Aboriginal #heart #stroke Health : $15 million #HealthBudget17 Investment in #PhysicalActivity and #healthylifestyles to #takethepressuredown

“We walk from the pier to the swimming pool, but everyone walks their own pace and distance.

Before walking, an Aboriginal health worker takes the blood pressure of the walkers to let them know how their general health is.

The group was about “more than just walking”, with general health checks and healthy food offered as part of the weekly meet-up .We have young and old, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and everyone gets on really well.”

Community liaison officer Joe Malone : Run jointly by Heart Foundation Walking and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Community Health Service Northgate QLD , the meetings help keep local residents active.

Read Full story HERE

To find a local walking group, head to the Heart Foundation Walking website or call 1300 362 787

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : ” High blood pressure is a silent killer ” new Heart Foundation guidelines

“Disturbingly, about half of Australian adults are not physically active enough to gain the health benefits of exercise. This includes just under half of young people aged 25 to 34 years old. This puts them at higher risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers and dementia in later life.

“But even moderate exercise is like a wonder drug. Being active for as little as 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can reduce risk of death from heart attack by a third, as well as help you sleep better, feel better, improve your strength and balance, and maintain your bone density. It also manages your weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol. So we are delighted by the news of the Prime Minister’s $10 million walking challenge.”

Heart Foundation National CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly see full below

 ” The Stoke Foundation is excited to announce that the Stroke Foundation is partnering with Priceline Pharmacy for the 2017 Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check campaign.

Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check will take place Wednesday 17 May – Wednesday 14 June with a target to deliver 80,000 free health checks at over 320 locations around Australia including Priceline Pharmacy stores, selected shopping centres and Queensland Know your numbers sites.

Find your nearest free health check location HERE or your Aboriginal Community Controlled Health ( ACCHO )

Heart Foundation applauds Budget funding for Healthy Heart package

At a glance

Regular walking or other physical activity reduces:

  • All-cause mortality by 30%
  • Heart disease and stroke by 35%
  • Type 2 diabetes by 42%
  • Colon cancer by 30%
  • Breast cancer by 20%
  • Weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol

The Heart Foundation welcomes a $10 million commitment in the Federal Budget to get more Australians active by investing in a walking revolution, and $5 million dedicated to helping GPs to encourage patients to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced that $10 million over two years will be allocated to the Heart Foundation to lead the Prime Minister’s Walk for Life Challenge, which will support up to 300,000 Australians to adopt the easy way to better health – regular walking – by 2019.

“Physical inactivity takes an immense toll on the Australian community, causing an estimated 14,000 premature deaths a year – similar to that caused by smoking,” said Heart Foundation National CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly.

Heart Foundation Walking is Australia’s only national network of free walking groups. It has helped more than 80,000 Australians walk their way to better health since the program began in 1995, and currently has nearly 30,000 active participants. “We need to inspire Australians to be more active, and walking groups are a cheap, fun and easy way for them to get moving,” Professor Kelly said.

The Heart Foundation wants to see everyone ‘Move More and Sit Less’, including school students, sedentary workers and older Australians. “So we welcome the Government’s National Sports Plan, also announced in the Budget, to encourage physical activity at all levels, from community participation to elite sports.

“The Heart Foundation is also pleased to see a renewed commitment of more than $18 million to the National Rheumatic Fever Strategy, a critical program if we are to Close the Gap in health for Indigenous communities,” said Professor Kelly. “And we welcome the listing of the new heart failure medication Entresto on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, making it affordable for many more Australians, as well as funding for research into preventative care, and the development of a National Sport Plan, with its emphasis on participation.”

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who experience and die from cardiovascular disease at much higher rates than other Australians. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, when compared with other Australians, are:

  • 1.3 times as likely to have cardiovascular disease (1)
  • three times more likely to have a major coronary event, such as a heart attack (2)
  • more than twice as likely to die in hospital from coronary heart disease (2)
  • 19 times as likely to die from acute rheumatic fever and chronic rheumatic heart Disease (3)
  • more likely to smoke, have high blood pressure, be obese, have diabetes and have end-stage renal disease.(3)

From Heart Foundation website

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr Naomi Mayers at the University of Sydney.

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

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

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

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

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

Dr Naomi Mayers.

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

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

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

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Smoking : @KenWyattMP announces $35.2 million funding #ACCHO Anti-smoking programs

These health services are all delivering frontline services to prevent young Indigenous people taking up smoking and to encourage existing smokers to quit.

Reducing smoking rates is central to the Government’s efforts to close the gap in life expectancy, but requires a consistent, long-term commitment”

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt

Over 100 NACCHO Articles about smoking

REDUCING INDIGENOUS SMOKING TO CLOSE THE GAP

The Australian Government will provide $35.2 million next financial year to continue anti-smoking programs targeted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in regional and remote areas.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, said the Government had approved the continuation of funding to 36 Aboriginal Community ControlledHealth Services and one private health service.

“These health services are all delivering frontline services to prevent young Indigenous people taking up smoking and to encourage existing smokers to quit,”  .

“Reducing smoking rates is central to the Government’s efforts to close the gap in life expectancy, but requires a consistent, long-term commitment.

“Smoking causes the greatest burden of disease, disability, injury and earlydeath among Indigenous people and accounts for 23 per cent of the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

Under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Healthcare Agreement, all governments have committed to halving the 2008 adult daily smoking rate among Indigenous Australians, of 44.8 per cent, by 2018.

“The rate of smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is still far higher than among other Australians and is damaging their health in many ways,” Minister Wyatt said.

It’s unlikely now that we will meet the COAG target, but we are making progress.

“It’s important that anti-smoking programs are meaningful for Indigenous people and changes made in recent years have ensured that only programs which are evidence based and effective are receiving grants.”

Continued funding for the 37 health services follows a preliminary evaluation of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program which found that it was operating effectively and using proven approaches to changing smoking behaviour.

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

1. Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

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

3.NSW Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Service

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

5.Western Australia : Wirraka Maya Health Service

6. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

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

 Lets celebrate and share our ACCHO’s success

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate

or Members Good News Story ? 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media             Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1. Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

Major Mural for VAHS – originally published in the Koori Mail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many, many years ago some Elders decided,

That their people needed a meeting place,

Where they could come and be united.

Their aim was community control,

To make decisions of their own,

But it was more than just a meeting place,

For many it was home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mums and Bubs Hub closing the gap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.NSW Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. AMSANT and Congress Alice Springs

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

With Normie Gee and Elisabeth Heenan in Alice Springs.

5. Western Australia : Wirraka Maya Health Service

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

Picture: Courtney Fowler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ms Sculthorpe said charges had still not been laid.

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

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

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

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

Driving over middens to attract fine

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government showing ‘two faces’: Greens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The legislation is expected to be debated next month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NACCHO #ClosetheGap Aboriginal Health : Read Download Top 10 Press releases #Closethegapday

 

In this NACCHO Alert you can read /download Close the Gap Press Releases from

1.AMA 2.NACCHO 3.RACGP 4. FVLPS/#JustJustice 5. Healing Foundation

6.Pallative Care 7.Labor Party 8.Stroke Foundation

9.NSW Aboriginal Land Council .10. Australian Psychological Society (APS) is

Please note  :  Only a selection and in no particular order from hundreds released

” The Close the Gap Campaign 2017 Progress and Priorities Report, released today, shows that, despite their best efforts, all Australian governments are failing in their endeavours to meet their own targets in closing the gap – but we can turn this around,” Dr Gannon said.

