,” she says. “If your health service is down, you can’t provide any type of healthcare; it’s almost like you are operating under war conditions sometimes, because things get totally obliterated and you have got to build back from scratch, yet you’ve got people who need your assistance.”

Blackman and many other health professionals are seeing the impact of a perfect storm threatening the health of some of Australia’s most disadvantaged communities. Climate change is exacerbating the social and economic inequalities that already contribute to profound health inequities.

Blackman describes elderly Aboriginal people with multiple health problems stuck in inadequate housing without air-conditioning during increasingly frequent extreme heatwaves. Sometimes it is so hot, she says, the bitumen melts, making it difficult for her health teams to reach communities in times of high need.

As well, patients are presenting to Gidgee Healing clinics with conditions such as dehydration that might be preventable if they could afford their power bills and had appropriate housing.

The mental health impacts are also huge, Blackman says, mentioning the deaths of hundreds of thousands of livestock during the floods. “This is devastation, this is loss, this is grief, we are already facing a suicide crisis in the north-west across all of the community, including the Aboriginal community,” she says. “You’re talking about a region that already has depleted access to mental health professionals.”

Welcome to our special NACCHO #Election2019 #VoteACCHO resource page for Affiliates, ACCHO members, stakeholders and supporters. The health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is not a partisan political issue and cannot be sidelined any longer.

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

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

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

More info HERE 

NACCHO Acting Chair, Donnella Mills

A multiplier effect

Hurricane Katrina is often held up as a textbook example of how climate change hits poor people hardest, and not only because the poorest areas in New Orleans were worst affected by flooding. Much of the planning and emergency response catered to the better off – those with cars and the means to safely evacuate and arrange alternative accommodation.

As Sharon Friel, professor of health equity at the Australian National University, outlines in a new book, Climate Change and the People’s Health, most of those who died because of Hurricane Katrina came from disadvantaged populations. These were also the groups that suffered most in the aftermath, as a result of damage to infrastructure and loss of livelihoods.

“It was also lower-income groups, and in particular children and the elderly, who were at increased risk of developing severe mental health symptoms compared with their peers in higher income groups,” Friel writes.

It is not only the direct and indirect impacts of climate change that worsen health inequities; policies to address climate change can have unintended consequences. Friel cites international evidence that the distribution of green spaces in cities to promote urban cooling and health tends to benefit mainly white and affluent communities.

Friel’s book outlines myriad ways in which climate change interacts with other social determinants of health to create a multiplier effect that deepens and compounds health inequities. Yet policymakers have been slow to respond, although such concerns were clearly identified more than a decade ago, in the landmark WHO report on the social determinants of health, which said it was important to bring together “the two agendas of health equity and climate change”.

While Friel says the relationships between climate change and health inequity are “messy and complex”, she argues that understanding there are common determinants of both problems provides an opportunity to “kill two birds with one stone”.

Friel calls for intersectoral action, with a focus on equality, environmental sustainability and health equity, to tackle the underlying “consumptagenic system” that drives both problems. This system is “a network of policies, processes and modes of understanding and governance that fuels unhealthy, inequitable and environmentally destructive production and consumption”.

An unfair burden

In Victoria, a large community health service provider called Cohealth has had processes in place for at least five years to work with at-risk groups during extreme weather events, in recognition of the need to address climate change as a health threat, especially for disadvantaged populations. During heatwaves, the service checks on homeless people, public housing residents and people with mental illnesses to ensure they can take steps to stay safe.

“The growing frustration of people in the health sector is, this work is eating into our budgets, it’s occupying the time of our staff – and yet there is little or no policy recognition of the way health resources are being taken to address these problems,” says Cohealth chief executive, Lyn Morgain.

She adds that local governments and service providers have been left to carry an unfair burden due to inaction on climate and health by governments, especially the federal government.

Morgain, who is also chair of the Social Determinants of Health Alliance and a board member of the Australian Council of Social Service, notes that Acoss has been championing the need to apply an equity lens to climate policy, to assess whether new policy proposals across a range of portfolios advantage or disadvantage low-income households.

Kellie Caught, senior advisor on climate and energy at Acoss, is calling for the next federal government to invest in vulnerability mapping to identify communities most at risk from climate change, in order to support development of local climate adaptation and resilience plans.

Governments also need to invest in building the resilience of community organisations such as those providing disability, aged care, meals on wheels and services for homeless people, to ensure they have the capacity to undertake disaster management and resilience planning, and continue operating through extreme weather events, she says.

Acoss is advocating for mandatory energy-efficiency standards for all rental properties, for state and federal governments to invest in upgrading energy efficiency and production in all social and community housing, and for a fund to help low-income earners such as pensioners upgrade their homes’ energy efficiency, as well as programs for remote and Indigenous communities.

It is more than a decade since policymakers were presented with evidence showing that such measures bring concrete health benefits for low-income households.

A widely cited randomised trial, published in 2007 in the BMJ, found that insulating low-income households in New Zealand led to a significantly warmer, drier indoor environment, and resulted in significant improvements in health and comfort, a lower risk of children having time off school or adults having sick days off work, and a trend for fewer hospital admissions for respiratory conditions.

“Interventions of this kind, which focus on low-income communities and poorer quality housing, have the potential to reduce health inequalities,” found the researchers.

A big silent killer’

The health of people in Burnie in north-west Tasmania is shaped by rates of poverty, unemployment and poor educational outcomes that are worse than the state’s average.

At the public hospital, emergency physician Dr Melinda Venn is reminded every day how people who are poorer and sicker have difficulty accessing the services they need. She describes seeing patients who struggle to feed their families, or buy medications and who often can’t afford to put petrol in their cars to get to the doctor.

Her prescription for what would help her community’s health and wellbeing is similar to Renee Blackman’s in north-west Queensland. It includes wide-ranging action to address poverty, including through raising the Newstart allowance and more generally ensuring liveable incomes, as well as access to affordable fresh food, public transport and higher education.

Venn also stresses the importance of better funding for preventative health measures and primary healthcare. “Every day we see people come to the emergency department, either because they can’t afford to get into the GP or they can’t get into

Dr Nick Towle, a medical educator at the University of Tasmania who helped organise a recent Doctors for the Environment Australia conference in Hobart, where delegates declared a climate emergency, says that addressing the intertwined issues of health inequities and climate change will require massive transformation in how governments operate. They must move beyond the current siloed approaches whereby, for example, the housing portfolio can be reluctant to invest in improving housing if savings are to the health portfolio.

Towle says a systems approach would reimagine urban development so that communities are within cycling or walking distance of local food production, green spaces and infrastructure such as shops, primary healthcare and aged care centres, and with active and passive solar a requirement for all new developments.

Like Venn, Towle stresses the need to invest far more in primary healthcare and the prevention of chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, lung and cardiac disease, which are more common in poorer communities, and make people less resilient to the effects of heat, which he says “is emerging as a big silent killer”.

Back in Mount Isa, Renee Blackman stresses the importance of local action in responding to both health inequities and climate change. Local governments, especially Indigenous local governments, should be given more support for tackling these issues, she says.

“At least talk to the people it’s going to affect,” she says. “As an Aboriginal organisation, we would never tread on someone else’s Country, without first asking, what do you need?”

An assessment of the major parties’ track records and election promises shows Australia has a better chance of acting on poverty and climate change as critical health equity concerns if there is a change of government.

The Acoss’s election policy tracker suggests the Greens have the best policies for addressing poverty and climate change, while the Climate and Health Alliance scorecard gives the Greens top marks (8 out of 8), followed by Labor (4.5 out of 8) and the LNP (zero out of 8).

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia scorecard gives the Greens’ health policies the highest rating (21 out of a potential score of 37), followed by Labor (16/37) and the LNP (7/7). The Public Health Association of Australia has welcomed Labor’s and the Greens’ commitments on preventative health, while the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance has called on both major parties “to follow the lead of the Greens and commit to health policies that deliver both equity and efficiency”.

Like many, the Consumers Health Forum is disappointed in the lack of focus on primary healthcare, saying “the absence of a transformational agenda for primary care is a missed opportunity this election”. Meanwhile, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association scorecard records the Liberal National party as having no explicit commitment to health equity and, days out from an election, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia says the Greens are the only party to have addressed rural health issues so far. Some health organisations have not yet released an election scorecard.

Reporting in this series is supported by VivCourt through the Guardian Civic Journalism Trust

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.1 VIC : VACCHO Launches its #Election 2019 Platform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

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

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

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

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

FOR MORE INFO about immunisation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take the survey HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

See NACCHO Election 2019 Website

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

Welcome to the April edition of the Message Stick!

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

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

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

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

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

Read View HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.1 VIC : VACCHO Launches its #Election 2019 Platform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture Above Minister Ken Wyatt visit earlier this year 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

April edition of our Winnunga Newsletter.

Read or Download Winnunga AHCS Newsletter April 2019 (1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Support the safe use of medicines
  • Administer medicines

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

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

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

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

 

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

This weeks feature #VoteACCHO Good News Story

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

Plus

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

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

1.2 National : Pat Turner ACOSS Budget Breaky panel Speaker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

This weeks feature #VoteACCHO Good News Story

Deadly Choices QLD  : Deadly Days Ahead for Queensland Murri Carnival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donnella Mills Acting Chair NACCHO

Check out the new #VoteACCHO Website Page

and add #VoteACCHO to your Twitter Handle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read or Download the Full NACCHO Press Release HERE

1.2 National : Pat Turner ACOSS Budget Breaky panel Speaker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Particular changes of concern:

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

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

See ORIC Website

Changes to the CATSI Act

More accountability, less red tape

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

The proposed changes cover the topics of:

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

See ORIC website

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

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

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

From The Bega District News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From The Tenterfield Star 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One constant, however, will be the Walkabout moniker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What powerful stories from such brave kids.

Also check out the Take Heart Info 

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

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

The Deadly Choices team

Check out these prizes at the Deadly Choices launch 

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

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

From HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NACCHO Members #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : #VoteACCHO #NSW Werin# NT Ampilatwatja @DanilaDilba #VIC MDAS #QLD @Apunipima @QAIHC_QLD Nhulandu #WA Wirraka Maya SWAMS #SA Nunkuwarrin Yunti #TAS

1.1 National : NACCHO to launch #VoteACCHO campaign to emphasis that Aboriginal health should be an election priority for all parties  

1.2 National : More support to the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector is needed to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

2. NSW : Werin ACCHO Port Macquarie says the 2019 Elders Olympics were the best ever

3.VIC :THE focus was firmly on health at Mallee District Aboriginal Service’s Close the Gap event

4.1 QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Australian Indigenous Basketball (AIB) All Stars Women’s national team have produced a perfect run to win the International Indigenous and Cultural Basketball Tournament held last week in Porirua, New Zealand.

4.2 QLD : Nhulundu Health Service ACCHO Gladstone hosts the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) CEO Mr Neil Willmett

5. SA : Tackling Tobacco Team – Nunkuwarrin Yunti ACCHO attended the National Tackling Indigenous Smoking Conference in Alice Springs last week 

6.1 WA : Wirraka Maya ACCHO  Transition into Adulthood (TTA) Team have organised for World Champion Boxers, Todd Kidd and Gregory Eadie to join the team this week.

6.2 WA : SWAMS ACCHO staff member recognised for their outstanding service to SWAMS and the community

7.1 NT : Community celebrates opening of new Ampilatwatja ACCHO Health Centre

7.2 NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO participate in Stars Foundation Softball Event 

8. TAS : Dr Tanya Schramm, a GP, Palawa woman and lecturer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health at the University of Tasmania, as she spoke to newsGP on National Close the Gap Day this year.

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1  NACCHO to launch #VoteACCHO campaign to emphasis that Aboriginal health should be an election priority for all parties  

With the election being called on 18 May, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) will be urging all candidates, regardless of party or political leanings to prioritise the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.

NACCHO will be asking all  politicians to support 10 key recommendations ahead of the election on 18 May :

You will be able to download #VoteACCHO campaign resources from the NACCHO Website ( From Monday  15 April )

Check our NACCHO #VoteACCHO Edition Monday for full details

1.2 More support to the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector is needed to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

“The government needs to support all ACCHOs to deliver culturally appropriate NDIS services so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with disability right across the country people are not left out

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are missing out and the NDIS model needs to be adjusted to ensure equity of access. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to fully participate, the solution is found in properly supporting ACCHOs that chose to deliver NDIS services.

We know that ACCHOs are an essential component of successful delivery of the NDIS to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The evidence is clear that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders access services where they feel culturally safe and when supported properly, and ACCHOs are best positioned to meet this need.

Our communities are disproportionately affected by disability and there is a great need for culturally appropriate disability support services close to where our people live,”

NACCHO Acting Chair Donnella Mills says NACCHO welcomes the announcement of $4.5 million to support Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields to deliver two programs to improve awareness and access to the NDIS.

Read and or DOWNLOAD the full NACCHO Press Release HERE

Read over articles Aboriginal Health and NDIS published over past 7 years

2.1 NSW : Werin ACCHO Port Macquarie says the 2019 Elders Olympics were the best ever.

The Elders Olympics is more about a mob coming together with the idea of promoting and talking about better health outcomes.

This is about improving the health standards of the Aboriginal community, particularly the Elders, which is very important to us.

This event aims to promote health and well being, getting outside and having some fun.

“There are no running events as such, but there are plenty of skill games.

Organiser Cindy O’Brien-Younie

Originally published HERE

 

The event was held at Port Macquarie’s Stuarts Park on Thursday April 11. Organised by the Werin Aboriginal Elders team, representing their auspicing body Werin Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre, 519 competitors and support workers participated on the day.

There was also plenty of spectators on hand to soak up the atmosphere.

The 36 teams were from across NSW including Werris Creek, Moree, Blue Mountains, St Marys, and north to Ballina.

There are no running events as such, but there are plenty of skill games.

Since winning the 2018 event, and therefore laying claim to hosting the following year’s event, Cindy and fellow organiser – and sister – Gloria O’Brien-Rudyk have been working tirelessly behind the scenes.

Cindy says two major sponsors came onboard in the past week or two which the organising committee was “very grateful for”.

“There is an organising committee behind this event and we have done really well in getting this event happening,” she said.

She said the final week leading into the event had tested their nerves.

“It was very tough and sometimes difficult but we learnt some new lessons about delegation,” she admitted.

“But when you see the beautiful bright colours of everyone’s shirts and hearing the mob say how wonderful this event is and the best they’ve attended, it is all worth it.

“The other major reason behind the success of this year’s event is the support of many schools, CSU, area health, TAFE, colleges and the Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce.”

Wauchope Men’s Shed donated several items for raffle prizes, which is part of the fundraising effort.

Newcastle Knights provided all the footballs for the pass the ball competition along with a signed football jersey. South Sydney has also provided a signed 2014 football, which will be offered as part of the fundraising effort.

The Aboriginal Elders Olympics follows the strategic Close the Gap initiative designed to bridge the gap between health in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities

3.1 VIC :THE focus was firmly on health at Mallee District Aboriginal Service’s Close the Gap event

Health checks, giveaway bags and an all-day barbecue were present throughout the day while local staff engaged with community members.

Celebrated nationwide and now in its 10th year, Close the Gap day aims to improve health outcomes for Aboriginals.

