NACCHO Affiliate and ACCHO Members Deadly Good News Stories : #National #ClosingtheGap #HaveYourSay #NSW Tharawal @ahmrc #VIC @VAHS1972 #QLD @Apunipima 25 yrs @QAIHC_QLD #NT @CAACongress #WA Bega #ACT @nimmityjah #Tas

1.1 National : Our Coalition of Peaks #HaveYourSay survey on Closing the Gap sent to hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations and their networks, inviting responses from both individuals and organisations.

1.2 National : A trial at 22 Aboriginal health centres around the country is hoping to improve quality of life for Aboriginal people living with chronic disease.

2.1 NSW : Matthew James from Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation has written an insightful article on Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing in an Australian urban community. 

2.2 NSW : AHandMRC and Hitnet Community Hubs provide connection and access to information for difficult-to-reach and digitally excluded populations across Australia.

2.3 NSW : Aboriginal patient experience : BHI and the Centre for Aboriginal Health are working together to collect the experiences and outcomes of care for Aboriginal people admitted to NSW public hospitals

3.VIC : VAHS encourages seniors /elders to get active and have fun with their Senior Games 

4.1 QLD : This week the Cape York mob celebrate 25 years since Apunipima Cape York Health Council emerged from a health conference held at Pajinka Wilderness Lodge, near Injinoo, in 1994.

4.2 QLD : Nominations for the 2019 QAIHC Awards for Excellence are open!

5.WA : Bega Garnbirringu Health Service receives a $3.5 million grant to help fund a new multi-storey social service and training facility
7. NT : Congress ACCHO Alice Springs promotes 9th day of the 9th month which is International FASD awareness day!

8. ACT : Winnunuga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and community Services #Historymaking turning of the soil for new ACCHO Medical Centre 

9. Tas : Tasmanian Government signs the Closing the Gap Partnership Agreement between the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies and the Council of Australian Governments

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : Our Coalition of Peaks #HaveYourSay survey on Closing the Gap sent to hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations and their networks, inviting responses from both individuals and organisations.

There is a discussion booklet that has background information on Closing the Gap and sets out what will be talked about in the survey.

The survey will take a little bit of time to complete. It would be great if you can answer all the questions, but you can also just focus on the issues that you care about most.

To help you prepare your answers, you can look at a full copy here

The survey is open to everyone and can be accessed here:

https://www.naccho.org.au/programmes/coalition-of-peaks/have-your-say/

1.2 National : A trial at 22 Aboriginal health centres around the country is hoping to improve quality of life for Aboriginal people living with chronic disease.

Under the trial, patients receive one-on-one education and care by specialised pharmacists working in the centres.

Pharmacist Angela Madden says people need to understand their medications or they stop taking them.

We also hear from Lorraine and Margaret who are experiencing the benefits of the program.

Listen to the ABC Radio National Life Matters Interview HERE

Learn more how NACCHO is involved in the oversight and management of several projects and programs related to medicines and pharmacy. NACCHO also provides national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medicines policy leadership.

See NACCHO Website 

2.1 NSW : Matthew James from Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation has written an insightful article on Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing in an Australian urban community. 

 

Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) is based in Airds, NSW and celebrated its 35th year of operation in 2018.

Tharawal AMS provides healthcare, social and cultural support services to Indigenous Australians across South West Sydney. Tharawal AMS is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO), independent of the Government, Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and independent of but aligned in principle to other AMSs across Australia.

The Byala team, Byala meaning ‘lets talk’ in the local Dhawaral People’s dialect, is a multi-disciplinary team made up of 7 staff. The team is led by a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MHNP) and includes an Aboriginal Mental Health Worker, Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Worker, Aboriginal Youth Worker and a Psychologist. Access to a second Psychologist for 2 days of the week and a Child Psychologist 1 day a week.

The Byala team provides direct service to Indigenous Australians aged 5 years and older.  Services are delivered in a number of modes including individual and group, office-based and outreach (including hospital visits, home visits, school visits and other service visits). To meet the needs of our target community both appointment-based and walk-in clinics are offered. 71% of the Byala team are Aboriginal.

The success of the Byala team is grounded in the fact that Tharawal AMS is a community controlled and run organisation for the local Aboriginal Community by the local Aboriginal Community that places equal importance on the complementary role of clinical and cultural staff. We are a service run by the Community we serve and accountable to the Community we serve.

See full article HERE

2.2 NSW : AHandMRC and Hitnet Community Hubs provide connection and access to information for difficult-to-reach and digitally excluded populations across Australia.

Armidale 

The Hubs enable people to connect to online services, access and share culturally appropriate health and social information.

Hitnet was first utilised by the AH&MRC as a practical tool for services to use through the Head Lice project, whereby relevant content central to the project was loaded onto the Hub and placed in the local AMS for the community to engage with. The local AMS in question has a range of projects and activities which they are enthusiastic to promote to their community through Hitnet. Another Member Service saw the value of Hitnet and included it in a funding grant application. This specific Member was successful in their application and was able to purchase a Hub for their service.

The AH&MRC engages with our Members and their communities in meaningful ways. Through a range of face-to-face, online, workshops, training and collaborations initiatives, we aim to communicate, educate and promote Aboriginal health. These are proven and effective means to connect with and learn from our Members.

Hitnet fulfils a service need of sharing locally generated content and key public health messages with Members, their staff and the wider community. The Hubs offer an effective method for engaging with the community and sharing important educational material in a timely, culturally safe and innovative way.

Each Hitnet Hub is used on average 1,000 times per year, representing purposeful interactions. Hitnet is essentially a one-stop-shop for all health promotion content. The team at Hitnet provide 3 monthly reports which provide reach and engagement metrics for their Hubs. This data can help to assess individual community needs and guide the development of health programs.

The AH&MRC have been able to purchase Hitnet Hubs for Orange Aboriginal Medical Service, Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service, Pat Dixon Medical Centre, and Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation. (Pictured above )

Hitnet Hubs have enabled Member Services to access culturally appropriate health promotion resources and online services.

2.3 NSW : Aboriginal patient experience : BHI and the Centre for Aboriginal Health are working together to collect the experiences and outcomes of care for Aboriginal people admitted to NSW public hospitals.

For the first time, every adult patient who identifies as Aboriginal will be invited to provide feedback on their admitted patient or maternity care experience during 2019.

The Adult Admitted Patient Survey asks Aboriginal people who have recently been admitted to a NSW public hospital for feedback about their experiences of care. This survey is mailed out to people about three months after the end of their hospital stay.

The Maternity Care Survey asks Aboriginal women who recently gave birth in a NSW public hospital about the care they received. This survey is mailed out to women about three months after their baby is delivered.

The results of these surveys will provide hospitals with valuable information about what they are doing well and where they can improve care to better meet the needs of Aboriginal people.

Promotional materials are available to help increase awareness of the survey program among Aboriginal people and to encourage them to respond when they receive a questionnaire. These materials can be accessed below, or alternatively, please contact us to request printed copies.

BHI published a Snapshot report, Aboriginal people’s experiences of hospital care, in July 2019 which highlights key findings at a statewide level for 459 Aboriginal people who shared their experiences of care in the Emergency Department Patient Survey 2017–18 and 550 Aboriginal people who shared their experiences of care in the Adult Admitted Patient Survey 2017.

BHI previously published a Patient Perspectives report on the experiences of care for Aboriginal people, which drew on data from almost 2,700 Aboriginal patients who were admitted to a NSW public hospital in 2014.

Healthcare in Focus 2017 examined healthcare in the context of three important dimensions of performance – accessibility, appropriateness and effectiveness – for more than 60 measures. One third of these measures related to the experiences and outcomes of Aboriginal people.

To find out about upcoming releases of survey results that reflect the experiences of Aboriginal people, please refer to our Reports Plan.

See Website HERE

3.VIC : VAHS encourages seniors /elders to get active and have fun with their Senior Games 


Seniors games is every Wednesday 11am-2pm at 2 Wright Street in Reservoir so feel free to come join in the fun. The group love to have new additions and competitors for the teams.

4.1 QLD : This week the Cape York mob celebrate 25 years since Apunipima Cape York Health Council emerged from a health conference held at Pajinka Wilderness Lodge, near Injinoo, in 1994.

Apunipima Cape York Health Council (Apunipima) is celebrating their 25th Anniversary this week. On 14th September 1994 Apunipima was established as a health advocacy organisation. The Cape York Land Council held a Health Summit t Pajinka Lodge, near Injanoo at the tip of Cape York.

The summit, attended by Traditional Owners, Elders and Community health leaders of 17 Cape York communities, included a key focus to address the worsening health outcomes of Cape York’s Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders.

From these humble beginnings, Apunipima has grown from an initial membership base of 34 to almost 1000 in 2019.

From an advocacy beginning, today Apunipima delivers comprehensive primary health care services across 11 Cape York communities and covers the largest geographical area of any Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in Queensland. Apunipima is a significant employer in Cape York with 30% of our team being made up of community-based employees.

Apunipima employs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, Health Workers, outreach Midwives, Allied Health professionals, a paediatrician and numerous GPs.

Aileen Addo, Apunipima’s Board Chair said, ‘This milestone is a great opportunity for us to acknowledge and reflect on how far our organisation has come, and also how much more work with the people of Cape York is needed to improve our health.’

Over 25 years, Apunipima’s model of care has improved health outcomes for the people on the Cape – from closing the gap on life expectancy to dramatic improvements in infant mortality. Apunipima is committed to expand and enhance their services to deliver greater health and wellness improvements across the Cape.

4.2 QLD : Nominations for the 2019 QAIHC Awards for Excellence are open!

The Awards provide a platform to recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations within the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Sector.

Award nominations are only open to QAIHC Member Services.

Find out more at https://qaihc.eventsair.com/2019-qaihc-awards/.

5.WA : Bega Garnbirringu Health Service receives a $3.5 million grant to help fund a new multi-storey social service and training facility

Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practice this week received a $3.5 million grant to help fund a new multi-storey social service and training facility on MacDonald Street.

State Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt on Monday presented a Lotterywest cheque to Bega Garnbirringu Health Service when he met staff and board members to discuss the work the centre was doing in the region.

The funding covers about one third of the estimated $10 million project, with the proposed facility to feature a culturally appropriate training area, youth spaces, large rooms for community information and recreation sessions, rooms for family meetings and culturally appropriate counselling, and an administration area for the management of Bega’s social and wellbeing services. The new facility will also allow Bega to grow its current team of about 110 staff members to more than 150 in the future.

Bega chief executive Clive Holt said there was a high demand for both the centre’s clinical and social services, and the new facility would better equip staff to meet the needs of the Goldfields’ indigenous community.

“This funding means we can redevelop our existing ageing physical infrastructure to a point that we can accommodate our workforce, not only today, but going into the future,” he said.

“The last financial year we did just over 15,000 consultations so I think when you look at those sorts of numbers, there is clearly a demand for our services.”

Mr Holt said the new facility would also allow Bega to expand its range of services in areas including emergency relief, senior support, health promotion and suicide prevention.

“The client numbers continually increase so there is increasing demand for our current services, but we also are under pressure to provide an increased scope of services to the community,” he said.

“There is a massive focus on mental health at the moment and we are seeing more and more demand and we need to be in a position where we can meet that demand in the future.”

Bega will work with architects to develop a final design for the facility, with Mr Holt hoping the project will be complete within 18 to 24 months.

7. NT : Congress ACCHO Alice Springs promotes 9th day of the 9th month which is International FASD awareness day!

To mark the day Congress hosted a brunch this morning at our Gap Clinic .

Visitors grabbed something to eat and found out about FASD.

Fetal Alcohol Sprectrum Disorder is the most common preventable disability, and preventing #FASD is a whole-of-community responsibility. Mothers never intentionally put their children at risk.

If you or anyone you know is pregnant, planning to be pregnant or might be pregnant, remember:

“NO alcohol is best for Dad, Mum and Bub”

8.ACT : The recent turning of the soil ceremony marks the start of the build of Winnunga’s brand new health facility with funding provided by the ACT Government.

Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services is an Indigenous-led health care facility that provides culturally safe, holistic health care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Canberra and the surrounding regions.

‘The new build for Winnunga Nimmityjah Health and Community Services is a wonderful example of ACT Government’s support for self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services,’ said Nikki Gotovac, Director of ACT Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Partnerships Team.

‘We recognise the experience and expertise of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to run their own services. The funding will allow Winnunga to determine how to use the grant to best fit the needs of the community’.

Construction on the new facility is expected to start shortly and will be completed towards the end of 2020.

For further information on the range of health services and programs provided by Winnunga, visit www.winnunga.org.au

9. Tas : Tasmanian Government signs the Closing the Gap Partnership Agreement between the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies and the Council of Australian Governments.

Roger Jaensch,Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

Another step has been taken towards improving outcomes for Tasmanian Aboriginal communities, with the Tasmanian Government signing the Closing the Gap Partnership Agreement between the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies and the Council of Australian Governments.

This historic agreement ensures the equal participation and shared decision making by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on Closing the Gap.

Since coming to Government in 2014, the Hodgman majority Liberal Government has led the journey of reconciliation to re-set the relationship with Tasmanian Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal people are now recognised in the Tasmanian Constitution as Tasmania’s first people, we have updated the Aboriginal and Dual Naming Policy to improve inclusivity and we have strengthened the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1975.

Last year, the Premier committed to delivering the next phase, guided by the principles of empowerment and self-determination, to deliver a community-led strengths-based strategy that enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to thrive.

This is in stark contrast to the Labor party, who continue to shout from the sidelines, not willing to put in the work to deliver what really matters to Tasmanians.

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government will work closely with all Tasmanian Aboriginal communities to ensure everyone is able to have their say as we deliver a shared purpose – one that recognises Aboriginal heritage and culture, and one that points to a brighter future for our First People.

NACCHO Affiliate and ACCHO Members Deadly Good News Stories : #National @NACCHOChair @HealthJusticeAu #NSW @ahmrc @IAHA_National @Galambila #VIC @VACCHO_org #QLD @QAIHC_QLD #SA @Nganampa_Health #WA @TheAHCWA #NT @DanilaDilba #ACT @WinnungaACCHO

1.1 National : NACCHO Aboriginal Men’s Health Ochre Day in Melbourne inspires over 200 delegates

1.2 National : NACCHO Acting Chair Donnella Mills to be keynote speaker at Health Justice Conference in Sydney 

1.3 National : The winner of the Puggy Hunter Scholarship, worth up to $15,000 a year announced

2.1 NSW : AH&MRC alongside the Australian Digital Health Agency produce booklet to provide key information to the community about the My Health Record and how to use it

2. 2 NSW : Graduate Rachel Williams now at Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, where her skills and connection to the community are crucial in providing dental care for local Aboriginal people.

