NACCHO Aboriginal #Remote Communities Health and #CoronaVirus News Alert No12 : What key measures and plans have @MiwatjHealth ACCHO undertaken to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 in East Arnhem, Yolŋu, Anindilywaka & Nunggubuyu country.

 ” The Australian and Northern Territory Governments have introduced a range of measures aimed at reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Miwatj is fully supportive of their approaches and have implemented additional measures to further protect the communities we live in and serve.

In the spirit of transparency Miwatj wishes to summarise some of the key measures we have undertaken to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into our communities, and the plans that we have in place to support our communities in the weeks ahead.

Currently all our clinics are operating as normal and providing our normal range of services. Clients might notice some pre-checks being conducted prior to entering their clinic.

These measure are simply there to direct people to the appropriate area so they can be seen to.” 

See Miwatj ACCHO Website 

Download plan Here 

MIW COVID-19 Public Statement 200318

See NACCHO Corona Virus Home Page

Read all 11 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Coronas Virus Alerts HERE

What has Miwatj done in response to COVID-19

  • Miwatj has established a COVID-19 Response Group that is responsible for developing, coordinating and monitoring our response plan. This group is led by our Director of Clinical Services and is meeting regularly.
  • Limited all non-essential staff travel, and introduced strict self-isolation measures on staff travelling to our East Arnhem communities.
  • In conjunction with the NTG; local communities and stakeholders; and other services providers, Miwatj has assisted in the development of Local Pandemic Action Plans for each of the communities in East Arnhem.
  • Miwatj has developed our own Health Centre Activity and Staffing Contingency
  • Undertaken wide-spread community education on hygiene prevention measures, such as handwashing, in our
  • Miwatj has also, in conjunction with ARDS, developed community messaging (in language) about COVID-19 and how increases hygiene practices can minimise the contraction and spread of the infection.

Travel Restrictions

As a provider of health services to very remote communities, Miwatj understand the importance of travel from not only a staffing and delivery of service point of view, but also from the community’s perspective of it being a way of staying connected with family and friends.

However at the same time we know there is serious concern within our communities about COVID-19 and the potential for it to be introduced through people entering the community from outside of East Arnhem.

Therefore Miwatj has introduced restriction on non-essential staff travel and strict self-isolation measures on staff travelling before travelling into East Arnhem communities.

Staff who are returning from overseas have to self-isolate for 14 days in Nhulunbuy (if that is where they live) or in Darwin (if they normal live in our Zone 2 communities of Milingimbi, Galiwin’ku, Ramingining or Gapuwiyak) before recommencing duties or returning to their community.

Staff who are returning from interstate have to self-isolate for 7 days in Nhulunbuy (if that is where they live) or in Darwin (if they normal live in our Zone 2 communities of Milingimbi, Galiwin’ku, Ramingining or Gapuwiyak) before recommencing duties or returning to their community.

Where possible, these staff may work via computer or phone.

Coordinating

Miwatj is committed to working closely with the NTG and key community stakeholders to continually monitor the situation and adjust its existing or introduce new measures to further protect our vulnerable communities.

We have participated in each of the Local Emergency Committee meeting to develop Local Pandemic Action Plans for each of the communities in East Arnhem. These Plans outline the steps that are to be taken in the community once they are activated and who is responsible for certain activities.

In addition to these Local Pandemic Action Plan, Miwatj has developed its own Health Centre Activity and Staffing Contingency Plan. This Plan outlines our response to the pandemic and ensuring the needs of our communities are met while addressing possible reduced staffing levels due to illness and the impact this may have on services.

These plans may impact on how and where we see people, especially those presenting with “flu like” symptoms.

We are reminding people that, where possible, call ahead before attending a medical clinic if you do have “flu like” symptoms.

Community Education

Miwatj, in conjunction with ARDS, has developed community messaging (in language) about COVID-19 and how increases hygiene practices can minimise the contraction and spread of the infection.

These messages have been extensively broadcast on Yolngu Radio and been reinforced with community posters.

Listen HEAR 

Miwatj has also been undertaking wide-spread community education on hygiene prevention measures, such as hand hygiene, personal hygiene, home hygiene and the risks of sharing of cigarettes and drinks with others.

We have done this through a variety of measures, including direct visits to homes, schools, churches, ALPA stores and sport and recreation clubs.

Other resources

We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and are strictly applying the directives as advised by the Australian and Northern Territory Governments.

There is many guideline and directive changes related to COVID-19 and the changes are being issued rapidly and often without warning, therefore we a recommending that for the most up-to-date information on COVID- 19 people should visit both the Department of Health and the SecureNT websites.

NACCHO Aboriginal Remote Communities Health and #CoronaVirus News Alerts :  #APYLands  @Nganampa_Health @NLC_74 #CAAHSN @AMSANTaus @RACGP All ensuring remote communities are resourced , protected and provided with appropriate information #COVID19

 

“As health and medical research organisations, we are calling for an absolute priority to be given to minimising risk and preventing death in communities across central Australia.

A major priority in our endeavours is working with Aboriginal communities and support to the primary health services in the bush and our regional centres.

Things that might work in. the big cities simply won’t work out bush, so we need to focus on local solutions.

Both Aboriginal community-controlled and government primary health services face enormous day-to-day challenges—and we strongly support them as the real heroes of health care in remote Australia, from Aboriginal Health Practitioners, to nurses to allied health workers to doctors, to all staff doing such vital work “

CAAHSN would continue to be informed by COVID19  messaging from AMSANT Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance and the Department of Health.

AMSANT has already been supplying advice to member services, with a focus on updating vaccinations and a focus on day-to-day preventive measure such as had washing.

Read full press release Central Australia Academic Health Science Network Part 2 Below

Graphic above QAIHC

Read all NACCHO Corona Virus Articles HERE

” As GPs try to navigate national guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19), a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders have stepped in to manage their own infection control.

For example, in the Northern Territory quite a few communities are putting in place their own procedures around how they’re going to manage it. ’ 

‘[They’re] isolating themselves from [the] outside and I gather even saying, “Actually, we don’t want health professionals coming in at the moment to keep ourselves safe”.’

Dr Tim Senior, Medical Advisor for RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, told newsGP. See report part 4 below

“We need to be vigilant and follow these guidelines in order to protect Anangu from this virus,

There have been no known COVID-19 cases among APY Lands residents to date, but the Prime Minister has expressed concern about the vulnerability of those in remote Indigenous communities, including the APY Lands.

During the 2009 A(H1N1) swine flu outbreak, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 11 per cent of all identified cases, 20 per cent of hospitalisations and 13 per cent of deaths. Indigenous people are 8.5 times more likely to be hospitalised during a virus outbreak.”

APY General Manager Richard King has issued the directive to all APY staff and contractors. The directive also has been issued to Nganampa Health Council and major allied non-government organisations. State and Commonwealth government agencies, that are not required to apply for a permit to enter the APY Lands, have been contacted seeking their co-operation.

Mr King said communities on the APY Lands were particularly vulnerable because of well-documented poor health and living conditions. See full press release part 3

Part 1 NLC

“ The NLC supports the NT Government’s call to cancel all non-essential trips to remote communities as it tries to prevent the spread of coronavirus to vulnerable populations and has taken steps to ensure that all NLC employees who have recently travelled overseas do not travel to remote communities unless they have been cleared to do so.

“We agree with the NT Government’s decision to ask all workers to cancel their trips if they are not essential and the same goes for NLC staff,”

NLC CEO Marion Scrymgour.

Part 1 :The Northern Land Council’s Executive Council met today with officials from the Northern Territory Department of Health and the Danila Dilba Health Service’s CEO Ms Olga Havnen to examine strategies and information focused on protecting Aboriginal communities in the NLC’s region from the risk of coronavirus.

The NLC supports the NT Government’s call to cancel all non-essential trips to remote communities as it tries to prevent the spread of coronavirus to vulnerable populations and has taken steps to ensure that all NLC employees who have recently travelled overseas do not travel to remote communities unless they have been cleared to do so.

“We agree with the NT Government’s decision to ask all workers to cancel their trips if they are not essential and the same goes for NLC staff,” said NLC CEO Marion Scrymgour.

Ms Scrymgour will meet with NT Tourism tomorrow (March 13) to discuss how tourism operators can minimise their potential impact on remote communities.

NLC chairman Samuel Bush-Blanasi said the NLC is working closely with the NT Government and health service providers to  working

“We want people to really think about their need to visit remote communities. Especially if they have returned from an at risk country they must not travel to Aboriginal communities and must take every precaution.”

NT Government website COVID19 Information for Aboriginal communities

  • There are currently no suspected cases of COVID-19 in any Territory communities.
  • Residents should stay alert but carry on with normal activities.
  • There is no risk to eating traditional animals and plants.
  • The virus is not spread by mosquito bites.
  • The virus is not spread on the wind.
  • The most important thing for everyone to remember is to maintain hygiene by:
    • Washing your hands
    • Avoid shaking hands with people who may be unwel
    • Stay at a distance of 1.5 m away from someone who is unwell
    • Coughing or sneezing into your elbow
    • Don’t go to crowded places if you’re unwell.
  • If you get sick, go to your health clinic.

Recordings in language

A Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Remote Communities Plan has been developed and distributed to all remote Territory communities. This plan provides high level guidance and each community will tailor their individual plans to suit their specific circumstances and community requirements.

Part 2

At a Council meeting of the Central Australia Academic Health Science Network [CA AHSN] today, a call was made for decisive and urgent action on the prevention of COVID-19 spreading to remote Australian communities, Executive Director Chips Mackinolty said today.

“We are in this together, and we have a collective responsibility at all levels of government and health service delivery to keep people safe,” said Mr Mackinolty.

“As health and medical research organisations, we are calling for an absolute priority to be given to minimising risk and preventing death in communities across central Australia.

“A major priority in our endeavours is working with Aboriginal communities and support to the primary health services in the bush and our regional centres.

“Things that might work in. the big cities simply won’t work out bush, so we need to focus on local solutions.

