Aboriginal woman holding baby on country

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Minister for Indigenous Australians wants a new way of working for the sector

Aboriginal woman holding baby on country

Indigenous Australia – A New Way of Working

Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt has delivered a speech entitled ‘Indigenous Australia. A New Way of Working’ explaining why the approach to Indigenous affairs to date has struggled to make even modest gains. He has called for a new way of working with Indigenous Australians.

The transcript of the speech can be viewed here.

Innovative medical student admission program

The University of Newcastle’s Thurru Indigenous Health Unit is recruiting for its next intake of aspiring doctors. Its unique Miroma Bunbilla Program provides an alternative pathway for Indigenous medical students. Miroma Bunbilla is a week-long intensive selection process that gives aspiring doctors the chance to prove their passions, aptitude and suitability to commence a medical degree.

To view the University of Newcastle’s media release about its Miroma Bunbilla Program click here.

Uni Newcastle logo, campus photo, two Aboriginal medical students

Images: University of Newcastle medical students Keran Shipp and David Parsons 2020.

Latest COVID-19 guidance for First Nations People

The National Justice Project, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and University of Technology Sydney Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research have worked together to clarify and communicate restrictions relating to COVID-19 activities for the First Nations people living in remote communities across Australia.

They have developed a series of information guides and fact sheets that summarise the various state and territory public health directions issued as a result of the pandemic and address the stricter measures being imposed on Indigenous Australians living in remote communities. By disseminating the information, the contributors hope to ensure those living in these communities are aware of their rights under the lockdown measures as they currently stand.

The information guides and fact sheets provide the latest COVID-19 guidance for each state and territory and can be accessed and downloaded here. You are invited to share these resources widely.

COVID-19 restrictions fact sheet for remote communities extract - key infographic images

Image source: National Justice Project website.

Hearing impairment under-reporting a substantial issue

Under-reporting of hearing impairment is a substantial issue for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, according to new analysis by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Western Sydney University. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged seven years and over across Australia participated in the voluntary hearing test as part of the 2018–19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey. The independent hearing test found more than four in 10 (43 per cent) people had a hearing impairment in at least one ear on the day of testing.

To see the media release click here.

medical professional checking a toddler's ear, toddler is being held by parent or carer

Image source: Katherine Times.

Reimagining healthcare in Australia

There has been a rapid acceleration of Australia’s virtual care capacity as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. There are however, a myriad of questions relating to the role of virtual health in Australia and how we ensure that the capability meets the ultimate aspiration for this model in the future.

Consumers Health Forum of Australia, Curtin University, Deloitte and Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre have joined forces to produce a free webinar ‘Reimagining healthcare in Australia: The role of digital in future health delivery’. You can access the webinar here and also download the webinar’s discussion paper.

hand pointing to a superimposed transparent screen with medical related images

Image source: Klick Health website.

Chronic Disease Management workshops

CDMPLUS has a range of online virtual workshops relating to chronic disease management (CHM) and face-to-face CHM workshops. To access further details about the 2020 virtual workshops and 2021 face-to-face workshops click here.

Please also note you may be eligible for Health Workforce Scholarship Program (HWSP) funding for online CDM training in your practice. The HWSP provides scholarships and bursaries to help health professionals in rural and remote Australia retain and enhance their skills, capacity and scope of practice. It is available to medical, nursing, midwifery, allied health, dental and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals providing primary health care in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services sector, non-government organisations and private practice. CDMPLUS can assist individuals and organisations to complete HWSP applications. To view more information about the HWSP click here.

Elderly Aboriginal woman in hospital bed

Image source: ABC News website.

VIC – Shepparton – Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative

PT Project Support – Rainbow Tick

Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative have a vacancy based at their Shepparton Office for a Project Support – Rainbow Tick. Rainbow Tick is a national accreditation program that supports organisations to understand and implement LGBTIQ+ inclusive service delivery against six standards and reassures LGBTIQ+ consumers and staff that Rainbow Tick organisations will be aware of, and responsive to their needs.

To view details about the position click here. Applications close at 4:00 pm on Wednesday 30 September 2020.Official Rainbow Tick Program logo concentric circles of colours, dark orange, yellow, light orange, green, blue, purple navy overwritten with a white tick

NSW – Taree, Inverell – Biripi Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre

Multiple  positions – Aged Care Manager, Program Manager, Psychologist, Regional Manager (Inverell)

Biripi Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre (ACMC) provides a wide range of culturally-appropriate health and well-being services covering communities across the mid-northern NSW region. Biripi ACMC have four vacant roles to fill. Click on the position title below to view the job description for each vacancy:

Aged Care ManagerAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identified

Programs Manager – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identified

Psychologist

Regional ManagerAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identified

Applications for all of the above positions close at 5:00 pm Sunday 27 September 2020.
Biripi ACMC Our Health in Our Hands, two shark faces superimposed on BIRIPI in large bold black text

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: ACCHOs best placed to lead suicide prevention efforts

ACCHOs best placed to lead suicide prevention efforts

Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with suicide rates twice as high as that for other Australians. To mark Wold Suicide Prevention Day NACCHO Chair, Donnella Mills has released a media statement acknowledging the innovate work of NACCHO’s members to lead suicide prevention efforts. 

Ms Mills said “Over-incarceration, lack of access to affordable housing, exposure to violence and lack of access to mental health services, are common factors that lead to suicides. We must take action to address all social determinants and have a comprehensive policy that tackles the underlying causes to the issue.

“It is essential to have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander control at the centre of programs and interventions and to draw on elements of our culture that give us strength and identity.” 