2.3 NSW : For Women’s Health Week Galambila these are some of the amazing women on the Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour team 

2.4 NSW : IAHA supports in principle the NSW Auditor-General’s recommendations; particularly the focus on finalising an Aboriginal mental health policy

3.VIC: VACCHO Acting CEO Trevor Pearce sets the scene at NACCHO OCHRE Day Men’s Health Conference Melbourne around issues important for our Victorian men.

4. QLD : QAIHC Sector Leader online Magazine features Lizzie Adams, the dedicated CEO of Goolburri Aboriginal Health talks about need to invest in young people 

5.SA : Nganampa Health Council partnership targeted the availability, affordability, accessibility and promotion of healthy food in remote communities 

6. WA : AHCWA’s TIS team and QALT project officers are currently attend the WA TIS Workforce Development Program.

7. NT : AMSANT reports staff from 3 of their NT ACCHO’s feature in NT 2019 Health Professional of the Year Awards

8. ACT : Winnunuga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and community Services #Historymaking turning of the soil today at 10.30 am

9.TAS : Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Registered Training Organisation short-listed for 4 awards

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : NACCHO Aboriginal Men’s Health Ochre Day in Melbourne inspires over 200 delegates

“ NACCHO Ochre Day is an important event that reflects on the social and emotional issues our men face and are less likely to seek help for themselves. It is a great platform to hear stories of hope and empowerment and to learn what is working in our communities – of strategies that are successful for our men to take better care of their health and wellbeing.

This year’s conference saw great participation from all 200 delegates who embraced the three focus areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men being in control, innovative and influential.

 Problems were met with solutions, with many delegates taking home new skills and knowledge to face the challenges in improving the health of men in their communities.”

NACCHO’s commitment is to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males to live longer, healthier lives and reduce the rate of preventable hospitalisations, which is almost three times higher than for other Australian men.”

Mr John Paterson, CEO of Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) and spokesperson for NACCHO said in his opening address at the seventh annual Ochre Day Men’s Health Conference over August 29-30 at Pullman On the Park, Melbourne : Hosted by VACCHO

Read full NACCHO Press Release and report HERE

Read John Paterson’s keynote speech HERE

1.2 National : NACCHO Acting Chair Donnella Mills to be keynote speaker at Health Justice Conference in Sydney 

 

Do you work in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled organisation or with First Nations communities?

Do you recognise complexity and wonder how to help people with multiple, intersecting need?

Then Health Justice 2019 is for you!

Over 24-25 September in Sydney, this highly engaging program will bring together everyone working at the intersections of legal, health and social need: practitioners, researchers, policy-makers, funders and community members; across disciplines, services, systems and communities.

A fresh approach to conferencing, Health Justice 2019 is less about talking heads and more about opportunities to learn, share and collaborate.

Sessions of particular interest to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and services include:

  • Keynotes from Donnella Mills and Eddie Cubillo, reflecting on their experiences as leaders in Aboriginal community controlled health and legal services and advocating to improve health in their communities
  • Alistair Fergsuon and other voices from collective impact approaches placing communities at the heart and head of responses to increasing social disadvantage, rising crime and community safety fears
  • Roundtable discussion about health justice partnerships and how they are responding to complex and intersecting need
  • Panels and workshops exploring the social determinants of health and how we define outcomes around what communities want
  • Showcasing organisational approaches to improve workforce resilience and targeted workshops to build strategies to support practitioner wellbeing.

Join us to share your insights and be part of the conversation to set new directions for people with intersecting health, social and legal needs and the services that support them.

Registration includes access to highly targeted workshops building capability to work in partnership and to tell the stories about what you do and why it matters.

Visit the conference website to see the full program and register here:healthjustice2019.org/register.

1.3 National : The winner of the Puggy Hunter Scholarship, worth up to $15,000 a year announced 

Shania Charvat was in a tutoring session on campus when she received a call from someone sending her a well-timed lifeline for uni. And the first thing she did was hang up on them.

She laughs she saw the unknown interstate number and assumed “they were trying to sell me a vacuum cleaner or something”. Shania called back three hours later to learn she’d been awarded the national Puggy Hunter Scholarship, worth up to $15,000 a year.

The Australian Government established the scheme as a tribute to the late Dr Arnold ‘Puggy’ Hunter’s outstanding contribution to Indigenous Australians’ health and his role as chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.  (1991-2001 )

The scholarship is awarded to an Indigenous student in a health-related discipline.

The Bendigo Bachelor of Human Services/Master of Social Work student and Palawa woman says she can’t put into words how much it means to be a 2019 recipient.

“At the time they called I had $9 in my bank account to last me two weeks, and I thought, how am I going to do this? I sobbed on the phone and said, this is lifechanging for me,” Shania says.

“I’ve never been in the situation where I considered leaving university but weeks before the call I started thinking I’d have to go and earn some money before I could continue the course. The scholarship means I can stay at uni and I can get my degree.”

Shania is in the second year of her four-year course. She came to La Trobe straight after finishing VCE at Bendigo Senior Secondary College to study a Diploma of Health Sciences, planning to eventually become a nurse like her grandmother.

“But I found I really loved learning about psychology,” she says. “It was just so interesting to me and I couldn’t put my text books down, which was a first because I’m dyslexic.

“My lecturers recommended I do psychology or social work. I chose social work and I haven’t looked back since.”

After graduating from the Bendigo course Shania hopes to work with young people in prison.

“I want to show them that prison may be where they’re at now, but it’s not going to be their life, we can change it.”

She’s the first person in her family to go to university, but certainly not the last. Shania’s mum, Sam, now studies Education at the Bendigo Campus, her sister Michellie is here completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts, and her younger sister, Takeetah, plans to pursue her love of sociology here next year.

2.1 NSW : AH&MRC alongside the Australian Digital Health Agency produce booklet to provide key information to the community about the My Health Record and how to use it

Check out this great resource for adults: The My Health Record Storybook.

This little booklet was designed by the AH&MRC alongside the Australian Digital Health Agency to provide key information to the community about the My Health Record and how to use it. There is also one for Youth and Parent/Carer/Guardian’s.

To have a read of the storybook, click on the link :

2. 2 NSW : Graduate Rachel Williams now at Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, where her skills and connection to the community are crucial in providing dental care for local Aboriginal people.

Less than three months after she completed her degree, Rachel Williams started work as an oral health therapist in Inverell, not far from her hometown of Glen Innes. Williams is a Ngemba woman working at the Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, where her skills and connection to the community are crucial in providing dental care for local Aboriginal people.

For many of the people she treats, the nearest specialists are a two‑and-a-half hour drive away. “So we do as much as we can here, rather than just referring it on to someone else.”

Four years ago, Williams received the Rotary Aboriginal Oral Health Scholarship. The scholarship was created in partnership with the University’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, established thanks to a $10 million donation from Greg Poche and Kay Van Norton Poche.

It helped her to achieve certificate qualifications as a dental assistant. Afterwards, she began a dental assistant traineeship in Inverell, but dreamed of taking her studies further with a Bachelor of Oral Health.

Again, a scholarship provided crucial support. She completed the degree with support from the Dr Lawrence F Smith Scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students in Dentistry. “Moving so far from my family and friends, leaving my job and relocating to Sydney was challenging,” she says. “The scholarship was invaluable in helping me adapt.

“Being able to help people in my community, to help close the health gap for Aboriginal people in rural areas, it’s something I have always wanted to do.”

2.3 NSW : For Women’s Health Week Galambila these are some of the amazing women on the Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour team 

2.4 NSW : IAHA supports in principle the NSW Auditor-General’s recommendations; particularly the focus on finalising an Aboriginal mental health policy

IAHA encourage investment in Aboriginal-led, community controlled mental health and social emotional wellbeing services for long-term solutions; based on a strong commitment and a future of our own design”

Nicole Turner, Chairperson of IAHA .IAHA contributes significantly to the national dialogue on health and wellbeing access, equity and solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

IAHA supports in principle the Auditor-General’s recommendations; particularly the focus on finalising an Aboriginal mental health policy framework which includes ‘actions to increase the numbers and types of Aboriginal workers across all levels and positions in the mental health workforce.’

Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), the national organisation for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce, welcomes the report from Margaret Crawford, New South Wales Auditor-General.

IAHA contributes significantly to the national dialogue on health and wellbeing access, equity and solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  IAHA supports in principle the Auditor-General’s recommendations; particularly the focus on finalising an Aboriginal mental health policy framework which includes ‘actions to increase the numbers and types of Aboriginal workers across all levels and positions in the mental health workforce.’

IAHA CEO Donna Murray said that, “while there have been improvements in the mental health context for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in NSW, significant work still needs to be done.  Increasing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in the health and wellbeing workforce at all levels is a critical step towards this.”

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce brings solid returns on many fronts, they have the knowledge and the specialist skills to be part of the sustainable solution going forward.  As an extension of the recommendations around the Aboriginal health workforce, IAHA contends that – consideration of training pathways, retention, supervisory supports and employment priorities is essential for sustainable and long-term change.

The Audit states, “NSW Health provides some funding to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to provide mental health services. These non-government organisations have the cultural and clinical capability to support Aboriginal patients with complex mental health needs, but most advise that they lack the level of staffing and resources to meet community demand,” evidences the need to develop, support and promote the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce.

3.1 VIC: VACCHO Acting CEO Trevor Pearce sets the scene at NACCHO OCHRE Day Men’s Health Conference Melbourne around issues important for our Victorian men.

Did you know that our ACCOs serve 7000 fellas throughout Victoria and yet they are still over represented in almost every negative health statistic?

More work to do but we’re still here, and still pushing!

If your wondering who those fellas are up on the screen it’s Wayne Tanner, John Nikkelson and Uncle Barry Fary from Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-Operative in their awesome men’s shed when we went up for a visit (and seriously – that shed rocks!).

4.1 QLD : QAIHC Sector Leader online Magazine features Lizzie Adams, the dedicated CEO of Goolburri Aboriginal Health talks about need to invest in young people 

This edition features Lizzie Adams, the dedicated CEO of Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Co. We hear about the changes she’s seen during her time in the Sector and why it’s important to invest in our young people.

Read it now at https://www.qaihc.com.au/publications/sector-leader-magazine

Every year, during the Ochre Day conference, NACCHO hosts a memorial dinner in honour of Jaydon Adams, a young leader whose contribution to youth participation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health lives on.

See the Foundation Website 

The winner of the 2019 Jaydon Adams Memorial Award was Nathan Taylor from Dandenong and District Aborigines Co-operative Ltd. Pictured here on right with Mark and Lizzie Adams

Nathan was recognised for his exemplary work as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth worker

Nathan Taylor is employed as a Youth Worker at DDACL. In his role he comes into contact with many Aboriginal young people and is always caring about what they are doing and their health and their current situation. He shows exemplary care and concern for his fellow Koori (male or female) and advocates on their behalf with various providers, especially within our organisation.

Nathan Taylor is always concerned about better health for Aboriginal young people. He has been integrally involved in a good health program for young people early in the morning before school. He arranges to pick them up, gets them to a basketball facility and puts them through their paces, then they get ready and changed and have breakfast. He then drops them off at school.

5 SA : Nganampa Health Council partnership targeted the availability, affordability, accessibility and promotion of healthy food in remote communities 

The 12-month project by Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council, Nganampa Health Council, Mai Wiru Regional Stores Aboriginal Corporation and the Prevention Centre targeted the availability, affordability, accessibility and promotion of healthy food.

Originally published HERE

Project researcher Professor Amanda Lee said previous research showed that the turnover of foods in what is usually the single store in remote Aboriginal communities was a good indicator of peoples’ dietary intakes, as validated against objective biomedical data. The results of this study also provide insights into broader nutrition issues affecting other Aboriginal communities and wider Australia.

“We have been assessing food security and dietary intake metrics to inform interventions on the APY Lands since 1986 and, despite everyone’s efforts, nutrition and diet-related health had been getting worse,” Professor Lee said.

“But since the communities introduced this concerted intervention in 2018, the stores we worked with have improved the number, range, quality and relative price of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and wholegrain cereals, improved product placement and promotion, and provided healthy takeaways, to help make healthier choices the easiest choices.”

The research team worked with Mai Wiru Regional Stores and the communities to strengthen their store nutrition policy.

Project officer Rhiannon Hutchinson, a trained nutritionist, also worked with members of two specific communities, implementing a range of community-led interventions to increase demand for healthy food. This involved responding to any requests to help improve nutrition, including cooking, product demonstrations, budgeting, sessions for children and young people, recipe development and ‘bush picnics’.

She also worked closely with store managers to help implement the revised Mai Wiru store nutrition policy in these two communities, in a step-wise approach.

Multiple evaluation methods included assessment of store sales data, costs/affordability using the Healthy Diets ASAP (Australian Standardised Affordability and Pricing) methods, and store nutrition policy compliance. Non-intervention communities functioned as staged controls.

Importantly, the project took a strengths-based approach and built on traditional food knowledge. The main dietary message was to “eat store foods that are most like traditional bush foods”. All organisations worked with the communities to improve capacity, build on traditional nutrition knowledge and skills and build community demand for healthy foods.

During the intervention:

  • Improvement in food security metrics were more marked in the stores in the two intervention communities where scores for product availability, product placement, and promotion increased respectively from 80% to 98%, from 64% to 92%, and from 54% to 100%.
  • Improvement in diet was most marked in the community (Pipalyatjara) where both food supply and food demand strategies were in place the longest; the intake of fruit doubled (from 39g to 79g per person/day), the intake of vegetables increased (from 109g to 133g per person/day) and the intake of sugary drinks decreased by 5%. Reliance on bread as the main dietary source of energy decreased by 20%, suggesting less food stress.
  • The average proportion of energy derived from unhealthy (discretionary) foods and drinks from all stores assessed was stable at 45% (compared to around 37% for non-Indigenous communities). However, at Pipalyatjara, the proportion of energy derived from unhealthy foods decreased to 39%.
  • A healthy diet on the APY Lands became more affordable than an unhealthy diet, costing 15% less; the cost of fruit and vegetables was only 6% higher than in Alice Springs. Over the year, on the APY Lands, the cost of a healthy diet increased by about 2% and the cost of an unhealthy diet increased by 5%. In comparison, in Alice Springs the cost of a healthy diet increased by 7%, while the cost of an unhealthy diet increased by 5%.

The project was funded by the Medical Research Future Fund to address Aboriginal food security and dietary intake. Lack of food security – when all people, at all times, have physical, economic and social access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life – is still a significant contributor to poor health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Professor Lee said the project confirmed that multi-strategy, community-lead nutrition projects focusing on both supply and demand could improve Aboriginal food security and diet rapidly and should be implemented nationally at scale.

“The stores in the two intervention communities now score almost 100% against all the metrics assessed. For example, they have moved sugary drinks fridges to the rear of the store, no longer stock large sizes of sugary drinks, and cross-subsidise the price of healthy choices, such as fresh produce, lean meats and water.

