NACCHO Aboriginal Health News : $20 million Streamlined Support for Aboriginal Community Health Services

This is fundamental to the Turnbull Government’s policy of partnership, our commitment to doing things with, not to, the Indigenous community

Under the agreement, NACCHO will receive the funding and will form a collaborative network with its State and Territory counterpart organisations to finance and support local health services.

The agreement provides the network with funding certainty, allowing organisations to plan for the future and improve their effectiveness.”

Federal Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt

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NACCHO Ken Wyatt Press Release June 20 2017

Minister Wyatt says a new Network Funding Agreement will streamline the provision of $20 million a year in health service support through the National Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisation (NACCHO).

The unified funding arrangements, signed on Friday, will allow the Commonwealth to work better with Australia’s peak indigenous community health organisation.

Minister Wyatt said the agreement was focussed on outcomes, allowing service funding to be administered through an Aboriginal-controlled agency.

“I have been hearing from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about the kind of care they want, and this agreement will help deliver it,” he said.

“We know that strong, Aboriginal-administered care plays a pivotal role in improving health outcomes, but it can face challenges supplying services on the ground.

“‘This new approach will allow service providers to access the assistance they need to enable them to deliver crucial, quality care to their clients.”

Minister Wyatt said the new network would also ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices were heard clearly at all levels of health administration.

“The aim is to streamline funding and communication, to continue our shared commitment to Closing The Gap,” he said.

NACCHO Aboriginal #HealthBudget17 : Indigenous health funding not enough says #ClosetheGap co-chairs

“The Close the Gap Campaign priorities are not new. Governments know these priorities well. Yet the health gap remains a national tragedy,”

Indigenous people have a life expectancy of at least 10 years less than their non-Indigenous peers.

A nation as wealthy as ours should fund the critical health care of less than 3 per cent of its entire population,

The Commonwealth must work in full partnership with the state and territory governments to address all Aboriginal health needs.We especially need to agree on a national strategy to address the social and cultural determinants of health.

Every child under four must have ready access to early childhood education; every family should be able to live in decent social housing which is not over-crowded; and every working age person should be able to be gainfully employed.

These are immediate priorities because the social determinants of health account for more than 30% of the burden of disease that affects our people.

There is no other sector of Australian society that would tolerate the conditions our people live in and the lack of opportunity we have to improve these conditions.”

Pat Turner (pictured above), Co-Chair of the Close the Gap Campaign and CEO of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.Pictured above at Redfern Statement launch

Indigenous health representatives met in Canberra this week to consider the Federal Government’s 2017 budget, with Close the Gap Campaign Co-Chair Dr Jackie Huggins reflecting disappointment in the figures.

“More investment is needed to close the health gap experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Funding cuts will not close this gap,” Dr Huggins said.

“We need to train and support more Indigenous health practitioners, doctors and nurses; and it is essential that we put the social determinants of health at the centre of this debate.”

Dr Huggins, who is also Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, said she would like to see disability, incarceration and justice measurements added to the Close the Gap targets.

The Close the Gap Campaign’s 2017 Budget Position paper (pdf) lists eight priorities that will help close the gap in health inequality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Including Recommendation 4

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) are supported to provide high-quality, comprehensive and accountable services that are locally responsive to identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health needs by:

a. Providing sufficient funding to identify and fill the primary health care service gaps; and

b. Systematic assessment of health outcomes/needs, workforce capability and service capacity undertaken to inform the development of the core services model, future workforce requirements and investment and capacity building priorities

c. Ensure Primary Health Networks are directed to support and partner with ACCHS as the preferred providers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.

The ACCHS sector provides inherent advantages for closing the gap. Firstly, its service model is the provision of comprehensive primary health care. This model of care is needed because of the higher levels and earlier age onset of illness, the much greater levels of comorbidity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – and the need to address the fundamental determinants of health if the gap is to be closed. ACCHS were established because of the inability of mainstream services to deliver for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and have a critical role to play in closing the Gap.

The ACCHS sector is a major employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at all levels. In many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the ACCHS operates as the primary employer. These are real and essential, skilled jobs. A long-term plan for building the capabilities of ACCHS is overdue.

The Campaign calls on Government to provide greater surety of funding to enable ACCHS to enhance their capacity to undertake long-term service and workforce planning – particularly in relation to primary health care service gaps. We know that sustainable, long-term services deliver the best health outcomes.

We further propose that ACCHS be treated as preferred providers for health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people unless it can be shown that alternative arrangements can produce better outcomes in terms of quality of care and access to services. We believe the evidence shows this and we support government using an objective, informed evidence base to guide future decisions.

Press release part 2

The Indigenous Health budget for the next financial year is $881 million, compared to $798 million allocated this financial year. The $83 million increase is primarily attributed to population increase and indexation.

Dr Huggins and Ms Turner said the Government’s decision to restore indexation of the Medicare Benefits Scheme is a good outcome. They said this was a priority for the Close the Gap Campaign after Parliament introduced the freeze on Medicare benefits in 2013-14.

The Government had previously announced a $40 million investment over four years to strengthen the evaluation of Indigenous Affairs programs. Improved reporting, monitoring and evaluation of contracts, programs and outcomes is expected to underpin this.

The Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, has released statements about the Medicare Guarantee Fund and other budget commitments on health.