From HERE

4.1 QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Australian Indigenous Basketball (AIB) All Stars Women’s national team have produced a perfect run to win the International Indigenous and Cultural Basketball Tournament held last week in Porirua, New Zealand.

PORIRUA, NEW ZEALAND – The Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball (AIB) All Stars Women’s national team have produced a perfect run to win the International Indigenous and Cultural Basketball Tournament held last week in Porirua, New Zealand.

The All Stars downed the Kingdom of Hawaii 91-90, in a thrilling championship finale, the victory securing the first-ever international gold medal for an Australian Indigenous Basketball women’s
representative side.

Prior to defeating the Kingdom of Hawaii by one-point in the double-overtime decider, the All Stars also displayed their dominance in preliminary round matches, taking down Ngati Toa (New Zealand) 82-75, Raukawa Invitational (New Zealand) 80-58, and Hawaii 90-86. Read More

4.2 QLD : Nhulundu Health Service ACCHO Gladstone hosts the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) CEO Mr Neil Willmett

At Nhulundu Health Service – Gladstone. Pictured (left to right): Neil Willmett, Lee-ann Dudley (Chairperson), Jenny Kerr (Clinical Practice Manager) and Matthew Cooke (NHS-CEO)

5. SA : Tackling Tobacco Team – Nunkuwarrin Yunti ACCHO attended the National Tackling Indigenous Smoking Conference in Alice Springs last week 

6.1 WA : Wirraka Maya ACCHO  Transition into Adulthood (TTA) Team have organised for World Champion Boxers, Todd Kidd and Gregory Eadie to join the team this week.

They are here to support the final week of the Box Fit program for Term 1, of the academic school year.

Box Fit has taken place every Tuesday and Thursday of school term 1, which has encouraged resilience and athletic focus for students aged between 12 and 17.

The team have been conducting workshops in South Hedland High and Strelley Community School, interacting with the students and teaching the basics of Boxing techniques.

Don’t miss the Big night, tomorrow Friday the 13th. Join us at the JD Hardie Youth Zone, for the Boxing Exhibition Night. The event is open to all the public, starting from 6pm to 9:30pm. We hope to see you there.

6.2 WA : SWAMS ACCHO staff member recognised for their outstanding service to SWAMS and the community

Congratulations to SWAMS staff member Amanda Wallam and South West Elder, Mr Dennis Jetta who were recognised for their outstanding service to SWAMS and the community at the recent AHCWA conference.

Pictured: AHCWA Award recipients

7.1 NT : Community celebrates opening of new Ampilatwatja ACCHO Health Centre

Local Federal Member Warren Snowdon and Senator Patrick Dodson attended the opening with John Paterson CEO AMSANT and Donna Ah Chee CEO Congress

In the 1970s the large cattle station of Utopia was handed back to the traditional owners on a land buy-back scheme. This area was then governed by the Utopia/ Urapunga Council. In the 1990s the traditional owners of the Ampilatwatja area of this land sought and established their own distinct council and land boundaries. The local governing body is the Aherrenge Association Incorporated.

Ampilatwatja is the largest of three communities under the Aherrenge Association. It is located 320 km north-east of Alice Springs via the Plenty and Sandover Highways. The people of Ampilatwatja form part of the Alyawarr tribe. There are a number of out-stations, the main ones being Irrultja and Atnwengerrp.

The population of remote Aboriginal communities is subject to a large degree of fluctuation with movements related to cultural practices, logistical issues such as needing to access health care services, sporting weekends and so on. The ABS 2001 census of population for Ampilatwatja and outstations was 468 residents. The September 2005 census was 540 residents. Approximately 150 residents live on the outstations.

Ampilatwatja has a 24 hour dirt airstrip for mail delivery and RFDS medical evacuations. There are no routine passenger service flights to the community and the airstrip closes with heavy rains.

Read more about the Ampilatwatja Health Service HERE

Ampilatwatja is a dry community with no alcohol permit system and this bylaw is very strictly enforced by community. There is one community store which is in close contact with the health team and does not sell deep fried takeaway foods. There are no petrol sniffers in the community.

Ampilatwatja has a school which operates on an ESL teaching model with children split into 2 groups, junior and senior.

7.2 NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO participate in Stars Foundation Softball Event 

Is was amazing seeing our young women show great sportsmanship and leadership qualities on the day.

8. TAS : Dr Tanya Schramm, a GP, Palawa woman and lecturer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health at the University of Tasmania, as she spoke to newsGP on National Close the Gap Day this year.


Dr Tanya Schramm and Dr Tim Senior participate in a Q&A about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health on National Closing the Gap Day.

Boosting cultural respect in mainstream health services

FROM GP NEWS

Researchers have designed an intervention to help make mainstream general practice more accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Obviously the gap isn’t really closing, so that’s a pretty obvious indication that we’ve got to do a lot more. And, as primary healthcare, we’re the first port of call.’

That is Dr Tanya Schramm, a GP, Palawa woman and lecturer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health at the University of Tasmania, as she spoke to newsGP on National Close the Gap Day this year.

According to Dr Schramm, cultural safety and respect is a vital part of the effort to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access to primary healthcare.

‘If we, as Aboriginal people, are coming to a mainstream general practice, we should be able to expect culturally respectful and safe healthcare to the same standard we could receive at to the Aboriginal Health Service [AMS],’ she said.

‘It’s not as simple as just popping up a couple of flags and a bit of artwork in your waiting room. [Practices] need to go in behind that and make sure that they are providing culturally safe consultations within that context.’

The desire to make mainstream primary healthcare more accessible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is the motivation behind research recently published in the Medical journal of Australia, ‘Cultural respect in general practice: A cluster randomised control trial’.

Professor Siaw-Teng Liaw, lead author and Professor of General Practice at the University of New South Wales, believes addressing this issue is vital because many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may not actually have access to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations [ACCHOs].

‘A substantial number [of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people] live in urban areas – and that is a substantial number of Aboriginal people who should be better resourced,’ he told newsGP.

‘Because, when we look at the statistics for AMS and ACCHOs, there are relatively less in urban areas compared to rural and remote.

‘So we feel urban Aboriginal people are not as well looked after.’

Dr Tim Senior, Medical Advisor for RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, agrees more needs to be done to improve experiences within the mainstream.

‘Every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisation tells us there are still too many Indigenous Australians experiencing racism in the health system,’ he told newsGP.

‘Many Aboriginal people expect they will have a bad experience in health services because they have usually had bad experiences in the past – there are many reasons why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may not want to attend our practices, and may not want to take our advice when they do.’

In order to help prevent further such experiences, Professor Liaw and his team created, in extensive consultation with the Aboriginal community, a toolkit to assist mainstream practices to provide culturally respectful care.

The researchers then conducted a randomised controlled trial over a 12-month period involving selected practices in Sydney and Melbourne, with some receiving the toolkit plus additional training and support.

‘We ran a half-day workshop [during which] the practice staff were taken through the toolkit and a background of Aboriginal history and dispossession,’ Professor Liaw explained.

‘At that workshop, they were introduced to the cultural mentors, who we recruited in each state to be available to the practice for a year to help them implement some of the things in the toolkit. The mentor was then available through an online discussion group or by phone number.

‘The other part of the intervention was at the PHN [Primary Health Network] level, which at that time was the Medicare Local, which we encouraged to form a care partnership with the local ACCHO.

‘So once we got the toolkit, the workshop and the cultural mentor in place, we implemented it as best as we could, and collected the data at baseline and compared it at 12 months.’

Professor Liaw and his team found the trial practices were extremely receptive to and engaged with the program, and that patients also had a positive experience of it.

‘We collected qualitative information from the practices and Aboriginal patients nominated by them, and the output was really positive from their perspective. Most of [the practices] wanted to continue with it,’ he said.

‘After we finished the trial, we also ran the workshops with the control practices, and they were all very keen as well.’

But despite these encouraging results, analysis revealed that quantitative outcomes – which were measured by the number of Aboriginal health checks carried out and recording of clinical risk factors such as cardiovascular, weight and blood sugar – did not differ significantly between participating and control practices.

While Professor Liaw was disappointed with these results, he also acknowledges the issues the researchers are trying to tackle may simply require more time to show significant change.

‘This is a complex intervention and to translate the toolkit, workshops and the cultural mentor suggestions into an organisational thing will probably require more than 12 months, because it might take a while to come to grips with it, and then work out a protocol to do it,’ he said.

However, another positive development has resulted from the research: buy-in from a participating PHN, which also means the research team can continue to monitor results on a much larger scale.

‘One of the PHNs involved in the study in Sydney is happy to roll it out,’ Professor Liaw said.

‘So we’re going to roll it out in one of the local government areas, and we will follow through what happened to the ones that participated in the trial, and also with this one, in the longer term. And then if they get more funding, we’ll roll it out to other local government areas, as well.’

Dr Senior is pleased with this news and is hopeful it is a signal of further engagement from PHNs with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

‘The cultural respect program in this research may be a useful framework for PHNs, but the most crucial step will be for them to work on developing and enhancing true partnerships with their local Aboriginal communities, and local ACCHOs,’ he said.

‘It’s this local community engagement that will be crucial, and if the cultural respect program can be used in this context, then they may have some successes.’

Meanwhile, Professor Liaw and his team have been happy with the study’s results in terms of increasing cultural knowledge and respect within practices, and are hoping for improved quantitative results, as well, with a view to the long game.

‘We plan to do some interviews in about 12 months and see whether there’s any longer term changes,’ he said.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #NationalCloseTheGapDay Media : Press Releases from Stakeholders @AusHealthcare @RACGP @TheRACP @ranzcog @TheRACP @AbSecNSW @strokefdn @ACRRM and coverage #NT @CAACongress #WA #QLD #VIC #NSW #ACCHO events

Contents of our CTG NACCHO Post 

National Close the Gap Campaign Launched at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation ACCHO

Stakeholders CTG Press Releases

1.AHHA

2.RACGP

3.RANZOG

4.ACCRM

5.ACEM

6 ABSEC

7.Labour Party

8. Greens Party

9. RACGP

10. Stroke Foundation

11. Coalition Government 

ACCHO Members

Congress ACCHO Alice Springs

Gidgee ACCHO Mt Isa

Mallee ACCHO Victoria

Apunipima ACCHO Cape York Cover )

Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour

Kimberly Aboriginal Medical Service

National Close the Gap Campaign Launched at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation ACCHO

A national campaign highlighting the health and well-being of Indigenous people was launched in Campbelltown today.

Close the Gap Day was established to celebrate community practices that are positively affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation in Airds was chosen to host the launch due to its valuable contributions to the local community.

Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic said the event was important not just for Macarthur, but for the rest of Australia as well.

“The importance we place on everyone in our community being able to enjoy a comparable standard of life can’t be understated,” he said.

“Close the Gap Day is a reminder of the inequalities Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still face today, and a call to action for the entire community.

“The fact that the report is being launched here in Campbelltown is a great credit to our Aboriginal community leaders and the important work being done by the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation.”

South-western Sydney has the largest growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia, but the health of the community as a whole trails well behind non-Aboriginal Australians.

According to the most recent census, Aboriginal men on average live to 69 compared to non-Aboriginal men who live to 80.

Non-Aboriginal women live to 84 compared to Aboriginal women who live to 73.

The 2019 Close the Gap report, “Our Choices, Our Voices”, was released this morning.

The report, prepared by the Lowitja Institute, is being released at a community event at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation – Aboriginal Medical Service South Western Sydney, as part of National Close the Gap day events around the country.

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples co-chair Rod Little said the report highlighted the incredible work being carried out by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“The stories in the report clearly demonstrate that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are involved in the design and delivery of the services they need, we are far more likely to succeed,” he said.

The report comes one month after the Commonwealth Government’s Closing the Gap report was tabled in federal parliament, showing a lack of progress on most targets.

In his address, Prime Minister Scott Morrison restated the government’s commitment to work collaboratively in a formal partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Mr Little said he hoped National Close the Gap Day would encourage further commitment to address the challenge of health inequality.

“Health outcomes and life expectancy in Aboriginal communities are affected by many different factors, such as housing, educational opportunity, access to community-controlled primary health services, a culturally safe workforce, racism, and trauma and healing,” he said.

“I want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have the same opportunity to live full and healthy lives, like all other Australians.

“We are optimistic that by supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led initiatives and a commitment to working in genuine partnership, that we can close the gap.”

Download the CTG report HERE

ctg2019_final2_web

ACCHO CTG Stakeholders

1.AHHA

‘Today is National Close the Gap Day—and to truly close that gap we badly need a refreshed focus on the social determinants of health, including income, education, racism and intergenerational trauma’, says Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven

‘These factors account for over one-half of the difference in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians.

‘To reduce such inequities, as a nation we need to have concrete action on things many non-Indigenous Australians take for granted. Things such as quality housing, effective education, jobs, community activities, access to healthy food and clean water, and access to appropriate healthcare.

‘When we say “appropriate healthcare” we mean more than medically appropriate—we mean culturally safe healthcare services.

‘When dealing with the healthcare sector Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should feel safe and secure in their identity, culture and community. There should be no challenge to whether they should be able to access culturally safe services. Whether a service is “culturally safe” or not needs to be determined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people themselves.

‘In this vein, we have much to do in tackling institutional racism—which is different to individual racist acts, and mostly goes unacknowledged.

‘For example—a recently published study of the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant (ANZDATA) Registry showed that Indigenous patients were less likely than non-Indigenous patients to be added to the transplantation waiting list during the first year of renal replacement therapy; this disparity was not explained by differences in patient- and disease-related factors. The authors concluded that changes in policy and practice are needed to reduce these differences.

‘There was also the case of a government department providing 26 different streams of funding for various ‘body parts’ (diabetes, heart disease and so on) to a holistic Aboriginal Medical Service—and then demanding 26 different streams of accountability for the money. Apart from the unreasonable reporting load, this kind of administration is screaming “we don’t trust you” to the funding recipients—and don’t imagine that they don’t feel it.

‘We need to go right back to the original 2008 Close the Gap Statement of Intent signed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). That statement was founded on an understanding that population health outcomes are fundamentally the result of social determinants and that governments need to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their organisations to achieve beneficial outcomes.

‘The 2018 commitment by COAG to a formal partnership approach with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Close the Gap is a long overdue step in the right direction.

‘In addition to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples having a leadership role in Aboriginal health, let’s also ensure that there is strong investment in Aboriginal health services, and prioritised development of an Aboriginal health workforce to deliver both Aboriginal-specific and mainstream health services’, Ms Verhoeven said.

2. RACGP

Dr Schramm points to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) as a proven example of the success that comes with people being involved.

‘Their strength is that, as it says, they are community-controlled,’ she said. ‘They’re developed by the community, for the community.

‘So that’s the power behind them – the community have a say in how their health service is run, the programs and how it’s all going to work … [ACCHSs] set themselves up to address the needs of Aboriginal people and health, and they’re culturally safe, competent services for people to go to.’

Full Press Release HERE


Dr Tim Senior, Medical Advisor for RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, also spoke at this week’s event, emphasising the need for non-Indigenous Australians to truly consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities about what is needed to close health gaps.

‘We actually have to do much more listening than talking, particularly around issues of cultural safety.

‘This is not up to us to decide or judge, this is up to thousands of local communities around Australia to decide and judge if we are getting this right,’ Dr Senior said.

