NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Our ACCHO Members #Deadly good news stories #NT #NSW #QLD #WA #SA #VIC #TAS

1.1 NACCHO CEO Pat Turner to build on the success of Aboriginal Community Control Health Services

1.2 National : 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM Registrations : Only 28 days to go

2. Vic : VAHS ACCHO Healthy Lifestyle Team love supporting the Fitzroy Stars Netball Club

3.NSW : In the Shoalhaven region Aboriginal Health is everyone’s business

4.NT : Ken Wyatt opens our NACCHO #OchreDay2017 summit in Darwin

5. QLD : Inquiry into service delivery in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities : Draft report consultation

6.ACT : NACCHO/Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service mental health webinar  in conjunction with the Mental Health Professionals Network

7.WA : Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking team to create Anti Smoking Ads

8. Tas : Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre to celebrate our communities journey of breast cancer & raise awareness

9.SA : Aboriginal Health Council of SA  and South Australian Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium

10. View hundreds of ACCHO Deadly Good News Stories over past 5 years

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

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media    

Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1.1 NACCHO CEO Pat Turner to build on the success of Aboriginal Community Control Health Services

Pat Turner has been appointed for a further three years until July 2020 by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Board.

NACCHO Deputy Chairperson, Sandy Davis welcomed Ms Turner’s appointment highlighting her extensive life experiences in Aboriginal affairs, government, academia and corporate practice.

Sandy also ‘acknowledged her invaluable record of public service achievements and that her leadership style comes at an important time for NACCHO with new governance arrangements to be discussed with members’ at our Annual General Meeting in Canberra in November.

Pat will help create real, meaningful and lasting change for NACCHO that will strengthen community control and keep Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands’ he said.

Pat recently finalised a new network funding agreement for supporting community controlled Aboriginal health service with the Commonwealth. This will allow for better, more targeted investment in efforts to close the health gap for Aboriginal people. Pat has consistently said that ‘governments at all levels must do more to join the dots between education, housing, employment and other social determinants if we are to significantly improve health outcomes for our people and Close the Gap they have spoken about for the best part of a decade.’

Pat has been delivering on the Board’s agenda to consult with members to update our NACCHO Constitution and she has spent the last few months criss-crossing Australia to obtain the views and opinions of our Members and Affiliates about NACCHO constitutional changes.

She will continue to work on strengthening and expanding the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector, maintaining its strategic directions, cutting unnecessary red tape and building a closer relationship between all our organisations. ‘We want to build on the success of community control in improving health outcomes for our people’ she said.

Pat is of Arrernte and Gurdanji descent and was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in 1990 for her contribution to public service.

1.2 National : 2017 NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM Registrations : Only 28 days to go

On Tuesday 2 October there was only 28  days to go and due to high demand  the conference AGM is nearly booked out

This is an opportunity to show case grass roots best practice at the Aboriginal Community Controlled service delivery level.

In doing so honouring the theme of this year’s NACCHO Members’ Conference ‘Our Health Counts: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.

Download NACCHO 2017 Members Conference and AGM Draft

NACCHO Conference Website

2. Vic : VAHS ACCHO Healthy Lifestyle Team love supporting the Fitzroy Stars Netball Club

Photos above : Introducing the Fitzroy Stars Junior Netball Carnival Teams!

The VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team love supporting our Fitzroy Stars Football/Netball Club netballers.

These girls and boys are representing the Healthy Lifestyle Values and doing us proud today! Well done everyone on being deadly team players and making healthy choices!

Check out their other healthy lifestyle tips below. HERE

#vahsHLT #StaySmokeFree #BePositive #BeDeadly #BeAware #Lovethegame

3.NSW : In the Shoalhaven region Aboriginal Health is everyone’s business

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) has joined local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, the Primary Health Network and the University of Wollongong in committing to work together to bring about positive changes to Close the Gap on health inequalities for our Aboriginal communities.

From Here

A partnership agreement was formally signed on Friday by leaders of the South Coast Aboriginal Medical Service; Oolong House – Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre; Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service; Waminda South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation; University of Wollongong; COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network; and Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

A special ceremony, including a corroboree, smoking ceremony and performances by the Doonooch Dancers led by Joe Brown-McLeod and Larry McLeod,

and a stirring welcome to country by Uncle Tom Moore preceded the official signing of the agreement.

ISLHD Chief Executive Margot Mains said the agreement aims to support, promote and strengthen the existing local relationships and strong ties that have been developed over many years.

“The signing of the partnership agreement marks a new beginning for our journey in working collaboratively to close the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal Australians,” Ms Mains said.

4.NT : Ken Wyatt opens our NACCHO #OchreDay2017 summit in Darwin

Losing his nephew to the same preventable disease that afflicts so many Aboriginal Australians galvanised Ken Wyatt to make indigenous men’s health a “top priority” of his political agenda.

Read full speech here NACCHO Aboriginal Male Health @KenWyattMP Speech ” Men’s health, our way. Let’s own it!” – is a powerful conference theme

Read NACCHO Aboriginal Male Health #OchreDay2017 Conference Press release

@KenWyattMP and @jpatto12 raising awareness of issues in Aboriginal men’s health

The Federal Indigenous Health Minister says his nephew was a promising musician but died in June, aged just 35, after a battle with diabetes and chronic renal and heart disease.

“One of Jason’s killers was kidney failure, the same devastating condition that claimed the life of beloved musician, Dr G Yunipingu,” Mr Wyatt told a national men’s health conference in Darwin.

“His close family and friends are now working on a media project to fulfil his dying wishes – to get the word out to indigenous men in particular, to take their health seriously, to own it.”

Aboriginal men have the poorest health of any group within the Australian population, which Mr Wyatt says is “nothing short of a national tragedy”.

They suffer kidney health problems at five times the rate of their non-indigenous counterparts, and are dying more than 10 years younger.

Winner of the Jaydons Adams Award 
From the left, Mr Mark and Mrs Lizzie Adams with Nathan Cubillo-Jones and AMSANT CEO John Paterson
 He’s just graduated this year from his studies as an Indigenous health practitioner and in between playing local Aussie rules and Rugby league, he worked tirelessly with Danila Dilba health service and has recently been appointed manager of the new Malak clinic.

5. QLD : Inquiry into service delivery in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities : Draft report consultation

The draft report is scheduled to be released in early October 2017.
We are seeking your comments and views on the draft report, and will be undertaking further consultation during October and early November.