“We believe it is critical that rapid and extensive testing be rolled out as soon as possible, so that such work is timely and localised. As a first step this should be located in Alice Springs, rapidly followed by other regional centres.

“Of paramount concern is that our health services—already severely under resourced—not be further burdened. Just as happened in the recent bush fire crises, we would see it as essential that Commonwealth-funded remote area health medical workers being brought in to help.

“Both Aboriginal community-controlled and government primary health services face enormous day-to-day challenges—and we strongly support them as the real heroes of health care in remote Australia, from Aboriginal Health Practitioners, to nurses to allied health workers to doctors, to all staff doing such vital work.

“Meanwhile, our research activities will limit fieldwork, and researchers recently overseas will not be allowed to travel remotely. This follows the initiatives already of some of our partner organisations

In any case, we will also seek to follow the recommendations of local Aboriginal community organisations in our work.

“A major priority, from the Commonwealth and NT governments should be a major effort in proving accurate and concise information to Aboriginal people—with a stron

Part 3 MEDIA STATEMENT: APY enacts border protection to reduce coronavirus risk

APY has introduced strict new rules for entry into its remote lands in response to the Federal Government’s concerns about the potential for coronavirus to spread in vulnerable Indigenous communities.

The Executive Board that governs the remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, in South
Australia’s far northwest, addressed the threat of a coronavirus outbreak at its latest meeting.

The Board has resolved not to routinely issue entry permits for the next three months to anyone who has:

  • Been in mainland China from 1 February 2020.
  • Been in contact with someone confirmed to have coronavirus.
  • Travelled to China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Italy or Mongolia.

If a person who wishes to enter the APY Lands has travelled to any of the affected countries, experienced coronavirus symptoms in the previous 14 days, been seen by a doctor and recorded a negative test, they must submit a copy of the test results along with a Statutory Declaration to be considered for an entry permit.

APY has the legal authority to exclude persons from entering the APY Lands pursuant to section 19 of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act. APY General Manager Richard King has issued the directive to all APY staff and contractors.

The directive also has been issued to Nganampa Health Council and major allied non-government organisations. State and Commonwealth government agencies, that are not required to apply for a permit to enter the APY Lands, have been contacted seeking their co-operation.

Part 4 RACGP 

Media report RACGP Dr Tim Senior : Chronic diseases and a lack of access to culturally appropriate care makes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people vulnerable to coronavirus.

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #InternationalWomensDay #EachforEqual #IWD2020 : 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: Willhelmine Lieberwirth 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

International Women’s Day 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual

An equal world is an enabled world.

Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.

Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.

Let’s all be #EachforEqual.

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 (Pictured above in centre )

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: Willhelmine Lieberwirth South Australia 

 

A Kokatha and Antakirinja woman, Wilhelmine honours her rich family ancestry. She has worked in human services roles, most recently as an Aboriginal Cultural Consultant with Child and Family Health Services and has been instrumental in the Safely Sleeping Aboriginal Babies in South Australia.

Wilhelmine and her family have lived in Whyalla for generations and have been active participants advocating on local health matters, including supporting the local ACCHO Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service Inc.

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 Aboriginal Health News ALERT : @CREATE_NHMRC Resource Launch – Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in Practice: Sharing ways of working from the ACCHO sector

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News : Read / Download Press Release responses to the 2020 #ClosingtheGap Report from #CoalitionofPeaks @closethegapOZ @NATSILS_ @SNAICC @SenatorSiewert @CAACongress @RACGP

“ These Closing the Gap reports tell the same story of failure every year

The danger of this seemingly endless cycle of failure is that it breeds complacency and cynicism, while excusing those in power.

People begin to believe that meaningful progress is impossible and there is nothing governments can do to improve the lives of our people.

The truth is that the existing Closing the Gap framework was doomed to fail when it was designed without the input of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We know what will work best for our communities and the Prime Minister even acknowledges in this report that our voice was the missing ingredient from original framework.

The Coalition of Peaks has signed a formal partnership agreement with every Australian government, where decision-making on design, implementation and evaluation of a new Closing the Gap framework will be shared. Through this partnership, the Coalition of Peaks has put forward structural priority reforms to the way governments work with and deliver services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Governments say they are listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, the true test in listening is translating the priority reforms into real, tangible and funded actions that make a difference to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people right across our country.

This historic partnership could be the circuit-breaker that is needed. However, if they view this process as little more than window dressing for the status quo, the cycle of failure evident in today’s report is doomed to continue.”

Pat Turner, CEO of NACCHO and Co-Chair of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap, said that governments need to learn from these failures, not continue to repeat them.

Read Download the full Coalition of Peaks Press Release HERE

Read previous NACCHO Communiques this week

1.Coalition of Peaks Editorial Pat Turner

2.PM Launches CTG Report ( Download )

3.PM CTG Full Speech

4.Opposition response to CTG Report

“Every year for the last 12 years we have listened to a disappointing litany of failure – it’s not good enough, Indigenous Australians deserve better.

We are heartened by the developments last year with COAG and the Prime Minister agreeing to a formal partnership with the Coalition of Peaks on the Closing the Gap strategy.

Indigenous involvement and participation is vital – when our peoples are included in the design and delivery of services that impact their lives, the outcomes are far better.

However, now that partnership is in place, Australian governments must commit to urgent funding of Indigenous healthcare and systemic reform.

Preventable diseases continue to take young lives while unrelenting deaths in custody and suicide rates twice that of other Australians continue to shame us all.

As governments reshape the Closing the Gap strategy, we cannot afford for the mistakes of the past to be repeated.

Close the Gap Campaign co-Chairs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) CEO Karl Briscoe, have called on the government to invest urgently in health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Download full Close the Gap campaign press release HERE

Close the Gap Campaign response to CTG Report

” There was one glaring omission from the Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap speech this week. Housing did not rate a mention. Not a word about action on Aboriginal housing or homelessness.

Housing was not even one of the targets, let alone one we were meeting, but it must be if we are to have any chance of finally closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians on all the other targets for life expectancy, child mortality, education and jobs.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 3 per cent of Australia’s population but 20 per cent of the nation’s homeless. Aboriginal people are 2.3 times more likely to experience rental stress and seven times more likely to live in over-crowded conditions than other Australians.”

James Christian is chief executive of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council.

“For the first time ever, there is a commitment from all Australian governments, through COAG, to work with Aboriginal leaders through the peak bodies of Aboriginal organisations to negotiate key strategies and headline indicators that will make a difference.

So long as the negotiations continue in good faith and we stay the course together this should lead to a greater rate of improvement in coming years. Of this I am sure.

There is a commitment to supporting Aboriginal people by giving priority to our own community controlled organisations to deliver the services and programs that will make a difference in our communities while at the same time ensuring mainstream services better meet our needs”

Donna Ah Chee, Chief Executive Officer of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress : Read full Report Part 1 below.

“Today is another day we reflect on the Federal Government’s inability to meet the Closing the Gap targets.

This report clearly shows that the gap will continue to widen if reforms aren’t translated into tangible, fully funded actions that deliver real benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout the country.

The report reveals that progress against the majority of Closing the Gap targets is still not on track. The gap in mortality rates between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous

Australians increased last year and there are very worrying signs on infant mortality.

The Federal Government needs to commit to funding solutions to end over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and they must be implemented alongside other areas of disadvantage in the Closing the Gap strategy – health, education, family violence, employment, housing – in order to create real change for future generations.”

Cheryl Axleby, Co-Chair of NATSILS.

“We are deeply concerned about the Federal Government’s decision to not continue funding for remote Indigenous housing. Access to safe and affordable housing is essential to Closing the Gap,”

Nerita Waight, Co-Chair of NATSILS.

Download the full NATSILS press release HERE

NATSILS response CTG Report

” SARRAH welcomes the bipartisan approach by Parliamentarians who committed to work genuinely and collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders.

The potential contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is far greater than has been acknowledged or supported to date.

There are many organisations working hard to close the gap, such as Aboriginal community controlled health organisations right across Australia, and Indigenous Allied Health Australia, the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak allied health body.

Governments, through COAG, working with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Coalition of Peaks have the opportunity to reset the trajectory.”

Download SARRAH Press Release

Media Release SARRAH Closing the Gap

“ Many of our communities are affected by a range of adverse experiences from poverty, through to violence, drug and alcohol issues and homelessness.

Without an opportunity to heal from the resultant trauma, its impact can deeply affect children’s brain development causing life-long challenges to the way they function in the world.

It is experienced within our families and communities and from one generation to the next.

We need urgent action to support better outcomes and opportunities for our children.

SNAICC CEO, Richard Weston

Download the full SNAICC press release HERE

SNAICC Response to CTG Report

“Mr Morrison will keep failing First Nations peoples and this country until a genuine commitment to self-determination is at the heart of closing the gap.

The Prime Minister’s same old “welfare” rhetoric indicates that the Government really hasn’t got it.   While they say they are committed to the COAG co-design process the PM ignores the point that it is his Government continuing to drive discriminatory programs such as the Cashless Debit Card, the CDP program, ParentsNext and who are failing to address the important social determinants of health and wellbeing.

There are a few things this Government needs to do before they just “get people into jobs”, like invest in the social determinants of health and wellbeing and a housing first approach.”

Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations peoples issues Senator Rachel Siewert

Download the full Greens press release HERE

The Greens Response to CTG Report

” Australia’s efforts to close the gap are seemingly stuck in a holding pattern.

Though Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hailed the beginning of a ‘new era’ of improving the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the launch of the 12th Closing the Gap report, the results are all but unchanged.”

Read RACGP editorial

Part 1 : Donna Ah Chee, Chief Executive Officer of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress

Continued

“It’s also important to recognise that there has been progress here in Central Australia both over the longer term and more recently. Since 1973, the number of Aboriginal babies dying in their first year of life has reduced from 250 to 10 per 1000 babies born, and life expectancy has improved on average around 13 years.

As recently as 2019 we have seen significant improvements across multiple areas.

