NACCHO Alert June 22 todays @ahmrc and @NSWHealth 5 th #IndigenousHealthSummit : Download the full program : Aboriginal Health “ Is it time to reset?”

 ” The NSW Government committed to reset its relationship with Aboriginal communities following the release of its Aboriginal affairs plan OCHRE: Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment in 2013.

This commitment came in response to overwhelming community sentiment that services to First Peoples must be provided “with” First Peoples, not “to” or “at” them. This is as true for health services, as it is other services.

First Peoples have long called for co-design of services and programs delivered or funded by Government. Preventative and early intervention measures that are co-designed and delivered by Aboriginal communities are essential to achieving better health outcomes.

The Aboriginal community-controlled health sector in Australia is leading the way in this regard, and must meet the challenge of sustaining these approaches.”

Jason Ardler will be one of five Aboriginal panelists for the Summit session on: “Why do we need to reset?”

As Head of NSW Aboriginal Affairs, he is  responsible to the Secretary of the NSW Department of Education, and was recognised in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours for outstanding public service to Indigenous people in NSW. He talked to Croakey ahead of the Summit. You can follow him on Twitter at @JasonArdler.

“With the theme ‘Aboriginal Health – It’s Time to Reset’, we acknowledge that we need new ways of working to achieve meaningful change in the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must be leading conversations about health and wellbeing and this requires government agencies to make space for this to happen”.

Welcome message from Elizabeth Koff, Secretary of NSW Health, who acknowledges the need to privilege Aboriginal voices.

The need for new ways of working and for government agencies to make space so Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can lead the conversations on health and wellbeing is the focus of a major national Indigenous Health Summit to be held this Friday (22 June) in Sydney.

The 5th Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Summit – a biennial event of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Standing Committee, established by the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) – is being co-hosted by the NSW Ministry of Health’s Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of NSW (AH&MRC).

Download the full program and see all the speakers and panelists

IndigenousHealthSummitProgram

Summer May Finlay, a Yorta Yorta woman, public health researcher and Croakey contributing editor, is covering the #IndigenousHealthSummit for the Croakey Conference News Service and sets the scene for the day’s agenda in the article below.

See also below a quick Q&A with Jason Ardler, Head of NSW Aboriginal Affairs, on what he hopes will emerge from the Summit – including the strong message that he says came from NSW Aboriginal communities to the state’s health system to “prioritise healing”, in order to keep people out of the service system in the first place.

Finlay will live tweet from each of the sessions on Friday, conduct live interviews on Periscope (via Twitter) at @ontopicaus, and later file a big wrap of the discussions.

Among those speaking and presenting at the Summit are Federal Indigenous Health and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, journalist Stan Grant, researcher Dr Gregory Phillips, Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) CEO Janine Mohamed, and University of Tasmania Pro-Vice Chancellor (Aboriginal Research and Leadership) Professor Maggie Walter and University of Sydney Acting Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Juanita Sherwood.

Click here for the full program or see all the speakers and panelists at the bottom of this post.

Summer May Finlay writes:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have poorer health and wellbeing than other Australians. This is well known. The ongoing gap is despite increased investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, under the Closing the Gap Framework, which was introduced by the Coalition of Australian Governments in 2009.

So what is happening? What needs to be done? Why are the current solutions not working? And what policies need to be in place to see real and meaningful change? Ultimately the lack of substantive change means it’s time to “reset” the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health approach. This cannot and should not be done without Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Aboriginal health – it’s time to reset” is the theme for the 5th National Health Summit being held in Sydney on Friday 22 June. The summit is hosted by the New South Wales Ministry of Health and the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of NSW.

With a program that features almost entirely Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Summit will be a meeting of the top policymakers in the country, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous, and from the government and the non-government sectors. They are the people who can drive a reset agenda.

One summit will not and cannot address the health outcomes and change policy overnight. What it can do is assist in shifting the approach. Shift the underlying ideology away from being government-led to community-led. And a shift is what is required. There is no hiding that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the country’s first peoples, the traditional owners of this land, have always fared worse than those who have subsequently migrated here.

To call for a reset is brave. The agenda is bold, courageous even. The first panel discussion, with only Aboriginal presenters, will outline why a reset is required. An all-Aboriginal panel is making a statement: that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need to be leading the way if we are to indeed reset.