“The key was to work collaboratively to strengthen the store nutrition policy, monitor implementation regularly, feed results back to the communities, and support community demand for healthier options,” she said.

Working with remote communities who can intervene in their food system in a more contained manner than in less isolated communities has resulted in findings that can be applied more broadly to other Aboriginal communities and wider Australia.

For example, the project has shown that there is a direct relationship between product placement and promotion in food outlets and dietary intake. Results reinforce the notion that policy regulation and market intervention are required to improve food security and diet.

6. WA : AHCWA’s TIS team and QALT project officers are currently attend the WA TIS Workforce Development Program.


The National Best Practice Unit for Tackling Indigenous Smoking is hosted the 2-day workshop at the Rendezvous Hotel in Scarborough.

Picture above : AHCWA TIS and QALT project officers with Greg Hire formally from the Perth Wildcats after he presented on the ‘A Stitch in Time’ organisation. Greg founded the organisation in 2014 which aims to provide programs for youth, aged 12-25 in the Perth Metro and Regional communities.

7. NT : AMSANT reports staff from 3 of their NT ACCHO’s feature in NT 2019 Health Professional of the Year Awards

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Health Professional of the Year Awards!

Rebecca Earle, James Arratta, Rrapa Dhurrkay, Dr Meredith Hansen-Knarhoi and Rebecca Matthews were recognised on Friday for their outstanding contributions.

Danila Dilba GP, Dr Meredith Hansen-Knarhoi, has been recognised as the GP of the Year at the NT Health Professional of the Year awards over last weekend.

Dr Hanson-Knarhoi is passionate about Aged Care and women’s health and goes beyond the role of an ordinary GP when caring for her nursing home patients. Meredith’s compassion, humanism and respect for culture sets a strong example for excellence in primary health care.

The 2019 recipients are:

GP or other Doctor working in Primary Health Care of the Year 
Dr Meredith Hansen-Knarhoi (GP, Danila Dilba Palmerston Clinic)

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner of the Year 
Rrapa Dhurrkay (Senior Aboriginal Health Practitioner, Miwatj Elcho Island Clinic)

Nurse and/or Midwife of the Year 
Rebecca Earle (Remote Area Nurse, Julanimawu Clinic Bathurst Island)

Allied Health Practitioner of the Year 
Rebecca Matthews (Remote visiting podiatrist, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress)

Primary Health Care Support Person of the Year 
James Arratta (Belyuen Health Centre)

8. ACT : Winnunuga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and community Services #Historymaking turning of the soil today at 10.30 am

We are across all social media platforms. Make sure you keep up to date with what is happening in our community and around Australia in Aboriginal Health.

Follow the ongoing push for change and massive improvements in moving forward with the new building for Winnunuga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and community Services.

9.TAS : Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Registered Training Organisation short-listed for 4 awards

For the first time, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Registered Training Organisation (NACCHO Affiliate for Lutruwita/Tasmania) entered the above and were short-listed for 4 awards:

Swinburne University of Technology Industry Collaboration Award and Training Provider of The Year for our RTO; and for students trained in our RTO Certificate IV course in Alcohol and Other Drugs – Rotary Club of Deloraine Vocational Student of the Year Award Finalists Keeomee Mansell of the Aboriginal Health Service in Burnie and Janelle Williams of Cygnet now employed by the Bridge Salvation Army in Hobart; and for the TasTAFE Aboriginal Student of the Year Award Finalist, our staff member Dionne Bishop trained by our RTO and employed by the AHS in Hobart, the only finalist candidate not trained by Tas TAFE, won a Special Commendation – the only such award conferred on the night.

A very big night for our only Aboriginal RTO in this State.

NACCHO and ACCHO Members Deadly Good News Stories : National @NACCHOChair #NSW @Walgett_AMS #VIC @VACCHO_org #QLD @QAIHC_QLD @Apunipima #WA South West #SA PLAHS #NT @CAACongress @DanilaDilba #Tas Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

1.1 National : NACCHO Chair meets Productivity Commissioner to discuss current evaluation of Indigenous government policies and programs

1.2 AMA President in National Press Club address supports Uluru Statement from the Heart

1.3 National Chair of AMSANT and CEO of of Anyinginyi Aboriginal Health Corporation Barbara Shaw will deliver the opening plenary for the Indigenous Health Justice Conference in Darwin

2. NSW : The Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service and the Dharriwaa Elders Group have both expressed concerns about saltwater solution for drought and the potential effect on community health.

3. VIC : VACCHO partners with other peak health organisations to develop and support 8 actions for a A Healthier Start for Victorians Strategy

4.1  QAIHC will hold Youth Health Summit in September

4. 2 Qld : The Apunipima ACCHO TIS Team launches smoke-free signage at Charkil Om in Napranum Cape York 

5. WA : South West Aboriginal Medical Service in partnership to upgrade youth centre

6. SA : PLAHS ACCHO and Port Lincoln community come together for this year’s NAIDOC Week events .

7.1 NT : Congress CEO, Donna Ah Chee delivering the powerful history of the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program 

7.2 NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin mobile clinic provides back to school health checks for Palmerston Indigenous Village

8. TAS : Two seats should be set aside for Tasmanian Aboriginal MHAs to be chosen by Aboriginal people in an enlarged State Parliament, traditional owners say.

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : NACCHO Chair meets Productivity Commissioner to discuss  current evaluation of Indigenous government policies and programs

Donnella Mills Acting Chair of NACCHO this week met in Cairns with Romlie Mokak Productivity Commissioner to discuss the current Indigenous evaluation strategy : pictured above Left to Right Donnella , Romlie , Wuchopperen Chair  Sandra Levers and CEO Dania Ahwang

The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to develop a whole-of-government evaluation strategy for policies and programs affecting Indigenous Australians, to be used by all Australian Government agencies. The Commission will also review the performance of agencies against the strategy over time.

They will consult widely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and organisations, and with all levels of government. We will also consult with non-Indigenous organisations and individuals responsible for administering and delivering relevant policies and programs.

The Commission released an issues paper to guide people in preparing a submission. It sets out some of the issues and questions the Commission has identified as relevant at the early stage of the project. Participants should provide evidence to support their views, including data and specific examples where possible.

The paper was released on 26 June 2019.

Initial submissions are due by Friday 23 August 2019.

More info Submissions HERE

1.2 AMA President in National Press Club address supports Uluru Statement from the Heart

 “The ongoing failure to address Indigenous health is also unforgivable and unacceptable. There are immediate things we can do to turn things around.

The AMA supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Australian Parliament must make this a national priority.

Giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a say in the decisions that affect their lives would allow for healing through recognition of past and current injustices. It would underpin all Government endeavours to close the health and life expectancy gap.

We need to also look at and address the broader social determinants. This requires cooperation and unity of purpose from all relevant Ministers and portfolios.

We must take out the politics and fearmongering. We must do the right thing by the First Australians. The AMA welcomed the stated intent of the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, to hold a referendum on Constitutional recognition for Indigenous peoples.

It is time for unity. Let’s build on that. ”

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, who addressed the National Press Club as part of Family Doctor Week, 

Download full speech HERE

AMA President Press Club Address

1.3 National Chair of AMSANT and CEO of of Anyinginyi Aboriginal Health Corporation Barbara Shaw will deliver the opening plenary for the Indigenous Health Justice Conference in Darwin

Also speaking will be Donella Mills (Chair) Lawyer and A/Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Donella is leading the development of Health Justice Partnerships in North Queensland and is recognised nationally as a leader in this field in the Indigenous context.

 Indigenous Health Justice Conference, 13 & 14 August 2019. #NILC2019 #IHJC2019

Download the full program HERE 

2. NSW : The Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service and the Dharriwaa Elders Group have both expressed concerns about saltwater solution for drought and the potential effect on community health.

Key points:

  • Residents and some experts are concerned about the health implications of bore water high in sodium
  • It may taste bad, but there are no regulated health-based limits on sodium levels in drinking water
  • A process of reverse osmosis is used to take sodium out of drinking water, but councils are worried about the cost

Chairman of the Elders Group Clem Dodd said the bore water was not healthy.

“You got to have water. I don’t care who you are — animal or person, you can’t go without water,” he said.

“But too much salt in it [is not good] … you got to get good water.”

The salt in the Bourke and Walgett bore water meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines but it exceeds the aesthetic (taste) limit.

There is no health-based sodium limit in those guidelines.

Health authorities contacted local doctors about potential health implications for patients with kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart failure, or who are pregnant.

‘Too much salt’

Jacqui Webster, a salt reduction expert from the George Institute for Global Health, has been working with the Walgett community on improving health outcomes there.

She said, while most salt in the average diet came from food, high salt levels in drinking water was a genuine health concern in these communities.

“Too much salt in the diet increases blood pressure, and increased blood pressure is one of the key contributors to premature death from heart disease and stroke in Australia,” Dr Webster said.

“You’ve got a high proportion of the community who are Aboriginal people, and we know Aboriginal communities already suffer disproportionately from high rates of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease.

“It’s really important that poor diets — including the high sodium content of the water — are addressed.”

Dr Webster said sodium could also make the drinking water taste unpleasant and people may turn to sugary drinks instead, which could compound health issues.

 Read full report HERE 

3. VIC : VACCHO partners with other peak health organisations to develop and support 8 actions for a A Healthier Start for Victorians Strategy

This consensus statement outlines practical recommendations to the Victorian Government to turn the tide on obesity. The focus is on children and young people to give them the best chance for a healthier start to life.

Download: A Healthier Start for Victorians – Summary (PDF, 701 KB)

Download: A Healthier Start for Victorians – Full Report (PDF, 2 MB)

A Healthier Start for Victorians has been developed by the Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Roundtable and is supported by a broad base of health and wellbeing organisations.

 

Over the past two decades, Victorian adult obesity rates have increased by 40 per cent and today two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. Almost one in four Victorian children are overweight or obese.

The combined impact of poor diet and being overweight or obese is one of Victoria’s greatest health challenges.

Overweight and obesity, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are avoidable risks for chronic health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several cancers.

A Healthier Start for Victorians lists eight practical recommendations to the Victorian Government to turn the tide on obesity.

These recommendations focus on children and young people to give them the best chance for a healthier start to life. They are as follows.

Action to prevent obesity in Victoria

1.Engage and support local communities to develop and lead their own healthy eating and physical activity initiatives

These should be community-based and focus on local areas or population groups with the highest rates of overweight and obesity.

2.Protect children from unhealthy food and drink marketing

This includes prohibiting advertising, promotion and sponsorship in publicly owned and managed places. Priority should be given to areas around schools, children’s sporting events and activities, and public transport.

3.Implement a statewide public education campaign to encourage healthy eating

This should focus on population groups with the highest rates of overweight and obesity.

4.Implement initiatives to improve family diets, particularly in children’s early years

This should focus on increasing food literacy and prioritising specific population groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

5.Support schools to increase students’ physical activity and physical literacy

This should take a whole-of-school approach, be reflected in the curriculum and be supported by training and professional development.

6.Increase the scope of and strengthen compliance with the existing School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy

This should take a whole-of-school approach, be reflected in the curriculum and be backed by a monitoring and enforcement framework.

7.Develop a whole-of-government policy that requires healthy food procurement

This should incorporate the Healthy Choices guidelines and apply to all publicly owned and managed facilities and settings.

8.Develop and implement a strategy to get Victorians walking more

This should emphasise the need for walking infrastructure and urban design to make it safer and easier for people to walk to local destinations like shops, public transport, and schools.

Recommendations should be supported by an overarching Victorian obesity prevention plan that is overseen by a ministerial taskforce. This will ensure a whole-of-government approach to addressing obesity prevention as a Victorian health priority.

4.1  QAIHC will hold Youth Health Summit in September

Addressing disparity amongst our youth, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisation (ATSICCHO) Model of Care is designed to be responsive to the needs of the communities that we serve.

According to the 2016 ABS Census data, one third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders are aged between 15–34 years. As such, it is vital that we monitor the health of this cohort to support a stronger First Nations culture in Australia’s future.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are overrepresented in youth justice, and alcohol and other drugs are at harmful levels of use. Childhood obesity, rheumatic heart disease, social and emotional distress, and trauma are also present at high rates. To support our young people to thrive, physically and mentally, QAIHC and its Member Services are developing a Youth Health Strategy 2019–2022.

Central to the development of the Strategy is the QAIHC Youth Health Summit 2019. The Summit will be held in Brisbane on 12 September and is intended to be an open conversation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (ages 18-25) about their current state of wellbeing.

The Summit will be focussing on Calm Minds, Strong Bodies, Resilient Spirit addressing a range of topics including:

  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Healthy relationships
  • Support networks
  • Mental health
  • Sexual health
  • LGBTQI needs
  • Chronic disease.

Sessions will be facilitated in an environment of cultural safety to promote honest and free discussions between delegates.

If you’re an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person aged 18-25 living in Queensland and want to express an interest in attending, go to

Website 

4.2 Qld : The Apunipima ACCHO TIS Team launches smoke-free signage at Charkil Om in Napranum Cape York 

The TIS Team launched smoke-free signage at Charkil Om in Napranum. Professor Tom Calma, National Coordinator for the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program unveiled the signage alongside HAT member Roy Chavathun and Sonia Schuh PHC Manager.

TIS staff Dallas McKeown, Neil Kaigey, Darlene Roberts and Lorna Bosen hosted the launch and provided health information to those present.

5. WA : South West Aboriginal Medical Service in partnership to upgrade youth centre

The Bunbury PCYC unveiled its newly renovated youth space on Monday, July 15, designed to foster positive social and emotional development for local youth.

The upgrade is the product of a partnership between the youth centre, South West Aboriginal Medical Service, Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation and the Red Cross, with financial support from the City of Bunbury.

Originally published HERE

The upgrade included new interiors, a pool table, an air hockey table, a games console, a TV and lounges to complement the existing sporting facilities available at the Bunbury PCYC, which is used by more than 100 people weekly.

The Bunbury PCYC is one of 19 community youth centres in WA and provides a number of activities and accredited training programs for youth people of all ages.

South West Aboriginal Medical Service chief executive officer Lesley Nelson said the space was bound to have a positive impact on both the social and emotional development of local youth.

“The environment in which young people spend their time has been found to decisively impact on a young person’s health and development,” she said.

“We currently host a very active and engaged youth program at the Bunbury PCYC so we have been able to involve them directly in the planning of this space.

“With their help, we have been able to design an area that has a really positive energy, a space that encourages social development and active participation.”

Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation chair Renee Pitt echoed Ms Nelson’s sentiments and said the nature of the all inclusive programs allowed youth to come together in a positive environment.

