Alliance sets sights on final elimination of blinding trachoma in Central Australia

nac-35-aAboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, former Governor-General Michael Jeffery, government services, civil society organisations and not-for-profits will gather in Alice Springs from today to work towards the common goal of eliminating trachoma, the leading infectious cause of avoidable blindness.

Australia is the only developed country in the world where trachoma is still endemic and it is only found in remote and very remote Aboriginal communities in SA, WA and NT.

Major General Michael Jeffery will launch a Tri-State Trachoma Elimination Program today that will build on the progress that Aboriginal controlled health services, civil society and government service providers have already made on reducing trachoma in 200 at risk remote Aboriginal communities.

Major General Jeffery said the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust is supporting this program as part of a Commonwealth-wide effort to eliminate trachoma that will form part of a tribute to Her Majesty’s 60 years of service to the people of the Commonwealth.

“There is no place in modern Australia for the avoidable pain and devastating loss of vision caused by trachoma,” Major General Jeffery said.

“The Tri-State Trachoma Elimination Program launched today is an important step towards Australia meeting the global and Commonwealth targets to eliminate blinding trachoma by 2020.

“It will be a concrete step towards closing the gap in eye health, and will ensure all elements of the World Health Organisation’s S.A.F.E. (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, and Environmental hygiene) protocol are brought to bear on trachoma elimination.

“This Program will importantly demonstrate a model based on Aboriginal leadership and community ownership of measures to eliminate trachoma in remote communities.”

Justin Mohamed, Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, said the program would help end the disparity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ eye health and mainstream Australia.

“Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people are six times more likely to go blind than the rest of the Australian community.  As much as 94% of vision loss is treatable or preventable. We can make a significant difference with strategies ranging from better access to surgery to cleaner water supply and helping schools to enforce hand and face washing.

“The vision and scope of this program is bold but developing countries with far less resources have eliminated trachoma so it is definitely achievable,” Mr Mohamed said.

Media contacts:
Jane Garcia (NACCHO) 0434 489 533
Dan Haldon (General Jeffery) 0434 633 449

NACCHO Aboriginal health news : Honorary doctorate awarded to Aboriginal health pioneer and advocate Ms Pat Anderson

Dr Pat

The chair of NACCHO Justin Mohamed on behalf of all NACCHO members, board and affiliates today congratulated Pat Anderson Aboriginal health pioneer and advocate being awarded an honorary doctorate.

Pictured above receiving a degree of Doctor of the University (DUniv) from Flinders University’s receiving the degree at the Adelaide Convention Centre (photo Mary Buckskin)

” Ms Pat Anderson is an Alyawarre woman from the Northern Territory with a national and international reputation as a powerful advocate for disadvantaged people, with a particular focus on the health of Australia’s First Peoples. Chair of the Lowitja Institute, she has extensive experience in all aspects of Aboriginal health, including community development, advocacy, policy formation and research ethics, and has had a close association with Flinders University for many years.” Mr Mohamed said.

READ HER RECENT ARTICLE :Racism a driver of Aboriginal ill health

After growing up on Parap Camp in Darwin, Ms Anderson travelled and worked overseas before working for the Woodward Royal Commission into Aboriginal Land Rights (1973-74) as a legal secretary.

She then became one of the first Aboriginal graduates of the University of Western Australia. After working in Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria as an advocate for improved education for Aboriginal children, she returned to the Northern Territory in the early 1990s to become CEO of Danila Dilba Aboriginal Health Service.

This led to the start of her involvement with Flinders, supporting the placement of medical students based at the University’s Darwin Clinical School.

She played a key role in establishing the Aboriginal Medical Service Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT), the representative body for the Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations.

After leading the founding of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Aboriginal and Tropical Health in 1997, she retained a leading role in the successive CRCs that came to constitute the core of the newly created Lowitja Institute, in which Flinders is a partner.

The Lowitja Institute, now recognised as Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research, received an additional $25 million in research funding from the 2013 Federal Budget. Author of numerous essays, papers and articles, Ms Anderson was co-author with Mr Rex Wild QC of Little Children Are Sacred, a highly influential report on abuse of Aboriginal children in the NT.