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, has released statements about investment in Indigenous research and evaluation and the Indigenous business sector strategy.

Photo: Close the Gap Campaign Co-Chair Pat Turner.

NACCHO TOP 21+ #JobAlerts : This week in Aboriginal Health : CEO NACCHO ,Doctors, Aboriginal Health Workers #mentalhealth

This weeks #Jobalerts out day early because of #budget2017

Please note  : Before completing a job application check with the ACCHO that job is still available

1. AHMRC NSW CEO Chief Executive Officer

2.NACCHO CEO Chief Executive Officer

3 -11 http://www.iuih.org.au/Jobs/IUIH-Vacancies

12.Two scholarships to the Harvard Business School’s Authentic Leadership Development 

13. Sunrise Health NT Mental Health Registered Nurse

14.Sunrise Health Program Coordinator (PHaMs)

15 -17.Danila Dilba Health Service Darwin 

18.Urapuntja Community  NT : Psychologist 

19. Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service – GP

20.Galangoor Duwalami Primary Health Care Service (2 GP’s)

21 . Congress Alice Springs :Remote Area Nurses/Aboriginal Health Practitioners 

How to submit a Indigenous Health #jobalert ? 

NACCHO Affiliate , Member , Government Department or stakeholder

If you have a job vacancy in Indigenous Health 

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media

Tuesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Wednesday

1. AHMRC NSW CEO Chief Executive Officer

2.NACCHO CEO Chief Executive Officer

NACCHO and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services have 45 years of cultural experience, knowledge and capability in delivering comprehensive primary health care.  NACCHO works with governments, private providers, hospitals and specialists to increase access, provide affordable quality care, and close the gap on health outcomes for Aboriginal people.

About the Opportunity

We are seeking an Indigenous CEO who will bring strong leadership experience and highly developed strategic skills to lead the organisation and members through the next chapter of change in the sector. An innovative and influential leader will make the most of these opportunities for the sector.

The role includes the following responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic direction and vision for the future
  • Be an influencer, advocate and voice of the sector
  • Foster a collaborative culture with the team and membership base
  • Develop good working relationships with Federal and State Governments and relevant bodies in the sector
  • Build effective relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders
  • Ensure governance compliance and financial sustainability
  • Liaise effectively and collaboratively with Board members

What we are looking for

To be successful in the role you will be an Indigenous person and bring the following skills and experience with you:

A strong understanding of government, health policy and of the importance of community controlled comprehensive primary health care for Aboriginal people

Demonstrated experience at a senior level acquired within a NFP or similar organisation

Extensive demonstrated experience in policy development and implementation

Excellent interpersonal and influencing skills and outstanding stakeholder management

Demonstrated media experience

Applying for the role

You should submit to jobapplications@naccho.org.au by Sunday 14 May 2017 a two-page pitch that highlights your key abilities as they relate to this position. Your resume should be a maximum of 3 pages.

First contact: Kate Gumley, Senior Policy Officer NACCHO m: 0412 519 684
Chairperson: Matthew Cooke M: 0487 345 763

3.IUIH Nurse Supervisor – Australian Nurse Family Partnership

Applications close 9am on Friday 12 May 2017

The position of Nurse Supervisor contributes by leading, modelling, coordinating and working with a team of up to 8 nurse home visitors and 3 Indigenous Family Partnership Workers. The position will be based on Brisbane South Side and the team will provide support to women who live within the catchment areas of Metro South Health and Hospital Service including the three maternity hospitals (Mater Mothers, Redlands and Logan).

EOI-Download

Enquiries about the role can be addressed to Sue Kruske at sue.kruske@iuih.org.au

Applications (resume and brief covering letter addressing the key requirements in the EOI) are to be submitted via SEEK.

4.IUIH Nurse Home Visitor – Australian Nurse Family Partnership

Applications close 9am on Friday 12 May 2017

The ANFPP offers Nurse Home Visitors (NHV) a high level of autonomy, flexibility and personal satisfaction. It relies on a long term relationship with a woman that builds on her skills, confidence and hope, and values her ability to determine her own future.

The position is based on the Brisbane South Side and the team will provide support to women who live within the catchment areas of the Metro South Health and Hospital Service which includes the three maternity hospitals (Mater Mothers, Redlands and Logan).

EOI-Download

Enquiries about the role can be addressed to Sue Kruske at sue.kruske@iuih.org.au

Applications (resume and brief covering letter addressing the key requirements in the EOI) are to be submitted via SEEK.

5.IUIH Family Partnership Worker – Australian Nurse Family Partnership

Applications close 9am on Friday 12 May 2017

The Family Partnership Worker contributes to the cultural acceptance of the program within the community and the maintenance of culturally safe visits to participating mothers and their families. The positions support the ANFPP team on a broad range of cultural issues and liaises with clients, family and community members.

The successful applicant will identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, have strong links with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community on the Brisbane South Side and have the ability to integrate women and families into primary care services.

EOI-Download

Enquiries about the role can be addressed to Sue Kruske at sue.kruske@iuih.org.au

Applications (resume and brief covering letter addressing the key requirements in the EOI) are to be submitted via SEEK.

6.IUIH Senior Legal Officer

Applications close 9am on Thursday 18 May 2017

The role of Senior Legal Officer will include:

1. Overseeing the establishment of the IUIH Legal Service with core components including:
2. Direct legal services – advice and casework
3. Information and referral service
4. Legal education and development – organisation and community

This is an exciting opportunity to join a committed team working from Bowen Hills and across the Moreton Bay region as required.

