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 #MentalHealth and #SuicidePrevention @cbpatsisp : Health Minister @GregHuntMP welcomes the #YouCanTalk campaign, encouraging our mob struggling with their mental health to reach out and find support

“ The Federal Government welcomes the #YouCanTalk campaign, which encourages Australians struggling with their mental health to reach out and find support.

The awareness campaign is a collaboration between several organisations, including Beyond Blue, Everymind, headspace, Lifeline, ReachOut, RU OK?, SANE Australia, the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention, Roses in the Ocean and the Black Dog Institute.

The campaign will take place over the December-January holiday period, in recognition of how difficult this time of year can be for many Australians.

Our Government commends the collaboration of these organisations to raise awareness about the importance of starting a conversation, particularly over the Christmas-New Year period.” 

Health Minister Greg Hunt Press Release continued Part 1 below 

Read over 160 Aboriginal Health and Suicide Prevention articles published by NACCHO over past 7 years 

” Suicide has emerged in the past half century as a major cause of premature mortality and is a contributor to the overall health and life expectancy gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

In 2018 it was the fifth leading cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the age-standardised suicide rate was more than twice as high as the non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s rate.”

What we know about suicide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people : or see Part 3 Below

Sadly, more than 3,000 Australians choose to end their lives each year – about eight people a day.

Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy, creating a ripple effect that flows through families, friendship groups, schools, workplaces and communities.

That’s why the Federal Government has committed to Towards Zero – working towards reducing the suicide rate to zero.

Towards Zero is a total commitment to the value of each and every life, and recognises the importance of all lives, in all ages, and all groups.

This commitment is backed by our investment of $5.2 billion in mental health and suicide prevention services this financial year, including $63.3 million on suicide prevention activities.

It’s so important for Australians who are struggling to reach out and seek support.

The #YouCanTalk campaign also aims to connect people with tools that can support them through their website

www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/youcantalk.

#YouCanTalk exists to encourage all Australians to have a conversation with a friend, family member or work colleague they’re concerned about.

While it can be difficult to talk about suicide, research shows you can have a positive influence on someone who may be considering suicide by initiating a conversation with them and supporting them to seek help.

The main message is you don’t need to be a clinician, a GP, or a nurse to check-in with someone you are worried about.

It is OK to let someone know you have noticed they are struggling and ask them if they are experiencing thoughts of suicide.

It is normal to feel worried or nervous about having a conversation with a friend, family member or work colleague who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts, but there are resources available to help you.

Life in Mind is a national digital gateway providing organisations and communities access to suicide prevention information, programs, services, resources and research.

Part 3

Suicide has emerged in the past half century as a major cause of premature mortality and is a contributor to the overall health and life expectancy gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

In 2018 it was the fifth leading cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the age-standardised suicide rate was more than twice as high as the non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s rate.

The standardised death rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (24.1 per 100, 000) was higher than the non-Indigenous rate (12.4 per 100, 000)2.

On average, over 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons end their lives through suicide each year, accounting for 1 in 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths.

STATISTIC

Further suicide data can be found at the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention, and from the ATSISPEP report.

Three main issues can be identified:

  1. There is variable quality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification at the state and national levels, resulting in an expected under-reporting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicides.
  2. Lack of reporting on suicide due to questions regarding intent, especially in the case of childhood suicides. Similarly, it can be demonstrated that there may be a reluctance to classify adult deaths as suicides for a variety of reasons also.
  3. Delays in reporting data, whereby incidences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide might not be known for months and often years after the fact.

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 Children’s Health News : Read @June_Oscar #strongcommunitiesnsw @AbSecNSW Speech plus Download the 56 page @AusHumanRights National Scorecard assessing outcomes for children rights across Australia.

“While most Australian children live in safe, healthy environments and do well, there are some groups whose rights are not well protected, which impacts negatively on their wellbeing and ability to thrive.

This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children with disability, children in care, children in rural and remote locations, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and LGBTI children,”.

AHRC National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell this week released a scorecard assessing outcomes for children rights across Australia. See AHRC Press Release Part 1 Below

Download the Scorecard HERE

ahrc_childrensrights_scorecard2019

“ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continue to face significant disadvantage across a range of domains relevant to their rights and wellbeing, including in health and education, discrimination, exposure to family violence, and overrepresentation in child protection and youth justice systems.

This overall disadvantage has roots in past government policies and practices, and the continued legacy of intergenerational trauma and disadvantage that these policies created. “

Current issues in the area of Aboriginal Children’s Health health see Part 2 Below or Page 23 of report

Read over 370 Aboriginal children’s health  articles published by NACCHO over past 7 years

The removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families is one of Australia’s most serious human rights concerns,

“Of the 99 deaths in custody investigated in 1991 in the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody, it was found that almost half had previously been removed from their parents. We have to call out these systemic failings, where the overrepresentation of children in care, driven and compounded by poverty, makes unimaginable crisis all the more likely in our communities.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children removed from their families and placed in out-of-home care are 16 times more likely to be in youth justice supervision than those who are not. “

In a powerful speech on November 20, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar called for government at all levels in Australia to “flip the system from crisis to prevention investment”.

