- Webinar: The emerging shortage of long-acting benzathine benzylpenicillin
- First Nations wisdom harnessed to protect the environment
- ‘Healthy Skin, Healthy Heart: Let’s END RHD Together’
- ‘ALIVE & Kicking Goals!’ takes home the WA Mental Health Award
- Truth-telling, local voices still on government’s radar
- NDIS experiences told at the International Indigenous Disability Research Symposium
- Sector Jobs
The NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health News is a platform we use to showcase the important work being done in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, focusing on the work of NACCHO, NACCHO members and NACCHO affiliates.
We also share a curated selection of news stories that are of likely interest to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, broadly.
Webinar: The emerging shortage of long-acting benzathine benzylpenicillin
The NACCHO medicines team and medical advisors are hosting a webinar on the emerging shortage of long-acting benzathine benzylpenicillin, under the name Bicillin LA on Tuesday 28th of November from 3:30 – 4:30pm AEDST. This is an important medication for our sector, particularly for rheumatic heart disease and syphilis.
The webinar will provide further details on the expected scale of the Bicillin LA shortage and provide information on access to an alternative product from ORSPEC Pharma which has been approved for use in Australia under Section 19A. The webinar will also discuss possible alternatives to Bicillin LA as outlined in national guidelines and the CARPA manual and will provide a forum to ask questions of NACCHO staff and representatives from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Please register here.
For people who are unable to attend, a recording will be made available for people who have registered.
First Nations wisdom harnessed to protect the environment
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been caretakers of Australia’s diverse environments and its wildlife for tens of thousands of years. The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rangers is set to double by 2030 as part of federal government efforts to close the gap and centre First Nations knowledge in environmental protection. Linday Burney, Minister for Indigenous Austraians announced that the scheme will receive a $359 million boost to increase the number of Indigenous rangers from 1900 to 3800 by 2030.
“With more than 65,000 years of experience caring for country, Indigenous rangers hold unique and valuable skills in managing Australia’s natural environment,” Ms Burney said.
“This will mean more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Isaldner people will have the opportunity to do things like protect precious endangered species and control weeds and feral animals.”
The investment prioritises establishing new Indigenous Rangers Groups in protected areas that don’t already host the program, and hiring more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Isaldner women as they currently represent just 33 per cent of the program’s workforce.
“It’s important they have the opportunity to continue the work of their mothers, grandmothers and all their women ancestors and pass this knowledge onto the next generation, because there are no text books, no manuals,” Ms Burney said.
Read the full NITV article here.
‘Healthy Skin, Healthy Heart: Let’s END RHD Together’
An initiative to end the spread of skin- and heart disease in Cherbourg received national recognition at an inaugural healthcare award ceremony in Canberra last week. ‘Healthy Skin, Healthy Heart: Let’s END Rheumatic Heart Disease Together’, a joint initiative between Darling Downs Health and the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, received the Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healthcare trophy at the National Rural and Remote Health Awards.
The award recognised the initiative’s efforts to deliver culturally-appropriate, collaborative and sustainable healthcare to Cherbourg, in an effort to stop the epidemic of rheumatic heart disease in the Burnett First Nations community. The rollout of the ‘Healthy Skin, Healthy Heart’ project by a dedicated team of DDH staff included a mobile heart screening initiative, a skin clinic, community education, and mass administration of medicine to Cherbourg’s residents.
“RHD disproportionately affects First Nations people and is a disease of disadvantage and we all have a role in closing the gap and achieving health equity,” said Dr Priya Janagaraj, Darling Downs Public Health physician.
“Mobilising actions within a community requires a ‘ground up’ approach, leveraging on collective expertise and commitment of a multidisciplinary team, united by a shared passion and drive to make a difference.”
Read the full article here.
‘ALIVE & Kicking Goals!’ takes home the WA Mental Health Award
Individuals, schools and organisations have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to mental health at the 2023 WA Mental Health Awards. The Awards recognise and reward the achievements of those who demonstrate excellence, innovation and initiative in supporting consumers of mental health services, their families and carers.
ALIVE & Kicking Goals! Youth Suicide Prevention Program (AKG!) took home the Prevention and Promotion Award. Managed by Mens Outreach Service Aboriginal Corporation, AKG! focuses on early intervention and youth suicide prevention through peer-led workshops and one-on-one mentoring. The program was awarded for establishing a program which addresses rising suicide rates, primarily in the West Kimbelery.
Learn more about the program here.
If you are feeling stressed, not sleeping well or have increased anxiety and depression you can seek immediate help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from:
- 13 Yarn (13 92 76)
- Brother-to-brother (1800 435 799)
- Lifeline (13 11 14)
- Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800)
Truth-telling, local voices still on government’s radar
Truth-telling along with local and regional voices remain on the government’s agenda despite the failed referendum earlier this year. Linda Burney, Indigenous Australians minister will attend a Closing the Gap meeting, along with Aboriginal affairs ministers around the nation and peak body representatives. Just a month on from the failed Indigenous voice referendum, Ms Burney acknowledged that how community can move forward from the setback, would be top of the agenda. She said there would be specific discussions about housing, education and inland water targets. But she wouldn’t close the door on the government’s commitment to the Uluru Statement, which calls for a truth-telling process and a treaty along with a voice.
“Very much what I’m hearing moving around the country is ‘what does it mean for the rest of the Uluru statement?'” Ms Burney told ABC Radio.
“In particular, I’m hearing the importance of truth-telling. I am not saying I’ve got a model in my mind, but I am saying that what I’m hearing very clearly from Aboriginal communities is the importance of truth-telling.”
Read the full National Indigenous Times article here.
NDIS experiences told at the International Indigenous Disability Research Symposium
Professor John Gilroy, A Yuin man from the NSW South Coast, will see decades of his work come together in the International Indigenous Disability Research Symposium, commencing with the official opening of his art exhibition ‘People’s experience of the NDIS.’
“There is still a lot of work to be done to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians living with disability, but the events this week have helped me reflect on how far we have come in our knowledge and understanding,” said Professor Gilroy.
With representation from academics from Australia, the USA, Canada and Sweden, the goal of the event is to develop a global collaborative research community in Indigenous disability research guided by the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. One of the key focus areas of the symposium will be on how scholars can both empower and respect Indigenous people in disability research.
The artwork by Professor Gilroy seen below, surrounds incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability. There is a high prevalence of Aboriginal people with disability being unfairly and unjustly incarcerated due to the criminal justice system not properly equipped to support people with disability, such as brain injury or foetal alcohol syndrome (FASD). The NDIS is not properly engaged with state/territory health and housing systems to appropriately support people with disability to live in the community and prevent reoffending. People with disability have reported that the prison system punishes them as a person rather than helping them with issues pertaining to their mental health and disability.
Read more here.
Sector Jobs – you can see sector job listings on the NACCHO website here.
Advertising Jobs – to advertise a job vacancy click here to go to the NACCHO website current job listings webpage. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find a Post A Job form. You can complete this form with your job vacancy details – it will then be approved for posting and go live on the NACCHO website.