There are a couple of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) such as the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service (KAMS) in WA, Wuchopperen Health Service in Qld, Pika Wiya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation in SA, who have done significant work in this area and have specialised programs to curb suicide rates in their communities.

“KAMS’ focus has been to support the community in designing and delivering Kimberley-specific services and programs. Improved data availability is essential to enable this. Actions and investment must be placed-based to deliver results on the ground and focus on not just short-term outcomes, but long-term impacts. The success of these programs requires an ongoing commitment to sustainable funding and a whole of system approach,” said Rob McPhee, KAMS Chief Operating Officer.

Empowered Young Leaders Forum 2019 in Broome WA

To read the full media statement click here.

Hear how asking “Are you OK?” and really listening can help someone through tough times. This video was created as part of the Stronger Together campaign. Get behind the campaign at ruok.org.au/strongertogether 

Click on the link in the picture below to watch the video.

 

crayon & pencil drawing of transparent figure walking on country

Image source: Al Jazeera feature article What’s behind high Aboriginal youth suicide.

Senator Lidia Thorpe takes on First Nations portfolio

Lidia Thorpe, Victoria’s first Aboriginal senator who will attended her first Greens party room meeting today and is set to be named as its First Nations and justice spokesperson, said Australia’s failures were not just the result of a few bad policy decisions.

“If we’re to right these wrongs we need to fix the system,” said Thorpe, who has entered the Senate after the retirement of the former Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

“That means ending deaths in custody and the mass incarceration of First Nations peoples, righting the wrongs of the past and moving forward through Treaty, and reversing the entrenched economic inequality that this pandemic has highlighted.”

Read the full story here.

Source: The Guardian. New Greens senator for Victoria, Lidia Thorpe.

Very high levels of institutional racism in SA Local Health Networks

A Health Performance Council audit has found very high evidence of ‘institutional racism’ in all of SA’s Local Health Networks, bar the Women’s and Children’s network which was ranked as ‘moderate’.

SA Aboriginal Affairs Shadow Minister Kyam Maher said it was ‘inexcusable’ that a modern health system could be plagued with institutional racism. “How can the Government expect to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people if the systems meant to treat and support them are inherently racist?” he said.

For more details of the audit report click here.

No Room for Racism words inside yellow map of Australia in centre of Aboriginal flag

Image source: NITV website.

Increased COVID-19 protection for healthcare workers

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, says the Australian Government is implementing three new measures to help provide increased protection to help reduce the number of healthcare workers being infected with COVID-19. The new measures are based on learnings from what has occurred in Victoria and new information from around the world.

A new partnership has been established between the Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG) and the National COVID-19 Evidence Taskforce led by the Living Guidelines Consortium. This partnership will bring together Australia’s leading infection control practitioners, many of whom are frontline clinicians, with other senior healthcare workers, to review the latest evidence on infection prevention and control during COVID-19. 

To read the Minister for Health and AMA President’s joint media statement click here.

face with mask, hat & face shield

Image source: Health Affairs website.

COVID-19 Vaccine Development

Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Strategy supports early access to, and delivery of, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, as soon as they become available.

The Australian Government is pursuing a diversified COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ensuring that Australia is well placed to access a successful vaccine.

To date our Government has announced advance purchasing agreements for the University of Queensland and University of Oxford vaccines, and that Australia will participate in the international COVAX facility.

To read the full media release from the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health click here.

Syringe drawing from a vial

Source credit: AMA Website.

#RUOKDay #theresmoretosay

Today is #RUOKDay, a reminder that a conversation could change a life. This year’s message is ‘There’s more to say after #RUOK’ Learn what to say next so you can keep the conversation going when someone says they’re not OK. #theresmoretosay

The message focuses on building confidence and increased skills for people so they know how to navigate a conversation with someone in their life who might be struggling.

Steven Satour, Stronger Together Campaign Manager, R U OK? says looking out for your mob is more important than ever in 2020, as it has been a challenging year for everyone and circumstances have made it even more important for us to stay connected.

“The additional pressure COVID-19 has placed on our communities, the isolation, the load on our health workers means this message and looking out for one another is critical and so relevant in the lead up to R U OK?Day 2020,” said Steven Satour. To read the full media release click here.

For more information and resources visit www.ruok.org.au 

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: New hearing tools designed to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Smiling Aboriginal mother holding laughing toddler against green shrub background & new hearing tools text

New hearing tools to help children like Tjandamurra thrive

The PLUM and HATS tools have been designed specifically to help detect hearing and speech problems in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. According to the AIHW Aboriginal children aged between 0 and 18 are five times more likely to be diagnosed with severe middle ear disease than non-Indigenous Australian children. Detecting and treating the problem early is very likely to improve the child’s future.

For many children like Tjandamurra, undetected hearing loss leads to delays in listening and communication skills. Parents and children can be frustrated, unable to communicate effectively in everyday life.

New hearing tools to help children like Tjandamurra

Now aged 3, Tjandamarra has already experienced more than his share of hospitals and specialists. He experienced numerous ear infections and a burst ear drum before being diagnosed with chronic hearing issues. Tjandamurra struggled to hear and had difficulty learning to communicate well.

“I knew what to look for because of the experience I had with his older brother Rylan. We had such trouble getting him hearing help in the beginning – it took me years to get grommets for him,” said Tjandamurra’s Mum, Kaylah.

Kaylah says it was almost by chance that Tjandamurra’s hearing journey took a leap. Within the first month of starting at a Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council playgroup there was a pop-up hearing clinic run at the playgroup. “We jumped at the chance to attend the clinic and haven’t looked back.”