The keynote speech, delivered at the AbSec Biennial Conference, draws attention to the direct and cyclical link between high rates of removal of Indigenous children into out-of-home care and poor outcomes for Indigenous communities across Australia. See Part 3 below 

Part 1 AHRC Press Release

One of the scorecard’s most significant recommendations is to raise the age of criminal responsibility. It makes clear there is no good rationale for detaining children under the age of 14, in any form of detention.

“All Australian governments need to recommit to the principle of child detention as a measure of last resort, because placing children behind bars amounts to taking away their childhood and disrupting their healthy development. It makes them more likely to go on and reoffend,” said Commissioner Mitchell.

The age of criminal responsibility in Australia is ten, which is low compared to many other countries, and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended all countries increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years.

“While most Australian children live in safe, healthy environments and do well, there are some groups whose rights are not well protected, which impacts negatively on their wellbeing and ability to thrive. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children with disability, children in care, children in rural and remote locations, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and LGBTI children,” said Commissioner Mitchell.

Mental health outcomes for Australian children are concerning, with suicide the leading cause of death for children aged 5–17 in 2017 and 35,997 hospitalisations for intentional self- harm in the ten years to 2017.

“There is a national shortage of mental health services and more needs to be done to care for the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young people and much earlier in their lives,” Commissioner Mitchell said.

The scorecard calls on the Federal Government to develop a National Plan for Child Wellbeing and to appoint a Cabinet level Minister with responsibility for driving children’s issues at the national level.

The scorecard also addresses children’s rights in relation to immigration detention and  the impact of climate change on children’s rights, health and an adequate standard of living.

Mikiko Otani, a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child presented the scorecard at a conference at Melbourne University on November 20 .

It coincides with the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Part 2

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continue to face significant disadvantage across a range of domains relevant to their rights and wellbeing, including in health and education, discrimination, exposure to family violence, and overrepresentation in child protection and youth justice systems. This overall disadvantage has roots in past government policies and practices, and the continued legacy of intergenerational trauma and disadvantage that these policies created.[i]

Current issues in the area of health include:

  • There are major gaps in data on important health issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.[ii]
  • Since the Closing the Gap target baseline was set in 2008, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child mortality rates have declined by 10%.[iii] However, the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and non-Indigenous children has not narrowed, because the non-Indigenous rate has declined at a faster rate.[iv]
  • Ear disease is a significant health issue facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
  • In 2012–13, 30% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 2–14 were overweight or obese, compared with 25% of their non-Indigenous counterparts.[v]
  • The likelihood of probable serious mental illness has been found to be consistently higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children compared to their non-Indigenous peers.[vi]
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 4–17 accounted for 19.2% of all child deaths due to suicide between 2007–15. [vii]
  • The levels of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in children, especially those from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, are concerning.

Numerous studies confirm the negative impact of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ experiences of racial discrimination, including institutional racism.[viii] Settings that were identified as places of concern include employment, education, shops, public spaces and sport, health and justice.[ix]

Data on hospitalised injury among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people between 2011–12 and 2015–16 show the most commonly reported perpetrator of assaults on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was a family member.[x]

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continue to be significantly overrepresented in Australia’s child protection systems.[xi] Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are subject to care and protection orders at ten times the rate of non-Indigenous children.[xii] The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were subject to care and protection orders has steadily risen from 15,500 in 2014 to 20,500 in 2018.[xiii]

School attendance, literacy and numeracy outcomes did not meet the Closing the Gap targets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children set by the Australian Government for 2018.[xiv] However, targets to halve the gap in Year 12 attainment or equivalent by 2020 and to have 95% of Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025 are on track.[xv]

One in ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported speaking an Australian Indigenous language at home in the 2016 Census.[xvi]

While the National Curriculum for schools includes a framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, there is no national approach and the programs implemented in schools vary greatly across jurisdictions.

Current issues in the area of youth justice include:

  • While around 5% of children aged 10–17 in Australia are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, half (49%) of the children under youth justice supervision on an average day in 2017–18 were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.[xvii]
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are overrepresented in both detention and community-based supervision at all ages but are particularly overrepresented in the younger age groups.
  • Children placed in out-of-home care are 16 times more likely than children in the general population to be under youth justice supervision in the same year.[xviii] This risk increases when the child is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.[xix]

Part 3 : In a powerful speech on November 20, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar called for government at all levels in Australia to “flip the system from crisis to prevention investment”.