EOI-Download

Enquiries about the position can be directed to hr@iuih.org.au

Applications (resume and brief covering letter addressing the key requirements in the PD) are to be submitted via SEEK to be considered.

7.IUIH Indigenous Outreach Worker (CTG)

Applications close 9am on Thursday 18 May 2017

Based at the Salisbury office, the Indigenous Outreach Worker will support improved access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to available health care services in the Metro Brisbane South region.  This includes effective liaison with local Indigenous communities, identification of barriers to access, implementation of practical solutions and provision of assistance to identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to manage primary health care related needs.

EOI-Download

Enquiries about the position can be directed to Helen Quelch by email at helen.quelch@iuih.org.au

Applications (resume and brief covering letter addressing the key requirements in the EOI) are to be submitted via SEEK to be considered.

8.IUIH Psychologist – Child focus

Applications close 9am on Friday 19 May 2017

Working from MATSICHS Caboolture you will provide, in accordance with the Institute Model of Care, culturally appropriate clinical care and supportive health services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community as a member of a multi-disciplinary primary health care team, ensuring effective assessment, service delivery and referral practices are delivered in accordance with best psychology practice.

EOI-Download

Enquiries about the position can be directed to Jess O’Reilly by email at Jessica.OReilly@iuih.org.au

Applications (resume and brief covering letter addressing the key requirements in the EOI) are to be submitted to hr@iuih.org.au

9.IUIH Project Officer (CTG) – Brisbane North

Applications close 9am on Friday 19 May 2017

The Project Officer will provide support to mainstream general practice to improve access to private general practice for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. This will include working directly with a defined number of approved mainstream general practices in the familiarisation of CTG initiatives designed to support these general practices in the provision of appropriate and timely care for Indigenous people in their region, especially those at risk of or who already have a chronic disease.

This is a great opportunity to join a committed multi-disciplinary team working across the Moreton Bay region and other IUIH premises as required.

EOI-Download

Enquiries about the position can be directed to Helen Quelch by email at helen.quelch@iuih.org.au

Applications (resume and brief covering letter addressing the key requirements in the EOI) are to be submitted via SEEK to be considered.

10.IUIH Project Officer (CTG) – Brisbane South

Applications close 9am on Friday 19 May 2017

The Project Officer will provide support to mainstream general practice to improve access to private general practice for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. This will include working directly with a defined number of approved mainstream general practices in the familiarisation of CTG initiatives designed to support these general practices in the provision of appropriate and timely care for Indigenous people in their region, especially those at risk of or who already have a chronic disease.

This is a great opportunity to join a committed multi-disciplinary team working from Salisbury and other IUIH premises as required.

EOI-Download

Enquiries about the position can be directed to Helen Quelch by email at helen.quelch@iuih.org.au

Applications (resume and brief covering letter addressing the key requirements in the EOI) are to be submitted via SEEK to be considered.

11. IUIH General Practitioner

We are seeking a General Practitioner to provide services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and families as part of a multi-disciplinary team of medical and health staff, within the operational framework of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health service.

The position is located at Strathpine clinic although the position may be required to work at other locations within the Moreton region from time to time, including Caboolture, Morayfield and Deception Bay.

EOI-Download

Enquiries about the position can be directed to Layla Scott by email at layla.scott@iuih.org.au

Applications can be addressed to hr@iuih.org.au

12.Two scholarships to the Harvard Business School’s Authentic Leadership Development 

Chief Executive Women (CEW) is pleased to offer two scholarships to the Harvard Business School’s Authentic Leadership Development program, funded by the Australian Government.

Applications are now open to women in senior roles in service to the public, with particular emphasis on those in non-traditional fields.

If you, or a woman you know have what it takes to be a CEW scholar, apply before the deadline, Monday 15 May, 2017.

For more details, visit the CEW Scholarship page.

A second round of scholarships will be offered specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. These scholarships on Leading for Results will held in late November in Singapore. Further information will be available later in the year.

The Office for Women administers the Women’s Leadership and Development Strategy (WLDS). The WLDS provides funding and support to organisations aimed at improving gender equality and support for women’s economic empowerment and opportunity, safety and leadership.

13. Sunrise Health NT Mental Health Registered Nurse
About the Organisation

Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation’s (SHS) main purpose is to improve the health and wellbeing of the people in the region east of Katherine in the Northern Territory using a holistic approach that includes a high standard of medical care, the promotion of social justice and the overcoming of the sickness that affects so many people in the region. This is done through the organisation’s health clinics and health education, mixing together traditional Indigenous culture and the best of mainstream medicine.

Sunrise provides a fulfilling and stimulating work environment in a diverse range of areas for those seeking a career in Indigenous Health.

About the Opportunity

Sunrise Health Service has an extremely rewarding opportunity for a Mental Health Registered Nurse to join their dedicated, multidisciplinary team in the Katherine region, on a full-time basis.

Reporting to the Population Health Program Manager, you will beresponsible for providing expert support to clients requiring mental health care, their families, and the remote based staff providing care.

To be considered, you must be a Registered Nurse with experience in Mental Health and have demonstrated knowledge and skills managing Mental Health conditions.