NACCHO Aboriginal health : Mundine “Racial vilification legislation is not about freedom but about how we think about race “


In the coming months, Australia will have a polarising debate on the federal government’s decision to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, one that will test the government’s working relationship with indigenous people and other minority groups.

Nyunggai Warren Mundine  Opinion article Sydney Morning Herald 18 December

Pictured above  Justin Mohamed and Matthew Cooke with Warren Mundine (centre)  at the recent Garma Festival

The government believes the law goes too far in limiting free expression. Its decision was triggered by the censure of Andrew Bolt for articles suggesting ”fair-skinned” people of mixed indigenous and non-indigenous descent could not genuinely identify as indigenous, should not take part in indigenous arts and cultural awards and chose to identify as indigenous for personal gain. Bolt described these individuals as ”the white face of a new black race – the political Aborigine”.

All political traditions limit free speech; conservatives support censorship on moral and national security grounds, for example. The government’s job is to balance individual freedoms with legitimate restrictions to protect people from harm. Balance is achieved through consistent, principled reasoning, not reacting to single events. I’m concerned this is not happening here and I question whether the government would take similar action over other groups.

Take, for example, British National Party chairman Nick Griffin’s statements that black people cannot be British. Griffin believes British people of African or Asian descent are ”racial foreigners”; that British-born people of Pakistani descent are not British but remain of ”Pakistani stock”. Griffin has been convicted of inciting racial hatred. In 1998, the Howard government denied him entry to Australia.

Griffin imagines a continuing, authentic Briton and believes the absorption of non-white people into Britain and mixed marriages is leading to ”bloodless genocide” of the British race. This is obviously nonsense. Foreigners have been settling in the British Isles for thousands of years, through bloodless and bloody means alike.  British identity is defined by national laws and based on descent and citizenship, not genetic purity.

Indigenous people are also from tribal nations, with membership based on kinship and descent. Traditional laws are complex, highly developed and unique to each nation. Traditionally, these laws defined the nation’s members and regulated how people could interact. They also regulated how outsiders fit into the community.

I’m not part of a ”black race”. I’m from the Bundjalung nation and a descendant of the Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr, Yuin and Irish peoples. My children and grandchildren are also Bundjalung, including those with ”fair skin”. For me, it’s just as offensive to say any of us aren’t Bundjalung as it is to say a black person cannot be British.

Bolt clearly does not see this parallel. He dismissed Mick Dodson’s call for a treaty because Dodson’s father is Irish. ”Sign a treaty with yourself, Mick,” he wrote. Yet I’m sure Bolt would not describe Britain as signing a treaty with itself when it agreed the Treaty of Versailles with Germany, even though Britain’s King George V was ethnically German and Danish. Likewise, a treaty in Australia would not be between black people and white people. It would be between the Commonwealth and indigenous tribal nations.

Bolt’s articles actually adopted the same logic as Griffin’s. The difference is Britain is a sovereign nation able to define its people through its laws. Indigenous nations were invaded and colonised and their traditional laws are not recognised. This difference is not relevant when it comes to defining racial vilification.

Jewish people are a nation of people originating from a common geography, genealogy, language and religion. They were also dispossessed of land and sovereignty and dispersed over thousands of years, yet they maintain their identity as a people and nation. Judaism is not just a religion; there are many secular Jews. Traditionally, Judaism is defined primarily by matrilineal descent: a person is Jewish if born to a Jewish mother. Israel’s law of return allows any Jewish person to migrate there.

Imagine if Bolt wrote that people with Jewish matrilineal lineage were not authentically Jewish and disputed their right to migrate to Israel because they did not resemble the Israelites Moses led out of the desert. Undoubtedly, he would warrant censure under section 18C. But I doubt this would prompt  a repeal of those laws.

It’s legitimate to question if people who are not disadvantaged are receiving benefits at the expense of those who are, but ”indigenous” is not synonymous with ”disadvantage”. Bundjalung law does not require that I have been discriminated against to be recognised.

Skin colour makes people a target of bigotry. However, bigotry is not always based on skin colour. I know ”fair-skinned” people who have hidden their indigenous ancestry to avoid discrimination. Indigenous people of mixed descent do not necessarily escape disadvantage or its consequences through their families. Some have suffered more.

