NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health and @TAPPCentre #ChildSafety : @Walgett_AMS #PoolDay Community-led solutions will improve Aboriginal child safety promote community-building, togetherness, health and wellbeing and health promotion activity

“A Prevention Centre project looking at Aboriginal child injury launched its first community event on Saturday 30 November at Walgett Swimming pool. Focusing on water safety, nearly 400 people gathered at the pool to swim, talk, play and focus on the wellbeing of their young people.

A Prevention Centre project promoting Aboriginal child injury prevention held its first community event on Saturday 30 November at Walgett Swimming Pool.

The Walgett Pool Day was led by local Aboriginal community-controlled organisations as a fun and positive day for families to be together and safely enjoy the pool.”

Originally published by the Prevention Centre HERE

Read over 370 Aboriginal Children’s Health articles published by NACCHO over past 7 Years 

NACCHO Announcement 2020

After 2,800 Aboriginal Health Alerts over 7 and half years from www.nacchocommunique.com NACCHO media will cease publishing from this site as from 31 December 2019 and resume mid January 2020 with posts from www.naccho.org.au

For historical and research purposes all posts 2012-2019 will remain on www.nacchocommunique.com

Your current email subscription will be automatically transferred to our new Aboriginal Health News Alerts Subscriber service that will offer you the options of Daily , Weekly or Monthly alerts

For further info contact Colin Cowell NACCHO Social Media Media Editor

Almost 400 people attended, with free entry to the pool for a day of yarning, talking about what Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service (WAMS) Goonimoo Mobile Children’s Services will be delivering next year, barbecue, salad, fruit, iced water and the chance to win a family pool season pass.

Injury is the leading cause of death in Australian children. Programs targeting parents of young children offer an opportunity for engagement and improving health literacy around injury prevention throughout children’s lives.

Programs also need to target community-level factors that affect injuries like the physical environment and policies. Change at this level requires community buy-in; relationship-building and events like the pool day build good will and positive associations with the program.

“Parents are really keen to get involved to keep their kids safe. They have ideas about what can be done at a community level and they’re also keen to learn more about what they can do to prevent injuries.” Tara Smith, Goonimoo Child Injury Prevention Educator.

Community-led

Working closely with local community groups, the Child Injury Prevention Program (CHIPP) has been developed as a community-led project and will be delivered through the existing supported playgroup Goonimoo run by WAMS which works with other local children’s services. This leverages existing knowledge and expertise about local service delivery and the relationships with Walgett families attending this well-established organisation.

“We’ve been having lots of informal yarns with parents during playgroup about the sorts of activities they want to do. We also held some formal research yarning groups with Nellie and Mel from UNSW at Goonimoo, with WAMS health personnel and other local children’s services,” said Amy Townsend Manager of Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service’s Goonimoo Mobile Children’s Services.

“We asked parents what sorts of injury issues they are concerned about and the topics they’d be interested in covering next year,” said Amy.

Parent involvement key to child safety

The involvement of parents is key to the success of the program and research shows it’s an effective route to reducing child injury.

“Parents are really keen to get involved to keep their kids safe. They have ideas about what can be done at a community level and they’re also keen to learn more about what they can do to prevent injuries,” said Tara Smith, Goonimoo Child Injury Prevention Educator.

“They also want to learn first aid – things like CPR and first aid for choking and snake bites – because we’re often a long way from help out here. Snake bites are a big issue in our community, so this is a priority area. Parents are keen, and always encouraged to have a say about the sorts of activities they want to do at Goonimoo’s playgroup ,” said Tara.

Tara has been working with Goonimoo for several years as a qualified educator, prior to which she was an Aboriginal Health Worker at Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service. Tara’s focus in 2020 is on delivering and refining the CHIPP program. Tara is currently studying to become an Aboriginal Health Practitioner.

“I’m learning a lot about child injury. For example, I’ve just been to Sydney to start the Austswim Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety course so we can do ‘parents and bubs’ water familiarisation play sessions at the pool next year. Aboriginal families don’t really have access to these sort of water activities in Walgett at the moment,” said Tara.

Tara also co-presented about CHIPP with Dr Melanie Andersen at the Australasian Injury Prevention Network Conference in Brisbane in November.

Walgett Pool Day

Walgett is situated at the junction of the Barwon and Namoi rivers, and the community has a healthy respect for the importance of water safety. CHIPP’s focus on water safety in term one was the result of community consultation.

Walgett’s pool has always been a strong focus for the community to come together, exercise and get some welcome respite from its long, dry summers, particularly now that the rivers are very depleted due to the drought.

“The CHIPP team has yarned with parents about what they’d like from the program, and about injury prevention in general, over the past few months. The Walgett Pool Day was a great opportunity to reach families to promote Goonimoo and the CHIPP program. We also had a few good yarns with the pool manager about water safety, existing and previous swimming programs at Walgett and the pool-based playgroup next year” said Dr Melanie Andersen from UNSW,  a key investigator on the Prevention Centre project.

“The turnout was great and we think that was a result of a long period of promotion by Goonimoo and combining forces with Yuwaya Ngarra-li and Dharriwaa Elders Group so families had transport to and from the pool. The pool was packed with children and families having a ball and cooling down on the 38oC day. We spoke to many people about the program and we’re looking forward to seeing them at the parents and bubs swimming sessions in 2020,” said Dr Andersen.

Community organisations key to success

The success of the Walgett Pool Day is down to the strong local Aboriginal community-controlled organisations who collaborated to bring people together.

“Yuwaya Ngarra-li – the partnership between Walgett’s Dharriwaa Elders Group (DEG) and UNSW, were doing their annual community data gathering day with children and young people. Because the CHIPP program was introduced to Walgett through the Yuwaya Ngarra-li partnership, we decided to combine our resources,” said Wendy Spencer, Project Manager with Dharriwaa Elders Group and Yuwaya Ngarra-li (Dharriwaa Elders Group’s formal research partnership with UNSW Sydney).

“WAMS, DEG, Yuwaya Ngarra-li and the CHIPP team all contributed resources including staff time, food, accommodation, transport, sun-safety giveaways like hats and sunscreen and other resources to make the day a success. We were also pleased that Mission Australia kindly ran the barbecue and the Police Citizens Youth Club provided the music. I was really pleased with the happy good vibe of the day where we had the opportunity to provide some good food, free entry and a fun family time at the pool to cap off a difficult year for everyone in Walgett,”said Wendy.

The day was such a success that Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service will hold two additional community pool days this summer to promote community-building, togetherness, health and wellbeing and as a forum for health promotion activity.

“CHIPP will begin again in earnest next year at Goonimoo, aiming to start off in term one at the pool with parents and bubs water play sessions. The program will focus around activity and play,” said Dr Mel Andersen.

“So, for example, while Goonimoo staff teach parents water familiarisation activities to do with their kids that build water skills, staff will also yarn about drowning prevention. Each school term will have a different injury prevention focus, including sport and physical activity, home safety and road safety.”

Walgett community tips for child water safety

  • Close and constant active adult supervision is the key, even in shallow water
  • Drowning is quick and silent
  • Teach swimming and water safety as early as possible
  • Talk to your children, explain the potential for danger but have fun

Read more

All images © 2019 Dharriwaa Elders Group

Story by Helen Loughlin, Senior Communications Officer

Published: 17 December 2019

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Remote Communities News : I. @SenatorDodson The Need to empower remote Communities 2.@abcnews Empowering Young Leaders’ in the Kimberley call for change to curb suicides

Indigenous people living in remote communities are still betrayed. The truth of this nationally is seen in the government’s “duck, dive” approach to entrenching a voice in the Constitution.

On the first day of parliament sittings next year, the Prime Minister will present the annual Closing the Gap report, an index of the disadvantage experienced by First Nations people.

It will be another recitation of government failures to improve their lives — lives that in remote communities end many years shorter than elsewhere.

Not only do they die younger, their existence also is miserable. It’s not just a matter of poor service delivery, it’s that their lives are not their own. Governments, unwilling to trust First Nations people to take charge of their own lives, continue to intrude and manage.

Patrick Dodson is the Labor senator for Western Australia writing in the Weekend Australian

See Part 1 Below

“The Empowered Young Leaders’ report, released last week, calls for more education for young people around social and emotional wellbeing and increased efforts to embed Indigenous culture in schools.

They also want a permanent forum for young people to voice their concerns.

It comes as the State Government considers a formal response to the WA coroner’s inquest into the suicides of 13 Indigenous young people in the remote region.” 

See Part 2 Below

After 2,800 Aboriginal Health Alerts over 7 and half years from www.nacchocommunique.com NACCHO media will cease publishing from this site as from 31 December 2019 and resume mid January 2020 with posts from www.naccho.org.au

For historical and research purposes all posts 2012-2019 will remain on www.nacchocommunique.com

Your current email subscription will be automatically transferred to our new Aboriginal Health News Alerts Subscriber service that will offer you the options of Daily , Weekly or Monthly alerts

For further info contact Colin Cowell NACCHO Social Media Media Editor

Part 1 : The nation’s treatment of remote indigenous communities is an international scandal. We need a Marshall Plan to end the squalor.

Labor MPs Murray Watt, Linda Burney, Warren Snowdon, Sharon Claydon and Patrick Dodson on their indigenous road trip. Picture: supplied

In January 1994, then Labor senator Graham Richardson, health minister in Paul Keating’s government, toured remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Conditions in those communities, he said, were “miserable”. He “saw things … that would barely be tolerated in a war-ravaged African nation”.

In August, with a party of fellow federal Labor parliamentarians, I did a big sweep through remote communities in WA and the Territory. From Port Hedland we dropped in at Marble Bar, Jigalong, Newman, Meekatharra, Wiluna, Leonora,

More than 25 years after Richardson’s expedition, I can attest that conditions for Aboriginal people in those places are still miserable and intolerable.

Last month WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt visited remote communities in his jurisdiction and wrote in The Australian of their “institutionalised ghetto status”.

How many inquiries or reports will it take, how often can the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples declaim against this tragedy, before Australia confronts the crisis that cripples these communities, and sets about fixing things?

The people out there did not choose to live in those places. By and large, those communities were artificially designed by bureaucrats and Aboriginal people were shepherded there — sometimes for their protection (from Woomera rockets, for example), sometimes as a consequence of assimil­ationist policies. But, having plonked them there, governments have failed to maintain adequate basic services.

Forget the trumped-up national emergency John Howard and Mal Brough declared across the Northern Territory in June 2007 (although Aboriginal people will never forget).

The real emergency was staring them right in the face and they never dealt with it: the parlous plight of thousands of Aboriginal people forced to live in squalor and denied basic rights of citizenship.

It’s interesting to recall that back in 1994 when Richardson pledged to “clear up that mess” he said: “I hope perhaps out of the social justice package we’ve promised for Mabo, there will be scope to address some of these wrongs.”

The Keating government’s response to the High Court’s Mabo decision had three elements: the Native Title Act, the land fund — out of which grew the (now) Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation — and a social justice package.

Robert Tickner, Keating’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs minister, told the 12th session of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1994: “The social justice package presents Australia with what is likely to be the last chance this decade to put a policy framework in place to effectively address the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a necessary commitment to the reconciliation process leading to the centenary of Federation in 2001.”

Hollow words. The justice package was doomed: the Keating government did not press its pro­gress and passed to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission the job of consulting with First Nations about what it should embrace.

Keating’s successor, John Howard, rejected ATSIC’s visionary report in 1996 and went off on his own “practical reconciliation” frolic. ATSIC itself was dispatched by Howard a few years later, but it’s worth restating a few words from the ATSIC report on the social justice package because they continue to resonate: “Indigenous people have been too often betrayed over the last two centuries by fine words that have soon withered in the grim drought of inaction and indifference.”

Indigenous people living in remote communities are still betrayed. The truth of this nationally is seen in the government’s “duck, dive” approach to entrenching a voice in the Constitution.