Although the SHS office is located in Katherine, you will need to live and work in remote communities during the week. SHS provides accommodation for employees living and working in these communities.

Candidates with previous experience in Communicare will be highly regarded.

As this role will see you living and working in remote communities and such you will need a current driver’s license, 4WD drive experience, and the willingness to travel on light aircraft.

Please note: The successful candidates must be willing to undergo a Police Check and a Working With Children Check.

About the Benefits

Your dedication will be rewarded with an attractive remuneration package circa $97,151 – $104,375.

This package includes:

  • 6 weeks leave per year;
  • Up to 10 days study leave;
  • Salary packaging options;
  • Full support from the health team; and
  • Relocation assistance

Please Note: to apply, you will be required to upload a current resume as well as respond to the questions below.

Don’t miss this opportunity to direct a dedicated team in producing improved mental health outcomes for the community –

Apply Now

14.Sunrise Health Program Coordinator (PHaMs)

Program Coordinator (PHaMs)
About the Organisation

Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation’s (SHS) main purpose is to improve the health and wellbeing of the people in the region east of Katherine in the Northern Territory using a holistic approach that includes a high standard of medical care, the promotion of social justice and the overcoming of the sickness that affects so many people in the region. This is done through the organisation’s health clinics and health education, mixing together traditional Indigenous culture and the best of mainstream medicine.

About the Program

The Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) service aims to provide increased opportunities for recovery for people whose lives are severely affected by mental illness. This Program takes a strengths-based recovery approach and assists people aged 16 years and over whose ability to manage their daily activities and to live independently in the community is impacted because of severe mental illness.

About the Opportunity

Sunrise Health Service has an extremely rewarding opportunity for a Program Coordinator (PHaMs) to join their dedicated, multidisciplinary team in Katherine, on a full-time basis.

Reporting to the Population Health Program Manager, you will beresponsible for leading, managing, and coordinating of the Personal Helpers and Mentors Program (PHaMs). This program assists by providing a range of skill development and support programs and is non-clinical in its focus.

To be considered, you must hold a tertiary qualification in a relevant Mental Health discipline with a demonstrated ability to engage and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in non-clinical Mental Health or related programs. You will also have previous experience in Communicare.

This role will see you living and working in the remote Ngukurr Community and, as such, you will need a current driver’s license, 4WD drive experience, and the willingness to travel on light aircraft.

Please note: The successful candidates must be willing to undergo a Police Check and a Working With Children Check.

About the Benefits

Your dedication will be rewarded with an attractive remuneration package circa $59,085 – $94,110.

This package includes:

  • 6 weeks leave per year;
  • Up to 10 days study leave;
  • Salary packaging options;
  • Full support from the health team; and
  • Relocation assistance

Don’t miss this opportunity to direct a dedicated team in producing improved mental health outcomes for the community –

Apply Now!

15 -17 Danila Dilba Health Service

Danila Dilba Health Service is going through a dynamic period of expansion, growth and review and currently has the following vacancy

We offer:

  • Attractive salary with salary packaging benefits
  • Six weeks annual leave
  • Flexible hours
  • Training and development
15 .COMMUNITY SUPPORT WORKER

*$66,322

2 Positions – Full Time – Fixed Term

These positions will work in partnership with Primary Health Care Teams to support individuals and families to build resilience using an approach that builds on community and cultural strengths.

16.SOCIAL WORKER

*$101,200

1 Position – Full Time – Fixed Term

This position is responsible for providing high quality mental health, AOD and social and emotional wellbeing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

 17.CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

*$107,666

1 Position – Full Time – Fixed Term

This position is responsible for the provision of high quality mental health and social and emotional wellbeing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These services may include clinical evidence based counselling, brief psychological interventions, case management, trauma informed practice and coordination of care/aftercare.

 

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people encouraged to apply.
Danila Dilba Health Service is an Aboriginal community controlled organisation that provides comprehensive, high-quality primary health care and community services to Biluru (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) people in Yilli Rreung (greater Darwin) region.
Details: www.daniladilba.org.au

 

18.Urapuntja Community  NT : Psychologist 

URAPUNTJA HEALTH SERVICE ABORIGINAL CORPORATION

POSITION DESCRIPTION – PYSCHOLOGIST

Title                                     Psychologist

Responsible To                 Clinic Manager

Location                             Amengernternenh Community, Utopia and Ampilatwatja        Community

SUMMARY OF POSITION

The Urapuntja Community is situated on the Sandover Highway some 280 km north east of Alice Springs. Urapuntja Community comprises 16 Outstation communities spread out over some 3230 square km of desert. There are some 900 people who are mainly Anmatyerre and Alyawarra speaking people. Distances to the outstations vary from 5 to 100 kms from the clinic.

Urapuntja Health Service developed from many years of negotiations by Aboriginal people to have their own health service. Urapuntja is a community controlled health service with a Board of Directors which is elected from and by the community at the Annual General Meeting held each year. The Directors meets regularly to discuss issues and make decisions relevant to the Organisation.

The Psychologist position has been funded by the NTPHN to provide services to the residents of both the Urapuntja and Ampilatwatja Health Service areas.