Initiatives for indigenous arts, culture and language are not welfare. Their purpose should be to foster indigenous cultures and maintain them as they evolve. Skin colour and disadvantage are irrelevant for an award open to people of indigenous descent. Likewise, if the purpose is to break disadvantage, the question is whether the recipient meets the relevant disadvantage test. Being of indigenous descent is not, of itself, enough.

I doubt the government would repeal section 18C to protect the right to describe black Britons as ”the black face of a new white race” or to call people ”political Jews” because they do not have the same skin colour as Abraham. The problem is Attorney-General George Brandis does not regard Bolt’s articles as being in the same league.

This debate is not really about individual freedoms; it’s about perceptions of race and racism. The problem is not section 18C; it’s ignorance of the sophistication of indigenous laws and cultures.

I am pleased the Attorney-General has promised to consult before introducing legislation. I hope the federal government will listen and keep an open mind. Amending section 18C would send a dangerous signal. I believe it would be a mistake.

Nyunggai Warren Mundine is an aboriginal activist and former Federal President of the ALP.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health reports:Sport and recreation programs help health in Aboriginal communities


A paper released last week on the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse website examines the beneficial effects of participation in sports and recreation for supporting healthy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The paper, Supporting healthy communities through sports and recreation programs, reviews over 30 studies, covering all geographic areas from inner city to remote regions, and age groups ranging from primary school to young adult.


It shows that there are many benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from participation in sport and recreational programs, including some improvements in school retention, attitudes towards learning, social and cognitive skills, physical and mental health and wellbeing; increased social inclusion and cohesion; increased validation of and connection to culture; and some evidence of crime reduction.




The paper shows that although the effects of sports and recreation programs can be powerful and transformative, these effects tend to be indirect and therefore hard to measure.

For example, programs to reduce juvenile antisocial behaviour largely work through diversion—these can provide alternative and safer opportunities for risk-taking, for maintenance of social status, and in building healthy relationships with elders.

Because of the lack of direct measures on the impact of sports and recreation programs on various outcomes for Indigenous Australians, this resource sheet focussed on some of the principles that can help ensure that the program is successful. These include:

  • Linking sports and recreation programs with other services and opportunities;
  • Promoting a program rather than a desired outcome;
  • Engaging the community in the planning and implementation of programs, as this will ensure that the program is culturally appropriate, and potentially sustainable.

What we know

• There is some evidence, in the form of critical descriptions of programs and systematic reviews, on the benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from participation in sport and recreational programs. These include some improvements in school retention, attitudes towards learning, social and cognitive skills, physical and mental health and wellbeing; increased social inclusion and cohesion; increased validation of and connection to culture; and crime reduction.

• Although the effects of sports and recreation programs can be powerful and transformative, these effects tend to be indirect. For example, using these programs to reduce juvenile antisocial behaviour largely work through diversion, providing alternative safe opportunities to risk taking, maintenance of social status, as well as opportunities to build healthy relationships with Elders and links with culture.

• Although Indigenous Australians have lower rates of participation in sport than non-Indigenous people, surveys suggest that around one-third of Indigenous people participate in some sporting activity (ABS 2010). That makes sports a potentially powerful vehicle for encouraging Indigenous communities to look at challenging personal and community issues.

• Within Indigenous communities, a strong component of sport and recreation is the link with traditional culture. Cultural activities such as hunting are generally more accepted as a form of sport and recreation than traditional dance. Therefore sport and recreation are integral in understanding ‘culture’ within Indigenous communities, as well as highlighting the culture within which sport and recreation operate.

What works

There are a range of benefits pertaining to participation in sports and recreation activities. In the absence of evaluation evidence, below is a list of principles of ‘what works’ and ‘what doesn’t work’ to assist with sport and recreation program implementation.

• Providing a quality program experience heightens engagement in the sports or recreational activity.

• Where no activity has been previously made available, offering some type of sport or recreation program to fill that void should be given priority over making selective decisions about which program to carry out.

• Linking sports and recreation programs with other services and opportunities (for example, health services or counselling; jobs or more relevant educational programs) improves the uptake of these allied services. This assists in developing links to other important programs for improving health and wellbeing outcomes, or behavioural change.

• For sporting programs, providing long-term sustained, regular contact between experienced sportspeople and participants allows time to consolidate new skills and benefits that flow from involvement in the program.