The Commissioner Bronwyn Fredericks will be briefing and consulting with stakeholders in the following locations:

  • 9 October 2017 (1pm to 3pm) – Cairns, Doubletree Hilton Hotel
  • 10 October 2017 – Yarrabah
  • 11 October 2017 – Kowanyama
  • 12 October 2017 – Lockhart River
  • 13 October 2017 – Aurukun
  • 16 October 2017 – Gladstone (LGAQ conference)
  • 17 October 2017 – Woorabinda
  • 20 October 2017 – Brisbane

Further consultations will be scheduled in the coming weeks at Mt Isa, Mornington Island, and Thursday Island – details will be published on the QPC website as they become available.

Consultations will include round tables in Cairns, Mt Isa, Thursday Island and Brisbane.

Please register your interest to attend a consultation or round table here.
If you would like to meet with the Commissioner or the inquiry team either as part of the consultation rounds or via teleconference, please contact us on (07) 3015 5111 or enquiry@qpc.qld.gov.au

6.ACT : NACCHO/Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service mental health webinar  in conjunction with the Mental Health Professionals Network 

On Wednesday the 13th of September 2017, NACCHO facilitated a mental health webinar in conjunction with the Mental Health Professionals Network as part of its professional development work.

This mental health webinar focused on reducing the mental health impacts of indigenous incarceration on people, communities and services.

The discussion was conducted by an Indigenous interdisciplinary panel (see below for further details). A post-discussion Q&A was also conducted between the panel and guests, recordings of which can be accessed below.

THE PANEL

Julie Tongs OAM                      (CEO Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service)

Dr Louis Peachey                      (Rural Generalist)

Dr Marshall Watson                 (Psychiatrist)

Dr Jeff Nelson                            (Psychologist)

Facilitator: Dr Mary Emeleus (General Practitioner and Psychotherapist).

7.WA : Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking team to create Anti Smoking Ads

The project, organised by Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking team, will be carried out with funding from a Healthway Indigenous Health Promotion grant and the Federal Government’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program.

Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service regional tobacco coordinator Danika Tager said smoking rates in the East Pilbara were exceptionally high and more needed to be done to support communities to address tobacco addiction.

Filmmakers will work with youth in four remote Aboriginal communities in the East Pilbara to shed light on the personal stories of local smokers and warn about the perils of the deadly habit.

Young people, assisted by a professional production team, will create a series of short films as part of the “you CAN quit” project, to document the stories of community members who have successfully kicked the habit and those who have been affected by smoking-related illnesses in Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu and Kunawarritji.

Statistics from the Federal Department of Health show that tobacco smoking is responsible for one in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths, with the number substantially higher in remote areas.

“Smoking rates in remote East Pilbara communities are as high as 80% and tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in this population,” Ms Tager said.

“Through this important film project we hope to encourage people in these communities to quit smoking, as well as air the many benefits of quitting and where they can find help and support.”

Filming of the four short films will start September 19. It is expected the films will be screened in each community on completion and also be aired on indigenous television stations and social media.

Ms Tager said the project was unique in that the films would be entirely community owned and directed, giving young people the opportunity to actively make a difference in their community.

“Youth will be responsible for all aspects of researching, shooting, editing and promoting the films” she said.

“All too often NGOs will come into a community with a health message that may or may not be relevant, and expect it to change people’s behaviour,” she said.

“What we are doing here is empowering the community to send its own messages and fight tobacco-related harm using its own experience and stories.”

The project will also involve a series of posters to celebrate non-smokers in the communities, and offer education sessions and details about the availability of support programs.

The Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS) is a community controlled health organisation that provides primary health care, 24-hour emergency services and preventative health and education programs in the communities of Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu and Kunawarritji.

8. Tas : Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre to celebrate our communities journey of breast cancer & raise awareness

Please join us at piyura kitina (Risdon Cove) on Thursday, 12th October at 1.30pm, to celebrate our communities journey of breast cancer & raise awareness of this disease.
Afternoon tea, will be provided, please contact Emma on
6234 0777 or Freecall 1800 132 260 if you require transport.

9.SA : Aboriginal Health Council of SA  and South Australian Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium

The South Australian Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium (the Consortium) was launched on 18 May 2017, as a collaborative partnership formed between the South Australian Aboriginal Health Partnership (comprising of SA Health, Aboriginal Health Council of SA and Department of Health – Commonwealth) and the South Australian Academic Health Science and Translation Centre.The Translation Centre represents a partnership between SA Health, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), University of Adelaide, Flinders University, University of South Australia, Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia, Adelaide Primary Health Network, Country SA Primary Health Network and Cancer Council SA. The Translation Centre has 9 priority areas of which one is Aboriginal Health.
Consortium Vision

The Consortium’s vision is to reduce the impact of chronic disease experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in South Australia through the successful implementation of the priorities identified within 3 plans: The South Australian Aboriginal Cancer Control Plan 2016-2021, the South Australian Aboriginal Heart and Stroke Plan 2017-2021 and the South Australian Aboriginal Diabetes Strategy 2017-2021.How will the Consortium Work

The responsibility to oversee the implementation activity of the SA Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium rests within its governance structures. The Consortium has 5 active working groups including an Executive Group, an Aboriginal Community Reference Group and three condition-specific leadership groups representing Diabetes, Cancer and Heart and Stroke. We refer to the people and organisations on these groups as our members.

Who is working in the Consortium Coordinating Centre?

The team comprises of two full time staff. Wendy Keech is the Senior Research Translation Manager and Executive Officer. Wendy is supported by Douglas VJ Clinch, in a Project Officer role overseeing and supporting the various governance groups of the Consortium. Strategic policy and cultural advice and support is being provided by Kim Morey and Neville Fazulla both on a part-time basis to the team, and have particular focus on supporting the community reference group. Andrea McKivett, has been providing her clinical, technical and cultural support to the team since the inception of the Consortium, with Katharine McBride recently joining the team to provide technical support one day a week. The team come from various backgrounds and disciplines required to support the work of the Consortium, and all are passionate people with a strong commitment to making a difference to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people in South Australia.
If you would like any further information please don’t hesitate to contact Wendy Keech, on (08) 81284228, email: wendy.keech@sahmri.com or Doug VJ Clinch, on (08) 81284893 or email: douglas.clinch@sahmri.com.

NACCHO Aboriginal Youth and Mental Health : Download Report from @MissionAust and @blackdoginst

 ” It is critical that responses to support a young person’s mental health be culturally sensitive and gender sensitive and that they address the structural issues that contribute to higher levels of psychological distress for young females and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

For example, we know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to be adversely affected by racism, disconnection from culture, and the long history of dispossession. All of these factors contribute to poor mental health, substance misuse and higher suicide rates.