“Alice Springs has experienced a remarkable 40% reduction in alcohol related assaults and a 33% reduction in domestic violence assaults. This is 739 fewer assaults year on year, or 14 fewer assaults per week”.

“There has been a 33% reduction in alcohol related emergency department presentation which is 1617 fewer presentations year on year or a reduction of 31 per week. Corresponding with this, there has been a decline in hospital admissions and, as noted in the MJA recently, ICU admissions. These are dramatic improvements,” she said.

“The proportion of babies born of low birth weight has halved and the rates of childhood anaemia and anaemia in pregnancy have declined markedly.”

“In addition to this the number of young people who reoffend and therefore recycle through youth detention has dropped dramatically.”

“Combining all of these factors, we are closing the gap on early childhood disadvantage and trauma and this will make a big difference in coming years in other health and social outcomes.”

There are however, still many issues to be addressed, especially with the current generation of young people, as too many have already experienced the impacts of domestic violence, trauma and alcohol and other drugs. Unfortunately, this has led to the youth issues experienced now in Alice Springs.

The NT government recently advised Congress that they are implementing strategies that are aimed at making an immediate difference while at the same time we know key strategies that will make a longer-term difference are already in place. New immediate strategies include:

  1. 14 additional police undertaking foot patrols and bike patrols in the CBD
  2. Police now taking young people home where it is safe to do so, rather than telling them to go home themselves
  3. The employment of two senior Aboriginal community police officers from remote communities and the recruitment of three others in town and two at Yuendumu
  4. The flexible deployment of the YOREOs to meet peaks in the numbers of young people out at different hours of the night
  5. The much more active deployment of the truancy officers to ensure all young people are going to school.
  6. Access to emergency accommodation options for young people at night

While progress overall is slower than it should be, it is important to acknowledge the successes we are having because of the good work of many dedicated community organisations and government agencies working together in a supportive environment, where governments are adopting evidence based policies.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Alert for ACCHO members and our communities affected by bushfires : Download @FireRecoveryAU National Bushfire Recovery Agency Fact Sheets #BushfireRecoveryAU

Since the bushfire season began back in October in northern NSW , NACCHO has been working closely with the Federal Government , AH&MRC ,VACCHO , Winnunga and AHCSA Members to support the information sharing about emergency alerts , evacuations , fundraising and support on all our social media platforms ( See our report Part 3 Below ).

The bushfire season is far from over with Katungul ACCHO deciding to close both our Batemans Bay and Narooma offices this Friday, 31 January 2020. ( See Part 4 Below ).

Part 1 National Bushfire Recovery Agency

In the past few weeks after our CEO Pat Turner met with the Prime Minister on two occasions , NACCHO was invited to a forum hosted by the Agency ( See report Part 2)

The National Bushfire Recovery Agency (the Agency) has been established to lead and coordinate a national response to rebuilding communities affected by bushfires across large parts of Australia.

View the agency website HERE 

These factsheets provided by the agency to assist bushfire affected communities in their understanding of the recovery assistance and financial support available to them.

Download the 2 key factsheets HERE

Assistance for Families – Fact sheet 2020 01 23

Mental Health Assistance fact sheet 2020 01 23

These factsheets are also available on the Agency’s website along with additional information on relief and recovery measures.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

Culturally appropriate, comprehensive primary health care services are available through local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services or Aboriginal Medical Services. Most of these services provide access to a general practitioner, nurse or Aboriginal Health Worker.

Visit HealthDirect to find your nearest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service or Medical Service.

Additional support for Indigenous Australians

The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) is available to assist Indigenous Australians and their communities, organisations and businesses get access to supports and services – contact details are available through the NIAA support to bushfire affected communities page.

The Australian Government’s Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) is providing a $2,000 bushfire crisis grant for home loan and business finance customers directly impacted by the recent bushfires. IBA is also temporarily suspending loan repayments for those affected and will assist customers who need help with insurance claims. This assistance can be accessed through the Indigenous Business Australia’s Assistance for bushfire affected customers page.

See our support for small business page for information on other support for bushfire-affected Indigenous corporations.

Immediate support for people directly affected by the bushfires is available now, and we are encouraging everyone to check their eligibility for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance by calling the disaster payments hotline on 180 22 66.

Families and individuals

The Australian Government has put measures in place so that families and individuals affected by bushfires can access resources quickly to ease the stress during the recovery phase.

Services Australia have special arrangements in place to help bushfire affected communities, including Mobile Service Centres and Mobile Service Teams. They can help you access all Australian Government payment services.

On these agency pages you can find Click Here

  • Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment
  • Disaster Recovery Allowance
  • Back to school, early education and care assistance
  • Child Care Assistance
  • Additional support for volunteer firefighters
  • Support for job seekers
  • Emergency relief
  • Financial counselling
  • Other financial help after a bushfire
  • Health advice
  • Mental health support
  • Medicare
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services
  • Air Quality
  • Telecommunications and energy
  • Additional support for Indigenous Australians
  • Tax exemption for Disaster Relief Payments
  • ATO administrative relief
  • Other support measures
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • Lost or destroyed passports or citizenship certificates
  • Redeeming damaged banknotes
  • Bushfires Disaster Emergency Declaration

Part 2

The “deep sorrow” caused by the bushfires was the first item of discussion when the prime minister, Scott Morrison, met with the nation’s peak Aboriginal organisations on Thursday to agree on three major reforms to the way the government works with Indigenous communities.

The coalition of more than 50 peak Aboriginal community organisations told Morrison of the “deep sorrow that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people right across the nation feel at the scarring of their country and loss of wildlife”.

The meeting “recognised the significant role that cultural burning, led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, can play in expertly managing the impacts of bushfires in the future”.

Indigenous groups tell Scott Morrison of ‘deep sorrow’ at bushfire devastation

Part 3

Over the past 2-3 weeks NACCHO social media has been supporting AHMRC, VACCHO, Winnunga ACT and ACCHO members and communities in the impacted fire zones with a wide range of news ,crisis information sharing , fundraising and wide range of support.

Plus supporting many ACCHO members and supporters who organised donations and other support.

Assisted $1.4 Million Go Fund Me  plus VACCHO GEGAC and Illawarra

On Facebook alone we have shared over 90 posts that attracted over 60,000  engagements (shares, likes and comments ) See Pages 3-9.

Download the full report 

NACCHO Social Media Report support for Members during fire Crisis V

One post alone about the all female Indigenous fire crew in East Gippsland attracted over 14,00O likes etc

Part 4

Based on information provided this afternoon by the Eurobodalla Emergency Operations we have decided to close both our Batemans Bay and Narooma offices this Friday, 31 January 2020.

Extreme conditions are forecast for Friday and Saturday and we must consider the safety of our staff and clients.

See Facebook for updates

Please take care, stay safe and keep up to date with information from the RFS, Eurobodalla Council and your Fires Near Me app. Thank you all for your understanding and patience during this difficult time.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Novel #coronavirusaustralia Alert for Primary and Community Health Workers: @healthgovau Brendan Murphy Chief Medical Officer seeks your ongoing support in identifying additional cases that may be in Australia

 ” By now you will be aware that there have been four confirmed cases in Australia of the novel Coronavirus infection, three in NSW and one in Melbourne.

I would like to update you on the latest information and seek your ongoing support in identifying additional cases that may be in Australia or come to Australia in coming weeks.

The critical thing for Australia is early detection to enable diagnosis, isolation and appropriate contact tracing.

We need to ensure that there is no human to human transmission in this country.

To achieve this, I am seeking your ongoing support.

If you see someone with relevant symptoms who has come from China (particularly the Hubei province/Wuhan city) in the last 14 days, or who has come into contact with a confirmed case, please contact your State/Territory Public Health Unit/Communicable Disease Branch.

The Australian health system is very well prepared to manage these situations and I appreciate your ongoing support and direct contribution to the collective response.

Thank you so much for your help. Professor Brendan Murphy Chief Medical Officer

Download Novel Coronavirus Information Sheet for Primary and Community Health Workers

Novel Coronavirus Information Sheet for Primary and Community Health Workers Version 2

Further information on this emerging situation can be found HERE

What is the current situation?

Information on this virus is changing rapidly. It is clear that it is a significant outbreak in the City of Wuhan and surrounds in China.

Reported cases are now over 2000, but all modelling suggests that the total case numbers are likely to be much higher than that.

The majority of cases are in the Hubei Province, where the city of Wuhan is, but relatively small numbers of cases have been reported in many other provinces of China. There have now been more than 40 exported cases outside of China, in Australia, France, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the USA, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Nepal and Macau. Nearly all of these cases have reported travel to Hubei Province. Sustained human to human transmission (including to healthcare workers) has clearly been demonstrated in Hubei/Wuhan but not proven in locations outside China where cases have been reported.

There have been 56 confirmed deaths, 52 in the epicentre in Hubei province and four elsewhere in China. A number, but not all, of the deaths appear to have had comorbidities.

What are the clinical features?

Clinically nearly all cases have fever, associated with other respiratory symptoms including cough and shortness of breath.

Current estimates suggest that about 25% of cases have severe disease with significant pulmonary involvement.

There appear to be a number of mild cases, some of whom have completely recovered. Fortunately, all of the four cases in Australia are currently stable, even though one has been unwell for 10 days.

The incubation period is not well defined but appears to be an average of around seven days with an upper limit of 14 days. It is not known how infective people are before symptoms develop, but we do know that the related SARS and MERS coronaviruses were not infectious until symptoms developed.

Phone: (02) 6289 8408  Email: Brendan.Murphy@health.gov.au

Scarborough House, Level 14, Atlantic Street, Woden ACT 2606 – GPO Box 9848 Canberra ACT 2601 – www.health.gov.au

What is the risk of further cases arriving in Australia?

Up until last Thursday there were significant numbers of people coming from the Hubei province of China to Australia, including three direct flights a week from Wuhan. Last Thursday, the Chinese authorities effectively locked down Hubei province and surrounds, preventing people from leaving. This should dramatically reduce the risk of people coming to Australia from the epicentre in Hubei province.