‘And then listen, and act on that.’

Taking action to achieve health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people #ClosetheGap

Dr Tim Senior, Tharawal CEO Darryl Wight, Leanne Bird, Prof Jenny Reath, and Chair RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health A/Prof Peter O’Mara at the launch of the #ClosetheGap Report at Tharawal AMS

3.RANZGP

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) supports Close the Gap Day as an important opportunity to reflect on the social and health disparities present between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

The recently released Closing the Gap Report 2019 once again showed that in many areas Australia is not making progress.

In recognition of the need for ongoing action to address the social determinants of health and the mental health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the College recently updated its Position Statement to call for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.

The RANZCP supports the establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory body to guarantee an Indigenous voice in political decision-making, as recommended in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

In order to realise truth-telling and promote health, the RANZCP also supports the establishment of a Makarrata Commission to guide the treaty process and to provide a basis for truth-telling.

The inclusion of mental health targets in any refresh to the Close the Gap strategy, designed and implemented in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, is also a crucial part of working towards achieving health equity.

For more information, see Position Statement 68: Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.

4.ACRRM

On Close the Gap Day 2019, ACRRM says it is time to build on the solutions

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) sees this Close the Gap Day as a time to focus efforts on the strategies that are successfully delivering better health outcomes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

ACRRM is a Close the Gap Campaign member and welcomes the Government’s recent commitment to progress its future work in full partnership with peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups.

Alongside this, ACRRM commits to sharpening its own efforts to contribute toward health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

ACRRM President Dr Ewen McPhee says that after 11 years of closing the gap, if we are to achieve health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by 2030, we need to build on what’s working.

“Health inequality has by most counts, worsened in the 11 years since the Close the Gap Strategy was produced,” he says.

“We need to work harder and smarter and learn from the many success stories of how community-centred, culturally-appropriate, primary-care is improving health outcomes for Australia’s first peoples.

“It is known that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients access health services more, where they feel they are culturally safe and respected and have strong relationships with practitioners, especially where there are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors and staff to support them.

“The College recognises that by ensuring our doctors are dedicated and culturally competent and, by growing and supporting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellows, we are able to make an important contribution.

“Most ACRRM doctors have significant numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and our members are practising in some of the country’s highest needs, remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Our College has more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members now than ever before and since introducing its own selection process in 2017, ACRRM has seen continuing record numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctor enrolments to its training programs.

“The College also continues to build on its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health curricula and courses to ensure our members are trained and supported to provide their medical services as effectively as possible,” Dr McPhee says

National surveys demonstrate ACRRM registrars continue to be distinguished among general practice registrars for their interest in and likelihood of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

“Today we are happy to build on the outstanding contributions of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors and all our dedicated members working in rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Dr McPhee says.

ACRRM is proud of the exceptional work of its members in serving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and sees great promise for the future in both the passion and the capacity of the doctors that it continues to attract.

5.ACEM

Emergency departments (and health systems generally) have been poor at providing culturally safe and appropriate environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

ACEM recognises that in order to help o close the gap in health outcomes emergency departments and the health system must improve our accessibility and responsiveness to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

2018 ACEM report examining the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) and non-Indigenous patients presenting to Australian emergency departments shows Indigenous patients are overrepresented, both in their number of presentations to EDs relative to their proportion of population (in remote, very remote and metropolitan areas).

For many patients, the emergency department is the front door to the health system. The experience of any patient presenting to an ED is one that may then shape their steps into specialist or other care, and their opportunities to achieve optimal health and life outcomes, so it is particularly important that the care we provide is culturally safe.

Since 2008 disparities health and life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been measured and tracked as part of the Australian Government’s Closing the Gap strategy, which has sought to identify and reduce these disparities with non-Indigenous populations of Australia.

As the government and Coalition of Australian Governments finally pursue meaningful partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, leaders and peak bodies to close these gaps, ACEM is continuing its work to build culturally safe emergency departments and an emergency medicine workforce that is responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. To achieve this, we recognise that this work needs to be led from Aboriginal communities and organisations. We must also better enable the growth and development of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander emergency specialist workforce.

The College’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Steering Group has been working to establish partnerships with key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations (such as the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association)
This year the College’s RAP Steering Group is renewing ACEM’s Innovate RAP in partnership with Reconciliation Australia. The College’s inaugural RAP was released in 2017 with design by Indigenous artist Luke Mallie. Just nine (of more than 100) deliverables in that RAP have so far not been achieved and will be reincorporated into the next RAP (2019–21), being produced by Marcus Lee Design.
The College is undertaking a broad body of work to build these relationships, including:

  • Embedding Indigenous Health and Cultural Competency into the ACEM Curriculum Framework.
  • Awarding the Joseph Epstein Scholarshipto support the training and development of an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori advanced trainee.
  • Accrediting Indigenous Health Special Skills posts for rural health.
  • Developing careers resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors working in emergency medicine.
  • Advocating for more Indigenous Health Liaison Officers to be employed in emergency departments.
  • Increasing the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees, Diplomates and  Certificants.
  • Introducing mandatory cultural competence activitiesinto its Specialist CPD program.

The action plan guides the priorities and work of the College as it continues its commitment to equity in the health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and seeks to build environments, systems and structures to support the training, development and careers of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce in emergency medicine.

6 .ABSEC

Closing the Gap will only be successful if Aboriginal communities lead the solutions according to NSW Aboriginal peak body AbSec

Currently in NSW as well as across Australia, the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal kids continues to widen across the child protection system.

In NSW, Aboriginal children are now almost 9 times more likely to be involved in the child protection system, an increase from almost 7 times for the previous year.

On Close the Gap day, it is a reminder that Aboriginal communities need to lead on the solutions to make sure that the inequalities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are addressed Tim Ireland, Chief Executive Officer at AbSec, whose goal is to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal kids in the child protection system, said:

“The gap is widening. Aboriginal children are now 11 times more likely to be removed from their families than non-Indigenous children, an increase from last year. “Closing the Gap will only be successful if Aboriginal communities lead the solutions.

We need a genuine partnership between governments and Aboriginal communities that invests in Aboriginalled solutions, designed by Aboriginal people, and delivered by Aboriginal organisations.

Only then will we have an approach that is tailored to the needs of our children, families and communities, supporting them to thrive, strong in culture and identity.”

7. Labour Party

If elected, a Shorten Labor Government will move quickly to agree on a process with First Nations people to make the Voice a reality – including a pathway to a referendum. Labor supports a Voice.

We support enshrining it in the Constitution. This is our first priority for Constitutional change.
First Nations peoples must have a say in the matters that affect their lives and policies must be co-designed with full free and prior informed consent.

Download full Press Release

Bill Shorten CTG PR

 ” A Shorten Labor Government will invest $5 million towards closing the gap in
South Australia by assisting the Port Adelaide Football Club in establishing the
Aboriginal Centre of Excellence.

The Aboriginal Centre of Excellence will help close the gap for Indigenous students
by providing boarding capacity for 50 both male and female students from metro,
rural and regional South Australia.”

Download Labour CTG Press Release

Labor Party

8. Greens Party

The Greens have today announced their election commitment to work with First Nations peoples to address Australia’s unfinished business, close the gap and achieve justice

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said a commitment to self-determination must be at the heart of closing the gap, and that this approach has been sadly lacking.

Download or Read Greens Press Release

Greens Press Release

9. RACP recognises Indigenous leadership on National Close the Gap Day

The RACP is urging all Australian people to recognise Indigenous leadership and success on National Close the Gap Day 2019.

The RACP is a founding member of the Close the Gap Campaign for Indigenous health equality, a campaign by peak Indigenous and non-Indigenous health bodies to close the health and life expectancy gap by 2030.

“We have a right to self-determination and full participation in decision-making about matters that affect us. We need to invest in and support on the ground voices and solutions. An investment in our community-controlled organisations is an investment in success,” Commissioner Oscar said.

RACP President Associate Professor Mark Lane said Indigenous leadership and community-control are central.

“Without self-determination, it is not possible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to fully overcome the legacy of colonisation and dispossession, and the ongoing impacts on health.

Professor Noel Hayman, Chair of the RACP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee, said “to make real, long-term gains in Indigenous health, the health system needs to recognise the highly skilled leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are best placed to mobilise action and build the platform for change.”

“The RACP’s focus is on improving access to medical specialists for Indigenous people, and we have great examples of where this is being done innovatively and effectively,” Professor Hayman said

10. Stroke Foundation determined to close the gap

By Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan

Read over 100 NACCHO Aboriginal Health Stroke Articles HERE

Equal access to healthcare is a basic human right, but sadly, this is not the reality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Today is Close the Gap Day – an important initiative which aims to achieve health equality within a decade.

Here at the Stroke Foundation, we believe this is a goal well worth fighting for. All Australians need and deserve to have access to best practice health care.

Currently, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are overrepresented in stroke statistics.  This is harrowing and it must change.

Indigenous Australians are twice as likely to be hospitalised with stroke and 1.5 times as likely to die from stroke than non-indigenous Australians.

A 2018 Australian National University study found one-third to a half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their 40s, 50s and 60s were at high risk of future heart attack or stroke.  Alarmingly, high levels of risk were also found in people under the age of 35.

Our vision is for a world free from disability and suffering caused by stroke, but there is so much to do in our own backyard.

Stroke Foundation is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations to improve the health outcomes of Indigenous communities. This includes access to health checks and increasing stroke awareness by delivering targeted education on what a stroke is, how to prevent it and how to spot the F.A.S.T signs of stroke.

Our commitment to establishing a national telestroke network is also a big step towards transforming emergency stroke treatment for regional and rural Australia.

Stroke can be prevented, it can be treated and it can be beaten. We must act now to stem the tide of this devastating disease by closing the gap and delivering health equality.

The facts
The burden of disease for stroke in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is 2.3 times that of non-Indigenous Australians.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 1.5 times more likely to die from stroke as non-Indigenous Australians.

11. Coalition Government 

Today is National Close the Gap Day, a day we re-affirm our commitment to delivering better outcomes for our First Australians.

The Coalition Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Scott Morrison (ScoMo) has re-framed the Government’s Closing the Gap agenda and established a new partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations as well as state and territory governments to drive the next phase of Closing the Gap.

We are committed to this because we know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians must have a say in their future and be a part of our shared efforts to improve the life outcomes of our First Australians.

That is why under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy we have doubled the percentage of Indigenous organisations receiving contracts under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

When I became Minister for Indigenous Affairs only 30 per cent of our services funded to deliver better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities were delivered by Indigenous organisations.

Today, I am proud to say that 60 per cent of our services are delivered by Indigenous organisations.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must be at the heart of our nation’s commitment to deliver a better future for all Australians including our First Australians.

#ClosetheGap #closethegap2019 #nationalclosethegapday #indigenous#IAS

ACCHO Members

Congress ACCHO

Gidgee ACCHO Mt Isa

Mallee ACCHO Victoria

It’s all happening today in the MDAS Health Mildura carpark with a BBQ for National Close the Gap Day. #closethegap #mildura #deadlychoices

Deadly Choices

Apunipima ACCHO Cape York Cover )

Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour

Closing the Gap recognition Awards
Lovely welcome by Aunty Kim

Kimberly Aboriginal  Medical Service

A message from the KAMS CEO Vicki O”Donnell on Close the Gap Day #closethegap

NACCHO Members #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : #National @IndigMaraProjct @Mayi_Kuwayu #NT Katherine West #Wurli-Wurlinjang #Sunrise ACCHO’s @HOTNORTH #QLD @Apunipima @Wuchopperen #TAS #VIC #NSWVotes2019 Both major party policies #WA @TheAHCWA #ACT

1.1 National : Indigenous Marathon Project a community focussed health initiative that uses the simple act of running as a vehicle to promote the benefits of healthy and active lifestyles. #RunSweatInspire

1.2  Mayi Kuwayu TV ads going live today March 14 in a number of ACCHO health clinics around Australia

2.1 QLD : Wuchopperen ACCHO Cairns celebrated 10 years of Mums and Bubs program

2.2 QLD : Apunipima ACCHO team continues to roll out Mental Health First Aid training and Midwife workshop on Cape York

3. NT : Katherine West, Wurli-Wurlinjang and Sunrise Health Services ACCHO’s meet with 100 health professionals to enhance communication between hospitals, primary health and public health services

4.1 NSW : NSW Labor Leader, Michael Daley and Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, David Harris, have today announced Labor’s policies to better support Aboriginal communities across NSW. Press Release

4.2 NSW : ACCHO’s in Northern NSW partner with TAFE NSW to support and service qualifications that upskill the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care workforce

5. Tas : Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre ACCHO opens new tulaminakali Health clinic in Devenport 

6. ACT : Beds at the troubled Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm are likely to lay empty for longer after the government back tracked on plans to look for a provider for a residential program by early this year.

7. WA : AHCWA  headed to Bunbury last week to deliver the Certificate II in Family Wellbeing to a group of 10 students. 

8. VIC : MDAS ACCHO : Mallee Mums find support and strength in each other

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : Indigenous Marathon Project a community focussed health initiative that uses the simple act of running as a vehicle to promote the benefits of healthy and active lifestyles. #RunSweatInspire

“ Running a marathon is one of life’s ultimate challenges. To run a marathon from some of Australia’s most remote and harshest places is truly an amazing accomplishment.

When our runners cross the finish line of the world’s biggest marathon, in the world’s biggest city, after overcoming unimaginable challenges, they know they can achieve anything.

The lessons learnt and the pride felt are taken home and used to educate and inspire others about the importance of personal pride, healthy lifestyles, good nutrition and regular physical activity,”

Rob De Castella Indigenous Marathon Project

Picture Above EMOTIONAL: Jessica Bartholomew, Cyrus Morseu and Debra Hegarty after the New York Marathon 2018

The Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) was founded in 2010 by former World Champion marathon runner Rob de Castella. IMP is not a sports program, but a community focussed health initiative that uses the simple act of running as a vehicle to promote the benefits of healthy and active lifestyles.

IMP annually selects, educates, trains and takes a group of inspirational young Indigenous men and women aged 18-30 to compete in the world’s biggest marathon – the New York Marathon.

Through this, IMP promotes the importance of healthy and active lifestyles throughout Indigenous communities, and creates Indigenous role models.

 ” Mr Fielding was running to raise money for The Purple House, an organisation that provides dialysis to some of Australia’s most remote communities.

Aside from the more than $40,000 raised so far, he wants to promote a healthy lifestyle to other Indigenous Australians.”

From ABC TV COVERAGE

From NACCHO May 2018

Starting at 4am in the APY Lands town of Indulkana, Zibeon Fielding has just finished a 62-kilometre ultramarathon.

The feat, which is about the same as running one and a half full marathons, comes just five weeks after Mr Fielding completed the Boston Marathon.

Port Macquarie March 2018

Port Macquarie last weekend welcomed three former Olympians Australian Olympians Nova Peris, Rob de Castella, Steve Moneghetti to support a new program for improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“It’s so good to see because everyone knows there is an abundance of talent in communities but minimal opportunities.

Running can change people’s lives and the IMP graduates have themselves become inspirations.

It’s a beautiful thing to see with Port Macquarie getting behind it.”