The Psychologist will work as a member of the Social and Emotional Wellbeing Team as well as the clinical team, to provide psychological services addressing the needs of all clients using the bio-psychosocial to community members who self- refer or are referred by a provider. At times the Psychologist will work under the supervision of the Clinic Manager. At other times the Psychologist will be required to work with limited assistance. The Psychologist will be required to travel by 4WD vehicle to provide clinical services to remote outstations in both the Urapuntja and Ampilatwatja Health Service Areas.

 

DUTIES OF THE POSITION

  1. Create, develop and nurture culturally appropriate interactions within Primary Health Care (PHC) teams and with the community.
  2. Develop a positive culture within integrated PHC teams through development of “core” behavioural health skills including cooperative interpersonal relationship building strategies.
  3. Make appropriate referrals to other providers and seek resources to aid team members and community residents.
  4. Perform assessment and provide brief treatment for a wide range of psychological and behavioural health needs using brief therapy.
  5. Maintain currency of job knowledge and skills and assist PHC team members to self-care.
  6. Utilises professional communication and conflict resolution skills with team members, various brief therapeutic modalities including group learning circles, individual, child, family, couples counselling, and family support services.
  7. Direct Caseload that involves documentation and procedural adherence; includes Medicare billing as appropriate and provide identified social and emotional wellbeing services to clients.
  8. Provide evidence-based culturally appropriate interventions (including assessment, therapy and case management) on individual, group and family levels.
  9. Ensure the development of Mental Health Care Plans in collaboration with GP’s, for all eligible clients in the service, and facilitate the provision of co-ordinated clinical care and treatment for referred clients.
  10. Follow defined service quality standards and relevant Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) policies and procedures to ensure high quality, safe services are being provided within a safe workplace.

Further

  1. Contribute to opportunities to Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) processes, quality and service delivery outcomes
  2. Participate in opportunistic and community screening activities
  3. Work with other community health program staff and seek advice and assistance from a General Practitioner
  4. Enter data accurately into the Communicare system
  5. Collect specified data on all client contacts in accordance with Clinic and funding body requirements
  6. Liaise with other staff within Urapuntja Health Service in regards to patient care, referrals and follow up as required
  7. Assist other health staff requiring community, cultural and/or linguistic assistance with clients where culturally appropriate
  8. To provide quality and professional service of care and work ethics at all times
  9. Work within strict confidentiality guidelines, ensuring all client and organisational information is kept secure
  10. Undertake any other duties at the request of the Clinic Manager which are considered relevant to the position and the level of classification

 

SELECTION CRITERIA

Essential

  • Recognised qualifications in Psychology with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registration to practice as a Psychologist.
  • Proven ability to be self-directed and self-motivated as well as working effectively as a member of a team.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current issues, standards and trends in the delivery of mental health and social and emotional well-being services to Aboriginal people.
  • Demonstrated recent experience in the mental health and social and emotional wellbeing assessment, treatment and rehabilitation methods appropriate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people.
  • Proven ability to be able to develop the behavioural health and working skills required by each employee working within a PHC team.
  • Proficiency in and commitment to the use of electronic information systems for the maintenance of clinical and service delivery records.
  • Hold a current Northern Territory (NT) manual driver’s licence or ability to obtain, ability and willingness to undertake travel by 4WD or light aircraft to remote communities, and capacity to reside in a remote community.
  • A good level of health and fitness that matches the requirements of the role. Note: If so required by UHSAC at any time, you must undergo a satisfactory medical examination (including a pre-employment medical examination) for the purpose of determining whether you are able to perform the inherent requirements of your position. Any such medical examination will be at the employer’s cost, and copies of any medical report will be provided to you. You must advise UHSAC of any illness, injury, disease, or any other matter relating to your health or physical fitness which may prevent you from performing your duties, or which may affect your ability to work safely.
  • Excellent communication skills, in particular the ability to communicate sensitively in a cross-cultural environment
  • Current Drivers Licence
  • Ochre Card (Working with Children Clearance)

 

Desirable

    • Masters in Clinical Psychology qualification.
    • Awareness of/sensitivity to Aboriginal culture and history
    • Experience in using a Patient Information and Recall System and in data collection and analysis including the ability to use word processing, spreadsheet, and database software to produce effective reports.
    • Previous experience working with primary health care teams.
  • Experience working in the area of Indigenous Primary Health

 

  • Highly developed cross cultural communication skills and willingness to take cultural advice from Aboriginal staff
  • Previous experience working with remote Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal organisations and groups

 

19.Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service – GP

Medical practice in rural and remote Australia

 

20. Galangoor Duwalami Primary Health Care Service (2 GP’s)

 

Galangoor Duwalami Primary Healthcare Service is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled primary health care service, operating in both Hervey Bay and Maryborough, servicing the entire Fraser Coast area.

Galangoor Duwalami collaborates with health and well-being partner agencies to enable integrated continuity of care for the community, and continue to work to contribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy and program reform in Queensland to address the Burden of disease and Close the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

General Practitioner (GP) two positions available

This is an exciting opportunity to join an innovative and flexible employer, enthusiastic and committed team and make a direct impact on improved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Fraser Coast area.

The Practice:

Galangoor Duwalami (meaning a ‘happy meeting place’) is located on the Fraser Coast in sunny Queensland, with two clinics (Hervey Bay and Maryborough). Originally established in 2007 we offer a comprehensive suite of Health Services within the Fraser Coast region.

The Hervey Bay clinic is situated at the beachside, while a newly built practice in the heart of Historical Maryborough, offers exceptional facilities with 10 consulting rooms including a mums and bubs room, new equipment and large reception. The practice is Community Controlled and has a well-established clientele and reports indicate continued growth.