“Breakaway and their partners are creating a safe environment where the kid’s involvement has given them ownership of the space, care and responsibility,” she said.

“The programs and activities that are being offered is emphasising the uniqueness of coming together that has not been available previously until now.

6. SA : PLAHS ACCHO and Port Lincoln community come together for this year’s NAIDOC Week events .

NAIDOC Week in 2019 had the theme of ‘Voice, Treaty, Truth’ with Port Lincoln celebrations beginning with the community march along Tasman Terrace on July 5.

Aboriginal Family Support Services hosted a dress up disco for children at the Mallee Park Clubrooms on July 9 before the annual Community Cookout was held at the Mallee Park Wombat Pit the following day, hosted by Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service.

The annual event involved PLAHS preparing foods including kangaroo stew and wombat while Centacare Port Lincoln provided a barbecue and a morning tea area was organised by Port Lincoln Red Cross.

PLAHS health promotions officer and NAIDOC Week Committee member Morgan Hirschausen said the weather was not ideal but the event was well supported.

Port Lincoln Aboriginal Community Council, with support from Gidja Club held the Elders Lunch at the Grand Tasman Hotel on Thursday, which was attended by about 30 elders.

The council’s indigenous community links manager Heather Hirschausen-Cox said they were happy with the turnout and the event continued to be an important part of NAIDOC Week.

7.1 NT : Congress CEO, Donna Ah Chee delivering the powerful history of the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program 

Congress CEO, Donna Ah Chee delivering the powerful history of the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP) at the tenth annual conference. ANFPP is a nurse-led home visiting program that supports families pregnant with an Aboriginal child to help them become the best parents possible.

ANFPP Team Congress! Pictured here with CEO, Donna Ah Chee; General Manager Health Services, Tracey Brand and Chief Medical Officer Public Health, Dr John Boffa

7.2 NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin mobile clinic provides back to school health checks for Palmerston Indigenous Village

This week the Mobile Clinic spent time with the Palmerston Indigenous Village to provide back to school health checks for kids. They put on a BBQ lunch, face painting and a jumping castle! Children participating in the health check received a back pack to prepare them for their return to school.

8. TAS : Two seats should be set aside for Tasmanian Aboriginal MHAs to be chosen by Aboriginal people in an enlarged State Parliament, traditional owners say.

“If successful, Tasmania will be the first State to guarantee an Aboriginal voice in the parliament,” 

New Zealand has done it for 150 years. The State of Maine in the US has 3 seats for Indians. It’s time for Tasmania to catch up and lead the rest of Australia.

The change would enable Aborigines to speak for the dispossessed and powerless and participate in governing Tasmania.”

Tasmanian Land Council spokseman Michael Mansell said the move would be an Australian first

See Full Report 

Under the proposal, a separate electoral roll would be created to elect indigenous representatives from a single electorate encompassing the entire state.

The proposal has been put forward jointly by the Elders Council of Tasmania Aboriginal Corporation, Cape Barren Island Aboriginal Association, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania, and will be presented on Monday to a parliamentary committee conducting an inquiry into the number of seats in the lower house.

Download the Submission HERE

No. 13 Joint Submission Aboriginal Organisations_Redacted

Their submission likens the idea to parliaments in the US state of Maine, and in New Zealand, where designated seats have been set aside for Maori representatives since 1867.

The groups said their proposal was “about improving representative democracy in Tasmania” .

“Providing for political representation of a people denied such access for over 200 years is overdue,” it said.

“It can be argued the political system in Tasmania has been racially prejudiced against Aboriginal representation . The system is geared against Aboriginal people effectively participating in parliamentary democracy.”

While it acknowledges the concept would give more value to a single vote in an Aboriginal electorate than a vote in one of the five existing lower house seats, it said dispossession and discrimination had left Aboriginal people “without a sound land and economic base, and a modicum of justice” .

“Political representation is more crucial for the survival and welfare of Aboriginal people than it is for any other sector in Tasmania,” the submission read.

The groups said the state’s constitution should be amended to create the Aboriginal electoral roll and designated seats in parliament, even if the push to increase the number of MHAs was rejected.

Twenty submissions have been lodged with the inquiry, which held its first public hearing in Launceston last month.

Premier Will Hodgman told the committee that a 35-seat House of Assembly would require an estimated $7.9 million to set up and about $7.2 million in extra ongoing costs each year.

 

NACCHO and ACCHO Members Deadly Good News Stories : #NSW @ahmrc #VIC @VACCHO #OchreDay #QLD @QAIHC_QLD @GidgeeHealing Goolburri #SA Nunkuwarrin Yunti #WA @TheAHCWA #NT @AMSANTaus #ACT @WinnungaACCHO #TAS

1.1 National : Watch NACCHO CEO appearance on the ABC TV the Drum for NAIDOC week

1.2 National : Federal Department of Health launches a new website

1.3 National : NACCHO support of Adam Goodes 2014-2019 ” Aboriginal Health and Racism “ #TheFinalQuarter

2.1 Armajun Aboriginal Health Service Armidale hold NAIDOC Week celebration

2.2 NSW : AHMRC The July Edition of Message Stick is out now!

2.3 NSW : Barrier between NSW Indigenous patients and hospital staff: report

3.1 VIC : VACCHO to co-host 2019 OCHRE DAY Men’s Health Conference in Melbourne 

4.1 Qld : QAIHC welcomes Minister Ken Wyatt to their new offices in Brisbane

4.2 QLD : Renee Blackman CEO of Gidgee Healing ACCHO Mt Isa on fact finding road trip 

4.3 QLD : Goolburri ACCHO : Jaydon Adams Foundation Indigenous Jets Ipswich Jets 2019

5.SA : Tackling Tobacco Team – Nunkuwarrin Yunti  the mob going smoke-free in Adelaide’s Prisons.

6.WA : AHCWA : Derby Aboriginal Health Service (DAHS) in Derby completed their final block of training in our Cert II Family Wellbeing Training Course

7.1 NT : Team AMSANT travelled to Sydney this week for national NACCHO workshop

7.2 : NT Katherine West Health Board traveling with our friend Healthy Harold to the schools talking about smoking 

8. ACT : Julie Tongs CEO Winnunga ACCHO Canberra congratulates Aunty Thelma Weston the 2019 National NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year

9. Tas: Tasmanian NAIDOC Aboriginal award winners 

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : Watch NACCHO CEO appearance on the ABC TV the Drum for NAIDOC week

Watch ABC TV IView Friday 12 July Edition 

1.2 National : Federal Department of Health launches a new website

Welcome to the new health.gov.au website

We think you’ll find it a better website. We’ve:

  • changed the way it looks and works so it’s easier to use
  • reorganised our content so it’s easier to find
  • rewritten our content so it’s easier to understand
  • improved navigation and search
  • begun consolidating our other Health websites into this one, so more of our information is in one place

Department Press Release

The new website has been developed through comprehensive research and testing with our stakeholders.

Health.gov.au users told us they couldn’t find what they were looking for and when they did, it was often out of date and hard to read. Content was also often replicated and spread across more than 90 Health-owned websites.

The new website has better functionality and content has been written in plain English to improve the experience of all users.

An improved search function will search the new and old website during the transition period to ensure all relevant content is picked up. Better analytics will help us understand our users and continue to respond to their needs.

This project has been, and will continue to be, a major exercise. We expect it will take up to 12 months to completely rewrite our content.

In the meantime, Health topics that have not yet been fully revised will have a short introduction on the new site and links to old content for detail. Links to the old website will still work until we decommission our old website.

We won’t decommission the old site until we are satisfied the new website is complete.

Preview the new site

1.3 National : NACCHO support of Adam Goodes 2014-2019 ” Aboriginal Health and Racism “ #TheFinalQuarter

In 2015 NACCHO supported our good friend of NACCHO Adam Goodes with a ” Racism is a driver of Aboriginal ill health ” campaign that attracted a record 50,000  Likes and shares on our Facebook page reaching 846,848 followers

READ OUR NACCHO RACISM Post HERE

Watch to Final Quarter HERE

This followed our 2013 sponsorship of the first All-Indigenous team to represent Australia that Adam co captained with Buddy Franklin

Missed the Channel 10 Broadcast ? Watch HERE

2.1 Armajun Aboriginal Health Service Armidale hold NAIDOC Week celebration

More than 40 people attended the Armajun Aboriginal Health Service in Armidale on Thursday morning, but it had nothing to do with anything medical and everything to do with their NAIDOC Week morning tea.

Armajun program manager Deb Green said the day was fantastic.

“As the day gets on, we’ll get more community members who will just wander in,” she said.

“There will be an area left open so they can just come in and have a meal, and have a chat if other people are around.

“The whole week has been absolutely brilliant. We should be very, very proud of our community, and every service provider that has hosted an event over the last two weeks, it’s just been amazin

See Photo Album 

2.2 NSW : AHMRC The July Edition of Message Stick is out now!


Read about AH&MRC staff celebrating NAIDOC Week 2019, wrap-ups for Yarn Up, Your Health Your Future and the Dubbo Symposium and an update on the 2019 flu season.
Read about it here >> http://bit.ly/2XQldhR

2.3 NSW : Barrier between NSW Indigenous patients and hospital staff: report

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in NSW hospitals have reported being treated with less respect and dignity than non-Indigenous patients.

The Bureau of Health Information surveyed about 36,000 patients in hospitals and emergency rooms between 2017 and 2018.

The bureau’s chief executive, Diane Watson, said nearly all of the 1,000 First Nation patients were happy with their overall care, but some clear trends emerged.

Director for Aboriginal Health Geri Wilson-Matenga said new training programs would be designed to help medical staff with cultural communication and understanding.

3.1 VIC : VACCHO to co-host 2019 OCHRE DAY Men’s Health Conference in Melbourne 

 

The NACCHO Ochre Day Health Summit provides a national forum for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male delegates, organisations and communities to learn from Aboriginal male health leaders, discuss their health concerns, exchange share ideas and examine ways of improving their own men’s health and that of their communities.

REGISTER and other information on this years Ochre Day Men’s Health Conference

Please visit the NACCHO website.

3.2 VIC : Aboriginal Victorians are twice as likely to be hospitalised for mental health issues, compared to the wider population

A history of marginalisation and cultural dispossession has contributed to lower emotional and social wellbeing among Aboriginal Victorians, the state’s mental health royal commission has heard.

Key points:

  • Aboriginal Victorians are twice as likely to be hospitalised for mental health issues, compared to the wider population
  • Almost half of the state’s Aboriginal population has a relative who was removed under the policies which lead to the Stolen Generations
  • One elder told the commission the western concept of mental health was neither familiar, nor helpful for Aboriginal people

Wemba Wemba elder Auntie Nellie Flagg ( Pictured above ) described the mental anguish that accompanied the relentless racism she experienced growing up in the north-west Victorian town of Swan Hill in the 1960s. See Full Report 

Helen Kennedy, from the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, said: “They’re losing their life to suicide at twice the rate.”

“We’re not seeing improvements.”

Ms Kennedy told the commission part of the problem was a lack of recognition of the profound trauma arising from a long history of marginalisation and the dispossession of land, culture and children.

Almost half of all Aboriginal Victorians have a relative who was removed under policies which lead to the Stolen Generations.

“These impacts have been brutal,” Ms Kennedy said.

“They have left a legacy of enduring trauma and loss that continues to affect Aboriginal communities, families and many individuals is in many compounding ways.”

Culturally appropriate services critical

Ms Kennedy told the inquiry that developing culturally appropriate services staffed by Aboriginal people was critical.

She said Victoria had only eight Aboriginal mental health workers statewide.

“We are lagging behind other states,” she said.

“We need a massive reinvestment to support a growing skilled Aboriginal workforce.”

Ms Kennedy said one approach proving successful elsewhere was the creation of trauma-informed community “healing centres” aimed at helping individuals build stronger connections to culture, community, family, spirituality, their mind and emotions.

“What we’re doing now is not working. We have to have a different approach,” she said.

“Looking after people’s social and emotional wellbeing and supporting protective factors … we know that works.”

See Full Report

4.1 Qld : QAIHC welcomes Minister Ken Wyatt to their new offices in Brisbane

QAIHC CEO Mr Neil Willmett  was pleased to welcome Ken Wyatt MP to their new office this week. They discussed a range of topics including the great work QAIHC Members were doing, the work QAIHC leads in the Sector, and the importance of strong partnerships with government and stakeholders.

4.2 QLD : Renee Blackman CEO of Gidgee Healing ACCHO Mt Isa on fact finding road trip 

Setting off yesterday to Burketown to meet with Council, Aboriginal Land Council and Consumers re health services. Robust discussions- great feedback – NWHHS, Gidgee Healing and WQPHN working with the community to improve health outcomes

Renee Blackman second from LEFT

4.3 QLD : Goolburri ACCHO : Jaydon Adams Foundation Indigenous Jets Ipswich Jets 2019

 Big thank you to photographer for these amazing pictures. see more HERE

5.SA : Tackling Tobacco Team – Nunkuwarrin Yunti  the mob going smoke-free in Adelaide’s Prisons.

 

There have been some inspiring stories and changes going on. #BeHealthyBeSmokefree #Rewriteyourstory

6.WA : AHCWA : Derby Aboriginal Health Service (DAHS) in Derby completed their final block of training in our Cert II Family Wellbeing Training Course

Last month, students from the Derby Aboriginal Health Service (DAHS) in Derby completed their final block of training in our Cert II Family Wellbeing Training Course, all graduating successfully with ease.  The course runs over a 4 day period and is part of the Family Wellbeing program at AHCWA that aims to support the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people and their communities within WA. The aim of the program is to increase awareness of the contributing factors that impact on family wellbeing and identify strategies to help build better foundations to overcome these factors.

Congratulations to the students from DAHS!

For more information on the training please contact our Family & Wellbeing Program Coordinator, Ken Nicholls on (08) 9227 1631 or email ken.nicholls at ahcwa.org.

7.1 NT : Team AMSANT traveled to Sydney this week for national NACCHO workshop 

7.2 : NT Katherine West Health Board traveling with our friend Healthy Harold to the schools talking about smoking 

We have been traveling with our friend Healthy Harold to the schools in the Katherine West region. Healthy Harold has been yarning to the kids about their dreams when finishing school and how smoking could affect their dreams.

More Pics Here

What’s your Smoke Free Story?

8. ACT : Julie Tongs CEO Winnunga ACCHO Canberra congratulates Aunty Thelma Weston the 2019 National NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year

Thelma Weston, a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait, is like no other. Her life is a story of survival, achievement, hope, love and celebration.

Despite only having a limited education, Aunty Thelma trained as a nurse and became a fully qualified health worker.
At age 83, Aunty Thelma still works full time at Winnunga Aboriginal Health and Community Services in Canberra, using her skills to manage the needle exchange program.