• Promoting a program rather than a desired outcome improves the uptake of activities—for example, a physical fitness program is more likely to be well used if promoted as games or sports rather than a get-fit campaign.

• Involving the community in the planning and implementation of programs promotes cultural appropriateness, engagement and sustainability.

• Keeping participants’ costs to a minimum ensures broad access to programs.

• Scheduling activities at appropriate times enhances engagement—for example, for young people, after school, weekends and during school holidays, when they are most likely to have large amounts of unsupervised free time.

• Facilitating successful and positive risk taking provides an alternative to inappropriate risks.

• Creating a safe place through sports or recreation activities, where trust has been built, allows for community members to work through challenges and potential community and personal change without fear of retribution or being stigmatised.

• Ensuring stable funding and staffing is crucial to developing sustainable programs.

NACCHO Aboriginal health news :Leading organisations rally: Food security the missing link in ‘closing the gap’


Leading health organisations, the Dietitians Association of Australia and the Public Health Association of Australia, have joined forces with Australian Red Cross to draw attention to the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians, due to food insecurity.

Photo above supplied by BushWOK Alice Springs

The three organisations are releasing their ‘Food Security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ policy at Parliament House in Canberra today.


According to the organisations, one in four (24%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People report food insecurity, compared with just five per cent of non-Indigenous Australians an issue they say is not getting any better and needs urgent attention.

Public Health Association of Australia CEO Michael Moore said: ‘We’re calling on all levels of Government to address food insecurity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Many in this population group do not have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to lead a healthy and active life.

‘Factors such as poverty, low or inadequate incomes, poor housing, including basic set-ups to store and prepare food, and less access to nutritious food place these Australians at higher risk.’

Claire Hewat, CEO of the Dietitians Association of Australia, said the result is that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families go hungry, and that diet-related diseases run rife in this population.

‘Sadly, in this group of Australians, we see high rates of preventable diet-related diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease,’ said Ms Hewat.

She said nutrition needs to be a priority if the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is to improve.

According to Jennifer Evans, National Coordinator, Families Children and Food Security at Australian Red Cross, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people do not have an equal opportunity to be as healthy as non-Indigenous Australians, with poorer access to healthy food, primary health care and health infrastructure.

‘This is reflected in data showing life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is 11.5 years shorter for males and almost 10 years shorter for females, compared with other Australians,’ said Ms Evans.

The ‘Food Security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ policy highlights the need for all levels of government to take the lead in addressing food insecurity, working with non-government organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


Media contacts:

Michael Moore, CEO, Public Health Association of Australia: 0417 249731

Emma Jones, Communications and Marketing Cadet Dietitian, Dietitians Association of Australia: 0409 661920.

Antony Balmain, Communications and Media Adviser, Australian Red Cross: 0408 018609


Food insecurity includes periods of prolonged hunger, or anxiety about getting food or having to rely on food relief.

The ‘Food Security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ policy highlights:

  •  The unacceptable health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians, related to food insecurity.
  •  Government needs to take the primary role in developing targeted food and nutrition security policies and actions. A whole of government approach, linking in with relevant   agencies and partners, is needed.
  • Mapping and reporting is needed on food and nutrition security in Australia, with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  •  Future policies and policy actions to help achieve food and nutrition security need to involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


NACCHO Aboriginal health news : New report highlights the challenges that remain to significantly improve the lives of Aboriginal people in remote communities


The Coordinator General, Brian Gleeson, says in the report that while the National Partnership has made a solid start on improving the quality of life for Indigenous people in remote communities, it will take a generation to change,”

The Minister said the report highlights the need for greater government coordination as a critical factor in achieving sustainable results in communities.

Picture above: Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion visiting a remote community in Central Australia with NT Chief Minister Adam Giles

A new report highlights the challenges that remain to significantly improve the lives of Indigenous people living in remote communities, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said today.

The eighth report of the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services, released today, details outcomes of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery which aims to improve the delivery of government services to people living in 29 priority communities across Australia.

DOWNLOAD Eighth Report Into Remote Indigenous Service Delivery

“The Coordinator General, Brian Gleeson, says in the report that while the National Partnership has made a solid start on improving the quality of life for Indigenous people in remote communities, it will take a generation to change,” the Minister said.