This is a rewarding prospect for a compassionate, engaging, visionary and thorough General Practitioner with an ability to work within a diverse interdisciplinary team exhibiting admirable communication skills.

  • Two positions available – 2 Part Time – hours negotiable OR 1 Full Time and 1 Part Time
  • Well balanced working environment – Monday to Friday from 0830 to 1700.
  • No on-call requirements
  • Competitive Salary Package
  • Salary packaging
  • Annual Leave plus Study Leave
  • 9.5% Superannuation Entitlement

Key Requirements:

Must Have:

  • Qualified Medical Practitioner, holding current registration with the Medical Board of Australia
  • Eligible for unrestricted Medicare Provider Number

Download this Information GP Advertisement

Application Process:

A Position Description is available by email. All applications, including a covering letter, are to be e-mailed to: ann.woolcock@gdphcs.com.au

For further details regarding this position please contact Ann Woolcock on 07 41945554.

 

21. Congress Alice Springs :Remote Area Nurses/Aboriginal Health Practitioners 

REMOTE AREA NURSES/ABORIGINAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS

Utju and Santa teresa

  • Base salary: $72,364 – $106,314 (p.a)
  • Total effective package: $94,168 – $133,712 (p.a)*
  • Fixed term 2 year contract

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress) has over 40 years’ experience providing comprehensive primary health care for Aboriginal people living in Central Australia. Congress is seeking Remote Area Nurses/Aboriginal Health Practitioners who are interested in making a genuine contribution to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Remote Area Nurses/Aboriginal Health Practitioners are integral members of the Congress Health Service, providing high quality, comprehensive and culturally safe clinical care for the Various Congress Auspice Remote Sites. The positions work within a multidisciplinary team to ensure high standards of integrated clinical care and client flow.

Central Australia offers a unique lifestyle in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in the heart of Australia. Its attractions include Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Watarrka (Kings Canyon) and a host of other world heritage sites.

As well as a wonderful lifestyle and rewarding work, Congress offers the following:

  • Competitive salaries
  • Six (6) weeks annual leave
  • 9.5% superannuation
  • Generous salary packaging
  • A strong commitment to Professional Development
  • Family friendly conditions
  • Relocation assistance (where applicable)
  • District allowance and Remote Benefits

For more information on these positions please contact Clinic Managers, Jason King on (08) 8956 0911 and email: jason.king@caac.org.au for Santa Teresa and Kimberley Williamson on (08) 8956 7308 and email: kimberley.williamson@caac.org.au

Applications close: Monday 22 May 2017.

*Total effective package includes: base salary, district allowance, superannuation, leave loading, and estimated tax saving from salary packaging options.

Contact Human Resources on (08) 8959 4774 or mailto:vacancy@caac.org.aufor more information. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

For more information about jobs at Congress visit www.caac.org.au/hr.

To apply for this job go to: http://www.caac.org.au/hr & enter ref code: 3480143.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Budget2017 : Indigenous leaders focus on health funding in May 2017 budget

The Close the Gap campaign priorities are not new. Governments know these priorities well. Yet the health gap remains a national tragedy. Indigenous people have a life expectancy of at least 10 years less than their non-Indigenous peers.

A nation as wealthy as ours should fund the critical health care of less than 3 per cent of its entire population. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is a national priority, and we are repeatedly told it has bi-partisan support.

We need to listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and involve them in developing solutions. We need to employ Indigenous people to deliver services in their own communities.”

Patricia Turner CEO of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation pictured above at last years Redfern Statement with Dr Jackie Huggins Co-Chair of the Close the Gap Campaign

Download the Campaign’s 2017 Budget Position paper list of nine priorities

2017 CTG Campaign Federal Budget Position Paper

The Close the Gap campaign has a close eye on the Federal Government’s commitment to Indigenous health in its May 2017 budget.

The Campaign’s 2017 Budget Position paper lists nine priorities that will help close the gap in health inequality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

The Close the Gap campaign urged the Federal Government to commit to adequately funding the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 and its subsequent Implementation Plan.

“The Implementation Plan has targeted activities that require adequate resourcing,” said Dr Jackie Huggins, Co-Chair of the Close the Gap Campaign and Co-Chair for the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

Example Recommendation 4

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) are supported to provide high-quality, comprehensive and accountable services that are locally responsive to identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health needs by:

a. Providing sufficient funding to identify and fill the primary health care service gaps; and

b. Systematic assessment of health outcomes/needs, workforce capability and service capacity undertaken to inform the development of the core services model, future workforce requirements and investment and capacity building priorities

c. Ensure Primary Health Networks are directed to support and partner with ACCHS as the preferred providers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.

The ACCHS sector provides inherent advantages for closing the gap. Firstly, its service model is the provision of comprehensive primary health care.

This model of care is needed because of the higher levels and earlier age onset of illness, the much greater levels of comorbidity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – and the need to address the fundamental determinants of health if the gap is to be closed.

ACCHS were established because of the inability of mainstream services to deliver for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and have a critical role to play in closing the Gap.

The ACCHS sector is a major employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at all levels. In many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the ACCHS operates as the primary employer. These are real and essential, skilled jobs. A long-term plan for building the capabilities of ACCHS is overdue.