The AMA believes that positive progress can be made if governments work directly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and better understand the approaches that they know work in their own communities.”

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said today that genuine cooperation between all political parties and across all levels of government is needed if Australia is to achieve significant improvements in closing the gap in life expectancy and health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

Photo above All AMA Presidents from all states and Territories met at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service (AHS) for Close the Gap Day Event : Winnunga is an Aboriginal community controlled ACCHO primary health care service for Canberra and the ACT community

Read full article here

2.NACCHO

” Hard figures and targeted investment, not rhetoric, are key to solving indigenous disadvantage, Aboriginal health leader Pat Turner said as she called for at least 4000 homes to be built in remote Australia to help tackle the ­problem.”

As published in The Australian

Ms Turner, chief executive of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Care Organisation, said indigenous health problems would be ­addressed only through “far greater ­investment … in the physical environment including safe houses, communities and roads.

“I would estimate there are 4000 dwellings required in remote Australia alone.

“We have not had this investment,” she said. “We need to take account of the factors that contribute to good health: housing, education, employment and access to justice.

“And why hasn’t there been far greater innovation, why is the passing on of knowledge of language and culture not recognised as legitimate work? This sounds fuzzy, but it’s not. We know that around 30 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health problems are to do with social and cultural factors.

“The context of people’s lives is what matters most in determining health outcomes, and that is something that individuals are unlikely to be able to control. We ask that the federal government replace its rhetoric about economic empowerment with significant public policy initiatives that produce specific outcomes.”

Close the Gap Campaign

Download CTG Press Release : 17.03.16 MR for CTG Progress & Priorities report launch FINAL

Download PHAA Press Release :PHAA CTG 2017

Close the Gap Campaign report: Australia ‘going backwards’ in fight to end Indigenous disadvantage

Download the Press Release NACCHO CTG 2017

A peak Northern Territory  Aboriginal community controlled  health organisation which  was on track  to close  the life expectancy gap between First Nations peoples and other Australians  has challenged Governments to listen to what programs really work… and then give their people the capacity to deliver them.

Speaking to CAAMA  on  National Close the Gap Day  Donna Ah Chee CEO of the Alice Springs based Central Australian Aboriginal Congress , AMSANT Chair and NACCHO Board member  was scathing in her criticism of Government and  its inability to actually listen to what her people have been saying for decades.

Listen here :

Download the report HERE CTG Report 2017

3.RACGP

The RACGP recognises the importance of supporting our members to be great doctors for all Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

 We are committed to developing culturally safe GPs and practice staff so that they are able to work effectively in the cross-cultural context and in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. ”

RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said the organisation was an active member of the Close the Gap Steering Committee, proudly committed to ending the health gap by 2030.

Download the Press release RACGP CTG 2017

4.FVPLS / #JustJustice

” We know being incarcerated affects someone’s health and yet it is not one of the Closing the Gap targets. It’s Close the Gap Day and the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee’s Progress and Priorities report 2017 has been released.

The 2017 report calls for a social and cultural approach and covers many issues, including justice. This is the fourt report from the Steering Committee to call for Justice Targets.

Since 2004, there has been a 95 per cent increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody. Over the same time, we have seen the crime rates decrease across the country.

Urgent action is required to reduce incarceration if we are ever to see life expectancy parity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

Despite the urgency of the need, and the calls by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations for an urgent response to this need, there has been no indication that governments are responding with the level of urgency required.”

Summer May Finlay from Croakey : Read Full report HERE

5. Healing Foundation

 “The social determinants of health need to be realigned in a cultural context of understanding the impact of trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how to overcome – to heal – from this. Focusing on changing just economic or education levels alone will not fix the profound challenges we face without also giving people the opportunity to improve their social and cultural connectedness and feel greater inclusion.”

Meanwhile, Richard Weston, CEO of the Healing Foundation, writes in The Guardian of the vital importance of trauma-informed practices and services, as well as for broadening discussion of the social determinants of health.

6.Palliative Care Australia

While this report doesn’t address palliative care, it is important that all people with a life-limiting illness are able to access palliative care.

“We understand that while some parts of the country offer exceptional levels of palliative care, culturally appropriate care is still not done well everywhere in Australia. We need to see that good work spread,” Ms Callaghan said.

“Community-based local approaches to end-of-life care are preferred, which leads to a significant role for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals in the delivery of quality end-of-life care.

“It is also very important that non-Indigenous health professionals develop culturally safe practice through education or training and appropriate engagement with local Indigenous communities.

“Culturally safe palliative and end-of-life care means that providers or practitioners must understand how these communities want health care to be provided

Download the Press Release Pallative Care CTG 2017

7. Labor Party

 ” The 2017 Close The Gap Progress and Priorities Report reiterates the need for all levels of Government to recommit and refocus, Labor stands ready to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their Communities.”

Labor is committed to working in a bi-partisan way, striving for the best possible outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples. Labor recognizes the importance of relationships that harness the knowledge, creativity and innovation that community controlled originations bring to driving decisions; strong relationships, working in partisanship, is the only way forward.

“Genuine partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations, are essential to improving the quality of life for our First Peoples. As stated in the Report, the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples cannot be considered at the margins”,

Senator Dodson said.

Download the Press Release Labor Party CTG 2017

8.Stroke Foundation

 ” Currently, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer stroke at a younger age, are more than twice as likely to be hospitalised with a stroke and 1.4 times as likely to die from stroke as non-Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders experience multiple risk factors for stroke and cardiovascular disease and there are significant challenges around identifying and managing that risk. 

As a healthcare community we need to come together to close the stroke gap which is claiming the lives of too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Stroke Foundation is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations to improve the health outcomes of Indigenous communities.”

By Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan

Today is Close the Gap day – a national movement demanding equal access to healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Most Australians enjoy one of the highest life expectancies of any country in the world – but this is not true for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live 10 –17 years less than fellow Australians.  The mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is on par with some of the world’s most impoverished nations. The United Nations Report, The State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (2009) indicated Australia and Nepal have the world’s worst life expectancy gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people – we must do better.

Here at the Stroke Foundation we believe everyone should have the opportunity to lead a healthy life and have access to best practice healthcare. While Australia has made some big strides towards improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, as a nation we have a long way to go.

Equal access to healthcare is a basic human right. Everyone in Australia should have the opportunity to live a long and healthy life. It is time our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities get the health care and support they need and deserve.