On the first day of parliament sittings next year, the Prime Minister will present the annual Closing the Gap report, an index of the disadvantage experienced by First Nations people. It will be another recitation of government failures to improve their lives — lives that in remote communities end many years shorter than elsewhere.

Not only do they die younger, their existence also is miserable. It’s not just a matter of poor service delivery, it’s that their lives are not their own. Governments, unwilling to trust First Nations people to take charge of their own lives, continue to intrude and manage.

Remote communities, especially those in the desert region straddling the Territory,WA and South Australia, have the foundations of their customary law, kinship relationships and knowledge of country pretty much underpinning their continuing survival. It is the world of art, sport and ceremonial obligations that makes their world partly tolerable.

But, as long as we view these places through the prism of reform­ing public sector outlays, we will continue to contribute to their demise. They must have a real say in their destiny, and governments have a duty to reorder ideological and biased views about their futures.

In the Territory, the federal government wants to foist its cashless debit card on 23,000 people deemed to be “beneficiaries”, who are already subject to income management (a hangover from the intervention). There is no choice being offered here and the policy will impact severely on First Nations people living remotely.

As the Central Land Council has pointed out, the transfer to the CDC will require people to have an email address, access to mobile phone coverage and a smartphone, the skills to navigate online card activation, and access to the internet. But access to the National Broadband Network is limited in remote communities, home computers are rare, and most internet access through mobile phones is intermittent and unreliable. CDC holders will need to receive an activation number by post, but the post in remote communities is slow or non-existent.

The federal government’s plan to introduce the CDC is yet another example of top-down policy, and recipients in remote communities have not been consulted.

So much for the government’s mantra it wants to do things with First Nations people, not to them.

How will this card help build the capacity of people in these remote communities? How will it help them manage their lives?

We need new frameworks that enable people in remote communities to determine their destiny, and for governments to treat them as sovereign peoples.

These remote communities must be helped to lift themselves out of “institutionalised ghetto status”. Relief is beyond the capacity of states and territories. The federal government has the remit to avert disaster — after all, what was the 1967 referendum all about?

It will require a Marshall Plan to correct the decades of neglect.

However, until we grasp that sort of commitment and empower remote Aboriginal communities, the lives of their residents will be further accursed.

Part 2

Aboriginal youth leaders in Western Australia’s far north have made sweeping recommendations to curb the chronic rates of suicide among their peers.

PHOTO: The Empowered Youth Leader delegates have proposed a set of recommendations. (Supplied: WA Primary Health Alliance)

Key points:

  • Suicide remains the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • The Empowered Young Leaders’ report calls for more education for young people around social and emotional wellbeing
  • It also recommends increased efforts to embed Indigenous culture in schools, and a permanent forum for young people to voice concerns

From Here

The Empowered Young Leaders’ report, released last week, calls for more education for young people around social and emotional wellbeing and increased efforts to embed Indigenous culture in schools.

They also want a permanent forum for young people to voice their concerns.

It comes as the State Government considers a formal response to the WA coroner’s inquest into the suicides of 13 Indigenous young people in the remote region.

Too many lost’

In an impassioned statement, the delegates put policy makers on notice, saying they would no longer accept the “normalisation of suicide”.

“We have lost too many loved ones to suicide,” the statement read.

“Through our own lived experience, we bear witness to the heavy burden our families and communities endure in grappling with the never-ending cycle of grief and loss.

“We no longer choose to be disempowered by the issues that continue to impact on us as a result of intergenerational trauma. The lives of our children and grandchildren are in our hands.”

Jacob Smith, 23, has been working in suicide prevention for two years.

As a member of the Empowered Young Leaders, he spent 12 months working intensely with 10 youth delegates across the Kimberley.

He said the recommendations were the starting point for creating generational change.

“There’s endless possibilities, there’s a lot more focus now on young people stepping up and getting involved,” he said.

“Our hope is to amplify our voice and be at the forefront of these conversations with our leaders.

“If we can better consult with our youth they will be way more inclined to engage in these conversations and initiatives.”

Efforts to meaningfully reduce the amount of Aboriginal youth taking their lives have largely failed, despite dozens of reports, inquests and millions of dollars in funding.

It remains the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

In the Kimberley, the rate of youth suicide is among the highest in the world.

In the aftermath of coroner Ros Fogliani’s 2017 inquest into 13 suicides, young people had been given a bigger role in helping governments at both levels forge a solution.

Mr Smith said the top priority was to ensure youth were permanently involved in the design and delivery of policy.

He said this would be achieved by establishing local Aboriginal youth action committees in each town.

“We need to invest and build the skills of our young people … to build a real peer-to-peer network in the Kimberley,” he said.

“There’s a few of us young people working in this space but we don’t feel like we have a strong network.

“There’s no real structure around that at the moment.”

Calls for better education and resources

Education was another key area in which the group wanted improvement.

They called for more social and emotional wellbeing training for young local people so they could support their peers with mental health difficulties.

There was also a push to better involve youth in developing targeted programs.

Delegates raised concerns about the lack of after-hours services, and proposed to establish 24-hour safe houses and a youth-focused rehabilitation centre.

“Delegates expressed frustration at the lack of local training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people in the youth services sector,” the report stated.

They also identified the poor “cultural and community connection” between mainstream services and local Aboriginal families.

Government to respond to coroner’s inquest

The report is being considered by the WA Government.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Wyatt said the recommendations were valued and would be treated with respect.

“The report will have an important role to play in the Government’s understanding of the perspective of young Aboriginal people in the region,” he said.

Mr Wyatt also outlined the McGowan Labor Government’s efforts to improve education and skills training.

“In 2019, there were 60 WA public schools teaching one or more of 21 Aboriginal languages to 5,611 students,” the Minister said.

“WA public schools are increasingly teaching children local Aboriginal languages, benefiting students and helping to keep the languages alive in our communities.

“The Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework supports all Department of Education staff to reflect on their approaches to the education of Aboriginal students.”

Mr Wyatt pointed to a “range of regional partnerships” that ensured Aboriginal people received adequate skills training.

“A great success story is one of North Regional TAFE’s alumni, Soleil White, who was named the WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year at the 2018 WA Training Awards.”

The State Government is expected to hand down its formal response to the coroner’s inquest in the coming weeks.

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NACCHO Affiliates and Members Deadly Good News : #National #QandA @NACCHOChair @SandraEades #VIC @VACCHO_org #Treaty @VAHS1972 #NSW @ahmrc #Bulgarr #NT @Kwhb_OneShield @MiwatjHealth #QLd @QAIHC_QLD @DeadlyChoices #ACT @nimmityjah #TAC

1.1 National : NACCHO Chair says National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey outcomes confirm that the ACCHOs smoking cessation programs are working

1.2 National : Our CEO Pat Turner appears on final ABC TV Q and A for 2019 : Watch on IView

1.3.National : NACCHO Congratulates Professor Sandra Eades Australia’s first appointment of an Indigenous Dean to a medical school.

1.4 National : NACCHO Communique to generate off new platform in 2020

2.1 VIC : VACCHO : Self-determination and sovereignty inseparable from health and socio-cultural wellbeing says peak Aboriginal health body

2.2 VIC : VAHS acknowledges the legendary Dr. (Uncle) Bruce McGuinness by unveiling of the plaque of recognition

3.1 NSW : AH&MRC hosts the Deadly Doctors Forum as part of the Rural Doctors Network for our Member Services

3.2 NSW : Bulgarr Ngaru ACCHO Casino NSW develops the clinical skills of their Aboriginal Workforce

4.1 NT Katherine West Health Board ACCHO are in the middle of a SEWB community mural painting project.

4.2 : NT : Miwatj Health ACCHO values the commitment and dedication you have to your work, Rrapa Elizabeth Dhurkay.

5.1 QLD : QAIHC legend Aunty Mary Martin AM awarded QUT’s highest award – the Doctor of the University.

5.2 : QLD Deadly work by our DC Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service ACCHO Brisbane team acknowledged for their dedication and support of Marsden State School

6. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO promotes and supports HIV awareness to clients through promoting and supplying condoms 

7.TAS : The Australian Digital Health Agency meets with representatives from state and territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services at TAC

8.WA : Congratulations to our very own Keisha Calyun AHCWA Youth Committee Member winning the Hope Community Services Positive Achievement Award at the WA Youth Affairs Council annual WA Youth Awards

How to submit in 2020 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday 18 January 2020 by 4.30 pm for publication Friday 20 January 2020

 

1.1 National : NACCHO Chair says National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey outcomes confirm that the ACCHOs smoking cessation programs are working

“The latest NATSIHS report demonstrates the ACCHO smoking cessation programs and health promotion activities are working.

It is encouraging to see fewer younger people are taking up smoking in the first place, with a decrease in people ages 15 years and over who smoked every day, falling from 41 per cent in 2012 – 13 to 37 per cent in 2018 – 19. 

“The results unfortunately also show an increase in many chronic diseases for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with 46% reporting one or more chronic condition (up from 40% in 2012-13).

Thus, providing more evidence that additional funding is needed to Close the Gap in health outcomes as chronic diseases are the major contributors to the mortality gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

It is positive to see more than four in 10 people rated their health as excellent or very good, up from 39 per cent in 2012 – 13 to 45 per cent and more than half of children aged 2-17 years had seen a dentist or dental professional in the last 12 months.”

Donnella Mills NACCHO Chair

Read or Download the full NACCHO Press Release HERE

Read our full coverage of the ABS Health Report

1.2 National : Our CEO Pat Turner appears on final ABC TV Q and A for 2019 : Watch on IView

End of an Era : The 2019 finale of Q&A. Joining Tony Jones on the panel Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, Indigenous leader Pat Turner, author Sisonke Msimang and ANU Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt.

https://iview.abc.net.au/show/qanda

1.3.National : NACCHO Congratulates Professor Sandra Eades Australia’s first appointment of an Indigenous Dean to a medical school.

“Curtin has successfully expanded its healthcare and medical profile within Western Australia and nationally. I am honoured to be appointed as Dean and look forward to collaborating with colleagues, industry and students to ensure the Curtin Medical School continues to thrive,

From a leading public health academic and respected Noongar woman Professor Sandra Eades, who has been influential in improving the health of Aboriginal communities across Australia has been appointed the new Dean of the Curtin Medical School, commencing in March 2020.

Read full Report Here

1.4 National : NACCHO Communique to generate off new platform in 2020

After 2,800 Aboriginal Health Alerts over 7 and half years from www.nacchocommunique.com NACCHO media will cease publishing from this site as from 31 December 2019 and resume mid January 2020 with posts from www.naccho.org.au

For historical and research purposes all posts 2012-2019 will remain on www.nacchocommunique.com

Your current email subscription will be automatically transferred to our new Aboriginal Health News Alerts Subscriber service that will offer you the options of Daily , Weekly or Monthly alerts

For further info contact Colin Cowell NACCHO Social Media Media Editor

2.1 VIC : VACCHO : Self-determination and sovereignty inseparable from health and socio-cultural wellbeing says peak Aboriginal health body

VACCHO has long argued that self-determination and sovereignty is inseparable from health and sociocultural wellbeing, and welcomes treaty negotiations as another step forward in ensuring basic respect for the rights, dignity, and sovereignty of Aboriginal people, but as a fundamental determinant of health outcomes for the Aboriginal community.

“Establishing a Treaty process will be of benefit to all Victorians. It is a vital step in transforming the relationship and power dynamics between Aboriginal Victorians and non-Aboriginal Victorians.

Any change must embed values and actions that create equality for all, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal and not as colonised and coloniser. The culture of Victoria will be richer when Victoria embraces its entire history and not just parts here and there. “

Acting VACCHO CEO, Trevor Pearce

The inaugural meeting of the First Peoples’ Assembly for a Treaty and Treaties between the Aboriginal Community and Victorian Government which took place today is a watershed moment in Australian history and society concerning the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples said VACCHO, the peak body for Aboriginal health in Victoria.