There are, however, a large number of flights to Australia from other cities in China; some residents from Hubei may have left before Thursday and will travel to Australia and there are small pockets of infection elsewhere in China.

We are, therefore, providing information to all passengers on flights from China asking them to seek medical attention if they develop relevant symptoms, particularly if they have been in Hubei province or in contact with an infected person in China.

The greater risk, however, is likely to be people who arrived in China before last Thursday, when the travel restrictions were put in place in China. Given the incubation period, these people could develop symptomatic infection any time over the next 10 days or so.

What do clinicians need to do?

The critical thing for Australia is early detection to enable diagnosis, isolation and appropriate contact tracing.

We need to ensure that there is no human to human transmission in this country.

To achieve this, I am seeking your ongoing support.

If you see someone with relevant symptoms who has come from China (particularly the Hubei province/Wuhan city) in the last 14 days, or who has come into contact with a confirmed case, please contact your State/Territory Public Health Unit/Communicable Disease Branch.

The patient should be isolated and managed in contact/droplet precautions:

  • Place a single-use surgical mask on the patient
  • Isolate the patient in a single room with door closed
  • Any person entering the room should use appropriate droplet and contact precautions personal protective equipment (single-use surgical face mask, eye protection, gown and gloves).

If you are referring the patient to an Emergency Department for assessment and testing (tests are currently available in public health laboratories only) please inform them of the travel history and suspected diagnosis before the patient arrives.

Please do ask and take seriously any relevant travel history. It is likely that most people tested will be negative (it is flu season in China at present) but we must be vigilant in our efforts to identify and isolate the small number of patients who may already be in Australia with this virus or who may come in coming weeks.

At this stage, we know that human to human transmission can occur, and some of the early cases have been severe. We do not yet know how transmissible this infection is, nor how many people get mild infection.

Because of this uncertainty, we are taking a cautious approach and seek your vigilance in detecting and isolating any cases that may present over the coming weeks to protect Australians. By early detection and quarantine we can ensure that it does not become a major public health threat here.

So please don’t forget TRAVEL HISTORY is crucial in someone with respiratory/febrile illness who could have come from China.

Further information on this emerging situation can be found on https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov.

The Australian health system is very well prepared to manage these situations and I appreciate your ongoing support and direct contribution to the collective response.

Thank you so much for your help. Kind regards

Professor Brendan Murphy Chief Medical Officer

26 January 2020

NACCHO Affiliates and Members Deadly Good News : #National Watch @NACCHOChair 2019 Year in Review Video #NSW Katungul Tharawal ACCHO’s #VIC @VAHS1972 #QLD @Apunipima @DeadlyChoices #NT @Kwhb_OneShield @CAACongress #WA @TheAHCWA #ACT @nimmityjah #Tas #SA Port Lincoln ACCHO

1.1 National : NACCHO Chair and CEO 2019 Year in Review

1.2 National : NACCHO Communique number 2833 ” The Last Post “

2.1 NSW : Katungul ACCHO in Bega buys building to provide culturally safe place health and community services to the Aboriginal community

2.2 NSW : Tharawal ACCHO Art Therapy Program: Creating a Safe Place for Community Members to Heal

3.1 VIC : VAHS holds its annual Youth Leadership Camp to build their leadership skills and increase their knowledge on primary health care.

3.2 VIC : A partnership between the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and the Victorian Aboriginal Health Services (VAHS) has created the nation’s first specialist eye clinic that sits within a community controlled organisation

4.1  QLD : Apunipima ACCHO reports Santa sighted in Aurukun FNQ

4.2 Qld :  Deadly Choices 200 seniors representing 30-plus teams Deadly Choices – IUIH Shield Indigenous Seniors Games

4.3 QLD : Lizzie Adams CEO Goolburri ACCHO to stand for local government elections

5.SA : With Port Lincoln ACCHO support local Aboriginal Youth shine at Nunga Next Generation Carnival

6.ACT : The ACT Justice Reinvestment Trial : A process and outcome review of Yarrabi Bamirr at Winnunga ACCHO

7.1 NT : Katherine West Health Board helps the mums and their bubs at play group at Lajamanu School tie dye their own ”What’s your Smoke Free Story?” t-shirts.

7.2 NT Ampilatwatja Health Centre Aboriginal Corporation history in the making as we welcome our first ever Cert 4 AHP (Aboriginal Health Practitioner)

7.3 NT : Congress Alice Springs helpd to film Milpa the Trachoma Goanna (Clean Faces, Strong Eyes) and Drum Atweme.

8. WA : AHCWA Sexual Health Project Officer Veronica shares her NACCHO conference highlights and a little about the training program she delivers called “The Birds & the BBV’s”.

9.TAS : Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre is excited to present this interactive map of the Aboriginal names of over 180 places in lutruwita.

How to submit in 2020 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday 18 January 2020 by 4.30 pm for publication Friday 20 January 2020

1.NACCHO Chair and CEO 2019 Year in Review

On behalf of NACCHO, the Board and our team, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy festive season.

2019 has been a great year as we continue to see growth and welcome new funding. We have developed into a strong and influential voice, not only in health but in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs more broadly.

View the full report HERE

We thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to improving health outcomes for our people and look forward to working with you in 2020!

Yours sincerely Donnella Mills and Pat Turner

Chair and CEO

1.2 National : NACCHO Communique number 2833 ” The Last Post “

After 2,833 Aboriginal Health Alert post over 7 and half years from www.nacchocommunique.com NACCHO media will cease publishing from this site as from today 20 December 2019 and resume mid January 2020 with posts from www.naccho.org.au

For historical and research purposes all posts 2012-2019 will remain on www.nacchocommunique.com

Your current email subscription will be automatically transferred to our new Aboriginal Health News Alerts Subscriber service that will offer you the options of Daily , Weekly or Monthly alerts

I personally thank all the NACCHO Members and readers who have supported me over this journey

See you in the new format in 2020

For further info contact Colin Cowell NACCHO Social Media Media Editor

2.1 NSW : Katungul ACCHO in Bega buys building to provide culturally safe place health and community services to the Aboriginal community.

Aboriginal health and well-being services in the region are about to be supercharged with an aged care facility in Bega being re-purposed into an Aboriginal health clinic.

The vacant Casuarina facility on Bega Street, Bega, operated by Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care has been sold to Katungul, the region’s Aboriginal community-controlled health organisation.

“We’re so excited to officially share with the community that we have invested in this space. We have so many ideas for this new premises,” says Joanne Grant, Katungul Acting CEO.

“It has so much potential to serve our local community, filling the many service gaps we may have here on the south coast.”

Residents of Casuarina moved out just before Christmas 2017, into new, more modern accommodation at Hillgrove House in Bega.

Built in 1979, the building is designed around four main houses, each house consisted of a lounge and dining areas with its own domestic sized kitchen and a total of 31 motel type suites where residents were provided with care and support.

For two years the well-loved and care for building has sat empty – screaming potential to a range of community organisations.

Under the control of Katungul since Friday (December 13) tradesmen are currently swarming the building getting it ready for its new future – providing health and community services to the Aboriginal community.

Ms Grant says the scale of the building will also provide an opportunity for Katungul to address community needs which aren’t yet being met.

“The thing I’m most excited about however is creating a culturally safe place for our community and a place the Aboriginal community can call their own,” she says.

“I envision the facility as a hub for dynamic collaboration between other like-minded services for the betterment of the health and wellbeing of our broader community.”

The past five years has seen Katungul grow from the strength to strength serving the Bega Valley and Eurobodalla through clinics in Batemans Bay, Narooma, and Bega. Plans for the future take in communities as far away as Young, Yass, Queanbeyan, Goulburn, and Cooma.

Under the control of Katungul since Friday (December 13) tradesmen are currently swarming the building getting it ready for its new future. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Katungul Chairman Ronald Nye Senior believes the new space goes beyond offering health and care services.

“We are confident this Bega Street premises will take on a new cultural significance for the local Aboriginal community offering not only a great sense of pride but a culturally safe environment to access holistic health services.”

The new building offers Katungul a 300% increase in clinic capacity plus the ability to offer both community services and clinical services from one singular location.

Currently, Katungul offers a bulk-billing medical clinic with outreach services including; dental clinics via a touring dental van, eye health services including Aboriginal eye health specialists and visiting optometrists and ophthalmologists, maternal and infant health services, National Disability Insurance Scheme support services, mental health support services including an in-house psychologist, alcohol and other drug use support, social and emotional wellbeing services and cultural programs.

Staff are currently moving from their Gipps Street premises to the new Bega Street site; despite the heavy loads being lifted and shifted, all staff are wearing big smiles and are buzzing about the opportunity the Casurina building offers.

Services from Bega Street will start on January 6 with a smoking ceremony on January 15.

2.2 NSW : Tharawal ACCHO Art Therapy Program: Creating a Safe Place for Community Members to Heal

The Art Therapy Program was created by Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation in 2013 for the purpose of providing community members with a safe place to yarn.

It is a non-clinical setting where vulnerable members of the community can open up about their struggles without feeling judged and discriminated against.

The Program also creates a space for community members to express their feelings, using art as a medium. Through art, participants can explore the issues that have affected them in their life and begin viewing them from a different perspective to promote acceptance and healing.

See Photos of all the art HERE

‘We decided there was a need for some of the clients that suffer with mental health in the community. They would disengage with a lot of services, so we thought that we’d look at some ideas and see what they were interested in. We did try a couple of things, but we found that the art therapy really kicked off.’ –

Dannielle Gillette, Mental Health Worker at Tharawal

A large component of Aboriginal peoples social and emotional wellbeing is feeling connected to culture and community.

The Program covers both bases, incorporating traditional Aboriginal art and creating connections between community members who are part of the Program. For generations Aboriginal people have used art for storytelling and to chronicle knowledge of their land and mob.  The Tharawal Art Therapy Program teaches community members traditional art from their Nation, helping them to go back to their family roots.