The keynote speech, delivered at the AbSec Biennial Conference, draws attention to the direct and cyclical link between high rates of removal of Indigenous children into out-of-home care and poor outcomes for Indigenous communities across Australia.

“The removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families is one of Australia’s most serious human rights concerns,” said Commissioner June Oscar.

“Of the 99 deaths in custody investigated in 1991 in the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody, it was found that almost half had previously been removed from their parents. We have to call out these systemic failings, where the overrepresentation of children in care, driven and compounded by poverty, makes unimaginable crisis all the more likely in our communities.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children removed from their families and placed in out-of-home care are 16 times more likely to be in youth justice supervision than those who are not.

“If we fail to change the course, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care will more than triple over the next 20 years,” said Commissioner June Oscar.

“The numbers must be reversed. For this to happen we have to know the lives, the stories and histories that sit behind the statistics. This data cannot remain faceless it has to be told through our words and our experiences, our strengths and resilience, and our hope commitment and determination for a different future.

“A system that is siloed, operating free of our lived realities and contexts, segments our families across service sectors and institutions. When it comes to the protection, care and support of our children this approach is disastrous as there is limited focus on the systemic interconnected issues that need to be resolved for children to remain at home, and the vital supports that our parents and families need to keep children with them.

“For this to happen, Governments at all levels must change ways of working so that processes, policies, programs and services are community-led, strengths-based and trauma-informed.

“To effectively respond to the systemic issues we have to break the cycle of inequality and interventions.

“Changing this system is the responsibility of all Australians. Insisting that governments invest in prevention is about developing a national narrative of equality where everyone is given the best start in life and has the chance to succeed. To be all of who they are without fear of being dispossessed, taken away, condemned and discriminated against.

“The Australia we want is one that embraces, includes and celebrates our diversity. That is the society our children have belonged to since time began and it is the Australia they deserve and have a right to.”

You can read the full text of Commissioner June Oscar’s speech to the AbSec Biennale Conference here

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and @END_RHD Our CEO Pat Turner and @jcarapetis deliver a heart-felt evidence-based Aileen Plant Oration @_PHAA_ #CDCConference2019 on Ending #RHD in Australia #ClosingTheGap

At END RHD, our vision is simple: that no child born in Australia today dies of rheumatic heart disease.

And in theory, it should be just that, simple, because RHD has already been eliminated in Australia’s non-Indigenous population. 94% of people who get RHD are our mob.

Despite widespread improvements to the living standards of most Australians, our First Nation’s people continue to experience disadvantage and conditions that perpetuate the spread of infectious diseases.

In my mind, there is no clearer example of a disease of disparity than rheumatic heart disease.

At NACCHO, we became a founding partner of END RHD not because this disease is a simple fix, but because it is hard.

Because it spans from housing, to clinics, to open heart surgery, and highlights the inequalities within the health system, and in outcomes. “

Pat Turner CEO NACCHO delivering this year’s Aileen Joy Plant Oration with END RHD Co-Chair, Professor Jonathan Carapetis. See Pats speech Part 2 below

Part 1 PHAA Press Release 

Download the full Press Release

PHAA RHD Press Release

The conference was run by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and delegates got a sneak preview on an end game strategy to rid Australia of RHD – a detailed report that is due for formal release early next year.

“It’s a strategy that relies on partnerships and empowering Indigenous people,” said Professor Jonathan Carapetis, Executive Director, Telethon Kids Institute

“The time has never been better for us to control this disease.”

Researchers are looking at new formulations so that sufferers don’t have to have monthly penicillin

injections for years. “An implant is being worked on,” Professor Carapetis said.

“For 25 years we’ve all been looking at silver bullets and not seeing improvements but we should have hope as we now pull together all we know especially the environmental determinants.”

“We should be able to reduce RHD prevalence by 70 percent,” Professor Carapetis said.

“It’s complex but not overwhelming. It involves multiple sectors and a comprehensive response.”

“The Australian Government is funding the development of a Strep A vaccine. There is progress in the field as we move towards a trial. But that won’t result in a vaccine for our kids for a decade.”

 

Part 2 Pat Turners Speech 

As an Aboriginal woman of Gurdanji-Arrernte heritage, I wish to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as the traditional owners of the land where we meet today.

I also acknowledge our continuing and vibrant First Nation’s cultures. I am grateful for the contributions of our past, present, and emerging leaders.

Today, I stand here wearing two hats. As CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation – NACCHO – and as Co-Chair of END RHD, an alliance of peaks, community and research organisations committed to ending rheumatic heart disease in Australia.

It gives me great honour to be here today to deliver this year’s Aileen Joy Plant Oration with my END RHD Co-Chair, Professor Jonathan Carapetis.

RHD begins with a sore throat or a skin sore caused by Strep A.

For our children, these are common infections – but the impact can last a lifetime.

A lifetime which, too often, is cut short.