The PLUM assessment indicated a score of 18: well below the acceptable level of listening skill for a 3-year-old. Wasting no time, Kaylah decided to get Tjandamurra fitted with a bone conduction hearing aid to provide immediate assistance. With this hearing technology, the world opened up for the vibrant boy. Tjandamurra is now wearing his hearing device and working with his regular speech therapist to improve on his speech and listening skills.

Within two weeks of getting his bone conduction hearing aid, the PLUM assessment was repeated. Tjandamurra achieved a score of 28, an increase of 10 points! While the score was still a little below his peers, the results showed the positive outcomes that could be achieved within a short time after the intervention and support.

Within a month, Tjandamurra had gone from a toddler with little-to-no speech to being able to say 30 sentences. It’s a huge jump in his development. Now that he can hear there is no looking back.

To read the full media release click here.

For more information visit www.plumandhats.nal.gov.au or visit www.hearing.com.au

ACU Indigenous Higher Education Units

The Australian Catholic University (ACU) has a range of information available about the ACU, accommodation in Canberra, scholarships, uniform and start up awards and studying at ACU as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student – see links below.

The final of three virtual open days is 9–3pm this Saturday 12 September. You can access the open day from the comfort of your home and speak one-on-one with one of the ACU’s First Peoples Directorate and faculty staff.

Accommodation Canberra

First People’s General

IHEU Dhara Daramoolen

Scholarships Canberra

Uniforms and Start Up Award

Free OPAN Webinar hearing services

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs Provider News has published an article on a webinar to inform health professionals, community workers, veterans and their families about hearing devices and treatments available to veterans with hearing loss and tinnitus. To read the article click here.

To participate in the Understanding and Accessing DVA Services: Hearing Services webinar you can register via Eventbrite on the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/119027762241

Health professional checking ear of Aboriginal boy

Image source: Menzies School of Health Research website

An introduction to Indigenous Australian LGBQTI+ suicide prevention

To coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day activities globally, an online event – An introduction to Indigenous Australian LGBQTI+ suicide prevention will be held this Friday, 11 September.

The event will be presented by Dameyon Bonson, an Indigenous gay male recognised as an Indigenous suicide prevention subject matter expert, specifically in Indigenous LGBQTI+ suicide.

For more information and to get your tickets click here.

Time for care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQ+ young people is now

Where does a young, LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other non‐heteronormative or non‐binary sexual and gender identities, including asexual) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person go for health care in Australia? Do they attend an Aboriginal community controlled health organisation in search of culturally sensitive care? Or do they visit an LGBTQ+ friendly health service to access staff trained in sexual and gender diversity? Is there a space for them, and other LGBTQ+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, in the Australian health care landscape? These questions are being posed by Indigenous LGBTQ+ health advocates.

To read the full report in the Medical Journal of Australia click here.

Indigenous education strategy failing remote communities

A policy that sees Indigenous students from remote communities board ‘off country’ in an attempt to advance their education opportunities is having the reverse effect, a major new report warns.

The report, the first of its kind and led by Dr Marnie O’Bryan and Dr William Fogarty from the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) at the Australian National University (ANU), examined the educational outcomes of young people from a remote community in the NT over 10 years. 

To read the full story click here.

South Australian Government

Governing Board Members with experience in Aboriginal health sought for SA Local Health Networks

hands holding pen over document & SA government logo

Image source: Australian Medical Association.

The SA Government is looking to fill current and future vacancies for its 10 Local Health Network Governing Boards, which cover metropolitan and regional SA. Governing Board Members are positions of significant strategic leadership and responsibility in the health system.

Expressions of Interest are being sought from people with expertise, knowledge or experience in Aboriginal health. Please click here for more information and to apply.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations advocate for better problem gambling support

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations advocate for better problem gambling support

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) published the third edition of The National Guide to a Preventative Health Assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in 2018. The document is an evidence-based series of recommendations for primary health care.

With Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at a higher risk of developing problem gambling, the document recommends primary health care workers screen for problem gambling during health checks. It’s recommended workers then assess the impact of problem gambling on families and children, and refer people with identified problem gambling to financial counselling and legal support services.

Dr Mary Belfrage is the clinical lead for the NACCHO and RACGP partnership working group which, in 2019, reviewed and updated the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander annual heath check templates.

“For gambling in primary care, there can be huge impacts on people’s mood and general wellbeing. People can even be suicidal; I have definitely seen that. There is also often shame and stigma around problem gambling so a lot of it can be hidden,” said Dr Belfrage.

Dr Belfrage said someone may need psychological support, support with secondary addictions such as drugs or alcohol, or access to financial support services.

Read the full story in the National Indigenous Times here.

Two-Way: Learning from each other series

An interesting webinar series! The Sydney Institute for Psychoanalysis invites you to join them as they bring together First Nations’ thinkers with psychoanalysts and psychotherapists in a series of six webinars in the spirit of Two Way – working together and learning from each other.

All profits to CASSE’s Shields for Living, Tools for Life, a dual cultural and therapeutic program, based in the Alice Springs region for ‘at-risk’ youth, providing an alternative to detention and reducing the likelihood of offending or reoffending.

Click for webinar program and registration on this link here.

© Queenie McKenzie Dreaming Place – Gija country 1995

Two weeks left to have your say on the CATSI ACT

The comprehensive review of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) will close its public consultations in two weeks, on 21 September. Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said this is the opportunity for any interested parties to comment on the draft report and let the Government know what changes they would like to see in the CATSI Act.

“This review is looking at all parts of the legislation that regulates Indigenous corporations incorporated under the CATSI Act to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose,” Minister Wyatt said. “It is important for anyone who is interested in having a say to do so now, so the final report captures the views of Indigenous corporations and their members, key stakeholders who work with and rely on those corporations, and the wider community.”

To read the full press release click here.