As a matter of priority, suicide prevention programs that are tailored to the needs of the whole community and focussed on prevention should be available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. All programs should be offered in close proximity to community and should be age appropriate as well as culturally sensitive.”

Download a copy of the Five-Year Youth Mental Health Report

 youth-mental-health-report

NACCHO Background References (1-4)

Ref 1:  Read / research the 250 NACCHO Articles

about Aboriginal Mental Health published in past 5 years

about suicide prevention in the past 5 years

Ref 2 :Download the Draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan at the link below:

 “The release of the Draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan is another important opportunity to support reform, and it’s now up to the mental health sector including consumers and carers, to help develop a plan that will benefit all.”

A successful plan should help overcome the lack of coordination and the fragmentation between layers of government that have held back our efforts to date.”

NACCHO and Mental Health Australia CEO Frank Quinlan have welcomed the release of the Draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan and is encouraging all ACCHO stakeholders to engage with the plan during the upcoming consultation period.

Download the Draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan at the link below:

PDF Copy fifth-national-mental-health-plan

You can download a copy of the draft plan;or see extracts below

Fifth National Mental Health Plan – PDF 646 KB
Fifth National Mental Health Plan – Word 537 KB

Ref 3: NACCHO Chairperson, Matthew Cooke see previous press Release

“Clearly Australia’s mental health system is failing Aboriginal people, with Aboriginal communities devastated by high rates of suicide and poorer mental health outcomes. 

Poor mental health in Aboriginal communities often stems from historic dispossession, racism and a poor sense of connection to self and community. It is compounded by people’s lack of access to meaningful and ongoing education and employment. Drug and alcohol related conditions are also commonly identified in persons with poor mental health.

While there was no quick fix for the crisis, an integrated strategy led by Aboriginal community controlled health services is a good starting point.

The National Mental Health Commission Review recommended the establishment of mental health and social and emotional wellbeing teams in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, linked to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specialist mental health services.

None of these can be fixed overnight but we can’t ignore the problems. We are on the brink of losing another generation of Aboriginal people to suicide, poor health and substance abuse.”

What we do know is the solution must be driven by Aboriginal leaders and communities – a model that is reaping great rewards in the Aboriginal Community Controlled health sector.

It must be a community based approach, backed up by governments of all levels.”

NACCHO Chairperson, Matthew Cooke

Ref 4 : Extra info provided by Tom Calma

Prof Pat Dudgeon and Tom Calma chair the ATSI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group to the Commonwealth and Pat Chairs NATSIMHL, the group who created the Gayaa Dhuwi.

Bottom line is that the community should feel confident that all the major initiatives in mental health and suicide prevention are being lead by our people and more can be found at http://natsilmh.org.au

and http://www.psychology.org.au/reconciliation/whats_new/

and http://www.atsispep.sis.uwa.edu.au

Action urgently needed to stem rising youth mental illness

Last week Mission Australia released its joint Five-Year Youth Mental Health Report with Black Dog Institute, sharing the insights gathered about the mental health of Australia’s young people during the years 2012 to 2016.

Learning what young people think is so important to the work we do at Mission Australia. By checking in with them we discover their thoughts about their lives and their futures, and what concerns them most.

The Five Year Mental Health Youth Report presents the findings of the past five years on the rates of psychological distress experienced by young Australians, aged 15-19.

  • Almost one in four young people met the criteria for having a probable serious mental illness – a significant increase over the past five years (rising from 18.7% in 2012 to 22.8% in 2016).
  • Across the five years, females were twice as likely as males to meet the criteria for having a probable serious mental illness. The increase has been much more marked among females (from 22.5% in 2012 to 28.6% in 2016, compared to a rise from 12.7% to 14.1% for males).
  • Young people with a probable serious mental illness reported they would go to friends, parents and the internet as their top three sources of help. This is compared to friends, parents and relatives/family friends for those without a probable serious mental illness.
  • In 2016, over three in ten (31.6%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents met the criteria for probable serious mental illness, compared to 22.2% for non-Indigenous youth.

In light of these findings, Catherine Yeomans, Mission Australia’s CEO said: “Adolescence comes with its own set of challenges for young people. But we are talking about an alarming number of young people facing serious mental illness; often in silence and without accessing the help they need.

The effects of mental illness at such a young age can be debilitating and incredibly harmful to an individual’s quality of life, academic achievement, and social participation both in the short term and long term.

Ms Yeomans said she was concerned that the mental health of the younger generation may continue to deteriorate without extra support and resources, including investment in more universal, evidence-based mental health programs in schools and greater community acceptance.

Given these concerning findings, I urge governments to consider how they can make a major investment in supporting youth mental health to reduce these alarming figures, Ms Yeomans said.

“We need to ensure young people have the resources they need to manage mental health difficulties, whether it is for themselves or for their peers. Parents, schools and community all play a vital role and we must fully equip them with the knowledge and skills to provide effective support to young people.”

The top issues of concern for those with a probable serious mental illness were: coping with stress; school and study problems; and depression. There was also a notably high level of concern about other issues including family conflict, suicide and bullying/emotional abuse.

The report’s finding that young people with mental illness are turning to the internet as a source of help with important issues also points to prevailing stigma, according to Black Dog Institute Director, Professor Helen Christensen.

“This report shows that young people who need help are seeking it reluctantly, with a fear of being judged continuing to inhibit help-seeking,” said Professor Christensen.

“Yet evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs are vital in reducing the risk of an adolescent developing a serious and debilitating mental illness in their lifetime. We need to take urgent action to turn this rising tide of mental illness.

“We know that young people are turning to the internet for answers and our research at Black Dog Institute clearly indicates that self-guided, online psychological therapy can be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

“While technology can be a lifeline, e-mental health interventions must be evidence-based and tailored to support young people’s individual needs. More investment is needed to drive a proactive and united approach to delivering new mental health programs which resonate with young people, and to better integrate these initiatives across schools and the health system to help young people on a path to a mentally healthier future.”

Armed with this information we are able to advocate on their behalf for the support services they need, and for the broader policy changes.

Download the NACCHO Mental Health Help APP to find your nearest ACCHO

 The Five-Year Youth Mental Health Report shows some alarming results with almost one in four young people meeting the criteria for a probable serious mental illness (PSMI). That figure has gone up from 18.7 per cent in 2012 to 22.8 per cent in 2016.

Girls were twice as likely as boys to meet the criteria for having a PSMI, and this figure rose from 22.5% in 2012 to 28.6% in 2016, compared to a rise from 12.7% to 14.1% for boys.

