NACCHO Aboriginal #ChooseHealth wishes you a very Healthy Xmas and #sugarfree 2018 New Year #SugaryDrinksProperNoGood

 ”  This campaign is straightforward – sugary drinks are no good for our health.It’s calling on people to drink water instead of sugary drinks.’

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Cape York and throughout all our communities experience a disproportionate burden of chronic disease compared to other Australians.’

‘Regular consumption of sugary drinks is associated with increased energy intake and in turn, weight gain and obesity. It is well established that obesity is a leading risk factor for diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and some cancers. Consumption of sugary drinks is also associated with poor dental health.

Water is the best drink for everyone – it doesn’t have any sugar and keeps our bodies healthy.’

Apunipima Public Health Advisor Dr Mark Wenitong

WATCH Apunipima Video HERE

“We tell ‘em kids drink more water; stop the sugar. It’s good for all us mob”

Read over 30 NACCHO articles Health and Nutrition HERE

https://nacchocommunique.com/category/nutrition-healthy-foods/

 ” Let’s be honest, most countries and communities (and especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders ) now face serious health challenges from obesity.

Even more concerning, so do our kids.

While no single mission will be the panacea to a complex problem, using 2017 to set a new healthy goal of giving sugar the kick would be a great start.

Understand sugar, be aware of it, minimise it and see it for what it is – a special treat for a rare occasion.

This New Year’s, make breaking up with sugar your planned resolution.

“Hey sugar – it’s not me, it’s you…”

Alessandro R Demaio  Global Health Doctor; Co-Founded NCDFREE & festival21; Assoc. Researcher, University of Copenhagen and NACCHO supporter ( First Published 2016 see in full below )

 

We recommend the Government establish obesity prevention as a national priority, with a national taskforce, sustained funding and evaluation of key measures including:

  • Laws to stop exposure of children to unhealthy food and drink marketing on free to air television until 9.30 pm
  • Mandatory healthy food star rating from July 2019 along with stronger food reformulation targets
  • A national activity strategy to promote walking, cycling and public transport use
  • A 20 per cent health levy on sugary drinks

Australia enjoys enviable health outcomes but that is unlikely to last if we continue to experience among the world’s highest levels of obesity.

 CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells

NACCHO Aboriginal #HealthStarRating and #Nutrition @KenWyattMP Free healthy choices food app will dial up good tucker

” Weight gain spikes sharply during the Christmas and New Year holiday period with more than half of the weight we gain during our lifetime explained just by the period between mid-November and mid-January.

Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA

 ” Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

The study used computer modelling to simulate daily activities like food and beverage shopping of the populations of three U.S. cities – Baltimore, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

It found that warning labels in locations that sell sugary drinks, including grocery and corner stores, reduced both obesity and overweight prevalence in the three cities, declines that the authors say were attributable to the reduced caloric intake.

The virtual warning labels contained messaging noting how added sugar contributes to tooth decay, obesity and diabetes.

The findings, which were published online December 14 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, demonstrates how warning labels can result in modest but statistically significant reductions in sugary drink consumption and obesity and overweight prevalence.”

Diabetes Queensland : Warning labels can help reduce sugary drinks consumption and obesity, new study suggests

 

Global recognition is building for the very real health concerns posed by large and increasing quantities of hidden sugar in our diets. This near-ubiquitous additive found in products from pasta sauces to mayonnaise has been in the headlines and in our discussions.

The seemingly innocuous sweet treat raises eyebrows from community groups to policy makers – and change is in the air.

Let’s review some of the sugar-coated headers from 2016 :

  • The global obesity epidemic continued to build while more than two-in-three Australian adults faced overweight or obesity – and almost one in four of our children.
  • Science around sugary drinks further solidified, with consumption now linked to obesity, childhood obesity, heart disease, diabetes (type-2), dental caries and even lower fertility.
  • Australians were estimated to consume a staggering 76 litres of sugary drinks each since January alone, and new reports highlighted that as much as 15% of the crippling health costs associated with obesity could result from sugary drinks consumption.
  • Meanwhile around the planet, more countries took sound policy measures to reduce sugar consumption in their citizens. France, Belgium, Hungary, Finland, Chile, the UK, Ireland, South Africa and many parts of the United States implemented, continued or planned the implementation of pricing policies for sugary drinks.

In short, the over-consumption of sugar is now well recognised as a public health challenge everywhere.

With all this in mind and a New Year ahead, it’s time to put big words into local action. With resolutions brewing, here are seven helpful tips to breaking up with sugar in 2017.

1. Understand sugar

When it comes to sugar, things can get pretty confusing. Below, I shed some light on the common misunderstandings, but let’s recheck sugar itself – in simplest terms.

Sugar is a type of refined carbohydrate and a source of calories in our diet. Our body uses sugar and other sources of calories as energy, and any sugar that is not used is eventually stored as fat in our liver or on our bellies.

“Free sugars” are those added to products or concentrated in the products – either by us or by the manufacturer. They don’t include sugars in whole fruits and vegetables, but more on that later. For a range of health reasons, the World Health Organization recommends we get just 5% of our daily calories from free sugars. For a fully grown man or woman, this equates to a recommended limit to sugar consumption of roughly 25 grams – or 6 teaspoons. For women, it’s a little less again.

Consume more than this, and our risk of health problems rises.

2. Quit soft drinks

With 16 teaspoons of sugar in a single bottle serving – that’s more than 64 grams – there’s nothing “soft” about soft drinks. Including all carbonated drinks, flavoured milks and energy drinks with any added sugars, as well as fruit drinks and juices, sugary drinks are a great place to focus your efforts for a healthier 2018. Sugary drinks provide no nutritional value to our diets and yet are a major source of calories.

sugartax

What’s more concerning, evidence suggests that when we drink calories in the form of sugary drinks, our brains don’t recognise these calories in the same way as with foods. They don’t make us feel “full” and could even make us hungrier – so we end up eating (and drinking) more. In this way, liquid calories can be seen as even more troubling than other forms of junk foods. Combine this with studies that suggest the pleasure (and sugar spike) provided by sugary drinks may make them hard to give up – and it’s not difficult to see why many of us are drinking higher amounts, more often and in larger servings. This also makes cutting down harder.

The outcome is that anything up to one-seventh of the entire public cost of obesity in Australia could now result from sugary drinks. In other words, cut out the sugary drinks and you’ll be doing your own health a favour – and the health of our federal and state budgets.

3. Eat fruit, not juice

When it’s wrapped in a peel or a skin, fruit sugars are not a challenge to our health. In fact, the sugars in fruit are nature’s way of encouraging us to eat the fruit to begin with. Fruits like oranges, apples and pears contain important fibres. The “roughage” in our foods, this fibre is healthy in many ways but there are three in particular I will focus on. First, it slows our eating down; it is easy to drink a glass of juice squeezed from 7 apples, but much harder to eat those seven pieces whole. Second, it makes us feel full or satiated. And third, it slows the release of the sugars contained in fruit into our blood streams, thus allowing our bodies to react and use the energy appropriately, reducing our chances of weight gain and possibly even diabetes.

Juice, on the other hand, involves the removal of most of those fibres and even the loss of some of the important vitamins. What we don’t lose though, is the 21 grams or more than five teaspoons of sugar in each glass.

In short, eat fruit as a snack with confidence. But enjoy whole fruit, not juice.

4. Sugar by any other name

High-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, malt sugar and molasses – they all mean one thing: sugar.

As the public awakens to the health challenges posed by sugar, the industry turns to new ways to confuse consumers and make ‘breaking up’ more difficult. One such way is to use the many alternative names for sugar – instead of the ‘s’ word itself. Be on the lookout for:

Evaporated cane juice, golden syrup, malt syrup, sucrose, fruit juice concentrate, dextrose and more…

5. Eat whole foods where possible

Tomato sauce, mayonnaise, salad dressings, gravies, taco sauces, savoury biscuits and breakfast cereals – these are just some of the many foods now often packed with hidden, added sugars.

A study found that 74% of packaged foods in an average American supermarket contain added sugars – and there is little evidence to suggest Australia would be dramatically different. Added to food to make it more enjoyable, and moreish, the next tip when avoiding such a ubiquitous additive is to eat whole foods.

It’s hard to hide sugar in plain flour, or a tomato, or frozen peas. Buying and cooking with mostly whole foods – not products – is a great way to ensure you and your family are not consuming added sugars unaware.

6. See beyond (un)healthy claims

Words like “wholesome”, “natural” and “healthy” are clad on many of our favourite ingredients. Sadly, they don’t mean much.

Even products that are full of sugar, like breakfast cereals and energy bars, often carry claims that aim to confuse and seduce us into purchase. Be wary – and be sure to turn the package over and read the ingredients and nutrition labelling where possible (and if time permits).

7. Be okay with sometimes

The final but crucial message in all of this is that eating or drinking sugar is not a sin. Sugar is still a part of our lives and something to enjoy in moderation. The occasional piece of cake, or late night chocolate – despite the popular narrative painted by industry to undermine efforts for true pricing on sugar – these occasional sweet treats are not the driving challenge for obesity. The problem is that sugary drinks, and sugar in our foods, have become every day occurrences.