There is no cure for RHD, but patients must undergo a painful injection of antibiotics every 28 days for at least a decade to keep their heart as strong as possible. Some must also undergo surgery to have their heart valves replaced or repaired.

In our work to close the gap, there are many priorities. Our people are telling us that. There is just so much to be done, we can’t afford to have ‘favourite’ diseases.

But RHD sticks out. It is the greatest cause of cardiovascular inequality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this country. Non-Indigenous people, literally, just don’t get it.

In the Kimberley, the average age of death of people living with RHD is just 41 years old. This is a chronic, life-limiting disease… and it starts from a skin sore or sore throat.

We get it because of crowded houses. Because a lot of our people don’t always have access to hot water. To showers that work. To washing machines that aren’t broken.

We get it because our clinics are overwhelmed with demand, and sometimes skin sores and sore throats go untreated.

We get it because acute rheumatic fever gets missed and sometimes it is too late for treatment.

At NACCHO, we became a founding partner of END RHD not because this disease is a simple fix, but because it is hard. ( Partners in this image )

Because it spans from housing, to clinics, to open heart surgery, and highlights the inequalities within the health system, and in outcomes.

Because tackling this disease offers a way to significantly close the gap.

We are fighting to prevent the next generation of our children experiencing this needless suffering. And we are fighting for our people already living with the disease.

Kids like Tenaya, who you can see in this photo

Read Tenaya’s full story Here

You wouldn’t know it from that gorgeous smile, but when I met Tenaya at the start of the year, she had recently been flown down to Perth in a critical condition suffering from heart failure. Her mother had taken her to the local hospital three times, and each time she had been sent home.

The fourth time, her mother refused to leave until she was flown to Perth, where upon arrival, she was rushed to the intensive care unit and put on life-support for two weeks.

A month later, when she was strong enough, she underwent two rounds of open-heart surgery.

Tenaya is seven years old. And she’ll need monthly injections until she is twenty-one. Most likely, she’ll need further surgery too.

She bears both the physical scars of her surgery, and the emotional scars of months spent away from friends, family and her community.

Her mum says that every time she sees a nurse she bursts into tears, terrified.

And on top of all of that, her family have been forced to make the tough decision to move off country to be closer to the specialist medical treatment needed to keep her alive.

The fact that this suffering was caused by a preventable disease is horrifying.

The fact that RHD persists in a country as wealthy as Australia is a national shame.

The fact that without urgent investment, it’s predicted another 10,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will develop the disease by 2031, is unconscionable.

We cannot let it happen.

Our people know what needs to happen to end RHD in this country.

In fact, community-driven work is already underway across Australia.

Our communities are rising. They are demanding support.

In March this year, a historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap was signed between COAG and the Coalition of Peaks, and a joint council was formed of which I am Co-Chair.

This means that now, for the first time, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through their peak body representatives, will share decision making with governments on Closing the Gap.

The Partnership Agreement embodies the belief of all signatories that:

  • When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are included and have a real say in the design and delivery of services that impact on them, the outcomes are far better;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples need to be at the centre of Closing the Gap policy: the gap won’t close without our full involvement; and
  • COAG cannot expect us to take responsibility and work constructively with them to improve outcomes if we are excluded from the decision making.

Rheumatic heart disease exemplifies the gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.

And we know that by addressing the causes, we can also eliminate other linked conditions that unfairly blight our people such as scabies, otitis media, and kidney disease.

We cannot, and will not, close the gap without ending rheumatic heart disease.

Right now, we have the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and community demand to tackle this disease.

We have a commitment from government to equal partnership in our work to close the gap.

And with over 25 years of research behind us, we have a strong evidence-base to support this community-driven work.

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and the #Ulurustatement : The Senior advisory group co-designing the Indigenous Voice to government has meet for the first time : Includes today’s Editorial from the The Australian and @KenWyattMP speech

 ” Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt has urged the senior advisory group co-designing an Indigenous Voice to Government to take hold of the “moment in time” before them to change the lives of Indigenous Australians.

The minister led the first meeting of the consultation body made up of 19 people at Old Parliament in Canberra on Wednesday.

The senior advisory group is seeking to shape a framework towards developing options for an Indigenous voice to all levels of government. 

But his actions have earned some backlash for already taking enshrining the voice in the constitution off the table.

Mr Wyatt called on the leadership group to embrace their opportunity to “enact meaningful” and “long-lasting change” for Indigenous Australians and the entire nation.

“All of us have been around for a long time – we have seen communities grow but we’ve seen them struggle,” he said.

“We talk about community control – but I don’t see it on the ground.

The bottom line is for the elder in the community, the child … the family – that’s where we have to make the difference.”

Introduction and photos from NITV Online

Download the Ministers press release and opening speech HERE

Minister Wyatt Press Release speech the Voice

Read all 30 plus articles Aboriginal Health and the Uluru Statement 

Editorial from the Australian ( Please note we have not edited spelling ) 

Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt is a man for constructive action in preference to the grand gesture.