An even higher number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents met the criteria for having a probable serious mental illness (PSMI ) at 31%.

These results make it clear that mental illness is one of the most pressing issues in our communities, especially for young people, and one that has to be tackled by the governments, health services, schools and families.

Three quarters of all lifetime mental health disorders emerge by the age of 24, but access to mental health services for this age group is among the poorest, with the biggest barriers being community awareness, access and acceptability of services.

What we need is greater investment in mental health services that are tailored to the concerns and help seeking strategies of young people and are part of a holistic wrap around approach to their diverse needs.

For young women, we know that a large proportion (64%) were extremely or very concerned about body image compared to a far smaller number of males (34.8%).

Such a finding suggests that social pressures such as discrimination based on ideals of appearance may need to be addressed to tackle this gender disparity in the levels of probable serious mental illness among girls.

And although girls are more likely to be affected negatively by body image issues, they are more likely to seek help when they need it than boys.

Clearly then, and for a variety of reasons, an awareness of gendered differences is a crucial component in the management of mental health issues.

We need to ensure that all young people, whether they live in urban areas or regional, have the resources they need to manage mental health difficulties, whether it is for themselves or for their peers. Parents, schools and community all play a vital role and we must fully equip them with the evidence-based knowledge and skills to provide effective support to young people.

 

 

 

Aboriginal Children’s Health , Culture and Education : @NITV to launch Little J and Big Cuz animated series to get kids school ready

 ” Little J, he’s five and Big Cuz, she’s nine. They’re a couple of Indigenous Australian kids living with their Nanna and Old Dog. Little J and Big Cuz are busy with the ups and downs of playground and classroom.

There’s always something surprising going on whether it’s at school, in the backyard… or beyond. The gaps in Nanna’s ramshackle fence lead to Saltwater, Desert and Freshwater Country.

With the help of Nanna and their teacher Ms Chen, Little J and Big Cuz are finding out all about culture, community and country

We hope that by providing children with a window into the often-mysterious world of school we can achieve our aim of successful school transition for Indigenous preschool children, a transition that prepares them for a thrilling, lifelong learning journey.”

Little J and Big Cuz animated series starts Easter 2017

“You will also note the reference to ‘whole child development’ in the model. By this we mean that children need to grow not only academically but emotionally, socially, physiologically, and culturally

Strong relationships between schools, families, and community agencies (in health, children’s services, etc.) are therefore critically important. In order for children to learn, they need to be safe, nourished, stimulated, engaged, and ideally confident.”

Tony Dreise (pronounced ‘drice’) descends from the Guumilroi people of north-west New South Wales and south-west Queensland. He was a Principal Research Fellow and Hub Leader for Indigenous Education at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). See Article Below

Read over 200 NACCHO articles about Aboriginal Children’s Health

Watch the Little J and Big Cuz  trailer released just yesterday

When Little J and Big Cuz arrive on our screens in late April they will bring with them a raft of resources to help incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing and being in the classroom.

The first episode of Little J & Big Cuz, the ground-breaking new animated television series aimed at supporting a successful transition from home to school for Indigenous children, is set to premiere on NITV at 7.30pm AEST on Friday 28 April.As previously reported, the series follows lead characters Little J (voiced by Miranda Tapsell) and Big Cuz (Deborah Mailman) as they explore their world and discover more about their culture and the great things that school has to offer.To coincide with the series broadcast, a new Little J & Big Cuz website will also be launched, containing games for children, supporting resources for families and educational resources for teachers.For further updates about Little J & Big Cuz please visit www.littlejandbigcuz.com.au and join the mailing list.These educational resources have been developed by ACER with Indigenous Education Consultants Dr Sue Atkinson, Jess Holland, Elizabeth Jackson-Barrett, Priscilla Reid-Loynes and Alison Wunungmurra, along with former ACARA Senior Education Officer Deborah Cohen and with support from Dr Mayrah Driese in the role of critical friend.

Little J and Big Cuz; a 13 x 13 minute animated series ( see each episode below )  follows the adventures of five-year-old Little J and his older cousin Big Cuz, who live with their Nanna and whose outback life and adventures at home and school form the basis of each episode.

The series was previewed in the Northern Territory 2016 when SBS showcased the series to delegates at the Remote Indigenous Media Festival at Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land.

Little J and Big Cuz is in production for NITV by Ned Lander Media. The ACTF will distribute the series, with production investment from ACER, Screen Australia, Film Victoria and Screen Tasmania.

Much of the story telling will be visual or carried by the narrator, making it easier to re-voice the show into multiple Indigenous languages.

The intention is that community members will be engaged and funded to re-voice the series.

The production will assist in setting up this process. It is also intended that children whose first language is not English will watch it in both English and their own language at home and school.

Episodes

Episode 1 – Lucky Undies:
Little J’s new undies have special powers – so how can he play basketball without them?

Episode 2 – Wombat Rex:
Big Cuz tricks Little J into believing that the Giant Wombat is not extinct.

Episode 3 – New Tricks:
Little J frets that his dream of being an acrobat is not the RIGHT dream…

Episode 4 – Right Under Your Nose:
On their quest to the beach, Little J, Nanna and Big Cuz struggle to find what they need before sunset.

Episode 5 – Goanna Ate My Homework”
Little J gets confused hunting bush tucker when he follows his own tracks.

Episode 6 – Big Plans:
When the “big kids” won’t play with him, Little J creates a tantalizing adventure – in the back yard.

Episode 7 – Hopalong:
When B Boy comes to stay, Little J is miffed – until they work together caring for an injured baby kangaroo.

Episode 8 – Where’s Aaron?
Aaron the class mascot is missing…and Little J fears he’s lost in the desert.

Episode 9 – Old Monster Dog:
Little J is convinced there’s a real live monster in the backyard.

Episode 10 – Transformation:
Can Big Cuz face dancing in front of the school, and will Little J ever see his caterpillar again?

Episode 11 – Nothing Scares Me:
Little J knows there’s something that scares him but he’s even more scared of being found out.

Episode 12 – Territories:
Big Cuz and Little J must put aside their differences to outwit a territorial magpie.

Episode 13 – Night Owl & Morning Maggie:
Fascinated by an owl in the backyard, Little J turns nocturnal with disastrous results.