Olympian Nova Peris pictured below with Charlie Maher said the Bush to Beach Project was awesome : 

WATCH VIDEO \

Additional Text and Photo Port Macquarie News

“The project enables participants to visit the partner community in recognition of their commitment, Providing the opportunity to learn and share culture, experiences and stories with one and another while working towards creating change.

This is the first year of the program and we are proud to have the young Ntaria participants visiting Port Macquarie in March for the 2019 Port Macquarie Running Festival.

“In order to make sure the program is sustainable and can make lasting change for many years ahead we are holding a fundraiser in conjunction with the Port Macquarie Running Festival. ”

Charlie Maher Ambassador

NACCHO’s Social Media editor Colin Cowell promoted the project nationally and attended the lunch on Saturday, March 9 fundraising to support the Bush to Beach Project.

The founder of Bush to Beach Charlie Maher said around $6000 was raised from the event.

Mr Maher was emotional in his speech at the fundraiser saying he was blown away by the support.

He said it had been a “real experience” having kids from his hometown of Hermannsburg visit.

Mr Maher said friendships were formed between the participants of the program from Port Macquarie and Hermannsburg.

“Our kids realised how much they had,” he said.

“We are trying to teach them to always be grateful, humble and appreciate what you have.”

The is the first of two visits of by the Northern Territory participants to Port Macquarie.

They will return in September.

The Port Macquarie participants of Bush to Beach will visit Hemmannsburg next month (April).

1.2  Mayi Kuwayu TV ads going live today March 14 in a number of ACCHO health clinics around Australia

Mayi Kuwayu is a major new study that will provide a far greater understanding of the value of culture for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Mayi Kuwayu Study looks at how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing is linked to things like connection to country, cultural practices, spirituality and language use.

Our research team will follow a large number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and ask about their culture and wellbeing. As a longitudinal study, we will survey people and then ask them to take the same survey every few years, so that we can understand what influences changes over time.

This is the first time a national study of this type has been done and will provide an evidence base to allow for the creation of better policies and programs.

This study has been created by and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled research resource.

The Mayi Kuwayu team are experienced at working closely with communities across Australia, and the study has majority Aboriginal staffing and study governance (decision making) structure.

The Mayi Kuwayu launch video can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/297654156

In exactly one month, MK Study leader Ray Lovett will be running the Boston Marathon as part of his ongoing commitment to The Indigenous Marathon Foundation, a charity led by world champion and former Olympian Rob de Castella which uses running to promote health and resilience and celebrate achievement in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women.

We’ll keep you posted on what you can do to be part of Ray’s marathon effort! #ourculturescount #RunSweatInspire

By sharing your story, you can help create a better understanding of how culture affects health and wellbeing over time.

TAKE THE SURVEY 

2.1 QLD : Wuchopperen ACCHO Cairns celebrated 10 years of Mums and Bubs program

The Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program, First Time Mums, has been running for ten years this year at Wuchopperen Health Service Limited (Wuchopperen).

The First Time Mums Program is a client-centred, home visiting program providing care and support to mums pregnant with their first Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander baby until bub turns two.

The Program aims to assist first time pregnant mums and their families to develop knowledge and skills to improve the long-term health, social and economic future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

The dedicated team of Nurse Home Visitors and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Partnership Workers have completed over 5,000 home visits to clients in the past ten years, providing a culturally safe service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. The Family Partnership Workers help to promote trust and respect between the clients and their families, the broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and local health providers.

Nurse Supervisor of the First Time Mums Program at Wuchopperen, Helen Moss, says the program has made a huge difference to the lives of over 350 families since its inception in Cairns.

“Over the past ten years we have seen the program grow dramatically and help hundreds of mums and bubs, with fantastic results. While the clinical results speak for themselves, the relationships we see our team form with the clients, the mums with their babies, and the mums with each other is the most incredible part of the program.

It is such a rewarding program to be a part of, the whole team really get to know the mums and bubs on a very personal level and seeing the mothers creative positive change for themselves and their families is deeply heart-warming. Ultimately we feel their success is our success!” says Helen.

The First Time Mums program has shown the importance of ongoing support and community in the direct health outcomes of mothers and their babies.

“100% of the babies who have come through the program were fully immunised by the time they turned two, which has had a significant impact on the long-term health of the babies, and 97% of our babies were within a healthy birth weight range. This is a huge achievement and sets up a really solid base for the rest of the child’s life,” says Helen.

Birth weight is a crucial aspect of new born health, with data from Queensland Health showing in 2015‐2016, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies were 1.8 times as likely to be low birth weight compared with non‐Indigenous babies.

2.2 QLD : Apunipima ACCHO team continues to roll out Mental Health First Aid training and Midwife workshop on Cape York

Apunipima’s Social Emotional Wellbeing Community Implementation Manager, Bernard David, was in Hope Vale last week.

Bernard was delivering Mental Health First Aid Training to staff from Apunipima and Hope Vale Council.

Mental Health First Aid Training is a three day training course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

The training helps participants to identify, understand, and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.

Earlier this month a group of expectant mums in Aurukun got together to celebrate their pregnancies.

The group were invited by Apunipima’s Midwife in conjunction with the PHaMs team to share their pregnancy stories, complications and individual family challenges. It also gave the women an opportunity to discuss ways they could support each other at this exciting time.

The women hope to have another yarning session closer to the time for the women to fly out of community to deliver their babies in Cairns.

This will give them a chance to discuss ways to manage the challenges associated with being away from home for extended periods of time, their options for support services in Cairns, labour, birth and early breastfeeding and parenting.

3. NT : Katherine West, Wurli-Wurlinjang and Sunrise Health Services ACCHO’s meet with 100 health professionals to enhance communication between hospitals, primary health and public health services

 

 “We need to be mindful of how we approach research in Aboriginal communities. Research must be done in partnership and not done to Aboriginal people

Sinon Cooney from Katherine West Health Board says of research

Health experts gathered in Katherine this week 14-15 March for Hot North, a four-year National Health and Medical Research Council funded research program led by Menzies School of Health Research.

The event will bring more than 100 health professionals together from local health services, such as Katherine Hospital, Katherine West, Wurli-Wurlinjang and Sunrise Health Services to enhance communication between hospitals, primary health and public health services and to share the latest research and findings on regionally specific health concerns

This time last year a group of health experts gathered in Katherine and called for more emergency housing to help fix chronic health problems here.

A year later, the same problems remain.

Those same health experts will gather in Katherine on Thursday and Friday this week for Hot North, a four-year National Health and Medical Research Council funded research program led by Menzies School of Health Research.

This time workshop will hear about regionally important health concerns such as antimicrobial resistance, disability and ageing, diabetes in pregnancy and youth, rheumatic heart disease, and new initiatives in skin health.

The event will bring more than 100 health professionals together from local health services, such as Katherine Hospital, Katherine West, Wurli-Wurlinjang and Sunrise Health Services to enhance communication between hospitals, primary health and public health services and to share the latest research and findings on regionally specific health concerns.

Hot North director, Professor Bart Currie said a major focus of the workshops is to give researchers, clinicians and other health professionals an opportunity to network, collaborate and share research.

“It gives researchers and Katherine health professionals the opportunity to strengthen relationships and facilitate learning experiences that develop and transform health practices across northern Australia.

“By developing a community of medical researchers and clinicians, HOT NORTH is connecting a wide range of experts to address the current and future challenges facing the tropical north”, said HOT NORTH Director, Professor Bart Currie.

With 65 activities funded to date, HOT NORTH-supported research and translation is investigating a wide range of health issues facing the Indigenous people living in northern Australia.

As one of the top Aboriginal health providers in the country, Katherine Hospital plays an important role in helping to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health outcomes.

Katherine Hospital’s head physician Dr Simon Quilty said, “The Katherine region is huge, and the challenges in providing health care in this remote and tropical region, that’s bigger than Victoria and Tasmania combined, are immense.

“Not only do we have the logistic issues of servicing over 13,000 people who live in remote communities, but these people come from over 20 different tribal nations with different beliefs and expectations of health.

“HOT NORTH provides a fantastic forum for health care professionals from across the north of Australia to mix with academics engaged in remote, tropical and Indigenous health to come up with ideas of how to do things better.”

Katherine Hospital and the health clinics servicing Katherine have made significant progress over the past number of years.

It now ranks as one the top hospitals in Australia for its relationship with its Indigenous patients.

“It’s the transfer of research and practical experience into better service delivery that will help us close the gap across the north and protect the north from tropical and emerging diseases,” added Professor Currie.

Based at Menzies, HOT NORTH utilises a strong collaborative approach between researchers and community, drawing on the expertise of research professionals from eight of Australia’s leading research organisations:

  • Menzies School of Health Research
  • James Cook University
  • Telethon Kids Institute
  • Marie Bashir Institute & The University of Sydney
  • Doherty Institute & The University of Melbourne
  • South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
  • QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
  • Burnet Institute

4.1 NSW : Ten Aboriginal communities across NSW will receive significant infrastructure and service upgrades, thanks to a $55 million investment by the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government. 

 

Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell today announced the funding, which is part of the new Roads to Home program, aimed at improving the quality of life and economic opportunities in discrete Aboriginal communities.

Pictured with Roy Ah See Chair NSW ALC yesterday at Bowraville launch 

“This is about connecting with some of our isolated communities in NSW and providing them with the facilities and services that they deserve,” Mr Roberts said.

“Some of these communities are facing challenges such as emergency vehicles having difficulty locating patients due to lack of street signs, waste not being collected due to unpassable roads, and school buses being unable to reach children because of road and drainage issues.”

The investment will deliver essential road upgrades to improve the connectivity of these communities, including road surfacing, stormwater and drainage, kerbs and footpaths, street and public space lighting, and power and telecommunication upgrades.

The Government will also update land tenure rules in these communities, which have been a primary barrier to home ownership and land development.

Ms Mitchell said the upgrades will have more than just a physical effect on the local communities.

“As a Government, it is crucial we do what we can to ensure these communities have access to the same standards and ongoing maintenance as their neighbours,” Ms Mitchell said.

“These upgrades will make it easier for people to get to and from work and school, improve road safety, and allow communities to grow and start new businesses and ensure these communities have access to the same standards and ongoing maintenance as their neighbours.”

NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) Chairman Roy Ah See welcomed today’s announcement.

“This announcement will change the lives of First Australians in discrete communities for the better. This has been a priority for NSWALC, and I appreciate that the Liberals & Nationals Government has listened to and acted on our concerns,” Mr Ah See said.

“This announcement will help build up Aboriginal communities, unlock opportunities and provide the ability for many to move toward home ownership and greater economic independence. This is another example of what can be achieved when government works with Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people.”

The first 10 communities to benefit from the NSW Government’s initial $55 million investment are:

  • Bellwood Reserve, Nambucca (Nambucca Shire LGA)
  • Bowraville, Nambucca (Nambucca Shire LGA)
  • Cabarita, Forster (Mid-Coast LGA)
  • Gingie Mission, Walgett (Walgett Shire LGA)
  • Gulargambone Top, Weilan (Coonamble LGA)
  • La Perouse Mission, La Perouse (Randwick LGA)
  • Namoi Reserve, Walgett (Walgett Shire LGA)
  • Narwan Village, Armidale (Armidale Dumaresq LGA)
  • Three Ways, Griffith (Griffith LGA)
  • Wallaga Lake Koori Village, Merrimans (Eurobodalla LGA)

Work will start in these communities this year.

4.1 NSW : NSW Labor Leader, Michael Daley and Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, David Harris, have today announced Labor’s policies to better support Aboriginal communities across NSW. Press Release

 

This builds on Labor’s previous significant announcements including a pathway to negotiate a Treaty or Treaties with the First Peoples of the State.

Mr Daley said: “Labor has always acknowledged the unique cultural heritage of the First Peoples as a priority.

“The Liberals and Nationals have spent eight years paying lip service to policies in Aboriginal Affairs but they haven’t made any substantive policy or legislative changes.”

Mr Harris said: “It’s important that a NSW Labor Government continues to build on the existing relationship with the NSW Aboriginal community to achieve lasting generational change.”

Under further measures announced today, Labor will:

  • Appoint an Aboriginal Affairs Advocate for Children and Young People – The Advocate will be a voice for Aboriginal children in government policy and legislation and will work side by side with the Advocate for Children and Young People. Labor will work with Aboriginal communities to develop the role, determine its focus and make sure that it is Aboriginal-led to empower Aboriginal communities.
  • Allocate $5 million over four years to reinstate traditional burning practices – Expanding traditional burning practices will open up country for the local Aboriginal community and restore the traditional forest structure. These programs will create employment and training opportunities for Aboriginal communities.
  • Adopt the principles of Justice Reinvestment – A strategy that aims to reduce incarceration rates and improve social outcomes by directing resources into communities with high rates of imprisonment. Labor will deliver $4.5 million over four years to fund three pilot programs, which will be delivered through NGOs, and deliver a coordinating authority.
  • Make a formal apology to victims of state-sanctioned massacres in NSW – Recent research identified at least 68 massacres in NSW between 1788 and 1872, resulting in the deaths of approximately 1,653 Aboriginal people.
  • Move the Department of Aboriginal Affairs to Premier and Cabinet – This demonstrates NSW Labor’s commitment to a future Treaty Process which will need cross portfolio co-ordination at the highest level.
  • Fund the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) – The AECG is a not for profit Aboriginal organisation that provides advice on all matters relevant to education and training. Labor will deliver $4 million of additional money over four years which will enable the organisation to increase its participation in developing and supporting Aboriginal education across NSW.
  • Secure the future of the Girls Academy – Provide $3.9 million in funding over four years to secure the future of the Girls Academy, a program focused on increasing school attendance and retention rates. Currently, the Clontarf Foundation, an organisation which provides education and life skills programs to Aboriginal boys and young men, is receiving government funding. The Liberals and Nationals have failed to provide funding for a similar program for girls and women.

Labor also recommitted to:

  • Returning Me-Mel (Goat Island) to its traditional owners as a priority – Me-Mel has enormous significance to Indigenous communities and was home to the Wangal people when Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Cove in 1788. The Liberals and Nationals promised to return Me-Mel in October 2016, but the transfer has still not taken place.
  • Establishing Walama Court – A court for indigenous offenders in the District Court jurisdiction, at a time when Aboriginal incarceration rates are worse in NSW than either at the time of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody or in 2011.
  • Delivering dedicated Aboriginal Cultural and Heritage Act – NSW is the only state in Australia without standalone legislation to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage.
  • Establishing a Myall Creek massacre education and cultural centre – Providing up to $3 million to help establish an education and cultural centre at the historic Myall Creek massacre site in northern NSW, supporting one of the state’s most well-known reconciliation projects.
  • Flying the Aboriginal Flag on the Harbour Bridge – For 40 years, the Aboriginal flag has flown as a proud symbol for Indigenous Australians. A Daley Labor Government will fly the Aboriginal flag with the flags of Australia and New South Wales on the Harbour Bridge.
  • Funding up to six scholarships for Indigenous medical doctors – The scholarship will be delivered through the highly successful Shalom Gamarada Indigenous Residential Scholarship Program. This program is sponsored by Sydney’s Jewish community and Shalom College at the UNSW. It has been successful in its goal to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians through higher education and by increasing the number of Indigenous professionals, especially in the critical area of Indigenous health.

4.2 NSW : ACCHO’s in Northern NSW partner with TAFE NSW to support and service qualifications that upskill the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care workforce

THE first Indigenous cohort of health practitioners is set to graduate from TAFE.