She has a long history of outstanding involvement and achievements in the community and has sat on a number of local and national committees and boards.
Aunty Thelma is on the board of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) and regularly travels across Australia to attend board meetings.

As a breast cancer survivor, Aunty Thelma has worked with Breast Cancer Network Australia to encourage other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to connect, seek support and information about the disease.

Aunty Thelma is much loved, admired and well respected, not only in her workplace and amongst her clients, but in the wider ACT community and across Australia.  She is a wonderful example of a wise and caring Torres Strait Islander woman who has achieved much for her family and community.

9. Tas: Tasmanian NAIDOC Aboriginal award winners 

Congratulations Rob Braslin Aboriginal of the year. Congratulations Zack Riley-youth of the year; Adam Thompson-artist of the year; Taylah Pickett-scholar of the year (award accepted on her behalf by Raylene); Sherrin Egger-sportsperson of the year. Congratulations to all nominees and all award winners 🖤💛❤️

NACCHO and ACCHO Members #NAIDOC2019 Good News Stories : 5 of 5@NACCHOChair #NSW @Galambila @ahmrc #Vic @VACCHO_org @VAHS1972 #QLD @QAIHC_QLD @Apunipima #SA @AHCSA_ #WA @TheAHCWA #NT @DanilaDilba @CAACongress #Tas

1.1 National : NACCHO supports the pledge this week by the Coalition Government to hold a national referendum on constitutional change to recognise Indigenous voices in the constitution.

1.2 National : Our Acting NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills this week was on the panel at the NAIDOC Corporate breakfast in Cairns talking #VoiceTreatyTruth

1.3 National : The new National Indigenous Australians Agency was launched on 1 July 2019

2.1 NSW : The team at AH&MRC celebrate NAIDOC week

2.2 NSW : Huge NAIDOC Week turnout at Galamibila ACCHO and Ready Mob Picnic in the Coffs Harbour sunshine

2.3 NSW: Greater Western ( Sydney ) AMS Thanks the South Sydney Rabbitohs for a sharing NAIDOC Week

3.1 VIC : Parliamentary Secretary for Health (VIC) shares a NAIDOC morning team with Team VACCHO

3.2 VIC: Deadly day at the annual NAIDOC March in Melbourne that started at VAHS ACCHO 

4.1 QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Cape York coverage of Cairns NAIDOC celebrations

4.2 QLD : The QAIHC AOD Our Way 2 Project aims to address the use and harms of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and other substances.

5. WA : Midland NAIDOC is AHCWA’s main event for the week, where all of our staff were on hand to help out for the day.

6. SA : Good news story about AMIC Mums and Bubs trainee Cherie Burnett who is currently doing her studies at AHCSA.

7.1 NT : The Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin Mobile team went down to Mindil Beach with the Mobile Clinic for Larrakia Nation’s Road Safety Barbeque.

7.2 NT : Congress Alice Springs NAIDOC Sports and Family Fun Day

8.TAS : It’s NAIDOC Week, so here’s nipaluna (Hobart’s) weather in palawa kani

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : NACCHO supports the pledge this week by the Coalition Government to hold a national referendum on constitutional change to recognise Indigenous voices in the constitution.

We welcome Minister Wyatt’s call to all Australians to join him on the journey to constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Nations peoples and support the creation of a voice for Indigenous Australians to influence the Australian Parliament.

NACCHO stands ready to do our part in achieving the best possible outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia, and we will continue to take a leadership role in the Coalition of Peaks Partnership with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on Closing the Gap.”

NACCHO Chief Executive Officer, Ms Patricia Turner AM said after the Ministers speech. Pictured above Left to Right with Pat : Tom Calma Co Chair Reconciliation Karen Mundine CEO Reconciliation and Donnella Mills Acting NACCHO Chair 

” Truth-telling about Indigenous Australians’ experience of colonisation is not a new idea, says Pat Turner, who heads the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

“I think our people have been engaged in truth-telling in many different forums over many decades,” she said. “It’s a question of whether there is a willingness in the greater Australian population to come to terms with the history of Indigenous people since colonisation.”

Ms Turner , who along with Mr Wyatt is co-chair of the joint council on Closing the Gap questioned the Minister’s seeming failure to commit to an Indigenous “Voice” of the kind envisaged in the landmark 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart.

“People want more clarity on what the Minister means when he refers to hearing the ‘voices’ of individuals, families, communities and organisations.

What does that mean? The Uluru statement was very clear on having a more formal voice at a national level”, she said.

Additional text Pat Turner interview with SMH 10 July READ In FULL HERE

Pat will be a panellist on the ABC The Drumshow on Friday 12 July at 6pm.

Download full PDF Copy of NACCHO Press Release HERE

Read the Minister’s full National Press Club speech HERE

Or watch replay on ABC TV I View HERE

The NACCHO executive team attended the National Press Club conference by Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians for NAIDOC Week 2019.

1.2 National : Our Acting NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills this week was on the panel at the NAIDOC Corporate breakfast in Cairns talking #VoiceTreatyTruth

Pictured below from Left to Right Founder of IndigenousX LukeLPearson , Donnella Mills ,Joann Schmider CQ Uni and Former NACCHO Chair 2001-03 Pat Anderson ( now Chair Lowitja Institute )

1.3 National : The new National Indigenous Australians Agency was launched on 1 July 2019

2.1 NSW : The team at AH&MRC celebrate NAIDOC week

2.2 NSW : Huge NAIDOC Week turnout at Galamibila ACCHO and Ready Mob Picnic in the Coffs Harbour sunshine

CEO Reuben Robinson ( Left ) with team Galambila member 

Watch Channel 9 interview with Reuben HERE

NAIDOC CELEBRATES WITH A HEALTHY MESSAGE

2.3 NSW: Greater Western ( Sydney ) AMS Thanks the South Sydney Rabbitohs for a sharing NAIDOC Week

SEE MORE PHOTO’s HERE

3.1 VIC : Parliamentary Secretary for Health (VIC) shares a NAIDOC morning team with Team VACCHO

VACCHO Exec were joined by Karen Heap VACCHO Chair and CEO of Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative ( And NACCHO Board Member) , Anthony Carbines Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Tiana Koehrer and Allara Pearce

3.2 VIC: Deadly day at the annual NAIDOC March in Melbourne that started at VAHS ACCHO 

4.1 QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Cape York coverage of Cairns NAIDOC celebrations 

 

4.2 QLD : The QAIHC AOD Our Way 2 Project aims to address the use and harms of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and other substances.

Phase 1 of the project involved training 480 frontline workers, mostly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations in 22 communities across Queensland, to better support clients and families impacted by problematic Ice and other substance use.

Phase 2 of the project is currently in the planning stage. Jermane Herbohn and Rita Francis have recently started at QAIHC as AOD Project Officers joining Eddie Fewings, AOD Manager. More information about the QAIHC AOD Our Way 2 Project will be released shortly.

#QAIHCdelivers #IndigenousHealth

5. WA : Midland NAIDOC is AHCWA’s main event for the week, where all of our staff were on hand to help out for the day.

Hundreds of our mob visited Midland Oval and joined us celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The event was free and combines cultural activities, live entertainment, youth zone, family friendly attractions and FREE food.#NAIDOC2019

6. SA : Good news story about AMIC Mums and Bubs trainee Cherie Burnett who is currently doing her studies at AHCSA.

7. NT : The Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin Mobile team went down to Mindil Beach with the Mobile Clinic for Larrakia Nation’s Road Safety Barbeque.

Larrakia Nation put on a breakfast and their Arts in the Grass program, NT Remote Alcohol and Other Drugs provided community education, Orange Sky was there with their free laundry and shower service van and OneDisease came along to engage with the community. It was fantastic to see all of these services coming together to provide support and to see the community members enjoying this fresh dry season morning!

7.2 NT : Congress Alice Springs NAIDOC Sports and Family Fun Day

See more pics Here

8.TAS : It’s NAIDOC Week, so here’s nipaluna (Hobart’s) weather in palawa kani

Listen Hear 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #NAIDOC2019 News 4 of 5 : New @OzProdCom Productivity Commissioner @RMokak talks about what #NAIDOC #VoiceTreatyTruth means and invites input into a new #Indigenous Evaluation Strategy

” Implementation matters, and considering likely implementation roadblocks – such as capability and culture in agencies and service delivery organisations, data availability, and knowledge translation – will be key considerations for the strategy.

We are also encountering many positive examples from outside government of how evaluation can be used to improve decision making and program implementation.

We have much to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations – such as the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) in South East Queensland.

IUIH has been active in commissioning and conducting research and evaluation to build the evidence base on what works, and demonstrate its impact to the community and government.

Last week, we published an issues paper, which outlines some of the key questions we’d like your help to answer.”

Commissioner Romlie Mokak delivered a speech for a NAIDOC event at the Institute of Public Administration Australia in Canberra July 2019

Download 58 page Indigenous Evaluation Strategy issues paper 

indigenous-evaluation-issues

Make a submission HERE

Today, I stand here on the lands of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people. I am deeply grateful for the warmth and the generosity in allowing this country to be home for my family over the past 20 years. I honour your ancestors, your Elders and your young ones yet to come. I honour your sacred places and the wisdom and teachings held and shared in these places.

I aim to speak to two things today – NAIDOC and the Indigenous Evaluation Strategy.

NAIDOC theme — Voice, Treaty, Truth

This year’s NAIDOC brings into focus the theme of Voice, Treaty, Truth: let’s work together for a shared future. The NAIDOC theme, by definition, seeks for all Australians to work together to build our nation’s future. Voice, Treaty, Truth puts forward a proposition to the Australian people – not just to parliament, but to the Australian people — about a shared future.

These three elements from the Uluru Statement from the Heart speak to the call by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a greater say in their lives.

I quote:

When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish.

They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.

We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution….we seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.

In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard.

NAIDOC week is a time to commemorate, as well as a time to celebrate. It is a time to remember and honour those who have come before.  To honour those who have worked tirelessly and endlessly for our benefit. NAIDOC week is a time to place our — Indigenous — knowledges, our cultures, our science, our strength, our achievements – at the centre.

NAIDOC invites you into this space – beyond raising flags, beyond exhibiting art, beyond consuming native foods. NAIDOC is not just about NAIDOC week. In fact, the spirit of NAIDOC really is about what we do during those remaining weeks of the year.

25 years in policy

This week begins my 12th week at the Productivity Commission – it is still very much early days for me.

My road to the Commission has been travelled via community, state, Commonwealth and Indigenous organisations. From beginnings in the NSW public service 25 years ago as a junior policy officer in ageing and disability. To the Commonwealth Department of Health — working in Indigenous policy and program areas such as health inequality, substance use and financing.

For the past 14 years heading up national black organisations:

  • nine as CEO of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association
  • the last five as head of the Lowitja Institute (Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Research).

The learning over these years – that those who are most invested and most impacted must not be assigned to policy render. They must also be designers, architects, builders and evaluators for impact and change.

Indigenous Evaluation Strategy

The Productivity Commission has been asked to develop a whole-of-government evaluation strategy to be used by all Australian Government agencies, for policies and programs affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The project will have three main components. The commission has been asked to:

  • establish a principles-based framework for the evaluation of policies and programs
  • identify priorities for evaluation
  • set out its approach for reviewing agencies’ conduct of evaluations against the strategy.

The commission has a broad remit to recommend changes to improve the use and conduct of evaluation in Australian Government agencies. This goes beyond guiding stakeholders during the commissioning and conduct of evaluations.

The evaluation strategy should also make recommendations on how evaluation and evidence-based decision making can be embedded into policy development and program delivery. The problems with existing evaluation practice that have motivated this project are not just that evaluations have been rarely or poorly conducted, but stem from the lack of influence of evaluation practice and results on policymaking.

It is clear that the value of evaluation will be limited in the absence of strong and sustainable mechanisms to feed evaluation findings, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, perspectives and priorities, into the policymaking process.

The evaluation strategy must cover both mainstream and Indigenous-specific policies and programs if it is to properly examine those that have most impact on, or potential benefit for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We will make recommendations on how evaluation efforts should be prioritised, both within agencies and across the Australian Government.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples perspectives on what policies and outcomes matter most will be vital when identifying priorities for evaluation.

Early insights

Our project is in its early stages:

  • we will deliver a draft report in February next year
  • and a final report to government in around 12 months from now.

However early discussions around the country have provided insights into the challenges we may face when developing the strategy, and the areas where the strategy can add the most value. The dearth of evaluation of policies and programs affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has been well-documented. It is clear that evaluation practice in Australian Government agencies varies considerably.

Existing evaluation efforts are often narrowly focused rather than systematic, and many agencies do not publish evaluation reports in a timely manner (if at all). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and voices have been largely absent from evaluation design and conduct. Even where there has been leadership and considerable resources devoted, experience shows that changing the evaluation culture in government agencies is hard.

The then Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (now National Indigenous Australian agency) and the Department of Health are two agencies that have made inroads into better incorporating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and priorities into their evaluation efforts.

Implementation matters, and considering likely implementation roadblocks – such as capability and culture in agencies and service delivery organisations, data availability, and knowledge translation – will be key considerations for the strategy.

We are also encountering many positive examples from outside government of how evaluation can be used to improve decision making and program implementation. We have much to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations – such as the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) in South East Queensland.

IUIH has been active in commissioning and conducting research and evaluation to build the evidence base on what works, and demonstrate its impact to the community and government.

Last week, we published an issues paper, which outlines some of the key questions we’d like your help to answer.

These include:

  • How can Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, priorities and values be better integrated into policy and program evaluation?
  • What principles should guide Australian Government agencies’ evaluation efforts?
  • What should be the priority policy areas for future Australian Government evaluation efforts?
  • How can evaluation results be better used in policy and program design and implementation?
  • What ongoing role should the Productivity Commission have in monitoring agencies’ implementation of the strategy, and in evaluating policies and programs affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people more generally?

Further engagement

We are seeking submissions from interested parties between now and 23 August.

You can send us a written submission, make an oral submission or leave a brief comment on our website: www.pc.gov.au/indigenous-evaluation

In the second half of the year we will be engaging widely across Australia to inform the development of the strategy. We will travel to urban, regional and remote areas, to hear from individuals, groups and organisations.

We hope to hold a series of roundtable discussions on topics related to the evaluation strategy. This will be to draw on the experience and expertise of people and organisations who have been involved in evaluation or have insights into how policy making and program implementation can be improved.

In closing

As NAIDOC’s impact must surely go well beyond a single week in July.

So to a future Indigenous Evaluation Strategy must have value in a lasting way.