‘I feel more culturally connected. My mother is Anglo-white, we weren’t really cultural cause my dad was in an orphanage for stolen generations, so we didn’t know much. By coming here, I feel I’m connected. I’m able to connect with him even though we don’t know… Where his mum, where his dad is.’ – Joanne, Tharawal Art Therapy Program Class Member

On Wednesday the 16th of October 2019, during Tharawal’s celebration of Mental Health Week, the Art Therapy Program presented The Journey 2020 Calendar, made up of artworks from 12 of the class members.

The artists each used different symbols and totems originating from their local community to create beautiful artworks layered with meaning. The artworks were all uniquely different, using traditional styles and emotive colours to communicate the individual journey of each of the class members.

‘We made the Calendars with the group to show them what great artists they all are, and they should all be so proud.’ – Ondra Challinger, Tharawal Art Therapy Program Coordinator

The CEO of Tharawal, Darryl Wright and Program Coordinators Danielle Gillette and Ondra Challinger presented the artworks back to the artists. It was an emotional presentation, with artists sharing their struggles with mental health and how they had affected their life trajectories.

Mental health issues that deeply effect Aboriginal communities including domestic violence, suicide and drug and alcohol addiction were themes explored in the artworks. While usually these issues are approached with shame and stigma, many of the artists were proud of the struggles they had faced and overcome in their lives. Through owning their stories and connecting to culture and community, the class members have been able to grow and heal together.

Danielle presenting The Journey 2020 Calendar created by the Tharawal Art Therapy Class

Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation is selling The Journey 2020 calendars for $20 each. The funds raised from calendar sales will go towards purchasing resources for the Program. The Journey 2020 Calendars are a thoughtful Christmas gift option for family and friends. Don’t miss out!

Please contact Ondra (ondra.challinger@tacams.com.au) or Danielle (danielle.gillette@tacams.com.au) to learn more.

3.1 VIC : VAHS holds its annual Youth Leadership Camp to build their leadership skills and increase their knowledge on primary health care.

Day 1 – VAHS Youth Leadership Camp.

Over 35 young Aboriginal people from Melbourne and Gippsland are attending.

All week, this group of young people will build their leadership skills and increase their knowledge on primary health care.

See all 20 Day 1 Photos HERE

Day 2

It’s a hot one at the camp, the students ready for a swim. We knew some students will forget their towels for the VAHS Leadership Camp……that’s why VAHS created and gave every young person a new beach towel for the camp.

Day 3 for the VAHS Youth Leadership Camp – Cultural Workshops with Uncle Wayne Thorpe.

The workshop was to identify your role and responsibility as a Aboriginal Person in today’s Society.

Best question all young people at the camp had to think hard about……’Are you going to be Deadly or Demben in life?’

See all Day 3 Photos HERE

3.2 VIC : A partnership between the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and the Victorian Aboriginal Health Services (VAHS) has created the nation’s first specialist eye clinic that sits within a community controlled organisation.

Servicing the First Nations community in Fitzroy, the clinic is delivering gold standard and culturally safe services to those in need of specialist eye care and holds brand new equipment purchased with funding from the Victorian Government.

VAHS has had a relationship with the Australian College of Optometry for two decades, which has enabled the expansion of optometry services within the organisation.

Article originally published in NIT

In the past year, VAHS has worked closely with the Eye and Ear Hospital and the College of Optometry to establish the new ophthalmology clinic.

VAHS General Manager of Operations, Gavin Brown, said VAHS has been a vibrant part of life for the First Nations community in Fitzroy and that this new clinic enables the organisation to continue the work they do.

“Fitzroy is our stomping ground and a spiritual home for a lot of people. We have a relationship with a few hospitals in the area, that have been built over those 46 years,” Mr Brown said.

“The services that are provided and the results are wonderful … It is an amazing program, and we have a lot of visiting specialists. This is a real model for us on how we can do things in our service and have the … relationships outside for the things that are beyond our capability in terms of surgery and so on.”

Many staff within the clinic are of non-Indigenous heritage, however the partnership has enabled teaching and better understanding of how to deliver a culturally safe service.

Dr Rosie Dawkins is a non-Indigenous woman working as the clinic’s Consultant Ophthalmologist.

“Rosie is our ophthalmologist … she has a wonderful understanding. It is wonderful when you get non-Aboriginal people who are the right fit, and have that respect and have a comprehension of our culture and way of life and have respect for community controlled health organisations as well,” Mr Brown said.

Dr Dawkins noted the power of the clinic within VAHS.

“It’s shifting power … the community is in control of who comes, how the clinic runs, and the doctors are there to meet the health needs of the community, as the community sees fit,” Dr Dawkins said.

The Consultant Ophthalmologist said the relationship between VAHS and the hospital has enabled a better understanding of the community.

“For the hospital, people have often been thinking … why can’t we get people from Fitzroy to come to the hospital? … But the question is, why do we expect people to come to these institutions?

“The reasons for people unwilling to go to mainstream services, and not everyone is … are well understood, but we need to do something about it. But we can only do that through partnership, so the [Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation] must be willing and the hospital must be willing.

“We’re hoping that this kind of model of gold standard care can apply to everything at the ACCHO and can be a model that other hospitals and ACCHOs could use.”

Mr Brown said the clinic is already having a visible change within community.

“It is very rewarding because a lot of eye health issues, as people know, are curable. You see within a week that someone has their sight back or improved sight – you see the changes it makes in our people’s lives,” Mr Brown said.

With 46 years of service under their belt, VAHS hopes to keep providing community with extensive, culturally safe services that not only maintain healthy lifestyles, but inspire and empower the community.

“The community controlled organisations have been a big part of our lives [since the 1980s] so we are connected. We are so fortunate to have that era of empowerment and building in our community,” Mr Brown said.

“Times change and nowadays whilst we still have that political voice, it’s a lot more intricate in running a large service. We are always striving to improve and we’re always striving to maintain that voice that can be out there with people and government.”

By Rachael Knowles

4.1  QLD : Apunipima ACCHO reorts Santa sighted in Aurukun FNQ

Last Friday the Aurukun Community Christmas Party was held at the Wo’uw Ko’alam Community Centre.

A large crowd of 350 thoroughly enjoyed themselves, particularly all the children who received presents!

Apunipima staff who attended: Vincent Koomeeta, Kim Janus, Dr Darren Fahroedin, Dr Babak Azari and Maggie Robson (pictured above )

Santa had fun dancing with the children and then handing out presents to every child from every age group up to 12 year olds… we can confirm Santa was very tired by the end of the night!!

Another highlight from the night was hearing the beautiful Rochelle Pitt Music perform Carols to the community.

Watch Apunipima ACCHO 2019 Year in Review in 60 Seconds

4.2 Qld :  Deadly Choices 200 seniors representing 30-plus teams Deadly Choices – IUIH Shield Indigenous Seniors Games

A collective 200 seniors representing 30-plus teams from drought-stricken communities including Charleville, Cunnamulla, Quilpie, Mitchell and from across the Darling Downs, joined  coastal and City dwellers from Gympie, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, all competing for Statewide honours at this year’s Deadly Choices – IUIH Shield Indigenous Seniors Games at Willawong.

View over 22  Photos of the Event

To ensure the long trip to Brisbane is made all the more worthwhile, Deadly Choices Ambassadors including Australian league legends Steve Renouf, Preston Campbell, Petero Civoniceva, Willie Tonga and Brenton Bowen, plus Olympic sprinter Patrick Johnson and International natural bodybuilder champion Rhonda Purcell were on hand to ensure healthy competition and banter.

Not since 35 teams assembled for the huge 2018 Commonwealth Games commemorative Seniors Games event in Brisbane, have event organisers seen such a wide assortment of regional teams.

The Seniors Games concept has as its key directives to promote social inclusion among the elderly, while encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle and to ensure regular medical health checks are undertaken by participants. This is a pre-requisite of participation.

4.3 QLD : Lizzie Adams CEO Goolburri ACCHO to stand for local government elections 

5.SA : With Port Lincoln ACCHO support local Aboriginal Youth shine at Nunga Next Generation Carnival

Aboriginal youth from Port Lincoln community travelled to Adelaide to take part in the Nunga Next Generation Carnival held at Alberton Oval on December 6 and 7, which included the Next Generation football competition organised by the Port Adelaide Football Club.

The Port Lincoln Community worked together with many services such as Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Services, Port Lincoln Aboriginal Community Council, Port Lincoln City Council, West Coast Youth and Community Support and Mallee Park Football Club along with many individuals and families who volunteered their time over the weekend.

The young footballers did the community proud with a team of 23 young men participating in the football carnival and winning it.

The team was coached by Graham Johncock with Hippy Wanganeen Jnr as assistant coach, Ronald Carbine as team manager and Alan Dodd III (CJ) as supporting team assistant.

The team played well after travelling throughout Friday and on arrival in Adelaide had their first game at Alberton Oval that night.

They took out the trophy on Saturday after defeating Koonibba in the final game.

Jace Burgoyne (Son of Ex Port Adelaide Power player) was judged best in final and best player overall.

His skill and football knowledge was a standout throughout his performances over the weekend and will no doubt follow in his father’s footsteps.

The players had a great time, caught up with friends and family, supported each other and come home winners in more ways than one.

6.ACT : The ACT Justice Reinvestment Trial : A process and outcome review of Yarrabi Bamirr at Winnunga ACCHO

The Minister for Justice Shane Rattenbury today released an evaluation of the Winnunga Justice Reinvestment Trial conducted by the Australian National University Centre for Social Research and Methods.

Minister Rattenbury said that the aim of the Trial, funded by the ACT Government and implemented by Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services, was to empower families to be self-reliant in navigating the system to get the right help from the right place at the right time.
“The evaluation confirmed that the Trial is meeting its objectives. It is providing strong benefits to families including keeping families together, preventing homelessness and keeping people out of prison,” Minister Rattenbury said.

During the Trial, drug and alcohol counselling, midwifery services, dental services, psychologist and psychiatrist services, and advocacy services were significantly increased for participants.