With this in mind, let’s not demonise sugar but instead let’s see it for what it is. Enjoy some juice or bubbles from time to time but make water the default on an everyday basis. With the average can of cola containing 39 grams or 9 teaspoons of sugar, be OK with sometimes.

Bitter truth

Let’s be honest, We now face serious health challenges from obesity.

Even more concerning, so do our kids.

Learn more about our ACCHO making Deadly Choices

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Sugartax News : @Apunipima Dr Mark Wenitong launches #SugaryDrinksProperNoGood

 

 ” This campaign is straightforward – sugary drinks are no good for our health.It’s calling on people to drink water instead of sugary drinks.’

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Cape York experience a disproportionate burden of chronic disease compared to other Australians.’

‘Regular consumption of sugary drinks is associated with increased energy intake and in turn, weight gain and obesity. It is well established that obesity is a leading risk factor for diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and some cancers. Consumption of sugary drinks is also associated with poor dental health.

Water is the best drink for everyone – it doesn’t have any sugar and keeps our bodies healthy.’

Apunipima Public Health Advisor Dr Mark Wenitong

Read over 30 NACCHO articles Health and Nutrition HERE

https://nacchocommunique.com/category/nutrition-healthy-foods/

Read over 15 NACCHO articles Sugar Tax HERE  

https://nacchocommunique.com/category/sugar-tax/

Apunipima Cape York Health Council  launched its Sugary Drinks Proper No Good – Drink More Water Youfla social marketing campaign on Thursday 2 November.

The campaign was developed with, and for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Cape York, and is supported by the national Rethink Sugary Drink Alliance – a group of organisations, including Apunipima, Diabetes Australia and the Cancer Council, concerned about the health impacts of sugary drinks.

The launch will see the campaign webpage (part of the Rethink Sugary Drink website) go live, and the release of three videos featuring NRL legend Scotty Prince inviting people to Drink More Water Youfla.

Channel 7 News Coverage

#SugaryDrinksProperNoGood and #DrinkMoreWaterYoufla.

VIEW HERE

Media was invited to Apunipima’s Cairns office where the three clips were distributed, a sugary drinks display set up, and Apunipima Public Health Medical Advisor Dr Mark Wenitong was for interview and photos opportunities.

‘This campaign is straightforward – sugary drinks are no good for our health. It’s calling on people to drink water instead of sugary drinks like soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit drinks,’ Dr Wenitong said.

Head of Prevention at Cancer Council Victoria and spokesperson for Rethink Sugary Drink Alliance Craig Sinclair said Apunipima’s campaign was prevention – focused and could save lives.

‘This is a vitally important campaign that has the capacity to not only improve lives but save them.’

‘It may sound simple, but cutting out sugary drinks can have a big impact on your health. Sugary drinks are key contributor to being overweight or obese which puts you at risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and kidney disease. Apunipima Cape York Health Council is to be congratulated for taking this innovative prevention-led approach.’

The campaign was funded by the Australian government via the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN).

‘We’re pleased to be supporting Apunipima in this comprehensive health promotion initiative to address consumption of sugary drinks, which are one of the key contributors to overweight and obesity,’ said NQPHN CEO Mr Robin Moore.

‘Apunipima have a strong track record of developing and undertaking effective health promotion initiatives for our local communities, and are a key agency improving the skills and knowledge of the health promotion workforce across the region.’

‘NQPHN is committed to helping to close the gap and we are confident this initiative will make a significant contribution to that goal.’

Prominent Far Northern doctor calls for Australian sugar tax

A PROMINENT doctor has reignited calls for a sugar tax, in order to prevent the Far North’s chronic disease rate from climbing even higher.

Apunipima Cape York Health Council has launched a federally-funded social media campaign, to discourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from consuming sugary drinks.

The “Sugary Drinks Proper No Good — Drink More Water Youfla” campaign, featuring videos by NRL legend Scotty Prince.

It calls on people to drink water instead of sugary drinks, like soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks.

The campaign has been launched to tackle the high rate of chronic diseases in the Far North such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Apunipima public health medical advisor Dr Mark Wenitong said a sugar tax placed on junk food and beverages would go a long way to helping reduce this rate.

“We’ve seen this happen in a few South American countries, in Mexico,” he said.

“If those countries can introduce (a sugar tax) as a health benefit to their population, then I don’t see why we can’t.

“I know the beverage industry will often say ‘this will affect the most disadvantaged people, because they’ll have to pay’, our answer to that is, it’s killing most disadvantaged people already, because they’ve got higher risk factors.

“It affects their chronic disease status more than other people in Australia.”

Cairns Hospital, earlier this year, became one of the first hospitals in Queensland to implement strategies to restrict patient and staff access to soft drinks.

Vending machines and the two cafes at the hospital only sell sugar-free soft drinks.

Dr Wenitong said the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service should go an extra step by restricting other junk food being sold at its facilities, like chocolate bars and chips.

“At some stage, I think they’ll have to think about the accessibility of those things, particularly for younger people,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s a bad idea, by at least making them less visible and less accessible, so kids just don’t see them and want them.”

CHHHS executive director Tina Chinery said they had received no complaints from patients, staff or visitors when their healthier drink strategy was rolled out earlier this year.

“Healthcare facilities play an important role in promoting the health and wellbeing of patients, staff and visitors,” she said.

“Cairns Hospital is leading by example and creating environments that support patients, staff and visitors to make healthy choices easy.”

NACCHO Aboriginal Dental Health @AUS_Dental : It’s #DentalHealthWeek #SugaryDrinksProperNoGood

” Apunipima is participating in a range of activities over the next fortnight to celebrate Dental Health Week (7-13 August)

Our staff will be talking about the link between sugary drinks and tooth decay, and promoting the messages

#SugaryDrinksProperNoGood and #DrinkMoreWaterYoufla,

part of Apunipima’s Healthy Communities social marketing campaign, which aims to reduce sugary drinks consumption among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Cape York.”

From Apunipima’s Healthy Communities Mob Part 2 below

 ” The National Oral Health Plan outlines guiding principles that will underpin Australia’s oral health system and provides national strategic direction including targeted strategies in six Foundation Areas and across four Priority Populations. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People being a priority population.”

Download plan here

 Watch our interview with Aboriginal dentist Gari Watson on NACCHO TV

Part 1 : National Oral Health Plan identifes Aboriginal People as Priority Population

A proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have good oral health. On average, however, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience poor oral health earlier in their lifespan and in greater severity and prevalence than the rest of the population. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also less likely to receive treatment to prevent or address poor oral health, resulting in oral health care in the form of emergency treatment.

  • There is limited representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the oral health workforce and many dental services are not culturally sensitive. For example, strict appointment times and inflexibility regarding ‘failure to attend’ may result in a fee to the consumer.
  • Trends indicate that the high-level dental decay in deciduous (baby) teeth is rising
  • Aboriginal people aged 15 years and over, attending public dental services, experience tooth decay at three times the rate of their Non-Indigenous counterparts and are more than twice as likely to have advanced periodontal (gum) disease
  • Aboriginal people experience complete tooth loss at almost five times the rate of the non-Indigenous population
  • The rate of potentially preventable dental hospitalisations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is higher than other Australians. Accessibility of services is a key factor contributing to the current gap between the oral health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the rest of the population.
  • More than two in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 15 defer or avoid dental care due to cost. This is compared with one in eight (12.2%) who delayed or did not go to a GP.

Improving the overall oral health of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will require more than a focus on oral health behaviours. Culture, individual and community social and emotional wellbeing, history, demography, social position, economic characteristics, biomedical factors, and the available health services within a person’s community all form part of the complex causal web which determines an individual’s oral health status.

“Reducing sugary drinks will not only protect their teeth but also their wider health.This is yet another justification for the introduction of a health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages as a preventive public health measure”

This Dental Health Week Michael Moore, CEO of the ( PHAA)  Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and other members of the Rethink Sugary Drink Alliance are urging Australians to reduce their consumption of sugary drinks.

Read over 25 NACCHO dental articles

Read over 25 NACCHO Nutrition  Articles

Read over 10 NACCHO Articles Sugar Tax

Dental Health Week Website

Dept of Health Dental Website

Part 2  #SugaryDrinksProperNoGood – It’s Dental Health Week!

Apunipima staff will run activities with children and young people as well as hold health information stalls in Weipa, Napranum and Mapoon to promote the campaign messages in Dental Health Week

‘The team will run a workshop for Western Cape College secondary students alongside Dr Matt More, Head of Dental Services for Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service in Weipa,’ Apunipima Health Promotion Officer Kiarah Cuthbert said.

‘We will be talking to young people about the amount of sugar in popular drinks, such as soft drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks and the impact of that sugar on your teeth and overall health.’