The second panel, which is mostly Aboriginal, asks “How do we reset?” with a focus on Aboriginal community-led ways to wellness and health. Since the National Aboriginal Health Strategy, the first national attempt to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, there has been a call from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for community-led solutions.

The concept of community-led solutions is not new; however, rarely have we seen policy that genuinely embraces this approach, which is why it is essential it is on the agenda for the National Summit.

Where to from here?

The afternoon session includes a short update on the Closing the Gap Refresh by Professor Ian Anderson, the Deputy Secretary for Indigenous Affairs, Prime Minister and Cabinet. With much of the consultation already completed, it will be interesting to see how the Refresh will align with the approaches suggested during the National Summit.

The meat of the day, however, and probably the most challenging session will be the last: “Where to from here?” This will be led by Professor Kerry Arabena, Chair for Indigenous Health and Director of the Indigenous Health Equity Unit at the University of Melbourne, and journalist, author and filmmaker Dr Jeff McMullen.

Change is challenging. It means that each individual needs to look at their own ways of working and consider how they are contributing to the status quo, i.e. the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health disparity.

It is in the uncomfortable that I believe we will see real change. The uncomfortable is where we start to question and review our own underlying beliefs and attitudes. It is through this process that we can shift our own ways of doing business to assist in creating a better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Some of the attendees, an invitation-only group from across government, health and social sector organisations, and research institutions, may be stretched beyond their comfort zones; however, there is no doubt that all levels of governments and non-government sectors want to work towards better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Those who are there on Friday hopefully will walk away feeling reset themselves and with a renewed vigour for the work ahead.

Resetting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health agenda: it’s not an easy task but a necessary one for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and all Australians.

Part 2 Q&A with Jason Ardler, Head of NSW Aboriginal Affairs

Summer May Finlay

Q: Why is the theme important to you?

Jason Ardler:

A: The NSW Government committed to reset its relationship with Aboriginal communities following the release of its Aboriginal affairs plan OCHRE: Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment in 2013.

This commitment came in response to overwhelming community sentiment that services to First Peoples must be provided “with” First Peoples, not “to” or “at” them. This is as true for health services, as it is other services.

First Peoples have long called for co-design of services and programs delivered or funded by Government. Preventative and early intervention measures that are co-designed and delivered by Aboriginal communities are essential to achieving better health outcomes.

The Aboriginal community-controlled health sector in Australia is leading the way in this regard, and must meet the challenge of sustaining these approaches.

Summer May Finlay

Q: What is the one point you hope to get across at the Summit?

Jason Ardler:

A: When the NSW Government asked Aboriginal communities in 2011 what a new Aboriginal affairs plan should include, Aboriginal people across the state warned us that if we continued to focus on providing services to fix people up, we would continue to achieve the same poor outcomes.

Instead, we were told to prioritise keeping people out of the service system in the first place – and that means prioritising healing.

Intergenerational trauma is a significant issue for First Nations’ families and communities and healing is essential to improved health and wellbeing outcomes. As one young person said in the National Youth Healing Forum Report: “We need increased focus on positive programs that keep people happy and healthy rather than only targeting them at crisis point.”

Healing is a process that is necessarily different for every individual, family and community – which is why “co-design” with the First Peoples is critical.

Summer May Finlay:

Q: What do you recommend people read or watch in the lead up to the event?

Jason Ardler:

Healing: www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au/healing-and-reparations/healing

Local decision making: www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au/working-differently/local-decision-making

About our research agenda: https://www.aboriginalaffairs

Aboriginal Health Research : @KenWyattMP #SEARCH a “jewel in the crown” in Aboriginal health research

“Historically, research has tended to be based around academic promotion, not looking at what works and what doesn’t and not designed around the needs of Aboriginal people and by Aboriginal people. That’s where we’ve come from.

But SEARCH was different because it ensured Aboriginal leadership was embedded, Aboriginal people had ownership of the data and the research was culturally appropriate.”

One of the founding Chief Investigators of SEARCH, Sandra Bailey, former Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council-NSW

The SEARCH study into the health and wellbeing of urban Aboriginal children is providing valuable data to inform policy and should be celebrated as one of the “jewels in the crown” in Aboriginal care and research, Federal Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt told the study’s annual Forum this month.