Winnunga AHCS CEO Ms Julie Tongs said ‘Winnunga is an Aboriginal community controlled and managed organisation, an integral and trusted part of the community, and this is why the JR Trial worked and could not be duplicated by a mainstream community or government service provider’.

‘The need for after-hours support continues to be an issue Winnunga has identified over many years, and it is good to see this has emerged as a key theme through the evaluation, which should be considered as an opportunity for improvement. Crisis is not limited to business hours and so after-hours support would be a logical step for support that seeks to address family and personal issues as they emerge, before they escalate further’ Ms Tongs added.

“The evaluation concluded that Winnunga provided a proactive, intensive and problem-oriented system of case management and the participants reported significant improvements in their family, personal and social well-being,” Minister Rattenbury said.
The outcomes and recommendations from the evaluation have been used to inform the funding and operating model for future service provision.

The Trial is a product of the whole-of-government commitment to the provision of intensive family-centric case management for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families as part of the ACT Government’s Justice Reinvestment Strategy.

7.1 NT  : Katherine West Health Board helps the mums and their bubs at play group at Lajamanu School tie dye their own ”What’s your Smoke Free Story?” t-shirts.

The Kids

7.2 NT Ampilatwatja Health Centre Aboriginal Corporation history in the making as we welcome our first ever Cert 4 AHP (Aboriginal Health Practitioner)

Today is history in the making! We welcomed our first ever Cert 4 AHP (Aboriginal Health Practitioner) to the clinic! Jason King is an Alyawarr man.

From everyone here at the clinic welcome to Ampilatwatja and the clinic!

7.3 NT : Congress Alice Springs helpd to film Milpa the Trachoma Goanna (Clean Faces, Strong Eyes) and Drum Atweme.

Yesterday the ICTV crew was on set at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station & Trail Station Cafe filming with Milpa the Trachoma Goanna (Clean Faces, Strong Eyes) and Drum Atweme.

It was early start to the day to beat the 42 degrees heat but the kids were ready to go and they had so much fun! 🦎

8. WA : AHCWA Sexual Health Project Officer Veronica shares her NACCHO conference highlights and a little about the trianing program she delivers called “The Birds & the BBV’s”.

Veronica Walshe from Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia – AHCWA (AHCWA) tells us some of her NACCHO conference highlights and a little about the trianing program she delivers called ‘Birds and BBVs’. 👍

Veronica ran some workshops around the Birds and BBVs program with our young proffesionals at this years NACCHO Youth Conference which was held on the first day of our conference.

9.TAS : Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre is excited to present this interactive map of the Aboriginal names of over 180 places in lutruwita.

Click here to open the map. The map can be used on computer, phones or tablet.

To mark 2019 International Year of Indigenous languages, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre is excited to present this interactive map of the Aboriginal names of over 180 places in lutruwita.

The names are shown in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines.

Scroll over each name to hear it said, and open to learn some history of each name.

Only a handful of places in lutruwita still bear their original names, although in English spellings which do not convey the original sounds – Triabunna, Ringarooma, Boobyalla are some.   What seem like ‘Aboriginal names’ on signs and maps – Yolla, Marrawah, Poatina etc –  are all in English spellings too, and were plucked straight from wordlists by various municipal authorities.  None of those names are the original names for those places, and are not from the language of that place or area.

But the original names of our beautiful country have been retrieved over many years work by the palawa kani Language Program, to be spoken once again by Tasmanian Aborigines.

We are proud to now share these names with all residents of lutruwita, and beyond. We encourage you all to speak and use them to acknowledge the Aboriginal history of this island, and to honour the resilience of Aboriginal languages. The Aboriginal community makes this gesture in the spirit of generous cultural sharing: it is not an invitation to appropriate any of the names for any commercial purpose.

We ask that public uses of the names be accompanied wherever reasonably possible by the acknowledgment ‘In palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines.’

You can learn more about the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre at http://tacinc.com.au/

About the palawa kani Language Program and reviving the names at http://tacinc.com.au/programs/palawa-kani/
About the European recorders of the names at  http://tacinc.com.au/tasmanian-aboriginal-place-names/

About Aboriginal and dual names gazetted by the Tasmanian Government at  http://tacinc.com.au/official-aboriginal-and-dual-names/

About other names of lutruwita  http://tacinc.com.au/11-more-aboriginal-dual-names-to-go-to-nomenclature-board-in-june-2017/

This site is still a work in process, with some histories still to be added and technical glitches dealt with as they arise. More names will be added they are revived.

Please send us your feedback on any aspect of this site, as our aim is to make it as accessible and useful as possible. palawa kani Language program can be contacted at language@tacinc.com.au

 

NACCHO Affiliates and Members Deadly Good News : #National #QandA @NACCHOChair @SandraEades #VIC @VACCHO_org #Treaty @VAHS1972 #NSW @ahmrc #Bulgarr #NT @Kwhb_OneShield @MiwatjHealth #QLd @QAIHC_QLD @DeadlyChoices #ACT @nimmityjah #TAC

1.1 National : NACCHO Chair says National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey outcomes confirm that the ACCHOs smoking cessation programs are working

1.2 National : Our CEO Pat Turner appears on final ABC TV Q and A for 2019 : Watch on IView

1.3.National : NACCHO Congratulates Professor Sandra Eades Australia’s first appointment of an Indigenous Dean to a medical school.

1.4 National : NACCHO Communique to generate off new platform in 2020

2.1 VIC : VACCHO : Self-determination and sovereignty inseparable from health and socio-cultural wellbeing says peak Aboriginal health body

2.2 VIC : VAHS acknowledges the legendary Dr. (Uncle) Bruce McGuinness by unveiling of the plaque of recognition

3.1 NSW : AH&MRC hosts the Deadly Doctors Forum as part of the Rural Doctors Network for our Member Services

3.2 NSW : Bulgarr Ngaru ACCHO Casino NSW develops the clinical skills of their Aboriginal Workforce

4.1 NT Katherine West Health Board ACCHO are in the middle of a SEWB community mural painting project.

4.2 : NT : Miwatj Health ACCHO values the commitment and dedication you have to your work, Rrapa Elizabeth Dhurkay.

5.1 QLD : QAIHC legend Aunty Mary Martin AM awarded QUT’s highest award – the Doctor of the University.

5.2 : QLD Deadly work by our DC Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service ACCHO Brisbane team acknowledged for their dedication and support of Marsden State School

6. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO promotes and supports HIV awareness to clients through promoting and supplying condoms 

7.TAS : The Australian Digital Health Agency meets with representatives from state and territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services at TAC

8.WA : Congratulations to our very own Keisha Calyun AHCWA Youth Committee Member winning the Hope Community Services Positive Achievement Award at the WA Youth Affairs Council annual WA Youth Awards

How to submit in 2020 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday 18 January 2020 by 4.30 pm for publication Friday 20 January 2020

 

1.1 National : NACCHO Chair says National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey outcomes confirm that the ACCHOs smoking cessation programs are working

“The latest NATSIHS report demonstrates the ACCHO smoking cessation programs and health promotion activities are working.

It is encouraging to see fewer younger people are taking up smoking in the first place, with a decrease in people ages 15 years and over who smoked every day, falling from 41 per cent in 2012 – 13 to 37 per cent in 2018 – 19. 

“The results unfortunately also show an increase in many chronic diseases for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with 46% reporting one or more chronic condition (up from 40% in 2012-13).

Thus, providing more evidence that additional funding is needed to Close the Gap in health outcomes as chronic diseases are the major contributors to the mortality gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

It is positive to see more than four in 10 people rated their health as excellent or very good, up from 39 per cent in 2012 – 13 to 45 per cent and more than half of children aged 2-17 years had seen a dentist or dental professional in the last 12 months.”

Donnella Mills NACCHO Chair

Read or Download the full NACCHO Press Release HERE

Read our full coverage of the ABS Health Report

1.2 National : Our CEO Pat Turner appears on final ABC TV Q and A for 2019 : Watch on IView

End of an Era : The 2019 finale of Q&A. Joining Tony Jones on the panel Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, Indigenous leader Pat Turner, author Sisonke Msimang and ANU Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt.

https://iview.abc.net.au/show/qanda

1.3.National : NACCHO Congratulates Professor Sandra Eades Australia’s first appointment of an Indigenous Dean to a medical school.

“Curtin has successfully expanded its healthcare and medical profile within Western Australia and nationally. I am honoured to be appointed as Dean and look forward to collaborating with colleagues, industry and students to ensure the Curtin Medical School continues to thrive,

From a leading public health academic and respected Noongar woman Professor Sandra Eades, who has been influential in improving the health of Aboriginal communities across Australia has been appointed the new Dean of the Curtin Medical School, commencing in March 2020.

Read full Report Here

1.4 National : NACCHO Communique to generate off new platform in 2020

After 2,800 Aboriginal Health Alerts over 7 and half years from www.nacchocommunique.com NACCHO media will cease publishing from this site as from 31 December 2019 and resume mid January 2020 with posts from www.naccho.org.au

For historical and research purposes all posts 2012-2019 will remain on www.nacchocommunique.com

Your current email subscription will be automatically transferred to our new Aboriginal Health News Alerts Subscriber service that will offer you the options of Daily , Weekly or Monthly alerts

For further info contact Colin Cowell NACCHO Social Media Media Editor

2.1 VIC : VACCHO : Self-determination and sovereignty inseparable from health and socio-cultural wellbeing says peak Aboriginal health body

VACCHO has long argued that self-determination and sovereignty is inseparable from health and sociocultural wellbeing, and welcomes treaty negotiations as another step forward in ensuring basic respect for the rights, dignity, and sovereignty of Aboriginal people, but as a fundamental determinant of health outcomes for the Aboriginal community.

“Establishing a Treaty process will be of benefit to all Victorians. It is a vital step in transforming the relationship and power dynamics between Aboriginal Victorians and non-Aboriginal Victorians.