School Readiness Initiative: Little J & Big Cuz

ACER and partners have assembled a cast of expert players to meet the exciting challenges posed by the School Readiness Initiative: Little J & Big Cuz

Little J & Big Cuz

The School Readiness Initiative includes a television series that has been developed and is now being realised by experienced producer Ned Lander, with partners NITV, Screen Australia, Film Victoria, Screen Tasmania, ACER and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

The TV show is a fun, animated series constructed as a narrative.

The educational foundations are implicit rather than explicit – school is simply a part of life. Episodes depict school life and include activities that occur in this space, such as show-and-tell, lunchtime, school performances and so on. Children viewing the show will follow lead character, Little J, on his adventures as he comes to understand and enjoy the sometimes unfamiliar environment that can be school, and the greater world around him.

The animated nature of the series allows re-voicing in Indigenous languages. A small number of major languages will be re-voiced in the first year with further language versions produced in association with the communities interested in doing this.

In addition, ACER is working with Indigenous Education consultant Priscilla Reid-Loynes to develop innovative educator resources to support the series. The materials being developed integrate with the series around episode themes and stories, and can be used by educators within and outside of the classroom.

These resources will be tailored to work within preschools and schools and will have a foundation in the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Curriculum.

Ready children, ready schools

Children

Being school ready includes the development of foundational literacy and numeracy skills, engagement in learning, and positive attitudes towards education and school.

Of equal importance for students and their families is an understanding of how school works, what is expected of them and what they should expect from school.

The initiative is not just focussed on the child being ready for school, but the school also being ready for the child. ‘Ready schools’ value the skills that Indigenous children bring, they acknowledge families as the first teachers and recognise the role that families and communities play in supporting lifelong development.

Evaluating our effectiveness

The Dusseldorp Forum is providing support for the important task of evaluating the impact of the initiative for children, communities and schools. Results from the evaluation will assist in developing future series and will help to tailor resources in order to maximise the overall effectiveness of the initiative.

We hope that by providing children with a window into the often-mysterious world of school we can achieve our aim of successful school transition for Indigenous preschool children, a transition that prepares them for a thrilling, lifelong learning journey.

ACER is still looking for partners to support the development of resources for educators and outreach materials for families and communities. Please contact Lisa Norris to express your interest +61 3 9277 5520.

 

School transition made easier with the help of Little J and Big Cuz

A new television series seeks to support the successful transition from home to school for Indigenous children and their families.

‘This article first appeared in Teacher, published by ACER. Reproduced with kind permission. Visit www.teachermagazine.com.au for more.’

Improving Indigenous attendance – the role of teachers

Tony Dreise (pronounced ‘drice’) descends from the Guumilroi people of north-west New South Wales and south-west Queensland. He was a Principal Research Fellow and Hub Leader for Indigenous Education at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Tony holds a Bachelor of Teaching degree and a Masters of Public Administration with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. He is undertaking his PhD at ANU, where he is exploring the relationship between Australian philanthropy and Indigenous education. He has over 20 years professional experience in public policy, research, education, and Indigenous affairs.

Recently I co-authored a paper on Indigenous school attendance. In our paper, we found that school attendance among Indigenous children and young people has been improving over recent decades and years.

There is still a way to go – latest data indicate a 10 per cent attendance gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. In some parts of Australia, it is much larger at near 30 per cent. We found that regular school attendance is particularly challenging for Indigenous students in remote areas and in secondary schooling.

To turn this around, we argue that expectations need to be ‘really high’ and ‘highly real’. By that we mean: ‘…‘really high’ expectations of schools, students and parents and carers, and ‘highly real’ expectations about the social and economic policies and environments that stymie educational success.’

Educational research throughout the world points to the importance of school cultures that are driven by ‘high expectations’ of teachers and students alike. Within these school cultures, principals are leading, teachers are teaching smart and students are working hard.

A ‘catch 22’ dilemma

Our paper also contends that the relationship between education and wellbeing is akin to a ‘catch 22’ dilemma. That is, we know that education is key to turning around current levels of Indigenous socioeconomic disadvantage. In other words, education is an investment not a cost.

In a paper called Education and Indigenous Wellbeing (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011), the ABS presents a compelling relationship between education and social wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In addition to improving employment prospects, ABS data show that Indigenous people with education qualifications are more likely to own a home or be paying off a mortgage, less likely to live in overcrowded housing, less likely to be arrested, less likely to smoke or misuse alcohol, and more likely to enjoy greater overall wellbeing.

We also know that the current state of poverty and dysfunction that communities find themselves in adversely impacts on young people’s academic growth. Children find it hard to learn on empty stomachs for example. Teenagers will find it difficult to attend school if they’re being bullied at school because of their race. Hence the ‘catch 22’ dilemma.

So how do we turn around rates of school attendance in locations where it is poor? And more specifically, what can teachers do?

Demand and supply

In our paper, we present the following diagram which represents the need for balance between ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ factors in education:

[Graphic from ‘Indigenous school attendance: Creating expectations that are ‘really high’ and ‘highly real’]

In fashioning responses to current educational inequities, school systems and policymakers tend to favour ‘supply’ side levers such as spending more on professional development among teachers, or employing more Indigenous education assistants, or allocating more to information technology. These are all important, but we cannot afford to overlook the equally important job of attending to the demand side of the education. That is, investing in communities to foster a love of lifelong learning and demand for quality teaching and learner responsiveness. It also means that teachers and schools are delivering quality teaching through culturally-customised, learner-centred and strengths-based approaches. It also means fostering bonds and affinity between teachers and students. Relationships of trust are of paramount importance.

You will also note the reference to ‘whole child development’ in the model. By this we mean that children need to grow not only academically but emotionally, socially, physiologically, and culturally. Strong relationships between schools, families, and community agencies (in health, children’s services, etc.) are therefore critically important. In order for children to learn, they need to be safe, nourished, stimulated, engaged, and ideally confident.

What can teachers do?

Teachers can do a number of practical things to meet the needs of the ‘whole child’. One is the delivery of a full and rich curriculum, whereby learners are engaging in literacy and numeracy, bi-cultural and social growth, music, arts, science, and physical education. Where the purpose and objectives of lessons are clearly understood by learners, and the methods of teaching are energetic and diverse – from teacher-led, to peer-led, to project-driven, to ICT-based, and community- (excursion) based; depending upon what needs to be learnt.

Second, creating school cultures whereby Indigenous cultures and peoples are respected, by consistently engaging the families of learners, not just during NAIDOC week. Where teachers and school leaders are fostering genuine interest in the child’s life, be it their sporting life, their cultural life, their social and family life. Third, by searching and building upon learners’ strengths. Fourth, by adopting ‘growth mindsets’, so that teaching is constantly oriented toward personal improvement, daily, weekly, yearly – which means assessing for growth that goes beyond mere ‘pass/fail’ thinking.