The facts

• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more than twice as likely to be hospitalised with stroke.
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 1.4 times as likely to die from stroke as non-indigenous Australians.
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 1.5 times as likely as non-Indigenous people to be obese – seven in 10 adults are overweight or obese.
• Two in five indigenous Australians smoke daily, 2.6 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians.
• More than half of Indigenous Australians (over 15) put themselves at risk of harm by drinking alcohol.
• 64 percent of Indigenous adults do not get enough exercise.
• 85 percent on Indigenous children and 97% of Indigenous adults do not eat enough fruit and vegetables.
• One in five Indigenous adults have high blood pressure.
• One in four Indigenous adults have abnormal or high cholesterol levels

– See more at: https://strokefoundation.org.au/

9.NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live 10 to 17 years younger than other Australians and the data on preventable illness and infant mortality is an appalling reminder of the challenges we face.

“The inequalities in health are a generational challenge and we have to continue the fight because the lives of our children depend on it.

“Positive change is possible – particularly when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations are driving those changes.

“Solutions that are generated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are a key part of any efforts to Close the Gap on health and living standards in Australia.”

Further progress to Close the Gap can be made if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are able to drive change, the Chair of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) Roy Ah-See said today

Please note the above NACCHO TV was recorded when Roy was Chair of Yerin ACCHO

Download Press release NSW Land Councils CTG 2017

10. Australian Psychological Society (APS)

” There is a need for more community-based, culturally appropriate mental health services that include strengthening culture and identity, and that are delivered by culturally responsive health professionals “

Leading Aboriginal psychologist and Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health (NATSILMH) Professor Pat Dudgeon FAPS, agrees that building on social and emotional wellbeing and cultural strengths is the foundation for improving Indigenous health and preventing suicide.

Picture : Our NACCHO CEO Pat Turner as a contributor to the report attended the launch pictured here with Senator Patrick Dodson and co-author Prof. Pat Dudgeon

 Download Press Release dAustralian Psycholigical Society CTG 2017

 

NACCHO #ClosetheGapday Editorial Comment and Download #CTG 2017 Progress and Priorities Report

 ” Achieving health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be impossible without a sincere, committed effort to understand and address racism in this country. That is why the Close the Gap Campaign continues to call for a national inquiry into the prevalence of racism and its impact.

The old cliché about persisting with the same failure in the hope of a different outcome is sadly the lived reality of much of the government policies regarding our people.

It is time to do something different.”

NACCHO CEO Pat Turner AM and Co- Chair Close the Gap Campaign

Opinion editorial 16 March see below in full ” It’s time to re-think Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Closing the gap in health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians is an agreed national priority but governments are failing to meet nearly every key measure. This has to change.”

That’s the blunt assessment delivered by Close the Gap Campaign co-chairs, Jackie Huggins and Patricia Turner :

Photo : NACCHO CEO Pat Turner and #CTG co chair Dr Jackie Huggins launch 2017 #CloseTheGap Progress & Priorities Report

Dr Huggins, who is also co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, and Ms Turner, who is chief executive of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, released the Close the Gap Campaign 2017 Progress and Priorities Report in Sydney today (  16 March ) to mark National Close the Gap Day.

Download the report HERE     CTG Report 2017

CTG 2017 report : 15 Recommendations :  “We have the Solutions

New Engagement ( The remaining 12 below )

  1. The Federal, State and Territory governments renew the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, by engaging with sector leaders on the series of calls in the Redfern Statement, and that they participate in a National Summit with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders in 2017, to forge a new path forward together.
  2. The Federal Government restore previous funding levels to the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples as the national representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and work closely with Congress and the Statement signatories to progress the calls in the Redfern Statement.
  3. The Federal Government hold a national inquiry into racism and institutional racism in health care settings, and hospitals in particular, and its contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inequality, and the findings be incorporated by the Department of Health in its actioning of the Implementation Plan of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

It’s time to re-think Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Op-ed by Patricia Turner, CEO, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and co-chair of the Close the Gap Campaign.

Today [16 March 2017] is National Close the Gap Day. It is a day to acknowledge our resilience and a day to focus attention on the significant gap in health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians.

The facts are indisputable. Governments at all levels are failing Australia’s First Peoples. We have shorter lifespans and we are sicker and poorer than the average non-Indigenous Australian.

The Close the Gap Campaign began in 2006. One of the Campaign’s first accomplishments was to convince the Federal Government of the need to plan and set targets to improve health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We’ve now had almost a decade of Closing the Gap Strategy by successive federal governments. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s most recent report to Parliament, in February 2017, was not good news. Most of the Closing the Gap targets are unlikely to be met by 2030. Frustratingly, child mortality rates are going backwards.

Today, the Close the Gap Campaign’s Progress and Priorities Report 2017 reflects on the continuing failure of the Government’s Closing the Gap Strategy and outlines a series of recommendations that can begin to turn the tide.

As a co-chair of Close the Gap Campaign and CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, I see the impact of a lack of coordination between federal, state and territory governments on addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

The Federal Government’s recent announcement to refresh the strategy is timely and a dialogue should begin with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak health organisations on how to address the health challenges our people face.

We expect much more from the state and territory governments. The Federal Government has a clear leadership role but the states are simply not doing enough to address inequality in their jurisdictions.

New arrangements between state, territory and federal governments must begin with a clear focus on addressing the social and cultural determinants of health.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs should not be managed in siloes. Instead, we need to take account of the factors that contribute to good health: housing, education, employment and access to justice. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders from across these sectors are already working together to make these policy connections – governments must follow suit.

Cultural determinants matter. There is abundant evidence about the importance of self-determination, freedom from the grind of casual and systemic racism, discrimination and poverty. For over 200 years we have been burdened with laws, systems and institutes that perpetuate disadvantage.

But our cultures and traditions still endure; we remain the traditional custodians of the land you walk on.

Last year, 140 Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations (ACCHOs) provided nearly 3 million episodes of care to over 340,000 clients by more than 3,000 Indigenous staff. It is clear that putting Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands works.

Recently, Flinders University highlighted the success of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress in Alice Springs, noting its ability to provide a one stop-shop with outreach services, free medicine and advocacy.

The benefits of having Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands are evident in other case studies which show reductions in the numbers of young smokers, increased immunisations rates, and increased numbers of child health checks in our local communities.

The Federal Government’s rhetoric about economic empowerment and opportunity should be replaced with significant public policy initiatives and the delivery of specific outcomes. Politicians often speak about the optimism, resilience and determination of our people but how about speaking today, right now, about meaningful actions, engagement and self-determination for us all.

CTG 2017 report 15 Recommendations :  “We have the Solutions

Prime Minister, and all Members of Parliament I say to you that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the solutions to the difficulties we face.

Consider for a moment the 2.5 million episodes of care delivered to our people by Aboriginal Community Controlled Heath Organisations each year.

This community-controlled work is echoed by many of our organisations here today, and amplified by countless individual and community efforts working for change.

Imagine this work stretching out over decades as it has.

We need a new relationship that respects and harnesses this expertise, and recognises our right to be involved in decisions being made about us.

A new relationship where we have a seat at the table when policies are developed.”

Dr Jackie Huggins Redfern Statement Parliamentary Event, 14 February 2017

Reinvigorating the national approach to health inequality

4.     State and Territory governments recommit to the Close the Gap Statement of Intent, and develop and implement formal partnerships with the Federal Government with agreed roles, funding and accountability with the provision of annual reports on their efforts to close the gap from each jurisdiction.

 

5.     The Federal, State and Territory governments work together to develop a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Strategy to meet the vision of the National Health Plan.