After 12 years of false starts, arguments and setbacks under both sides of federal politics, the minister is pushing quietly and methodically towards the establishment of an indigenous voice to government.

Mr Wyatt, the first Aborigine to lead the ministry responsible for his people and our first indigenous cabinet minister, is a pragmatist.

In a sector where empty symbolism has sometimes overshadowed practical outcomes, that is a refreshing advantage.

At the first meeting of the co-design panel for a legislated “voice to government” at Old Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday, Mr Wyatt cautioned, sensibly, that overreaching could spoil a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

In his Lingiari memorial address in August, he ruled out including a voice to parliament in the Morrison government’s referendum on constitutional reform.

That stance, in contradiction of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, has disappointed some of his high-profile countrymen.

It has bolstered the chances, however, of such a referendum on recognition being passed not only by a majority of voters in a majority of states, as it should, but by a thumping majority.

Recognition, when it comes, needs to unite rather than divide the nation.

As Mr Wyatt puts it, the referendum will be about “recognising indigenous Australians on our birth certificate”.

Scott Morrison, like Malcolm Turnbull, does not want the voice to be seen as a “third chamber” of parliament; that would be neither desirable nor acceptable to most voters.

Mr Wyatt prefers the term “voice to government” rather than “voice to parliament”. His idea that it could advise local and state authorities, as well as the commonwealth, is a good one. To be effective that voice, or voices, as he says, need not be constitutionally enshrined. What his people want is to be heard.

On Thursday, Greg Brown reported Mr Wyatt’s clear message for indigenous leaders who were angry the voice would not be included in the Constitution:

“Reflect back on the history of our people and think of every time you challenge and move forward; we have done it incrementally and then when we have gained the incremental achievement we have gone on to build bigger and better things.” His people were “at the beginning” of the process.

After consolidating, others could take up the baton for the next stage.

Against that backdrop, the minister deserves credit for drawing many of Australia’s most distinguished and outspoken indigenous leaders, including supporters of the Uluru statement, on to his Senior Advisory Group. Members of the group include indigenous lawyer Noel Pearson, land rights leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu and co-chairs Marcia Langton and Tom Calma.

Participants have decades of experience working for their people across a range of sectors.

To mention a few, Tony Wurramarrba from Groote Eylandt negotiated a comprehensive mining agreement with BHP Billiton on behalf of traditional owners, and led negotiations with the commonwealth and Northern Territory governments to deliver housing, infrastructure, health and education in the region.

Peter Buckskin, from South Australia, is a former teacher, academic and ministerial adviser.

Josephine Cashman is a NSW entrepreneur and lawyer. Marcia Ella-Duncan chaired the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council and is a member of the Netball Australia Reconciliation Action Plan. Vonda Malone is the first female mayor of the Torres Shire Council.

Pat Turner, with 40 years experience in business, academe and government, is at the forefront of community efforts to improve Aborigines’ health outcomes in the Northern Territory. ( NACCHO Correction should read Australia wide )

These and other indigenous panel members are ideally placed to speak for the communities they know and love.

The panel also includes non-indigenous people with understanding and skills to enhance the exercise.

Jesuit priest and lawyer Frank Brennan has long been a staunch advocate for indigenous people. The Australian’s associate editor and Sky News presenter Chris Kenny has written extensively on indigenous issues.

He accepted his appointment “to make sure indigenous Australians” at the grassroots “get a fair go”.

Beyond constitutional recognition and a voice to government, Mr Wyatt also envisages a process that would provide a sharing of a history between indigenous and non-indigenous people across the nation.

It is a worthwhile goal. After years of uncertainty and dashed hopes, Mr Wyatt and his colleagues are on track, although stumbling blocks and disagreements in such a sensitive process are inevitable.

But from the perspective of indigenous people whose health, education, jobs, welfare and quality of life often fall far short of what non-indigenous people expect, the panel has a major responsibility to build a system to represent their voices well, helping to facilitate practical reconciliation.

 

Detail of advisory council from NIT

Professor Tom Calma AO – Kungarakun and Iwaidja heritage

Co-Chairing the Senior Advisory Group (SAG), Professor Calma has extensive experience advocating for Indigenous Australians.

From 2004-09, he was the Race Discrimination Commissioner and from 2004-10 he served as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.

He also currently serves as Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia.

Professor Dr Marcia Langton AM – Yiman and Bidjara heritage

The SAG’s other Co-Chair, Dr Langton attended Australian National University and was the first Indigenous honours graduate in anthropology.

She is accomplished in many areas, including social, cultural and land rights, political and legal anthropology, as well as Indigenous engagement in the minerals industry.

Dr Langton was also the first woman to Chair the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Council.

