NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Over $120m for Indigenous health infrastructure

The image in the feature tile is from the Build Australia website.

Over $120m for Indigenous health infrastructure

The Australian Government is funding 52 new health infrastructure projects across the country – building and renovating clinics, improving staff housing and building the capacity of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health sector. As Co-Chairs of Joint Council on Closing the Gap, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney and the Lead Convener of the Coalition of the Peaks (CoPs), Pat Turner, will jointly announce, at the Joint Council meeting in Sydney today, more than $120m for major capital works at community‑controlled organisations.

The projects will improve First Nations health services, as well as provide the facilities clinical staff need to deliver culturally-safe and appropriate care.  In a clear commitment to Closing the Gap Priority Reform One to support formal partnerships and shared decision-making, applications were jointly assessed and approved by the sector’s peak body, NACCHO and the Australian Government, through the Department of Health and Aged Care. A further $20m from this grant round will be committed in early 2023 and a second grant round will also be run in 2023 to see even more projects provide the services people need, closer to where they live.

The more than $120m is in addition to the $164.3m for 17 vital Indigenous health infrastructure projects across the country announced in the October budget to invest in health clinics in areas of large and growing First Nations populations. This represents a significant investment of more than $284.3m for Aboriginal health services.

Lead Convenor of the CoPs and NACCHO CEO, Pat Turner said “The Government’s support for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services reflects their vital role in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. NACCHO has advocated for a long time for increased funding for infrastructure for the health sector and this funding supports and recognises the critical role that ACCHS play in the Australian primary health care architecture. I am pleased to see that this funding is being delivered consistent with the Priority Reforms in the National Agreement, where programs and services are developed in partnership with our people and funding is delivered through our community-controlled organisations.”

The above has been extracted from the media release Joint Council on Closing the Gap more than $120 million for Indigenous health infrastructure. To view the media release in full click here.

Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service will receive almost $5m to construct a purpose build AMS building in Brewarrina. Image source: Barnson.

End of year message from Chair and CEO

NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills and NACCHO CEO have released the following end-of year message:

The last three years have been dominated by the pandemic and natural disasters and despite the challenges, our sector’s efforts and outcomes have been phenomenal.

Our 145 members deliver more than 3.1 million episodes of care to our mob each year. This equates to an incredible amount of time, hard work, energy and dedication which has translated into a stronger, savvier self-determined ACCHO sector. Every person working in our ACCHOs deserve congratulations.

A big thank you also to all on the NACCHO Board, whose dedication, important and unique perspectives guide the vision and strategy of our sector.

The NACCHO staff have also done a remarkable job advocating for community-developed solutions, structural reform, developing national level programs, and importantly, securing ongoing funding for our sector.

To all our partners and colleagues, thank you for your ongoing support and perseverance.

Now, it is time to take a well-deserved break.

The new year will be about rejuvenation, an invitation to harness our strengths and continue to develop and grow as individuals and as a collective working towards, Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands.

On behalf of the NACCHO Board and our team, we would like to thank you all and wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable festive season.

You can access the above letter here. and view the NACCHO Chair and CEO’s 2022 end-of-year message in the below video:

Aboriginal doctor keen to improve Pilbara healthcare

A trailblazing young Aboriginal doctor from the Pilbara, who won WA’s Young Australian of the Year 2020, has welcomed a global search for ground-breaking solutions to deliver quality healthcare in the Pilbara. Launched by Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson yesterday, “The Challenge” offers a $5m prize for the development of a technology solution, based on research, to improve health outcomes for people living in the Pilbara, a region that spans more than 500,000sqkm.

Pilbara scholar Yarlalu Thomas joined Mr Dawson at the launch to share the challenges he faced growing up, which led him to a career in health. As WA’s Young Australian of the Year in 2020, he was considering a career in the AFL, but instead turned his attention to studying medicine. Mr Thomas is focusing his medical studies on Pilbara faces to better understand 3D facial variation for quicker and non-invasive diagnosis of children with rare and genetic diseases.

He is also working on translating medical terms into Indigenous languages internationally and hopes to one day work in the Pilbara. Mr Thomas said that barriers to healthcare access for Aboriginal people could include lack of transport, hospital settings, language and other communication barriers, inflexible treatment options and lack of centralised patient records. “This is a particular problem for doctors trying to provide care for Aboriginal patients who regularly travel far and wide,” he said.

To view The Kimberley Echo article Trailblazing young Aboriginal doctor Yarlalu Thomas welcomes search to improve Pilbara healthcare in full click here.

Trailblazing Pilbara-raised Aboriginal medical student Yarlalu Thomas. Image source: The Kimberley Echo.

New scholarships honour two incredible women

The University of Melbourne has announced two exciting scholarship opportunities for Indigenous students, honouring two incredible women:

Aunty Angela Clarke (Graduate Certificate) – applications close Tuesday 31 January 2023

Aunty Angela Clarke worked as the Koori Hospital Liaison Officer at the Royal Children’s Hospital and later was the Deputy Director of the VicHealth Koori Health Research Unit (Onemda). Her contribution to Aboriginal health was transformative, pioneering new models of community participation in research and embedding culturally responsive clinical practice for Indigenous patients.

Aunty Joan Vickery (Masters) – applications close Tuesday 31 January 2023

Aunty Joan Vickery’s impressive leadership and advocacy over many decades improved Indigenous health outcomes and delivery of services across Victoria. Helping to establish the Ngwala Willumbong Co-operative in 1975 – which continues to deliver outreach services to Aboriginal people affected by substance abuse – she later worked to improve understanding of diabetes among Indigenous families as the first Aboriginal Liaison Officer at St Vincent’s Hospital through rolling out a series of programs and support networks.

These scholarships aim to continue the legacy of these incredible women in nurturing the next generation of public health leaders.

For more information about the:

  • Angela Clarke Scholarship click here
  • Aunty Joan Vickery Scholarship click here

You can also access The University of Melbourne website’s webpage Scholarships, Bursaries and Prizes here.

The University of Melbourne current Indigenous graduate students. Image source: The University of Melbourne website.

AMA Indigenous medical scholarship applications open

Applications are open to enrolled Indigenous medical students to apply for the next year’s AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarships.

Applications are now open for the AMA’s 2023 Indigenous Medical Scholarship program, with applicants having until Tuesday 31 January to submit their application.

The scholarship, made possible by the generosity of members, helps an Indigenous medical student who has completed their first year with $10,000 per year for the remainder of their medical degree.

For more information on how to apply visit the AMA website’s AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship webpage here.

To view the Mirage article AMA Indigenous medical scholarship applications open in full click here.

Season’s Greetings from NACCHO

NACCHO extends Season’s Greetings to you and your family for a very happy and safe summer.

NACCHO office closure over Dec / Jan

NACCHO will be closed from COB Friday 16 December 2022, reopening in the New Year on Tuesday 3 January 2023.

This is the last NACCHO newsletter for 2022. Publication of the newsletter will resume in the New Year. We will let you know closer to the date when the first edition for 2023 will hit your in-box!

Christmas decorations by artists of Warlukurlangu, Yuendumu. Image source: Koskela website.

Sector Jobs

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.

NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: 2023 National COVID-19 Health Management Plan

The image in the feature tile is from the cover of the Australian Government’s 16 page National COVID-19 Health Management Plan for 2023.

2023 National COVID-19 Health Management Plan

A National COVID-19 Health Management Plan (the National Plan) has been developed to outline the Australian Government health supports to manage COVID-19 over the next 12 months. These health supports have been informed by the likely 2023 Australian epidemiological outlook and advice from the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly.

Over 2023, Australia will transition to managing COVID-19 in a similar way to other respiratory viruses, moving away from COVID exceptionalism and bespoke arrangements. While we are learning more about the virus and its impacts on the community and health systems all the time, we are not yet at a “steady state” where we can predict and manage it within normal systems. This means health response measures are still required.

The National Plan summarises the interconnecting whole-of-system measures to transition our management of COVID-19, while maintaining a state of readiness and capacity to respond as the pandemic continues to evolve.

You can access the Australian Government’s 16 page National COVID-19 Health Management Plan for 2023 in full here.

NACCHO affiliates doing us proud

The Aboriginal Health Council of SA (AHCSA) Sexual Health Team has won the People’s Choice Awards Sexual Health Poster! The AHCSA Sexual Health team beat 150 other entrants to claim top prize for this incredible piece of work that we are so proud of.

Have a read below of the significance of the work and how the group achieved the unbelievable outcome in the link here.

AHCSA Sexual Health Team’s winning People’s Choice Award Sexual Health Poster.