Sixteen health care practitioners travelled from across the north coast to TAFE NSW Port Macquarie to celebrate the milestone and the finalisation of their Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Care Practice.

Originally Published HERE

Once they complete the remaining 300 workplace clinical hours of the 18-month course, they will be the first-ever student cohort in the NSW North Coast to graduate with the nationally-recognised qualification.

The students – all of whom already work as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) health practitioners and identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander – completed their sixth and final block of the course’s theory component last week. The big milestone was celebrated with a dinner at The Mercure restaurant.

TAFE NSW manager service delivery Aboriginal health, Daniel Morrison, said everyone was delighted to finish the face-to-face training blocks, each of which they travelled to TAFE NSW Port Macquarie to undertake.

“I am really proud of my students for achieving such a momentous milestone. I know they will be valuable community members with the skills and knowledge they’ve gained over the past 12 months,” he said.

“The TAFE NSW Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander Health Care Practice empowers practitioners to offer streamlined care to patients, upskilling them to provide professional practice work in a clinical setting. The overarching goal is to improve health outcomes for our communities and families.”

TAFE NSW partners with the Aboriginal Medical Service and several Local Area Health Districts to support and service qualifications that upskill the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care workforce.

5. Tas : Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre ACCHO opens new tulaminakali Health clinic in Devenport 

6. ACT : Beds at the troubled Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm are likely to lay empty for longer after the government back tracked on plans to look for a provider for a residential program by early this year.

The $12 million custom-built facility in Canberra’s Tidbinbilla Valley – opened in late 2017 – was originally designed as an eight-bed residential facility for Indigenous people.

The government controversially abandoned the Indigenous community’s proposal for a residential drug and alcohol centre after it was revealed the area was not zoned for clinical services.

However it maintained plans for a residential program on the site to facilitate a “reconnection with the land and culture”.

But more than a year after it opened, clients are still bussed to and from daily activities at the farm. Just 34 participants have taken part since it opened.

A briefing for estimates hearings prepared by ACT Health in October revealed the government planned to put a tender out for a residential program at the farm by early 2019. But the government has since confirmed those plans are on hold.

It will not decide the future of the farm until the delayed “healing framework” – which was due for completion in January 2019 – is completed and a wide ranging review is handed down in October.

The government says there are separate plans to open a residential drug and alcohol facility for the Indigenous community.

“ACT Health will consider all findings and recommendations of the review as it rolls out to determine the most appropriate next steps for the [bush healing farm],” an ACT Health spokeswoman said.

She said the work was being done in close collaboration with members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body, United Ngunnawal Elders Council as well as other stakeholders.

The government has denied the purpose of the farm was ever to include clinical services, but stakeholders have disputed that.

Winnunga Aboriginal Health Service and Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation walked away from the program in 2017 after it emerged no clinical services would actually be offered on-site.

The spokeswoman said, “The primary purpose of the [bush healing farm] is to provide an additional service to support a person’s reconnection with the land and culture and empower them to make new and more positive choices.

“The current operational model of the [bush healing farm] was not intended as a clinical model of alcohol and other drug withdrawal.

“However, the government recognises the need for Aboriginal specific services for withdrawal and rehabilitation and is at the same time progressing this work.”

The spokeswoman said that at the time of writing the estimates brief, the government anticipated the healing framework would be finalised by early 2019.

When that did not happen, the plans to put out a tender were scrapped.

“In addition, ACT Health initiated the review of the [bush healing farm] in September 2018, which will review the services, program design and delivery and governance of the facility,” she said.

“The review will build upon success and learnings to date and talk to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community about the best way forward for this service.

“The review is well underway and key stakeholders are contributing their views and aspirations for the [bush healing farm], which will inform next steps.

“During this review, further assessment will take place to determine the best way forward to provide a residential program, and the government will consider any changes as recommended by the review throughout the year.”

7. WA : AHCWA  headed to Bunbury last week to deliver the Certificate II in Family Wellbeing to a group of 10 students. 

 

Well done to everyone on the successful completion of their training

8. VIC : MDAS ACCHO : Mallee Mums find support and strength in each other


A new mum’s group at Mallee District Aboriginal Services is working with new and first-time parents to access better services – and build their mutual support networks at the same time.

The group was set up in response to suggestions from new mums last year, and organiser Maternal and Child Health Koori Maternity Services Assistant Nikita Morganson says it’s gone from strength-to-strength.

“It’s been fantastic for the mums involved to find a place and a network where they feel safe and supported,” Nikita said.

“This is a safe place where they have found they can come and yarn and be open with each other.
“We have special guests come to have conversations with the mums regarding anything to do with babies.

“We had the librarian come along to discuss the benefits of reading to baby, we also had the chemist come in to discuss myths and facts about products for babies and breastfeeding mums.”

Nikita said the group mixed formal and cultural activities, participating in sessions such as parents’ First Aid and other events within the community, with the support of one another.

“We’re also planning for Aunty Marilyne Nicholls to come along and do some cultural yarning with the mums and we’re hoping that might bring in some new faces as well,” she said.

Nikita said the mothers involved with the group were finding more confidence by supporting each other, even outside the group activities, bringing closeness and strength.

The new mums’ group is open to mums with new babies (whether first-time or not) and meets on Fridays (during school terms).

More information about what is available from the program contact Nikita Morganson at MDAS on (03) 5032 8600.

NACCHO Deadly Good Members News : Aboriginal Health #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2019 : #MorePowerfulTogether  Our tribute to our 10 Women NACCHO Board of Directors and 71 #ACCHO CEO’s of our majority female workforce

1.National : Donnella Mills – Chair NACCHO and Wuchopperen Health Service   

2.NT: Donna Ah Chee Central Australian Aboriginal Congress

3.NSW: LaVerne Bellear Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service

4.TAS: Raylene Foster Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation

5.NT: Olga Havnen Danila Dilba Health Service

6.VIC: Karen Heap Ballarat & District Aboriginal Co-operative

7.SA: Vicki Holmes Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia

8.WA: Lesley Nelson South West Aboriginal Medical Service

9.ACT: Julie Tongs Winnunga Nimmityjah Health and Community Service

10. QLD: Gail Wason Mulungu Primary Health Care Service

Aboriginal women are the best advocates and leaders for health and wellbeing in their own families and in the broader community.

They are proving to be effective role models, mentors and influencers for the next generation of Aboriginal female leaders.

Recently NACCHO CEO Pat Turner told a women’s leadership summit

As mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters and daughters, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have culturally and historically always played a pivotal role in supporting and caring for families in our communities so working in the health sector was a natural progression.

For over 47 years Indigenous health activists like Dr Naomi Mayers, Coleen Shirley (Mum Shirl) Smith AM MBE, Jill Gallagher AO, Vicki O’Donnell, Pamela Mam, and the late Mary Buckskin have been just some of our leaders who have successfully advocated for community controlled, culturally respectful, needs based approach to improving the health and wellbeing outcomes of our people.

See previous NACCHO #IWD Tribute HERE 

As a result of their leadership and years of commitment as role models they have now paved the way for 10 women to be on the NACCHO board, 71 Indigenous women promoted to CEO’s out of 145 Organisations who employ over 6,000 staff with a majority being Indigenous woman

Our ACCHO network has successfully provided a critical and practical pathway for the education, training and employment for many Indigenous women.But much more needs to be done to develop viable career pathways to graduate more Indigenous women doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.

Last year NACCHO, RANZCOG and other medical college Presidents met with the Minister for Indigenous Health and other ministers in Canberra who are all determined to do everything possible to Close the Gap in health outcomes.

Creating career pathways for Indigenous women in our workforce will be a good starting point to continue supporting the theme ” More powerful together ”

1.National : Donnella Mills – Chair NACCHO and Wuchopperen Health Service QLD 

Donnella is a Torres Strait Islander woman with ancestral and family links to Masig and Nagir in the Torres Strait.

She is a Cairns–based lawyer with LawRight, a Community Legal Centre which coordinates the provision of pro-bono civil legal services to disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community. Donnella is currently the project lawyer for the Wuchopperen Health Justice Partnership through a partnership with LawRight. This innovative Health Justice Partnership is an exciting model of providing access to justice, where lawyers and health professionals collaborate to provide better health outcomes and access to justice for patients with legal issues.

Donnella said she was “very excited about the opportunity to contribute to working the new Chairperson, the new board and the NACCHO Executive to drive the national health debate, develop community led solution, and to champion why Community-Controlled is the pinnacle model in achieving greater autonomy and self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Utilising a legal lens in which to view health, social justice, human rights, and access to justice, my commitment is to deliver expanded and enhanced innovative health services that are community driven and community led, addressing core systemic social determinant issues that have a direct impact on our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

2.NT: Donna Ah Chee CEO Central Australian Aboriginal Congress

Ms Ah Chee is the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation, the Aboriginal community controlled primary health care service in Alice Springs.

Ms Ah Chee is a Bundgalung woman from the far north coast of New South Wales and has lived in Alice Springs for over 25 years.

She has been actively involved in Aboriginal affairs for many years, especially in the area of Aboriginal adult education and Aboriginal health. In June 2011, Ms Ah Chee moved to Canberra to take up the position of Chief Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation before returning to Congress in July 2012.

Ms Ah Chee convened the Workforce Working Party under the Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Forum, was Chairperson of the Central Australian Regional Indigenous Health Planning Committee, a member of the Northern Territory Child Protection External Monitoring Committee and jointly headed up the Northern Territory Government’s Alcohol Framework Project Team.

She currently sits on the National Drug and Alcohol Committee and at a local level, represents the Congress on the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition.

3.NSW: LaVerne Bellear CEO Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service

LaVerne Bellear a descendant from the Nunukle Tribe of south-eastern Queensland, grew up in the northern part of the Bundjalung Nation (north coast New South Wales).

LaVerne strongly believes that empowering Aboriginal people will create opportunity to make better informed decisions and choices regarding personal management of health care, ultimately resulting in better health outcomes. LaVerne has extensive experience in Aboriginal health, having worked in community health, Aboriginal controlled health services and as the Director, Aboriginal Health, Northern Sydney Local Health District.

Recently, LaVerne has taken up the position of CEO, Aboriginal Medical Service Cooperative at Redfern, New South Wales.

She has been a state representative on a number of working parties and committees concerning Aboriginal health. LaVerne has a Bachelor of Business, a Professional Certificate in Indigenous Research in Training and Practices and is studying a Master of Public Health at The University of New South Wales.

4.TAS: Raylene Foster Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation

Raylene Foster is a palawa women from the Cygnet area. She commenced her career in hospitality, becoming a chef, and then moved into adult teaching within the TAFE institute.

Raylene took on a six-month secondment to Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in 1995 and stayed; she has now been with the TAC for over 20 years

She’s had varying roles within the TAC, including the Director of the Aboriginal Community School, Workforce Development Officer, Emotional and Social Wellbeing Coordinator and over the past 15 years the Manager of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in the South, which includes the Aboriginal Health Service.

Raylene has a Graduate Certificate in Administration and an Advanced Diploma in Human Resources, as well as Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs and Mental Health and a facilitator in the SMART Recovery program. Raylene is passionate about children’s wellbeing and keeping families connected to break the cycle of institutionalisation, separations and trauma-related illnesses.

Raylene’s Abstract For This Months Rural Health Conference in Hobart 

See Website 

The Aboriginal cultural camp was an initiative that commenced in 2016 for Tasmanian registrars, GPs and members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community. We wanted to go beyond the basic requirements of attendance at cultural training, to offer an immersion in to Aboriginal culture, on Aboriginal country, with mutual benefit for the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.

The camp is held annually at trawtha makuminya, Aboriginal-owned land in the Central Highlands of Tasmania, from a Friday afternoon until a Sunday afternoon. Registrars, General Practitioners, Practice Staff and General Practice Training Tasmania staff and family members attend, in addition to the TAC staff Camp Organisers and Caterers, Cultural and Land Educators, Elders and community members.

The weekend involves an official welcome speech, dance and music, yarning around the campfire, guided walks with discussion about Aboriginal history, the land and stone tools, kayaking, basket weaving, hand stencilling, clap stick making, and a session of “You Can’t Ask That”. There is a medical education session and participants hear from an Aboriginal Health Worker and Aboriginal Enrolled Nurse about the services offered by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

There is a lot of informal discussion about culture and life stories shared by both the adults and the children.

The feedback given to date, both informally and through the evaluation forms, is overwhelmingly positive. Participants value the beautiful location, the opportunity to spend time with community members outside the clinical setting, the obvious connection to country displayed by the Aboriginal community and the sharing of stories in a cultural exchange.

5.NT: Olga Havnen CEO Danila Dilba Health Service Darwin 

Olga is of Western Arrente descent and grew up in Tennant Creek. Her great-grandfather was Ah Hong, a Chinese cook who worked on the Overland Telegraph Line[2] whose partner was an Aboriginal woman in Alice Springs.

Their daughter Gloria, Havnen’s grandmother, was the first Aboriginal woman to own a house in Alice Springs. Havnen’s father was a Norwegian sailor who jumped ship in Adelaide and her mother, Pegg lived in Tennant Creek. Havnen went to boarding school in TownsvilleQueensland.[3]

Olga Havnen has held positions as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs Co-ordinator for the Australian Red Cross, Senior Policy Officer in the Northern Territory Government’s Indigenous Policy Unit, Indigenous Programs Director with the Fred Hollows Foundation, and Executive Officer with the National Indigenous Working Group.

And was the Coordinator General of Remote Service Provision from 2011 until October 2012, when the Northern Territory Government controversially abolished the position.[4]

She released one report which detailed deficiencies in Northern Territory and Commonwealth Government’s service provision to remote communities in the Northern Territory.[5]

She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin, an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.[1]

Havnen gave evidence at the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory critical of the outcomes and delivery of the Northern Territory National Emergency Response, commonly referred to as the Intervention stating “the experience of the Intervention was such a debacle you’d never want that repeated, but I do think that there is a role for the federal government in here in the Northern Territory”,

6.VIC: Karen Heap Ballarat & District Aboriginal Co-operative : Chair VACCHO 

Karen Heap, a Yorta Yorta woman, has been the CEO of Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative for 12 years and brings with her a vast amount of knowledge and skillsets procured from extensive experience within the Aboriginal Service Sector.

Karen Heap was recently the winner of the Walda Blow Award ( pictured above )

This award was established by DHHS in partnership with the Victorian Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, in memory of Aunty Walda Blow – a proud Yorta

Yorta and Wemba Wemba Elder who lived her life in the pursuit of equality.

Aunty Walda was an early founder of the Dandenong and District Aboriginal Cooperative and worked for over 40 years improving the lives of the Aboriginal community. This award recognises contributions of an Aboriginal person in Victoria to the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

Karen ensures the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and young people are always front and centre.

Karen has personally committed her support to the Ballarat Community through establishing and continuously advocating for innovative prevention, intervention and reunification programs.

As the inaugural Chairperson of the Alliance, Karen contributions to establishing the identity and achieving multiple outcomes in the Alliance Strategic Plan is celebrated by her peers and recognised by the community service sector and DHHS.

Karen’s leadership in community but particularly for BADAC, has seen new ways of delivering cultural models of care to Aboriginal children, carers and their families, ensuring a holistic service is provided to best meet the needs of each individual and in turn benefit the community.