‘From there, we will head to Mapoon to spend time at the primary school yarning with kids about the sugar in drinks. We will also invite the kids to take part in a local art competition with the winner’s work used to promote the #DrinkMoreWaterYoufla message in Mapoon.’

‘Apunipima staff will then hold a health information stall at Napranum store and run an after school activity at Napranum PCYC, where young people will also have the chance to take part in a local art competition to promote the #DrinkMoreWaterYoufla message.

These activities will be supported by Napranum Tackling Indigenous Smoking Health Worker, Ernest Madua who will also be yarning with people about what smoking can do to your teeth and mouth.’

Apunipima Child Health Nurse Robyn Lythall, Chronic Disease Health Worker Georgia Gibson and Dietitian Jarrah Marsh gave kids from Nola’s Daycare and George Bowen Memorial Kindergarten Apunipima ‘Drink More Water Youfla’ water bottles last week which will really save the staff lugging big containers of water!

The bottles are plastic, easily stored in the fridge and will have the children’s photos on them so the kids know which one is theirs!

Big esso (thank you) to the Apunipima teams that helped with this!

The few remaining water bottles are being kept for children receiving their four year old health checks and their immunisations to help them get healthy habits for school.

Staff are encouraging kids coming in for health checks and shots to fill their bottles from the watercooler at the Hopevale Primary Health Care Centre on their way out.

The Healthy Communities Project Team (Cara Laws, Tiffany Williams, Kiarah Cuthbert and Kani Thompson) would like to thank Hopevale staff for sharing the water bottles, which are merchandise from our Sugary Drinks Proper No Good – Drink More Water Youfla campaign.

Picture: Childcare worker Auntie Irene Bambie and Georgia Gibson

Acid, sugar in sugary drinks pose serious threat to teeth

Part 3 Australians urged to choose tap water this Dental Health Week

Many Australians know that sugary drinks are not a healthy dietary choice, but they may not realise the serious damage they cause to teeth.

In line with the theme of Dental Health Week (7–13 August 2017) – Oral Health for Busy Lives, the health and community organisations behind Rethink Sugary Drink are calling on Australians to think of their teeth before reaching for a sugary drink when out and about.

Chair of the Australian Dental Association’s Oral Health Committee, Professor David Manton, said sugary drinks contained sugar and acid that weakens tooth enamel and can lead to tooth decay.

“Dental decay is caused by sugars, especially the type found in sugary drinks. These drinks are often acidic as well. Sugary drinks increase the risk of decay and weaken the tooth enamel, so it’s best to avoid them,” Prof Manton said.

“The best advice is to stick to tap water. Carry a water bottle with you to avoid having to buy energy drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks and other sugary drinks when you’re on the go. You’ll be doing your bank balance a favour too.”

Chair of the Public Health Committee at Cancer Council Australia, Craig Sinclair, said knowing the oral health impacts associated with sugary drinks further highlighted the need for a health levy on these beverages in Australia.

“Australians, and our young people in particular, are drinking huge volumes of sports drinks, energy drinks, soft drinks and frozen drinks on a regular basis – some are downing as much as 1.5 litres a day,” Mr Sinclair said.

“While regular consumption is associated with increased energy intake, weight gain and obesity, it also heightens the risk of tooth decay.

“We know through economic modelling that a 20 per cent health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages could reduce consumption in Australia and prevent thousands of cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke over 25 years, while generating $400-$500m each year.

“This extra revenue could be used for public education campaigns and initiatives to prevent chronic disease, reduce dental caries and address childhood obesity.

“While a health levy is not the only solution for reducing sugary drink consumption, if coupled with a range of strategies it could have a significant impact on the amount Australians are drinking and minimise their impact.”

The Rethink Sugary Drink alliance recommends the following actions in addition to a health levy to tackle sugary drink consumption:

  • A public education campaign supported by Australian governments to highlight the health impacts of regular sugary drink consumption
  • Restrictions by Australian governments to reduce children’s exposure to marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages, including through schools and children’s sports, events and activities
  • Comprehensive mandatory restrictions by state governments on the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages (and increased availability of free water) in schools, government institutions, children’s sports and places frequented by children
  • Development of policies by state and local governments to reduce the availability of sugar-sweetened beverages in workplaces, government institutions, health care settings, sport and recreation facilities and other public places.

Protect your teeth from sugary drinks with these tips:

  • Follow the Australian dietary guidelines: Focus on drinking plenty of tap water (it has no acid, no sugar and no kilojoules), limiting sugary foods and drinks and choosing healthy snacks (e.g. fruits and vegetables).
  • Find out how much sugar is in your favourite drink using the nutrition information panel on your drink or on the Rethink Sugary Drink website – it might surprise you
  • Carry a water bottle and fill up at the tap, so you don’t have to buy a drink if you’re thirsty.
  • Be aware of sugar disguised as a ‘healthy’ ingredient such as honey or rice syrup. It might sound wholesome but these are still sugars and can still cause decay if consumed frequently.
  • If you do drink sugary drinks, use a straw so your teeth are less exposed to the sugar and acid.
  • Take a drink of water, preferably tap water that has been fluoridated, after a sugary or acidic drink to help rinse out your mouth and dilute the sugars.
  • Do not sip a sugary or acidic drink slowly or over a long duration. Doing so exposes your teeth to sugar and acid attacks for longer.

For more information, visit http://www.dentalhealthweek.com.au/

About Rethink Sugary Drink: Rethink Sugary Drink is a partnership between the Apunipima, Australian Dental Association, Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association, Cancer Council Australia, Dental Health Services Victoria, Dental Hygienists Association of Australia, Diabetes Australia, Healthier Workplace WA, Heart Foundation, Kidney Health Australia, LiveLighter, The Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation, Nutrition Australia, Obesity Policy Coalition, Stroke Foundation, Parents’ Voice, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and the YMCA to raise awareness of the amount of sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages and encourage Australians to reduce their consumption. Visit www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au for more information.

Part 4  : Sugary drinks erode more than tooth enamel poor oral health brings knock-on effects

This Dental Health Week the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and other members of the Rethink Sugary Drink Alliance are urging Australians to reduce their consumption of sugary drinks. “Reducing sugary drinks will not only protect their teeth but also their wider health”, said Michael Moore, CEO of the PHAA. “This is yet another justification for the introduction of a health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages as a preventive public health measure”, he added.

Australia is in the top ten of countries with the highest level of soft drink consumption. Around a third of Australians regularly consume sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) such as soft drinks, flavoured waters and energy drinks. These drinks are widely recognised by dental experts as a major contributor to tooth decay and erosion.

Mr Moore said, “It’s well known that sugary drinks are linked to dental health problems which can lead to significant amounts of discomfort and disability in themselves. However poor oral health is also associated with major chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease. Additionally, there are often compounding health effects between these types of comorbidities. Sugary drinks also strongly contribute to weight gain and obesity, so they negatively impact on health in multiple ways”.

Mr Moore continued, “At the individual-health level, it’s very important people avoid consuming these drinks on a regular basis, while at the population-health level it’s time we introduce a health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce the harms they cause.”

“Research shows that a health levy on these drinks will effectively reduce their consumption, especially if implemented as part of a wider approach to address poor nutrition and diet-related disease. What is needed is a national nutrition policy, restrictions on the marketing of sugary drinks toward children, limiting their availability in schools and at events attended by children and young people and public education campaigns about the adverse health impacts of SSBs. These could easily be funded by the revenue generated by the levy”.

The theme of 2017 Dental Health Week is ‘Anywhere Anytime – Oral Health for Busy Lives’, which recognises that many Australians feel they don’t have time to properly care for their oral health due to their busy schedules. However, avoiding sugary foods and beverages which damage teeth is a simple preventive measure people can take and can be encouraged by governments.

“Along with maintaining proper oral health care, one of the easiest things people can do to protect their teeth and in turn their broader health, is to avoid sugar-laden drinks and to favour drinking tap water,” Mr Moore concluded.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #WorldNoTobaccoDay : Cape York mob are saying “Don’t Make Smokes Your Story.”


“Wasting a lot of money to buy cigarettes and it was making me sick, coughing a lot, and getting up late, and it smells on your clothes a lot. So I said to myself I would have to cut down smoking.”

“You don’t have to buy cigarettes, you don’t have to afford cigarettes for other people, you don’t have to get cigarettes. Just be strong and stand up for yourself and say no!”

Selena Possum, who has lived in Pormpuraaw for the last 20 years, is now a non-smoker. She says smoking affected her a lot

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #smoking #ACCHO events 31 May World #NoTobacco Day #QLD #VIC #WA #NT #NSW

May 31st is World No Tobacco Day and people from Cape York are saying “Don’t Make Smokes Your Story.”

Apunipima Cape York Health Council Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) staff have been engaging with Cape York communities to develop an anti-smoking campaign.

The locally appropriate ‘Don’t Make Smokes Your Story’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the harms of smoking and passive smoking, the benefits of a smoke-free environment, and available quit support.