Close the gap in preventable blindness rates 

Australia has led a successful push for worldwide action to tackle two key global health issues – cervical cancer and eye health.

The Morrison Government welcomes the recent adoption of two Australian-led resolutions by member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO):

Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control: Accelerating the Elimination of Cervical Cancer as a Public Health Problem.
Integrated People-Centred Eye Care, including Preventable Vision Impairment and Blindness.

Image of ophthalmologist with Aboriginal patient lying on medical bed under eye equipment

Image source: Fred Hollows Foundation website.

Australia’s global leadership aligns with our strong domestic eye health agenda. This includes Federal Government support for a five-year plan to improve access and close the gap in preventable blindness rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, funding for eye checks for people with diabetes under the KeepSight program, and activities to raise awareness about macular disease in line with the National Strategic Action Plan.

To read the full article click here.

Dhara Daramoolen Indigenous Higher Education Unit at ACU Canberra

If you or someone you know is interested in finding out how to obtain a Bachelor or Master degree in Social Work from the Australian Catholic University Canberra campus RSVP to the event on 30 September.

 

ACU have the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entry pathways into undergraduate degrees,to find out more click here.

For more information on the Dhara Daramoolen Indigenous Higher Education Unit download the prospectus here.

Once you RSVP more event information will be sent to you, if you are unable to attend in person but are still interested, we will be streaming video, but you will still be required to RSVP your attendance preference as well as any dietary requirements.  The campus map can be found here.

VACCHO pleads for further community organisation support

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison calling for further support for Aboriginal communities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

VACCHO wrote on behalf of their 32 members, who have been working to ensure community safety. In Victoria, there were a total of 68 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the Aboriginal community, with 61 recovered cases and 7 currently active.

Read the full article here.

Danila Dilba NT (Various locations)

Danila Dilba Health Service is going through a dynamic period of expansion and growth and currently has the following vacancies across various locations. Applications for the positions close on Sunday 20 September 2020.

REGIONAL MANAGER – CLINICS & SERVICES (*Total Salary: $144,975 – $167,279) 

CLINIC MANAGER – DARWIN CLINIC (*Total Salary: $125,367- $133,877)

SERVICES COORDINATION MANAGER (*Total Salary: $125,367- $133,877)

GENERAL PRACTITIONER (*Total Salary $234,019 – $247,391)

For more details visit the Danila Dilba website here.  

NACCHO Aboriginal News Alert: Support for remote Indigenous communities at high risk from COVID-19

Support for remote Indigenous communities at high risk from COVID-19

While no cases of the coronavirus have yet been reported among Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people in remote communities, the modelling shows that continuing efforts are needed to limit the effects of an outbreak.

The Impact of COVID-19 in remote and regional settings presentation is intended to inform and support Health Service decision-makers and community leaders to decide how a remote community will respond to a COVID-19 outbreak.

The modelling was conducted for the Australian Government by the University of Melbourne and the Kirby Institute pandemic modelling team, guided by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group on COVID-19 and endorsed for release by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said, “Travel restrictions to remote areas were imposed by a determination I made early in the pandemic, following requests from Aboriginal communities, organisations and leaders. These restrictions can be reinstated if needed.”

Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt said the Australian Government has also worked with the Indigenous health sector to ensure communities are prepared.
“The Australian Government places a high priority on protecting the health of Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islander people during the pandemic,” Minister Wyatt said.

The modelling also highlights the need for all people to get tested if they have even mild symptoms because finding the first case quickly will be key to stopping the spread.

The importance of these actions and the lessons from the modelling are all reflected in the Management Plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Populations that has been guiding the response since March, and the updated National Guidance for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities for COVID-19.

For further information visit the Department of Health website.

Indigenous residents in Central Australia train to become coronavirus contact tracers

Western Arrernte man Damien Willie says many remote communities are overcrowded and affected by disproportionately high rates of chronic illness, and he dreads what could happen if the virus finds its way into one of them.

“Our elders, our sick — it’s scary stuff,” Mr Willie said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of confusion,” he said.

“My community doesn’t really understand what the COVID thing is all about — lots of myths are circulating.”

Mr Willie says the remote communities he has strong ties with around Alice Springs are not prepared for the virus.

“We’re trying to un-train 40,000 years of how we interact, do our funerals and stuff like that; it goes against all of the social-distancing stuff,” he said.

“There might be 50, 70 people who come through a house in one day.”

So, when he was given the opportunity to train to become a coronavirus contact tracer, Mr Willie took it. He is now one of dozens of Indigenous people in Central Australia who have been trained in how to perform contact tracing in an Indigenous context.

Read the full article in the ABC here.

Have your say on the National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap

Cancer Australia is inviting the public to have their say on the National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap through a dedicated Consultation Hub. All interested stakeholders are invited to have their say.

The National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap will identify key priority areas for action over the next five years to improve outcomes for people with pancreatic cancer. It will consider all aspects of the cancer pathway, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, supportive and palliative care.

The Consultation Hub will be open until 30 November 2020 and will be available here.

For further information on this initiative, visit National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap.

 

 
3x Housing Officers in Canberra and Batemans Bay offering positions as SCHADS level 2 (traineeship) – SCHADS 4 (Cert. IV).

  • Passionate about helping your community and want to learn new things?
  • Permanent Part Time opportunities Canberra & Batemans Bay
  • SCHADS Level 2 – Level 4

Aboriginal Housing Officer – Canberra and Batemans Bay: For more information click here. 

2 x Aboriginal Housing Officers – Batemans Bay and Canberra: For more information click here.