7.SA: Vicki Holmes Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia

Vicki Holmes is an Aboriginal woman descended from the Tanganekald and Western Aranda clan. Vicki has been with Nunkuwarrin Yunti for 32 years where she has had many roles; her first position was the medical receptionist but she also did whatever was needed including home visits, transport and hospital visits.

In 1986, Vicki became the Health Coordinator and while in this role programs such as women’s health, HIV, diabetes, mental health and social/welfare support expanded and developed. In 2010, Vicki became the CEO of Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia. As CEO of Nunkuwarrin Yunti, she holds positions on the Boards of NACCHO, the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, Research Excellence in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health (REACCH), and First Peoples National Congress.

Her vision for Nunkuwarrin Yunti is around what she calls the four Cs: Community, Communication, Caring, Consistency. Vicki has always been passionate about the social and emotional wellbeing of the Aboriginal community.

8.WA: Lesley Nelson CEO South West Aboriginal Medical Service

SWAMS are united by the drive and passion to provide culturally safe, accessible and holistic health care to the Aboriginal people of the South West. WA

As an organisation, they continue to attract and employ culturally appropriate and professional staff members. SWAMS employs over 70 staff members including specialist Aboriginal Health Practitioners, Dietitians, Nurses, Midwives, Mental Health workers and Social Workers and because of this, we are able to provide a large and diverse range of services to the community.

In addition to this, they strive to create Aboriginal career pathways and opportunities across the sector and maintain a positive percentage of ATSI employees

Last year as preparations got underway for the South West Aboriginal Medical Service’s 20th anniversary, centre chief executive officer Lesley Nelson has reflected on how far indigenous health has advanced in the South West in that time.

Ms Nelson said the centre started small with a handful of staff and a desire to improve Aboriginal health outcomes in the region.

Over the next 20 years, it expanded with clinics in Bunbury, Busselton, Manjimup, Collie and Brunswick.

“We started after local elders held discussions with a number of key groups about developing a culturally appropriate service to address the health-related issues of the South West’s Indigenous population,” she said.

“Since then we’ve gone from strength-to-strength, offering a number of employment opportunities in the sector, training programs and improved health outcomes.”

Ms Nelson said the local service played an important role in the community.

“Being based in a number of country towns ensured locals can access our services conveniently, especially if they lack transport options to the bigger cities,” she said.

“We offer an important service because we intervene and manage issues early on and slowly we are improving the health of the South West Noongar people.

“We are also standing out nationally when it comes to maternal and child health.”

Moving forward, SWAMS are keen to continue growing, participating in more research studies and working collaboratively with other similar services to offer a whole of community approach to improved health.

9.ACT: Julie Tongs Winnunga Nimmityjah Health and Community Service

Julie Tongs OAM has been the Chief Executive Officer of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services since 1998.  Julie has more than 30 years experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs and in particular has extensive experience in advising, formulating, implementing and evaluating public health initiatives, programs and policy at a local, regional and national level.

Julie has been a national leader and strong advocate of quality improvement initiatives within the Aboriginal Community Controlled sector.

Julie is the recipient of a number of awards, including the ACT Governor General’s Centenary Medal and the ACT Indigenous Person of the Year. In 2011 Julie received the ACT Local Hero Award within the Australian of the Year Awards 2012, and in 2012 Julie was honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Julie’s vision is that Winnunga continues to build on its reputation as a national leader in the provision of holistic primary health care services delivered in a culturally appropriate environment that achieves improved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Julie is committed to ensuring that Winnunga offers services that are delivered consistent with best practice standards.

10 .QLD: Gail Wason Mulungu Primary Health Care Service

We see the best way to build capacity and capability within our corporation is by encouraging strong leaders, maintaining effective governance, ensuring strong systems, and keeping focused on accountable performance management.

Mulungu help our clients to make informed decisions. We work in health but we also work across education and job opportunities. Our model supports individuals who want to do the best for themselves, their family and their community.’

CEO Gail Wason.

Gail is the Chief Executive Officer of Mulungu Primary Health Care Service in Mareeba. She has over 25 years’ experience in Aboriginal affairs and health, and an unwavering commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of her community.

Gail strives to ensure that the community has access to the full range of high quality, culturally appropriate primary health care services that empowers clients to fully participate in the management of their own health.

She has served as QAIHC’s Far North Queensland Director and Chairperson of QAIHC’s Finance Committee and has worked closely with the Board for many years.

Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre is an Aboriginal community-controlled health organisation working to improve the lives of Indigenous people in and around Mareeba.

The centre was established in 1991 and incorporated under the CATSI Act in 1993.

The rural town of Mareeba—a word from local Aboriginal language meaning ‘meeting of the waters’—is located on the Atherton Tablelands where the Barron River meets Granite Creek. Traditionally Muluridji people inhabited this land.

‘Although the bright lights of Cairns are only 65 kilometres away we feel like a stand-alone, small country town,’ says chair of the Mulungu board of directors (and valued volunteer) Alan Wason. ‘We have a population of 10,000 and our own identity separate from Cairns.’

The town of Mareeba may be a little tucked away but it has much to offer, including Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre—a bright, open, modern building—which employs a large professional staff who work as a team and support each other. Everyone is passionate about providing top quality holistic health care to the community through Mulungu’s programs and services.

Mulungu’s mission is to provide comprehensive primary health care to the community in culturally, socially and emotionally appropriate ways. It’s about handing back power to the people to manage their own health, wellbeing and spiritual needs. So as well as providing clinical health care services Mulungu ‘auspices’ other important primary health care programs, including the Mareeba Children and Families Centre (CFC), Mareeba Parent and Community Engagement (PaCE) Program, and the Mareeba Young and Awesome Project (MY&A).

The MY&A Project tackles the problem of binge drinking in the community. Its aim is to motivate young people (aged 12 to 25) to get involved in constructive activities that they might enjoy—and to get them away from drinking alcohol. This two-year project is funded by the Australian Government.

‘We help our clients to make informed decisions,’ says Gail Wason. ‘We work in health but we also work across education and job opportunities. Our model supports individuals who want to do the best for themselves, their family and their community.’

It’s all about changing and improving lives.

To learn more about Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service visit http://mulungu.org.au.

 

 

 

NACCHO Members #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : #NT @AMSANTaus @DanilaDilba @CAACongress #QLD #Gidgee Healing @DeadlyChoices @Wuchopperen #TAS #VIC Wathaurong ACCHO @VAHS1972 #NSW Katungul #WA @TheAHCWA #ACT

1.1 National : NACCHO Acting Chair, Ms Donnella Mills welcomes announcement of a $125 million Indigenous Health Research Fund over the next ten years 

1.2 National : The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (HealthInfoNet) is a leading online source of knowledge and information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

2.1. VIC : Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) ACCHO see red for a good cause

2.2 Vic: Victorian Aboriginal Health (VAHS) promotes health services to Melbourne Uni Indigenous Students

2.3 Vic : Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op Week 1 of #iDareYa with Spark Health discussing health and goal setting.

3.1 QLD : Congratulations to the Apunipima ACCHO team in Aurukun NFQ who completed Mental Health First Aid training in community last week.

3.2 QLD : Gidgee Healing ACCHO Allied Health Exercise Physiologist runs WIO (Work it Out) program

3.3 QLD : Wuchopperen Health Service Limited (Wuchopperen) Diabetes Education Program on the Rise in Cairns

3.4 QLD : St.George Queensland Reds today announces a partnership with Deadly Choices, the preventative health program of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.

4.1 WA: Wangkatjungka community in the remote Kimberley are now able to access important health services in a $3.66 million brand new clinic

4.2 WA : AHCWA and  Ngangganawili Aboriginal Health Service run men’s and women’s sexual health workshops at remote Wiluna 

5.1 NT : AMSANT : Central Australia Academic Health Science Network [CAASHN], John Paterson praises the Commonwealth funding announcement $125 million over 10 years 

5.2 NT Danila Dilba/Deadly Choices ACCHO hosted a game of (EDOR) at Casuarina Senior College with participants from STARS Foundation and Army Regiment 1 CSR.

5.3 NT : Team Congress ACCHO at the ASR&WC run

6. NSW : Katungul’s ACCHO : ‘Strong Women’s Program’ is an inclusive, holistic health program that brings together women from our local community aged 45+ on a weekly basis to improve physical, social and emotional well being.

7. ACT : Another step forward – signing of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement

8. TAS: palawa kani to run a stall and workshops at Hobart Language Day / International year of Indigenous Languages

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : NACCHO Acting Chair, Ms Donnella Mills welcomes announcement of a $125 million Indigenous Health Research Fund over the next ten years 

“ NACCHO has always supported Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands, and we have always included health research in that call.

This is a first step in recognising that evidence-based research in the hands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers is a real game changer in investment in the health of our people and our communities.

NACCHO looks forward to working in partnership to achieve practical benefits in research, and the translation of that research into real action on the ground.”

Yesterdays announcement of a $125 million Indigenous Health Research Fund over the next ten years has been welcomed by NACCHO Acting Chair, Ms Donnella Mills.

Read or download the full NACCHO Press Release 

NACCHO Press Release Indigenous Futures Health Announcement

1.2 National : The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (HealthInfoNet) is a leading online source of knowledge and information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

The nationally used web resource has been acknowledged as an essential element of infrastructure contributing to Australia’s efforts to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

The HealthInfoNet is the first resource of its kind in the world and is guided by strong commitments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.

The HealthInfoNet publishes a number of newsletters to keep health professionals up to date with reports, health promotion and health practice resources along with tools to help staff carry out their roles.

Follow this link to see the latest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers newsletter or sign up to our other health topic newsletters.

CLICK HERE 

NACCHO is a HealthInfoNet Advisory Board member and would welcome your feedback about how our ACCHO’s can be better supported by this site :

CONTACT NACCHO

2.1. VIC : Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) ACCHO see red for a good cause

There was a distinct shade of red at Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) on last week – and not just because it was Valentine’s Day.

It was also Wear Red Day with staff at MDAS getting into the spirit of the Heart Research Australia awareness day.

“Heart Disease is still the leading cause of death in Australia- but is also a disease that is largely affected by lifestyle,” MDAS allied health co-ordinator Crystal Kirby said.

“We’ve got some fantastic programs getting under way that focus on lifestyle change, so we thought it was a great opportunity to raise some awareness and get the community on board.”

Ms Kirby said MDAS had two eight-week programs starting to target heart health a “Kicking Butts” quit smoking program and a “Road to Deadly Health” program for people living the chronic disease.

MDAS is also restarting its weekly Heart Foundation walking group.

“By improving your lifestyle, including your diet and level of fitness, you can minimise your risk of getting cardiovascular disease,” Ms Kirby said.

Heart disease kills one Australian every 28 minutes and Heart Foundation research shows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 70 per cent more likely to die from circulatory diseases.

Heart Health Australia’s Wear Red Day raises funds for research and everyone dressing in red at MDAS this week made a gold coin donation to the cause.

2.2 Vic: Victorian Aboriginal Health (VAHS) promotes health services to Melbourne Uni Indigenous Students

Bonnie and Lena are at their old stomping ground this morning at Melbourne Uni sharing what services VAHS has to offer to all the new Indigenous students!

#StaySmokeFree #DeadlyChoices #BePositive

2.3 Vic : Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op Week 1 of #iDareYa with Spark Health discussing health and goal setting.

They also checked in with Wathaurong Health Team in the clinic and did our fitness testing.

Keeping in mind the whole time we are measuring change not results over the 6 weeks.

3.1 QLD : Congratulations to the Apunipima ACCHO team in Aurukun NFQ who completed Mental Health First Aid training in community last week.

This week, Apunimpima’s Aurukun facility was the venue for a three day training course on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid. The course provides skills and techniques for assisting and supporting people who are developing a mental health problem, experiecing worsening of an existing mental health problem, or in a mental health crisis.

This nationally accredited course was co-facilitated by Bernard David, Apunipima’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing Program Community Implementation Manager and Theresa Elliot from National Employment Services Association.

As well as Apunipima staff, the course was also open to community members and staff from local community organisations.

Further Mental Health First Aid training courses are already planned in Coen, Hope Vale, Napranum and Mapoon.

3.2 QLD : Gidgee Healing ACCHO Allied Health Exercise Physiologist runs WIO (Work it Out) program

The photo below is from the WIO (Work it Out) program that our Gidgee Healing Allied Health Exercise Physiologist – Asher Pomerenke and Tayla West Chong – AHA runs weekly.

If people don’t know what the Work It Out program supports, is for Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander people who have been diagnosed or are at risk of having a Chronic Disease.

The program is delivered by Allied Health professionals, working together to support each client’s health journey through chronic disease self-management and rehabilitation.

By coming to Work It Out, our clients have seen improvements in their
– confidence in managing their health and wellness
cardiovascular fitness
– balance and movement in day to day tasks
– mental health and well being

If you think you would like to be apart of this program please, make an appointment to see one of our doctors, to get a referral to the Work It Out program.

3.3 QLD : Wuchopperen Health Service Limited (Wuchopperen) Diabetes Education Program on the Rise in Cairns

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Cairns region seeking diabetes education at Wuchopperen Health Service Limited (Wuchopperen) has increased by 36% in 2018 according to data from the Cairns based Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.

Wuchopperen is home to a number of Allied Health professionals including a diabetes educator, dietician, podiatrist, optometrist and exercise physiologist who work in partnership to create plans with our clients who are currently living with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes.

Diabetes Educator for Wuchopperen, Tony Pappas says it is encouraging to see clients find value in attending the Allied Health education sessions increasing in the community.

“Diabetes is such an enormous issue for people in Cairns and it is really important to manage the risk early. The Wuchopperen Diabetes Education Sessions aren’t just for people who are already living with diabetes, they can be a great tool for those at risk of developing diabetes too. Understanding how to reduce your risk of diabetes is essential if we are going to see a reduction in our trend towards unhealthy lifestyles and the detrimental impacts this can have on our overall wellbeing.

Taking simple steps like reducing our intake of sugary drinks, adding exercise to your daily life and making healthy food choices can have a huge impact on your likelihood of developing diabetes.

Having less sugary drinks and food also supports healthy teeth, healthy skin and healthy weight,” says Tony.

During the Diabetes Education Sessions, clients are able to discuss any issues they might be having managing their diabetes or changing their habits. The ultimate goal of these sessions is to work with clients on preventing diabetes. Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves, effect your vision and increase your risk of amputation, stroke, kidney damage and puts you at a greater risk of heart attack.

“Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic illness in the world and a variety of studies have shown it effects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people more acutely, specifically in regard to type 2 diabetes.

At Wuchopperen we want to work with all our clients to put their health in their hands and provide holistic services. We provide clients with wrap around services and are able to link our clients with our vast number of services to ensure they are getting the most out of our comprehensive, holistic health service, and education plays a huge role in that,” says Tony.

3.4 QLD : St.George Queensland Reds today announces a partnership with Deadly Choices, the preventative health program of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.

The Reds and the Queensland Rugby Union will help deliver the program throughout the State. For the past eight years the QRU has run a successful mentoring program for Indigenous students in the communities of Cherbourg, Woorabindah and Yarrabah.

Reds players Moses Sorovi, from Yam Island in the Torres Strait, and Duncan Paia’aua will be ambassadors for Deadly Choices.