“That’s why I am determined to ensure that no time is wasted in implementing key measures, such as lifting school attendance.

“Ensuring every child attends school every day and receives an education that meets national standards be a fundamental that is without question, but attendance rates at too many schools in remote Indigenous communities are not good enough.

“This will be a key focus of the Australian Government’s efforts to improve the circumstances of remote Indigenous people to ensure that we build future capability and capacity.”

The Minister said the report highlights the need for greater government coordination as a critical factor in achieving sustainable results in communities.

“That’s exactly why the Government has transferred most Indigenous policy and programmes into the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C),” Minister Scullion said.

“The significance of this move should not be under-estimated. It puts Indigenous affairs at the centre of decision-making and will simplify programme delivery and cut red tape to ensure funding It has involved moving 1700 employees from eight departments to better coordinate Indigenous programme funding in 2013-14 totalling $2.5 billion.”

Mr Gleeson also says in his report that further attention needs to be paid to three key areas:

  •  Enhancing local governance and local ownership of decision making
  •  Reforming funding arrangements to support decision making at the local level
  •  Introducing simplified and meaningful monitoring and evaluation frameworks that reflect community perceptions of success.

The report also identifies areas where continued momentum can yield significant results, including joint planning and engagement between communities and government; a renewed focus on intergovernmental cooperation to achieve strategic objectives; ongoing government presence in communities; greater shared responsibility for accountability and transparency; and a strengthened independent monitoring and accountability mechanism.

“I thank Mr Gleeson for his report and the important assistance he provides in supporting real change in remote Indigenous communities,” Minister Scullion said.

Media contact: Minister’s Media contact: Russel Guse 0438 685645

CGRIS Contact: Llewella Jago 02 6146 2357

NACCHO supports White Ribbon Day 25 November : Australia’s dark secret -one woman killed every week


“It is certainly the case that violence against women is  very often a manifestation of wider social problems, but there is absolutely no  excuse for it, and I think it sends a powerful message when more and more men  are prepared to stand up and say they are against it on White Ribbon Day.”

TOM CALMA  AO White Ribbon Ambassador

Tom Calma

As an Aboriginal woman you are 45 times more likely to experience domestic  violence than a white woman.

Read more:

It is important to understand how every act of male violence against women can have serious effects on women, families and society as a whole.

Male violence against women can happen anywhere and can take many forms; including physical, sexual, emotional and financial violence and has a profound cost across the personal, social and economic sphere.


Picture above Stop the Violence march Congress Aboriginal Health Alice Springs 2010

White Ribbon Australia is uncovering the nation’s most shameful secret; the extent of male violence against women, which claims at least one woman’s life every week[1]. Australia, land of secrets is a new awareness raising campaign launched in the lead up to White Ribbon Day, Monday 25 November.

New Microsoft Publisher Document (2)


Australia, land of secrets intends to give a voice to the everyday experiences of violence that occur all around Australia. These acts, from inappropriate behaviour or harassment to physical and emotional abuse, are part of a culture of violence in Australia.

Chairman of White Ribbon Australia, Lt. Gen Ken Gillespie (Rtd) says that while Australia is a proud nation and unrivalled for not only its physical beauty but its way of life, it has a dark secret.

“The high incidence of male violence against women in this country is very alarming,” said Ken. “Not only do one in three women over the age of 15 report having experienced physical or sexual violence at some time in their lives,[2] violence is a major cause of homelessness for women and children[3] and costs the economy US$14.7 billion annually in Australia.[4]

“It is important to understand how every act of male violence against women can have serious effects on women, families and society as a whole. Male violence against women can happen anywhere and can take many forms; including physical, sexual, emotional and financial violence and has a profound cost across the personal, social and economic sphere.

“The issue of male violence against women is real, it’s worrying and, in many instances, remains hidden. Every woman, and man, can make a stand and speak up about the issue. Australia, land of secrets calls on men, women and the whole community to help uncover Australia’s secrets, raise awareness and stop violence against women.”

This White Ribbon Day, Monday 25 November, White Ribbon Australia is encouraging people to speak up and uncover stories of violence against women. Australia, land of secrets brings a new creative element to Australia’s only national male-led campaign to end men’s violence against women in its 10th Anniversary year.