Meanwhile last week VACCHO co-hosted a workshop with the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA), bringing together representatives of 12 Specialist Medical Colleges.

The workshop centred on improving the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors in Specialist training. Whether it’s radiology, dermatology, surgery, or any other specialty, colleges need to develop culturally safe and supportive training pathways to help grow the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Specialists in our health services.

VACCHO acknowledged the deadly work AIDA is doing to build strong partnerships across the health workforce, to develop future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors.

Participants of the VACCHO and AIDA workshop.

Governments must act to raise the age

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, health, legal and human rights organisations have welcomed the release of a government report and called on Attorneys-General to immediately act on its recommendation to raise the age of criminal responsibility with no exceptions. The report was prepared by a Working Group chaired by the WA Department of Justice, and included representation from justice departments from each state, territory and the Commonwealth government.

The Council of Attorneys-General Age of Criminal Responsibility Working Group report lists recommendations based on the findings of the review stating: “A primary recommendation to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 14 years without exceptions.” The report, prepared in 2020, was informed by over 90 public submissions made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, health, legal and human rights organisations and experts. The Human Rights Law Centre previously made repeated Freedom of Information requests to obtain a copy of the report, with all requests refused.

The current low age of criminal responsibility disproportionately impacts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and is a key driver of contact with police and the criminal legal system. Raising the age would reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in prisons and help governments meet their Closing The Gap targets. The report noted that to turn “the tide on First Nations incarceration rates requires Commonwealth, state and territory governments to work in partnership with First Nations people and organisations.”

To view the Human Rights Law Centre article Governments must act on justice department advice to #RaiseTheAge to at least 14 in full click here.

Improving lives and mental health of youth

Each year the achievements and contributions of eminent Australians are celebrated through the Australian of the Year Awards by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all. They inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Australia. The Awards honour an exceptional group of highly respected Australians who ignite discussion and change on issues of national importance. The Australian of the Year Awards provides everyone with the opportunity to recognise any Australian who makes them proud. The four Australian of the Year categories are:

  • Australian of the Year
  • Senior Australian of the Year (those aged 65 years or over)
  • Young Australian of the Year (ages 16 to 30)
  • Australia’s Local Hero

Jahdai Vigona has received the 2023 NT Young Australian of the Year award. Jahdai Vigona is at the forefront of mental health programs educating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. A proud Tiwi Islands man, he is passionate about improving the lives of Indigenous people.

WellMob: An Introduction

WellMob have produced a short, animated video WellMob: An Introduction describing the WellMob website. WellMob is a digital library of wellbeing resources made by and for our mob. These resources include apps, podcasts, websites, videos, social media and printable wellbeing materials. There are also training resources to support workers.

The WellMob: An Introduction video is for anyone interested in digital wellbeing resources, including health and wellbeing workers – it is from e-Mental Health in Practice and hosted by the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet.

You can access more information and training resources from the WellMob website here.

Trailblazing Indigenous doctor

Trailblazing Indigenous doctor Dr Mark Wenitong has received an honorary Doctorate from Central Queensland University Australia, celebrating almost three decades of work to improve the health and wellbeing of First Nations peoples. Dr Wenitong, who is also board deputy chair of Community Enterprise Queensland, is one of Australia’s first Indigenous doctors and a leader and mentor in driving better First Nations healthcare.

Since graduating from Newcastle University Medical School in 1995, Dr Wenitong has practiced across central Australia and now in Far North Queensland, and was a founding member of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA). Dr Wenitong has been the Public Health Medical Advisor at Apunipima Cape York Health Council since 2008, where he continues to practice clinical medicine and remote health service systems and program delivery.

In addition to being an adjunct professor at the Queensland University of Technology, Dr Wenitong is the strategic advisor for the Lowitja Institute, Research Knowledge Translation and the inaugural Co-Chair of the Queensland Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statewide Clinical Network. Dr Wenitong was previously appointed as the Aboriginal Public Health Medical Officer, and the acting chief executive at the NACCHO in 2012. It has been a long and remarkable journey.

To view the National Indigenous Times article Trailblazing Indigenous doctor honoured for outstanding career and contribution to First Nations health in full click here.

Dr Mark Wenitong. Image source: National Indigenous Times.

Sector Jobs

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.

NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Breaking down eye health inequities

The image in the feature tile is of Dr Angus Turner assessing an ultra widefield retinal scan at the new Northwest Hub, the first permanent eye clinic in the Kimberley region based in Broome. Image source: Insight feature report Bringing telehealth and artificial intelligence into real-world ophthalmology practice published on Wednesday 7 December 2022.

Breaking down eye health inequities

Telehealth and artificial intelligence hold the key to breaking down some of the biggest eye health inequities in Australian ophthalmology, according to Dr Angus Taylor, but the sector needs to find ways for real-world implementation.

The tyranny of distance in Australia – and the subsequent eye health disparities for rural and remote communities – was the focus of Dr Angus Turner’s presentation at Specsavers Clinical Conference 2022 that offered new solutions by way of technology. In his discussion entitled ‘Integrating telemedicine and artificial intelligence into eyecare services’, Dr Turner outlined the real-world efficiencies brought about by telehealth consultations in eyecare. This technology is applied in regional and rural WA where he founded the Lions Outback Vision outreach program.

In addition to convenience for the patient, telehealth has been shown in peer-review papers to drive better eye health outcomes, including a halving the wait time for cataract surgery, a 10 times increase in access for Aboriginal people when an on-call service was introduced and high patient satisfaction. A systematic review also showed outcomes were equal or better with telehealth compared to regular specialist care, it improves surgeon efficiency and eliminates duplication, and reduces and eliminates pre- and post-op visits. 

Another major technological puzzle piece to overcome distance barriers to care is AI. Turner’s presentation focused on applying the technology to diabetic eye disease, which his team’s recent study found affected Aboriginal people more than non-Aboriginal. Turner said many patients were not getting recommended screening checks, with data showing 28% haven’t been checked in the Kimberley region. This added impetus for new ways to make it easier for patients to receive a screening grade on the spot. 

To view the Insight feature report Bringing telehealth and artificial intelligence into real-world ophthalmology practice in full click here.

Lions Eye Institute managing director Prof Bill Morgan (from left), A/Prof Angus Turner, Patrick Dodson and Divina D’Anna at the Kimberley Eye Hub opening in October. Photo: Sarah Landro. Image source: Insight.

How Pat Turner helped launch NITV

In 2006, after decades of service in government and elsewhere, working towards the self-determination of Indigenous people, Pat Turner moved home to Alice Springs for a well-deserved retirement. “I had no intention of working again,” the Gudanji Arrernte woman told NITV. Then she received a call from filmmaker Rachel Perkins. The acclaimed director was one of a group of Aboriginal professionals working in media who had met in Redfern with the intention of realising a dream that had been floated for years: a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander television station. With years of sound and transparent administration to her name, Turner was an obvious choice to steer the ship.

“Rachel rang me first and said ‘Come down, can you do this for a couple of months until we get a CEO?’ “I had gone home to retire! And so, it was all just chance, really.” By the end of that year, she was on a plane to Sydney, for a three-week stay to look over the history and the aspirations of the board. What she saw lit a fire. “I could see the potential, and I became really enthusiastic about it. Having our own Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander television service run by us, for us. It was just a light bulb moment.”

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and creating a TV station from scratch isn’t much easier. It was a mammoth effort, much of it falling to Turner, who was appointed CEO in January 2007. “It was just sheer hard work. I mean, all hands on deck,” she said. “When I started, I did it on the back patio of my house in Alice Springs, with a laptop and a mobile phone that I bought. “I financed the whole operation until the money came through. From December [2006] until February or March [2007] I didn’t get any wages. It cost thousands of dollars.”

To view the SBS NITV story From her back deck, Pat Turner helped launch NITV with just a laptop and a phone. This is how she did it in full click here.

Strep A – what is it, who’s at risk?

The bacteria that causes group A streptococcus (strep A) is incredibly common. The bacterium is found in the throat and on the skin. It is carried without symptoms by many people, but often causes high fever or throat infections. Professor Michael Good from Griffith University in Queensland has explained “strep A is known to everybody because everyone has kids or themselves have had a strep throat (tonsillitis) or they get school sores – those conditions are very prevalent.” For most, a strep A infection will be minor, but for 1,000s it triggers very serious or in some cases deadly diseases such as Meningitis, Toxic Shock Syndrome, Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) and Sepsis.