The Campaign calls on Government to provide greater surety of funding to enable ACCHS to enhance their capacity to undertake long-term service and workforce planning – particularly in relation to primary health care service gaps. We know that sustainable, long-term services deliver the best health outcomes.

We further propose that ACCHS be treated as preferred providers for health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people unless it can be shown that alternative arrangements can produce better outcomes in terms of quality of care and access to services. We believe the evidence shows this and we support government using an objective, informed evidence base to guide future decisions

Press Release Cont:

Ms Donna Murray, CEO of Indigenous Allied Health Australia, urged the Government to invest for the long-term by supporting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce.

“Dedicated funding for allied health, medicine, nursing, midwifery and health workers as well as for the national Indigenous organisations who are involved in workforce development will contribute significantly to improving the health and wellbeing outcomes for our people and communities.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 3 per cent of our population but less than 1 per cent of our health workforce,” Ms Murray said.

The Close the Gap campaign called on the Government to ensure that funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) recognises the estimated 45 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.

“The NDIS and the Indigenous Advancement Strategy should prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability,” said Damian Griffis, CEO of the First Peoples Disability Network.

The Close the Gap campaign remains optimistic that health equality is possible if governments commit to long-term investment and to  working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

7 BETTER WAYS TO SPEND $7 BILLION – INDIGENOUS HEALTH

The Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today called on the Government to re-direct funding in the upcoming Budget from the $7 billion private health insurance (PHI) rebate to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

AHCRA is a coalition of peak health organisations working together to create a better and fairer health system for Australia’s future.

“Indigenous health is the number one health issue facing Australia. It is unacceptable that in Australia today Indigenous people have significantly poorer health and a much lower life expectancy than the non-Indigenous population,” Jennifer Doggett, ACHRA Chair, said today.

“It is also unacceptable that despite their much greater health need, Indigenous Australians receive much less benefit from the $7b PHI rebate than non-Indigenous Australians (due to their much lower levels of PHI membership).

“Re-directing funding from the PHI rebate to Indigenous health services would help address this imbalance in funding. This should be used to support a comprehensive population-wide approach that incorporates the social determinants of health and empowers people to take control of their own lives and improve their health through culturally appropriate mechanisms.

“At the centre of efforts to close the health and life expectancy gap are community- controlled health services which provide person-centred and to culturally relevant care, including both a biomedical and preventative health focus. These services, and their representative body NACCHO, require more consistent and assured long-term funding to enable effective planning and capacity development that will deliver the best possible outcomes.

“Therefore, AHCRA supports the allocation of funding from the PHI rebate to achieve the following:

Allocate secure long-term funding to progress the strategies and actions identified in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan Implementation Plan.

Provide secure, long-term funding for the Rural Health Outreach Fund and Medical Outreach Indigenous Chronic Disease Program.

Allocate sufficient and secure long-term funding to the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector to support the sector’s continued provision of Indigenous-led, culturally sensitive healthcare.

Build and support the capacity of Indigenous health leaders by committing secure long-term funding to the Indigenous National Health Leadership Forum.

 Reinstate funding for a clearinghouse modelled on the previous Closing the Gap clearinghouse, as recommended in the latest draft of the Fifth National Mental Health Plan.

“The health and well-being of Indigenous Australians should be a higher priority for funding than PHI industry subsidies. AHCRA calls on the Federal Government to re-direct funding from the $7b rebate in order to close the health and life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” Ms Doggett said.

 

 

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 #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 CEO Press Release #ClosingtheGap : Aboriginal led solutions the key to closing the health gap #Redfernstatement

the-guardian

The Prime Minister committed to working with our people this morning and from this date on we expect nothing less,

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.

We can more than double the current 140 Aboriginal medical services that will improve health outcomes.”

NACCHO  CEO  Pat Turner Press Release : 

Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten receive the Redfern statement, a blueprint for improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, before the release of the Closing the Gap report. Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian

Download :  naccho-1702-mr-naccho-response-to-closing-the-gap

ICYMI Todays other NACCHO posts below

NACCHO Aboriginal Health download the #ClosingtheGap report #Redfernstatement Post 4 of 5

Today’s Closing the Gap Report demonstrates the need to more than double the network and reach of Aboriginal controlled medical services to Close the Gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

National Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), CEO, Pat Turner, said despite some improvement in education outcomes, only one out of seven Closing the Gap targets is on track ( see ABC link below )

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The 9th Closing the Gap Report shows there have been small improvements over time in some areas of health but we are not on track to Close the Gap in average life expectancy and the gap in deaths from cancer is widening.

“Governments at all levels need to make a massive long term investment to redress the social and cultural determinants of health, which are responsible for more than 30 per cent of ill health in our communities.

“Early childhood education delivered in a culturally respectful manner by our own people, trained to work locally in their communities must be a priority.”

Ms Turner said current Commonwealth Government policies remain disconnected and siloed.

“In 2017 we need to see greater connectivity across all government portfolios at the Ministerial and departmental levels and more accountability from state and territory governments for the funding they receive to improve the lives of Aboriginal people.

“In every jurisdiction we see inconsistent data collection.  In 2017, with such innovative information technology available, all governments should implement open, transparent, consistent data collection and reporting to ensure their accountability to the Australian people at large.