Professor Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO

Professor Brennan is a human rights lawyer and Jesuit priest commonly known for his involvement in the Wik debate of 1998.

He chaired the 2009 National Human Rights Consultation and was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his services to Indigenous Australians, specifically in areas of law, reconciliation and social justice.

Professor Brennan has also authored books on Indigenous issues such as The Wik Debate and One Land One Nation.

Professor Peter Buckskin PSM – Narungga heritage

Professor Buckskin has plenty of experience at an elite level, having served as Commissioner of the Australian Commission to UNESCO, Chair of the South Australian Aboriginal Education Consultative Committee and Dean of Aboriginal Engagement and Strategic Projects at the University of South Australia.

In 2001, he received a Commonwealth Public Servant Medal (PSM).

Ms Josephine Cashman – Warrimay heritage

With over two decades of experience as a lawyer and entrepreneur, Ms Cashman works in areas promoting inclusive economic development and positive change in society.

She founded the Big River group and was an inaugural member of the Prime Minsiter’s Indigenous Advisory Council.

Ms Cashman was also an invited speaker at the UN Human Rights Council session addressing violence against Indigenous girls and women.

Ms Marcia Ella-Duncan OAM – Walbunja heritage

Ms Ella-Duncan was the first Indigenous women to represent Australia in Netball and has been inducted into the Netball Australia and Netball NSW Halls of Fame.

A Director of Netball Australia, Ms Ella-Duncan is also a member of the association’s RAP working group.

From 2009-17, she also chaired La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Ms Joanne Farrell

A retired Rio Tinto executive, Ms Farrell has experience in leading interaction with key stakeholders while overseeing global Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) systems and processes.

She has led many partnerships with Indigenous communities in employment, economic capacity building, skills development and agreement making.

Mr Mick Gooda – Gangulu heritage

With over 25 years of representing Indigenous Australians under his belt, Mr Gooda has a vast knowledge of the cultural nuances and situational diversity of Indigenous Australians.

Mr Gooda has experience in urban, rural and remote areas, and has also served as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.

Mr Chris Kenny

At times a controversial commentator on Indigenous affairs, Mr Kenny is a Sky News journalist and an Associate Editor at The Australian.

He has reported for Channel Nine, Network Ten and the ABC as well as working as a media adviser and Chief of Staff for past foreign minister Alexander Downer.

Cr Vonda Malone – Kaurareg heritage

Breaker of glass ceilings, Cr Malone is the first female Mayor of the Torres Shire Council, first female Torres Strait Islander Australian diplomat and the first female Torres Strait Islander complete the UN’s Indigenous Fellowship Program.

Cr Malone has 22 years’ experience with the Federal Government, particularly in foreign affairs, was the founding Chair of the Torres Health Indigenous Corporation (THIC) and is Chair of the Torres and Cape Indigenous Councils Alliance (TCICA).

Ms June Oscar AO – Bunuba heritage

A big name in WA’s Kimberley region, Ms Oscar (pictured above) currently serves as Social Justice Commissioner.

She has also served as ATSIC Commissioner, Kimberley Land Council Deputy Director and Chair of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre.

In 2018, Ms Oscar was awarded NAIDOC’s Person of the Year.

Ms Alison Page – Walbanga and Wadi Wadi heritage

Award-winning Producer and Designer, Ms Page is the founder of the National Aboriginal Design Agency and founding CEO of the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance.

She has experience working with Indigenous communities, particularly in delivering architectural services that are culturally appropriate, and was on the Expert Panel for the Federal Government’s Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.

Mr Noel Pearson – Guugu Yimidhirr heritage

Prominent lawyer and land rights activist, Noel Pearson is a name well-known in the Indigenous affairs space.

Mr Pearson helped establish the Cape York Land Council in 1990 and Founder of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership.

He is a strong advocate for social and economic development and has served on the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.

Mr Benson Saulo – Wergaia and Gunditjmara heritage

The first Indigenous Australian to be Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations, Mr Saulo has extensive experience in the Indigenous youth space.

Appointed Director of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy in 2012, Mr Saulo works to engage young Indigenous Australians from across the nation to create campaigns around issues such as mental health and climate change.

He is also the Head of Partnerships, Investments at Australian Unity and is Group sponsor of the organisation’s RAP.

Ms Pat Turner AM – Arrernte and Gurdanji heritage

Leading the way for better Indigenous health outcomes as CEO of NACCHO (National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation), Ms Turner has over 40 years’ experience in senior leadership positions.

Some of her esteemed roles include being current Co-Chair of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap, the inaugural CEO of NITV and the longest serving CEO and only woman CEO of ATSIC.

Professor Maggie Walter – Palawa heritage

Representing descendants of Indigenous Tasmania, Professor Walter is both a Professor of Sociology and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Aboriginal Research and Leadership at the University of Tasmania.