Social and Cultural Determinants of Health

6.     The Federal Government develop a long-term National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Cultural Determinants of Health Strategy.

Implementation Plan

The Implementation Plan is a major commitment by the Federal Government and must be adequately resourced for its application and operation. As such, the Government should:

7.     Identify geographic areas with both high levels of preventable illnesses and deaths and inadequate services, and development of a capacity-building plan for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) in those areas.

8.     Fund the process required to develop the core services model and the associated workforce, infrastructure, information management and funding strategies required.

9.     Ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health funding is maintained at least at current levels until the core services, workforce and funding work is finalised, when funding should be linked directly with the Implementation Plan.

10. Ensure the timely evaluation and renewal of related frameworks upon which the Implementation Plan relies.

 

11. Finalise and resource the National Plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing. This plan should incorporate and synthesise the existing health, mental health, suicide and drugs policies and plans – and should be an immediate priority of all governments.

12. Ensure that the consultation process for the next iteration of the Implementation Plan be based on genuine partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in a way that is representative and properly funded so that First Peoples can be full and equal development partners.

Primary Health Networks

13. The Federal Government mandate formal agreements between Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and ACCHOs in each region that:

a.     specify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership on Indigenous issues and identify the specific roles and responsibilities of both the PHNs and the ACCHOs.

b.     include workforce targets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals and include mandatory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation on the clinical committees of every PHN.

14. The Federal Government mandate ACCHOs as preferred providers of health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people provided through PHNs.

15. The Federal Government develop and implement agreed accountability, evaluation and reporting arrangements to support the provision of primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in each PHN area.[i]

Summary

The Campaign believes that the PHN program has the potential to make a significant positive difference in health outcomes for all Australians if they are culturally safe and properly engaged with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community within their network area.

The ability of PHNs to deliver culturally safe, high-quality primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be seen in the lived experience of the people.

Engagement

It is essential that Federal Government ensure that the PHNs are engaging with ACCHOs to ensure the best primary health care is afforded to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as the broader community. Competitive tendering processes for PHNs that award contracts to organisations that are able to write the best proposal may well be at the expense of organisations that can provide the best services in terms of access, quality and outcomes.

However, formal partnerships between PHNs and ACCHOs should reduce rather than exacerbate current funding inequities and inefficiencies.

It is the Campaign’s view that ACCHOs must be considered the ‘preferred providers’ for health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Where there is either no existing ACCHO or insufficient ACCHO services, capacity should be built by the establishment of new ACCHOs or within existing ACCHOs (or have capacity development of existing ACCHOs) within the PHN area to extend their services to the identified areas of need.

Where it is appropriate for mainstream providers to deliver a service, they should be looking to partner with ACCHOs to better reach the communities in need.[i]

The Campaign welcomes the collaboration between the Department of Health and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation to develop the Primary Health Networks (PHNS) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOS) – Guiding Principles which are intended to provide:

…guidance for actions to be taken by each party across six key domains: Closing the Gap; cultural competency; commissioning; engagement and representation; accountability, data and reporting; service delivery; and research.[ii]

Having a shared understanding of the key domains of focus and the principles of engagement and collaboration are a good start, however, more can be done to formalise the relationship between PHNs and ACCHOs.

Cultural Safety

The need for culturally safe services, with safe spaces that support the holistic concept of health is well established.

ACCHOs continue to be the exemplar for cultural safety standards as they are, by their very existence, best placed to respond to the health needs of the community based on implicit cultural understanding.[iii]

Again, it is encouraging to see some indications that the PHNs are looking to incorporate culturally safe practices as evidenced by the Guiding Principles document between PHNs and ACCHOs. The Guiding Principles state:

‘An understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is important to partners who wish to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people effectively and as equals.

Underpinning the Guiding Principles is a shared knowledge that will ensure:

  • respectful culturally sensitive consultation
  • recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes will be achieved when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people control them, and
  • that commissioned service delivery will be a strengths-based approach reflecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.’[iv]

Respect of culture must be embedded in all PHN practice and management, from formalised cooperation with ACCHOs, the delivery of services and the investments made in the non-Indigenous workforces so that they understand and value Cultural Safety and its importance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people seeking care.

 The Close the Gap Campaign

Close the Gap Campaign co-chair Jackie Huggins highlighted the resilience of Indigenous people and cautioned against feeling disheartened by the slow pace of change.

“When Tom Calma started the Close the Gap Campaign in 2006, he set a 25-year goal to achieve health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples,” Dr Huggins said.

This was an intentionally ambitious time frame. Nevertheless, Tom and the other early Campaign members knew that every inch the gap closed between First Australians and non-Indigenous Australians translated into lives saved and lives improved.

The Australian community agreed. Since then more than 220,000 Australians have signed the close the gap pledge for change.

“Despite the significant challenges we face to make health equality a reality in this country, it is the commitment of the hundreds of thousands of people that have pledged their support to closing the gap that give us courage and strength to press on.

“In communities across Australia we are seeing more and more of our people rising above the obstacles of institutional racism, generational trauma and low expectations to become nurses, doctors, social workers, youth workers, health workers, administrators, teachers and community leaders.

Our people, with the support of the many non-Indigenous people committed to health equality, are best placed to lead the changes needed today, tomorrow and over the next decade,” Dr Huggins said.

 

 

 

 

 

NACCHO celebrating #IWD2017 Women in Aboriginal Health leadership : Pat Turner AM CEO and @DrDawnCasey COO

 

” She describes her current role with NACCHO as “going back to her roots” after many years working for the museum sector.

At NACCHO she looks at health care policies seeking to promote health for Aboriginal communities. “Indigenous people are much more affected by chronic diseases because of their genetics so we try to help them and improve their situation.

She has always followed a strategy to involve professionals from different origins into her teams. “I always wanted to be sure that our job vacancies were advertised on those media easy to access by migrant and indigenous communities.

This is how she has managed to develop greatly multicultural teams.”

From recently published article see article 1 Below

 ” As a public servant in the Commonwealth Department of Education, I quickly gathered that recruitment practices and regulations severely limited employment and promotion opportunities for women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Read more:  How woman of influence Dawn Casey closed the gap on racism

Dr Dawn Casey PSM FAHA , currently the chief operating officer for the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), has a solid background across multiple sectors.

Dr  Casey is the former chairperson of the Indigenous Land Corporation and Indigenous Business Australia, and a former director of the Powerhouse Museum, Western Australian Museum and the National Museum of Australia.

In both 2012 and 2015, she was selected as one of The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence.

 Pat Turner AM CEO

 ” The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) in 2016 appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Turner.

NACCHO Chairperson, Matthew Cooke when welcoming Ms Turner and said he looked forward to working with her to build on NACCHO’s successes and continue work to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.

“We are thrilled to have a leader of Pat’s calibre join our team,” Mr Cooke said.

“Her breadth of experience in senior leadership positions in government, business and academia for more than 40 years means she is well placed to continue to implement NACCHO’s strategic plan to enhance and expand the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector.