I invite each and every one of you to be an active part of the discussion, debate and design to make this a reality.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ClosingTheGap #NAIDOC2019 : @AIHW Key results report 2017-18 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations:

Findings from this report:

  • Just under half (45%) of organisations provide services in Remote or Very remote areas

  • In 2017–18, around 483,000 clients received 3.6 million episodes of care

  • Nearly 8,000 full-time equivalent staff are employed in these organisations and 4,695 (59%) are health staff

  • Organisations reported 445 vacant positions in June 2018 with health vacancies representing 366 (82%) of these
  • In 2017–18, nearly 200 organisations provided a range of primary health services to around 483,000 clients, 81% of whom were Indigenous.
  • Around 3.6 million episodes of care were provided, nearly 3.1 million of these (85%) by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.

See AIHW detailed Interactive site locations map HERE

In 2017–18, Indigenous primary health services were delivered from 383 sites (Table 3). Most sites provided clinical services such as the diagnosis and treatment of chronic illnesses (88%), mental health and counselling services (88%), maternal and child health care (86%), and antenatal care (78%). Around two-thirds provided tobacco programs (69%) and substance-use and drug and alcohol programs (66%).

Most organisations provided access to a doctor (86%) and just over half (54%) delivered a wide range of services, including all of the following during usual opening hours: the diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease; antenatal care; maternal and child health care; social and emotional wellbeing/counselling services; substance use programs; and on‑site or off-site access to specialist, allied health and dental care services.

Most organisations (95%) also provided group activities as part of their health promotion and prevention work. For example, in 2017–18, these organisations provided around:

  • 8,400 physical activity/healthy weight sessions
  • 3,700 living skills sessions
  • 4,600 chronic disease client support sessions
  • 4,100 tobacco-use treatment and prevention sessions.

In addition to the services they provide, organisations were asked to report on service gaps and challenges they faced and could list up to 5 of each from predefined lists. In 2017–18, around two-thirds of organisations (68%) reported mental health/social and emotional health and wellbeing services as a gap faced by the community they served.

This was followed by youth services (54%). Over two-thirds of organisations (71%) reported the recruitment, training and support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff as a challenge in delivering quality health services.

Read full report and all data HERE

This is the tenth national report on organisations funded by the Australian Government to provide health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Indigenous primary health services

Primary health services play a critical role in helping to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Indigenous Australians may access mainstream or Indigenous primary health services funded by the Australian and state and territory governments.

Information on organisations funded by the Australian Government under its Indigenous Australians’ health programme (IAHP) is available through two data collections: the Online Services Report (OSR) and the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPIs). Most of the organisations funded under the IAHP contribute to both collections (Table 1).

The OSR collects information on the services organisations provide, client numbers, client contacts, episodes of care and staffing levels. Contextual information about each organisation is also collected. The nKPIs collect information on a set of process of care and health outcome indicators for Indigenous Australians.

There are 24 indicators that focus on maternal and child health, preventative health and chronic disease management. Information from the nKPI and OSR collections help monitor progress against the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Closing the Gap targets, and supports the national health goals set out in the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013–2023.

Detailed information on the policy context and background to these collections are available in previous national reports, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online Services Report—key results 2016–17 and National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care: results for 2017.

At a glance

This tenth national OSR report presents information on organisations funded by the Australian Government to provide primary health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It includes a profile of these organisations and information on the services they provide, client numbers, client contacts, episodes of care and staffing levels. Interactive data visualisations using OSR data for 5 reporting periods, from 2013–14 to 2017–18, are presented for the first time.

Key messages

  1. A wide range of primary health services are provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In 2017–18:
  • 198 organisations provided primary health services to around 483,000 clients, most of whom were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (81%).
  • These organisations provided around 3.6 million episodes of care, with nearly 3.1 million (85%) delivered by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs).
  • More than two-thirds of organisations (71%) were ACCHSs. The rest included government-run organisations and other non-government-run organisations.
  • Nearly half of organisations (45%) provided services in Remoteand Very remote
  • Services were delivered from 383 sites across Australia. Most sites provided the diagnosis and treatment of chronic illnesses (88%), social and emotional wellbeing services (88%), maternal and child health care (86%), and antenatal care (78%). Around two-thirds provided tobacco programs (69%) and substance-use and drug and alcohol programs (66%).

See this AIHW detailed Interactive site locations map HERE

  1. Organisations made on average nearly 13 contacts per client

In 2017–18, organisations providing Indigenous primary health services made around 6.1 million client contacts, an average of nearly 13 contacts per client (Table 2). Over half of all client contacts (58%) were made by nurses and midwives (1.8 million contacts) and doctors (1.7 million contacts). Contacts by nurses and midwives represented half (49%) of all client contacts in Very remote areas compared with 29% overall.

  1. Organisations employed nearly 8,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff

At 30 June 2018, organisations providing Indigenous primary health services employed nearly 8,000 FTE staff and over half of these (54%) were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. These organisations were assisted by around 270 visiting staff not paid for by the organisations themselves, making a total workforce of around 8,200 FTE staff.

Nurses and midwives were the most common type of health worker (14% of employed staff), followed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and practitioners (13%) and doctors (7%). Nurses and midwives represented a higher proportion of employed staff in Very remote areas (22%).

  1. Social and emotional health and wellbeing services are the most commonly reported service gap

Organisations can report up to 5 service gaps faced by the community they serve from a predefined list of gaps. Since this question was introduced in 2012–13, the most commonly reported gap has been for mental health and social and emotional health and wellbeing services. In 2017–18, this was reported as a gap by 68% of organisations.

 

NACCHO #ClosingTheGap Aboriginal Health and #UluruStatement #Makarrata : #NAIDOC2019 Week : #Voice #Treaty #Truth. Donna Ah Chee @CAACongress Let’s work together for a shared future

This NAIDOC Week we need to lift our gaze and consider the bigger picture reforms required to take the next step forward.

A Voice to Parliament; agreements or treaties; and a process to enable systematic truth telling.

All of this is achievable, and all requires deep listening from the Australian community and a commitment to action if we are to all move forward together as a single, unified nation.”

Donna Ah Chee CEO Congress ACCHO Alice Springs

Voice. Treaty. Truth. This is the theme for NADIOC Week 2019, and the words have never been more relevant; especially in Central Australia.

The movement for constitutional recognition culminated in 2017 in a National Constitutional Convention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at Uluru. From this convention rose the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Put simply, this statement sums up where Aboriginal people see ourselves standing now and what we believe needs to be done to move forward for social justice; Voice, Treaty, Truth.

As Professor Megan Davis recently wrote “The Uluru Statement from the Heart was tactically issued to the Australian people, not Australian politicians. It is the people who can unlock the Australian Constitution for Aboriginal people, as they did in 1967, and the descendants of the ancient polities can unlock what is sorely lacking in this country, a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.”

Co-chair of the Referendum Council, Alywarre woman Pat Anderson said powerfully: “We need real change, because we, First Peoples, have something unique to offer this country. Our peoples have been here 65,000 years or more. Over these immeasurable periods we have developed a profound wisdom about this land and about what it means practically and spiritually to live here. We know this place. This is our place, and there is no doubt about it.”

Despite the enormity of the demands that Aboriginal people could make as peoples who never ceded sovereignty over the lands on which we now all live, our major demand is simply the right to be consulted about the legislation, policies and programs that are meant to help us.

The experience that Aboriginal people have had having been on the ‘underside’ of Australian history places us in a unique position from which to consider the laws and policies before Parliament and make suggestions for improvements that could make Australia a better place for all of us.

Having a constitutionally enshrined Voice in parliament would mean that the people who have actually experienced real poverty and hardship would finally be able to use this lens to consider the laws and policy decisions proposed in Parliament.

Just this week we heard from Kerry O’Brien on being inducted into the Logies Hall of Famefor his outstanding contribution to journalism, that “the failure to reconcile Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia remained one big glaring gap in this nation’s story.” While lamenting the “awful racism this country is capable of”, he said that the Uluru Statement— which endorsed a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous representative body — offered hope for the future. Why is this seen by so many to be so important?

Relative to their numbers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are politically marginalised in Australia. The seventy years following Federation saw not a single First Nations representative elected to any Australian parliament, only changing in 1971 when Neville Bonner entered the Australian Senate.

Since then only 38 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been elected to any of the State, Territory or Federal parliaments; 22 of these being in the Northern Territory. Even today, the unprecedented four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people we have seated in our national parliament only reflects 1.8% of all representatives.

A small number already, made even smaller when compared to the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 3% of the Australian population, a number that is rising.

The systemic under-representation of Aboriginal people is mirrored in senior decision-making roles within public services across Australia. It is a powerful contributor to the lack of an accountable, informed, and sustained approach to Aboriginal issues, and the limited success in reaching the Closing the Gap targets.

Since the now famous Whitehall studies of the 1970s, ‘the control factor’ has been recognised as an important contributor to patterns of disease. The evidence shows that the less control people have over their lives and environment, the more likely they are to suffer ill health. Powerlessness is an identified risk factor for disease for Aboriginal Australians.

Aboriginal peoples’ lack of control of their lives is expressed at a national, systemic level through the absence of a national political representative institution; at a community level through their marginalisation from decision-making about programs that affect their own communities; and at an individual level through their experience of racism.

You only have to look at the poor implementation record of inquiry after inquiry into issues surrounding the health and wellbeing of the nation’s First Peoples for evidence of the absence of any real political influence.

Over the last three decades we have seen (most significantly) the National Aboriginal Health Strategy (1989), the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1991) and the Bringing Them Home report (1997). They are among numerous other Royal Commissions and parliamentary inquiries into issues surrounding Aboriginal disadvantage resulting in recommendations that have not been fully implemented. I often think there needs to be a Royal Commission into the failure to implement so many Royal Commissions.

A genuine commitment to ‘Closing the Gap’ must include the establishment of a national representative body for Australia’s First Nations, as was recommended by the Referendum Council after extensive consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

This must come alongside a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Such changes, foreshadowed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart,have the support of the overwhelming majority of Aboriginal people and would provide the basis for substantive change in Aboriginal lives, as opposed to mere symbolic recognition.

This NAIDOC Week we need to lift our gaze and consider the bigger picture reforms required to take the next step forward. A Voice to Parliament; agreements or treaties; and a process to enable systematic truth telling. All of this is achievable, and all requires deep listening from the Australian community and a commitment to action if we are to all move forward together as a single, unified nation.

First published in the Centralian Advocate July 4 2019

NACCHO and ACCHO Members Deadly Good News Stories : @NACCHOChair #NAIDOC2019 theme speaks to NACCHO’s priorities #voice, #treaty and #truth Plus Feature @DeadlyChoices #QLD #NSW #VIC  #WA #NT #SA #ACT  #TAS  

1.1 National : NACCHO Press Release : NAIDOC week theme speaks to NACCHO’s priorities voice, treaty and truth.

1.2 National : Our CEO Pat Turner meets with Northern Land Council to highlight the work of the Coalition of Peaks / Closing the Gap 

1.3 National : OCHRE Day Registrations open for the National Men’s Health Conference in Melbourne August 29 to 30 

  2.1 NSW  : AH&MRC  Communique to Stakeholders: AH&MRC Acting Chief Executive Arrangements

2.2 Katungul ACCHO : It pays in more ways than one to have a 715 Health Check

2.3 NSW : Survey of Aboriginal patient experience people admitted to NSW public hospitals.

3.1 VIC : VACCHO meets with the Victorian Minister of Mental Health 

3.2 VIC : VAHS would like to congratulate our staff member Chris Saunders who was crowned Mr. NAIDOC 2019.

FEATURE 4. QLD : Queensland’s Indigenous life expectancy gap is now the lowest in Australia, shows the overall positive impact the Brisbane-based Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) Deadly Choices is having among communities

5.1 WA : Aboriginal health Research Alliance in Kimberley big winners with Lotterywest grant of $2,920,185

5.2 WA : KAMS Aboriginal youth representatives met with Roger Cook MLA to share recommendations from Empowered Young Leaders forums in the Kimberley.

6. SA : AHCSA proudly launch their newest and deadliest resource, the ‘Deadly Sights’, a Communicare and MBS guide for the ACCHO Sector.

7. NT AMSANT’S 25 YEARS of health leadership conference 7-8 August 2019, Alice Springs 

8. ACT The June 2019 edition 17 pages of the Winnunga AHCS Newsletter is available

9.TAS : NAIDOC events in nipaluna ( Hobart ) and pataway ( Launceston )

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 NACCHO Press Release : NAIDOC week theme speaks to NACCHO’s priorities #voice, #treaty and #truth

“ NACCHO encourages the government to accelerate the call for a Voice to Parliament and supports a Makarrata Commission to supervise the treaty process as necessary steps towards true reconciliation. The voice will respond to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s exclusion from the constitution and will help include our say in the development of significant laws and policies that affect our lives.

We work with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) across the nation for the sustainable delivery of comprehensive primary healthcare services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.  Over the years, we have seen the increased accessibility and quality of services and medicines across states and territories.

It is our collective challenge along with our Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services sector to make a real difference in Closing the Gap. As we celebrate NAIDOC week, let’s continue our national conversations around voice and treaty grounded in truth-telling. Speaking truth to our country’s past will lay a strong foundation for a brighter, stronger and more equitable future for all.”

NACCHO Acting Chair, Donnella Mills said, “The NAIDOC theme speaks to NACCHO’s priorities. Having an Indigenous voice to Parliament is an important step in protecting and ensuring the interests of Indigenous communities are represented at the highest levels of government

Download or read the NACCHO Press Release HERE

NACCHO NAIDOC Week 2019 Media Statement FINAL (1)

 

1.2 National : Our CEO Pat Turner meets with Northern Land Council to highlight the work of the Coalition of Peaks / Closing the Gap

Left to right :  NLC CEO Marion Scrymgour, NACCHO CEO Pat Turner and NLC Senior Policy Trish Rigby 

Left to right  : NLC Chairman Sam Bush-Blanasi, NACCHO CEO Pat Turner , NLC Deputy Chairman John Christopherson and AMSANT CEO John Paterson

2.3 National : OCHRE Day Registrations open for the National Men’s Health Conference in Melbourne August 29 to 30

Registrations for this year’s Ochre Day Men’s Conference are now live!

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Ochre Day Men’s Health conference provides a national forum for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male delegates, organisations and communities to share knowledge, design concepts and strengthen relationships that all work to directly improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men..

To register for this year’s Ochre Day Men’s Health Conference in Melbourne, please proceed to follow the below link.

Ochre Day Accommodation

To take advantage of the Ochre Day conference room rates which have been arranged with Pullman on The Park, Melbourne, please proceed to follow the link below.

NACCHO OCHRE DAY WEBSITE 

2.1 NSW  : AH&MRC  Communique to Stakeholders: AH&MRC Acting Chief Executive Arrangements

Dear Stakeholders,

On the 3rd of July 2019, interviews will be taking place for the recruitment to the Chief

Executive Officer position at the AH&MRC until such time as the appointment is finalised the following arrangements are in place, Ms Tania Brown will be acting as the Chief Executive Officer and Mr Avnit Raj will be acting as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the AH&MRC.