The SEARCH partners are: The Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council, the Sax Institute, leading researchers across Australian universities and four NACCHO Aboriginal community controlled health services member : Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation (Campbelltown), Awabakal Ltd (Newcastle), Riverina Medical and Dental Aboriginal Corporation (Wagga Wagga) and Aboriginal Medical Service Western Sydney (Mt Druitt).

Mr Wyatt, who opened the SEARCH (Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health) Forum in Sydney, said thorough research and data collection was essential in the development of policy.

“We are better off informed by data that comes from our people and often collaborations with research institutes give me guidance,” he said. “It really does inform the way we consider our approach to Closing the Gap”.

VIEW YOU TUBE INTERVIEW

SEARCH is Australia’s largest long-term study of the health and wellbeing of urban Aboriginal children, and involves 1600 children and their families.

It is an active partnership between Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and researchers, where these health services set the research priorities and guide how data is collected, interpreted and used.

The Forum showcased the achievements of SEARCH and highlighted significant potential for Australia to make even greater gains, both by looking at ways to further build the evidence on the drivers of health and disease in urban Aboriginal children and their families, and by using the necessary tools, systems and partnerships to put that evidence to work to achieve large-scale change.

Mr Wyatt said SEARCH represented a new way forward in Aboriginal health research, because it put Aboriginal people at the centre of the research process, and sought not only to better understand the health of Aboriginal children, but to make a real difference to the lives of Aboriginal people.

“Together, scientists and families have built Australia’s largest source of ongoing information on urban Aboriginal child health. And because of them, those of us who make policy, or design and deliver programs and services can now access knowledge that just wasn’t available before.”

SEARCH was one of the many “jewels in the crown” – or shining examples of life-changing care and research that were leading to healthier children – that should be celebrated, Mr Wyatt said.

“Walking and working with Aboriginal families is the only way to lock in the significant gains we have made, and to accelerate our future progress, with innovative approaches that also address the social and cultural factors influencing health.”

Addressing an evidence gap

One of the founding Chief Investigators of SEARCH, Sandra Bailey, told the Forum that despite most Aboriginal people living in urban areas, at the time SEARCH was established only 11% of Aboriginal health research focused on understanding health and disease in urban communities.

“Historically, research has tended to be based around academic promotion, not looking at what works and what doesn’t and not designed around the needs of Aboriginal people and by Aboriginal people,” said Ms Bailey, former Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council. “That’s where we’ve come from.”

But SEARCH was different because it ensured Aboriginal leadership was embedded, Aboriginal people had ownership of the data and the research was culturally appropriate, she said.

Ms Bailey said Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services were able to directly apply the data from the Study to their service planning and delivery.

“Most importantly, Aboriginal people are valued and empowered.”

Building blocks to drive change

Sax Institute Chief Executive Officer Professor Sally Redman said SEARCH data was driving real change, including leading to programs such as HEALs, which had used the findings about high rates of ear infections and hearing loss in urban Aboriginal children to deliver improved services.

SEARCH, while already valuable, would prove even more valuable in the future, she said.

“As the children grow older, we can look at the trajectories of change − what helps some children do well, and some not so well, and the data will be valuable for use in evaluating changes in service delivery,” Professor Redman said.

“We’ve got the process to collect better data about what might make a difference, we’ve got the partnerships in place and we’ve got lots of tools for change. The next phase is bringing it all together to try to function as a real catalyst to change in this space.”

 

NACCHO member good news alert:A new beginning for Dubbo Aboriginal Community Controlled Health

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Aboriginal health services return to Aboriginal Community control with the opening of the Interim Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service

27 March 2012 – Sydney: The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC) and the Bila Muuji Aboriginal Health Service have formed a Coalition to support the re-establishment of Aboriginal health services in Dubbo following the closure of Thubbo Aboriginal Medical Co-op Ltd (Thubbo AMS) in 2012.

 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) in the region are concerned about the Dubbo Aboriginal Community’s ability to access culturally appropriate primary health care.

The Coalition was formed to provide interim services to Aboriginal people in Dubbo while also working with the Community towards the long-term goal of establishing a viable ACCHS in Dubbo that is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the local Aboriginal Community.

 The Interim Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) will open at 211 Brisbane Street in coming weeks and will soon be taking bookings for GPs to start providing clinics three days per week.