The Cape York ‘Don’t Make Smokes Your Story’ Campaign enables community members to share on film their stories about quitting, trying to quit and the impact of smoking on families and communities. It is hoped that by sharing their stories, others will be encouraged to share their stories too.

Coen local Amos James Hobson has never smoked in his life. He sees many young people start smoking “Just to be cool, to pick up a chick.” He says to all the young people out there, “Our people didn’t smoke, don’t smoke, it’s not good. It’s not our culture and it’s not our way.”

WATCH AMOS VIDEO STORY HERE HERE

Thala Wallace from Napranum has tried to quit three times and says “Every time it gets easier.” Her strategy is to “Try to find ways to occupy myself, snack-out on fruit or go to the gym, getting out and hanging out more with people who don’t smoke.”

Watch Thala story video here

The stories, as well as posters, social media posts and radio advertisements will be released from May 31st as Apunipima launches the Cape York ‘Don’t Make Smokes Your Story’ campaign.

The videos, including those featuring Amos, and Thala, will be distributed on the ‘What’s Your Story, Cape York?’ Facebook page and will be available on the Apunipima YouTube Channel here.

Apunipima received a Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) Regional Tobacco Control Grant as part of the National Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.

To effectively reduce smoking rates in Cape York, Apunipima TIS staff have been engaging with communities to develop and implement a locally appropriate social marketing campaign to influence smoking behaviours and community readiness to address smoke-free environments. The Cape York campaign will align with a national ‘Don’t Make Smokes Your Story’ campaign.

Our #ACCHO Members #ClosethegapDay Good News Stories from Cape York #closethegap

 ” Apunipima services around 7,500 people living in 11 remote and very remote Cape York communities. In 2015-16 over 80% of Cape York’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population have accessed Apunipima’s services.

Apunipima runs the health service in Mossman Gorge, has opened new health care facilities in Aurukun and Napranum, and will be opening a new facility in Coen this year.

There is incontrovertible evidence that community driven, community led, culturally appropriate primary health care is key to improving health outcomes amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Photo above :Apunipima Cape York Health Council carried out 127 health screenings for students at the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy.  AURUKUN youngsters received a free health check last week in a bid to prevent chronic disease

16 March marks Close the Gap Day – a day to bring awareness to the Close the Gap campaign and to work out how best to address the challenges of closing the health, employment and education gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Prime Minister’s 2017 Close the Gap Report highlights the health challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Apunipima continues to work across physical, social, and emotional challenges to close the gap for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Cape York.

People living in remote communities have worse health outcomes than those living in rural, regional and metropolitan areas

‘14 % of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in very remote areas and make up 45% of very remote populations’

What Apunipima is doing:

See opening quote

By increasing the number of community controlled facilities in our communities, we improve access to healthcare and health literacy, employ local people and build community and individual capacity.

Halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade (by 2018)

Nationally, this target is not on track.

‘Our investment in the early years is twofold: improving integration of services across health, child care, early childhood education and school resulting in better access to the right services; and intensive support for the children and families who need it most.’

What Apunipima is doing:

Apunipima’s Maternal and Child Health team’s award winning Baby One Program™ is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker led program designed to support women, babies and families from pregnancy until the bub is 1000 days old (nearly three).

In 2015-16,

  • 85 per cent of pregnant women and their families in Cape York were signed up to the Baby One Program™
  • 45 per cent accessed antenatal care before the thirteenth week of their pregnancy
  • 100 per cent received five or more antenatal visits during pregnancy with an average of more than 13 antenatal contacts per pregnancy 83 per cent of babies were born within normal weight range
  • 91 per cent of Cape York babies were born after 36 weeks gestation
  • 80 per cent of children under five were recorded as fully immunised

Close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation (by 2031). 

Nationally, this target is not on track.

‘Over the longer term, Indigenous mortality rates have declined significantly by 15 per cent since 1998. There have been significant improvements in the Indigenous mortality rate from chronic diseases, particularly from circulatory diseases (the leading cause of death) since 1998. However, Indigenous mortality rates from cancer (second leading cause of death) are rising and the gap is widening. There have been improvements in health care access and reductions in smoking which should contribute to long-term improvements in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.’

What Apunipima is doing:

As chronic disease accounts for three quarters of the mortality gap Apunipima is dedicated to preventing and managing chronic disease on Cape York.

Diabetes and chronic kidney disease accounts for the greatest burden of chronic disease amongst our patients.

We employ three Diabetes Nurse Educators, and a Care Coordination team that helps chronic disease patients navigate the health system and access specialist care.

Apunipima provides a GP in each of the 11 communities in which we work.

We are actively working to reduce smoking and improve nutrition, through a range of activities including working closely with community stores, drafting healthy eating guidelines and community cooking demonstrations and classes. These are both key factors in achieving good health.

‘While smoking rates have continued to decline in Australia, the smoking rates of Indigenous Australians aged 15 and over are significantly higher than the broader population.’

What Apunipima is doing:

Apunipima received a Tackling Indigenous Smoking Regional Grant as part of the National Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.

Nationally, the goal of the program is to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through local efforts to reduce harm from tobacco.

The Apunipima Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) Team will work closely with Cape York communities to deliver locally appropriate programs and activities that aim to:

  • Engage community members in tobacco cessation activities
  • Improve access to culturally appropriate quit support
  • Encourage and support smokers to quit
  • Encourage and support non-smokers to avoid uptake
  • Raise awareness in communities about the health impacts of smoking and passive smoking
  • Support communities to establish smoke-free homes, workplaces and public spaces

Apunipima’s strategic objectives aim to reduce overall smoking rates by 25 % by 2018 and antenatal smoking rates by 75 % by 2018.

‘Governments are working together to develop the Fifth National Mental Health Plan to improve the wellbeing of all Australians and prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and suicide prevention.’

What Apunipima is doing:

Recognising that mental health is as important as physical health, Apunipima has developed a Social and Emotional Wellbeing Strategy and appointed a team to deliver a range of programs designed to improve people’s capacity and resilience.

Programs include Healthy Relationship training, working with prisoners at Lotus Glen, and Community Support Groups which provide social and emotional wellbeing education and support, especially for Men’s Health.

Apunipima’s Maternal and Child Health team includes a social worker and we also have a Partners in Recovery Coordinator who helps people who have been in mental health facilities reintegrate into community.

Apunipima’s Health Promotion and Men’s Health teams also support a range of community groups like Women’s and Men’s Groups, as well as on-country cultural activities.

‘Between 2006 and 2015 there was a significant decline in the Indigenous kidney disease mortality rate (by 47 per cent)’

What Apunipima is doing:

Apunipima employs a nurse with a special interest in kidney health to support the management of chronic kidney disease on the Cape.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are three and a half times more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than their non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counterparts.

Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are nine times more likely to experience end stage kidney disease than their non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counterparts.

As part of addressing the rates of renal failure on Cape York, Apunipima has been monitoring and managing the renal function tests of those at risk with around half of the diabetic patients and 2/3 of the Cardio-Vascular Disease patients up to date over the last six months, for this annual check.

‘However, cancer mortality rates are rising and the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians dying from cancer is widening. Between 1998 and 2015, there was a 21 per cent increase in the cancer mortality rate for Indigenous Australians and a 13 per cent decline for non-Indigenous Australians.’

What Apunipima is doing:

Apunipima provides a GP in each of the 11 communities in which we work.

We encourage people to come for health checks and assist people to travel and stay in Cairns if they are in need of further tests.

We are actively working to reduce smoking through Tackling Indigenous Smoking and improve nutrition, (through a range of activities including working closely with community stores, drafting healthy eating guidelines and community cooking demonstrations and classes) both key factors in achieving good health.

Health workforce

‘It is important to have a strong Indigenous health and aged care workforce to provide culturally appropriate services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and for the mainstream health care system to employ Indigenous health professionals’

What Apunipima is doing:

Apunipima has a workforce of around 180 employees, with 52% identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Currently around 25% of Apunipima employees are community based (both living and working in community), which is contributing to Apunipima’s strategic objective to build capacity in Cape York communities.

Apunipima employs 95 people who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, of which 36 are employed as Health Workers in Queensland, making it one of the largest non- government employers of health workers in the state.

We ensure our Health Workers are provided with appropriate qualifications (with 23 health workers currently enrolled in either Cert III or Cert IV PHC Practice), and are supported to pursue Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency registration as Health Practitioners should they choose to do so.

63% of our current Health Workers are community based, increasing community employment numbers and helping to address the social determinants of health.

Suicide

‘Indigenous suicide rates are double that of non-Indigenous Australians. During 2011 to 2015, among Indigenous Australians, 71 per cent of suicides were male.’

What Apunipima is doing:

Apunipima is addressing this issue through on country and cultural activities, supporting community to develop local solution, increasing community employment, working with men, women, girls and boys to create safe spaces to share challenges and solutions, building community capacity, providing a social worker, engaging with partner agencies and organisations and building our Social and Emotional Wellbeing team.