White Ribbon Australia will be hosting awareness and fundraising events across the country throughout November. Australians are encouraged to participate in the many events happening in their local area, and to donate to show their support of the campaign.


History: 2008 Inteyerrkwe Statement Apology to women

Nearly 400 Aboriginal men took part in the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Male Health gathering in the NT and issued the  Inteyerrkwe Statement, an apology from men to women for violence and abuse.

Inteyerrkwe Statement

“We the Aboriginal males from Central Australia and our visitor brothers from  around Australia gathered at Inteyerrkwe in July 2008 to develop strategies to  ensure our future roles as grandfathers, fathers, uncles, nephews, brothers,  grandsons, and sons in caring for our children in a safe family environment that  will lead to a happier, longer life that reflects opportunities experienced by  the wider community.

We acknowledge and say sorry for the hurt, pain and suffering caused by  Aboriginal males to our wives, to our children, to our mothers, to our  grandmothers, to our granddaughters, to our aunties, to our nieces and to our  sisters.

We also acknowledge that we need the love and support of our Aboriginal women  to help us move forward.”

NACCHO members such as ANYINGINYI are taking an active role in White Ribbon Day


For more information visit

Follow this link to view and share the new TVC:


White Ribbon invites people to show their support for White Ribbon Day by hosting or attending one of the many White Ribbon events that take place across Australia (, sharing the campaign online ( or purchasing White Ribbon wristbands and ribbons at any Suzanne Grae, The Salvation Army (QLD, NSW, ACT) stores or the White Ribbon shop (


NACCHO chair launches Australia’s first Aboriginal Health Newspaper at AGM

Koori Mail Handover

Picture Above: Board Director of the Koori Mail Trevor Kapeen presents the first copy of Australia’s first Aboriginal Health Newspaper to Chair of NACCHO Justin Mohamed on the opening day of the NACCHO AGM in Perth.

Working with Aboriginal community controlled and award-winning national newspaper the Koori Mail, NACCHO aims thru NACCHO Health News to bring relevant information on health services, policy and programs to NACCHO members and key industry stakeholders at a grassroots level.


NACCHO will leverage the brand, coverage and award-winning production skills of the Koori Mail to produce a 20-28 page three times a year, distributed as a ‘lift-out’ in the 14,000 Koori Mail circulation, as well as an extra 5000 copies to be sent directly to NACCHO member organisations across Australia.

“We have learned that most of the communication around these important Aboriginal health areas tend to float around the top echelons of the government and non-government sectors,” said NACCHO chairman Justin Mohamed.

“Our intention is to broaden the reach of this information, landing in the waiting rooms  and tea rooms of community health clinics, community centres, program offices and other places accessed daily by primary health care workers and our clients .

“While NACCHO’s website 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 audiences beyond the boardrooms,” Mr. Mohamed said

“This is a tremendous leap for the dissemination of health information across our Aboriginal  population,” Mr Mohamed noted. “Never before has such valuable and relevant health information become so accessible to this sector. If you have a message or job opportunity you want to get into the Aboriginal primary health care sector, NACCHO Health News is your ideal media.”

The first edition of NACCHO Health News hit the presses on November 17 and was promoted heavily via various media channels and social media outlets.

To book an advertisement and/or have your article considered for publication in the April 2014 edition , please contact the NACCHO media team on 02 6246 9309 or email

NACCHO political news: Tony Abbott PM says Australia can have an Aboriginal Prime Minister one day

44th Parliament

Prime Minister Tony Abbott address at the Welcome to Country Ceremony, Parliament House

And response from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten Welcome To Country – Response


Prime Minister Tony Abbott

This Parliament always has great work to do: to secure our borders, to balance our budget, to strengthen our economy, to the relief of families and for the protection of jobs.

But if we are to do great things, we must begin them well. We must begin them well.

We must acknowledge the extended family of the Australian nation.

We must acknowledge and celebrate the essential unity of the Australian people.

It’s Noel Pearson, a great indigenous leader and a prophet for our times, who has observed that Australia is the product of a British and an indigenous heritage. This Parliament is redolent of our British heritage. But only recently has this Parliament acknowledged our indigenous heritage.