“NACHHO stands ready, willing and able to work with everyone to negotiate better solutions to public policy and program investments that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people”

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ICYMI todays posts

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Redfernstatement 1 of 5 posts : PM to release #closingthegap report today

NACCHO #closingtheGap Aboriginal Health and the #Redfernstatement Its time for this new approach

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Redfernstatement #closingtheGap Post 3 of 5 : New relationship with government is desperately needed

NACCHO Aboriginal Health download the #ClosingtheGap report #Redfernstatement Post 4 of 5

NACCHO SNAPSHOT progress Against Health Targets:

We are not on track to close the gap in life expectancy by 2031.

Over the longer term, Indigenous mortality rates have declined significantly by 15 per cent since 1998.

There have been significant improvements in the Indigenous mortality rate from chronic diseases, particularly from circulatory diseases (the leading cause of death) since 1998.

However, Indigenous mortality rates from cancer (second leading cause of death) are rising and the gap is widening.

There have been improvements in health care access and reductions in smoking which should contribute to long-term improvements in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Working collaboratively across governments, the health sector and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on local and regional responses is central to the Government’s approach to improve life expectancy.

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See ABC Website for all Targets

Indigenous Australians don’t live as long as other Australians. Their children are more likely to die as infants. And their health, education and employment outcomes are worse than non-Indigenous people.

Australia has promised to close this gap on health, education and employment. But a new report card finds we are failing on six out of seven key measures.

Target: To close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation (by 2031).

  • Progress: Indigenous Australians die about 10 years younger than non Indigenous Australians, and that hasn’t changed significantly.
  • With increasing life expectancy in the non-Indigenous population, to close the gap “Indigenous life expectancy would need to increase by 16 years and 21 years for females and males respectively”.
  • That means gains of at least 0.6 years per annum, but in the five years to 2012 there was only a gain of 0.8 years for men and 0.1 for women — a fraction of what is needed.
  • The mortality rate (the number of deaths per 100,000 people in a year) for Aboriginal people is 1.7 times that of the Australian population, and that hasn’t changed since 1998.

Target: To halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade (by 2018).

  • Progress: There has been no significant decline in child mortality rates since 2008, and child mortality rates actually increased slightly from 2014 to 2015.
  • In 2015, there were 124 Indigenous child deaths. This was four deaths outside the range of the target and an increase of six deaths since 2014.
  • Between 2011 and 2014 Indigenous children aged 0-4 were more than twice as likely to die than non-Indigenous children.

Advertising and editorial wanted for the April 5  #Closingthegap  #Redfernstatement edition ?

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NACCHO has announced the publishing date for the 9 th edition of Australia’s first national health Aboriginal newspaper, the NACCHO Health News .

Publish date 6 April 2017

Working with Aboriginal community controlled and award-winning national newspaper the Koori Mail, NACCHO aims to bring relevant advertising and information on health services, policy and programs to key industry staff, decision makers and stakeholders at the grassroots level.

And who writes for and reads the NACCHO Newspaper ?

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While NACCHO’s websites ,social media and annual report have been valued sources of information for national and local Aboriginal health care issues for many years, the launch of NACCHO Health News creates a fresh, vitalised platform that will inevitably reach your targeted audiences beyond the boardrooms.

NACCHO will leverage the brand, coverage and award-winning production skills of the Koori Mail to produce a 24 page three times a year, to be distributed as a ‘lift-out’ in the 14,000 Koori Mail circulation, as well as an extra 1,500 copies to be sent directly to NACCHO member organisations across Australia.

Our audited readership (Audit Bureau of Circulations) is 100,000 readers

For more details rate card

Contact : Colin Cowell Editor

Mobile : 0401 331 251

Email  : nacchonews@naccho.org.au

NACCHO Invites all health practitioners and staff to a webinar : Working collaboratively to support the social and emotional well-being of Aboriginal youth in crisis

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NACCHO invites all health practitioners and staff to the webinar: An all-Indigenous panel will explore youth suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The webinar is organised and produced by the Mental Health Professionals Network and will provide participants with the opportunity to identify:

  • Key principles in the early identification of youth experiencing psychological distress.
  • Appropriate referral pathways to prevent crises and provide early intervention.
  • Challenges, tips and strategies to implement a collaborative response to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in crisis.

Join hundreds of doctors, nurses and mental health professionals around the nation for an interdisciplinary panel discussion. The panellists with a range of professional experience are:

  • Dr Louis Peachey (Qld Rural Generalist)
  • Dr Marshall Watson (SA Psychiatrist)
  • Dr Jeff Nelson (Qld Psychologist)
  • Facilitator: Dr Mary Emeleus (Qld GP and Psychotherapist)

Read more about the panellists.

Working collaboratively to support the social and emotional well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in crisis.

Date:  Thursday 23rd February, 2017

Time: 7.15 – 8.30pm AEDT

REGISTER

No need to travel to benefit from this free PD opportunity. Simply register and log in anywhere you have a computer or tablet with high speed internet connection. CPD points awarded.

Learn more about the learning outcomes, other resources and register now.

For further information, contact MHPN on 1800 209 031 or email webinars@mhpn.org.au.

The Mental Health Professionals’ Network is a government-funded initiative that improves interdisciplinary collaborative mental health care practice in the primary health sector.  MHPN promotes interdisciplinary practice through two national platforms, local interdisciplinary networks and online professional development webinars.