Acting VACCHO CEO, Trevor Pearce said as an historic moment, it is comparable to the 1939 Cummeragunja Walk-Off, 1963 Yirrkala Bark Petitions, 1966 Wavehill Walk-Off by Gurindgi, 1967 Referendum and the 1992 Mabo v QLD case that challenged and overturned the concept of Terra Nullius, to name just a few.

VACCHO is the leading advocate for the health of Aboriginal peoples in Victoria and a peak organisation to its Membership with a membership of 30 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations. VACCHO also works closely with partner organisations, Government, non-Government Community sector organisations across Victoria and nationally.

“This next part of Australian history marks the first time an Australian Government will enter into treaty negotiations with any Aboriginal people. Australia is the last colony of Great Britain to start the process,” said Mr Pearce.

“As Victorians we must acknowledge the challenges experienced by our community and the tireless work of many generations of the Aboriginal community who have participated and contributed to standing up for our basic human rights since colonisation,” he continued.

“Truth-telling and not sanitising our shared history can lead to the first steps of healing our nation. We are optimistic that it will create momentum for the adoption of Treaty negotiations and truth-telling to begin at a national level,” said Mr Pearce.

2.2 VIC : VAHS acknowledges the legendary Dr. (Uncle) Bruce McGuinness by unveiling of the plaque of recognition


Plenty of the old warriors and many of the new and upcoming warriors attended the unveiling of the plaque of recognition

Dr. (Uncle) Bruce McGuinness a NAIHO/NACCHO pioneer

He has been described as the “ideological godfather of the Black power movement”, but he was also a pioneer in the development of a national network of Aboriginal “community-controlled health services”.

Bruce was also instrumental in the later emergence of the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation (NAIHO) in the 1970s. NAIHO was ostensibly a national “umbrella organisation” established to represent the interests of the new national network of community-controlled health services.

Read More

3.1 NSW : AH&MRC hosts the Deadly Doctors Forum as part of the Rural Doctors Network for our Member Services

On the 28th of November 2019, the AH&MRC hosted the Deadly Doctors Forum as part of the Rural Doctors Network for our Member Services. A range of topics were presented by many wonderful speakers. The overarching objective of the Forum was to provide Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) with a Forum to gain insight into what’s happening in the ACCHS sector and a chance to network with peers.

Member Services from throughout NSW gathered in Manly to hear about various topics in the health space from a range of speakers.

Kyla Wynn, Trish Levett and Dr Rowena Ivers discussed cancer and palliative care and how their team is assisting community members to attend appointments and grief counselling, as well as talking about some great initiatives from their Illawarra service.

Dr Clayton Spencer, Chief Medical Director of Western NSW Local Health District discussed the importance of accessing traditional healing practices from the Ngangkari Aboriginal healers and building career pathways using this scope of healing. Traditional approaches to healing are holistic taking into account the mind, body and spirit. In this sense, health is not just physical wellness but also connects kinship of the culture and community.

Dr Laila Tabassum provided an update on My Health Record, explaining the procedures behind providing better-connected care between patients and health organisations with the ability to upload clinical documents.

Donna Parks from the Agency of Clinical Innovation (ACI) spoke in detail about the use of Telehealth where clinically appropriate.

Ely Taylor from the Ministry of Health provided insights into the modification of the Influenza Season Preparedness toolkit, ensuring the document is culturally appropriate.

AMS Redfern’s Dr Kath Keenan discussed the effects, screening, diagnosis and treatment of Hepatitis C.

Dr Vlad Matic provided an informative presentation on Clinical Governance and the role of the GP, in which we discovered a continuing theme of W Edwards Deming quotes including the System of Profound Knowledge in relation to data collection and use.

Our Public Health Medical Officer (PHMO) Dr Kate Armstrong discussed the recently held PHMO meeting and introduced other PHMOs from around Australia.

Liz Moore from AMSANT in NT, Lucy Morris QAIHC in QLD and Sarah McLean VACCHO in VIC provided an update from their regions.

Nathan Taylor and Janeen Foffani presented on the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA), where they discussed their approach to education and training of the health workforce and delivery of programs to primary, secondary and tertiary health care provider groups.

The Your Health Your Future (YHYF) campaign was discussed by our Public Health Manager Lee Bradfield who spoke about member collaboration, the Ambassador program with the Deadly Ninja Jack Wilson, and Illawarra Hawks Tyson Demos, plus funding plans for 2020 and available resources.

Information regarding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Pulmonary Rehabilitation was provided by Dr Jennifer Alison and David Meharg. Details on guidelines, GP action plans and upskilling on medication use were discussed in detail.

Dr Karin Jodlowski-Tan from the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) highlighted the model of training their organisation provides. Susan Anderson presented on the NSW Aboriginal Cancer Scoping Project, with statistics to be released in 2020.

Overall the day was highly informative, and we look forward to future Deadly Doctor Forums.

For more information about future Deadly Doctors Forums, please don’t hesitate to contact AH&MRC Public Health Officer Imran Mansoor IMansoor@ahmrc.org.au

Author – Zoe Mead, AH&MRC Public Health Team

3.2 NSW : Bulgarr Ngaru ACCHO Casino NSW develops the clinical skills of their Aboriginal Workforce.

This week Bulgarr Ngaru partnered with the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) and the NSW Rural Doctors Network to run the first workshop of a series to further develop the clinical skills of our Aboriginal Workforce.

This weeks workshop focused on Health Assessments (715s) and Triage.

4.1 NT Katherine West Health Board ACCHO are in the middle of a SEWB community mural painting project.

So far we have done a community mural at Timber Creek, Yarralin and Lajamanu communities. All are painted over a week with KWHB Board Directors, community members and staff involved in designing the mural, the message behind the mural and assisting with the painting.

The Kalkaringi communities mural will be completed early next year.

The results of the community mural project have been fantastic – both the community participation and awareness of SEWB and the results of the painting.

“The Lajamanu #SpeakUp mural week would have to be the most amazing week I’ve had in my 10 years at KWHB!

It was a pleasure working with the community, the program and clinic team as well as Andrew, Georgie & Cal, the artists.

Everyone pitching in and working as a team is what makes these projects successful. Shout out to KWHB Directors and all the community members who assisted with painting of the mural as well as the CDEP mob, without them the mural would not have been finished. We are all very blessed to have community members share their culture and stories with us.” KWHB Health Promotion Coordinator

Feedback for one community member – “It’s good to have ‘Share your worries’ written on the front of the clinic because it is a place to go and share your worries and get help.”

4.2 : NT : Miwatj Health ACCHO values the commitment and dedication you have to your work, Rrapa Elizabeth Dhurkay.

Congratulations on all your inspiring achievements! Thanks also to ALPA for sharing this wonderful story. #MiwatjHealth

 

 

5.1 QLD : QAIHC legend Aunty Mary Martin AM awarded QUT’s highest award – the Doctor of the University.

“Introducing Dr Mary Martin AM.

An honour to attend the 2019 QUT Graduation Ceremony at QPAC today to watch Aunty Mary Martin AM be awarded QUT’s highest award – the Doctor of the University.

Aunty Mary is a Health trailblazer training as a Registered Nurse in the 1970’s before dedicating over 40 years of her life to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

A QAIHC employee for over 22 years; and a strong advocate for community control and better health outcomes, we congratulate Aunty Mary.

We also congratulate QUT for acknowledging Aunty Mary and awarding her this prestigious Doctorate.”

REPOST – QAIHC CEO Neil Willmett ( Pictured Above )

5.2 : QLD Deadly work by our DC Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service ACCHO Brisbane team acknowledged for their dedication and support of Marsden State School

Congrats to our Browns Plains staff and the Deadly Choices team who were recognised for their dedication and support to Marsden State School. Bree, Skye, Brandon, Ray and Brenton attended a VIP Breakfast of Champions to receive the community partnership award. Well done!! #deadly

6. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO promotes and supports HIV awareness to clients through promoting and supplying condoms 
Thanks team Winnunga for promoting and supporting HIV awareness to our clients through promoting and supplying condoms
And big thanks also to Sarah Martin and the team at the Canberra Sexual health clinic for the care you provide for clients with HIV and other STI’s #you and me can stop HIV#

7.TAS : The Australian Digital Health Agency meets with representatives from state and territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services at TAC 

“It’s vital that Aboriginal health services are involved in the work of the Digital Health Agency as our holistic approach to the health of our people ensures those who will benefit most from engaging with digital health have the information to enable them to do so.”

Heather Sculthorpe, CEO of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

The Australian Digital Health Agency met with representatives from state and territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services on 4 December to support improvements in digital health literacy.

Read More

8.WA : Congratulations to our very own Keisha Calyun AHCWA Youth Committee Member winning the Hope Community Services Positive Achievement Award at the WA Youth Affairs Council annual WA Youth Awards

The Hope Community Services Positive Achievement Award

Keisha Calyun

Keisha was born the eldest of five with cultural heritage mix of English, Dutch and Ballardong Noongar. Her family life has been difficult. With her father rarely present, her mother fought breast cancer twice in ten years, unfortunately losing her battle when Keisha was just 23. After stays with extended family, Keisha and her 20-year-old sister decided to become guardians for their three younger siblings.

Alongside her family responsibilities, Keisha works at the Aboriginal Health Council of WA, where she is helping to develop an online mapping platform that shows availability of health services for regional and remote communities. She is also a Youth Representative on the WA Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee.

She ensures that her family continue to embrace their Aboriginal culture through involvement in cultural groups and activities.

NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health Resources : Download report : Why we need to rethink Aboriginal childhood #obesity ? Q and A with @SaxInstitute @simonesherriff

 
“Rates of obesity are high among Aboriginal children, but there’s a lack of policies, guidelines and programs to tackle the issue. Now a new paper published this week in the December issue of Public Health Research & Practice is calling for more meaningful engagement with Aboriginal communities to better address childhood obesity.

Here, lead author Simone Sherriff, a Wotjobaluk woman, PhD student and project officer with the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH) at the Sax Institute talks about the paper and her take on the obesity challenges facing Aboriginal communities.

Download Copy of Paper 

ATSI Childhood Obesity

Read over 70 Aboriginal Health and Obesity articles published by NACCHO over the past 7 Years 

Q: Childhood obesity is a national concern, but as your paper points out, Aboriginal children are far more profoundly affected than non-Aboriginal children. What’s going on?

A: I think it’s complicated, but in order to better understand Aboriginal childhood obesity we need to look beyond general individual risk factors, and consider how colonisation has impacted and continues to impact on the health and wellbeing of our people and communities today.

For example, Aboriginal people were forced off Country, unable to access traditional foods and made to adopt unhealthy western diets whilst living on missions and reserves.

Another thing that should be considered is the exclusion of Aboriginal people in Australia from education, health, politics and all systems, so it’s no wonder we see a gap between our health and the rest of the Australian population and continue to see a lack of relevant policies and programs from state and national governments.

These bigger structural and systemic issues are like a waterfall flowing on to affect communities, families and individuals. And until these issues are addressed, it’s going to be very difficult to close the gap on childhood obesity.

Q: What’s currently being done to address childhood obesity among Aboriginal children?

A: There are many great healthy lifestyle programs for preventing childhood obesity within our Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) sector, but generally there’s a lack of investment and funding into these services by government.

This is unfortunate because I think the rest of Australia could learn a lot from the model of healthcare that the ACCHS sector provides for our people. As Darryl Wright, the CEO of Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Corporation always says – our ACCHSs are like one-stop shops catering for all parts of a person’s health and wellbeing. So rather than looking at childhood obesity and thinking only about healthy eating and exercise, this kind of model considers a more holistic approach and the range of things that could be impacting on a person’s health and the community.