Or both positions together available atEthical Jobs

NCACCH is currently seeking a Chief Executive Officer

North Coast Aboriginal Corporation for Community Health (NCACCH) is a not for profit, community-controlled health corporation providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members of the Sunshine Coast and Gympie regions with choice and access to a wide range of health care provider

For the full job description click here.

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Tens of thousands train in contact tracing for the bush – online modules, developed by the Australian National University (ANU)

Tens of thousands train in contact tracing for the bush

More than 50,000 people have accessed specialised pandemic training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and health practitioners to help protect remote Australian communities from coronavirus outbreaks.

The five online modules, developed by a team at the Australian National University (ANU), include training on how to conduct contact tracing within remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  The training was developed following a request from the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Australian Government.

“Overcrowding in housing and poor condition of houses will mean that COVID-19 spreads extremely quickly in these communities. To keep communities safe, we must act quickly and to do that we need to use local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people who have the cultural knowledge and skills to isolate cases and find contacts,” Ms Alyson Wright, an epidemiologist from the ANU Research School of Population Health who co-ordinated the development of the modules, said. 

“The Aboriginal Community Controlled Sector has done a lot of work in stopping the virus. This training is a part of building capability of Aboriginal Health Workers and practitioners to keep these communities stay safe,” Ms Wright said.

Dawn Casey, Deputy CEO NACCHO said, “Aboriginal Health Workers have been invaluable in managing previous outbreaks in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“We need to use their expertise in contact tracing for COVID-19, and these training modules give them the information to do this effectively and safely.

“We need public health units across Australia to draw on the expertise within our ACCHOs to manage outbreaks rapidly and in a culturally safe way.”

The training modules includes an introduction to COVID-19 epidemiology, contact tracing, interviewing, the use of PPE in remote communities and data management.

They can be found online here:

https://covid-19training.gov.au/login 

https://ahmrc.docebosaas.com/learn/course/internal/view/elearning/41/COVID-19ContactTracing

To read the full press release click here.

AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid welcomes new aged care sector funding

New Federal Government funding announced today will help the chronically-underfunded aged care sector to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, but much more will need to be done to address the long-term issues, AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid, said.

Almost 70 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in Australia relate to people in residential aged care, one of the highest rates in the world. “The AMA welcomes the additional $563.3 million to extend support for the aged care sector’s response to COVID-19,” Dr Khorshid said.

“The decades-old issues in aged care have only been amplified by the pandemic, and have resulted in unnecessary deaths of our oldest and most vulnerable Australians.

“The announcement of a national plan to tackle COVID-19 in aged care was welcome. However, plans mean nothing without adequate resources to carry them out.

“The aged care and health systems must be provided with additional supports and funding to get through the pandemic.”

Read the full media release here.

Source: Aged Care Online

CATSINaM appoints new CEO

The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) today announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer, Professor Roianne West. CATSINaM Chairperson, Marni Tuala welcomed Professor West and said “The Board and I are excited about the future of our organisation and the work we will do together. We truly believe we have secured the country’s best to lead CATSINaM”. Professor Roianne West is a Kalkadunga and Djaku-nde woman hailing from her grandmother’s ancestral lands near Mount Isa giving her an excellent appreciation of challenges facing our members in rural, remote and regional settings.

To read the full media release click here.

Photo of Professor Roainne West - new CATSINaM

Image source; Pathways to Postgraduate Study for Indigenous Australian Students website.

Diabetes during pregnancy and birth-weight trends

The August edition of the Diabetes Newsletter from the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (HealthInfoNet) is out in its new avatar.  One of the programs featured in the newsletter was on:

To view the complete newsletter click here.

Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) GP Fellowship Training

Apply Now: 31 August – 13 September 2020

RVTS is an established training provider with 20 years’ experience delivering GP Fellowship Training across Australia. Our AMS training stream now in its 7th year offers an annual intake of 10 doctors to train towards Fellowship qualifications of the RACGP and/or ACRRM.

RVTS is fully funded by the Australian Government – and there’s no cost to apply!

Check your eligibility and apply now click here.

World Suicide Prevention Day goes virtual

This World Suicide Prevention Day, Lifeline will call on Australians to send the clearest signal yet to those who are struggling, that they are not alone. Annual Out of the Shadows events goes virtual in a show of support for those bereaved by suicide and those who are struggling with their own mental health.

Every year, Lifeline centres across the nation bring their communities together to observe World Suicide Prevention Day through Lifeline’s Out of the Shadows events. Local community walks traditionally take place at sunrise and create a safe place of acceptance to mourn loved ones lost to suicide and reduce stigma by bringing suicide out of the shadows and into the light. However, this year with physical distancing restrictions created by COVID-19, Out of the Shadows will be providing opportunities for connection virtually.

To know more click here.

World Suicide Prevention Day & orange & yellow ribbon cross over point hands

Changes to MBS item numbers for cardiac imaging services

Make sure you know the right item numbers to use when you claim cardiac imaging services for your patients.

To read the latest news for health professionals for the month of September from Services Australia visit the health professionals section of the Services Australia website.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alert: Kidney disease early detection campaign

Kidney disease early detection campaign

Kidney Health Australia will formerly launch an awareness campaign, #nofilter, on Wedensday 2 September 2020. The campaign shows the reality of life on dialysis and urges people to understand the risk factors for kidney disease to they can take active steps to manage their kidney health, and prevent a life with no filter. While the campaign has a sombre message, it also offers hope because if caught early enough, the progression of kidney disease can be delayed on even halted.

To access Kidney Health Australia’s website click here.

Are you a F.A.S.T hero?