NACCHO #JobAlerts Aboriginal Health #ClosetheGapDay : @Apunipima @AHCWA @GidgeeHealing @UrapuntjaAMS , @HESTAsuper

Help Close the Gap and create healthy futures for our mob

This weeks featured jobs on our NACCHO Job Alert

1. Apunipima Cape York Health Council : Chief Executive Officer Closing 31 March

2.Apunipima Cape York Health Council : Director Clinical Services

3. Community Liaison Officer –  Gidgee Healing Closes 22nd March 2017

4. Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Worker : Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service

5. Youth Policy Officer  : Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia Close 23 March

6.Urapuntja Health Service :  3 positions currently available : No closing date

7. Aboriginal Health Scholarships : Win a HESTA scholarship : Closes March 20 

 

 

How to submit a Indigenous Health #jobalert ? 

NACCHO Affiliate , Member , Government Department or stakeholder

If you have a job vacancy in Indigenous Health 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media

Tuesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Wednesday

1. Apunipima Cape York Health Council : Chief Executive Officer

Apunipima Cape York Health Council is committed to the delivery of comprehensive primary health care services to ensure positive health outcomes for the people of Cape York. By tailoring its focus to each individual community, this organisation provides holistic health services, supporting individuals and families across the region. As part of their commitment to the region, the Board of Directors is seeking to appoint a new CEO to lead the organisation with a focus on continued and sustainable growth.

Based in Cairns and managing a diverse team of over 160 staff delivering services to 11 remote Cape York Communities, this role will focus on harnessing the organisation’s 23 years of experience in advocacy and service delivery as well as seeking new opportunities to support the existing client base.

The CEO will be particularly focused on developing the organisation’s capability and driving outcomes to achieve a more innovative primary health care health service. Key to the role are strong people leadership, commercial decision making in a not for profit environment, and the ability to build and maintain high level relationships to maximise the benefit to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community as well as the individuals utilising its services.

Apunipima Cape York Health Council is looking for an Executive with a proven commercial success, strong stakeholder engagement and outstanding leadership skills. The successful applicant will be required to demonstrate a commitment to ensuring improved outcomes for the people of Cape York as well as experience in the management of health services or related industries.

Confidential enquiries can be directed to Ryan Webster on 07 3003 7731.

To apply or request an information pack please email executiveqld@chandlermacleod.com

Applications close on Friday 31st March 2017.

Reference Number: 183587A_148904451643755
Contact Details: Ryan Webster

2. Apunipima Cape York Health Council : Director Clinical Services Close 24 March

An exciting opportunity is available to work as part of the Apunipima Cape York Health Council senior executive team, as our Director Clinical Services. This integral role will work collaboratively with the executive team to provide clinical leadership within the organisation, particularly in the area of clinical governance, supporting the delivery of comprehensive primary health care services to the community of Cape York.

The key responsibilities for the role include, but are not limited to:

  • The development, coordination, implementation and evaluation of all clinical governance and risk management systems and policies within the organisation
  • Working within the executive team to ensure effective planning, implementation and evaluation processes support the delivery of evidence based, best practice medical services, in line with community health plans and contractual obligations
  • Development and maintenance of effective collaborative partnerships and strategic alliances with key external stakeholders, including Cape wide clinical governance collaborations
  • Provide support to the development and implementation of model of care/care pathways, assisting with the development of relevant frameworks and evaluation tools
  • Oversee high quality evidence based care delivery and activities of medical staff to ensure optimal patient outcomes

How do I apply?

To apply for this role please visit our web site www.apunipima.org.au/work-for-us Please note: applicants will be required to address selection criteria as part of the application process for this position

Download this position here NACCHO Job alert Mar 8 Apunipima

3. Community Liaison Officer –  Gidgee Healing Closes 22nd March 2017

Work Type/s: Full Time

Location: Regional QLD .

Applications close: 22 March, 2017.

Primary Health Care Be a part of Primary Health Care excellence in remote Australia Excellent salary package and remote living allowances

We are looking for the right person to take advantage of this exciting opportunity in remote Australia.

About us: Gidgee Healing is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service that provides a broad range of primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people residing in the Mt Isa, North West and Lower Gulf regions of Queensland.

Gidgee Healing is currently expanding the delivery of its Primary Health Care Services across the Lower Gulf region, to include the communities of Normanton, Mornington Island, Doomadgee and Burketown.

The opportunity: If you are an exceptional Community Liaison Officer inspired by the task of providing high quality health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to ensure they are able to access the best possible care and support – then we want to hear from you!

If you are the right person for this role, you will be committed to the philosophy and practice principles of an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service and will have the knowledge, experience and personal character to work with Aboriginal communities, families and individuals in culturally appropriate manner.

This role will be responsible for developing and implementing local community engagement strategies to actively increase awareness, access to and uptake of health services with the aim of achieving the best possible health outcomes for the Normanton community, with a particular emphasis on the engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The role will entail service delivery across a variety of platforms, including clinic-based and community-based settings and may also include some outreach service delivery.

You will have strong interpersonal communication skills; and a demonstrated ability to build and maintain effective working partnerships with community and other stakeholders. If you are someone who possesses these attributes and has a genuine commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Lower Gulf region, we look forward to hearing from you.

The lifestyle: The township of Normanton offers a relaxed and casual lifestyle, with wealth of camping and exploring, scenic national parks, gorges, as well as pristine river, lake and open water fishing and recreation. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply. How to apply for this job

To obtain a copy of the Application Information and Position Description, please contact Bronwyn Morgan on Ph. (07) 4743 6681 or email: bmorgan@gidgeehealing.com, using the subject line: Community Liaison Officer enquiry via EthicalJobs.

Applications are to be received by COB Wednesday 22nd March 2017.

4. Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Worker : Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service

The Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service provides health and community services to the local Indigenous community.

The AOD Worker will work in a highly skilled team to deliver quality care to drug and alcohol clients.

Essential criteria:

  • Minimum of Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience working in the Community Services field specific to Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Demonstrated knowledge of case management
  • Demonstrated knowledge of treatment models
  • Proven ability in delivering presentations and facilitating group work
  • Proven ability in counselling single clients, couples and families, inclusive of youth
  • Demonstrated ability to use computer programs such as Microsoft Office, as well as the ability to gain necessary skills to utilise position specific programs
  • Current Drivers Licence
  • Working with Children Check

Desirable:

  • Knowledge of local AOD issues in Indigenous people

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply.

To apply for this position, please forward your Cover Letter, Selection Criteria Statement and Resume to klawlor@illawarraams.com.au.

Applications will close at 5pm on Friday 31 March 2017
A criminal record check will be carried out on successful applicant.
Applications that do not address the Selection Criteria will not be considered.
Previous applicants need not apply.

 

5. Youth Policy Officer  : Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia Close 23 March

Work Type/s: Contract, Full Time
Classification/s: Community Development, Health Promotion, Indigenous, Policy & Research, Youth
Sector/s: Not For Profit (NFP)
Location: Perth

Applications close: 23 March, 2017.

About the Organisation

AHCWA is the peak body for the 22 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) in Western Australia. We are an evolving organisation that acts as a forum to lead the development of Aboriginal Health policy, to influence and monitor performance across the health sector, to advocate for and support community development and capacity building in Aboriginal Communities.

We advocate for the rights and entitlements of all Aboriginal people throughout Western Australia, at a local, regional, State and National level.

To find out more please visit our website here.

About the Opportunity 

AHCWA has an exciting opportunity for a Youth Policy Officer to join our team in Highgate, Perth, on a full-time, fixed term basis.

As the Youth Policy Officer, you will ensure that the youth perspective is heard and reflected in relevant policy development and future program planning within the sector.

Working within the Policy team, your responsibilities will include (but not be limited to) the following:

  • Engaging with Aboriginal youth, youth services and other stakeholders to lead/ assist with policy analysis and development
  • Researching, evaluating and advising on current health related issues and youth affairs affecting youth within Aboriginal communities across Western Australia
  • Promoting the expansion of AHCWA’s current network of young Aboriginal people and expanding AHCWA’s youth representation on relevant consultative committees and working groups across WA
  • Providing input into the development, implementation, review and evaluation of an Aboriginal Youth Health strategy for AHCWA, in conjunction with the youth network and AHCWA’s senior management team
  • Assisting AHCWA in securing funding to ensure the sustainability of AHCWA’s Youth program and in particular to implement initiatives identified within the Youth Strategy
  • Establishing and coordinating the Aboriginal Youth Project Reference Group

To view the full position description, please click here

To be successful in this position you will have a relevant qualification or experience in a relevant field, experience in the formulation, analysis and evaluation of policy focusing on youth topics and previous experience in policy and program development, implementation, evaluation and review.

You will have an understanding of the issues that impact on young Aboriginal people in urban, regional and remote communities. Your strong interpersonal, communication and organisational skills will enable you to strengthen existing community partnership, establish and sustain stakeholder relationships, determine priorities and manage workloads in order to meet agreed timelines and achieve results.

Most importantly, you must be able to effectively communicate, promote and uphold AHCWA’s initiatives and values.