As mentioned in our paper, there are also a number of government and mainstream programs targeting healthy weight that have been culturally adapted for Aboriginal children and families. One example is the NSW Go4Fun program, which is designed for 7- to 13-year-olds who are above a healthy weight. When they did an evaluation of the mainstream Go4Fun program, they noticed that there were quite a few Aboriginal children who came into the program, but they had very low completion rates.

This evaluation led Go4Fun to consult with Aboriginal organisations and communities to understand how to improve the program to be more culturally appropriate. And as a result, organisers changed the way they were running the program and also set up Aboriginal advisory groups at local health districts. It’ll be interesting to see if this has positive impacts for the local participating communities.

Q: What are the biggest challenges for these existing programs?

A: There are a few, but the biggest challenge is that these programs are created and developed by non-Aboriginal people for Aboriginal children, meaning that they’re not always relevant, or they don’t consider the holistic approach that’s required to address childhood obesity.

Another important challenge is that some mainstream childhood obesity programs haven’t collected information on Aboriginal children separately, so even though there might be Aboriginal children participating in these programs, they tend not to report those separately.

We also need to consider the focus of these programs, which are currently targeting childhood obesity with healthy eating, education and physical activity. Although these are really important, lots of Aboriginal families are food insecure – which means they’re running out of food and can’t access food or afford to buy more. Recent data shows that 1 in 4 Aboriginal people are food insecure. I believe these rates are underestimated and the rates of Aboriginal families who are food insecure would actually be much higher than this data shows. This is compared with fewer than 1 in 20 people in the general population.

So how are programs that target healthy eating meant to be effective if people can’t even afford to buy food or can’t access it? Again, it’s going back to those bigger issues.

Q: How can Australia begin closing the gap on childhood obesity?

A: I think one thing that could be done is there needs to be more funding and resources put into the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service sector, as they’re run by their community for their community, so they’re best placed to design, implement and evaluate childhood obesity programs. And currently there are no specific policies for Aboriginal childhood obesity – we’re just mentioned as a target group within the general childhood obesity policies. That could be another good place to start.

The Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH) team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q: Why is it so important to have locally-informed, culturally appropriate programs?

A: There is evidence that programs led and delivered by Aboriginal communities lead to better health outcomes for their community. I think it’s so important to have Aboriginal people in leadership and key decision-making roles with a proper seat at the table within all of these systems. And it’s also important to ensure that local Aboriginal voices are heard and they are leaders and drivers of local programs.

If not, I think it’s impossible for government and non-Aboriginal service providers to deliver programs and policies that are going to have a positive impact on the health of our mob. To see real gains, we need all government policies and programs to value self-determination, and these systems need to decolonise for all Australians to be able to have good health.

Find out more

NACCHO Affiliates and Members Deadly Good News : #National Our CEO Pat Turner on Final 2019 #QandA Mon 9 Dec Plus #NSW Dubbo ACCHO #VIC #VACCHO #QLD @QAIHC_QLD @DeadlyChoices Goodnir #NT @MiwatjHealth @NDIS #ACT @nimmityjah #SA Port Lincoln ACCHO

1.National : Our NACCHO CEO Pat Turner to appear on the final 2019 ABC TV Q and A Monday 9 December

2.NSW : A doctor who helped establish the Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) has been honoured for long-standing service to country NSW.

3.Vic : VACCHO partners with  BreastScreen Victoria to win the 2019 VicHealth IMPROVING HEALTH EQUITY award for our Aboriginal Breast Screening Shawl project, which means our beautiful women win!

4.1 QLD : QAIHC hosts the annual Awards for Excellence, celebrating leaders, organisations and communities within the Sector.

4.2 QLD : Steven Miles – Health & Ambulance Services Minister & MP for Murrumba launches the Deadly Choices FIT

4.3 QLD : A personal reflection from Steve Conn Mobile Clinic Coordinator at Goondir ACCHO

5. NT Miwatj ACCHO  NDIS have begun delivering Capacity Building Community Access services

6. ACT : Work underway to build new clinic at Winnunga ACCHO 

7.SA : Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service kids take part in the Woolworths Cricket Blast Test Match Training session

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Friday

1.National : Our NACCHO CEO Pat Turner to appear on the final ABC TV Q and A Monday 9 December

Malcolm Turnbull, Former Prime Minister of Australia

Anthony Albanese, Opposition Leader

Sisonke Msimang, Author

Patricia Turner, CEO of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

Brian Schmidt, Nobel laureate and Vice-Chancellor, ANU

See More Details Here

2.NSW : A doctor who helped establish the Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) has been honoured for long-standing service to country NSW.

The NSW Rural Doctors Network presented Dr Rick Aitken with a prestigious 2019 Rural Medical Service Award during its annual conference at the Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific at the weekend.

From HERE

Dr Aitken was among 20 GPs to be honoured for more than 700 years of combined service to rural NSW communities.

The award recognises GPs who have spent the past 35 years or more providing healthcare to people in remote, rural and regional communities.

Dr Aitken has clocked up 35 years of service in Orange, Culburra Beach, Dubbo, Millthorpe, Moss Vale and Bundanoon.

In 2013 he was the senior medical manager during the establishment of the Dubbo AMS, also known as the Dubbo Regional Aboriginal Health Service.

Between 2012 and 2016, Dr Aitken was the regional GP educator for Bila Muuji Aboriginal Health Service in Western NSW

3.Vic : VACCHO partners with  BreastScreen Victoria to win the 2019 VicHealth IMPROVING HEALTH EQUITY award for our Aboriginal Breast Screening Shawl project, which means our beautiful women win!!

The project was piloted by VACCHO and Victorian Aboriginal Health Service -VAHS, this initiative is a culmination of months of hard work and planning by project partner BreastScreen Victoria, with Dhauwurd Wurrung DwechWinda-Maraa, Gunditj CorpKirrae Health Service Inc.Wathaurong Aboriginal Co OpRumbalara Aboriginal Co-OperativeRamahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation- SaleVictorian Department of Health & Human Services and Deakin University.

In October BreastScreen Victoria vans visited regional Aboriginal women with free beautiful handmade cultural screening shawls as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This Aboriginal community-led initiative addresses the barriers preventing Aboriginal women participating in breast screening by creating a culturally safe service.

The shawls, designed by Aboriginal women, were made for Aboriginal women in the trial to wear during their breast screen. They are a culturally safe alternative to being naked from the waist up or asking for a standard screening gown.

The shawls aim to improve Aboriginal women’s experience with breast screening. 100% of the women who participated strongly agreed the shawl increased their feeling of cultural safety, of comfort, and that it was easy to use.

Congratulations everyone.

4.1 QLD : QAIHC hosts the annual Awards for Excellence, celebrating leaders, organisations and communities within the Sector.

Established to recognise the hard work, determination and growth of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Sector, the awards acknowledge those that are making a real difference throughout their communities.

Congratulations to the winners:

– QAIHC Partnership Excellence Award – Institute for Urban Indigenous Health

– QAIHC Innovation Excellence Award – Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health

– QAIHC Patient Satisfaction and Service Excellence Award – NPA Family and Community Services Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation

– QAIHC Leader of the Year Award – Veronica Williams and Gary White

– QAIHC Member of the Year Award – Galangoor Duwalami Primary Healthcare Service.

4.2 QLD : Steven Miles – Health & Ambulance Services Minister & MP for Murrumba launches the Deadly Choices FIT

 

Let’s see how he pulled up after his first DC FIT session after launching the program at the Brisbane Broncos this morning.

If you’re aged 16-25 and want to kickstart your way towards a healthier lifestyle join DC FIT today: https://bit.ly/2P9uVcD

4.3 QLD : A personal reflection from Steve Conn Mobile Clinic Coordinator at Goondir ACCHO 

This photo was taken in the Mobile Medical Clinic’s outdoor waiting room.

It is a picture of myself, Steve Conn (Mobile Clinic Coordinator) enjoying an amazing didgeridoo from Gove with a baby and his Mother.

So much can and should be said about moments like these, so rather than letting it go or just giving it a caption, the following is brave admission of what it signifies to me.

The last twenty years of clinical work for me has been focused on emergency work.  Aside from continually experiencing the highs and lows of humanity, emergency work is fast-paced, mentally and physically draining and above all and relevant to this conversation, it is focussed on fixing the broken.

My new role as the MMC Coordinator keeps giving to me in ways I could not have anticipated.   The clinical focus is on primary health, essentially managing clients health with a view to preventing illness and disease and in doing so, help to ‘close the gap’.

It is a demanding job.  I perceive a massive responsibility, not just as a Registered Nurse but as a privileged white citizen of this country.  I have a head full of emergency type stories; naturally there are a few that seem never to leave me, stories of extreme loss and grieving.

Then this moment in the photo happened, it could have just been part of another day at ‘the office’, it could have only been let go or passed over except for the fact that it got beneath my thick clinical skin.

This beyond cute indigenous baby is sitting on his country. A natural connection.  He is listening to white man play didgeridoo as he taps his hands on the earth roughly to the beat.

His mother sits calmly waiting to see the doctor as this hardened emergency nurse takes two minutes out to connect.  For me, although a little brave as in out of the normal behaviour for a Registered Nurse I felt totally comfortable and I know the baby did too by his actions.

In my mind, we (Mother, child and I) shared a judgment-free connection, a genuinely human moment not tainted by skin or socioeconomic status but created by mutual respect, mutual admiration and most powerfully, hope.

All too often we are so consumed by our jobs that we in a way we forget what we are doing.  Working with our Indigenous people in remote areas has enriched my personal and professional life.  It has reminded me of why I became a nurse in the first place.

Thank you to our deadly Mob and thank you to the fantastic organisation and community that is Goondir ACCHO

Steve Conn

MMC Coordinator

As a First Nations visitor here in St George Qld, working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, I too recognise the privilege I hold as a professional but also the privilege I experience in receiving the Strong Stories of Indigenous community members that are often hidden under the stories of loss, grief, pain and the like.

To receive your story is an excellent reminder of how humbling it is to be in this position.

Thanks, Bro

Leonard.

5. NT Miwatj ACCHO  NDIS have begun delivering Capacity Building Community Access services

In Galiwin’ku a second hand 4×4 HI Ace Bus was purchased and then modified by Darwin based company Keep Moving to add a wheelchair lift. This Specialised Disability Transport will allow NDIS Participants to have greater access to community based activities and increase independence. The 4×4 Bus includes a snorkel and lift kit, which allows the bus access to more secluded areas in and around Elcho Island, ideal for hunting and fishing!

NDIS is latju! In celebration of International Day of People with Disability earlier this week, we would like to share some words from the owner of the very first motorised scooter on Milingimbi – an island located 440km east of Darwin.

“I am very happy getting more support. I can ask for help, especially with equipment. I can get help quickly and I have the choice in that type of equipment.

With my new scooter I have a lot of freedom and I can make my own decisions. I didn’t think I would ever get an electric scooter, I thought I would always have to use my small wheelchair and it was very hard for me to use all the time

When I had my stroke, I was very sad because I couldn’t do everything I used to do when I was strong. It helped a little bit when I got my wheelchair, but now I have my new scooter, which is better. I get lots of therapy like OT and physio too, I like doing my exercises.”

6. ACT : Work underway to build new clinic at Winnunga ACCHO 

Progress at Winnunga photos from site tour this week and they are currently on track to have building completed November 2020 . The veranda at the front of admin reception and Rec 2 gone and the boardroom is a shell existing walls and roof will come down in the next couple of weeks

7.SA : Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service kids take part in the Woolworths Cricket Blast Test Match Training session

Aboriginal children from Port Lincoln got the chance to be a part of a celebration of Aboriginal culture, and have some fun with cricket at a Woolworths Cricket Blast event at Adelaide Oval on November 28.