“Her high level experience in government gives her good insights into negotiating the best possible solutions to increase our chances of Closing the Gap in ensuring improved health outcomes for our people

From NACCHO press release April 2016 see full Bio Article 2 Below

Dawn Casey NACCHO COO

 ” Like many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, I have always believed I had the responsibility to speak out and to help in any way I could. I was a little older than 13 in the 1960s when, attending homework classes arranged by the One People of Australia League, I explained how my parents were finding it hard to find a house. Not long after we had a house to rent.

At that time I began to realise how unfairly I and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were being treated. Living in Cairns, I didn’t fully appreciate how Australia had developed and continues to develop laws and policies that are racist and not conducive to creating and maintaining a just society.

Though we were all poor, lived in old and dilapidated houses and were confronted with discrimination on a daily basis, there was a great community spirit. On the one hand there was the agitating for justice and civil rights and on the other the organisation of social activities. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families came together for dances, huge weddings and weekend card games. Our fathers worked as labourers in various places: Cairns City Council, the Queensland Railways, the wharves, sugar cane farms, sawmills. We marched every year in the Labour Day parade.”

Read more: http://www.afr.com/leadership/how-woman-of-influence-dawn-casey-closed-the-gap-on-racism-20160203-gmkhrn#ixzz4afaMCVMn

Dawn Casey – “Museums usually talk about dead things… Contemporary issues should also fit in these spaces

From recently published article

However, it is her experience within the arts that is especially remarkable. She has been in charge of the direction of three of the largest Australian museums: The National Museum of Australia, Western Australia Museum and the Powerhouse Museum.

Unquestionably, one of her bigger achievements has been her contribution to what she calls the “democratization of museums.” Or, in other words, her assistance to “make the arts and museums more stimulating and accessible to bigger audiences.”

Raised in Cairns, Australia, Casey comes from the Tagalaka clan. As she explains, her personal experience and professional background has been determined because of her indigenous and female identity. She was denied access to education. “I always wanted to study French but it was not possible for indigenous people to take that course. Also, my parents would have never allowed me to do it,” she remembers. Casey’s story is a tale of hard work and overcoming obstacles. Her persistence had a clear intention.

“I know what been discriminated means. My own experience showed me how unfair and wrong the system was.”

Being a woman made things even more complicated. “Sometimes I didn’t even have the opportunity to be interviewed,” Casey recognizes.

Despite these difficulties, she has not allowed them to stop her having a successful career. Her career and contributions have been acknowledged with a number of awards, such as three Commonwealth Public Service Australia Day Medals.

Remarkably for someone who has worked with so many of Australia’s leading museums, Casey admits that she only stepped into a museum for the first time when she was 30. “It was quite a boring experience,” she admits, but this experience convinced her of the power that these institutions could have to act as effective communicative tools able to make communities understand both their pasts and presents.

“Museums usually talk about dead things, explorers and settlers,” says Casey. “They are the place to showcase very well-researched materials that make us aware of our history. These are extremely relevant. But I think that contemporary issues – that can be more accessible and interesting to everyone – should also fit in these spaces,” she adds.

Casey has thus worked very hard to this end. While working as a director at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney she helped to organize Muslim cultural exhibitions aiming to attract people from diverse communities to come together, techno-nights looking to engage younger generations, and even Harry Potter exhibitions seeking to capture the attention of children.

“I think it is a matter of combining very in-depth researched topics with lighter subjects that can arrive to other types of audiences,” she explains.

At the Salzburg Global Seminar session in February 2017, The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage, and Renewal, Casey helped to link the challenges affecting indigenous communities with other current issues such as the difficulties that refugees all over the world are facing.

“They might look as opposite problems. But in my opinion they are both issues saying a lot about the nature of a country. In both situations, either when we stop a boat and do not allow people to enter our country, or when we do not recognize the rights of certain groups of people in their own land, we are disrespectful with human beings and this says a lot about the nature of a nation,” she states.

This was the second time that Casey attended a session at Salzburg Global Seminar. She was a previously a participant in 2011 at the session Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture. She fondly remembers that the session was “a great opportunity to share and exchange ideas – something that does not happen frequently when you are a museum director and it is always you who is supposed to sell things to others. This is one of the reasons why I appreciate being part of this open space again to enjoy the dialogue and be able to exchange ideas

 ” Eye health and good vision is an important issue for everyone, but particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It accounts for a significant proportion of the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. I’m pleased to report that progress is being made.

The National Eye Health Survey, released on World Sight Day this year, also tells an important story. Rates of blindness amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have improved from 6 times to 3 times as much compared with non-Indigenous people.

And the prevalence of active trachoma among children in at-risk communities fell from 21% in 2008 to 4.6% in 2015.

The Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision has played a part in prompting actions that contribute to this improvement. The Roadmap outlines a whole of system approach to improving Indigenous eye health, and achieving equity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal eye health outcomes.

There is however still work to be done on Closing the Gap for Vision. For example, half of Indigenous participants with diabetes had not had the recommended retinal examination.

NACCHO has been involved with the Roadmap from its inception, and had a long relationship with Indigenous Eye Health at the University of Melbourne, and with RANZCO. We’re pleased with the great work and good progress being made.”

 Ms Patricia Turner, Chief Executive Officer, of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) launching  The 2016 Annual Update on the Implementation of the Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision

Pat Turner pictured above with Mark Daniell President, RANZCO,  and Prof Hugh Taylor at the launch.

Born and raised in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Patricia (Pat) Turner ‘s long association with Canberra began with a temporary position with the Public Service Board, leading to the Social Policy Branch of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA) in 1979.

Joining the Australian Public Service (APS) in Alice Springs as a switchboard operator in the Native Affairs Department , she moved to Canberra in 1978, joining the senior executive ranks of the public service in 1985, when she became Director of the DAA in Alice Springs, N.T. (1985-86). Pat then became First Assistant Secretary, Economic Development Division in the DAA, and in 1989, Deputy Secretary. She worked as Deputy Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet during 1991-92, with oversight of the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and with responsibility for the Office of the Status of Women among other matters. Between 1994 -1998, Pat was CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, which made her the most senior Indigenous government official in Australia. After stints in senior positions at the Department of Health and at Centrelink, Pat Turner left the APS and Canberra in 2006, returning to Alice Springs with her mother to live. There, she has continued to advocate on the behalf of indigenous people, including taking on what she described as ‘one of the best working experiences of my life’ as CEO of National Indigenous Television (2006 -2010). Other memorable experiences include the period when she was Festival Director of the 5th Festival of Pacific Arts in Townsville, Queensland (1987 -88) and when she held the Chair of Australian Studies at Georgetown University in Washington DC (1998-99). Turner holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Canberra where she was awarded the University prize for Development Studies.

Pat Turner, the daughter of an Arrente man and a Gurdanji woman, was born in 1952 and raised in Alice Springs. She had three Aboriginal grandparents and one white grandfather and asserts that ‘[t]he only thing I inherited from the latter was his surname’. From the other three she inherited a strong sense of family and Aboriginal identity that has been a constant source of strength and support throughout the course of her life, regardless of where she was living. She is related to Aboriginal activist and public servant, the late Charles Perkins though her paternal grandmother’s family line.