The best way to avoid infection, according to the Department of Health, is to maintain good hygiene. While anyone can develop an infection, there are some groups who are at much higher risk of disease than others:

  • children under five years of age, especially infants
  • older people over 65 years of age
  • people with poor access to hygiene facilities
  • people who live or spend time in crowded conditions
  • people with weak immune systems or chronic illnesses

NSW Health and researchers also say Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are at high risk from strep A. There is currently no vaccine for strep A although Griffith University researchers have recently developed a vaccine candidate to treat the bacteria. The first human trials of the vaccine began in Canada last month. If all goes well the vaccine will be widely available in five years time.

To read the 9 News article What is strep A, the disease that has killed six children and has UK authorities on high alert? in full click here.

Researchers Professor Michael Good and Dr Manisha Pandey from Griffith University, QLD. Image source: 9 News.

Oral microbiomes may add to chronic disease load

Indigenous Australians have unique microbes in their mouths, which may contribute to a higher burden of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to new research led by Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and the University of Adelaide. The results suggest that understanding this “oral microbiome” could be a useful target to help Indigenous Australians improve their health.

Like the gut microbiome is the community of microbes living in the gut, the oral microbiome is the community of microbes living in the mouth. Some of these oral microbes are crucial to human health; for example, they can defend against invading pathogens. Others, however, may be harmful and contribute to oral diseases, such as periodontal — or gum — disease.

“Indigenous Australians disproportionately experience poor oral health, which is linked to other negative health outcomes,” said Laura Weyrich, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Penn State. “For example, periodontal disease increases the risk and severity of diabetes, chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. Exploring oral microbiome may reveal new pathways to improve both oral and systemic health outcomes for Indigenous Australians.”

To view the Penn State research article Indigenous Australians’ unique oral microbiomes may add to chronic disease load in full click here.

Some of the potentially harmful organisms making their home in the human oral cavity. Image: Rasi / Image source: Dental Products Report.

Weigelli gets infrastructure boost

The Western NSW Local Health District will receive $250,000 for important works to be carried out at Weigelli Centre Aboriginal Corporation as part of the NSW Government’s Aboriginal Health Minor Capital Works Program. Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said this funding will go a long way to ensuring the important work carried out by Weigelli Centre continues not only now but into the future.

“This amazing facility has been operating since 1996, offering an all-important drug and alcohol rehabilitation service,” Ms Cooke said. “I know this investment will allow Weigelli to provide open and welcoming spaces to those in the community who need their support. It is important that we continue to support these services as they provide the assistance needed for those on their journey to recovery.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin said this funding will provide Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services the funding they need to better support their local communities with optimal services and infrastructure. “This important funding will deliver safe and effective primary health care services to Aboriginal communities across the State which are delivered by Aboriginal people, services and specialists,” Mr Franklin said.

To view The Cowra Phoenix article Weigelli gets infrastructure boost in full click here.

Member For Cooatmundra Steph Cooke with Weigelli’s Kerri-Anne Cutmore, Norm Henderson and CEO Daniel Jeffries. Image source: The Cowra Phoenix.

Support for going sober in the bush

It took a long time for Shanna Whan to realise there was a problem. Eight years ago, she awoke in hospital after a drunken fall and realised her choice was to change or die. “I was a suicidal, sick, desperately-close-to-death human. It was horrific,” Ms Whan said. She later founded the not-for-profit, Sober In The Country, which has now blossomed into a social impact enterprise and peer support network called the Bush Tribe.

“It takes on average 18 years for someone to seek help. So there’s like nearly two decades that people are falling and we don’t even see it,” Ms Whan said. “Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs to detox from,” said Chris Davis, a GP who specialises in drug and alcohol services. “Going cold turkey, if you’re alcohol dependent, can lead to seizures and death.” Dr Davis is one of the operators of an in-home detox service called Clean Slate Clinic. Now, the virtual format program is being trialled in country NSW and outback Queensland to see if it can be adapted to the needs of remote patients.

Sandy Gillies is the CEO of the Western Queensland Primary Health Network (PHN) which commissioned one the Clean Slate trials. She said the region had one of the highest rates of risky alcohol consumption in the state but lacked services, and could not afford to build a facility or recruit the workers needed to run it.  A lot of her work focuses on First Nations health which is also an area in which Clean Slate is looking to provide culturally safe services. “We want to explore the cultural responsiveness and safety of a service such as this, especially in our rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Ms Gillies said.

To view the ABC News article Support for going sober in the bush as new program helps break the stigma of giving up alcohol in full click here.

Ms Gillies is the first Indigenous person to head up one of the 31 PHNs. Photo: Stephen Cavenagh, ABC News.

Sector Jobs

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.

NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Claims Budget will improve First Nations health

The image in the feature tile is of two health workers from the Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS), Newman, WA. Image source: PAMS website.

Claims Budget will improve First Nations health

Yesterday the Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, issued a media release announcing health measures in the Australian Government’s 2022–23 Budget. Minister Butler said the Albanese Government would take immediate action to support their commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, by making real improvements in health outcomes ($314.5m).

The government will also deliver improved infrastructure, including new and expanded First Nations health clinics in locations with high and growing First Nations populations ($164.3m). The First Nations Health Workers Traineeship Program ($54.3m), led by NACCHO, will train up to 500 First Nations health workers.

The Budget also provides funding to target chronic diseases disproportionally affecting First Nations people, with a increase in funding to combat rheumatic heart disease in high-risk communities ($14.2m). Renal services will be improved with funding ($45 million) for up to 30 four-chair dialysis units in up to 30 sites.

In addition, the government will build a dedicated Birthing on Country Centre of Excellence in NSW to provide culturally safe care and wrap-around support services for First Nations families ($22.5m). We know this is essential to improve long term health and development outcomes for First Nations peoples.

To view Minister Butler’s media release Budget October 2022–23: Strengthening Medicare in full click here.

Photo: Mick Tsikas, AAP photos. Image source: The Canberra Times.

Noonga-Yamatji woman works to close ear health gap

Young Noongar-Yamatji woman who suffered poor ear health as a child is working hard to help Indigenous children in the same situation today. Kassy Hayden, 24, works with medical group Earbus Foundation, coordinating programs for Pilbara east and south central, as well as visits to the Goldfields and Esperance by the Earbus team. “It is important for the kids and for everybody out there,” Ms Hayden said. Earbus works with local Aboriginal Medical Services to deliver comprehensive ear healthcare.

“Yesterday two of my colleagues noticed that one of the children didn’t have a Medicare number, which means they would never have seen a GP and this child is eight years old. But we were able to see them and continue seeing them, which is one example. It is making a difference in remote communities, and there is relationship building as well. For a child who has never seen a GP it would be pretty scary having people looking in your ears for the first time.”

Indigenous children have some of the highest rates of middle ear disease in the world. On average, Aboriginal children suffer from middle ear disease for 32 months on their first five years of life compared to just three months for non-Indigenous children. Indigenous people suffer ear disease and hearing loss at up to ten times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians. Ear conditions like Otitis Media (middle ear infection) affect development, social skills and education for children, making the crucial formative years of life far more difficult and putting children at a long term disadvantage.

To view the National Indigenous Times article The young Indigenous woman working to close the gap in children’s ear health in full click here.

Image source: National Indigenous Times.

Funding for early childhood partnership

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers has handed down the 2002–23 Federal Budget in which the Government delivered on its core Plan for Cheaper Child Care promise to improve early education and care (ECEC). “Early childhood education and care will be more affordable for more than 1.2 million eligible Australian families who will benefit from higher subsidies,” Mr Chalmers said. “Cheaper childcare is a game-changing investment in families, our workforce, and our economy. It will increase the paid hours worked by women with young children by up to 1.4 million hours a week in the first year alone. That’s the equivalent of 37,000 extra full-time workers.”

Accessibility focused measures include:

  • $33.7 million over four years from 2022–23 to introduce a base entitlement to 36 hours per fortnight of subsidised Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) for families with First Nations children, regardless of activity hours or income level
  • $10.2 million over three years from 2022–23 to establish the Early Childhood Care and Development Policy Partnership with Coalition of Peaks partners and First Nations representatives to develop policies on First Nations early childhood education and care

To view The Sector article Federal Budget 2022/23 delivers on Plan for Cheaper Child Care but reference to workforce shortages absent in full click here.

Children attending ECEC Indi Kindi in Tennant Creek, NT. Image source: The Sector.

Budget fails to recognise GP crisis

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has warned that although Budget October 2022-23 delivers on key election promises, significant funding for general practice care is urgently needed to address the GP crisis. The Budget includes a re-commitment to $250m per year in GP funding over three years following the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce Report which is due later this year, as well as $143.3m for rural and remote healthcare, and $229.7m in general practice support grants to build better infrastructure. However, it does not address the immediate challenges facing general practice care, including a lack of funding following years of Medicare freezes and inadequate indexation of patient rebates.