Teachers can also work with their school and community leaders in bringing about initiatives that actively tackle forces that stymie student flourishing. The little things can make a big difference. For example, Brekkie Clubs can literally provide food for thought. Storing spare stationery and school uniforms in a cupboard can help overcome a sense of shame among students whose family circumstances may be rocky.

School leaders and teachers can foster a culture of ‘school matters’ by data collecting, rewarding regular attendance and building bridges between homes and school. Schools can also think of themselves as ‘hubs’ for child development and growth, by integrating children’s academic growth with their health, wellbeing and safety by working with government and community non-government agencies.

Finally, school and community leaders can work together to ensure that Indigenous learners gain access to the services that they require, be it speech pathology, psychological counselling, literacy and numeracy coaching, or culturally affirming student support services.

To read the full Policy Insights paper – Indigenous school attendance: Creating expectations that are ‘really high’ and ‘highly real’ – by Tony Dreise, Gina Milgate, Bill Perrett and Troy Meston, click on the link.

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011). Education and Indigenous Wellbeing (4102.0). Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au

NACCHO #IWD2017 Aboriginal Women’s #justjustice :Indigenous, disabled, imprisoned – the forgotten women of #IWD2017

 

” Merri’s story is not uncommon. Studies show that women with physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychosocial disabilities (mental health conditions) experience higher rates of domestic and sexual violence and abuse than other women.

More than 70 per cent of women with disabilities in Australia have experienced sexual violence, and they are 40 per cent more likely to face domestic violence than other women.

Indigenous women are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of domestic violence than non-Indigenous women. Indigenous women who have a disability face intersecting forms of discrimination because of their gender, disability, and ethnicity that leave them at even greater risk of experiencing violence — and of being involved in violence and imprisoned

Kriti Sharma is a disability rights researcher for Human Rights Watch

This is our last NACCHO post supporting  International Women’s Day

Further NACCHO reading

Women’s Health ( 275 articles )  or Just Justice  See campaign details below

” In-prison programs fail to address the disadvantage that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners face, such as addiction, intergenerational and historical traumas, grief and loss. Programs have long waiting lists, and exclude those who spend many months on remand or serve short sentences – as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people often do.

Instead, evidence shows that prison worsens mental health and wellbeing, damages relationships and families, and generates stigma which reduces employment and housing opportunities .

To prevent post-release deaths, diversion from prison to alcohol and drug rehabilitation is recommended, which has proven more cost-effective and beneficial than prison , International evidence also recommends preparing families for the post-prison release phase. ‘

Dying to be free: Where is the focus on the deaths occurring post-prison release? Article 1 Below

Article from Page 17 NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper out Wednesday 16 November , 24 Page lift out Koori Mail : or download

naccho-newspaper-nov-2016 PDF file size 9 MB

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, this week  I think of ‘Merri’, one of the most formidable and resilient women I have ever met.

A 50-year-old Aboriginal woman with a mental health condition, Merri grew up in a remote community in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. When I met her, Merri was in pre-trial detention in an Australian prison.

It was the first time she had been to prison and it was clear she was still reeling from trauma. But she was also defiant.

“Six months ago, I got sick of being bashed so I killed him,” she said. “I spent five years with him [my partner], being bashed. He gave me a freaking [sexually transmitted] disease. Now I have to suffer [in prison].”

I recently traveled through Western Australia, visiting prisons, and I heard story after story of Indigenous women with disabilities whose lives had been cycles of abuse and imprisonment, without effective help.

For many women who need help, support services are simply not available. They may be too far away, hard to find, or not culturally sensitive or accessible to women.

The result is that Australia’s prisons are disproportionately full of Indigenous women with disabilities, who are also more likely to be incarcerated for minor offenses.

For numerous women like Merri in many parts of the country, prisons have become a default accommodation and support option due to a dearth of appropriate community-based services. As with countless women with disabilities, Merri’s disability was not identified until she reached prison. She had not received any support services in the community.

Merri has single-handedly raised her children as well as her grandchildren, but without any support or access to mental health services, life in the community has been a struggle for her.

Strangely — and tragically — prison represented a respite for Merri. With eyes glistening with tears, she told me: “[Prison] is very stressful. But I’m finding it a break from a lot of stress outside.”

Today, on International Women’s Day, the Australian government should commit to making it a priority to meet the needs of women with disabilities who are at risk of violence and abuse.

In 2015, a Senate inquiry into the abuse people with disabilities face in institutional and residential settings revealed the extensive and diverse forms of abuse they face both in institutions and the community. The inquiry recommended that the government set up a Royal Commission to conduct a more comprehensive investigation into the neglect, violence, and abuse faced by people with disabilities across Australia.

The government has been unwilling to do so, citing the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguard Framework as adequate.

While the framework is an important step forward, it would only reach people who are enrolled under the NDIS. Its complaints mechanism would not provide a comprehensive look at the diversity and scale of the violence people with disabilities experience, let alone at the ways in which various intersecting forms of discrimination affect people with disabilities.

The creation of a Royal Commission, on the other hand, could give voice to survivors of violence inside and outside the NDIS. It could direct a commission’s resources at a thorough investigation into the violence people with disabilities face in institutional and residential settings, as well as in the community.

The government urgently needs to hear directly from women like Merri about the challenges they face, and how the government can do better at helping them. Whether or not there is a Royal Commission, the government should consult women with disabilities, including Indigenous women, and their representative organizations to learn how to strengthen support services.

Government services that are gender and culturally appropriate, and accessible to women across the country, can curtail abuse and allow women with disabilities to live safe, independent lives in the community.

Kriti Sharma is a disability rights researcher for Human Rights Watch

 

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How you can support #JustJustice

• Download, read and share the 2nd edition – HERE.

Buy a hard copy from Gleebooks in Sydney (ask them to order more copies if they run out of stock).

• Send copies of the book to politicians, policy makers and other opinion leaders.

• Encourage journals and other relevant publications to review #JustJustice.

• Encourage your local library to order a copy, whether the free e-version or a hard copy from Gleebooks.

• Follow Guardian Australia’s project, Breaking the Cycle.

Readers may also be interested in these articles:

NACCHO Aboriginal Health supports the @Lungfoundation first ever Australia-wide #Indigenous Lung Health Checklist

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 ” Lung Foundation Australia in collaboration with the Queensland Government’s Indigenous Respiratory Outreach Care Program (IROC) have developed the Checklist specifically for the Indigenous community.