Any change must embed values and actions that create equality for all, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal and not as colonised and coloniser. The culture of Victoria will be richer when Victoria embraces its entire history and not just parts here and there. “

Acting VACCHO CEO, Trevor Pearce

The inaugural meeting of the First Peoples’ Assembly for a Treaty and Treaties between the Aboriginal Community and Victorian Government which took place today is a watershed moment in Australian history and society concerning the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples said VACCHO, the peak body for Aboriginal health in Victoria.

Acting VACCHO CEO, Trevor Pearce said as an historic moment, it is comparable to the 1939 Cummeragunja Walk-Off, 1963 Yirrkala Bark Petitions, 1966 Wavehill Walk-Off by Gurindgi, 1967 Referendum and the 1992 Mabo v QLD case that challenged and overturned the concept of Terra Nullius, to name just a few.

VACCHO is the leading advocate for the health of Aboriginal peoples in Victoria and a peak organisation to its Membership with a membership of 30 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations. VACCHO also works closely with partner organisations, Government, non-Government Community sector organisations across Victoria and nationally.

“This next part of Australian history marks the first time an Australian Government will enter into treaty negotiations with any Aboriginal people. Australia is the last colony of Great Britain to start the process,” said Mr Pearce.

“As Victorians we must acknowledge the challenges experienced by our community and the tireless work of many generations of the Aboriginal community who have participated and contributed to standing up for our basic human rights since colonisation,” he continued.

“Truth-telling and not sanitising our shared history can lead to the first steps of healing our nation. We are optimistic that it will create momentum for the adoption of Treaty negotiations and truth-telling to begin at a national level,” said Mr Pearce.

2.2 VIC : VAHS acknowledges the legendary Dr. (Uncle) Bruce McGuinness by unveiling of the plaque of recognition


Plenty of the old warriors and many of the new and upcoming warriors attended the unveiling of the plaque of recognition

Dr. (Uncle) Bruce McGuinness a NAIHO/NACCHO pioneer

He has been described as the “ideological godfather of the Black power movement”, but he was also a pioneer in the development of a national network of Aboriginal “community-controlled health services”.

Bruce was also instrumental in the later emergence of the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation (NAIHO) in the 1970s. NAIHO was ostensibly a national “umbrella organisation” established to represent the interests of the new national network of community-controlled health services.

Read More

3.1 NSW : AH&MRC hosts the Deadly Doctors Forum as part of the Rural Doctors Network for our Member Services

On the 28th of November 2019, the AH&MRC hosted the Deadly Doctors Forum as part of the Rural Doctors Network for our Member Services. A range of topics were presented by many wonderful speakers. The overarching objective of the Forum was to provide Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) with a Forum to gain insight into what’s happening in the ACCHS sector and a chance to network with peers.

Member Services from throughout NSW gathered in Manly to hear about various topics in the health space from a range of speakers.

Kyla Wynn, Trish Levett and Dr Rowena Ivers discussed cancer and palliative care and how their team is assisting community members to attend appointments and grief counselling, as well as talking about some great initiatives from their Illawarra service.

Dr Clayton Spencer, Chief Medical Director of Western NSW Local Health District discussed the importance of accessing traditional healing practices from the Ngangkari Aboriginal healers and building career pathways using this scope of healing. Traditional approaches to healing are holistic taking into account the mind, body and spirit. In this sense, health is not just physical wellness but also connects kinship of the culture and community.

Dr Laila Tabassum provided an update on My Health Record, explaining the procedures behind providing better-connected care between patients and health organisations with the ability to upload clinical documents.

Donna Parks from the Agency of Clinical Innovation (ACI) spoke in detail about the use of Telehealth where clinically appropriate.

Ely Taylor from the Ministry of Health provided insights into the modification of the Influenza Season Preparedness toolkit, ensuring the document is culturally appropriate.

AMS Redfern’s Dr Kath Keenan discussed the effects, screening, diagnosis and treatment of Hepatitis C.

Dr Vlad Matic provided an informative presentation on Clinical Governance and the role of the GP, in which we discovered a continuing theme of W Edwards Deming quotes including the System of Profound Knowledge in relation to data collection and use.

Our Public Health Medical Officer (PHMO) Dr Kate Armstrong discussed the recently held PHMO meeting and introduced other PHMOs from around Australia.

Liz Moore from AMSANT in NT, Lucy Morris QAIHC in QLD and Sarah McLean VACCHO in VIC provided an update from their regions.

Nathan Taylor and Janeen Foffani presented on the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA), where they discussed their approach to education and training of the health workforce and delivery of programs to primary, secondary and tertiary health care provider groups.

The Your Health Your Future (YHYF) campaign was discussed by our Public Health Manager Lee Bradfield who spoke about member collaboration, the Ambassador program with the Deadly Ninja Jack Wilson, and Illawarra Hawks Tyson Demos, plus funding plans for 2020 and available resources.

Information regarding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Pulmonary Rehabilitation was provided by Dr Jennifer Alison and David Meharg. Details on guidelines, GP action plans and upskilling on medication use were discussed in detail.

Dr Karin Jodlowski-Tan from the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) highlighted the model of training their organisation provides. Susan Anderson presented on the NSW Aboriginal Cancer Scoping Project, with statistics to be released in 2020.

Overall the day was highly informative, and we look forward to future Deadly Doctor Forums.

For more information about future Deadly Doctors Forums, please don’t hesitate to contact AH&MRC Public Health Officer Imran Mansoor IMansoor@ahmrc.org.au

Author – Zoe Mead, AH&MRC Public Health Team

3.2 NSW : Bulgarr Ngaru ACCHO Casino NSW develops the clinical skills of their Aboriginal Workforce.

This week Bulgarr Ngaru partnered with the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) and the NSW Rural Doctors Network to run the first workshop of a series to further develop the clinical skills of our Aboriginal Workforce.

This weeks workshop focused on Health Assessments (715s) and Triage.

4.1 NT Katherine West Health Board ACCHO are in the middle of a SEWB community mural painting project.

So far we have done a community mural at Timber Creek, Yarralin and Lajamanu communities. All are painted over a week with KWHB Board Directors, community members and staff involved in designing the mural, the message behind the mural and assisting with the painting.

The Kalkaringi communities mural will be completed early next year.

The results of the community mural project have been fantastic – both the community participation and awareness of SEWB and the results of the painting.

“The Lajamanu #SpeakUp mural week would have to be the most amazing week I’ve had in my 10 years at KWHB!

It was a pleasure working with the community, the program and clinic team as well as Andrew, Georgie & Cal, the artists.

Everyone pitching in and working as a team is what makes these projects successful. Shout out to KWHB Directors and all the community members who assisted with painting of the mural as well as the CDEP mob, without them the mural would not have been finished. We are all very blessed to have community members share their culture and stories with us.” KWHB Health Promotion Coordinator

Feedback for one community member – “It’s good to have ‘Share your worries’ written on the front of the clinic because it is a place to go and share your worries and get help.”

4.2 : NT : Miwatj Health ACCHO values the commitment and dedication you have to your work, Rrapa Elizabeth Dhurkay.

Congratulations on all your inspiring achievements! Thanks also to ALPA for sharing this wonderful story. #MiwatjHealth

 

 

5.1 QLD : QAIHC legend Aunty Mary Martin AM awarded QUT’s highest award – the Doctor of the University.

“Introducing Dr Mary Martin AM.

An honour to attend the 2019 QUT Graduation Ceremony at QPAC today to watch Aunty Mary Martin AM be awarded QUT’s highest award – the Doctor of the University.

Aunty Mary is a Health trailblazer training as a Registered Nurse in the 1970’s before dedicating over 40 years of her life to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

A QAIHC employee for over 22 years; and a strong advocate for community control and better health outcomes, we congratulate Aunty Mary.

We also congratulate QUT for acknowledging Aunty Mary and awarding her this prestigious Doctorate.”

REPOST – QAIHC CEO Neil Willmett ( Pictured Above )

5.2 : QLD Deadly work by our DC Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service ACCHO Brisbane team acknowledged for their dedication and support of Marsden State School

Congrats to our Browns Plains staff and the Deadly Choices team who were recognised for their dedication and support to Marsden State School. Bree, Skye, Brandon, Ray and Brenton attended a VIP Breakfast of Champions to receive the community partnership award. Well done!! #deadly

6. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO promotes and supports HIV awareness to clients through promoting and supplying condoms 
Thanks team Winnunga for promoting and supporting HIV awareness to our clients through promoting and supplying condoms
And big thanks also to Sarah Martin and the team at the Canberra Sexual health clinic for the care you provide for clients with HIV and other STI’s #you and me can stop HIV#

7.TAS : The Australian Digital Health Agency meets with representatives from state and territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services at TAC 

“It’s vital that Aboriginal health services are involved in the work of the Digital Health Agency as our holistic approach to the health of our people ensures those who will benefit most from engaging with digital health have the information to enable them to do so.”

Heather Sculthorpe, CEO of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

The Australian Digital Health Agency met with representatives from state and territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services on 4 December to support improvements in digital health literacy.

Read More

8.WA : Congratulations to our very own Keisha Calyun AHCWA Youth Committee Member winning the Hope Community Services Positive Achievement Award at the WA Youth Affairs Council annual WA Youth Awards

The Hope Community Services Positive Achievement Award

Keisha Calyun

Keisha was born the eldest of five with cultural heritage mix of English, Dutch and Ballardong Noongar. Her family life has been difficult. With her father rarely present, her mother fought breast cancer twice in ten years, unfortunately losing her battle when Keisha was just 23. After stays with extended family, Keisha and her 20-year-old sister decided to become guardians for their three younger siblings.

Alongside her family responsibilities, Keisha works at the Aboriginal Health Council of WA, where she is helping to develop an online mapping platform that shows availability of health services for regional and remote communities. She is also a Youth Representative on the WA Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee.

She ensures that her family continue to embrace their Aboriginal culture through involvement in cultural groups and activities.