 “Restoring access to high-quality, culturally appropriate primary health care in Dubbo, which is delivered by Aboriginal health services from the region, has been our first priority,” said Ms Sandra Bailey, CEO of the AH&MRC.

 “The AH&MRC is leading this Coalition to assist the Community with the eventual development of a new Community Controlled Health Service and will coordinate ongoing services in the interim. Bila Muuji has already responded quickly to restore access and primary health care services in the area,” Ms Bailey said.

 The Interim Dubbo AMS is located right in the centre of Dubbo and is close to public transport. A toll free hotline has been set up to assist with patient enquires, bookings and concerns. The hotline can be reached on 1800 999 444.

 The Interim Dubbo AMS will be open to new clients as well as people who previously attended Thubbo AMS. Thubbo AMS patients who do not wish to access the new service can choose to have their medical records transferred to a health service of their choice by contacting the hotline number listed above.

 The establishment of the Interim Dubbo AMS has been supported at Community meetings of the Dubbo Aboriginal Community and also has the endorsement of the Dubbo Aboriginal Community Working Party (DACWP).

 The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) also supports this strategy to re-establish culturally appropriate services in Dubbo. “The Government is committed to the concept of Aboriginal community control for the provision of health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wherever possible,” said a spokesperson from DoHA.

 The AH&MRC will continue to provide information about the ongoing development of the Interim Dubbo AMS as the service gets up and running and grows to meet the local Aboriginal Community’s health needs. Further consultation will take place to ensure there are opportunities for Community input.

 “We are committed to working together as a team to support the ultimate goal of re-establishing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in Dubbo as a matter of priority,” said Ms Bailey.

 The Interim Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service can contacted on 1800 999 444 for clinic appointments and health enquiries.

For all media enquiries please contact Adam Stuart on (02) 9212 4777.

 About the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of NSW

The Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC) is the peak representative body and voice of Aboriginal communities on health in NSW. The AH&MRC represents its members, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs), which deliver culturally appropriate comprehensive primary health care to their communities.

 Aboriginal Community Control has its origins in Aboriginal people’s right to self-determination. The AH&MRC is governed by a Board of Directors who are Aboriginal people elected by our members on a regional basis and represents, supports and advocates for our members and their communities on Aboriginal health issues at state and national levels.

 For more information about the AH&MRC please visit our website at www.ahmrc.org.au or contact Matthew Rodgers, Media and Communications Officer, at mrodgers@ahmrc.org.au or (02) 9212 4777.

  Acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council operates and respecting all Elders past and present.

 

Aboriginal health careers: Go on make your mob proud’ AHMRC TV commercial

 

The Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales ( AH&MRC)  has worked in collaboration with Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health University of Sydney (BHUDRHUS) on a health career promotion project with students from Bourke High School and the staff of Bourke Aboriginal Health Service.

 

The project is targeted at high school students and is about encouraging them to consider careers in health by having hands on clinical experiences.

 The activities that the students participated in at Bourke Aboriginal Health Service were provided by staff from the service and a student doctor from Sydney University.

 The collaboration has resulted in the production of a TV commercial that is being shown over there weeks.

 ‘Go on make your mob proud!’ TV Commercial – Imparja and GO TV stations over three weeks:

 Week 1-Saturday 30th June to Friday 6 July 2012;

Week 2-Monday 17 September to Sunday 23 September 2012; and

Week 3-Sunday 4 November to Saturday November 2012.

More about the project

What is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS)?

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) sometimes called Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) are health services which are developed and managed by Aboriginal people to provide culturally appropriate primary health care programs for Aboriginal people and communities. There are over 50 ACCHS in NSW offering a wide range of job opportunities.

Why work in an ACCHS?

You are working to make a real difference to peoples’ lives. Each person working at an ACCHS is contributing to improving the health of the local community. The work is interesting and includes opportunities for ongoing training and promotion. Potentially you could find a job in over 140 locations across Australia.

What jobs are on offer?
  • Administration roles;
  • Aboriginal Health Workers;
  • Nurses;
  • Doctors;
  • Allied Health, such as Dieticians, Psychologists, Physiotherapists;
  • Drug and Alcohol workers;
  • Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing workers;
  • Management such as team leaders, practice managers, deputy CEOs and CEOs;
How do I get a job at an ACCHS?
How do you start a career at an ACCHS?

Have a yarn with James Porter from the AH&MRC or use the contact form below.