About the Benefits

AHCWA is committed to recognising and rewarding its employees. An attractive remuneration package, salary sacrificing benefits and additional leave entitlements is on offer. In addition, you will have access to a number of fantastic benefits including health and well being initiatives and a flexible and family friendly work environment.

How to apply for this jobApply here

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply.

Applications close at 10am Thursday 23rd March 2017
– See more at: http://www.ethicaljobs.com.au/Members/AHCWA/youth-policy-officer-1#sthash.HCNSiwzC.dpuf

6.Urapuntja Health Service :  3 positions currently available

The Urapuntja Community is situated on the Sandover Highway some 280 km north east of Alice Springs. Urapuntja Community comprises 16 Outstation communities spread out over some 3230 square km of desert. There are some 900 people who are mainly Anmatyerre and Alyawarra speaking people. Distances to the outstations vary from 5 to 100 kms from the clinic.

Note to above :

Urapuntja Health Service Aboriginal Corporation is celebrating 40 years of service. To mark the occasion we are planning events on the 28th of July 2017. We are also on the hunt for photo’s and stories documenting our history and would greatly appreciate you forwarding this to anyone you may know that has contributed to the success of our service.
For further information and to register interest please contact 40years@urapuntja.org.au

Urapuntja Health Service developed from many years of negotiations by Aboriginal people to have their own health service.

Urapuntja is a community controlled health service with a Board of Directors which is elected from and by the community at the Annual General Meeting held each year. The Directors meets regularly to discuss issues and make decisions relevant to the Organisation.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE

Remote Area Midwife
Location Amengernternenh Community, Utopia, NT
12 month limited term contract full time (38 hours p.w.)
Download Job and Person Specification

General Practitioner
Location Amengernternenh Community, Utopia, NT
12 month limited term contract full time (38 hours p.w.)
Download Job and Person Specification

Remote Area Nurse
Location Amengernternenh Community, Utopia, NT
12 month limited term contract full time (38 hours p.w.)
Download Job and Person Specification

7. Aboriginal Health Scholarships : Win a HESTA scholarship to Rural Health Conference Cairns

Indigenous health students are encouraged to apply for a new scholarship to attend the National Rural Health Conference in Cairns, from 26-29 April 2017.

The scholarship covers return airfares to Cairns, four nights’ accommodation and conference registrations fees. “

The conference, hosted by the National Rural Health Alliance, is Australia’s pre-eminent event for people committed to better health and wellbeing in rural and remote communities.

Keynote speakers include Janine Mohamed, CEO of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives, and Dr Mark Wenitong, Medical Director of the Apunipima Cape York Health Council.

There are 10 conference scholarships, provided by HESTA super fund in partnership with Rural Health Workforce Australia. They are for medical, nursing and allied health students who belong to Rural Health Clubs affiliated with the National Rural Health Student Network

HESTA Scholarship – Terms & Conditions

The HESTA National Rural Health Conference Scholarship will support 10 university health students to attend the 14th National Rural Health Conference in Cairns, Far North Queensland, from 26-29 April 2017.

At least one of the 10 HESTA scholarships will be reserved for a student with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage.

Scholarship funding includes return airfares, 4 nights’ accommodation with breakfast at Rydges Cairns and conference registration.*

* Please note: Successful applicants will be responsible for airport transfers, any additional meals (3 dinners) not covered by the accommodation package and the conference program, plus any additional hotel expenses. Breakfasts are provided as part of the accommodation package while lunches, morning and afternoon teas and one dinner are provided at the conference.

Each applicant must be a current member of a Rural Health Club affiliated with the National Rural Health Student Network and currently enrolled in a medical, nursing or allied health course in Australia.

Applicants will be assessed on their response to a series of questions in the online application form – with a particular emphasis on their interest in and commitment to practising in rural Australia.

Student Undertaking

Successful applicants will:

  • Agree to take part in media and promotional activities highlighting the scholarship program with HESTA and RHWA
  • Ensure that they have obtained permission from their university to attend the National Rural Health Conference, 26-29 April 2017
  • Provide immediate notification of withdrawal from or changes to their course of studies in 2017
  • Conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner throughout the conference
  • Repay scholarship funding received if they faily to comply with the conditions of this agreement

Key dates

  • Scholarship applications open: Wednesday 8 March 2017
  • Scholarship applications close: 5pm (AEDT) Monday 20 March 2017
  • Scholarship winners announced: Monday 27 March 2017

This is part of HESTA’s Reconciliation Action Plan that aims to increase equity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.

Applications close at 5pm (AEDT) on Monday 20 March. Find out more and apply at www.rhwa.org.au/hestascholarship

 

NACCHO #JobAlerts Aboriginal Health #ClosetheGapDay : @Apunipima , @UrapuntjaAMS , @AIDAAustralia , @MenziesResearch , @RACGP

Help Close the Gap and create healthy futures for our mob

This weeks featured jobs on our NACCHO Job Alert

1. Apunipima Cape York Health Council : Director Clinical Services

 2.Urapuntja Health Service :  3 positions currently available

3.Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Ass. (AIDA) : Policy officer Closes 15 March

4. Menzies Research Project Manager – Renal Team

5.University Centre for Rural Health- North Coast Research Fellow (Evaluation)

6.RACGP Indigenous Health Award

 

How to submit a Indigenous Health #jobalert ? 

NACCHO Affiliate , Member , Government Department or stakeholder

If you have a job vacancy in Indigenous Health 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media

Tuesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Wednesday

1. Apunipima Cape York Health Council : Director Clinical Services

An exciting opportunity is available to work as part of the Apunipima Cape York Health Council senior executive team, as our Director Clinical Services. This integral role will work collaboratively with the executive team to provide clinical leadership within the organisation, particularly in the area of clinical governance, supporting the delivery of comprehensive primary health care services to the community of Cape York.

The key responsibilities for the role include, but are not limited to:

  • The development, coordination, implementation and evaluation of all clinical governance and risk management systems and policies within the organisation
  • Working within the executive team to ensure effective planning, implementation and evaluation processes support the delivery of evidence based, best practice medical services, in line with community health plans and contractual obligations
  • Development and maintenance of effective collaborative partnerships and strategic alliances with key external stakeholders, including Cape wide clinical governance collaborations
  • Provide support to the development and implementation of model of care/care pathways, assisting with the development of relevant frameworks and evaluation tools
  • Oversee high quality evidence based care delivery and activities of medical staff to ensure optimal patient outcomes

How do I apply?

To apply for this role please visit our web site www.apunipima.org.au/work-for-us Please note: applicants will be required to address selection criteria as part of the application process for this position

Download this position here NACCHO Job alert Mar 8 Apunipima

 

2.Urapuntja Health Service :  3 positions currently available

The Urapuntja Community is situated on the Sandover Highway some 280 km north east of Alice Springs. Urapuntja Community comprises 16 Outstation communities spread out over some 3230 square km of desert. There are some 900 people who are mainly Anmatyerre and Alyawarra speaking people. Distances to the outstations vary from 5 to 100 kms from the clinic.

Note to above :

Urapuntja Health Service Aboriginal Corporation is celebrating 40 years of service. To mark the occasion we are planning events on the 28th of July 2017. We are also on the hunt for photo’s and stories documenting our history and would greatly appreciate you forwarding this to anyone you may know that has contributed to the success of our service.
For further information and to register interest please contact 40years@urapuntja.org.au

Urapuntja Health Service developed from many years of negotiations by Aboriginal people to have their own health service.

Urapuntja is a community controlled health service with a Board of Directors which is elected from and by the community at the Annual General Meeting held each year. The Directors meets regularly to discuss issues and make decisions relevant to the Organisation.

1.POSITIONS AVAILABLE

Remote Area Midwife
Location Amengernternenh Community, Utopia, NT
12 month limited term contract full time (38 hours p.w.)
Download Job and Person Specification

General Practitioner
Location Amengernternenh Community, Utopia, NT
12 month limited term contract full time (38 hours p.w.)
Download Job and Person Specification

Remote Area Nurse
Location Amengernternenh Community, Utopia, NT
12 month limited term contract full time (38 hours p.w.)
Download Job and Person Specification

3.Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) : Policy officer Closes 15 March

The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) is a not-for-profit professional association contributing to equitable health outcomes and the cultural wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We work to continually inform and support a culturally safe health care system as we strive toward our ultimate goal to reach population parity of Indigenous doctors in the medical profession.

We are looking for an experienced policy officer with high-level research, analytic and writing skills to join our small and supportive team. Experience working in a secretariat capacity for committees or working groups will be highly regarded. If you think you have what it takes to contribute to our important work please apply for this role.

Enquiries and applications

Please contact mailto:jobs@aida.org.auwith any enquiries.

Please send your CV and cover letter to jobs@aida.org.au by midnight on 15 March 2016.

Please visit http://www.aida.org.au/our-work/vacancies/

to download the duty statement and selection criteria.

Click here to download the Duty Statement and Selection Criteria PDF.