Queensland Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, The Hon. Dr Steven Miles MP launched the partnership last night, the first time a rugby union team has been part of the ground-breaking initiative.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s $16 million expansion of the Deadly Choices Healthy Lifestyle Program is a commitment to positive change among Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” confirmed Minister Miles.

“It’s about closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Queenslanders and we commend the Queensland Reds for adding Deadly Choices to its existing Indigenous engagement portfolio.

“The rollout of Deadly Choices has the potential to reach approximately 165,000 individuals, which speaks volumes for the outstanding possibilities of the Queensland Reds-Deadly Choices partnership.”

Queensland Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer David Hanham said: “This is a natural extension of the great work the QRU has been doing in Indigenous communities for almost a decade.

“Deadly Choices is an inspiring program and we look forward to being part of that inspiration.”

Moses Sorovi said: “I feel very proud playing in our Indigenous jersey and it’s going to be really inspiring for us as layers to see kids wearing that jersey as part of the Deadly Choices program.”

IUIH CEO Adrian Carson said:  “This partnership will bring life-changing benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples right across Queensland.

“Moses, Duncan and the entire Reds squad will assist in educating youth about the importance of taking a preventative approach to their health, and living healthy lifestyles. This includes reducing the negative impacts of smoking and drinking alcohol, and advocating consistent attendance at school.

“It provides the kids a chance to make positive decisions around being a deadly student. It’s about our young ones looking at the opportunities available, with education being the passport towards achieving their dreams.”

 

4.1 WA: Wangkatjungka community in the remote Kimberley are now able to access important health services in a $3.66 million brand new clinic

Residents of the Wangkatjungka community in the remote Kimberley are now able to access important health services in a brand new clinic.

The $3.66 million expanded Wangkatjungka Health Centre is a fit-for-purpose and culturally secure clinic that will transform the way patients access hospital treatment and clinic appointments.

New clinic offers culturally appropriate and secure care for Aboriginal patients

Additions include private consult rooms, a resuscitation bay and pathology services

  Clinic includes family room with area set aside for elders to prepare bush medicines

It includes a separate emergency resuscitation bay with its own pathology space, three consult rooms, a family group room and separate waiting areas for men and women. There is also a purpose-built ambulance bay and ramp at the front of the building, plus future capacity in the design for home dialysis treatment.

The family group room will enable families to come together to discuss healthcare treatment, and includes a sink and bench to allow for the preparation of bush medicine by elders and family members.

The layout has been carefully planned so that men and women can be seen and treated in completely separate spaces, if required, for cultural security.

The clinic is open Monday to Thursday from 10am-2pm, with registered nurses providing acute and emergency treatment along with regular appointments for maternal and child health, immunisations, sexual and reproductive health, chronic conditions and other services.

Visiting community health nurses and GPs provide weekly and fortnightly clinics for a range of important services including mental health, child health and midwifery. Wangkatjungka’s regular visiting dental, paediatric, renal and ear, nose and throat clinics will also be held at the new centre.

The Wangkatjungka Health Centre is part of a $22.2 million project to upgrade eight Aboriginal clinics in some of the most remote communities in Western Australia. Clinics have already been completed in Bayulu, Noonkanbah, Mulan and Billiluna in the Kimberley and Yandeyarra in the Pilbara. The Jigalong and Looma clinic upgrades are expected to be completed in 2019.

As noted by Health Minister Roger Cook:

“The new clinic is a modern and welcoming place for the local Aboriginal community to receive healthcare, and I am pleased to hear that the first patients have already been through the doors.

“We know that providing healthcare that offers appropriate cultural security to Aboriginal patients encourages people to seek treatment when they otherwise might not. This results in short and long-term health benefits.”

As noted by Kimberley MLA Josie Farrer:

“The local WA Country Health Service team has worked closely with the Wangkatjungka community on every aspect of the design and fit-out of this new health centre to ensure the community will feel safe, secure, respected and welcome.

“I am pleased the residents in this remote community have a new fit-for-purpose and culturally secure clinic, it will transform the way they access healthcare close to home.”

4.2 WA : AHCWA and  Ngangganawili Aboriginal Health Service run men’s and women’s sexual health workshops at remote Wiluna 

Luke and Meagan have been out and about again, this time heading back to Wiluna to support three Young Deadly Free (YDF) Educators to run men’s and women’s sexual health workshops at Ngangganawili Aboriginal Health Service.
The program is gaining momentum with 22 community members attending the workshops. Fantastic work by the YDF Educators, one of the biggest turnouts ever!

5.1 NT : AMSANT : Central Australia Academic Health Science Network [CAASHN], John Paterson praises the Commonwealth funding announcement $125 million over 10 years 

The Chairperson of the Central Australia Academic Health Science Network [CAASHN], John Paterson, has praised the Commonwealth announcement today of a $125 million over 10 years boost to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research.

“Minister Hunt’s announcement today puts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research into our hands—into the hands of community controlled health research and delivery,” said Mr Paterson.

“In years to come, this will be acknowledged as a major shift in the way in which research is governed, and will set benchmarks in how research is initiated, how it is developed, how it is carried out and how research results are implemented.

“This new decade-long approach will set best practice for the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research across the nation—and as a national program we will truly see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research without borders.

“For the first time, as well, Minister Hunt cited tackling the social determinants of health as a key issue in Closing the Gap in health outcomes—a profound acknowledgement of the root causes of so much that faces our people.

“For years so much of research into the health of our people has been carried out by major research institutes and universities. While these groups have increasingly recognised the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander input, this Indigenous Health Research Fund now sets best practice in putting our people at the forefront.”

The $25 million fund will be directed by an Aboriginal task force led by Dr Alex Brown from SAHMRI in Adelaide and Professor Misty Jenkins from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne with representation from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled sector.

5.2 NT Danila Dilba/Deadly Choices ACCHO hosted a game of (EDOR) at Casuarina Senior College with participants from STARS Foundation and Army Regiment 1 CSR.

This gave both organisations exposure towards Traditional Indigenous games which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Danila Dilba/Deadly Choices are working with the STARS Foundation and Army Regiment 1 CSR to support and enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women to make healthy and active choices towards realising their full potential in all aspects of their development and wellbeing. #deadlychoices

5.3 NT : Team Congress ACCHO at the ASR&WC run

6. NSW : Katungul’s ACCHO : ‘Strong Women’s Program’ is an inclusive, holistic health program that brings together women from our local community aged 45+ on a weekly basis to improve physical, social and emotional well being.

Elements of the program include weekly sessions at the gym with qualified trainers through to catered lunches, arts and crafts and everything in between.

This program is kicking off in March so if you or someone you know might be interested, give Christine a call on 0455 100 650 or 02 4476 2155.

 

7. ACT : Another step forward – signing of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement

The partnership between Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the ACT Government continues to strengthen with the formal signing of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2019-2028. 

The Agreement, signed today, builds on the strength of the previous Agreement (2015-2018) and sets the long term direction in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs in the ACT. It outlines how the ACT Government, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and our non-government partners will work together to meet the social, cultural and economic needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Chief Minister, Andrew Barr; Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Rachel Stephen-Smith;   Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body, Katrina Fanning; and Head of the ACT Public Service, Kathy Leigh signed the Agreement in the presence of Government and community members.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the new Agreement reinforces the ACT Government’s commitment to selfdetermination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans, and to recognising and responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT.

“Over the course of the ten-year Agreement we will make significant progress in improving lives and outcomes for the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. This Agreement also pays respect to the special place of Australia’s first people in our inclusive community, and commits us to doing more to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the ACT and to celebrate the world’s oldest living cultures.”

Katrina Fanning, Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body said, “We have theopportunity in the ACT to lead the nation in closing the gap in life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and collectively we are committed to this. This Agreement reflects what our community knows to be true, that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led decision making is the key to closing the gap.”

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Rachel Stephen-Smith thanked the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body for its deep engagement with the community over the last year in workshops and consultations to set the priorities in this Agreement.

“The community and government are working in partnership, and these priorities will drive initiatives across government to bring about change. Over the life of the Agreement we will be reporting regularly on progress and working with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community on new programs and challenges.” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

The Agreement commits the ACT Government and community partners to self-determination as the guiding principle in the delivery of programs and services and are working in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to address matters that are important to them.

Its four core focus areas are Children and Young People, Cultural Integrity, Inclusive Community and Community Leadership. Further significant focus areas of the agreement cover Connecting the Community, Life Long Learning, Economic Participation, Health and Wellbeing, Housing, and Justice.

The Agreement artwork, ‘Strength in Community,’ was commissioned from Canberra artist Leah Brideson and was on display for the first time at the signing event.

The Agreement is available on the Strong Families portal here: https://www.strongfamilies.act.gov.au/home

8. TAS: palawa kani to run a stall and workshops at Hobart Language Day / International year of Indigenous Languages

We will have a bigger presence this year in the International year of Indigenous Languages, and hope as many people as possible can come along to experience and share in the language of Tasmanian Aborigines

NACCHO Members Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : #NT @AMSANTaus @DanilaDilba @NRHACEO #TAS #QLD @ATSICHSBris @DeadlyChoices @Apunipima #VIC @VAHS1972 #NSW Katungul and Wellington ACCHos #SA Pika Wiya #WA @TheAHCWA #ACT

1.1 Back ACCHO medical services to #closethegap

1.2 National : In 2018–19, NACCHO and the RACGP are working on further initiatives and we want your input! Survey closes 15 February

1.3 National : SRWF inaugural Pat Turner Scholarship awarded

2. TAS : Deadly Ninja Warrior helps the Tasmanian FIAAI Tackling Smoking Team spread the message of the benefits of healthy choices.

3.1 WA : AHCWA and the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) signed an MOU

3.2 WA : AHCWA :  Do you want to be an Aboriginal Health Worker?

4.1 NSW : Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service are active members of the “Welcome Here Project ” #LGBTIQ

4.2 NSW : Katungul ACCHO credited with changing the life of Mark Scott who was using heroin for 14 years, in prison on-and-off for 14 years and an alcoholic for 17 years

5.1 VIC : VAHS ACCHO Coming soon: Aboriginal Seniors Games!!

6. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO leads the way for independent review into the “health” of Canberra’s prison

7.QLD : Apunipima’s ACCHO Mossman Gorge Clinic shares success of ACCHO’s with James Cook University’s School of Medicine and The University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine.

8.1 NT : National Rural Health Alliance promotes Sunrise ACCHO clinic at Bullman

8.2 NT: AMSANT and Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin offer ideas on how to increase the retention of Aboriginal Health Workers

9. SA:  Pika Wiya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation officially reopened the doors to the Davenport Health Clinic on Monday, January 14.

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 Back ACCHO medical services to #closethegap

” The widening and persistent deficit in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is arguably the nation’s biggest policy failure, but Aboriginal communities are fighting back and showing how to close the gap, .

When the very first Aboriginal medical service opened its doors in a small shopfront in Sydney’s inner-city Redfern in 1971, the leaders who launched it showed enormous guts, resourcefulness and vision to address the very poor health of their people.

Almost five decades later, there are now about 145 such medical services located around Australia, with the vast majority run by boards comprised of Aboriginal people. Each year, they provide care to around 350,000 people.

Despite the efforts of these trailblazers, Aboriginal people are still missing out on primary and preventative health care, and this explains why we are failing as a nation to close the gap and achieve Aboriginal health equality.

And Australia is doing far worse than other countries that have a similar history of dispossession and colonisation. ”

Dr Paul Cleary is Oxfam Australia’s Indigenous policy and advocacy lead.

Professor Ian Ring AO is a distinguished expert in public health and epidemiology.

Read full article Here 

The Government’s justifying more funding into mainstream services by arguing that ACCHS only service around half of the Indigenous population ignores the strong preference of Indigenous people for community-controlled health.

Most of the services are at maximum capacity and there are many places where due to location and distance it is simply not possible to attend an ACCHS – the answer is increased investment not less,”

To make matters worse, the government seems to be giving preference to the mainstream sector in order to address Aboriginal health needs says Pat Turner, the chief executive of the peak body NACCHO

1.2 National : In 2018–19, NACCHO and the RACGP are working on further initiatives and we want your input! Survey closes 15 February

Survey until 15 Feb 2019 : To participate in a short survey, please CLICK HERE

Please tell us your ideas for

-improving quality of 715 health checks

-clinical software -implementation of the National Guide

-culturally responsive healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

More info 

1.3 National : SRWF inaugural Pat Turner Scholarship awarded

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has welcomed the creation and awarding of the Pat Turner Scholarship Program by The Sir Roland Wilson foundation to six scholars. Pat Turner is the current CEO of NACCHO.

NACCHO Acting Chair Donnella Mills said, “the scholarship is named after Pat and will provide for Australian Public Service employees to complete full time post-graduate study at the Australian National University or Charles Darwin University. This honour for Pat is a testament to her years of hard work, resilience and advocacy for Indigenous peoples.”

Pat’s career as a public servant included many great achievements. She was the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the Deputy CEO of ATSIC at its inception. She was also responsible for setting up the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation when working in the Dept of Prime Minister & Cabinet.

After winning the Monash Chair of Australian Studies, Georgetown University she moved to Washington DC as Professor of Australian Studies.

She was the inaugural CEO of NITV and was appointed NACCHO Chief Executive Officer in April 2016.

The Sir Roland Wilson PhD scholarship program has recently been extended to now include the Patricia Turner Scholarship program.

The Foundation decided to name it after an influential, significant and impressive Indigenous woman. She was considered a trailblazer in the APS and her legacy of encouraging her staff to seek out and undertake educational opportunities was certainly something to be celebrated.

That Pat came from humble beginnings and had to repeatedly prove herself against a system of societal inequality, was somewhat reminiscent of Sir Roland Wilson’s beginnings. He was from a very working-class background and was awarded a scholarship to study at Oxford.

In August 2018 SRWF held selection interviews for the inaugural Pat Turner Scholarship. We had 17 APS agencies participating and actively promoting the opportunity to their staff. Each participating agency conducted its own internal selection process and 13 nominations were forwarded to us. The Selection committee shortlisted 11 applicants to interview.

NACCHO congratulates the recipients and wished them well in their chosen fields of studies.

The scholarships were awarded to:

Anthony Cowley Department of Social Services Master by Research CDU

Craig Leon Department of Human Services Master by Research ANU

Martin Dallen Department of Agriculture & Water Resources Master of Forestry ANU

Peter (PJ) Bligh Department of the Environment & Energy Master of Economic Policy ANU

Steve Munns Department of Human Services PhD ANU

Deborah Katona Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Master of Public Policy CDU

2. TAS : Deadly Ninja Warrior helps the Tasmanian FIAAI Tackling Smoking Team spread the message of the benefits of healthy choices.

JACK WILSON or as he’s known, The Deadly Ninja Warrior was in Tasmania during the month of January to help the FIAAI Tackling Smoking Team spread the message of the benefits of healthy choices.

Jack is mostly known for his athleticism and skills on the widely popular TV show Ninja Warrior but he is also passionate about educating and inspiring communities to be the best versions of themselves.

Jack started his Tasmanian journey down South at the Huon Valley PCYC sharing his story and engaging with the kids in a workout at a community event in partnership with the South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation.

The event also incorporated a large number of other community organisations and services, such as the Tasmania Fire Service, SES, Misha’s Mates, Quit Tasmania, Tasmanian Aboriginal Legal Service, The Heart Foundation plus many more.