The RACGP holds grave concerns that without major investment into general practice care by the federal Government the current shortage of GPs being felt by communities throughout Australia will intensify, waiting times to see a doctor will increase, and the health and wellbeing of Australians will suffer.

In the college’s October 2022-23 Pre-Budget submission the RACGP called for a series of timely reforms including an increase Medicare rebates for longer consultations, the creation of a new Medicare item for GP consultations longer than 60 minutes, as well as support for longer telehealth phone consultations lasting more than 20 minutes, and increased investment in rural healthcare. RACGP President Adj. Professor Karen Price said that although the Budget delivered on many key promises, major reform was sorely needed to secure the future of high-quality general practice patient care.

To read the RACGP media release RACGP: First Budget delivers on election promises but fails to recognise GP crisis in full click here.

Image source: Head Topics Ireland.

Addressing health risks of flooding

As flood-affected towns across Victoria begin relief and recovery efforts, the Victorian Government is working to minimise the risks floodwaters can cause to human health and investing to support communities to rebuild and recover together. Communities across the state are still experiencing major flooding, with more rain set to risk higher water levels and flash flooding — both of which pose threats to people’s health.

An investment of $6.5 million will deliver important health protection initiatives, with a dedicated monitoring and control system to prevent and control mosquitoes that are drawn to flooded areas, as well as making the vaccination for Japanese Encephalitis Virus — a serious mosquito-borne disease — free in flood-affected areas. This funding will also deploy an Environmental Health and Field workforce to flooded regions to provide communities with advice on waste disposal, septic tank repair and the safest way to clean up homes and businesses, as well as boost resourcing in the worst-affected Local Public Health Units to keep communities safe and healthy.

The floods have affected healthcare staffing levels in the affected areas — with some staff unable to get to work. Pharmacies in flooded areas, many of which have just a single pharmacist, are processing extremely high levels of scripts with many people displaced. Flooded sewers or septic tanks often contaminate floodwater before it inundates properties and clean drinking water sources, while flooded areas are subject to mosquito invasions. As flood clean-up and recovery begins, mould growth can also pose a serious risk to the human respiratory system.

An investment of $2 million will support the health of Aboriginal Victorian communities affected by the floods, many of which have been inundated. The funding will make sure Aboriginal Health Services in Shepparton, Swan Hill, Kerang and Echuca have appropriate GP, nurse and health outreach worker coverage while they are isolated.

To view The Courier Cobram article State government addresses health risks of recent and future flooding in full click here.

Echuca residents sandbagged their properties in anticipation of rising floodwaters. Photo: Sarah Lawrence. Image source: ABC News.

Community-engaged research improving health

A University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa faculty member has explored ways that community-engaged research and service can improve Indigenous health while honoring the culture and norms of Indigenous communities in a new book.

Kathryn L. Braun, a public health professor in the Thompson School of Social Work and Public Health, along with Linda Burhansstipanov (Cherokee Nation) from Native American Cancer Research, are co-editors of Indigenous Public Health: Improvement through Community-Engaged Interventions, released in August 2022.

“Many reports on Indigenous health focus on the negative. In contrast, this book features 30 stories of success, including initiatives to address racism, reduce diabetes, and increase cancer screening and treatment. Chapters on community-based participatory research and the building of strong public health infrastructures also include examples of success,” said Braun.

To view the University of Hawaii News article Indigenous public health success stories focus of new book in full click here.

Image source: University Press of Kentucky.

National award for student with rural health passion

University of Melbourne final year medical student Jasraaj Singh has received the Rural Doctors Association of Australia’s (RDAA) Medical Student of the Year Award for 2022. The award is given annually to a medical student displaying a passion and strong commitment to Rural Medicine. As a student on the Extended Rural Cohort at the University’s Medical School, Ms Singh has undertaken all her medical training in rural areas since the second year of her medical degree, including placements in Shepparton, Wangaratta, Ballarat and currently Bendigo. Along the way, she has also undertaken additional placements in East Arnhem Land and Cairns. Ms Singh said she loves the variety of work offered in rural medicine, as well as the sense of community.

“I have had the opportunity to meet incredible and inspiring people, undertake hands-on and practical clinical placements, become part of rural and remote communities across Australia, and develop my clinical and life experiences along the way. It has been such a rewarding, eye-opening and exciting adventure – I strongly believe all healthcare students should be undertaking rural placements in some way, shape or form.”

Ms Singh said a placement she undertook in Nhulunbuy, East Arnhem Land, in 2020 gave her a deep appreciation for the “incredible skill set” of generalist doctors working in remote communities. “My placement in East Arnhem Land really changed the trajectory of my life,” she said. “I became hooked on rural and remote medicine and realised that in these settings I got a much deeper understanding of medicine. I aim to challenge the common misconception that all the excitement and ‘real medicine’ happens in the city – because the country is definitely where it’s at.”

To view The University of Melbourne Newsroom article Medical student who found her passion in rural health receives national award in full click here.

RDAA Medical Student of the Year 2022, Jasraaj Singh (left), pictured with fellow student and 2021 awardee, Indira Barrow, at Tennant Creek Hospital, NT. Image source: University of Melbourne Newsroom.

Sector Jobs

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.

NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: NACCHO CEO reflects on successful conference

The image in the feature tile is of Jadlyn David De Bush and Daniel Rosedal presenting feedback from the 76 delegates at the NACCHO Youth Conference 2022 to the 500 delegates at the NACCHO Members’ Conference 2022. Image source: NACCHO Australia Twitter post, 20 October 2022.

NACCHO CEO reflects on successful conference

In closing the NACCHO Members’ Conference 2022, NACCHO CEO Pat Turner AM said it had been a wonderful event, with it being “great to be able connect to people face-to-face rather than the virtual connections we’ve had over the last 3 years with COVID-19 preventing us from being able to get together like this.”

Ms Turner said the NACCHO Members’ Conference is not only an opportunity to strengthen our network and get to know each other better but to hear about the amazing work that is being done right around the country, saying it was a testimony to the strength of the sector to come together, noting it was a long way for many and expensive.

Ms Turner said she hoped attendees at the conference had been inspired to pick up on good ideas and best practice shared at the conference and that they would be used to continue to strengthen the delivery of health services to our people. Ms Turner said we have got to be able to get the governments to understand the importance of the environments our people live in and what a negative effect overcrowded housing and unhealthy environments have on our people’s health, “as part of the comprehensive primary health care model its our job at every level to advocate for our communities in those areas as well.”

Housing shortage potentially “life-threatening”

Preston Mapuyu is on a public housing waitlist that on average takes more than half a decade to see any movement – but due to a chronic lung condition, he may not have that long to wait. Nurses in remote north-east Arnhem Land say a housing shortage has become potentially “life-threatening for patients” such as Mr Mapuyu, and is simultaneously burdening the health system.

Mr Mapuyu’s inability to access public housing has meant he’s been forced to rely on the kindness of relatives for accommodation, often overcrowded and unsuitable for someone with his condition. He and his wife, Serena Munyarryun, were living on a remote homeland 100km from the nearest hospital, where access via dirt road is seasonal and emergency planes can only land during the day. “If we call emergency for ambulance to get here, sometimes it takes them three to four hours to get here,” Ms Munyarryun said.

The pair has applied to access public housing in the nearest township of Nhulunbuy but, given a Territory-wide public housing shortage, they’re up against it. NT government data shows there is an average wait of six to eight years for applicants in Nhulunbuy. That stretches up to a decade for those seeking housing in hubs like Alice Springs. Across the NT there are nearly 6,000 applications for housing, but only 162 homes listed as vacant.

To view the ABC News article NT government’s years-long public housing waitlist putting a strain on remote health system in full click here.

Serena Munyarryun and Preston Mapuyu could be forced to wait years for public housing. Photo: Michael Franchi, ABC News.

RHD landmark study makes inroads

An entirely preventable “killer” disease plaguing remote communities in the NT will never end unless Aboriginal workers become the backbone of prevention, an Indigenous health organisation warns. Sunrise Health chairperson Anne-Marie Lee is the co-author of a four-year, landmark study – published in the International Journal of Environmental Research Public Health – which was conducted in three Aboriginal communities where it is not uncommon to see children under 10 bearing the vertical, long scars of open-heart surgery.

“Nothing can work in Indigenous communities unless you employ local people,” Ms Lee said. “Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a killer. It’s a killer, and it’s killing a lot of my young ones.” RHD is mostly eradicated in first world countries and is only found in the most disadvantaged areas of developing countries. But in Australia, rates in remote Aboriginal communities beset by social disadvantage are among the highest in the world.