4.Menzies Research Project Manager – Renal Team

  • 12 month full time contract based in Darwin
  • GSL 8 $113,491 – $127,031 salary package (comprising gross salary $89,411 – $100,662, superannuation & salary packaging benefits)
  • Closing date: 19 March 2017
  • Contact: Gill Gorham via email or phone – (08) 8946 8529.

To view full position details, click here to view the PDF.

Applications should be emailed to humanresources@menzies.edu.au and should include the following information:

  • A brief covering letter identifying the position being applied for
  • A statement addressing the selection criteria in the position description
  • A curriculum vitae (resume)
  • Names and contact details of three referees.

5.University Centre for Rural Health- North Coast Research Fellow (Evaluation

University Centre for Rural Health- North Coast
Sydney Medical School
Reference no. 398/0217

Join an organisation that encourages progressive thinking

  • Be valued for your exceptional knowledge and experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Share our enthusiasm for impactful research

About the opportunity 

This position will be based in the University Centre for Rural Health-North Coast, (UCRH), located in Lismore.  The UCRH has links to the University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine and the School of Public Health, and the Universities of Wollongong, Western Sydney and Southern Cross University.   UCRH research is focused on health priorities for our region, and aims to contribute to knowledge relevant to rural health priorities in Australia and internationally.

This part-time two year position sits within the NHMRC funded Centre of Research Excellence in Integrated Quality Improvement in Indigenous Primary Health Care (CRE-IQI). The CRE-IQI’s vision is to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes by accelerating and strengthening large-scale primary health care (PHC) quality improvement efforts. The CRE-IQI supports collaborative efforts of researchers, service providers and policy makers to address priority areas for development of integrated quality improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PHC. The position will work with the research team and key collaborators to progress priority projects and work programs, including evaluation, research capacity building and research translation.  The position will also be responsible for providing project management support to the CRE-IQI, including oversight of administration and reporting requirements.

For more information about the position please contact Dr Megan Passey on 02 6620 7516. If you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact Julie Small on 02 8627 1223 or j.small@sydney.edu.au

If you would like to learn more, please refer to the Candidate Information Pack for the position description and further details.

Closing date: 11pm 20 March 2017

MORE INFO

6.RACGP Indigenous Health Award

The RACGP recognises that improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is one of Australia’s highest health priorities. The RACGP supports research which makes a difference to health outcomes, policy and practice, and the capacity of general practice to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health issues. It particularly encourages a systematic approach to strategic and policy-driven research focusing on primary care, developing collaborative approaches and the building of research capacity within populations and communities.

In 2003, the then RACGP President Professor Michael Kidd, waived his right to any form of payment and placed his allowance in a secure interest bearing account with the interest to be used as the basis of an annual award to support general practice initiatives in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The RACGP Indigenous Health Award was offered for the first time in 2004. The award aims to build a wealth of research knowledge to draw on to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes, and also to develop and encourage researchers in this important field of work in Australia.

Award Details

One or more RACGP Indigenous Health Awards, valued at up to $9,000 in total (excluding GST), are available for a 12 month period to provide support for:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students
  • medical students to gain experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical graduates undertaking GP training
  • GP registrars and GPs undertaking research and educational projects in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • other activities supporting the provision of high quality health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Eligibility

Applicants for the RACGP Indigenous Health Award must be:

  • a medical student; OR
  • a general practitioner or general practice registrar.

Selection criteria

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • training potential for applicants 40%
  • significance and relevance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health 20%
  • quality of the proposal 20%
  • value for money 10%
  • potential to build capacity in general practice clinical care, research and/or education and training 10%

Applications open on Tuesday 7 March 2017 and will close on Monday 8 May 2017 at 5pm AEST. Please click here to apply.

This award is made available by a fund established by Professor Michael Kidd AM and supported by RACGP member donations. 

For more information email research@racgp.org.au.

NACCHO Member and Stakeholders support #closingthegap #RedfernStatement : Our community voices are key to Closing the Gap

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Yesterday ninth Closing the Gap Report highlighted the health challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.Included in this NACCHO post are support press releases from a wide range of NACCHO members and stakeholders : 

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 ” The report identifies small gains that are being made by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations such as Apunipima, however with the targets looking increasingly out of reach we urge government to work more closely with communities and look at serious reforms to give us a chance to close the health gap between mainstream and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We urge the government to listen and work with the community who know what is needed for themselves and their families.

We know that mainstream services do not deliver the outcomes we are all looking for and this report is further evidence that community led and community driven services are the way forward for better health outcomes in community.

Community is central to any debate about the future of our health services “

Apunipima Cape York Health Council CEO Cleveland Fagan pictured above with Dr Mark Wenitong

Read Download full press release Apunipima

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Read recent AMA Report card Indigenous Health

Read NACCHO Press Release referred to by Dr Michael Gannon AMA President

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 “ The Redfern Statement was developed on 9 June 2016 and the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) are one of the 18 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations leading this statement and calling for Government action. Members of AIDA were proud to be in the Great Hall at Parliament House for this significant occasion.

AIDA looks forward to working with other Redfern Statement signatory peaks and senior State and Territory Government representatives between March and July at the Redfern Statement Workshops and participating in the National First People Summit in August/September later this year.

Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA)

Read Download full press release aida

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“It is a continuing tragedy that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still suffer from poorer health outcomes and a shorter life expectancy than non Indigenous Australians.

While the reasons for this are complex and include a range of socioeconomic and other factors, it is certainly the case in the healthcare system that much more can be done.

For example, we have a continuing lack of access in many locations to culturally appropriate health services. Understandably, the availability of culturally appropriate healthcare often makes the difference between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients going to see a doctor or other health professional, or not going at all.

And while there are increased opportunities for cultural competency training within our medical and other health courses, more consistent access for medical and health students (particularly non Indigenous students) to this critical training is needed for them to have the skills and knowledge required to communicate effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

RDAA President, Dr Ewen McPhee

Read Download full press release 2-rural-doctors

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“While we have seen positive signs for health, including improvements in numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers not smoking during pregnancy and babies born with a low birthweight, we are still falling behind when it comes to achieving the target of halving the gap in child mortality by 2018,

One of the key priorities for our organisation is improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which is demonstrated to worsen with increasing remoteness.

Mr Butt also stressed that while many of these issues are not new, they are even more pressing in isolated areas given approximately 65% of Aboriginal people live outside Australia’s major cities.

We need greater focus on improving child health, education, and wellbeing and to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to give them the best start in life. It should involve a holistic early childhood strategy which informs high quality, locally responsive and culturally appropriate programs supported by stable, long term funding.”

The NRHA continues to work closely with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander member bodies to achieve these outcomes,” .

NRHA CEO, David Butt, while progress has been seen in some areas, the rates of infant mortality were no longer on target and this was of concern.

Read Download full press release national-rural-health

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 ” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians pay a heavy price for this collective national failure.

The first peoples live with worse health and education outcomes, fewer employment opportunities, inadequate housing options and the lasting effects of intergenerational trauma.

The flawed design and delivery of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy reminds us that paternalism does not work. We cannot ignore the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or impose solutions instead of working with communities.

We need a new approach – an approach that listens to first Australians, gives them a stronger voice that they control, and recognises that they have the solutions.

We need a new approach that fosters hope that builds on a sense of belonging. An approach built on respect, recognition and resources.

Labor calls on the Government to heed local voices, to empower communities, and to prioritise what works.

The $500 million in cuts to programs and frontline services has had a very real and damaging impact. Despite a promise that there would be no jobs or services lost, the opposite is true. Cutting funding from local providers doesn’t foster independence, it undermines hope. “

The Hon Bill Shorten Shadow Minister for Indigenous affairs together we signed the malarndirri McCarthy Senator Dodson & Jenny Macklin

Read Download full press release labor

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The Close the Gap report now showing that child mortality rates are not on track is a dismal reflection on the Government’s half-hearted and under-funded attempts to end Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.

One of the targets is on track to Close the Gap for our First Peoples. Just one. How has the Government let it get to this stage?

“I have witnessed many Closing the Gap reports in my time as a Senator but this year’s report is particularly devastating. Unfortunately it is not surprising.

“When they ripped half a billion dollars out of the sector, leaders, Aboriginal organisations and service deliverers knew the impacts would be real. This is now reflected in this report. This highlights why the Government needs to adopt the Redfern Statement’s Engagement Approach.

“Falling behind on child mortality rates means that the Government’s failure to act in this space is costing lives.

Senator Rachel Siewert – Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues  . President met with & today to discuss priorities in health for 2017

Read Download full press release greens

Please note at time of publications no other political parties had issued Closing the Gap Press releases

NACCHO Aboriginal Health “Ministerial Champions ” visit our remote #ACCHOS #CapeYork and #DerbyWA

 

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 ” Ministerial champion ”  for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt toured the Derby Aboriginal Health Service  with NACCHO CEO  Pat Turner : See background story 2 below

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Story 1

 ” Ministerial Champion for Wujal Wujal ” Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for Innovation, Science and Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business recently visited the Apunipima Cape York Health Council.