Twenty five Aboriginal children from the Woolworths Community Fund program, including from Port Lincoln took part in the Woolworths Cricket Blast Test Match Training session which included the launch of a new Aboriginal-designed shirt.

Designed by 16-year-old Aboriginal artist and Dharawal man Billy Reynolds, the shirt features Aboriginal art and depicts a goanna.

SACA northwest country cricket manager Peter Brown said children involved with Mallee Park Football Club had been involved with Woolworths Cricket Blast thanks to work with Jermaine Miller at Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service.

“Cricket Australia and SACA have been doing a lot of work in the indigenous space in the last few years and recognising the contributions of Aboriginal people,” he said.

Cricket Australia community cricket executive general manager Belinda Clark said the launch of the shirt shined a light on cricket’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation and providing options for young cricketers to celebrate First Nations cultures.

Children involved in Woolworths Cricket Blast will have the chance to wear the new shirt from February next year.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Alcohol other Drugs: Peak public health bodies @_PHAA_ And @FAREAustralia respond to Health Minister @GregHuntMP launch of National Alcohol Strategy 2019-28 : Download Here

The federal government will spend $140m on drug and alcohol prevention and treatment programs but has ruled out measures such as hiking taxes on cask wine.

Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the National Alcohol Strategy 2019-28 has been agreed with the states following protract­ed negotiations.

The strategy outlines agreed policy options in four priority areas: community safety, price and promotion, treatment and prevention.

Health lobby groups have pushed for reform in two major areas: the introduction of a minimum floor price for alcohol by state governments, and the introduction of a volumetric tax, based on the amount of alcohol in a beverage, by the commonwealth. ”

From The Australian Health Editor Natasha Robinson (See in full part 1 below )

Read over 200 Aboriginal health and Alcohol other drugs articles published by NACCHO over the past 7 years 

” Overall, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely to abstain from drinking alcohol than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (31% compared with 23% respectively).

However, among those who did drink, higher proportions drank at risky levels (20% exceeding the lifetime risk guidelines) and were more likely to experience alcohol-related injury than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (35% compared to 25% monthly, respectively).

For this reason, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience disproportionate levels of harm from alcohol, including general avoidable mortality rates that are 4.9 times higher than among non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to which alcohol is a contributing factor.

The poorer overall health, social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Islander people than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also significant factors which can influence drinking behaviours. ” 

Page 8 of National Strategy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Download the full strategy HERE

national-alcohol-strategy-2019-2028

 ” The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) is pleased the National Alcohol Strategy 2019-2028 is finally out but said it lacked ambition to prevent Australians suffering adverse health impacts of alcohol consumption.

“It is good news to have this strategy now finalised, albeit many years in the making and with too much influence from the alcohol industry,”

PHAA CEO Terry Slevin  : See part 2 below for full press release 

Australia has not had a national strategy since 2011 and we congratulate Health Minister Greg Hunt for spearheading this successful outcome. 

Given the high burden of harm from alcohol, including 144,000 hospitalisations each year, we trust that the NAS will support proportionate action from the Commonwealth, states and territories to protect Australians and their families,

 FARE has also welcomed the Minister’s announcement that the Government will commission a report to estimate the social costs of alcohol to the community.  

Australia faces a $36 billion a year alcohol burden, with approximately a third due to alcohol dependence, a third caused by injuries, and the final third due to chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases,

FARE Director of Policy and Research Trish Hepworth. See part 3 below for full press release 

 ” Alcohol places an enormous burden on our healthcare resources on our society and ultimately on us as a nation.

Alcohol is currently the sixth leading contributor to the burden of disease in Australia, as well as costing Australian taxpayers an estimated $14 billion annually in social costs.

The AMA has previously outlined the priorities we would like to see reflected in the Strategy, including action on awareness, taxation, marketing, and prevention and treatment services.

Implementing effective and practical measures that reduce harms associated with alcohol misuse will benefit all Australians.”

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone : See Part 4 Below for full Press Release 

Part 1 The Australian Continued 

The National Alcohol Strategy lists the introduction of a volumetric tax as one policy ­option, but Mr Hunt said the commonwealth was ruling out such taxation reform.

“The government considers Australia’s current alcohol tax settings are appropriate and has no plans to make any changes,” the minister’s office said.

Mr Hunt said there were “mixed views” among the states on the introduction of a minimum floor price for alcohol — the Northern Territory is the only jurisdiction to introduce this measure — but such policy remained an option for the states.

Mr Hunt said the national strategy had laid out a path towards Australia meeting a targeted 10 per cent reduction in harmful alcohol consumption.

“There’s a balance been struck, what this represents is an attempt to lay out a pathway to reducing alcohol abuse and reducing self-harm and violence that comes with it,” Mr Hunt said.

“The deal-maker here was the commonwealth’s investment in drug and alcohol treatment. That was the most important part. Now we’d like to see the states match that with additional funds, but we won’t make our funds ­dependent upon the states.”

Health groups welcomed the finalisation of the national strategy. Alcohol Drug Foundation chief executive Erin Lalor said it was now up to governments to act on the outlined policies. “The strategy means we can now start doing and stop talking, because it’s been in development for a ­really long time,” Ms Lalor said.

“We’ve now got really clear options that we can focus on and it’s up to governments around Australia and other groups working to reduce alcohol-related harm and the alcohol industry to start to take serious measures and evidence-based measures that will reduce the significant harm from alcohol.”

Ms Lalor was disappointed the government had ruled out a volumetric tax. “We have been advocating for a long time for volumetric tax to be introduced. The strategy outlines it and we would hope to see pricing and taxation of alcohol being adopted to reduce alcohol-related harms.”

Canberra will spend $140m on programs to combat alcohol and drug addiction.

Primary Health Networks will receive $131.5m to commission new and existing drug and ­alcohol treatment services, while the government will commission a new report to estimate the social costs of alcohol to society.

Part 2 Belated alcohol strategy is a missed opportunity

The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) is pleased the National Alcohol Strategy 2019-2028 is finally out but said it lacked ambition to prevent Australians suffering adverse health impacts of alcohol consumption.

“It is good news to have this strategy now finalised, albeit many years in the making and with too much influence from the alcohol industry,” PHAA CEO Terry Slevin said.

“The strategy recommends important policy options that can reduce alcohol related harm via both national and state level efforts.”

“All governments should invest in and commit to reducing the health and social burden of excess alcohol consumption,” Mr Slevin said.

“It is a shame the federal government has again ruled out the option of volumetric tax on alcohol, which is a fairer and more sensible way of taxing alcohol.

“This is about stopping people from getting injured, ill or dying due to alcohol, so why rule out this option?”

“The current alcohol tax system is a mess and is acknowledged as such by anyone who has considered the tax system in Australia.”

“We hope this important reform will again be considered at a time in the near future.“

“Let’s remember that alcohol is Australia’s number one drug problem. Harmful levels of consumption are a major health issue, associated with increased risk of chronic disease, injury and premature death,” Mr Slevin said.

“The announcement of funding for drug treatment services is modest but we welcome the support for a report assessing the social cost of alcohol.”

“When that report is completed we hope it will influence alcohol policy into the future.”

Part 3 The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) congratulates Federal, State and Territory Ministers for finalising the National Alcohol Strategy 2019–2028 (the NAS).

“Australia has not had a national strategy since 2011 and we congratulate Health Minister Greg Hunt for spearheading this successful outcome,” said FARE Director of Policy and Research Trish Hepworth.

“Given the high burden of harm from alcohol, including 144,000 hospitalisations each year, we trust that the NAS will support proportionate action from the Commonwealth, states and territories to protect Australians and their families,” she said.

FARE has also welcomed the Minister’s announcement that the Government will commission a report to estimate the social costs of alcohol to the community.

“Australia faces a $36 billion a year alcohol burden, with approximately a third due to alcohol dependence, a third caused by injuries, and the final third due to chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases,” Ms Hepworth said.

“In implementation, we urge governments to take action to increase the community’s awareness of the more than 200 injury conditions and life-threatening diseases caused by alcohol,” she said.

FARE strongly encourages the Federal Government to revisit alcohol taxation reform, which would be the most effective way to reduce the death toll from alcohol-related harm, which is almost 6,000 people every year.

“We know from multiple reviews that alcohol taxation is the most cost-effective measure to reduce alcohol harm because measures can be targeted towards reducing heavy drinking, while providing government with a source of revenue,” Ms Hepworth said.

Part 4 AMA

The announcement that the National Alcohol Strategy 2019–2028 (the NAS) has been agreed to by all States and Territories is welcome, but it is disappointing that it does not include a volumetric tax on alcohol, AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said today.

“The last iteration of the NAS expired in 2011, so this announcement has been a long time coming,” Dr Bartone said.

“The AMA supports the positive announcements by the Government to reduce the misuse of alcohol. However, they simply do not go far enough.

“An incredibly serious problem in our community needs an equally serious and determined response.

“Doctors are at the front line in dealing with the devastating effects of excessive alcohol consumption. They treat the fractured jaws, the facial lacerations, the eye and head injuries that can occur as a result of excessive drinking.

“Doctors, and those working in hospitals and ambulance services, see the deaths and life-long injuries sustained from car accidents and violence fuelled by alcohol consumption.

“Healthcare staff, including doctors, often bear the brunt of alcohol-fuelled violence in treatment settings. Alcohol and other drugs in combination are often a deadly cocktail.

“Prolonged excessive amounts contribute to liver and heart disease, and alcohol is also implicated in certain cancers.

“All measures that reduce alcohol-fuelled violence and the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol, including taxing all products according to their alcohol content, should be considered in a national strategy.

“For this reason, we are extremely disappointed that the Government has ruled out considering a volumetric tax on alcohol.

“A national, coordinated approach to alcohol policy will significantly improve efforts to reduce harm.

“Alcohol places an enormous burden on our healthcare resources on our society and ultimately on us as a nation.

“Alcohol is currently the sixth leading contributor to the burden of disease in Australia, as well as costing Australian taxpayers an estimated $14 billion annually in social costs.

“The AMA has previously outlined the priorities we would like to see reflected in the Strategy, including action on awareness, taxation, marketing, and prevention and treatment services.

“Implementing effective and practical measures that reduce harms associated with alcohol misuse will benefit all Australians.”

Background

  • The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that alcohol and illicit drug use were the two leading risk factors for disease burden in males aged 15-44 in 2011.
  • The AIHW has linked alcohol use to 26 diseases and injuries, including six types of cancer, four cardiovascular diseases, chronic liver disease, and pancreatitis, and estimated that in 2013 the social costs of alcohol abuse in Australia was more than $14 billion.
  • A study conducted by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine in 2014 found that during peak alcohol drinking times, such as the weekend, up to one in eight hospital patients were there because of alcohol-related injuries or medical conditions. The report noted that the sheer volume of alcohol-affected patients created more disruption to Emergency Departments than those patients affected by ice.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Youth Health News #OwningFutureChange : Download @AusAAH Report : Health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people : Plus The Imagination Declaration 2019 Garma festival’s youth forum

 ” Identity and connection to family and Aboriginal ways of knowing, doing and being are at the core of what it is to be an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person.

A large proportion of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are young and signify an opportunity for harnessing their energy and ideas to prevent poor health and social conditions.

While many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people lead healthy and safe lives, there is still a conscious journey required to ensure a strong connection to identity and culture that supports overall health, wellbeing and self-determination.

Identity is also informed by many other factors including gender, sexuality, disabilities, social and emotional wellbeing, location and mobility, and socioeconomic status.

For young people impacted by trauma, systemic racism and inequity, there can be lasting effects on identity, connection to culture, health and wellbeing (Atkinson, 2013).

The impact of intergenerational trauma is often overlooked by mainstream health services attempting to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

Intergenerational or historical trauma is a transference of trauma among families and communities, which is ‘the subjective experiencing and remembering of events in the mind of an individual or the life of a community, passed from adults to children in cyclic processes’ (Atkinson, 2013, p. 4).