Studies to date have largely focused on secondary and tertiary prevention once somebody’s already been diagnosed, instead of the root causes, such as addressing severe overcrowding in houses and a lack of effective education. Ms Lee said in her community of Barunga, about an hour’s drive from Katherine, there was not enough suitable information about the disease for families. She lamented the notion that short-term fly-in-fly-out health workers could make meaningful inroads. “We need more of me … because they trust us,” Ms Lee said.

To view the ABC News article Rheumatic heart disease still killing Australian children but a landmark study makes inroads in full click here.

Anne-Marie Lee [L] says rates of RHD fell in her community during the study. Photo: Menzies School of Health. Image source: ABC News.

Improving health for people with intellectual disability

The Australian Government is investing more than $5 million in four research projects to improve the long-term health outcomes of people with intellectual disability. Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the research will develop the evidence base for future policies, interventions and other initiatives to improve the quality of life of people with an intellectual disability. A key factor in each of the projects is the involvement of people with intellectual disability, their families and carers in the design of the research and implementation.

Professor Sandra Eades from the University of Melbourne has received $792,020 to undertake a research project: Equitable access to health and disability services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with intellectual disability.

This project will improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous children with intellectual disability by recommending effective models of care to ensure appropriate, timely diagnoses and access to high-quality health and disability services. National Disability Insurance Scheme data and interviews with families, adolescents with intellectual disability, and healthcare and disability services will be analysed to identify barriers and facilitators to meeting the healthcare needs of Indigenous children with intellectual disability.

To view Minister Butler’s media release Improving long-term health outcomes for people with intellectual disability in full click here.

Image source: Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families of children with disabilities webpage of Community Early Learning Australia website.

Urapunga Store’s sugar cut success

Remote residents of Urapunga in the NT have reduced consumption of sugary drinks by 43% in the past year, due to a range of sugar-reduction measures implemented at their local grocery store. Urapunga Store, operated by the Urapunga Aboriginal Corporation and serviced by Outback Stores, has restricted the size of soft drinks sold, and implemented “Sugar-Free Wednesdays” – a day in which no full-sugar soft drinks are available for purchase.

“We knew the community was drinking too much sugar, so we came up with a plan to start changing that,” said Antonella Pascoe, board member of Urapunga Aboriginal Corporation. “As directors of the store, we felt like we could make a positive change.”

In the first six months, the proportion of sugary drinks sold has fallen by 4.7% which equates to 1,921 litres, or twelve bathtubs less of full-sugar soft drink consumed in the community. “We know that the community is now drinking less sugar,” says Ms Pascoe. “One of the best things is the way it has made the community think about what they are drinking, even on days when they can buy sugary drinks.

To view the Retail World article Urapunga Store’s sugar cut success in full click here.

Photo: Isabella Higgins, ABC News.

Sax Institute, a community-led research pioneer

The Sax Institute are pioneers of the community-led research model and have been building strong relationships with Aboriginal health organisations since 2003. These partnerships have been critical to enabling the design and conduct of health research that is most likely to meet the needs of Aboriginal communities and policy makers. The Sax Institute says these partnerships are an essential part of how they work and central to their success.

In 2003, Sax Institute formed a partnership with the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) to set up the Coalition for Research to Improve Aboriginal Health (CRIAH) as a vehicle for bringing together Aboriginal communities and leading research expertise to support better health outcomes.

Over the past 15 years, the Sax Institute has worked with a number of ACCHOs across NSW to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people. Through these partnerships, ACCHOs nominate their research priorities, control how the research is conducted and take the lead in determining what works for them and their communities.

Four ACCHOs – Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation, Riverina Medical and Dental Aboriginal Corporation, Awabakal and Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service – have been cornerstone partners with the Institute in developing the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH), Australia’s largest long-term study of the health and wellbeing of urban Aboriginal children.

You can find more information on the Partnerships – How we work webpage of the Sax Institute website here.

Image source: Sax Institute website.

Sector Jobs

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.

Children’s Week 2022

Saturday marked the beginning of Children’s Week 2022 (22-30 October). Children’s Week is an annual event celebrated in Australia held around the fourth Wednesday in October. A diverse range of events and activities at national, state and local levels focus the attention of the wider community on children, their rights and achievements. Children’s Week celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood.

Children’s Week promotes the Rights of the Child as proclaimed by the United Nations in 1954. It also exists to remind us of our responsibility to advocate for children as citizens and their right to a positive childhood.

The 2022 Children’s Week theme All Children have the right to a standard of living that supports their wellbeing and healthy development aligns with Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

For more information about Children’s Week click here.

Logo: ClipartMax. Photo: The North West Star. Image source: The Pulse.

NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: How mob view and experience cancer

The image in the feature tile is from the Yarn for Life – It’s OK To Talk About Cancer website, available here.

How mob view and experience cancer  

A new national study has launched to give Australians a better understanding of how First Nations people view and experience cancer. Funded by Cancer Australia, Kulay Kalingka – the first study of this kind in Australia – is led, designed and implemented by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research team at the Australian National University (ANU).

The team will collect data for 22 cancer control indicators in First Nations people. These include their knowledge, attitudes and understanding of cancer, participation in health promotion and cancer screening programs. Assistant Minister Malarndirri McCarthy, says improving cancer outcomes for First Nations people is a national priority for the Government.

To view Senator McCarthy’s media release First of its kind study to explore cancer from a First Nations perspective in full here. Below is a video of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people talking about their cancer journeys.

Mob lean on each other during floods

An Aboriginal community education centre in Shepparton is working overtime to set up a culturally safe evacuation facility and schedule food and supply drop offs to those who remain stranded. Yorta Yorta woman Leonie Dwyer is the manager of Shepparton’s Academy of Sport, Health and Education (ASHE), a service for young Aboriginal people.

With so many staff, students and families displaced, Ms Dwyer opened the ASHE office and their residential facility as a refuge. While waters are receding in Shepparton, Ms Dwyer said there’s talk that the town may be getting another downpour. “Everyone’s emotionally drained and really a bit traumatised in the sense they don’t know what’s next” she said. People are worried the flood waters will come back up, and that it might be another week until they can get out.

With the future unknown, Ms Dwyer remains staunch – saying whatever happens mob will be ok. “We’re a strong Aboriginal community here in the valley and we’ll stick together. We’re resilient. We know that,” she said. “I think that this is just another something that’s in our way, but we will get through it.”

To view the SBS NITV article Victorian Indigenous communities leaning on one another during severe floods in full click here.

Photo of flooding in Mooroopna, taken by Mooroopna local and Yorta Yorta man Neil Morris. Image source: SBS NITV.

COVID hits some more than others

For lots of Australians, their experience of the COVID-19 pandemic was one of inconvenience, with missed holidays, home haircuts, and social events moved online. But for many others, the physical, mental, emotional, and financial cost was much greater.

A new report Fault lines: An independent review into Australia’s response to COVID-19, available here, has highlighted who was worst-hit by the handling of the pandemic. The report says Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were already affected by disproportionate rates of physical and mental ill health, along with other disadvantages, but the pandemic made them “particularly vulnerable”.

The report said that for the first 12 to 18 months of the pandemic, COVID-19 was largely kept out of remote communities thanks to the work of ACCHOs. But once the virus reached those communities, poor funding of those organisations, and inadequate health infrastructure and workforce capacity caused significant problems in containing the virus and treating those infected Those issues were compounded when governments under-utilised AACCHOs during the vaccine rollout.

To read the SBS News article Job loss, trauma, isolation: COVID hit some people more than others. Were you among them? in full click here.

Health workers practice remote outbreak response measures at an Aboriginal health clinic in Ramingining, NT, last year. Photo: Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation. Image source: The Washington Post.

Co-designing food sovereignty models

A project to co-design a food sovereignty model with Indigenous communities by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from QUT and University of Southern Queensland and Diabetes Australia has received a $829,628 ARC Discovery Indigenous grant. Wakka Wakka Warumungu woman Associate Professor Debbie Duthie, from QUT School of Public Health and Social Work, said food sovereignty was considered an essential element of health of First Nations people.

“Food sovereignty is a core human right that privileges Indigenous knowledges and methodologies to co-design local strategies for addressing food insecurity,” Professor Duthie said. “We aim to develop place-based food sovereignty models with both rural and urban Indigenous communities to build sustainable food systems. This project’s outcomes will ultimately lead to tailored strategies to foster food sovereignty and develop resources to preserve language and cultural foodways that can be integrated into educational programs.”

To view the QUT article Co-designing food sovereignty models for Indigenous communities in full click here.

Photo: Yurbay 2021. Image source: ACT Historic Places website.