She researches and teaches in the disciplines of inequality and race relations and is a founding member of the Maiam Nayri Wingara Australian Indigenous Data Sovereignty Collective and the Global Indigenous Data Alliance (GIDA).

Mr Tony Wurramarrba – Warnindilyakwa heritage

An experienced negotiator with multninational corporations and State and Federal Governments, Mr Wurramarrba currently chairs the Anindilyakwa Land Council.

He has negotiated deals with BHP Billiton on behalf of Traditional Owners and has worked extensively with the Federal and NT Governments on investment into education, housing, health and infrastructure.

Mr Peter Yu – Yawuru heritage

Another well-known name across the Kimberley region, Mr Yu has 35 years’ experience in Indigenous advocacy at all levels.

He was a key negotiator for the Yawuru Native Title Agreement, Executive Director at Kimberley Land Council throughout the 1990s and was Chair of the WA Aboriginal Housing Board.

Mr Yu currently serves on the Board of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA Ltd) and is Deputy Chair at Broome Future Alliance Ltd.

Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM – Gumatj and Galpu heritage

Chair of the Yothu Yindi Foundation and Gumatj Corporation, Dr Yunupingu has years of experience fighting for Indigenous land rights.

From 1977, Dr Yunupingu also chaired the Northern Land Council for 25 years.

A fierce advocate for Indigenous Australians, Dr Yunupingu said at this year’s Garma Festival that Australia’s Constitution would be thrown into the saltwater if constitutional recognition was not achieved.

Minister Wyatt has said the SAG will advise him on different model options to ensure Australia’s First Nations people are heard at all levels of government.

The past few weeks have seen Minister Wyatt travel to the Northern Territory and Queensland to listen to people on the ground, committing to the notion that he will be the “Minister for all Indigenous Australians” who makes sure “all of their voices can be heard loud and clear.”

“It will be a historic occasion that will mark a shift in the way government and Indigenous Australians work in partnership to shift the pendulum and advance positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

By Hannah Cross NIT

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #WorldDiabetesDay #mydiabetesfamily : Why are Indigenous Australians three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-indigenous Australians ?

” Indigenous Australians are three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-indigenous Australians.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to life-threatening complications. If you’re living with type 2 diabetes there is a lot you can do to manage it and live well.

And for those who may be at risk there is a lot you can do to lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.”

Diabetes NSW & ACT has a range of information sheets specially designed for people from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds see Part 2 below to download facts sheets

Download HERE

ATSI_20180718_Reduce_Your-_Risk_Factsheet

  ‘Too many Australians especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are being diagnosed with diabetes too late. This is true for both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The delay in diagnosis is putting many people at risk of major life-threatening health problems.

Early diagnosis, treatment, ongoing support and management can reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

Diabetes:

  • is the leading cause of blindness in adults
  • is a leading cause of kidney failure
  • is the leading cause of preventable limb amputations
  • increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to four times

It’s About Time we detected all types of diabetes earlier and save lives

See the itsabouttime.org.au for more info : Download resources 

” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely than non-Indigenous Australians to have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Improving the lives of people affected by all types of diabetes and those at risk among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is a priority for Diabetes Australia.

You can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by eating a more healthy diet and being physically active which will help maintain a healthy weight to keep your sugar (glucose) levels normal and your body strong.

If you have any worries about diabetes, check the symptoms below and find out more from your Aboriginal Health Worker, Health Clinic/Community Centre, Aboriginal Medical Service or doctor.”

Read over 160 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Diabetes

More info HERE

Or watch NDSS Video HERE

Did you know diabetes…

  • Is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults?
  • Is a leading cause of kidney failure?
  • Is the leading cause of preventable limb amputations?
  • Increase a person’s risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to four times?

It’s about time you made ‘me time’, took time out and put you first. There is no time to lose. The earlier type 2 diabetes is detected,  the more lives will be saved.   

Type 2 Diabetes

Many Australians will live with type 2 diabetes for up to seven years before being diagnosed. More than 500,000 Australians are living with silent silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

If not diagnosed in time, it can cause blindness, kidney damage, amputation and heart attack.

Although you can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, your risk increases if you are over 40, especially if you are overweight or have a family history of type 2 diabetes.

It’s about time you took the time to get checked. A type 2 diabetes risk check only takes a minute.

The earlier people are diagnosed, the more time they have to live well and reduce their risk of complications.

During this time, type 2 diabetes can do serious harm and lead to:

  • Blindness
  • Kidney damage
  • Amputation
  • Heart attack and stroke

Read more 

Find out your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Calculate your risk

Type 1 Diabetes

Every year 640 children and adults are admitted to hospital because the early signs of type 1 diabetes are missed.

If not diagnosed in time, type 1 diabetes can be fatal.