While there are commonalities in factors important to attaining good health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, it is important to also acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia are diverse and represent over 200 nations each with their own history, cultures and norms.

Further, young people have unique talents and strengths, have different social and cultural capital and have had varying experiences with health and the health system. “

Preface to Young persons position paper ” See extracts and recommendations below or 

Download full report

The_Health_and_Wellbeing_of_Aboriginal_and_Torres_Strait_Islander_Young_Peoples_PositionPaper_FINAL

Photo above from AAAH Website

Read over 400 Aboriginal Youth / Children’s articles published by NACCHO over the past 7 years

 ” Following the ‘Uluru Statement From The Heart’, in 2019, a group of young Indigenous people have gathered in East Arnhem Land for the Youth Forum at Garma. The forum has been facilitated by AIME and resulted in a Declaration for the Prime Minister and Education Minister’s across Australia – The Imagination Declaration.” see Part 2 below 

This message was read out by Sienna on August 5, 10:00am at the 2019 Garma festival.

Health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people

The Constitution of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (2011) describes health as “not just the physical well-being of an individual but refers to the social, emotional and cultural well-being of the whole Community in which each individual is able to achieve their full potential as a human being thereby bringing about the total well-being of their Community.

It is a whole of life view and includes the cyclical concept of life-death-life”.

View presentations from the recent NACCHO Youth Conference in Darwin 

Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is young, with 241,824 people between the ages of 10-24 years in 2016, which represents 5% of the Australian population of young people (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018a).

Adolescence, defined in western bio-medical terms as the life stage between age 10 and 24 years, is a period of self-discovery and growth when important biological, social and emotional changes take place which can have a long-lasting impact on future health and well-being. Information and practices to support youth life stage development from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective are not currently in use; these types of cultural knowledges and practices were forbidden under past government policy, which has excluded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from decision making about policies to protect health and bring about health and social equity.

Currently, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people have disproportionately high rates of largely preventable causes of morbidity and mortality which include: injuries, mental health and sexual and reproductive health (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018a; Azzopardi et al., 2018).

In 2011, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 10–24 years, the leading contributors to the disease burden were suicide and self-inflicted injuries (13%), anxiety disorders (8%), alcohol use disorders (7%) and road traffic injuries (6%) (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018a).

Incarceration and child removal rates continue to be disproportionately high. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are over-represented at all stages of the child protection system, out of home care (OOHC) and are under-represented in services that could subvert this (SNAICC, 2018).

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (ACPP) aims to prioritise carers who are from the young person’s family in the first instance, or from the young person’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community, or alternatively are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers, however in practice this is not always enacted (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019).

The ‘Family is Culture Review’ cautions that “the ACPP is not simply a hierarchy of options for the physical placement of an Aboriginal child in OOHC. The ACPP is one broad principle made up of five elements that are aimed at enhancing and preserving Aboriginal children’s sense of identity, as well as their connection to their culture, heritage, family and community” (Davis, 2019).

These five elements include prevention, partnership, placement, participation and connection (Davis, 2019).

Further, though it varies by state and territory, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are markedly over-represented in the youth justice system and in detention; all children in the Northern Territory juvenile detention system are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019).

Young people who have been in youth detention are at greater risk of mental health disorders, and are more likely to experience homelessness and substance use issues (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016). Furthermore, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who are in OOHC are over-represented in the youth justice system and this is a key driver of adult incarceration (Davis, 2019; Sentencing Advisory Council, 2019).

Forced separation either through OOHC or incarceration of young people (or members of their family) can have lifelong consequences for young peoples’ connection to family, Community, culture and Country. Further, transitions from OOHC as an adult or from detention back to Community can be very difficult for young adults.

In terms of social and emotional wellbeing, a majority (76%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 15-24 years report being happy all or most of the time in the past 4 weeks (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018a).

However, it is important to note that nationally, one third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 15-24 report high to very high levels of psychological distress (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018a).

Not being able to find a job has been reported as the most common stressor (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018a). Importantly, it has also been found that having a carer with a greater number of stressful life events was associated with poorer mental health among adolescents (Williamson et al., 2016).

A study in New South Wales found that greater resilience among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people was associated with: having someone to talk to, family encouragement to attend school and engaging in physical activity (Young, Craig, Clapham, Banks, & Williamson, 2019).

The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, learn and work, which have a profound impact on health and wellbeing across the life course1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are diverse in their social, cultural, economic and physical living situations; however the social determinants of health are responsible for approximately 39 % of the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018b).

Housing, education, access to income, economic resources and employment are key determinants that influence the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people during adolescence and their life trajectories thereafter. These social and environmental determinants affect the health of young people living in cities and urban areas as well as those in remote areas (Andersen, Skinner, Williamson, Fernando, & Wright, 2018).

Furthermore, racism is a determinant of health, which has been associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes and increased risk for suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

While the aforementioned social determinants of health are relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it is imperative to consider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander positive social determinants of health.

Some positive determinants of health include oral history, cultural survival, family support and connection, emotional wellbeing, community control, self-determination and affirmation of cultural practices (AbSec, 2019; Vickery, Faulkhead, Adams, & Clarke, 2007).

The formative years of adolescence are an important period for reducing inequities, promoting health, wellbeing and better access to health services to improve the current and future health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The AAAH acknowledges

  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are the experts in their own health and have agency in their health and health
  2. The importance of cultural, familial and kinship connections between young people today with past, present and emerging generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples regarding health, wellbeing and
  3. Western pre-conceived notions of family units impact young people’s equitable access to services and culturally safe
  4. The ongoing role of colonisation, dispossession, racial discrimination and marginalisation in creating the economic and social disparity experienced by so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young
  5. Historical trauma, intergenerational trauma and racism are determinants of health and wellbeing, which are not adequately understood or addressed across multiple sectors, including the health
  6. Positive determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing include oral history, cultural survival, family support and connection, emotional wellbeing, community control, self-determination and affirmation and respect of cultural practices and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and
  7. The social determinants of health are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources; addressing these determinants requires political will and coordinated action in sectors beyond the health
  8. That the health sector needs to consider:
    1. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people have unmet health needs that reflect issues of inequity and inadequate access to appropriate services; these issues may be compounded for young people with intersecting identities due to greater discrimination and
    2. The importance of health services to be culturally safe, trauma-informed and responsive to the needs of young people and to local histories, needs and
    3. The Aboriginal community-controlled health sector are the leaders in providing culturally safe, holistic, accessible health care for communities, families and young people.
    4. The right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to have access to health-enablers beyond health care, employment and education, including frequently overlooked health enablers like safe and legal transport, and stable, safe and affordable
  9. The impact of forced separation from family and Community through OOHC and incarceration, including disconnection from Country and
  10. The following issues related to research and data:
    1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a right to data sovereignty and self- determination, which is “the right of Indigenous peoples to govern the collection, ownership and application of data about Indigenous communities, peoples, lands, and resources” (Bodkin-Andrews, Walter, Lee, Kukutai, & Lovett, 2019).
    2. Much of the research that drives policy and service provision is grounded in Western notions of empiricism rather than Indigenous knowledge systems and research methods.
    3. Risk and vulnerability are frequently (mis)used to account for health disparities without adequate consideration of social and structural inequalities created by racist policies and
    4. The limitations of existing data and statistical modelling to adequately capture and represent:
      1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ experiences of health and wellbeing
      2. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living well and enjoying healthy
    5. The importance of emphasising the National Health and Medical Research Council’s ethical principles in underpinning ways of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young peoples: Spirit and integrity, respect, reciprocity, equality, survival and protection, responsibility.

 

The AAAH recommendations

1.Our work with and for young people is guided by The Imagination Declaration written by young people and read at the 2019 Garma festival’s youth forum:

“set an imagination agenda for our classrooms, remove the limited thinking around our disadvantage, stop looking at us as a problem to fix, set us free to be the solution and give us the stage to light up the world.”

2.Principles to be guided by

    1. Connection to culture, Country and family is recognised as a determinant of health and wellbeing in its full
    2. Listening to the solutions that communities, families and young people already have
    3. Young people are recognised as the future leaders in determining priorities, aspirations and directions for their health and
    4. Policy, services, practitioners and researchers centre on young people, their views and their
    5. A rights-based approach to health enabling infrastructure to fulfil the right of young people to safe and legal transport, housing, education and culturally safe services. Health professionals, educators and researchers are in a powerful position to advocate for this and to highlight the costs (human, health, social and financial) of failing to ensure these issues are
    6. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ experiences and understandings of family are recognised, including the importance of support from extended family and community networks for young people’s health and wellbeing, which should be incorporated into policies, programs and service delivery
    7. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will lead the discourse on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health and wellbeing to ensure decolonisation and self- determination.
    8. The responsibility to be informed and enact understanding of Australia’s history, including the legacy of colonisation, must be met by individuals, organisations, communities and governments.
    9. Investment in promoting cultural and historical knowledge to the broader community beyond schools and workplaces across

3.Health sector

      1. There is much that can and should be done to improve the likelihood that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people will access high quality culturally safe care. This means that both community owned and youth friendly health services are accessible to young
      2. The Aboriginal community-controlled health sector is recognised for leadership and expertise and this is reflected in appropriate indicators that reflect culturally safe and holistic health care
      3. The funding of Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations should be long term and sustainable. Wherever possible, funds for the provision of health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be administered through Aboriginal Community Controlled health
      4. Access to timely, appropriate, high quality, culturally safe care within mainstream services including hospitals, allied health, community health, residential treatment facilities and non-government organisations – this means that services recognise that safety for young people is an ongoing process, and that the workforce is accountable for ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people receive the highest quality care that is culturally safe and free from
      5. An intersectoral approach is essential to good health and requires:
        1. Policy that recognises the social determinants of health and shapes investment in incentivised collaborative
        2. Holistic funding models that prioritise community led services and long-term investment.
  • Shared mutual understanding that centres on the needs of young people rather than prioritising competing
  1. Out of Home Care
    1. Addressing over-representation in OOHC is a priority and requires:
      1. Commitment to early intervention and prevention of child
      2. Investing in families through community led, holistic services that strengthen families and connections to
    2. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle to be
    3. The AbSec – NSW Child, Family and Community Peak Aboriginal Corporation Plan on a Page for Aboriginal children and young people strategy provides a blueprint for reform to better meet the needs of young people, families and communities and address over-representation in
    4. The Family is Culture: Review Report 2019, provides insight into and recommendations of how to restructure the OOHC system to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and
  2. Youth justice
    1. Ending over-representation in the youth justice system is a priority and requires:
      1. Investment in youth friendly diversion programs that are community led, including justice reinvestment
      2. Addressing social determinants that are drivers for contact with the youth justice system, including issues of trauma, mental health, early transition from school, unemployment, homelessness and substance
  • Action on inequitable policies that contribute to contact with the youth justice system, including fines enforcement and driver licensing
  1. Research and data
    1. Current conversations around self-determination and data sovereignty should be broadened to specifically include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people; this is not limited to health and medical data and includes multiple and vast digital footprints as well as lived experience and knowledge of young people and communities.
    2. Move beyond reporting of difference, deficit and disadvantage by developing meaningful indicators of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ experiences of health and
    3. Research is grounded in First Nations knowledge systems and Indigenous research methods.
  2. Advocating for reforms outlined in the Uluru Statement From the Heart and for a constitutional voice in

Following the ‘Uluru Statement From The Heart’, in 2019, a group of young Indigenous people have gathered in East Arnhem Land for the Youth Forum at Garma. The forum has been facilitated by AIME and resulted in a Declaration for the Prime Minister and Education Minister’s across Australia – The Imagination Declaration.

This message was read out by Sienna on August 5, 10:00am at the 2019 Garma festival.

To the Prime Minister & Education Ministers across Australia,

In 1967, we asked to be counted.