Reducing diabetes – Ngarrindjeri pilot

A new regional diabetes program will be piloted in Ngarrindjeri country – the Coorong and the Murraylands – with the aim to reduce the burden of diabetes in Aboriginal communities. The pilot program has been co-designed with Aboriginal Elders and senior community representatives, with recent funding from the federal government’s Medical Research Future Fund.

Using a ketogenic eating program and new point-of-care testing technology will monitor health and wellbeing and aim to motivate change. Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Indigenous Health at Flinders University, Doctor Courtney Ryder said Aboriginal people in Australia are three times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and five times more likely to die from it than non-Indigenous Australians.

“This burden impacts on the overall health and wellbeing of Aboriginal patients, families and communities. Targeted, community co-designed intervention programs are needed to stop this ongoing cultural devastation,” Doctor Ryder said.

To view The Murray Valley Standard article Reducing burden of diabetes, starting with Ngarrindjeri pilot in full click here.

Image source: AMA InSight.

Join AMA’s Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee

Nominations are now open for up to five vacancies on the Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee which develops policy and initiatives targeted towards enhancing equity and addressing discrimination in the medical profession. The AMA is inviting nominations from its members to fill up to five vacancies on its Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee (EIDC) for 2023–2024.

The role of the EIDC is to develop policy and initiatives targeted towards enhancing equity and addressing inequitable and discriminatory practices that exist in the medical profession. It also considers how the AMA can actively promote equity and diversity of representation in the AMA’s own governance structures. Committee members offer in-depth knowledge of, and experience in, a range of equity, inclusion and diversity issues and help to shape our work on equity, inclusion and diversity for our members and the medical workforce. T

Visit here for more information on time commitments. If you would like to get involved in the AMAEIDC please submit a short expression of interest (between 200-400 words) and your CV by email here by 5:00 PM AEDT Friday 28 October 2022.

To view the AMA article Join the AMA’s Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee in full click here.

Image source: Stanford University website.

Sax Institute Resource Hub

The Sax Institute is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that improves health and wellbeing by driving better use of evidence in policies, programs and services. Their Resource Hub allows you to search for downloadable files such as PDFs, videos and Word files. You can filter your search by publication date, topic keyword, type of product, as well as the Sax program associated with it.

An example of publications available via the Sax Institute Resource Hub include Establishing an enduring co-production platform in Aboriginal health; Outcomes reported in evaluations of programs designed to improve health in Indigenous people; and Murradambirra Dhangaang (make food secure): Aboriginal community and stakeholder perspectives on food insecurity in urban and regional Australia.

To access the Sax Institute Resource Hub click here.

Image source: Sax Institute Resource Hub webpage of Sax Institute website.

Sector Jobs

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.

NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health News: Day 1 NACCHO Members’ Conference 2022

The Core Services and Outcomes Framework artwork in the feature tile was created by Kamilaroi artist, Ethan French. The diagram is a visual representation of the Core Services and Outcomes Framework foundations for community-controlled primary health care. At the centre of the diagram is a meeting place which represents members of the community being the heart of this document. Each ring and section of the diagram represents each component of the Core Services and Outcomes Framework, with culture surrounding the whole diagram and foundations, which is a representation showing that culture is involved in all aspects of the Core Services and Outcomes Framework.

Day 1 NACCHO Members’ Conference 2022

On Day 1 of the NACCHO Members’ Conference 2002 NACCHO’s Deputy CEO, Dr Dawn Casey launched a new resource for the sector, the Core Services and Outcomes Framework. Dr Casey explained that in 2019, the NACCHO Board decided it was time for the sector as a whole to communicate their ways of working by producing a Core Services Framework. This proved to be a challenge when attempted by the Department of Health and Aged Care within the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan that commenced in 2013.

When the NACCHO Board instructed NACCHO to address the vacuum NACCHO enlisted expertise from within the sector and obtained extensive feedback from key allies and partner organisations. In its final endorsed form, the Framework shows how the sector integrates community priorities and health care needs in a unique model, combining population health and clinical approaches. The Framework shows how culture wraps around the way community-controlled primary care is directed and the service delivery models used on the ground.

The Core Services and Outcomes Framework is already being used to calculate how to fund the sector to respond to the population it serves, its burden of disease, disadvantage and location.

The Core Services and Outcomes Framework can be accessed via the following:


Artwork: Core Services and Outcomes Framework Model

The Core Services and Outcomes Framework artwork was created by Kamilaroi artist, Ethan French.

The diagram is a visual representation of the Core Services and Outcomes Framework foundations for community-controlled primary health care. At the centre of the diagram is a meeting place which represents members of the community being the heart of this document. Each ring and section of the diagram represents each component of the Core Services and Outcomes Framework, with culture surrounding the whole diagram and foundations, which is a representation showing that culture is involved in all aspects of the Core Services and Outcomes Framework.

A new Board with big agenda ahead

Hon Mark Butler, Minister for Health – representing the Prime Minister – opened the NACCHO Members’ Conference yesterday in Canberra.

Over 500 delegates from Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) are coming together over three days in Canberra. It is the first major gathering for the sector since the pandemic.

They re-elected Donnella Mills as Chairperson of NACCHO. Ms Mills, a Torres Strait Islander woman, is also the Chair of Wuchopperen Health Service in Cairns and works as a Senior Associate at King & Wood Mallesons, an international law firm. She said, ‘I was honoured to be elected for a second term by our deadly ACCHOs across the country for another term.’ She, along with her Broome-based Deputy, Chris Bin Kali, will lead a Board of 16 directors in addressing a big agenda in front of them.

‘We have a challenging agenda ahead. I took the opportunity to say to Minister Butler that, while we understand that the new Government has a thankless task ahead of itself in repairing the Budget and guiding the country through a period of fiscal restraint, we still need to ensure that the health funding gap for First Nations communities does not widen. Our health funding cannot slip further behind.’

‘So, our challenge – when the Budget well is dry – is threefold. First, we must maximise what funding we do have to best effect. Second, we must get a fairer share of existing mainstream funding. Third, we need to implement structural reform in line with the priority reforms of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap’.

NACCHO commissioned Equity Economics earlier this year to estimate the health funding gap. They found in their report that the gap is a staggering $4.4b per year. That is, over $5,000 per year for every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person in Australia. Ms Mills said, ‘We have the data. The gap is real. Yet dangerous myths prevail that Aboriginal programs are over-funded.’

The next two days will be spent at the NACCHO conference by delegates from most of the major Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia. They will hear presentations from experts in the Pilbara, the west coast of SA, and Ballina NSW (on the impact of the floods). There will also be presentations from the Kimberley, the Northern Territory and Yarrabah on efforts against acute rheumatic fever as well as by experts and leaders ranging from Pat Anderson, Fran Baum, Mary Belfrage, Alex Brown, Kelvin Kong, Tamara Mackean, Seth Westhead, and many more. The event is being MC-ed by Dan Bourchier.

To read NACCHO’s media release A new NACCHO board with a big agenda ahead in full click here.

Donnella Mills at the 2022 NACCHO Members’ Conference yesterday.

Health Minister opens NACCHO Member’s Conference 2022

Yesterday, Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Mark Butler officially opened the NACCHO Members’ Conference 2022. Minister Butler’s opening remarks included:

National Convention Centre Canberra, 18 October 2022

  • Good afternoon. Thank you Donnella and Pat for welcoming me here today.
  • I would like to acknowledge we meet today on the land of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people and pay my respects to the elders, past, present and to our emerging leaders.
  • It is a pleasure to be here on behalf of the Prime Minister who was regrettably unable to attend this event.
  • Many of those emerging First Nations leaders have attended your youth conference here over the past day. I hope they found this opportunity to be beneficial and formed new connections.
  • It is great to see our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth participating in these forums and interacting with each other and sharing their unique cultural learnings and understandings; bringing forward their culture and their identity to be part of a better and informed future.

Picture: Gary Ramage NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills with Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Mark Butler at the NACCHO Members’ Conference 2022.

Health Ministers’ Meeting

  • Just over a week ago, it was great to be able to reconvene what we call the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander roundtable for health – bringing together all the Health Ministers from States and Territories and the Commonwealth along with representatives from across the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled and health sector leadership.
  • The Roundtable has been unable to meet recently, and it was a priority for this government to convene it as quickly as possible following our election.
  • The Roundtable was important for highlighting the challenges in workforce, in service delivery, in embedding culturally safe practices across the health system.
  • All health ministers have prioritised this work, including the Commonwealth through myself and Assistant Minister Malarndirri McCarthy.