It’s about time you took the time to learn the 4 T’s – the early warning signs of type 1 diabetes. It takes just a minute to learn. If you see the signs, don’t waste time and see you doctor immediately. If not diagnosed in time it can be fatal.

Learning the 4T’s could just save a life.

  • Toilet – going to the toilet a lot
  • Tired – unexplained or excessive fatigue
  • Thirsty – a thirst that can’t be quenched
  • Thinner – sudden or unexplained weight loss

Read more

Part 2 Diabetes NSW & ACT has a range of information sheets specially designed for people from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds:

If you’d like any additional information or support, call our Helpline on 1300 342 238.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Remote Communities : #WA Minister @benwyatt It is time we have a genuine dialogue about securing the ­future of remote communities and work towards establishing a long-term partnership between Aboriginal communities and state and commonwealth governments

“ The commonwealth has shown it has no interest in sustaining remote communities in Western Australia. In recent years the commonwealth has transferred its long-held responsibilities for housing and essential and municipal services to the state. And its legal responsibility to administer social security payments for people living in remote communities is operated punitively through the CDP and cashless debit card scheme.

Promoters of this approach say it is the most effective way to address passive welfare and to protect children and women in communities — and, to a certain extent, I am attracted to this rationale. Removing the never-ending humbugging between generations is a worthy aim, but removing cash from a vast landmass with no supporting technology is not working.

It is time we have a genuine dialogue about securing the ­future of remote communities and work towards establishing a long-term partnership between Aboriginal communities and state and commonwealth governments.

That partnership should incorporate strategies that break the institutionalised ghetto status of these communities and also understand how communities interact with each other. It should also involve best-practice governance models and vastly improved service delivery.

 To me Ngaanyatjarra would be an ideal trial site for such an approach.”

Opinion article in The Australian from Ben Wyatt the West Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

Last week I drove from Perth to Warburton and Warakurna, two of the most remote communities on Earth.

Arriving at Warburton, population about 500 people, I visited the community’s administration office and became instantly immersed in the madness people there were dealing with.

A single mother was desperately contacting a distant call centre hoping to have her bank account reactivated after keying the wrong pass code given to her.

Unable to produce the required evidence to identify herself she was told to travel a thousand kilometres to Alice Springs to front in person.

She was desperate and broken.

Another woman with children to feed sought emergency relief after her income was suspended by Centrelink for breaching her work-for-the-dole conditions un­der the Community Development Program. At the counter a range of community people queued, demanding that overwhelmed staff help them navigate a social security ­income and banking system that to anyone appears impossibly complex.

This happens regularly, I was told repeatedly, where people have their income cancelled if they fail to report to Centrelink fortnightly on any changes to their living circumstances, miss a monthly report to Jobactive, which runs the CDP scheme, or do not comply with the requirement to work 20 hours a week for the dole all year round.

Given that English is generally not Ngaanyatjarra people’s first language, lack of phone access and the real­ity that people move between communities for all sorts of cultural and social reasons, the numbers of people denied social security payments is, of course, growing.

Other people complained they could not access funds from their bank because they had been conscripted on to the commonwealth’s income management debit card scheme — usually while spending time in Kalgoorlie — without fully understanding the consequences.

The scheme, which quarantines 80 per cent of social security payments to a special bank card that can be used only at certain vendors and cannot be used to buy alcohol and gamble, is being rolled out in Kalgoorlie and the Goldfields as part of a national trial.

The grog-free Ngaanyatjarra lands are not part of the trial and Ngaanyatjarra people who have been ensnared in the scheme through their visits to Kalgoorlie and other Goldfields towns are joining the increasing number of destitute people who rely on their already impoverished families to survive.

A line of these cards is kept behind the office reception in an attempt by the community’s administration to, somehow, turn these cards, inoperable in the lands, into cash.

Clearly there has been significant problems in implementing the scheme, with its Canberra-based designers having no idea how the Goldfields and Ngaanyatjarra Lands operate as an integrated region.

  • Large red dot: 500 people or more
  • Medium red dot: 200 to 499
  • Small red dot: 50 to 199
  • Smaller back dot: less than 50 people

Visiting these communities I was struck by an overwhelming sense that people are disempowered and punished by a digital world of faceless and distant ­bureaucratic controllers.

Centrelink no longer posts cheques, and financial transfers to personalised bank accounts assume people have access to computers and banks. There are no banks in ­remote communities.

This, combined with declining finances coming into the lands through increased payment cancellations as punishment and the increasing conscriptions on to the cashless card scheme has meant the Warburton community council has had to establish its own quasi banking system through recirculating money from the community store.

This situation is unsustainable. There is already a crisis of ­financial security in Warburton and other Ngaanyatjarra communities.

I sense the next phase of this crisis is community implosion resulting in a major population relocation to towns such as Kalgoorlie and Laverton if policies aimed at supporting remote communities don’t change; a ­dynamic that would be replicated throughout remote Australia.