It only takes a few minutes to answer 8 questions that could save your or a loved one’s life.

It can be completed on a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

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The Indigenous Lung Health Checklist is narrated by the Lung Foundation’s Ambassador and Olympic Legend Cathy Freeman.

Read or Download the PDF Brochure

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Please go to the site as Indigenous peoples are almost twice as likely to die from a lung-related condition than non-Indigenous Australians.

# Indigenous Lung Health Checklist at

http://indigenouslungscheck.lungfoundation.com.au/.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : #ATSISPEP report and the hope of a new era in Indigenous suicide prevention

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 ” The many years of community-generated work in suicide prevention is something that Indigenous Australia, as a collective, should take great pride in.

However, we have to acknowledge also that this alone has not been enough to stop Indigenous suicide rates overall getting higher recently, and that some communities remain at particularly high risk.

ATSISPEP’s first challenge was to identify ‘what works:’ the success factors evident from the suicide prevention work already undertaken in our communities. The second challenge was to support the dissemination of ‘what works’ across all communities: to share knowledge, and ensure that all can benefit from this collective wisdom and experience.”

Professor Pat Dudgeon and Professor Tom Calma AO Website

Photo above  : Page 15 NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper to be published 16 November

Read over 100 NACCHO articles here on suicide prevention

After almost two years of work, ATSISPEP released a final report in Canberra on the 10th of November 2016.

Download the final #ATSISPEP report here

atispep-report-final-web-pdf-nov-10

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The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) is a unique Indigenous-led research project to identify ‘what works’ to prevent suicide in our communities.

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At launch at Parliament House with politicians from all parties and special guests the family of Norma from Leonora who lost a son not long ago and Lena from Fitzroy Crossings who lost a daughter.

Our rates of suicide today are twice as high as other Australians and probably growing. Like the tip of an iceberg, high rates of suicide in a community can be a sign of deeper and complex community-wide problems, involving families and people caught in cycles of despair and a sense of hopelessness. Yet not all our communities, even those facing similar challenges, experience the same rates of suicide.

ATSISPEP was developed with the recognition that for many years Indigenous Elders, community leaders and healers in some of our worst-affected communities have been working tirelessly to prevent suicide.

Often volunteering, and with little or no financial support, they have generated community-specific and culturally-based ways of bringing people back from the edge of suicide and also supporting families who are bereaved by loss.

In some cases, they have worked with entire communities to address the underlying community-level issues that can contribute to a suicide, for example, unemployment, violence, and alcohol and drug use. In others, they have connected young people to their Indigenous identity and culture and the sense of worth this can bring.

Some good examples are presented in the Elders’ Report into Preventing Indigenous Self-harm & Youth Suicide (see: https://bepartofthehealing.org/EldersReport.pdf).

The many years of community-generated work in suicide prevention is something that Indigenous Australia, as a collective, should take great pride in.

However, we have to acknowledge also that this alone has not been enough to stop Indigenous suicide rates overall getting higher recently, and that some communities remain at particularly high risk.

ATSISPEP’s first challenge was to identify ‘what works:’ the success factors evident from the suicide prevention work already undertaken in our communities. The second challenge was to support the dissemination of ‘what works’ across all communities: to share knowledge, and ensure that all can benefit from this collective wisdom and experience.

The report includes an analysis of Indigenous suicide prevention program evaluations and previous research and consultations on Indigenous suicide prevention. It includes the input of ATSISPEP-held regional community roundtables, and roundtables on specific topics (for example, on Indigenous young people and suicide prevention, justice issues, and Indigenous LGBTQI and suicide prevention).

ATSISPEP also held a national conference in Alice Springs this May. It was an opportunity to test our work and gather even more information from the 370 attendees, most of whom were Indigenous.

A selection of some of the success factors identified in the report includes:

  • Community-specific programs to address the community-level contributing factors that can lead to suicide.
  • Community development and ownership of programs.
  • Access to culturally competent counsellors and mental health support for people at immediate risk of suicide.
  • The involvement of Elders in programs.
  • Cultural frameworks for programs, and cultural elements in them: for example, culturally-informed healing practices and connecting young people to country.
  • Alcohol and drug use-reduction as a part of an overall response.
  • Gatekeeper training, whereby community members are trained to identify people at risk of suicide and connect them to help.
  • For young people, peer to peer mentoring, and education and leadership on suicide prevention.
  • 24-hour, seven-day a week availability of support.

With ATSISPEP complete, the implementation of the 2013 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy (with almost $18 million pledged to it) through the Primary Health Networks, and the establishment of at least two Indigenous suicide prevention trial sites (that were recently announced by the Australian Government) can proceed on an evidence-based footing. ATSISPEP has also generated tools for both Indigenous communities and Primary Health Networks to use to develop and strengthen programs.

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Our NACCHO CEO Pat Turner as a contributor to the report attended the launch pictured here with Senator Patrick Dodson and co-author Prof. Pat Dudgeon

The hope of ATSISPEP is that its report will help bring about a new era in Indigenous suicide prevention in which many lives will be saved. It is now incumbent on Australian governments to ensure that our communities receive the support they need to help make this happen.

All of the ATSISPEP reports can be accessed at www.atsispep.sis.uwa.edu.au.

ATSISPEP was funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

If you are looking for help please call one of the following national helplines:
Lifeline Counselling Service: 13 11 14; Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 (cost of a local call)

atsispep

 

 

 

NACCHO #NNW2016 Aboriginal Health and Nutrition : What works to keep our mob healthy and strong?

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” More effective action is urgently required in order to reduce the unacceptable health inequalities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

During National Nutrition Week, 16-22 October 2016 NACCHO highlights food insecurity and nutrition-related chronic conditions are responsible for a large proportion of the ill-health experienced by Australia’s First Peoples who, before colonisation, enjoyed physical, social and cultural wellbeing for tens of thousands of years. Food and nutrition programs, therefore, play an important role in the holistic approach to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Key Recommendations

  1. Consistent incorporation of nutrition and breastfeeding advice into holistic maternal and child health care services.
  2. Creation of dedicated positions for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people to be trained and supported to work with their local communities to improve food security and nutrition.
  3. Development of strategies which increase access to nutritious food, such as meal provision or food subsidy programs, should be considered for families experiencing food insecurity.
  4. Adoption of settings-based interventions (e.g. in schools, early childhood services and sports clubs) which combine culturally-appropriate nutrition education with provision of a healthy food environment.

The evidence suggests that the most important factor determining the success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander food and nutrition programs is community involvement in (and, ideally, control of) program development and implementation.