Puggy Hunter

  • One way that the Commonwealth Government can lead in this work is to take real steps to implement the letter and the spirit of the Coalition of Peaks Priority Reforms.
  • Priority Reform 2 emphasises the role of the community-controlled health sector, and the role of governments in building and strengthening the sector.
  • This is a critical area for this government to build and grow. The work of ACCHOs around the country isn’t just a model for First Nations health, it’s a model for the whole health sector.
  • It’s why I have directed the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care to audit all programs delivering services to First Nations communities that are not currently being delivered by First Nations organisations.
  • It’s why I announced last week that the Puggy Hunter Scholarship Scheme – our leading program encouraging entry-level Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health students to complete their studies and join the health workforce – needed to be handed over to First Nations control.
  • For me, there couldn’t be a more important first step in this process. Dr Arnold ‘Puggy’ Hunter was of course an incredible health leader and Chair of NACCHO.
  • Our ambition is to transition more programs to First Nations control over the course of this government.

You can download Minister Butler’s speech in full here.

NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: NACCHO commemorates milestone ACCHO anniversaries

The image in the feature tile is of the Aboriginal Medical Service set up in July 1971 in Redfern to provide free medical support to Aboriginal peoples. It was the first Aboriginal community-run medical service in Australia and took a holistic approach to health care. Credit: National Archives of Australia.

NACCHO commemorates milestone ACCHO anniversaries

At this years’ National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Members’ Conference and AGM, NACCHO is proud to celebrate a number of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) across Australia for reaching milestone anniversaries.

NACCHO Chairperson, Donnella Mills stated “It is incredible to recognise 20 of our 144 ACCHOs for over 25 years of service to their communities. I would like to call out Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern for their remarkable achievement of 51 years of service.

“We acknowledge the work and success of these wonderful organisations and congratulate them on these important milestones. Their ongoing service and commitment mean our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will continue to be supported in culturally appropriate environments, often by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Ms Mills further added, “Our theme for the conference this year—Honour the Past, Prepare for the Future—recognises that Australia is home to the world’s oldest continuing living culture, with powerful traditions and values to draw on. It also acknowledges more than 50 years of the Aboriginal Community Controlled health sector, since the first service, Redfern AMS was founded in1971. At this conference reflect on these successes and explore the abundance of opportunities for continuing this great story.”

NACCHO CEO, Pat Turner stated, “NACCHO is proud to have a membership of 144 ACCHOs with more than 50 years of cultural experience, knowledge, and capability in delivering comprehensive primary health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I would like to congratulate and thank the ACCHOs for reaching milestone anniversaries. Without our ACCHOs, we would not have culturally appropriate and accessible health care.”

NACCHO recognised the following ACCHOs on reaching the below milestones, during the last three financial years:

50-year anniversary:

  • (Redfern) Aboriginal Medical Service Co-operative Limited (NSW)

40-year anniversaries:

  • Biripi Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre (NSW)
  • Walhallow Aboriginal Corporation (NSW)
  • Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative Limited (VIC)
  • Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Limited (VIC)

30-year anniversaries:

  • Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation (NSW)
  • Coomealla Aboriginal Health Corporation (NSW)
  • Ampilatwatja Health Centre Aboriginal Corporation (NT)
  • Danila Dilba Biluru Binnilutlum Health Service Aboriginal Corporation (NT)
  • Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation (NT)
  • Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation (VIC)
  • Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation (VIC)
  • Gurrinyi Yealamucka (Good Healing) Health Services Aboriginal Corporation (QLD)
  • Mamu Health Service Limited (QLD)

25-year anniversaries:

  • Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service Inc (NSW)
  • Tobwabba Aboriginal Medical Service (NSW)
  • Yoorana Gunya Family Healing Centre Aboriginal Corporation (NSW)
  • The North Coast Aboriginal Corporation for Community Health (Qld)
  • Derby Aboriginal Health Service Council Aboriginal Corporation (WA)
  • South-West Aboriginal Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation (WA)

Each of the 20 member services being recognised received commemorative certificates at this year’s NACCHO Members’ Conference, an annual gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector leaders from across the country. NACCHO recognises the dedication and support required by community members, partners, and government to keep the services running.

You can view the NACCHO media release NACCHO commemorating milestone anniversaries of  Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations – Taking care of generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for over half a century! in full on the NACCHO website here.

Representatives of ACCHOs from across Australia who have reached milestone anniversaries.

NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: NACCHO Members’ Conference 2022

The image in the feature tile is a photo of Karl Briscoe, CEO of the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners (NAATSIHWP) and a colleague taken at the 2022 NACCHO Members’ Conference Welcome Reception last night.

NACCHO Members’ Conference 2022

The much anticipated annual gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector leaders from across the country at the NACCHO Members’ Conference was opened with a Welcome Reception last night. Preceding the Welcome Reception was the NACCHO Youth Conference attended by over 80 delegates. Today the NACCHO Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) and Annual General Meeting (AGM) are being held with the NACCHO Members’ Conference beginning tomorrow. With over 500 delegates attending this year the conference brings opportunities for attendees to network, learn, influence and celebrate our ongoing drive to self-determination.

For more information about the 2022 NACCHO Members’ Conference click here.

Dr Aunty Matilda House who gave the Welcome to Country at the Welcome Reception and NACCHO staff member Kelly Edwards.

First evidence-based guidelines for ADHD

Australia’s first evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are out, covering everything from identification of high-risk groups to professional training for those working with children and adults with the condition. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)-endorsed guidelines are the work of the Australia ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA) – are long overdue, according to AADPA president and cognitive neuroscientist Professor Mark Bellgrove who said “It’s really important that, for a condition that affects around a million people in Australia, we have a unified bible with respect to diagnosis, treatment and support for folks with ADHD.”

The most evidence-based recommendations in the guidelines are around identification of groups with a higher prevalence of ADHD, which has a strong genetic component. These high-risk groups include people of all ages already diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder and language and learning disorders; those with anxiety, depressive or bipolar and related disorders; those who have been in prison; and those with a close family member with the condition. Children who are in out-of-home care or have been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder, or with anxiety disorder, and adults with any mental health disorder, are also considered high-risk.

To view the Medical Republic article First evidence-based guidelines for ADHD, including a link to the NHRMC-endorsed guidelines, in full click here.

Image source: Australian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA) website.

Orthoptic-led diabetic retinopathy screening trial

Orthoptist and Indigenous eye health coordinator in the NT’s top end, Madelaine Moore, says the lack of funding to expand existing services has led to a pilot for orthoptic-led diabetes screening clinics. The ophthalmology department at Palmerston Regional Hospital (PRH), a campus of Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH), is the eye hub for the Top End of the NT, and it caters to a large Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander demographic.

Diabetes mellitus affects 12% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in rural and remote locations and is among the leading causes of preventable blindness for this population group. Screening plays a critical role in early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and it is recommended that Indigenous patients with diabetes receive an annual eye check. The average diabetes screening rates across remote communities in the Top End are 33%.

The aim of the pilot was to deliver a shorter consult and maximise the volume of patients. The pilot’s main successes include reaching asymptomatic and pre-presbyopic patients who would not self-present to optometry, no need for patients to undergo dilation, capacity building, and the short duration consult with minimal wait times reducing the number of people who ‘do not wait’.

To view the Insight article Orthoptic-led diabetic retinopathy screening in remote communities in full click here.

Image source: Diabetes & Diabetic Retinopathy in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Populations webpage of Fred Hollows Foundation website.

Restoration of bulk billed telehealth psychiatry

The Federal Government’s announcement yesterday that it is restoring bulk billed telehealth psychiatry consultations for Australians living outside metro areas is a promising first step towards improving the accessibility and affordability of mental health services for all Australians, the peak body for psychiatrists in Australia says.

Royal Australian and NZ College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) President, Associate Professor Vinay Lakra, said the Federal Government’s reinstatement of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Item 288, as promised before the election, should be seen as the beginning of wider reform to provide affordable access to psychiatry. “The removal of bulk-billed telehealth compounded existing economic inequities by burdening patients with unaffordable gap-fees and out-of-pocket costs and while affordability is still a major issue across the board, this reinstatement is a step in the right direction,” Associate Professor Lakra said.

To view the RANZCP media release Federal Government commitment to bulk billed telehealth
psychiatry consultations a step forward for rural and regional Australia in full click here.

Image source: The University of Queensland website.

Not enough mental health care workers

National mental health advocacy organisation, Lived Experience Australia (LEA), is extremely concerned by figures released in the National Care Workforce Labour Study. The report, published by the National Skills Commission, shows that there is already a gap in care services (including mental health) against demand, and that this is likely to reach almost 100,000 workers in less than 5 years’ time.

LEA has undertaken research with people with lived experience of mental ill-health, along with their families and carers, who expressed many concerns about the pressures on GPs, the workforce skills gaps, and access problems. In the Missing Middle research one carer stated: “Public [mental health] services were essentially non-existent, as result of wait times which were estimated to be between 8-12 months.”