This year on National Stroke Week❤️ 31 August – 6 September 2020, the Stroke Foundation are celebrating everyday Australians who know and can recognise the signs of stroke. They are F.A.S.T. Heroes! Across Australia, F.A.S.T. Heroes can save lives, simply by knowing and recognising the F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) signs of stroke and calling an ambulance immediately.

For more information click here.

Chronic Kidney Disease Management in Primary Care new edition

Kidney Health Australia have released the 4th edition of their handbook Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Management in Primary Care. This handbook provides health services with guidance and clinical tips for detecting, managing, and referring patients with CKD.

CKD Management in Primary Care is produced by Kidney Health Australia’s Primary care education advisory committee (PEAK) and has been endorsed by the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) (accepted clinical resource), and the Australian Primary healthcare Nurses Association (APNA).

To download the digital version of the 4th edition handbook here.

Aboriginal arm receiving dialysis.

Image source: newsGP – RACGP.

Getting Through This Together

The longevity of COVID-19 and the fatigue that many are experiencing, and the impact of uncertainty on people’s mental health and wellbeing is a reality for all Australians. Acknowledging that mental health is just as important as physical health, the Australian Government National Mental Health Commission has developed a Getting Through This Together (GTTT): Supporting our mental health during COVID-19 program. The GTTT program practical tips to stay connected and mentally well during this challenging time

To access information about the communication pack click here.

Greg Inglis' face & text 'I want people to know that they're not alone'

Greg Inglis opens up about mental health battles. Image source: ABC Australian Story.

 

COVID-19 ‘blame game’ not helpful to public safety

The mass media’s coverage of the pandemic health crisis carries an important responsibility to offer balanced messaging about COVID-19 and public behaviour, according to Flinders Univeristy public health researchers. While the initial media coverage was objective and generally authoritative, it has over time moved to apportion blame to particular groups and individual politicians. This can be harmful to rational, sensible debate which keeps a sound perspective on the situation and the need for a united front to overcome the pandemic.

To read the full article How the Media Places Responsibility for the COVID-19 Pandemic – An Australian Media Analysis click here.

Black Lives Matter protest in Brisbane - photo of the crowd, Aboriginal woman fist in air, Aboriginal flag on white t-shirt

Image source: SBS News.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan required

AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid, has said a COVID-19 vaccination is likely to be the only way Australia will successfully be able to emerge from the Coronaviurs pandemic. The greatest challenge however is likely to be accessing enough doses of an approved vaccine for the whole population. Dr Khorshid says “We need to develop a plan for a TGA endorsed vaccine to be distributed to at risk groups first, particularly the aged and those with other health conidtions leaving them at increased risk.”

To red the AMA’s media release click here.

healthworker gloved hands injecting arm

Image source: scimex website.

Important information for victims of family violence

In times of crisis, incidences of family violence, in all communities, of all cultural backgrounds, often increases. Help is Here is an Australian Government national campaign to ensure all Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander communities, know where to go for help if they are at risk of or experiencing violence.

For more information on the Help is Here campaign, including access to a range of resources click here.

A crisis doesn't excuse abusive behaviour at home Help is Here campaign banner

Image source; Help is Here website.

WA – Broome

FT Regional Sexual Health Facilitator

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Ltd (KAMS) is a well-established regional Aboriginal community controlled health service which provides centralised advocacy and resource support for 6 independent member services, as well as providing direct clinical services in a further 6 remote Aboriginal communities across the region.

KAMS has an opportunity for a Regional Sexual Health Facilitator to join their team in Broome, on a full-time fixed term contract basis until 30 June 2021.

To view a full position description click here.

VIC – Shepparton

FT Project Officer

Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd. have a vacancy with their Justice and Community Services area for a project officer to lead the development, planning, implementation and establishing of therapeutic wraparound support services and other initiatives related to family violence.

Applications close at 4:00 PM on Wednesday 16 September 2020. To view details of the position click here.

Feature image tile "My people keep dying" & woman in Aboriginal flag shirt holding Stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody sign

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: WA Suicide Prevention Taskforce long overdue

WA Suicide Prevention Taskforce long overdue

The WA government has set up a new taskforce to review the treatment of at-risk prisoners after the fourth death in jail in three months, three of them Aboriginal people. The taskforce will assess whether prisons are following the state’s suicide prevention strategy. The director of the National Suicide Prevention Trauma Recovery Project Megan Krakouer, said the taskforce is long overdue, “my people keep dying”. “The 1991 royal commission [into Aboriginal deaths in custody] made recommendations about the removal of ligature points, but suicide prevention is not just about ligature points. It needs to be a holistic approach of investing in intensive psycho-social supports and of 24/7 outreach to families. If the WA government is serious, they need to implement these wraparound services and make social investments in our communities. Prisons should be about rehabilitation, not a death sentence.”

To view the full article in The Guardian click here.

Essendon Football Club health initiative for Tiwi communities

The Essendon Football Club has instigated a community health initiative that will see Deadly Choices, the preventative arm of Australia’s Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) implement a range of programs to bring about positive change across the NT communities of the Tiwi Islands. Tapping into the well-established relationship the Victorian AFL Club has with its namesake, the Tiwi Bombers, is a perfect vehicle to bring about desired change by motivating and empowering community members towards taking control of their own health. IUIH will directly subcontract Essendon Football Club to employ a Deadly Choices Program Officer who will be based full-time on the Tiwi Islands.

To view the media release click here.

8 Tiwi Island boys sitting in row with a football, Essendon Football Club logo, Deadly Choices logo

Image source: NT News.

AMSA concerned about proposed HELP funding cuts

The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) has called on the Federal Government to reconsider proposed cuts to HELP funding for university students, warning they could significantly affect student mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. AMSA pointed out that government funding and subsidies are particularly vital for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students and those from rural and regional backgrounds, and low socioeconomic backgrounds to pursue medical education. These vulnerable student groups, the AMSA said, already carry a heavier mental health burden than average Australians.