NACCHO Affiliates and Members Deadly Good News : #National Our CEO Pat Turner on Final 2019 #QandA Mon 9 Dec Plus #NSW Dubbo ACCHO #VIC #VACCHO #QLD @QAIHC_QLD @DeadlyChoices Goodnir #NT @MiwatjHealth @NDIS #ACT @nimmityjah #SA Port Lincoln ACCHO

1.National : Our NACCHO CEO Pat Turner to appear on the final 2019 ABC TV Q and A Monday 9 December

2.NSW : A doctor who helped establish the Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) has been honoured for long-standing service to country NSW.

3.Vic : VACCHO partners with  BreastScreen Victoria to win the 2019 VicHealth IMPROVING HEALTH EQUITY award for our Aboriginal Breast Screening Shawl project, which means our beautiful women win!

4.1 QLD : QAIHC hosts the annual Awards for Excellence, celebrating leaders, organisations and communities within the Sector.

4.2 QLD : Steven Miles – Health & Ambulance Services Minister & MP for Murrumba launches the Deadly Choices FIT

4.3 QLD : A personal reflection from Steve Conn Mobile Clinic Coordinator at Goondir ACCHO

5. NT Miwatj ACCHO  NDIS have begun delivering Capacity Building Community Access services

6. ACT : Work underway to build new clinic at Winnunga ACCHO 

7.SA : Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service kids take part in the Woolworths Cricket Blast Test Match Training session

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 Friday

1.National : Our NACCHO CEO Pat Turner to appear on the final ABC TV Q and A Monday 9 December

Malcolm Turnbull, Former Prime Minister of Australia

Anthony Albanese, Opposition Leader

Sisonke Msimang, Author

Patricia Turner, CEO of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

Brian Schmidt, Nobel laureate and Vice-Chancellor, ANU

See More Details Here

2.NSW : A doctor who helped establish the Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) has been honoured for long-standing service to country NSW.

The NSW Rural Doctors Network presented Dr Rick Aitken with a prestigious 2019 Rural Medical Service Award during its annual conference at the Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific at the weekend.

From HERE

Dr Aitken was among 20 GPs to be honoured for more than 700 years of combined service to rural NSW communities.

The award recognises GPs who have spent the past 35 years or more providing healthcare to people in remote, rural and regional communities.

Dr Aitken has clocked up 35 years of service in Orange, Culburra Beach, Dubbo, Millthorpe, Moss Vale and Bundanoon.

In 2013 he was the senior medical manager during the establishment of the Dubbo AMS, also known as the Dubbo Regional Aboriginal Health Service.

Between 2012 and 2016, Dr Aitken was the regional GP educator for Bila Muuji Aboriginal Health Service in Western NSW

3.Vic : VACCHO partners with  BreastScreen Victoria to win the 2019 VicHealth IMPROVING HEALTH EQUITY award for our Aboriginal Breast Screening Shawl project, which means our beautiful women win!!

The project was piloted by VACCHO and Victorian Aboriginal Health Service -VAHS, this initiative is a culmination of months of hard work and planning by project partner BreastScreen Victoria, with Dhauwurd Wurrung DwechWinda-Maraa, Gunditj CorpKirrae Health Service Inc.Wathaurong Aboriginal Co OpRumbalara Aboriginal Co-OperativeRamahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation- SaleVictorian Department of Health & Human Services and Deakin University.

In October BreastScreen Victoria vans visited regional Aboriginal women with free beautiful handmade cultural screening shawls as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This Aboriginal community-led initiative addresses the barriers preventing Aboriginal women participating in breast screening by creating a culturally safe service.

The shawls, designed by Aboriginal women, were made for Aboriginal women in the trial to wear during their breast screen. They are a culturally safe alternative to being naked from the waist up or asking for a standard screening gown.

The shawls aim to improve Aboriginal women’s experience with breast screening. 100% of the women who participated strongly agreed the shawl increased their feeling of cultural safety, of comfort, and that it was easy to use.

Congratulations everyone.

4.1 QLD : QAIHC hosts the annual Awards for Excellence, celebrating leaders, organisations and communities within the Sector.

Established to recognise the hard work, determination and growth of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Sector, the awards acknowledge those that are making a real difference throughout their communities.

Congratulations to the winners:

– QAIHC Partnership Excellence Award – Institute for Urban Indigenous Health

– QAIHC Innovation Excellence Award – Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health

– QAIHC Patient Satisfaction and Service Excellence Award – NPA Family and Community Services Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation

– QAIHC Leader of the Year Award – Veronica Williams and Gary White

– QAIHC Member of the Year Award – Galangoor Duwalami Primary Healthcare Service.

4.2 QLD : Steven Miles – Health & Ambulance Services Minister & MP for Murrumba launches the Deadly Choices FIT

 

Let’s see how he pulled up after his first DC FIT session after launching the program at the Brisbane Broncos this morning.

If you’re aged 16-25 and want to kickstart your way towards a healthier lifestyle join DC FIT today: https://bit.ly/2P9uVcD

4.3 QLD : A personal reflection from Steve Conn Mobile Clinic Coordinator at Goondir ACCHO 

This photo was taken in the Mobile Medical Clinic’s outdoor waiting room.

It is a picture of myself, Steve Conn (Mobile Clinic Coordinator) enjoying an amazing didgeridoo from Gove with a baby and his Mother.

So much can and should be said about moments like these, so rather than letting it go or just giving it a caption, the following is brave admission of what it signifies to me.

The last twenty years of clinical work for me has been focused on emergency work.  Aside from continually experiencing the highs and lows of humanity, emergency work is fast-paced, mentally and physically draining and above all and relevant to this conversation, it is focussed on fixing the broken.

My new role as the MMC Coordinator keeps giving to me in ways I could not have anticipated.   The clinical focus is on primary health, essentially managing clients health with a view to preventing illness and disease and in doing so, help to ‘close the gap’.

It is a demanding job.  I perceive a massive responsibility, not just as a Registered Nurse but as a privileged white citizen of this country.  I have a head full of emergency type stories; naturally there are a few that seem never to leave me, stories of extreme loss and grieving.

Then this moment in the photo happened, it could have just been part of another day at ‘the office’, it could have only been let go or passed over except for the fact that it got beneath my thick clinical skin.

This beyond cute indigenous baby is sitting on his country. A natural connection.  He is listening to white man play didgeridoo as he taps his hands on the earth roughly to the beat.

His mother sits calmly waiting to see the doctor as this hardened emergency nurse takes two minutes out to connect.  For me, although a little brave as in out of the normal behaviour for a Registered Nurse I felt totally comfortable and I know the baby did too by his actions.

In my mind, we (Mother, child and I) shared a judgment-free connection, a genuinely human moment not tainted by skin or socioeconomic status but created by mutual respect, mutual admiration and most powerfully, hope.

All too often we are so consumed by our jobs that we in a way we forget what we are doing.  Working with our Indigenous people in remote areas has enriched my personal and professional life.  It has reminded me of why I became a nurse in the first place.

Thank you to our deadly Mob and thank you to the fantastic organisation and community that is Goondir ACCHO

Steve Conn

MMC Coordinator

As a First Nations visitor here in St George Qld, working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, I too recognise the privilege I hold as a professional but also the privilege I experience in receiving the Strong Stories of Indigenous community members that are often hidden under the stories of loss, grief, pain and the like.

To receive your story is an excellent reminder of how humbling it is to be in this position.

Thanks, Bro

Leonard.

5. NT Miwatj ACCHO  NDIS have begun delivering Capacity Building Community Access services

In Galiwin’ku a second hand 4×4 HI Ace Bus was purchased and then modified by Darwin based company Keep Moving to add a wheelchair lift. This Specialised Disability Transport will allow NDIS Participants to have greater access to community based activities and increase independence. The 4×4 Bus includes a snorkel and lift kit, which allows the bus access to more secluded areas in and around Elcho Island, ideal for hunting and fishing!

NDIS is latju! In celebration of International Day of People with Disability earlier this week, we would like to share some words from the owner of the very first motorised scooter on Milingimbi – an island located 440km east of Darwin.

“I am very happy getting more support. I can ask for help, especially with equipment. I can get help quickly and I have the choice in that type of equipment.

With my new scooter I have a lot of freedom and I can make my own decisions. I didn’t think I would ever get an electric scooter, I thought I would always have to use my small wheelchair and it was very hard for me to use all the time

When I had my stroke, I was very sad because I couldn’t do everything I used to do when I was strong. It helped a little bit when I got my wheelchair, but now I have my new scooter, which is better. I get lots of therapy like OT and physio too, I like doing my exercises.”

6. ACT : Work underway to build new clinic at Winnunga ACCHO 

Progress at Winnunga photos from site tour this week and they are currently on track to have building completed November 2020 . The veranda at the front of admin reception and Rec 2 gone and the boardroom is a shell existing walls and roof will come down in the next couple of weeks

7.SA : Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service kids take part in the Woolworths Cricket Blast Test Match Training session

Aboriginal children from Port Lincoln got the chance to be a part of a celebration of Aboriginal culture, and have some fun with cricket at a Woolworths Cricket Blast event at Adelaide Oval on November 28.

Twenty five Aboriginal children from the Woolworths Community Fund program, including from Port Lincoln took part in the Woolworths Cricket Blast Test Match Training session which included the launch of a new Aboriginal-designed shirt.

Designed by 16-year-old Aboriginal artist and Dharawal man Billy Reynolds, the shirt features Aboriginal art and depicts a goanna.

SACA northwest country cricket manager Peter Brown said children involved with Mallee Park Football Club had been involved with Woolworths Cricket Blast thanks to work with Jermaine Miller at Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service.

“Cricket Australia and SACA have been doing a lot of work in the indigenous space in the last few years and recognising the contributions of Aboriginal people,” he said.

Cricket Australia community cricket executive general manager Belinda Clark said the launch of the shirt shined a light on cricket’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation and providing options for young cricketers to celebrate First Nations cultures.

Children involved in Woolworths Cricket Blast will have the chance to wear the new shirt from February next year.