The third of five children, Turner was a good student who loved to read anything and everything. A book about the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, was one of her favourites, a fact that now makes Turner laugh. ‘I can see the humour,’ she says, ‘in a little Aboriginal girl in the desert idolising a graceful dancer from Russia, but I can’t really explain it!’ Life during term was a disciplined one with her mother and siblings, attending school, doing chores and homework and helping out her grandmother after school. During holidays, she would travel out bush with her Dad while he erected windmills on far flung properties. He was one of a handful of Aboriginal men who fought the odds to establish his own business. Although it meant he spent substantial amounts of time away from the family, it made a significant financial difference, not the least being the stability of home ownership. The family was able to gather the resources to build a brick home on the east side of town, away from the fibro cottages at ‘The Gap’ to the south.

In 1963 the family was shattered by Alec Turner’s death in an accident at work. Apart from the obvious emotional trauma brought about by his death, the family experienced extreme financial hardship, as their mother experienced great difficulty in the search for permanent employment. As a widow, Emma Turner was entitled to welfare but the lack of respect she was accorded by the welfare officers charged with determining her fitness to receive a widow’s pension had a profound impact on young Pat, who bristled with indignation and their intervention. Her mother’s courage and grit in the face of such difficult circumstances was a constant source of inspiration. She was one of many strong women leaders in their community, says Turner, who kept their families together against many odds and with little assistance. ‘Their integrity, courage and family values were second to none. They knew when and how to use their authority.’

Another source of inspiration was that provided by the example of Uncle Charlie Perkins. In 1965, Woman’s Day magazine provided funds for thirteen-year-old Pat and her Nanna Hetty Perkins to travel to Sydney to attend his graduation from Sydney University. The graduation ceremony had a very big impact on her and the importance of the model provided by her uncle, who stressed the importance of education to improving the lives of indigenous people, cannot be under-estimated. Pat determined that she would get a good education herself, and approached the local welfare branch in Alice Springs with her high school reports, telling them she wanted to go to school in Adelaide. In her third year at high school, and with a day’s notice to travel, they agreed to her request.

Living in a Church of England Girls’ Hostel that mainly housed white girls from the country, Pat began school in Adelaide at Adelaide Girls High School. She missed her family, but was not isolated from extended family. Indeed, she would attend Aboriginal Progress Association meetings with her Uncle John Moriarty, and met Don Dunstan on one occasion. Her time in Adelaide introduced her to Aboriginal politics and the history of their struggle for self determination and she brought that interest and commitment home when she returned for holidays.

Turner transferred her enrolment to Nailsworth Technical College in her last two years so she could get some practical education in commercial subjects that she thought would help her to get a job. After obtaining her leaving certificate, she and some friends embarked on a working holiday around Australia. She stopped long enough in Melbourne to complete her matriculation through the Council of Adult Education.

Turner’s career in the APS began in the early 1970s. Returning to Alice Springs from Melbourne, she joined the Department of Interior (Welfare Branch) as a switchboard operator. Her tenure coincided with the election of the Whitlam Federal Government in 1972 and the subsequent extensive changes to the administration of Aboriginal Affairs in Australia, including the creation of a specific Department of Aboriginal Affairs. One of Turner’s first acts as a public servant keen to influence the agenda was to request the role of driver for the Minister, Gordon Byrant, whenever he came to town, so that she ‘could talk to him directly about the way things are’.

She was still in Alice Springs when her talent was spotted and she was selected to receive training in a new program to establish community welfare offices. Upon completing this education, she moved from administration into a role as a welfare officer, the first Aboriginal woman to hold the position in Alice Springs. She became adept at rolling out programs to assist Aboriginal youths at risk and worked hard at building collaborative links between branches of the public service in order to achieve better outcomes for the public. This was a skill that she was renowned for throughout the course of her career, whether the tasks be working as a liaison officer at the Commonwealth heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Melbourne, in 1981, a member of the taskforce set to manage the Papal visit to Alice Springs in 1986, or directing the 5th Festival of Pacific Arts in Townsville, Queensland in 1987-88.

As time went by and her experience developed Turner became more committed to the politics of self determination for Aboriginal people over the assimilationist policies that prevailed. At a professional level, this meant being a firm supporter of community based service delivery of health and welfare programs for Aboriginal people. It also meant that she became increasingly frustrated by the tertiary studies in community development and social work that she undertook in 1976 at the South Australian Institute of Technology. Moving with a radical group of students, she found the subject offerings did not engage deeply enough with need for real social change, instead offering ‘band aid solutions’ that weren’t relevant to Australian conditions.

The mid to late 1970s were a time of deep political engagement for Pat, as she connected with the politics of women’s liberation, the union movement, the anti-uranium movement and the struggle for social justice and land rights for Aboriginal people. She was elected Vice President of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) in 1976, and worked hard in the position to get students involved in Aboriginal politics. The organization itself underwent some stressful times, as the nature of Aboriginal politics changed and as funding for organisations became far more competitive. Pat eventually presided over the winding up of FACAATSI in the late 1970s. She moved to Canberra in 1978 and got a temporary job with the Public Service Board in the Equal Opportunity Branch, undertaking an audit of APS positions to identify those that should be filled by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This gave her an ideal opportunity to learn and understand the APS pecking order, and the authority to shake up the thinking of some old heads. After meeting the human resources manager at the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, she was dismayed to be told that of a staff of two hundred, only twenty positions would be suitable! ‘As a junior officer, I found myself telling quite senior staff to reassess their thinking’. She also learned how resistant many individuals were to change. She used the time to observe, campaign, learn who was important, who had the power to get results, and how to get money to fund programs she was interested in. It was time well spent, because it provided demonstrable prove that a well prepared, effective public service could affect real change for the good. The summary note (above) indicates just how effective Pat was as a public servant.

Determined to use her position as a place where she could demonstrate her value while encouraging new ways of thinking about the administration of Aboriginal Affairs, Turner never described herself as a rebel; rather, she was an administrator who was prepared to speak up and put racists in the public service in their place. She learned the value of good preparation, of treating staff and colleagues with respect and stressed the importance of diversity; of people, and experiences, to the public service. And while she argues that people like Lowitja O’Donoghue and Charles Perkins were the real Aboriginal leaders in the public service, she accepts that her climb through the ranks did provide her with positional leadership opportunities that gave her the power to influence policy matters. She was lucky to be able to combine her personal interests with positional leadership, but was careful to never abuse this privilege, through her scrupulous attention to process and her devotion to hard work. Leadership, for her, was balancing the best interest of the government with the best interests of Aboriginal people. As a public servant, she was always driven to serve Aboriginal people to the best of her ability while fostering open lines of communication with the minister of the day and providing full and frank advice.

Turner retired from the APS in 2006, not particularly happy with the state of the organisation she was leaving, but happy about the prospect of spending more time with family and focusing on grass roots projects. She worked on the development of the recently launched (2013) National Indigenous Television until 2010. In 2011, she was appointed to the advisory council of the Australian National Preventative Health Agency. Her much loved mother, whose courage and commitment to family were a constant source of support, passed away in 2010. Turner now lives back in Alice Springs with her sister and niece. And no matter how dissatisfied she might feel about how her career in the APS ‘wound down’ she is, deservedly, very proud of her own career. ‘I’ve had a wonderful career,’ she says, ‘and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to contribute to nation building’.