To view the AMSA’s media release click here.

Two images: Aboriginal flag with stethoscope & Dr Vinka Barunga

Image sources: AMA, ABC News – Dr Vinka Barunga.

National cancer screening health worker engagement project

The University of Melbourne is undertaking a project to understand how the primary healthcare workforce engages with the national cancer screening program (bowel, breast and cervical). Findings from the study will lead to the development of materials and initiatives to assist in boosting cancer screening participation.

During the first phase of the project the researchers are interested in interviewing nurses, GPs and Practice Managers to understand more about their role, their go-to-resources when they need more information about the screening programs and resources they would like to have access to.

Everyone that will be interviewed will be reimbursed with a $50 Gift Card. We intend to carry out interviews during the month of September. The interviews will be recorded with your permission.

For information about how to become involved in the project please contact Ebony Verbunt, Research Assistant, University of Melbourne over ebony.verbunt@unimelb.edu.auemail or phone 0429 928 039.

Aboriginal male & female cartoon figures with ages for breast, bowel, cervical cancer screening tests

Image source: Cancer Council Victoria website.

Working from home – anywhere in Australia

On-call Psychologist

CRANAplus is the peak professional body for health professionals working in remote and isolated areas across Australia with the purpose of ensuring the delivery of safe, high quality primary healthcare to remote and isolated communities. The Bush Support Line is a flagship service provided by CRANAplus and offers phone counselling (psychological services) 24 hours a day/7 days per week, by a team of experienced psychologists.

CRANAplus is seeking experienced registered and clinical psychologists to join CRANAplus’ Bush Support Services Team to offer after hours care through an on-call roster.

You can view the CRANAplus website here and find details of the psychologist position here.CRANAplus logo & image of 4-wheel drive in outback

Perth – WA

FT or PT Social Worker x 1

Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Aboriginal Health Service Corporation (DYHS) is the largest Aboriginal community-controlled health service in Perth, employing over 130 staff to deliver culturally safe holistic and integrated primary health care services to over 15,000 Aboriginal people across four clinics in the Perth metropolitan region. DYHS is seeking to employ a Social Worker to a new position responsible for providing a culturally responsive Social Work assessment and intervention service to clients to build self-efficacy, sufficiency and resilience.

To view the job description click here – applications close Monday 31 August 2020.Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service WA Logo

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alert: NACCHO upholds the theme, ‘We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice’ on National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations improving life and health outcomes for our Elders of tomorrow

Referring to the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) coordinated National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day held on 4 August each year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate the strengths and culture of their children, NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills said:

“For decades, our Elders have shown great resolve and have sacrificed and fought for advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights. Their efforts cannot be forgotten as they paved the way for our children to live healthier and stronger lives.

“We are so proud of the work done by our members – Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, towards improving the health outcomes of our children, our Elders of tomorrow.

“We are pleased that our recently signed National Agreement for Closing the Gap targets commits governments to build a strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector to deliver services and programs. Within the commitments, one of the sector strengthening plans focuses on early childhood care and development and another key priority is education, thereby looking at holistic life and health outcomes for our future generations.”

Wuchopperen Health Service Qld – First Time Mum’s Program

One of the many NACCHO member programs promoting child health and wellbeing is the Wuchopperen Health Service in Cairns QLD. This ACCHO delivers the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP), known in the community as the ‘First Time Mum’s Program’. It is a client-centred, home visiting program that provides care and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mums throughout their first pregnancy, right until their child turns two.

Wuchopperen Health Service have successfully supported over 400 families since the program began and Nurse Supervisor of the ANFPP, Samantha Lewis said, “100% of the babies who have come through the program were fully immunised by the time they turned two, which has had a significant impact on the long-term health of babies. Also, 97% of our babies were within a healthy birth weight range. This is a huge achievement and sets up a solid base for the rest of the child’s life.”

This year, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day’s theme ‘We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice’ honours our Elders, custodians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional knowledge, passed down to our children through stories and cultural practice.

Click here to download National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day resources to share within your communities.

Download our What does culture mean to me? resource. Have fun drawing and email it to media@snaicc.org.au to be part of our Children’s Day promotions.

Aboriginal Health #CoronaVirus Alert No 81 : June 19 #KeepOurMobSafe #OurJobProtectOurMob : Helen Milroy : COVID-19: Equity and ethics in a pandemic: #Indigenous perspectives

” During decades of relative stability and prosperity for Australia as a nation, we could not close the gap in life expectancy, health and mental health outcomes and other markers of disadvantage for Indigenous Australians.

How then, is this going to change over the course of a pandemic, especially if resources become scarce and access to high-quality intensive medical services is limited?

Numerous reports outline the ongoing inequity in health and mental health outcomes as well as the additional burden of disadvantage and discrimination experienced by Indigenous Australians.

In combination, this places Indigenous communities in a state of heightened vulnerability exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of the pandemic, the associated measures such as physical isolation needed to ‘flatten the curve’ will also increase the risk for negative outcomes for Indigenous communities.

Helen Milroy highlights the impact of COVID-19 and the efforts to contain it in Indigenous communities, how it exacerbates existing vulnerabilities and disadvantages, and how we can ensure Indigenous perspectives are integrated in equitable decision-making frameworks going forward. See CV at end of article 

Originally published HERE

The pandemic raises a number of significant issues relating to equity, equality and ethical decision making with many valuable lessons to be learnt along the way.