The first Parliament to meet here in this city 86 years ago was opened by the Duke of York. There was one indigenous person present that day. Matilda has already recalled the presence on that day of a local man, Jimmy Clements. And that man on the side of the ceremony was every bit as much a symbol of unity as the representative of the Crown, because Jimmy Clements, although unacknowledged that day, carried with him an Australian flag.

Haven’t we changed over 86 years? Haven’t we come a long way? This city has come a long way. Our country has come a long way. And this Parliament has come a very long way indeed.

We have had indigenous members of this Parliament.

We have in Ken Wyatt, the first indigenous member of the House of Representatives.

In this term of Parliament we have in Nova Peris the first female indigenous member of this Parliament.

Two indigenous members of this Parliament, in this, the 44 h Parliament of our country.

May that number increase. May we one day, not too far off, have an indigenous Prime Minister

Who would have thought that the Northern Territory would have an indigenous Chief Minister?

But if we can have our first female Senator, indigenous Senator, our first indigenous Member of the House of Representatives, if we can have an indigenous Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, we certainly can have an indigenous Prime Minister of this country and we certainly can have in this Parliament, or the next, full recognition of indigenous people in the Constitution of our country.

There is much that I dispute with my predecessor as Prime Minister, Mr Kevin Rudd, but I honour him for the historic apology to indigenous people that took place at the opening of this Parliament in 2008 and I honour him for including this indigenous element in the rituals of our Parliament, which is so fittingly now a part of the opening of a new parliamentary term.


Opposition Leader Bill Shorten Welcome To Country – Response

Can I thank Matilda for the Welcome to Country and also to everyone here for the sharing the traditional music and dancing of this land with us.

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land we are meeting on today, and the long and continuing relationship between Indigenous peoples and their Country.

I would like to pay my respects to Elders both past and present – especially those Elders here with us today.

Can I also acknowledge the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Senate, many of my colleagues from the House and Senators who are joining us on this occasion.
And to welcome everyone else who is here with us today – I know some of you have travelled a long way to join us.

We meet today with hope for the future.

We have that hope because of what we’ve achieved in this place in recent years.

It is here that we stood together and committed to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians – and the gap is closing.

It is here that we committed to formally recognise our first peoples in our founding document – the Constitution – a cause we continue into this Parliament.

It is here that a Prime Minister and a nation said sorry – and started a new relationship with Aboriginal people – one based on respect and reconciliation.

I know that there is much still to do – and it’s with this new spirit of reconciliation that we stand together today and reaffirm our commitment to do more.

Because this work doesn’t end with each Parliament. It transcends parliaments and it transcends politics.

I stand proud to serve in the Parliament of a country where the wonderful, important gesture such as we have seen today is common practice at events from the beginning of a new parliament, or at ANZAC Day services, or at school assemblies.

Together, I am confident we can make sure that the 44th Parliament of Australia can both honour this past, and push forward to ensure that the future will be a bright one for all Australians – Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians alike.

Once again Matilda, thank you for the Welcome to Country.

NACCHO Aboriginal health news: World Diabetes Congress Melbourne registrations closing 16 November


Is the only truly global diabetes event.

Join 12,000 healthcare professionals, policy-makers and advocates from all over the world.


The deadline for the online registration is 16 November 2013. Register now!

New! Online day rate now available for healthcare professionals residing in Australia.

Top Three Reasons to Attend the World Diabetes Congress:

1. Connect

-A unique opportunity to network with over 400 speakers, 12,000 delegates and more than 200 IDF Member Associations from over 160 countries.

2. Learn

-View over 1000 posters and choose from 275 hours of scientific sessions to learn about the latest advances in diabetes research, care and education.

3. Discover

-Follow 7 distinct programme streams including the brand new “Diabetes Research in the 20th Century” and “Diabetes in Indigenous Peoples” streams”.

With less than 25 days to go, the World Diabetes Congress is one of the world’s largest health-related events. It brings together healthcare professionals, diabetes associations, policy-makers and companies to share the latest findings in diabetes research and best practice.


2 to 6 December 2013, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), Melbourne, Australia

The scientific programme, divided into 7 themed streams, offers you 20 CME credits and 275 hours of sessions from some of the world’s top diabetes experts.

The online day rate is now available for healthcare professionals residing in Australia. Join us and help shape the future of diabetes in Melbourne this December 2-6.
For more information please visit

Program highlights