View the full record at Australian Women’s Register

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Our Member’s Good News Stories from WA, NSW ,VIC ,SA, QLD, NT

140-members 

1.Western Australia :  South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS)

2.Victoria: Budja Budja Medical Clinic

3. South Australia  : Nunkuwarrin Yunti

4. NSW : Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service (WACHS)

5.Queensland : Apunipima Cape York Health Council

6. Northern Territory : AMSANT

naccho-app

Picture above : The NACCHO App contains a geo locator, which will help you find the nearest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (302 Clinics ) in your area and

 Provides heath information online and telephone on a wide range of topics and where you can go to get more information or assistance should you need urgent help

Download details HERE

1.Western Australia :  South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS)

awa

Photo : South West Aboriginal Medical Service mental health services have increased with newly appointed mental health coordinator Jacqui Davis and mental health indigenous outreach worker Darin Turvey with long-time social worker Joyce Dimer.

Mental health services in the South West have been boosted with the South West Aboriginal Medical service getting money to increase its capacity to help Aboriginal people experiencing mental illness.

Country WA Primary Health Network has funded SWAMS to boost its delivery of mental health services with a new mental health coordinator and mental health Aboriginal outreach worker.

Country WA Health regional manager Dianne Ritson said the new initiative delivered by SWAMS would provide culturally appropriate and safe services to meet the mental health and healing needs of Aboriginal people in the South West.

“We know that coordinating care for people who have complex health issues, including mental health, is critical so that they get the care they need,” Ms Ritson said.

“The additional services delivered by SWAMS will build on their existing programs, promote service integration and support Aboriginal people in navigating mental health programs including suicide prevention and stolen generation counselling.”

SWAMS’ new mental health coordinator Jacqui Davis started in January this year and will lead the mental health services team while being supported by Aboriginal health workers Elizabeth Narkle and Jenny Wallam.

Chief executive officer Lesley Nelson said the health network’s support was vital in enabling the centre to continue providing best-practice and culturally appropriate health services for the Aboriginal community.

“It’s about building capacity to our mental health services, so our clients have more opportunities to access support,” she said.

“The team will help clients through their journey of getting a proper diagnosis, getting to appointments on time, and being educated on ways to manage their mental health needs through support and understanding.

“It’s the first important step in SWAMS being able to increase its reach in a service that is much-needed for our community.

“We recognise the impact mental health issues can have on families and carers and we want to help our clients through education, counselling and open communication.”

Ms Nelson said the positions would be funded until June 2018, however the roles would be ongoing to meet the needs of the community.

2.Victoria: Budja Budja Medical Clinic 

victoria

The medical team at Budja Budja Medical Clinic display their accreditation which was awarded by Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited.

Patient care at Halls Gap’s Victoria Budja Budja Medical Clinic was rewarded after it received a national award of accreditation.

Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited chair Dr Richard Choong said accreditation showed the practice made a significant investment and commitment to quality on a day-to-day basis and across all levels of the practice team.

“Achieving accreditation is a major achievement for any practice and a clear demonstration that Budja Budja Medical Clinic is striving to improve their level of care to both patients and the community,” he said.

“Practices seek accreditation because they want to do their best and view this as another step towards excellence in patient care.

3.South Australia  : Nunkuwarrin Yunti .

2017 Aboriginal Spirit Colour Fun Run & Walk

dsc2335-1280x1000

On January 29th 2017, the Nunkuwarrin Yunti Tackling Tobacco Team held its annual Spirit Colour Fun Run & Walk at Fremont Park, Elizabeth.

Over 150 people joined in on celebrating smoke free environments, being healthy and smoke free.

What a fabulous day! To view more photos from the event visit http://tacklingtobacco.nunku.org.au/2017-spirit-colour-fun-run-walk/

Are you an Aboriginal person living in the Adelaide metropolitan area who needs support to quit smoking? Contact tacklingsmoking@nunku.org.au or phone 08 8406 1600

dsc2331-1280x1000

4.NSW : Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service (WACHS)

nsw

Aboriginal Health Services Community Forum – 14 Mar 2017, Rooty Hill
Tuesday 14 March 2017, 10:00 – 13:00 more details below  

There’s a new health care provider for indigenous people in the western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains regions.

Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service (WACHS) will take control of indigenous health services at Western Sydney Local Health District and Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District facilities for the next two years.

The arrangement will see WACHS manage “culturally safe” services for population health, chronic care, mental health and drug and alcohol issues.

Funding has been allocated to the group under the federal government’s Indigenous Australians’ Health Program. The NSW Ministry of Health will also contribute funds.

“We are very pleased to have formally signed off on the funding agreement, following negotiations with the Commonwealth and state governments,” WACHS chief executive Darren Ah See said.

WACHS will take the reigns from WentWest, which has run services including the Aboriginal Health Unit at Mount Druitt.

The changeover will officially take affect on April 1.

WACHS has worked within indigenous communities in regional NSW for 25 years.

It opened Aboriginal health services in Orange, Coonamble and Dubbo, and re-opened another in Moree that had been closed for several years.

WSLHD chief executive Danny O’Connor said the organisations would work closely to provide the best care for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people.

NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health @KenwyattMP Part 2 of 2 #ACCHO Providers who will be delivering the Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services are:

ken-wyatt

” The $27 million would be invested over the next 18 months in Primary Health Care services and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program.

These services include: comprehensive primary health care; antenatal and postnatal care; information about baby care; assistance with breastfeeding, nutrition and parenting; monitoring developmental milestones, immunisation status and infections; and health checks and referrals for treatment for Indigenous children before starting school.”

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, MP

See list below that includes many of our ACCHO member

naccho

NACCHO welcomes $27 million for early childhood health

The peak body for Aboriginal controlled community health organisations today welcomed an extra $27 million over the next 18 months for programs to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Strait Islander children and mothers.

The funding announced by Indigenous Health Minister, Ken Wyatt, will be provided to 18 medical services in NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Matthew Cooke, welcomed the Minister’s announcement that Aboriginal medical services would receive most of the additional funding.

Mr Cooke said funding indigenous led solutions was critical to making significant gains in closing the indigenous health gap, including reversing the slide in infant mortality rates highlighted in last week’s Closing the Gap report.

“Maternal and early childhood health programs that are culturally appropriate, co-ordinated and delivered by Aboriginal health professionals working on the ground in local communities are essential to giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children the best possible start in life,” Mr Cooke said.

“This announcement will fund services such as antenatal and postnatal care, information about baby care, support for breastfeeding, nutrition and parenting, monitoring milestones, immunisation and health checks to make sure children are healthy and ready to learn when they start school.

“This funding is an encouraging and welcome sign that the government has listened to Aboriginal people over the last week and recognises that we must be equal partners in addressing issues that affect our communities.”

The new funding will be invested under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program.