Image (L-R) Director-General Jamie Merrick, Minister Enoch, Apunipima CEO Cleveland Fagan

The Minister, accompanied by the Government Champion for Wujal Wujal, Jamie Merrick, Director-General, Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation met with Apunipima’s senior managers to discuss the services and activities Apunipima provides to Wujal Wujal – a remote Aboriginal community which lies 70 km south of Cooktown.

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The Champions program is based around supporting Mayors and communities to achieve the social and economic outcomes which they identify as important.

Apunipima CEO Cleveland Fagan said he welcomed the visit with the Minister and Director-General.

‘We were pleased to meet with Minister Enoch and Mr. Merrick to discuss our role in supporting the community and leadership in Wujal Wujal to achieve the goals that matter to the community.’

‘Apunipima provides culturally appropriate primary health care to the people of Wujal Wujal including a GP, Maternal and Child Health Nurse and Midwife, Podiatrist, Dietitian and Diabetes Educator.’

‘There are some real success stories when it comes to the health of the people of Wujal Wujal – 100 percent of children aged 12, 24 and 60 months are fully immunised, 75 percent of newborn bubs are within the normal weight range and nearly 90 percent of clients with type 2 diabetes have a GP Management Plan in place.’

‘There are some challenges, particularly around smoking rates and obesity and we will be working with community to address these health issues.’

‘We look forward to continuing to work closely with Minister Enoch and the Queensland Government to continue to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Cape York.’

Story 2 Derby Aboriginal Health Service

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Mission

To deliver holistic primary health care services which;

  • ŸAre based on the social justice principles of equity and access
  • ŸAddress the needs of Aboriginal people, and
  • ŸRespect and reflect the cultural values of the communities we serve.

The Derby Aboriginal Health Service has been established by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people, with the purpose of;

  • Empowering Aboriginal people in the prevention and management of ill-health, and in the promotion of well-being for individuals, families and communities, as well as;
  • Empowering Aboriginal people in the processes of decision-making, planning and service delivery

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History

In early 1995 Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation received funding from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) to carry out a comprehensive health planning exercise for Aboriginal people and communities in the Jayida Buru Ward of the Malarabah ATSIC Regional Council of the West Kimberley.

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This region includes Aboriginal Communities in and around Derby town, south of Derby along the Fitzroy Valley, north east of Derby and along the Gibb River Road and Outstations north along the coast and up into the Mitchell Plateau.  The Jayida Buru Health Strategy was the result of this process, and was the first health strategy for Aboriginal people in the Derby region which was developed from the Aboriginal perspective.

Amongst its findings was recognition that:

“…there appears to be little acknowledgement of the diverse needs of these population groups in the structure and operation of most mainstream services in the Derby region.  These services often operate under constraints imposed by a Perth based policy and practise…and an organisational culture that excludes Aboriginal people from information and decision making”.

The Strategy outlined five key objectives;

  • Aboriginal community and self-management of health related issues
  • ŸService and program planning based on identical local health need
  • ŸA comprehensive, integrated and coordinated range of programs and services
  • ŸEquitable access to services
  • ŸAppropriate levels of resource allocation

and determined that;

“There are compelling reasons for the establishment of an Aboriginal Health Service in the Jayida Buru region; the health needs of the Aboriginal people in the region greatly exceed the capacity of the mainstream provider; the scope and models of mainstream service provision are not currently culturally appropriate or readily accessible; and there is no choice of health provider available to us.”

In April 1997 the Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation Committee established a Derby Aboriginal Medical Service (DAMS) Committee.  This committee, with the support of the Winun Ngari Committee and Administration, began its struggle to establish a culturally appropriate health service to address the concerns raised through the Jayida Buru Health Strategy.

Funding from the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) was received in early 1997.   On September 17, the first committee of the Derby Aboriginal Health Service Council was elected.

NACCHO Promotion

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NACCHO has announced the publishing date for the 9 th edition of Australia’s first national health Aboriginal newspaper, the NACCHO Health News .

Publish date 6 April 2017

Working with Aboriginal community controlled and award-winning national newspaper the Koori Mail, NACCHO aims to bring relevant advertising and information on health services, policy and programs to key industry staff, decision makers and stakeholders at the grassroots level.

And who writes for and reads the NACCHO Newspaper ?

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While NACCHO’s websites ,social media and annual report have been valued sources of information for national and local Aboriginal health care issues for many years, the launch of NACCHO Health News creates a fresh, vitalised platform that will inevitably reach your targeted audiences beyond the boardrooms.

NACCHO will leverage the brand, coverage and award-winning production skills of the Koori Mail to produce a 24 page three times a year, to be distributed as a ‘lift-out’ in the 14,000 Koori Mail circulation, as well as an extra 1,500 copies to be sent directly to NACCHO member organisations across Australia.

Our audited readership (Audit Bureau of Circulations) is 100,000 readers

For more details rate card

Contact : Colin Cowell Editor

Mobile : 0401 331 251

Email  : nacchonews@naccho.org.au

NACCHO Aboriginal Elder’s Health : Apunipima #ACCHO signs palliative care MOU for 5 remote Cape York communities

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It is great to see that St Vincent’s Health Australia is not only willing to fund this project, but is willing to walk alongside Apunipima and NPAFACS on how we can best help these communities,”

Mrs Patricia Yusia, a Board Member of Apunipima Cape York Health Council, voiced a sigh of relief about the project.

“It’s going to be a learning exercise and an exercise in trust-building. We need to listen to the people in community, and understand what they want from their palliative care service, so that it will cater to the requirements of those who will access it,”

“From there, an appropriate service model can be developed, and then local stories will spread about how members of the communities will die respectfully, at home, on country and with family.”

Associate Prof Mark Boughey, Deputy Director of St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne’s Centre for Palliative Care, said – first and foremost – he and his colleagues would listen to the communities about their palliative care needs

St Vincent’s Health Australia (SVHA) has committed $450,000 to bring culturally appropriate palliative care services to five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) of Cape York as part of an MOU with Northern Peninsula Area Family and Community Services (NPAFACS) and Apunipima Cape York Health Council (Apunipima).

People living in remote Cape York communities – in particular the five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities of Bamaga, Seisia, Injinoo, Umagico and New Mapoon – experience some of the highest levels of chronic disease and poorest health outcomes in Australia yet don’t have access to local palliative care. The nearest palliative care is more than 1000 kms away in Cairns.

St Vincent’s Health Australia – the nation’s largest not-for-profit health and aged care provider and a provider of palliative care services for more than 125 years – said it responded to a need, raised by NPAFACS through Apunipima, for expert guidance to develop a high-quality, culturally appropriate palliative care service tailored and accessible to the communities of the Cape.

The MOU outlines SVHA’s commitment over five years to achieve in partnership with NPAFACS, Apunipima and the communities of the NPA, including:

  • Participation in the Commonwealth Government’s palliative care education program (Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach or PEPA) which includes capacity for palliative care specialists to visit Aboriginal health services to facilitate palliative care learning.
  • provision of advanced palliative care training for local staff;
  • community capacity building through ongoing clinical support;
  • development of a culturally appropriate model of care and a business plan to establish a permanent palliative care service, and;
  • provision of specialist care and support of palliative care clients via telehealth.

The NPA palliative care project is an extension of an ongoing partnership between St Vincent’s and Apunipima that already provides primary healthcare services to 11 Cape York communities and advocates for 17 others, including those of the Northern Peninsula Area.

“With the highest levels of chronic disease in the country and an average life expectancy of 58 years, there’s considerable need for high-quality and culturally appropriate end of life care in our region,” said Ms Ugari Nona, President, NPAFACS.

“There are currently no palliative care services north of Cairns, some 1000kms away, and certainly no end of life care services appropriate to the cultural requirements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Cape York.”

For the people of NPA’s five communities who have a life-limiting illness, accessing end of life care means leaving the community, leaving family and country to travel to Cairns.

“It’s hard enough for those who are dying to move away to Cairns, but it’s also very hard for the family who can’t be with them,” said Councillor Edward Newman, Mayor of the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council.

“In most cases, our elders go down to Cairns for palliative care, close to death, and often don’t return – and it’s their family, the community that suffers the burden of them dying away.”

Cllr Newman said St Vincent’s commitment to help address NPA’s end of life service needs has been a welcome step, however sustained commitment, for not just the current Elders but the young people who will one day be Elders and Leaders of the communities, it’s an essential requirement for long-term success.

“This five year plan is a good start, and I’m thankful to have the support of St Vincent’s and Apunipima. However to build community capacity to provide culturally appropriate palliative care across NPA in the long-term, we’ll need at least a 20-year plan – a real long-term vision for the future.”

Project oversight will be undertaken by a steering group comprising representatives from Northern Peninsula Area Family and Community Services, Apunipima Cape York Health Council, St Vincent’s Health Australia and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne’s Centre for Palliative Care.