To view the LEA media release Not enough Mental Health Care Workers for our future in full click here.

Aboriginal Health Worker Jasmine Williams. Image source: The Daily Advertiser.

Pharmacy trial risks poor health, higher costs

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is warning that Queensland’s watered down pilot allowing pharmacists to diagnose and treat patients remains a serious risk. It comes after the Queensland Government announced it was pushing ahead with the controversial pilot, which has been widely opposed by medical groups, including the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, and NACCHO.

RACGP President Adj. Professor Karen Price said the pilot will result in poor health outcomes and must be stopped – “Enough is enough, patient safety and wellbeing must come first. We are extremely disappointed that Queensland is pushing ahead with the North Queensland Community Pharmacy Extended Scope of Practice Pilot, despite the opposition and concerns of the medical community. Not to mention the evidence showing a similar Queensland pilot allowing pharmacists to prescribe antibiotics for urinary tract infections has gone horribly wrong for many Queensland patients who were wrongly diagnosed and had serious conditions go untreated.”

To view the National Indigenous Times article RACGP: Queensland pharmacy trial risks poor health outcomes and higher costs for patients in full click here.

The AMA seconds the concerns of the RACGP issuing a media release on 14 October 2022 New Queensland pharmacy experiment puts lives at risk and does nothing to solve workforce issues available here.

Image source: RACGP newsGP.

Danila Dilba seeking CMO and Deputy CMO

Established in 1991, Danila Dilba Health Service is a community organisation providing comprehensive primary health care to Biluru (Aboriginal) communities in the Yilli Rreung (Greater Darwin) Region of the NT. They aim to improve the physical, mental, spiritual, cultural, and social wellbeing of  clients through innovative comprehensive primary health care programs and services.

If you have ever considered working for an organisation you will be proud to work for come and join an executive team that is passionate about helping close the gap in Indigenous health and wellbeing. Danila Dilba Health Service has two vacancies. In the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) role you will report to and advise the CEO, executive management team and the board on the clinical direction of Danila Dilba Health Service while providing clinical oversight to delivery, quality, and efficiency of our comprehensive primary health care services.

You will also hold accountability for clinical governance and risk and will be driven by a focus on clinical quality and safety. You will be the face of Danila Dilba from a clinical perspective and will need to form and develop strategic alliances to strengthen and influence health policy and practice, relevant to our space.

As the CMO you will have time to focus on the strategy as Danila Dilba Health Service is concurrently hiring a Deputy CMO who will focus on leading and on the ground management of GP’s in our clinics (17 FTE) and be the CMO’s connection to the workforce.  The Deputy CMO role will be 4 days per week in the non-clinical environment and 1 day per week in clinic to maintain your clinical practice and ensure you have a real picture of the context you will be advising on.

You can find the details of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) position here and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer position here.

Applications for both positions close on Monday 24 October 2022.

Sector Jobs

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.

NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: NACCHO’s Youth Conference – it’s started!

NACCHO’s Youth Conference – it’s started!

The National Youth Conference, being held today, Monday 17 October 2022 at the National Convention Centre, Canberra, has brought together almost 100 youth from around Australia to gain experience and exposure to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sector on a national level. During the conference the youth will engage in discussion, share their experience and learn from other peers from across the country. The conference will allow the youth to learn about informing policy, influencing change and provide a pathway so their voices are heard and represented by NACCHO throughout the sector.

For further information about the NACCHO Youth Conference click here. Below is a short video of about the 2019 NACCHO Youth Conference.

Health Literacy Strategy Framework

The National Health Literacy Strategy Framework Paper is now open for public consultation, with feedback being sought on the framework’s content and design.

The document is now live on the Australian Governments Department of Health and Aged Care Consultation Hub here and will be available online for comment for a four-week period and will close at 11:59 pm on Wednesday 9 November 2022.

You can access the strategy and online survey below:

Consultation Paper – Development of the National Health Literacy Strategy

National Health Literacy Strategy Framework Consultation Survey Questions

National Health Literacy Strategy Consultation Online Survey, available here.

Image source: Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Health Care.

First care standard on stillbirth

You are invited to join the online launch of the first national Stillbirth Clinical Care Standard, developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. The event will be streamed live from the Annual National Stillbirth Forum being held from 3–4 November 2022.

Stillbirth is a tragic and profound experience that affects more than 2,000 families in Australia every year. Despite being the most common form of perinatal death in Australia, the experience of stillbirth can be hidden due to stigma, taboo and a culture of silence.

At the launch of the Stillbirth Clinical Care Standard from12:30 PM – 1:30 PM AEDT Friday 4 November 2022 you can hear leading experts discuss best practice in preventing stillbirth, investigations after stillbirth and the importance of bereavement care after perinatal loss. This event is relevant to all healthcare professionals involved in providing care during pregnancy, and after stillbirth or other forms of perinatal loss.

Click here to register.

Supporting child health in remote Australia

An article Needs and strengths: supporting child health in remote Australia published in the InSight+ newsletter today begins with words from Ms June Oscar AO, a senior Bunuba woman from the Fitzroy Valley and Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner:

The failure to close the gaps in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health inequality, and other measures of social and economic disadvantage, cannot be justified by more rhetoric or data in another report. For us, the harrowing failure to close the gap is felt through sorry business, the countless funerals of family and friends, the hospital visits and the coronial inquiries that we continue to painfully endure. So many of our losses were and are preventable – that is the failure and pain we carry. A sensible way of doing business is long overdue as, apart from small gains, the attempts to close the gaps in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy, health and education have failed.

The article outlines the poor health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, the reasons for such poor health and efforts to date to support child and family health. The authors review strategies to improve health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and what is needed to successfully implement those strategies.

To view the article in full click here.

Photo: Getty Images. Image source: BBC.

Overcrowding reduced by only 3.2%

The NT government has spent $2.65bn over the past 15 years to improve the quality of housing in remote Indigenous communities, but overcrowding remains a problem and many houses need repairs. Under the national partnership for remote housing NT policy, the government was supposed to improve housing conditions and reduce overcrowding in 73 remote communities and 17 town camps around Alice Springs. But the most recent data on overcrowding in remote communities managed by the national partnership reveals it has only been reduced by 3.2% in five years.

None of this is new to Miriam Charlie. Since 2015, the Yanyuwa Garrwa artist has been capturing the state of housing across all four town camps at Borroloola, with her Polaroid camera. “All them houses, they’re too small, overcrowded,” she says. “So I went around and took photos of everybody’s houses. What part wasn’t fixed and what part was fixed.”

NACCHO CEO, Pat Turner, said in an interview with The Australian in March this year, the standard of housing in remote communities underpinned several targets in Closing the Gap and outlined that if the targets are not achieved, it would be because governments had not “invested the necessary resources in programs and services to support our people”.

To view The Guardian article ‘Waiting for too long’: Why Miriam Charlie photographs overcrowded Indigenous housing in full click here.

Miriam Charlie photographing her eldest daughter, Jade, and other family at Yanyuwa camp. Image source: The Guardian.

Videos to tackle men’s mental health

In the Central Australian desert, there’s a growing and often silent, crisis of male suicide in Aboriginal town camps. But a group of men is speaking out for change. You can watch a short video about the Tangentyere Men’s Family Safety Group, a group town camp leaders, who are focused on improving safety and wellbeing in their community. They have written, performed and directed a series of videos in English and in language hoping to shatter stigma around mental health and suicide. For these men it has been a deeply personal project.

You can view the short video in full here.

Free tool to measure LGBTQ inclusive care

Pride in Health + Wellbeing runs a national annual index (Health + Wellbeing Equality Index) that is FREE and open to every organisation to measure their LGBTQ inclusive across their service delivery and internal workforce.

This benchmarking index has been designed based on international best practice standards for LGBTQ inclusive care and can assist service providers to baseline their current LGBTQ inclusion work, benchmark across the sector and identify gaps and areas for improvement as well as year-on-year growth. Individualised reports are sent to participating services and participation can be anonymous, and you don’t have to be a member to take part.

The HWEI also has optional staff and service user surveys. These allow services to not only measure what they are doing organisationally but see how well supported staff feel within their workplace, as well as their understanding, tools and comfort levels in providing LGBTQ inclusive care. The service user survey can then also be used to match your inclusion work to experience, to see if the inclusion initiatives are improving the quality of care being received.

For more details visit the Pride in Health + Wellbeing website here. You can register your interest to take part in the HWEI 2023 here.

Image source: Edith Cowan University website.

Sector Jobs

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.