In 2017, we asked for a voice and treaty.

Today, we ask you to imagine what’s possible.

The future of this country lies in all of our hands.

We do not want to inherit a world that is in pain. We do not want to stare down huge inequality feeling powerless to our fate. We do not want to be unarmed as we confront some of the biggest problems faced by the human race, from rising sea levels, which will lead to significant refugee challenges, to droughts and food shortages, and our own challenges around a cycle of perpetuated disadvantaged.

It’s time to think differently.

With 60,000 years of genius and imagination in our hearts and minds, we can be one of the groups of people that transform the future of life on earth, for the good of us all.

We can design the solutions that lift islands up in the face of rising seas, we can work on creative agricultural solutions that are in sync with our natural habitat, we can re-engineer schooling, we can invent new jobs and technologies, and we can unite around kindness.

We are not the problem, we are the solution.

We don’t want to be boxed.

We don’t want ceilings.

We want freedom to be whatever a human mind can dream.

When you think of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kid, or in fact, any kid, imagine what’s possible. Don’t define us through the lens of disadvantage or label us as limited.

Test us.

Expect the best of us.

Expect the unexpected.

Expect us to continue carrying the custodianship of imagination, entrepreneurial spirit and genius.

Expect us to be complex.

And then let us spread our wings, and soar higher than ever before.

We call on you and the Education Ministers across the nation to establish an imagination agenda for our Indigenous kids and, in fact, for all Australian children.

We urge you to give us the freedom to write a new story.

We want to show the world Aboriginal genius.

We want to show the nation Aboriginal leadership and imagination.

Over the coming months we’ll be sharing the declaration with thousands of Indigenous kids across our nation and together we’ll stand to say, “set an imagination agenda for our classrooms, remove the limited thinking around our disadvantage, stop looking at us as a problem to fix, set us free to be the solution and give us the stage to light up the world.”

We want the Imagination agenda in every school in the nation, from early childhood learning centres through to our most prominent universities.

To our Prime Minister & Education Ministers, we call on you to meet with us and to work on an imagination plan for our country’s education system, for all of us.

We are not the problem, we are the solution.

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal #SexualHealth @atsihaw Resources and Events : Plus Dawn Casey ” NACCHO recognises the importance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander #HIVAwarenessWeek #WorldAIDSDay2019 “


“Exposure to STIs differs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our women are diagnosed with HIV, STIs and BBVs at a greater rate than other Australian women and are facing infertility, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous preterm birth or still-birth.

NACCHO believes this requires greater recognition and commitment from all levels of government to work collaboratively across portfolios and mainstream organisations.

A good example is the current partnership between the Commonwealth Department of Health and NACCHO to address the syphilis outbreak, which has been extraordinary!

It highlights innovation in science and the great work done on the ground by Aboriginal health workers.

There is no better way to provide healthcare than through the 145 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), who deliver holistic, culturally safe, comprehensive primary healthcare across Australia, including those living in very remote areas

Studies have shown that ACCHOs are 23% better at attracting and retaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients than mainstream providers. 

If funded adequately ACCHOs are the solution to addressing the increasing rates of STIs, BBVs and HIV/AIDS.”

Dr Dawn Casey, Deputy CEO of NACCHO who spoke at the 2019 parliamentary World AIDS Day breakfast this week. See continued NACCHO Press Release Part 1 and speech notes part 2 Below 

“ATSIHAW has grown bigger, with 132 ATSIHAW events to be held by 73 organisations across Australia this year – mostly in ACCHOs. ACCHOs have embraced ATSIHAW wholeheartedly and this has been key to ATSIHAW’s success.

Community engagement has been pivotal to the improvements in Australia’s HIV response and it’s time to focus on getting HIV rates down in our communities.”

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) Head, Aboriginal Health Equity—Sexual Health and Wellbeing, A/Prof James Ward

Download the 30 Page PDF Report 

2019-SAHMRI-ATSIHAW-booklet

ATSIHAW 2019 dates are November 28 to December 5

View the ATSIHAW 2019 registered events on Facebook or below by state.

NSW | QLD | SA | VIC | WA | ACT | NT | TAS

See Web Page

Part 1 NACCHO Press Release continued 

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) recognises the importance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week (ATSIHAW) and the 2019 World AIDs Day to draw attention to the increasing impact of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

In Australia, it has been recorded that the cases of new HIV diagnoses amongst Australians represent a decline of 23% in the last five years.

However, the HIV notification rates within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in 2018 was more than twice the rate for the Australian-born non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Source: Kirby Institute

Australia is perceived on the global stage as a world leader in HIV prevention and treatment.

But considering the high prevalence of this issue in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, NACCHO understands there is still some way to go.

Part 2 Dawn Casey Speaking Notes

World AIDS Day Parliamentary Breakfast – 27 November 2019

Traditional Owners of this land, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri People. I like to acknowledge other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the room.

I would like to thank AFAO for inviting me here to speak this morning.

I would like to acknowledge the Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for Health, the Hon Chris Bowen, Shadow Minister for Health and all the Members of Parliament present here. It is just fabulous to see a bipartisan approach taken to this issue.

Exposure to STIs, HIV and BBVs differs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Research tells us that it is more likely attributed to heterosexual sex and injection drug use coming into our communities. And we know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are diagnosed with HIV, STIs and BBVs at a greater rate than other Australian women.

This is extremely concerning as the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women living in remote communities are facing infertility, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous preterm birth or still-birth.

Let me remind you that there is no better way to provide healthcare than through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs). They have been around here for many years and are established and operated by local communities, through locally elected Boards of Management, to deliver holistic and culturally safe and comprehensive primary healthcare.

They punch above their weight, with 145 services nationally providing about three million episodes of care each year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia, including those living in very remote areas.

ACCHOs provide culturally safe, comprehensive primary health care consistent with our people’s needs, this includes: home and site visits; provision of medical, public health and health promotion services; allied health, nursing services; assistance with making appointments and transport coordination; help to access child care or to deal with the justice system and drug and alcohol services.

Our people trust us with their health. Studies have shown that ACCHOs are 23% better at attracting and retaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients than mainstream providers.

If funded adequately ACCHOs are the solutions to addressing the increasing rates of STIs, BBVs and HIV/AIDS. The current partnership between the Department of Health to address the syphilis outbreak has been extraordinary! It highlights innovation in science and the great work done on the ground by Aboriginal health workers.

I would like to leave with one message:

It is only with everyone working together that we will be able to help minimise the impact of STIs, BBVs and HIV/AIDS in the community. Mainstream organisations need to do their part and collaborate and work collectively with us.

Nationally, there is a high-quality network of Aboriginal controlled service providers that get results – understand them, connect with them and identify mutually beneficial areas to work together

Picture above Tim Wilson MP and his quote : At Parliament today, we gathered to remember & honour those lost to HIV/AIDS, redouble our efforts to stop new transmissions and stigma + mark tomorrow’s start of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week.

Find out more here: atsihiv.org.au

Part 3 Health Minister Greg Hunt Press Release 

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year. It raises awareness across the world and in the community about HIV and AIDS.

It is a day for people to show their support for people living with HIV and to remember and honour those who we have lost.

In the 2019–20 Budget, the Morrison Government invested $45.4 million to implement Australia’s five National Blood-Borne Viruses (BBV) and Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) Strategies.

These strategies will make a deep and profound difference in reducing the health impacts and stigma of BBV and STI, including HIV.

Today, I am pleased to announce that our Government will provide additional, ongoing support for people with HIV and other BBV and STI’s by extending funding to six national peak organisations, providing almost $3 million for 2020-21.

In addition, from 1 December 2019, Australians living with HIV will save more than $8,500 a year with the listing of a new combination medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

It is estimated that 850 Australians with HIV will benefit from the listing of Dovato® (dolutegravir with lamivudine) on the PBS, which will provide more choice for them in how they can manage their HIV.

Effective once daily treatments such as Dovato and other new medicines can control the virus so that people living with HIV can enjoy long, healthy and productive lives.

With the PBS subsidy, people living with HIV will pay just $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card for Dovato®.

Australia continues to be a world leader in the response to HIV. The number of new HIV diagnoses today is at its lowest in nearly 20 years.

Our success is built on a model of partnership between government, people living with HIV, community based organisations, health professionals and researchers.

We are seeing more people tested for HIV and initiating treatment for HIV. There are also more people living with a suppressed viral load. In addition, improved access to HIV prevention methods, including the PBS-listed pre exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), helps reduce the number of new HIV diagnoses.

We are also looking to address stigma and discrimination.

The Eighth National HIV Strategy 2018-22, guides our partnership approach over the next four years to virtual elimination of HIV transmission by 2022.

We aim to be one of the first countries in the world to eliminate new HIV transmissions.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Workforce News : Indigenous GP Jacinta Power and @jcu medicine graduate is a “  powerful “ force for @TAIHS__ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health

“I really love women’s health.  I get to see the pregnant women, the new babies and then the child.

There’s a spiritual connection there.  Whatever specialty I chose, it was always going to be something that would help my people, it’s definitely my area”

For Indigenous GP Jacinta Power she loves seeing women through their pregnancies, the birth of their babies and watching their children grow

Download full profile

Jacinta Power A4 Profile

The former JCU medical student Fellowed as a General Practitioner through JCU General Practice Training last year and is working with the Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service (TAIHS).

Her goal, to use her skills to better the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Working in the Aboriginal medical service has allowed her to do just that.  A decision validated by a chance meeting with an Aboriginal Elder who helped set up Australia’s first Aboriginal Medical Service in Sydney’s Redfern.

“She came into TAIHS and she just broke down crying to see how far we had come.  From the early days when she was trying to set up the first service to being at TAIHS and to be seen by an Indigenous doctor was amazing.

“To her, that was the goal.  To get to the stage where we could be looking after our own mob.  That was a really special moment.”

Growing up on a farm in rural north Queensland Dr Power always wanted to work in health.  A desire driven by the loss of her brother to cancer as a child.

But as a shy teenager, she lacked the confidence to aim for medicine.  It wasn’t until she read the story of the inspirational African American neurosurgeon, Ben Carson that she felt she too could try for medicine.

Yet she still doubted her own ability.

“I honestly thought I couldn’t do it.  I graduated from a high school in a small rural town.  I think I was the first to go into medicine.”

Despite her misgivings, Dr Power secured a place in the JCU medicine degree, attracted to the program for its focus on rural, remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

“I loved the fact that right from second year you went out into rural towns and learnt from doctors in those areas.  They’re very inspiring, their level of enthusiasm and knowledge is amazing.  It takes a lot to be a doctor in a rural town.  It’s really inspiring for students to learn in those settings.”

Dr Power believes the rural training gives students an edge going into their intern year.

“You learn a lot of skills in rural placements.  You certainly go into that year knowing you have a good set of skills.”

Having completed her GP training in rural and regional north Queensland, Dr Power is now giving back as a Cultural Mentor for current registrars.

“Having a cultural mentor gives registrars a support person.  If you come from a completely different cultural background you might not know certain practices and you might not understand why a patient acts in a particular way.  If they have a person they can ask and debrief with, it provides a more positive experience.”

“Each community is very different and having a cultural mentor in each of those places is definitely necessary.  It creates more support for registrars.”

While Dr Power is enjoying her general practice work, long term she’d like to focus on preventative health, which she sees as key to tackling chronic disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“I chose general practice because you are working in the community. I’d like to take it that step further and get involved outside the clinic as well.  To work on the root causes of the problems and so much of that is good nutrition.”

Eventually she’d like that to include a return to her farming roots and community food production, providing both employment and the foundations of good health.