Aboriginal controlled community health organisations that will receive the new funding include:

  • Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Coprporation (NSW
  • Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation (NSW)
  • Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Ltd (NSW)
  • Mt Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Ltd (QLD)
  • Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Health Service (QLD)
  • Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre (QLD)
  • South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation (TAS)
  • Tasmania Aboriginal Centre (TAS)
  • Moorditj Koort Aboriginal Corporation (WA)
  • GP Down South Ltd (WA)

Minister’s Press Release

New funding of $27m for child and maternal health programs and primary health care will help keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children healthy and ready to learn when they start school and ensure they are properly immunized.

“These targeted grants will help improve the health and life expectancy, as well as early childhood health and development, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through better access to effective and high-quality health services,” Mr Wyatt said.

“The health providers will be delivering services in culturally-appropriate ways.

“This is in addition to our 2014-15 Budget announcement of $54 million over three years to 2018 for an additional 51 New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services sites to improve child and maternal health.

“Together, this represents a significant investment in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.”

PDF printable version of $27 million for better Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes – PDF 254 KB

The providers who will be delivering the Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services are:

State Region Successful applicant/s
NSW North Coast Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation – Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service
Hunter New England and Central Coast Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation – Primary Health Care

New England North West Health Ltd (HealthWISE New England North West) – Primary Health Care

Hunter New England Local Health District (Tamworth Nundle Community Health Service) – New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service

Western NSW Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Limited (Brewarrina AHS) – Primary Health Care
South Eastern NSW Grand Pacific Health Limited (Grand Pacific Health NSW) – Primary Health Care
Qld Western Queensland Mount Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Limited (Gidgee Healing) – Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service
Northern Queensland Queensland Health Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (Community Health Mossman) – Primary Health Care

Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Health Service – New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service

Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre – Primary Health Care

Tas North Western Tasmania Rural Health Tasmania Inc. – Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service
Southern Tasmania South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation – New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre – Primary Health Care

WA Perth South Moorditj Koort Aboriginal Corporation – Primary Health Care

GP Down South Ltd (Down South and Nidjalla Waangan Mia) – Primary Health Care

Arche Health Limited (Perth South WA) –
Primary Health Care

Country WA WA Country Health Service (Great Southern Aboriginal Health Service and
Wheatbelt Aboriginal Health Service) – Primary Health CareBoab Health Services Pty Ltd – Primary Health Care

 

NACCHO Member and Stakeholders support #closingthegap #RedfernStatement : Our community voices are key to Closing the Gap

nitv

Yesterday ninth Closing the Gap Report highlighted the health challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.Included in this NACCHO post are support press releases from a wide range of NACCHO members and stakeholders : 

????????????????????????????????????

 ” The report identifies small gains that are being made by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations such as Apunipima, however with the targets looking increasingly out of reach we urge government to work more closely with communities and look at serious reforms to give us a chance to close the health gap between mainstream and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We urge the government to listen and work with the community who know what is needed for themselves and their families.

We know that mainstream services do not deliver the outcomes we are all looking for and this report is further evidence that community led and community driven services are the way forward for better health outcomes in community.

Community is central to any debate about the future of our health services “

Apunipima Cape York Health Council CEO Cleveland Fagan pictured above with Dr Mark Wenitong

Read Download full press release Apunipima

ama

Read recent AMA Report card Indigenous Health

Read NACCHO Press Release referred to by Dr Michael Gannon AMA President

homepage_campaign_doctors_ctg

 “ The Redfern Statement was developed on 9 June 2016 and the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) are one of the 18 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations leading this statement and calling for Government action. Members of AIDA were proud to be in the Great Hall at Parliament House for this significant occasion.

AIDA looks forward to working with other Redfern Statement signatory peaks and senior State and Territory Government representatives between March and July at the Redfern Statement Workshops and participating in the National First People Summit in August/September later this year.

Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA)

Read Download full press release aida

2-rural-doctors-_page_1

“It is a continuing tragedy that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still suffer from poorer health outcomes and a shorter life expectancy than non Indigenous Australians.

While the reasons for this are complex and include a range of socioeconomic and other factors, it is certainly the case in the healthcare system that much more can be done.

For example, we have a continuing lack of access in many locations to culturally appropriate health services. Understandably, the availability of culturally appropriate healthcare often makes the difference between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients going to see a doctor or other health professional, or not going at all.

And while there are increased opportunities for cultural competency training within our medical and other health courses, more consistent access for medical and health students (particularly non Indigenous students) to this critical training is needed for them to have the skills and knowledge required to communicate effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

RDAA President, Dr Ewen McPhee

Read Download full press release 2-rural-doctors

nrha-conference-page-ad-left-pre-eminent

“While we have seen positive signs for health, including improvements in numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers not smoking during pregnancy and babies born with a low birthweight, we are still falling behind when it comes to achieving the target of halving the gap in child mortality by 2018,

One of the key priorities for our organisation is improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which is demonstrated to worsen with increasing remoteness.

Mr Butt also stressed that while many of these issues are not new, they are even more pressing in isolated areas given approximately 65% of Aboriginal people live outside Australia’s major cities.

We need greater focus on improving child health, education, and wellbeing and to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to give them the best start in life. It should involve a holistic early childhood strategy which informs high quality, locally responsive and culturally appropriate programs supported by stable, long term funding.”

The NRHA continues to work closely with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander member bodies to achieve these outcomes,” .

NRHA CEO, David Butt, while progress has been seen in some areas, the rates of infant mortality were no longer on target and this was of concern.

Read Download full press release national-rural-health

labor

 

 ” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians pay a heavy price for this collective national failure.

The first peoples live with worse health and education outcomes, fewer employment opportunities, inadequate housing options and the lasting effects of intergenerational trauma.

The flawed design and delivery of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy reminds us that paternalism does not work. We cannot ignore the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or impose solutions instead of working with communities.

We need a new approach – an approach that listens to first Australians, gives them a stronger voice that they control, and recognises that they have the solutions.

We need a new approach that fosters hope that builds on a sense of belonging. An approach built on respect, recognition and resources.

Labor calls on the Government to heed local voices, to empower communities, and to prioritise what works.

The $500 million in cuts to programs and frontline services has had a very real and damaging impact. Despite a promise that there would be no jobs or services lost, the opposite is true. Cutting funding from local providers doesn’t foster independence, it undermines hope. “

The Hon Bill Shorten Shadow Minister for Indigenous affairs together we signed the malarndirri McCarthy Senator Dodson & Jenny Macklin

Read Download full press release labor

greens

The Close the Gap report now showing that child mortality rates are not on track is a dismal reflection on the Government’s half-hearted and under-funded attempts to end Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.

One of the targets is on track to Close the Gap for our First Peoples. Just one. How has the Government let it get to this stage?

“I have witnessed many Closing the Gap reports in my time as a Senator but this year’s report is particularly devastating. Unfortunately it is not surprising.

“When they ripped half a billion dollars out of the sector, leaders, Aboriginal organisations and service deliverers knew the impacts would be real. This is now reflected in this report. This highlights why the Government needs to adopt the Redfern Statement’s Engagement Approach.

“Falling behind on child mortality rates means that the Government’s failure to act in this space is costing lives.

Senator Rachel Siewert – Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues  . President met with & today to discuss priorities in health for 2017

Read Download full press release greens

Please note at time of publications no other political parties had issued Closing the Gap Press releases