We have already witnessed the quick action of many of our Indigenous organisations to support, educate and protect our Indigenous communities. Imagine what could be achieved if these issues of equity, ethical decision making, power sharing and funding were shared equally along with support for self-determination for Indigenous communities.

There have been a number of calls from around the world to support and protect Indigenous communities during the pandemic, many outlining their high vulnerability as well as the ongoing historical legacies of past traumas. Shino Konishi (in this Briefings edition) describes the scale and lessons of the 1789 smallpox epidemic upon Indigenous populations across south-eastern Australia.

The Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues released a message [PDF, 0.1MB] urging countries to ensure Indigenous peoples are informed, protected and prioritised, and exercise their right to self-determination during the pandemic.

The message also highlighted the additional concerns related to Indigenous Elders due to their highly valued roles as ‘keepers of history, traditions, and cultures’.

In Western Australia, the Department of Health called for the consideration of Indigenous communities during the pandemic due to their heightened vulnerability through the publication of the Aboriginal Ethical Position Statement [PDF, 0.89MB].

The Statement also calls for health service providers to ensure the provision of equitable and culturally acceptable healthcare and for the inclusion of cultural considerations across all areas of pandemic planning.

While it is difficult to predict what the mortality would be for Indigenous communities if the virus were to take hold, health commentators have stated it could be catastrophic. The only way to prevent this is through isolation until a vaccine is available, which could still take many months or years to develop and disseminate.

Many concerns have been expressed over how to keep our communities, and particularly our Elders, safe during this time. We have the oldest living culture in the world here in Australia, and our Indigenous Elders are considered as the keepers of our cultures, languages and knowledge systems.

They also have an increased vulnerability due to age, chronic health conditions and the impact of disadvantage.

For many rural and remote communities, the only solution currently has been to isolate families, close borders or shift to outstations within homelands. Many Indigenous people have been encouraged – if not coerced – to return home only to find difficulties with overcrowding, food insecurity and few health and community resources.

View above newsletter HERE

Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar recently wrote for the ABC about returning to her homelands near Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia in order to assist her community to live out bush.

She points out the stark contrast between decades of policy to close down remote communities and now being told it is safer to live out bush. Commissioner Oscar points out that the chronic underinvestment and poor conditions of the remote homelands continue to place people at risk.

Although moving to live in the remote communities is part of the right to self-determination, this must now be supported wholeheartedly with a new approach that assists Indigenous communities to not merely live and subsist but rather to thrive in their homelands.

As remote communities closed, much of the mobile workforce also disappeared due to travel restrictions, leaving some communities in a further state of disadvantage. Although the rapid expansion of tele/video health has filled the gap in services in some areas, the coverage outside major regional areas is patchy at best. In some remote locations, communication is reliant on radio transmitters.

Again, this brings into sharp focus the lack of investment in infrastructure, capacity building and workforce development in communities.

Access to health services is already limited, particularly in remote locations. Under these pandemic circumstances, the capacity for medical evacuations is complicated and the availability of intensive medical care is limited in regional and remote Australia. Recent experiences of racism and discrimination in health services have already been reported in the media.

In larger regional or urban centres, there are concerns as to whether Indigenous people would receive the equitable and culturally appropriate care called for in the Aboriginal Ethical Position Statement if resources become scarce.

In the G08 COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery Report, it was estimated the health needs for Indigenous Australians is 2.3 times higher than for other Australians and called for needs-based funding. Is this possible during a pandemic when this issue has not been adequately addressed for the decades prior?

At this point in time, we have been extremely fortunate to have controlled the spread of the virus in our Indigenous communities but the journey is far from over. With the easing of restrictions and the possibility of a second wave, are our communities safe?

We will need to weigh up the risk of returning to the new normal versus the possibility of staying in isolation for prolonged periods of time. We will also need additional resources to manage the unintended consequences of isolation such as the potential worsening of other health and mental health conditions.

People are less likely to seek out health services or have reduced access during this pandemic period. Routine screening or treatment for other conditions will diminish, resulting in the worsening of many health and mental health conditions over time.

Mental health experts predict a significant increase in mental health challenges and suicide as the full impact of the pandemic and the associated measures are experienced across the country. In the 2018 AIHW report [PDF, 0.56MB]on Australia’s Health, 30% of Indigenous people reported high or very high levels of psychological distress compared to 11% for the non-Indigenous population. The levels of psychological distress and associated mental health challenges will worsen with the associated anxiety and aftermath related to the pandemic. Currently, there are limited available, accessible and culturally safe mental health services for Indigenous communities, especially in remote locations where there are very few trained staff available. This is even more critical given the shortage of mental health services for Indigenous children and youth, with the potential for long-lasting effects well into adult life.

There have been many ethical challenges associated with the pandemic with difficult decisions made in order to safeguard the community. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the many gaps that still exist and the tenuous nature of some services reliant on a mobile workforce without the infrastructure and capacity to sustain services once borders are closed. Given the continuing impact of our historical legacy, any ethical framework for decision making during this pandemic must consider equity and the plights of Indigenous communities during such difficult and life-threatening circumstances.

What we have also seen, however, is a population that can act swiftly, mobilise resources and change models of care to maintain the health and wellbeing of the nation.

We have also seen the great strengths of Indigenous organisations and communities coming together and acting quickly to protect their families. If we can do all of this, then surely we can solve the long-standing health crisis and disadvantage that impacts on our Indigenous Australians to ensure the future wellbeing of all our families.

Helen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia but was born and educated in Perth. Currently Helen is the Stan Perron Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Perth Children’s Hospital and The University of Western Australia. Helen has been on state and national mental health and research advisory committees and boards with a particular focus on Indigenous mental health as well as the wellbeing of children. From 2013 to 2017 Helen was a Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.