On behalf of the AH&MRC Board of Directors and the staff at the AH&MRC we would like to thank Raylene for her dedication, direction and commitment that she has provided to the

AH&MRC and we wish Raylene all the best and great success as the Chief Executive Officer of Awabakal Aboriginal Medical Service.

2.2 Katungul ACCHO : It pays in more ways than one to have a 715 Health Check

Congratulations to Kaiden Fernando and Sean Kinchela who are the winners of Katungul’s Deadly Choices Deadly Blues Origin experience.

Kaiden and Sean had their 715 Health Check at Katungul, picked up a Deadly Blues jersey and automatically went into the draw to win an all expenses paid trip to Sydney to see the final State of Origin game this month.

Pictured: Katungul Admin Team Leader, Cherie Russel and Director of Community Services, Angela Nye draw the winners today in our Batemans Bay clinic!

2.3 NSW : Survey of Aboriginal patient experience people admitted to NSW public hospitals.

BHI and the Centre for Aboriginal Health are working together to collect the experiences and outcomes of care for Aboriginal people admitted to NSW public hospitals.

For the first time, every adult patient who identifies as Aboriginal will be invited to provide feedback on their admitted patient or maternity care experience during 2019.

The Adult Admitted Patient Survey asks Aboriginal people who have recently been admitted to a NSW public hospital for feedback about their experiences of care. This survey is mailed out to people about three months after the end of their hospital stay.

The Maternity Care Survey asks Aboriginal women who recently gave birth in a NSW public hospital about the care they received. This survey is mailed out to women about three months after their baby is delivered.

The results of these surveys will provide hospitals with valuable information about what they are doing well and where they can improve care to better meet the needs of Aboriginal people.

BHI previously published a Patient Perspectives report on the experiences of care for Aboriginal people, which drew on data from almost 2,700 Aboriginal patients who were admitted to a NSW public hospital in 2014.

Healthcare in Focus 2017 examined healthcare in the context of three important dimensions of performance – accessibility, appropriateness and effectiveness – for more than 60 measures and one third of these measures related to the experiences and outcomes of Aboriginal people.

To find out about upcoming releases of survey results that reflect the experiences of Aboriginal people, please refer to our Reports Plan.

3.1 VIC : VACCHO meets with the Victorian Minister of Mental Health 

Acting CEO of VACCHO Trevor Pearce and Hon. Martin Foley Minister for Mental Health met this week to confirm new resourcing so VACCHO can support Community consultations into the Royal Commission in Mental Health Services.

Trevor believes that we need “…to support strong Aboriginal voices and input.”

See background story Melbourne’s Indigenous people in grips of mental health crisis

3.2 VIC : VAHS would like to congratulate our staff member Chris Saunders who was crowned Mr. NAIDOC 2019.

VAHS sponsored Chris to participate as an candidate in this year’s Mr. NAIDOC.

VAHS would also like to congratulate all other winners and all the nominees from last night’s event. No doubt all the winners will make the Victorian Aboriginal Community proud during NAIDOC 2019.

Sports Person – Marissa Williamson
Miss NAIDOC – Yirgjhilya Lawrie
Mr NAIDOCs – Chris Saunders
NAIDOC Patron Uncle Jack Charles

*Photo source – 3KND

4. QLD : Queensland’s Indigenous life expectancy gap is now the lowest in Australia, shows the overall positive impact the Brisbane-based Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) Deadly Choices is having among communities

The State Government’s 2018 Closing the Gap report card, which indicates Queensland’s Indigenous life expectancy gap is now the lowest in Australia, shows the overall positive impact the Brisbane-based Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) is having among communities.

IUIH’s flagship Deadly Choices engagement and health promotion program is considered the most recognised Indigenous brand in Australia, and welcomed almost 600 participants at this year’s Junior Murri Carnival, which started this week at Brendale’s South Pine Sporting Complex.

The inaugural 2-day Junior and Senior Murri Netball Carnival began Thursday at the State Netball Centre in Nathan.

As with all Deadly Choices initiatives, mandatory health checks need to have taken place before confirmation of each individual registration to these free events.

The directive is one wholeheartedly supported by notable Deadly Choices Ambassadors, former Brisbane Broncos, Queensland and Australian rugby league players Steve Renouf and Petero Civoniceva, plus fellow former NRL Dally M Player of the Year Preston Campbell.

The trio will be joined by another former NRL representative and newly appointed Deadly Choices Ambassador, Brenton Bowen; Olympic weightlifter, Brandon Wakeling; NRLW representative, Tallisha Harden; former Olympic sprinter Patrick Johnson, plus Reds rugby players Moses Sorovi and Duncan Paia’aua.

“Participation in any Deadly Choices program requires individuals to commit to a comprehensive health check and complementing health management plan, so there’s strong health values associated with the brand,” confirmed Renouf.

“This is a brilliant school holiday initiative which has become one of our most frequented events among local communities.

“We get real outcomes across the whole spectrum of the community; from infants, adolescents and our elders, everyone is positively affected.

“This program enables us to motivate kids into ideal lifestyle choices with respect to nutrition, exercise and education.”

There’s added anticipation surrounding the future successes of the Deadly Choices Junior Murri Carnival, as youngsters aged 3-4 years are already being indoctrinated into the Deadly Choices ways, through the highly successful Deadly Kindies Program.

Over a 12-month period (2017-18), this initiative recorded 300 percent increases in kindy enrolments across Queensland, which is music to the ears of Deadly Kindies Ambassador, Johnathon Thurston.

‘I’m a Dad to four little ones and I know just how important Kindy is,’ confirmed Thurston.

‘At Kindy our kids get to play and learn and get ready to go to school.’

Education is a vital pillar in the pro-active health pursuits of Deadly Choices, which is assisting IUIH to provide a national blueprint towards greater life expectancy among Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

“Deadly Choices is well engrained within communities throughout South-east Queensland, ensuring members are healthy, active and obviously educated around what needs to be done to be living a very healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families,” added Civoniceva.

“Programs like the Junior Murri Carnival will hopefully light the fire within our little people in what they want to achieve in life and make positive steps towards achieving those goals and chasing their dreams.”

Testament to this mantra is Preston Campbell, who despite his diminutive frame escalated himself to cult status in the NRL, claiming the 2001 Dally M Player-of-the-Year title and securing a 2003 premiership ring with the Penrith Panthers.

“Sharing the good word among community around positive health, both physically and mentally, is something I believe in and feel privileged to be a part of through Deadly Choices,” confirmed Campbell.

“It’s all positive, making a difference in communities and providing a chance to give back. I love being at events like the Junior Murri Carnival, spending time and staying connected with community.”

The Netball component to this year’s Junior Murri Carnival will take place as a stand-alone event at the home of the Queensland Firebirds, the all-new Queensland State Netball Centre in Nathan.

Held on July 5-6, the junior girls will participate in clinics and educational sessions with the Firebirds and Deadly Choices teams, before participating in the Netball Carnival on the final day of the event.

The inaugural Senior Open Women’s competition will run alongside the juniors, with major plans being discussed towards greater participation in 2020 and beyond.

5.1 WA : Aboriginal health Research Alliance in Kimberley big winners with Lotterywest grant of $2,920,185

  • Lotterywest has awarded a grant of $2,920,185 towards the establishment of the Kimberley Aboriginal Health Research Alliance
  • Alliance aims to co-ordinate research and improve health in the Kimberley region

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt has welcomed the establishment of the Kimberley

Aboriginal Health Research Alliance, made possible by a grant of $2,920,185 from Lotterywest.

The Aboriginal-led alliance consists of six organisations representing Kimberley-wide Aboriginal communities, research institutes, universities and health service providers.

The founding members of the alliance are Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services, WA Country

Health Service, Rural Clinical School of Western Australia, The University of Notre Dame Australia – Nulungu Research Centre, Telethon Kids Institute and the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia.

The focus of the alliance will be in promoting Aboriginal-led research methodologies, building the capacity of Aboriginal researchers, and monitoring the implementation of health research in the Kimberley.

The grant from Lotterywest will contribute towards support staff, developing training and resources, information technology and other supports to create avenues for community involvement in research and health services.

Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:

“It is fantastic that through Lotterywest, the McGowan Government is able to support the establishment of the Kimberley Aboriginal Health Research Alliance.

“All the organisations that will form part of the alliance have a strong track record in both research and in delivering better health outcomes for people in the Kimberley.

“The research that will come about as a result of this investment will improve service delivery, health care practice and improved health outcomes for the Kimberley region.”

5.2. WA : KAMS Aboriginal youth representatives met with Roger Cook MLA to share recommendations from Empowered Young Leaders forums in the Kimberley.

They focused on collaboration & ensuring young Aboriginal people are heard & their actions are supported into the future

The Kimberley region is one of 12 sites across Australia selected by the Australian Government to participate in The National Suicide Prevention Trial.

The 12 locations chosen for the Trial have a higher than average suicide rate and this major trial aims to find the most effective approaches to suicide prevention for at-risk populations and share this knowledge across Australia.

Each year about 3,000 Australians take their lives and the suicide rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is about twice that of non-Indigenous people.

The Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial is helping to develop a model of suicide prevention that meets the unique and culturally-sensitive needs of the region’s Aboriginal communities.

The communities involved are: Broome, Bidyadanga, Dampier Peninsula, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Kununurra, the Kutjunka region and Wyndham.

Preventing suicide is a complex problem and a one-size-fits-all strategy for dealing with the challenge may not be the best approach. This is exactly what this prevention trial is all about.

SEE WEBSITE 

6. SA : AHCSA proudly launch their newest and deadliest resource, the ‘Deadly Sights’, a Communicare and MBS guide for the ACCHO Sector.

A fantastic effort by the Eye Health Team and Quality Systems Team here AHCSA

7. NT AMSANT’S 25 YEARS of health leadership conference 7-8 August 2019, Alice Springs 

Our Health, Our Way – 25 Years of Health Leadership Conference, at the Alice Springs Convention Centre in the Northern Territory.

We are hoping to get a big turnout from members to celebrate and showcase the success of our sector.

Member’s rate of $300, which includes the Gala Dinner.

If you are interested to put a stall at the conference, please contact us or for any other enquiries please feel free to contact Mia Christophersen – mia.christophersen@amsant.org.au

or on mobile – 0429 991 763.

ACCOMMODATION

Attendees wanting to book their accommodation can find a 20% discount (best available rate at the time)
by typing the code below or by calling 08 8950 8022 / emailing: doubletreealicesprings.reservations@hilton.com

DISCOUNT CODE: GCONA

REGISTRATION

[ CLICK HERE ]

8. ACT The June 2019 edition 17 pages of the Winnunga AHCS Newsletter is available

Read Download HERE

Winnunga_AHCS_Newsletter_June_2019 Winnunga_AHCS_Newsletter_June_2019

9.TAS : NAIDOC events in nipaluna ( Hobart ) and pataway ( Launceston )

Launceston

NACCHO Our Members #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : Features National @NACCHOChair #LowitjaConf2019 @Apunipima #715HealthChecks #QLD @QAIHC_QLD #CEOSleepout $ #NT @KenWyattMP visits @AMSANTaus #NSW Katungul #Vic MDAS #WA South West AMS #SA #ACT

Feature article this week 715 Health Checks 

1.1 National : Relationships key to better Indigenous Health – and the 715 health check is paving the way says Dr Mark Wenitong

1.2 National : Donnella Mills Acting @NACCHOChair broadcast interview at Lowitja Conference in Darwin

1.3 National : Donnella Mills Acting @NACCHOChair and John Paterson CEO AMSANT presents at Lowitja  the Coalition of ACCO Peaks on #ClosingtheGap

1.4 National : Michaela Coleborne the new NACCHO Director of Policy visits Lowitja Conference Darwin meeting many of our stakeholders like End RHD

2. NSW : Katungul ACCHO newly appointed CEO for the next 12 months, Joanne Grant talks about what motivates her to get out of bed every day

3. Vic MDAS Family and Community Services team supports our clients as they strive to achieve their own goals in life.

4. QLD :QAIHC CEO sleeps out to raise vital funds for homelessness : Please Donate HERE

5.1 WA : The South West Aboriginal Medical Service and City of Bunbury have been working together to deliver a $28 million multi-faceted facility for those living in the region. 

5.2 WA : AHCWA Starts new course in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Primary Health Care Practice

6. SA : AHCSA_ Study redefines gender policy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 

7. NT : Minister Ken Wyatt visits AMSANT office in Darwin after opening Day 2 Lowitja Conference ( See Video )

8.ACT : Winnunga ACCHO adviser says reports expose ACT disinterest in Aboriginal care

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

Feature article this week

1.1 National : Relationships key to better Indigenous Health – and the 715 health check is paving the way says Dr Mark Wenitong

“You really have to engage with the local Aboriginal community, so they feel comfortable to come in and get their 715.

 You need to understand cultural sensitivities to get a proper medical history – you can’t diagnose if you don’t know what’s really going on with a patient, so building that trust is really critical.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the worst health outcomes of any community in Australia.

We have a responsibility as health professionals to take care of this community, the same way that we take care of any part of our community. 

 Our people can actually take care of themselves if they have the education and the information in their hands.”

Dr Mark Wenitong Apunipima Health Service

Mark is one of a kind. Descending from the Kabi Kabi tribal group of South Queensland, Mark is one of the first Aboriginal men to graduate as a Doctor and is now a powerful advocate for improving Indigenous health outcomes.

Mark says he was inspired to become a Doctor by his mother who was one of the first Aboriginal Health Workers to be trained in Queensland. Her work with the Cape York community, in particular tackling the surge of sexually transmitted diseases in the region at the time, inspired a passion for better health within the family.

“Mum’s legacy was what really made me want to become a Doctor. I wanted to be able to help our mob to look after their own health, to provide a cultural lens. For me, that’s why it’s so important that Aboriginal Doctors are part of our service system, we can translate research, evidence and even program work into real practice” says Mark.

“With more Aboriginal Doctors, we can relate to our people, overcome barriers and build cultural resonance.”

After studying and graduating from the University of Newcastle in 1995, Mark is now based in Cairns at Apunipima Health Service, working with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities up north, both in the clinic and out in communities.

Mark says, the annual health check for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, item 715 under the Medicare Benefits Schedule, provides enormous opportunities for GPs to engage with Indigenous communities about their health needs.

View the video case study herehttps://youtu.be/lUgJsjtiItA

“The importance of 715s can’t be overstated – it’s one of the most important innovations that Medicare, and the Government, has brought in. We needed to do it, because we needed to get an understanding of what people’s health profile was before they were unwell. Why wait until patients come to us with a chronic disease? Let’s start screening early,” says Mark.

With Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2.3 times more likely to suffer a chronic condition, the annual health check is designed to provide early detection and prevention. Mark says the assessment is critically important in improving Indigenous health outcomes.

“There’s a couple of aspects to a 715 that are really important. The first is the screening – there are lots of people that are asymptomatic – meaning they aren’t showing symptoms yet –  that could have early disease like diabetes, hypertension. These patients may not come in until they get symptoms because people still think they have to be sick to come to a clinic. It’s an important way to engage the community, so they know they can come to a clinic whenever they need do,” says Mark.

“The other important aspect is that it’s a comprehensive assessment – a complete head to toe. By screening a broad array of physical, social and emotional factors, we get a really good picture of individual and community level health. Because we can identify problems early, we can also start early treatment.

“At a community level, we get really great data from undertaking the 715. We work with the local Elders groups to deliver 715 health check days out in the community, and screen people that otherwise wouldn’t come to the clinic. It gives us an idea of what the issues are at a really local level. We can then look at broader issues that affect the whole community, like immunisation, dementia, mental health and social wellbeing and can work to develop appropriate programs that tackle the specific issue a community might be experiencing.”

The annual health check is available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all ages, however nationally less than 30 per cent of patients are accessing the check.

Mark says it’s important to engage young patients with getting a 715 early as part of educating people about how to stay healthy.

“I see young people come in for their 715 and they’re very well. But I talk to them about health maintenance, talk to them about what they could end up like. Their uncle whose overweight, with no teeth and smoking outside. Our young people want to look deadly and fit, so we can help them with information and tips to stay in good health.

But with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Doctors representing less than 1% of the general practitioner workforce it’s important that all GPs understand the benefits of a 715 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Mark says the key to improving mainstream health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients is to encourage practices to engage with their local community to build cultural competency.

“If Aboriginal people walk into a service and don’t feel welcome, they won’t come back. Access is a big issue – creating a safe space for people to feel welcome is important,” says Mark.

“You really have to engage with the local Aboriginal community, so they feel comfortable to come in and get their715. You need to understand cultural sensitivities to get a proper medical history – you can’t diagnose if you don’t know what’s really going on with a patient, so building that trust is really critical.

“Most GPs can do this fairly well with most people, so it’s just a matter of then learning a little bit more about Aboriginal social and cultural issues to be able to relate to these patients in the right way. If you do, you’ll make a big difference.

“Some mainstream practices I’ve worked with have done really simple things, like putting Aboriginal health posters up in the waiting room or hiring and Aboriginal Health Worker or Aboriginal receptionist to help people feel welcome.”

Mark’s message to health professionals is simple – help your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in the same way you help any others.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the worst health outcomes of any community in Australia. We have a responsibility as health professionals to take care of this community, the same way that we take care of any part of our community.  Our people can actually take care of themselves if they have the education and the information in their hands.”

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

1.2 National : Donnella Mills Acting @NACCHOChair broadcast interview at Lowitja Conference in Darwin

1.3 National : Donnella Mills Acting @NACCHOChair and John Paterson CEO AMSANT presents at Lowitja  the Coalition of ACCO Peaks on #ClosingtheGap

Read Full Speech Here

1.4 National : Michaela Coleborne the new NACCHO Director of Policy visits Lowitja Conference Darwin meeting many of our stakeholders like End RHD

NACCHO are a founding member of the RHD alliance, leading work to across Australia. ( with Vicki Wade on right )

Read NACCHO and RHD HERE

2. NSW : Katungul ACCHO newly appointed CEO for the next 12 months, Joanne Grant talks about what motivates her to get out of bed every day

What motivates you to get out of bed every day to come and work at Katungul and why?
I firstly want to pay my respects to the Walbunja peoples, some of whom are family, of the Yuin nation and I am really honoured to be able to work on their land and with the local Aboriginal Communities along the far South Coast of NSW.
There is well documented evidence of the disparity faced by Aboriginal people in Australia and still today our people are denied their basic human rights. The opportunity to make a change for our people is what really motivates me.

Working in the health sector has been an eye opening experience for me as we see daily the ‘real’ effects of colonisation and trans-generational trauma which presents in many forms, for our mob eg AOD, mental health, chronic disease, family breakdown to name a few. To be able to work in an organisation like Katungul, that can provide services and programs directly to our communities, and who value cultural safety is what I believe will make a genuine difference.

What are you most excited about taking on in the next 12 months?

I am keen for the challenge that lies ahead of me. Whilst I have been apart of the executive team at Katungul for nearly 4 years, to take the reins of our organisation requires a whole new level of responsibility, way of thinking and commitment.
I see my role as an opportunity to build on our successes and have us recognised for the work we do.

It disappoints me at times that our Government still does not fully value the significant role of an Aboriginal community controlled organisation, which is evident when you look at the funding options that bypass us. I believe, we hold the vital keys and answers to our solutions!  I am keen to take the lead and have us write our own narrative of change as we move forward.

What can you personally bring to you role?

MMM.. talking myself up is not a big strength of mine, but when I look at my employment history I believe I can bring 30 plus years of demonstrated experience and commitment of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples with me.

When I left year 12 my first real job was with the Human Rights Commission, handling complaints of racial discrimination around Australia. This was a not just a job but a real life lesson for me, at that young age.It really opened my eyes up to the injustices my people faced. These stories have stayed with me throughout my employment journey and always motivates me to champion change.

What do you think will be your biggest challenges?

Working in any Aboriginal organisation is a hard ask, as we face many political challenges, at all levels including by our own communities. There seems to be a perception out there that we, Aboriginal organisations, receive a plethora of funding and are able to address ALL issues faced by our communities.

Unfortunately this is not the case, and we need to be clear and concise about what we can and cannot do and exceed where we are able to.  Living in regional Australia itself is a challenge as local resources are limited which means we have to access support and services for our clients out of area. This is clearly evident in the AOD space with all clients requiring residential treatment/care having to leave the area and  their family and Kinship networks which at times can be problematic.

What can the community expect to see from you in this role?

They can expect to see an Aboriginal woman lead with integrity, take on the challenges as they arise and to put the needs of the communities we serve  at the centre of our business.

3. Vic MDAS Family and Community Services team supports our clients as they strive to achieve their own goals in life.

We have specialist teams focussing on the different needs within our community:

• Aged and Disability
• Children’s Placement Services
• Family Services
• Youth Services
• Homelessness and Housing Services

Our staff work from a “Best-Interest Case Practice Model” – that means we support clients to achieve their goals and maintain their connections to their community, their families and, importantly, their culture.

Website

4. QLD :QAIHC CEO sleeps out to raise vital funds for homelessness : Please Donate HERE

Last night ( Thursday 20 June ) the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) CEO, Neil Willmett, slept out on the cold, hard concrete of Brisbane’s Powerhouse as part of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

The annual event raises much needed funds and awareness to address homelessness in Australia. For the CEOs involved it is one night of discomfort, but for more than 116,427 Australians, including more than 22,000 Queenslanders, homelessness is a constant reality.

This is the third year that Mr Willmett has participated in the CEO Sleepout, a cause close to his heart.

“It is well known that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are over-represented in the homeless population. Across Australia, approximately 25% of people who access specialist homelessness services identified as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander,” said Mr Willmett.

Mr Willmett is striving to raise a minimum of $5,000 to help the St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland (Vinnies) provide support to people in crisis.

“I am proud to participate in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. As the CEO of QAIHC, I lead an organisation whose membership has a positive impact on the most vulnerable. Across the whole of Queensland, the homeless population is in the thousands. Homelessness can have profound and ongoing effects on people and their health and wellbeing,” Mr Willmett said.

Funds raised at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout enables Vinnies to provide vital services to people experiencing homelessness. Vinnies provides emergency accommodation, advocacy support, budgeting services, living skills programs, emergency relief, transitional housing and access to programs that help rebuild the lives of Australians living in poverty.

To donate, visit www.ceosleepout.org.au/fundraisers/neilwillmett/brisbane

5.1 WA : The South West Aboriginal Medical Service and City of Bunbury have been working together to deliver a $28 million multi-faceted facility for those living in the region. 

Plans for the construction of an all-encompassing Indigenous health hub are progressing despite the project not yet receiving state or federal funding.

Last week council agreed to transfer city-owned land to SWAMS to develop the health campus.

Originally published HERE

Lot 4669 Forrest Avenue, Carey Park which is known as Jaycee Park will be transferred to SWAMS with the city agreeing to waive the development application fee of $34,196.

City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said the health hub would be a welcomed addition to the region.

“We are pleased to be able to provide the land to SWAMS for their health precinct and council would like to acknowledge all the hard work they do as well as the excellent service they provide to the community,” he said.

“By expanding their practice they will be able to do even more for their clients and make health care available and more accessible to those who need it.”

SWAMS chief executive Lesley Nelson thanked council for prioritising Indegenous health.

“This is about looking at a one-stop health hub to bring all of our programs and services under the one roof, in the one location,” she said.

“Strong local commitment and continuity are required to close the gap and that is why this purpose built, local facility is so important.”

During planning for the new purpose-built hub, SWAMS has partnered with University of Technology Sydney, to ensure an innovative, cutting edge design which will deliver positive outcomes for clients.

The build will include clinical and research facilities, administrative offices, dedicated maternal and child health facility and an outdoor Indigenous park in the one location.

There will also be a fenced-off children’s playground, landscaped gardens and new toilet facilities all open to the public.

Ms Nelson said they were still looking for funding partners and had sent the health hub plans out to a number of ministers.

“The total project will be around $28 million but if there is opportunities to undertake work at different stages that’s what we’ll do,” she said.

“We’re positive that it will happen, the first stage we’ll be looking at is building the health and wellbeing community centre and the landscaping and the park.

“That will get us started and showcase to the local community that something is happening on the site that is exciting.

“We know it’s important and this is part of trying to close the gap at a local level from the community – in terms of driving what they want to see here.”

SWAMS will now submit the development application to the City for assessment.

Once it has been approved, construction is expected to be completed within 12 months.

For more information visit www.swams.com.au.

5.2 WA : AHCWA Starts new course in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Primary Health Care Practice

NEW COURSE STARTING THURSDAY JULY 25th 2019

If you are interested in completing the Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Primary Health Care Practice” course or would like more information please email shirley.newell@ahcwa.org. or phone 92771631.

6. SA : AHCSA_ Study redefines gender policy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 

Read and /Or Download Report HERE

7. NT : Minister Ken Wyatt Visits AMSANT office in Darwin after opening Day 2 Lowitja Conference 

8.ACT : Winnunga ACCHO adviser says reports expose ACT disinterest in Aboriginal care

 ” THE release in late 2018 of two reports – “The Family Matters Report 2018”, which concerns  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care or in touch with the child protection system, and the Bureau of Statistics report “Prisoners in Australia 2018″– are a wake-up call for Canberra.” 

Jon Stanhope is employed as an adviser at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Service

Originally Published HERE 30 Jan 2019

Jon Stanhope
Jon Stanhope.

“The Family Matters Report 2018”, which measures the trends in over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home-care is as depressing as it is distressing. The report includes a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction report card on the implementation of best practice in child protection as represented by the Aboriginal Child Placement Principles and the four building blocks of the Family Matters Roadmap. “The Family Matters Report” is a collaborative effort of SNAICC-National Voice for our Children, the University of Melbourne and Griffith University. In other words, it is rigorous and credible.

In summary, the report reveals (and not for the first time) that the ACT is among the worst-performing jurisdictions in Australia and, on a number of specific and major measures, the worst-performing jurisdiction in Australia when it comes to the care of Aboriginal children in contact with the child-protection system.

In relation to the Aboriginal Child Placement Principles, recognised nationally as of fundamental importance to the management and care of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care, the ACT is identified as the only jurisdiction in Australia that has refused to include in its child-protection legislation any of the recognised elements of self-determination or a human-rights-based framework for participation in child protection decision making such as consulting Aboriginal community controlled organisations and involving them in decisions about the placement or care of Aboriginal children.

In light of the ACT government’s practice of excluding Aboriginal participation in child protection it is no surprise that the ACT has the highest rate of Aboriginal children in touch with the care and protection system in Australia and the third highest rate of removal of Aboriginal children from their families in Australia. An Aboriginal child in the ACT is 14 times more likely than a non-Aboriginal child to be in out-of-home care.

Stunningly, despite these quite shameful outcomes the ACT has the lowest level of funding in Australia for intensive family support and the second lowest level of family support generally.

Unsurprisingly, there are clear linkages between children who have been removed from their family by care and protection services and poverty, disadvantage and ultimately contact with the criminal justice system. The ABS report – “Prisoners in Australia 2018” – to the extent that it exposes and details the over-representation of Aboriginal men and women in prison in the ACT, confirms the depth of the failure of the ACT government and justice system to address either the causes of or appropriate response to Aboriginal offending.

The headline finding in the ABS report is that the ACT has the highest ratio of Aboriginal people in jail in Australia. An Aboriginal person in Canberra is 17.5 times more likely than a non-Aboriginal person to be sent to prison. The next highest is WA with a ratio of 16 followed by the NT where the ratio is 12. The ACT also stands out as the jurisdiction with the highest increase in relative imprisonment of Aboriginal people between 2008 and 2018, with an increase over the 10 years of a massive 100 per cent. In that same period WA and SA reduced the relative imprisonment rate by 9 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.

There is perhaps no single better illustration of the extent of inequality in Canberra than that the city with the highest median household income, the highest rates of home ownership and private health insurance, the fastest growing median house price and the highest mean income in the nation also has the highest rate of indigenous incarceration.

There is a range of other data reported by the ABS that is as equally shocking as the raw rate of indigenous incarceration. For instance the rate of prior imprisonment (or recidivism rate) of Aboriginal prisoners currently in the AMC is a mind blowing 90 per cent, the highest in Australia. Of the 109 Aboriginal detainees in the AMC on June 30 a staggering 99 of them were recidivists.

Equally alarming is the rate of increase in the ACT in the crude imprisonment rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Between 2017 and 2018 the rate in the ACT increased by 12 per cent to produce an increase over the six-year period from 2012 to 2018 of 89 per cent against a national average of 24 per cent. By way of comparison the growth in incarceration, over the same six years, in the NT, WA and SA was 8 per cent, 15 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

That the rate of increase in the incarceration of Aboriginal people in the ACT, over the last six years, is 65 per cent higher than the national average and that the rate of relative imprisonment has doubled in the last 10 years is deeply alarming and surely demands immediate and independent investigation and an urgent response. However, for that to occur there needs to be someone in government who actually cares.

My fear is that the ACT government has sensed that the Canberra community doesn’t really care that much about the level of indigenous disadvantage and poverty in Canberra and has accordingly decided that there is no need for it to either.

Jon Stanhope is employed as an adviser at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Service.