Jack’s next appearance was at The Link Youth Health Service in Hobart City with 17 eager attendees.

Duncan Giblin, AOD worker stated ‘Jack was down to earth and engaged really well with the young people who attended. Jack encouraged people to seek help to address the barriers in their lives and to be persistent when things seemed hard.’

Leaving the youth inspired, Jack headed just around the corner to another youth group to spread the message even further. ‘It was a very engaging session’ said Simon, Team Leader at Youth Arts and Recreation Centre.

Simon continued to state that ‘The intimate audience of young people and youth workers listened curiously which sparked many questions to Jack ranging from his time on Australian Ninja Warrior to running the New York Marathon.”

Jack and the Tackling Smoking Team then headed north to visit a Detention Centre and the Launceston PCYC to further reiterate this important message and put them through their paces with a deadly ninja workout.

Ashley’s Detention Centre Program Coordinator told the tobacco action workers that “Jack’s visit had really inspired the young people. “

40 keen participants attended the event at the Launceston PCYC with one participant lucky enough to engage in a one on one training session with Jack after the event. Aaron Gornalle of Launceston now hopes to make it onto the next season of Australian Ninja Warrior.

The final hoorah landed Jack and the team on Flinders Island at the Furneaux Islands Festival where Jack took a huge portion of the Island’s youth through a large scale ninja obstacle course and discussed that in order to be at your peak, there is no room for unhealthy habits like smoking!

3.1 WA : AHCWA and the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) signed an MOU

This week , AHCWA and the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) signed an MOU with the key objective for both parties to adopt a shared and coordinated approach in seeking to address the health and wellbeing needs of the Aboriginal population in WA in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

(L-R): Learne Durrington, WAPHA CEO; Des Martin, AHCWA CEO; Dr Richard Choong, WAPHA Chairperson; and Vicki O’Donnell, AHCWA Chairperson

3.2 WA : AHCWA :  Do you want to be an Aboriginal Health Worker?

AHCWA can help you achieve this, places are still open for the 2019 intakes.

Becoming an Aboriginal Health Worker will allow you to work within the health care setting to assist your community to access and receive the appropriate care they require.

Contact adminmembersupport@ahcwa.org for more information.

4.1 NSW : Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service are active members of the “Welcome Here Project ” #LGBTIQ

Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service are active members of the “Welcome Here Project”.

What is this project, you ask, well the Welcome Here Project is the new Safe Place Project.

The Safe Place Project started in 1998 in response to high levels of street based violence directed at Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) people.

Local businesses signed up to become a ‘Safe Pace’ by putting a sticker in their shop front to let LGBTIQ community members know they could seek refuge if they were under the threat of violence.

Check out the deadly staff and their support for the LGBTIQA+ community!

4.2 NSW : Katungul ACCHO credited with changing the life of Mark Scott who was using heroin for 14 years, in prison on-and-off for 14 years and an alcoholic for 17 years

“My name is Mark Scott but my mates call me Baldy. I’m a Wiradjuri man and I’m pretty open with my past – if by sharing my story, I can help someone else then that’s a good thing.

I was using heroin for 14 years, in prison on-and-off for 14 years and an alcoholic for 17 years and I’m only 56.

I credit Katungul for the life I live today. Rohan Moreton (Katungul Drug and Alcohol Community Support Worker) convinced me to go up to Oolong House in Nowra (Oolong House provides residential treatment for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men who wish to regain their lives and manage problems linked to alcohol and other drugs) and since I graduated from that program I’ve been drug and alcohol free.

I have my own place to live, I got my driver’s license, and I even present two hours a week on 2SeaFM community radio. What makes me most proud though is that I’m back in touch with my kids and grandkids.

I meet with Katungul’s AOD team every week in Eden because they keep me grounded and remind me of how far I’ve come. I own the word ‘no’ now”

5.1 VIC : VAHS ACCHO Coming soon: Aboriginal Seniors Games!!

Want to get out of the house or know a family member who does. Whilst getting active, meeting new people and most importantly having fun! Then come along and check it out. This is a program not to be missed.

When: Wednesday’s starting March 6th
Time: 10am-2pm
Where: Aborigines Advancement League (Thornbury)

Need help registering? Want to learn more about the games?
Come along to our registration and info day on the 27th Feb 12-2pm at VAHS Preston. Lunch provided!

Follow the link to register for the games! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/senior

Any questions contact:03  8459 0932

6. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO leads the way for independent review into the “health” of Canberra’s prison

In its submission to the Moss review, the Winnunga Aboriginal Health Care service said that the “bashing, care, treatment and death of Steven Freeman [had been] characterised by a lack of transparency, accountability and of secrecy

Recommendations from the independent Moss review “So Much Sadness In Our Lives” which examined the 2016 death in custody of indigenous detainee Steven Freeman.

The 2016 death in custody of Steven Freeman sharply focussed attention on Canberra’s prison “

An independent review into the “health” of Canberra’s prison, the first of its type for any Australian correctional centre, is inviting public submissions and commentary as part of an extensive report to be tabled in the ACT Assembly mid-year.

Independent prison review invites submissions from the Canberra public CREDIT:JAY CRONAN

Submissions are now open, and close on May 1.

The ACT Inspector of Correctional Services said that the “healthy prison review” welcomes input from all interested parties including corrections staff, community organisations, unions and the academic community.

Detainees at the prison are also invited to submit, anonymously if wished, with a stated preference by the inspectorate for all submissions to directly address one or more of the four “pillars” of the review framework.

These pillars include:

  • prison safety;
  • respect;
  • purposeful activity; and
  • rehabilitation and preparation for release.

Submissions should not raise complaints about the treatment or conduct of named individuals although anonymous case studies are permitted.

The inspectorate’s role, in reporting directly to the ACT Assembly, is to deliver an independent assessment of Canberra’s prison and services.

The role was established as a government response to the recommendations from the independent Moss review “So Much Sadness In Our Lives” which examined the 2016 death in custody of indigenous detainee Steven Freeman.

The 2016 death in custody of Steven Freeman sharply focussed attention on Canberra’s prison

The prison treatment of Freeman over a lengthy period prior to his death highlighted deficiencies in the prison’s systems, facilities and detainee treatment.

These issues included the mixing of remandees with sentenced prisoners, prisoner boredom, poor CCTV surveillance coverage, a lack of opportunities to learn a skill or trade, illicit drug use, and the delivery of health services.

In its submission to the Moss review, the Winnunga Aboriginal Health Care service said that the “bashing, care, treatment and death of Steven Freeman [had been] characterised by a lack of transparency, accountability and of secrecy”.

The prison’s inspector, Neil McAllister, is permitted to conduct unannounced visits to all correctional centres, including the cells underneath the ACT court buildings.

He works alongside, but separate from, other oversight mechanisms such as the ACT Human Rights Commission, the ACT Ombudsman, the Public Advocate and the prison’s official visitors.

Primarily, his review is seeking to ascertain whether vulnerable detainees at the prison, such as those with mental health issues or cognitive impairment, are being held safely, and whether staff are able to work in a “safe and supportive” environment.

It will also examine whether human rights and dignity are respected within the prison.

It will seek to determine whether detainees are “able, and expected to engage in activity that is likely to benefit them”.

Finally, it will assess whether prisoners have access to programs and services which will assist and prepare them for a life outside the prison.

Submissions can be addressed to the office of the inspector of correctional services at http://ics@act.gov.au.

7.1 QLD : Apunipima’s ACCHO Mossman Gorge Clinic shares success of ACCHO’s with James Cook University’s School of Medicine and The University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine.

This week the team at Apunipima’s Mossman Gorge Clinic spent time with representatives from James Cook University’s School of Medicine and The University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine.

The Canadian visitors have spent their time in Australia learning more about Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO).

Visiting a number of services across North Queensland which has given them a good insight.

“Health care for Indigenous people in Canada is delivered in a far more traditional way than what we have seen here. I am impressed by the level of consultation and how different disciplines work together to deliver the best results for the patient.” said Carlyn Seguin, who oversees the Global Health Certificate at the University of Saskatchewan.

Students studying the Global Health Certificate with the University of Saskatchewan have the opportunity to apply for an international placement as part of the program. Placements in Australia are facilitated by James Cook University’s School Of Medicine, a partnership that is now entering its fourth year.

“JCU’s partnership with the University of Saskatchewan provides a valuable opportunity to develop a collective global voice for Indigenous health needs, concerns and successes.” said Tarun Sen Gupta, Professor of Health Professional Education at James Cook University.

7.2 QLD : At ATSIHS ACCHO Brisbane get your Deadly Choices All Star Shirt

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8.1 NT : National Rural Health Alliance promotes Sunrise ACCHO clinic at Bullman

Positive signs of No Sugar (Zoro Coke and water ) in Indigenous communities but there is a long way to go. The link between excessive sugar levels in soft drinks and diabetes, chronic disease is well established. More effort is required in remote communities

8.2 NT: AMSANT and Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin offer ideas on how to increase the retention of Aboriginal Health Workers

“In [these] clinics, the decisions are made at the local community level and the response is fairly quick.

In the government clinics, I’d imagine there’s a hierarchical structure and people get frustrated.

Training put strains on some hopeful AHWs, with more demands on them today to travel away from their base clinics — which are also often their home communities — to learn in Alice Springs or Darwin.

This puts a lot of strain on families, particularly families with young kids and single parents.

Once trainees graduate, many get burned out by the job, especially those working in remote locations.

Often did not get perks like cheap accommodation offered to police officers or doctors

The real challenge is to encourage and offer the proper incentives and renumeration to reward those who do want to undertake that particular work in rural and remote Northern Territory,” he said.

The salaries of Aboriginal health practitioners also needs to be reviewed.”

The chief executive of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT, John Paterson, said the data might hint at how the workers felt more supported in Aboriginal-community-controlled health clinics.

FROM the ABC

The Northern Territory is the only place in the nation with falling numbers of health sector workers trained to bridge cultural gaps between First Nations and non-Indigenous people.

Key points:

  • NT Health is losing Aboriginal Health Workers
  • This may be partly due to difficult training requirements
  • Others may be moving into health streams like nursing or medicine

Data obtained by the ABC shows the number of registered Aboriginal Health Workers in the NT fell almost 17 per cent over six years, even though almost a third of the Territory’s population is Indigenous.

All of those losses came from the public health sector, rather than private or Aboriginal-controlled health services.

‘I get to help my mob’

Kiara Peacock is one year into her traineeship as an Aboriginal Health Worker (AHW) at the Aboriginal-community-controlled health clinic, Danila Dilba.

The Larrakia woman used to work in HR but jumped at the chance when the traineeship position came up in Darwin.

“I get to help my mob,” Ms Peacock said.

“We have more of an understanding with the cultural side of things, with communicating to our patients and understanding them as well.”

That is incredibly important in a place like the Territory, which has the biggest proportion of Indigenous people per capita in Australia and many different language groups often not spoken by non-Indigenous doctors and nurses.

Another Danila Dilba trainee, Darren Braun, said he believed Indigenous patients felt more able to open up to him because of their shared culture and his grasp on the language Kriol.

“I find that in consults, if a doctor is doing consults first and we do it after, we get more information than what a doctor can do,” he said.

Yet Ms Peacock and Mr Braun are entering the profession at a time when the overall numbers of AHWs working in the Territory is dwindling.

Data obtained by the ABC shows the number of registered workers in the NT fell from more than 250 in 2012 to just 211 in 2018.

The data follows a recent study by the Australian National University that found the Territory was the only jurisdiction in the country where the numbers of these workers had declined in the past decade.

ANU researcher Alyson Wright found at a national level, retiring workers were not being replaced by younger workers.

The ABC crunched the data by ANU and – in terms of workers per Indigenous person – Victoria and South Australia now have the highest proportion of workers, with Queensland, Western Australia and the NT trailing on relatively similar levels.

What sector are the workers leaving?

Danila Dilba chief executive Olga Havnen said the numbers of AHWs at the clinic had been relatively stable over the last decade.

She said they had achieved that by prioritising traineeships.

Data shows numbers of AHW working in non-government clinics like Danila Dilba had slightly increased since 2012, with the overall decline in numbers all coming from the government sector, NT Health.

NT Health — which operates clinics in Darwin through to very remote Indigenous communities — has lost a staggering 61 of these workers since 2012.

The department did not respond to questions from the ABC about whether this is directly related to the closure of NT Health Clinics.

However, in a statement, a spokesperson said the loss was not due to redundancies.

“While our numbers are declining, we have not cut positions,” the spokesperson said.

He said there were many factors behind the decline, including changes to the training requirements for AHWs in the Territory and a very low completion rate by trainees.

This is something experienced by Ms Peacock — while she is based in Darwin, she has to travel an hour for her studies every month to Batchelor.

“If anything would stop me doing this job personally, it’s the location of where I study,” she said.

“Some of us are quite young. We’ve only just got our Ps. Some don’t even have a car themselves or transport. Some of us come from places like [the remote community] Maningrida.”

Is there a silver lining to the trend?

The NT Health spokesperson said the department was, “developing a workforce strategy that will have a clear career path with the appropriate support mechanisms to attract and retain” the workers.

“Including looking at ways Aboriginal students are supported while they are studying, often away from their country,” they said.

Yet despite the decline in numbers, the spokesperson said some of the workers leaving are moving into other health streams like nursing or medicine.

That is something Ms Havnen from Danila Dilba has noticed.

“So I’m hoping that what people is doing is taking slightly different career paths,” she said.

Mr Paterson agreed this was a positive step forward, but that the growth of Indigenous people into these other roles should not come at the loss of AHWs in the Territory.

“We’ve got to get that balance right,” he said.

9. SA:  Pika Wiya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation officially reopened the doors to the Davenport Health Clinic on Monday, January 14.

The clinic has been closed for several months due to a “lack of staff and the ongoing problem with the recruitment of doctors”, but is now back in business, giving Davenport residents a closer option for their health requirements.

Pika Wiya CEO Alan Morris said the return of the health clinic was “long overdue”.

“We decided to address the needs out here,” Mr Morris said.

“For the first six months, we’ll be seeing and assessing what those needs will be by looking at the patient numbers coming through.

“We’re very happy to be back out here.”

Pika Wiya’s healthcare is available to the Aboriginal population in Port Augusta and surrounding towns, with about 3200 active customers and patients accessing the medical service.

With the Port Augusta centre on Dartmouth Street facing an influx of patients during the summer months, Pika Wiya began working towards reopening the Davenport clinic.

Mr Morris said Pika Wiya’s board, as well as the Davenport community, were keen for the clinic to reopen.

“Patients could have transport issues. They might not be able to access (the Port Augusta centre),” Mr Morris said.

“We’ve spent a lot of money on doing up the clinic, so it’s in pretty good nick.”

Davenport community members gathered at the clinic on Monday morning to celebrate the opening, with staff hosting a barbecue breakfast.

Mr Morris said the event was a good opportunity to let the community know that the doors were officially open.

“It was just a chance for us to say ‘here we are, we’re back and we’re going to be operating again’,” he said.

The Davenport Health Clinic is open on Monday afternoons from 2-4pm, and Wednesday and Fridays from 9am-12:30pm

Patients will have access to general practitioners and Aboriginal health workers at the refurbished clinic.

For more information about the clinic, contact 8642 2556.