But for now, she delights in her general practice.  In the mums she helps, the children she treats and the new lives she gets to meet.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Research News : Download @LowitjaInstitut and @ourANU Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Services – Putting community-driven, strengths-based approaches into practice

From the wide range of health and wellbeing practitioners we spoke to – which included nurses, midwives, Aboriginal health workers, therapists, caseworkers and more – there was clear sentiment that in a context of post- colonial power imbalance, Aboriginal people often experience inappropriate treatment in mainstream services.

There was agreement that community-driven, holistic and person-centred approaches are key to delivering better services, yet, increasingly, restrictive and metrics-focus funding regimes constrain what works. ” 

From Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Services – Putting community-driven, strengths-based approaches into practice Report

Download 80 Page PDF here

Aboriginal_Health_and_Wellbeing_services_DD3_FINALwith_links

” Laynhapuy Health is responsive to a set of distinctly localised, Yolŋu ways of setting goals and priorities. The Traditional Owners, in combination with the local health workers, are effectively the ‘bosses’ of the Laynhapuy Health service.

They make broad decisions about the nature and pace of health delivery, in keeping with the broader self-determined ethos of the homelands movement (see the section on Laynhapuy Homelands self-determination movement).

The Aboriginal health workers, meanwhile, are responsible for the clinics in their communities (see the section Aboriginal health and wellbeing professionals).

Difficult decisions about local health are made in the first instance through adherence to Yolŋu conventions of reciprocity, relational obligation, custodianship and clan-based understandings of the right way to do things.

In the second instance, decision making in Laynhapuy Health is intercultural. The Laynha Health manager (and a range of other staff) regularly meet with community leaders, health workers and a wide range of community members on routine community visits, and the communities are the manager’s first point of contact for discussing new ideas or directions.

This is not always an easy task as it relies on subtleties beyond formal governance. The community needs to trust that the staff and clinicians of Laynhapuy Health will respect and adhere to the decisions made at a homeland level.

At the same time, the manager must ensure power in decision-making continues to reside with the Traditional Owners and the community, while also adhering to the clinical and bureaucratic conventions of biomedical systems.

As we explore here, time, communication and trust are crucial elements in making this work. However, at the heart of Laynhapuy Health’s model is a belief that the people of the homelands are best placed to make decisions about their own health care; in short, Yolŋu concepts of health create healthy Yolŋu.”

From page 32 Laynhapuy Health is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) operating in East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory (NT). It delivers comprehensive primary health care (CPHC) to Yolŋu people across the remote Laynhapuy Homelands

Executive summary 

This report explores strengths-based, bottom-up approaches to delivering Aboriginal health and wellbeing services.

It focuses on three case study organisations across two sites, all of which have reputations for maintaining highly positive relationships with their communities:

  • Laynhapuy Health is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) operating in East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory (NT). It delivers comprehensive primary health care (CPHC) to Yolŋu people across the remote Laynhapuy Homelands (see https://www.laynhapuy.com.au).
  • Waminda is an ACCHS that provides a range of health and wellbeing services to Aboriginal women and their families in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales (NSW) and beyond. This includes general practice, antenatal and postnatal care, lifestyle programs, justice support, social enterprise programs and more (see waminda.org.au).

  • Noah’s is a community-based, not-for-profit organisation catering to children and young people with special needs and their families across the Shoalhaven. Their work includes National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services, childhood education, playgroups, and behaviour Noah’s has several programs specifically for Aboriginal clients (see https://noahs.org.au/).

Despite the substantial differences between the two field sites and the scope of the three organisations, there were strong commonalities between them in the approaches and challenges they raised.

For all three organisations, strengths-based approaches are inseparable from their community-driven, holistic design. The linking elements are their understandings of power structures and neo-liberal trends in a cross-cultural context in the Australian health and wellbeing sector.

This highlights that strengths always need to be understood in relation to constraints. For example, a narrow focus on strengths risks portraying individuals and communities as responsible for their situations, shading out wider relations of power and socio-economic inequality.

We found that all three organisations strike an important balance between confidence in the strengths of the communities they serve and represent, and consciousness of the constraints on their (and their clients’) room for manoeuvre in a post-colonial and increasingly neoliberal nation-state.

In many ways large and small, the organisations keep working at pushing those boundaries a little further – creating more room for autonomy and for strengths.

This report explores these dynamics, and, in the process, details the three organisations’ approaches and successes. This brings us back to many of the core issues that are well documented in relation to Aboriginal health and wellbeing, including the importance of community-driven design, holism, the social determinants of health, and person- and family-centred approaches.

This allows us to celebrate the organisations’ strengths and successes – highlighting ‘beautiful, big, positive’ stories, as one of our interviewees put it.

Throughout this report we have followed the terminologies of our case study organisations, participants, and/or source materials in our use of the terms ‘Aboriginal’, ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’ and ‘Indigenous’.

The main section of the report details the organisations’ understandings of effective approaches in the sector, as they have sought to implement them. Although there is much overlap, we have divided this into three areas of focus:

Under the section What Works: Bottom-up approaches we explore broad, organisational issues relating to governance, program design and staffing.

  • Community-driven program design is fundamental to ensuring This requires building long- term relationships with communities that go well beyond superficial consultation.
  • Relationship building goes hand-in-hand with long-term learning based on local histories, culture and socio-economic
  • From these relationships and learning, innovative place-based services that are responsive to community needs and aspirations can
  • Crucial to these processes is having staff who are part of the community, but drawing on expertise and support from staff with a diversity of backgrounds can also help build robust structures and services and provide clients with a wider

Under the section What Works: Holism and wellbeing we then look at how the organisations think about health and wellbeing and what they incorporate within the scope of their work.

  • Much of the health sector treats illness in Aboriginal people, rather than promoting health and
  • Holistic health that addresses social determinants is preventative and protective. It can include supporting culture and language, connection to Country, spirituality, belonging and identity, strength of community and family, and empowerment and control.
  • Holistic health may seem broad, and therefore difficult to implement. However, because the organisations are in tune with community needs and aspirations, it is often clear to them which health-promoting services are most relevant in their context. For example, for one health organisation, enabling people to live and thrive in remote homelands communities is at the core of their work, while another explicitly promotes fitness, nutrition and career pathways among other things.

Under the section What Works: Delivering person- and community-centred care we narrow to a focus on effective approaches at the ‘clinical interface’ of the organisations’ work.

  • Much top-down intervention in the health care sector and beyond relies on externally identifying and seeking to fix Often systems operate based on practitioners’ ‘expert’ values and terms.
  • Person-centred care shifts the power balance and places clients’ needs, desires, goals, values and circumstances at the centre of the care
  • Related strengths-based approaches seek to shift the emphasis away from problems and negative labels through which a person’s or community’s identity can become defined, to instead recognising positive capabilities, goals and
  • All the case study organisations stressed the importance of their services being accessible on a regular and consistent basis. This was closely linked with making a long-term commitment to a place and a population, and building peoples’ familiarity with the service and their trust over
  • Consistency in service provision must be balanced with flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness based on community and client needs. In other words, consistently ‘being there’ for clients is important, but the form this takes need not be prescribed, rigid or
  • Brief consultation times, which are standard in the health care sector, are particularly sub-optimal in the context of Aboriginal health care for a range of reasons we detail. For example, building trust is essential,particularly in light of traumatic histories with institutional services and the prevalence of negative experiences in the health and wellbeing sector. However, building trust and rapport takes time.
  • All the case study organisations see brokering, advocacy and coordination of care as central to their work and success. This ranges from explaining to people the available services and talking them through what to expect, to (in the case of one organisation) escorting them on major hospital visits and translating between

While many of these themes are well-established ‘best practice’ in the health and wellbeing sector, the organisations had remarkably similar Challenges and Constraints in marrying bottom-up, holistic and person-centred approaches with top-down funding regimes.

  • Funding is typically for a specific purpose, falls within a siloed sector or assumes a certain set of realities. The purpose and scope of the funding is decided from the top down and it often assumes a compartmentalised approach to health and
  • Project and programme grants are also often relatively short-term. But, as noted, genuine community relationships take time to build, and many programs that address the social determinants of health are unlikely to show results in such timeframes. Even initiatives with a strong and consistent record of positive results over the long term can be defunded at short notice with little or no This is a threat to the consistency and regularity of services (factors that our participants identified as being so important). It is also a threat to staffing in a context where the organisations have strived to build up Aboriginal staff capacity and cross-cultural understandings, as it can result in the loss of long-term institutional knowledge and produce employment precarity.
  • The organisations are required to report on key performance indicators (KPIs). These are typically determined from the top down and are often strongly metrics-focused. There are frequent disconnects between what KPIs measure and what local organisations value, as well as frustrations that KPIs measure the ‘wrong’ things or fail to capture important successful activity. This is part of a broader international trend toward standardised statistical indicators, despite evidence that they often do not produce the desired

Drawing on the findings throughout the report, we make a range of recommendations for ways forward. These are targeted at funders, policy makers and associated stakeholders seeking to enable non- government organisations (NGOs) in the Aboriginal health and wellbeing field to work more effectively.

Funding that embraces holism, innovation and responsiveness

  • A prevalence of narrow, sector-specific funding may be impeding holistic health and wellbeing approaches, and those driven by community needs, values and More funding streams that allow organisations to define and respond to holistic health and wellbeing in their context are needed.
  • Designing bottom-up, holistic health and wellbeing services sometimes means innovating and taking risks. Funding streams that embrace innovation, but do not force it where it is unneeded, would benefit the

Longer term funding cycles

The availability of more long-term funding options will better allow organisations to design projects and programs from the bottom up. This includes organisations’ efforts to prioritise relationship building;

to address the social determinants of health; to ensure there is leeway for strategies to be tried and, if necessary, amended; to provide consistency of presence over time; and to help build a more skilled and stable workforce that includes training, learning and career development opportunities for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff.

Co-designed KPIs

  • Funding providers should allow organisations the capacity to design or negotiate KPIs according to local realities and community-based aspirations, thereby allowing for greater local relevance, responsiveness and
  • Co-design of KPIs should be an ongoing, reflexive process, allowing for the mitigation of unintended consequences.

Narrative-based reporting

  • Reporting formats need to allow funding recipients the option and scope to detail progress, issues and outcomes in narrative/descriptive form. This may mean incorporating more open-ended questions in report
  • The capacity to integrate or attach multi-media (including videos, audio and photographs) is also merited.
  • Public servants and program managers need professional development in valuing and using qualitative information, and in the dangers of privileging statistical

Reducing over-reporting

  • It is incumbent on funding providers to ensure that reporting requirements and processes are efficient. This includes thinking carefully about how often reports fall due, how user-friendly the reporting templates are to complete, and whether the extent of what they ask applicants to produce is

Relationship building between funders and recipients

  • Policy makers and funders can gain a better understanding of the realities on the ground by talking directly to those implementing services in that Staff at funding institutions should be encouraged to view the funding relationship as a partnership, rather than as a hierarchicalrelationship in which the funder holds the power. It is, after all, usually the service provider that best understands the realities, needs and aspirations of the communities with which they work.
  • Organisations can feel that submitting reports on expended funding is like feeding information into a black hole; there is typically no engagement or feedback from the funding organisation and it is often unclear if or how the submitted information is (or might in future be) used. More transparency around the use of requested information is important, as is engagement with submitted reports.

Career public servants and time for learning

  • The Australian Public Service encourages professional mobility among its staff, but understanding Aboriginal Affairs requires relationship building, substantial cross-cultural knowledge, and comprehension of a range of complex and interrelated historical, socio-economic and political As such, there is strong merit in encouraging public servant stability and specialisation in Aboriginal Affairs.
  • Because knowledge of best practice, and cross-cultural understanding, are central to effective Aboriginal health and wellbeing policy, public servants need time for There is a vast amount of high-quality and accessible research and guidance material on these topics, as well as a plethora of other learning avenues such as courses and cultural immersions. It would be of enormous benefit for public servants to be encouraged to read such materials and to undertake learning opportunities on-the-job with allocated time to do so.