Working in partnership with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health professionals and training respected community members to deliver nutrition messages are examples of how local strengths and capacities can be developed. Incorporation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and culture into program activities is another key feature of strength-based practice which can be applied to food and nutrition programs.”

Food and nutrition programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: what works to keep people healthy and strong?

Download full report food-and-nutrition-programs-aboriginal-what-works

The authors would also like to acknowledge the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) for their contribution to this work.

Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA), Canberra.

Nutrition Australia, the country’s leading non-profit nutrition organisation and creators of the Healthy Eating Pyramid, is challenging all Australians to take the pledge to eat more veg during National Nutrition Week, 16-22 October 2016.

With an alarming 96% of Australians failing to eat their recommend daily intake of vegetables, Nutrition Australia’s Try For 5 theme encourages all Australians to discover new ways to add veg to their day.

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The recommended daily intake for people over 4 years of age is around 5 serves of vegetables and legumes a day (75g per serve), yet data from the Australia Bureau of Statistics shows that the average Australian eats around half that amount.

“It’s the food group that we eat the least, yet it’s the one we should eat from the most!” said Lucinda Hancock, Accredited Nutritionist and CEO of Nutrition Australia Vic Division.

“Whether they’re fresh, frozen or canned, eating a rainbow of vegetables every day is one of the easiest things we can do to improve our health and wellbeing.”

“Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants which all help keep our minds and bodies working day-to-day, and reduce our risk of chronic disease in the future.”

President of Nutrition Australia, Rob Rees said “Our Healthy Eating Pyramid has been advising Australians to eat a diet of mostly plant foods, including vegetables and legumes, for over 30 years. Sadly, we know that most Australians don’t eat the balanced diet that’s recommended by the Pyramid, and this is why we’re seeing such high rates of diet-related diseases.”

“In fact the average Australian gets over a one third of their daily kilojoules (energy) from ‘junk foods’, like biscuit and cakes, confectionery, take away foods, sugary drinks and alcohol,“ said Mr Rees .

Nutrition Australia is supporting the Try For 5 goal with 3 key strategies to boost vegetable intake:

 

eatarainbow  

Eat a rainbow

Eating a variety of vegetables each day exposes us to a wide range of nutrients for better health. We should eat different coloured vegetables every day because each colour carries its own set of unique health-promoting properties called ‘phytochemicals’ that give vegetables their colour, flavour, taste and even smell.

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Try something new

Trying new things is a great strategy to boost your vegetable intake. Whether that’s trying new vegetables, a new recipe, or trying vegetables in a way that you normally don’t consume them like at breakfast or in a snack. Experimenting with vegetables and preparing foods can give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to easily prepare vegetables to suit your tastes, which makes you more likely to buy, cook and consume them.

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Love your legumes

2016 is International Year of the Pulse (another term for legumes) and they are a cheap and versatile source of fibre, protein plus many other important nutrients. We should have 2–3 serves of legumes a week for health benefits.

Sibylla Stephen is one half of children’s band, Teeny Tiny Stevies, who are ambassadors for National Nutrition Week 2016.

Mum-of-two Sibylla and her bandmate and sister, Beth, are releasing the animated video for their song “I Ate A Rainbow” during National Nutrition Week, which was written as a tool to help parents teach their children about why we should eat different coloured vegetables every day.

And it’s a perfect match with the storybook, I’m having a rainbow for dinner published by Nutrition Australia’s Queensland Division.

“I’m thrilled to be an ambassador for National Nutrition Week because I think we can all do with learning some new quick and easy ways to feed ourselves and our families with vegetables,” Sibylla said.

“My children are four and one, and their relationship with food changes as they get older. It can be incredibly frustrating to get them to eat their veggies, but I always encourage them to try different veggies cooked in different ways, and learn what they do and don’t like.

“As parents we try so hard to make sure our kids are well nourished, but the stats show that we’re not taking our own advice. I think ‘eating a rainbow’ is a great message for children and adults alike!”

Report continued

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan takes a “whole-of-life” approach to improving health outcomes. Priority areas include maternal health and parenting; childhood health and development; adolescent and youth health; healthy adults and healthy ageing.

This Policy Issues Brief provides a synthesis of the evidence for food and nutrition programs at each of these life stages. It answers questions such as, what kind of food and nutrition programs are most effective for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples? And, how should these food and nutrition programs be developed and implemented?

Nutrition research has been criticised for focusing too much on quantifying dietary risks and deficits, without offering clear solutions.

Increasingly, Aboriginal organisations are calling for strength-based approaches, which utilise community assets to promote health and wellbeing.

Evidence-based decision-making must consider not only what should be done, but also how food and nutrition policies and programs can be developed to support the existing strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

National Nutrition Week runs from 16-22 October 2016. Click here for recipes, tips and resources to discover new ways to add veg to your day.

How you can share positive health messages and  stories about Aboriginal Community Controlled Health issues ? Closing this week for advertising and editorial

newspaper-promo

Editorial Opportunities : We are now looking to all our members, programs and sector stakeholders for advertising, compelling articles, eye-catching images and commentary for inclusion in our next edition.Maximum 600 words (word file only) with image

More info and Advertising rate card

Contact editor Colin Cowell 0401 331 251

or email nacchonews@naccho.org.au

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REGISTER HERE

 

NACCHO #Health Press Release : #AIHW reveals the extent of the health crisis facing Aboriginal communities

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“In a wealthy country such as Australia, I am appalled by the unacceptable gap in the health of Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people.  More than one-third (37%) of the diseases or illness experienced by Aboriginal people are preventable.

“We need to act before another generation of young Aboriginal people have to live with avoidable diseases and die far too young.

If we are serious about turning this crisis around we need sustained investment in evidence-based programs for Aboriginal people, by Aboriginal people, through Aboriginal community controlled health services –  a model we know works.

Matthew Cooke Chair of NACCHO pictured above with Vice Chair Sandy Davies 

New figures show that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience ill health at more than double that of non-Indigenous Australians.

The peak Aboriginal health organisation, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) said the report highlights the urgent need for a rethink on actions to address the already known and growing crisis in Aboriginal health.

The report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released today shows Aboriginal Australians experience a burden of disease at 2.3 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians.

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Download the report aihw-australian-burden-of-disease-study

NACCHO Chair, Matthew Cooke, said it is the first ever in-depth study of the scale of disease in Indigenous communities.

See AIHW Press Release

“It’s given us a clearer picture of the real impact for Aboriginal communities of poor health in terms of years of health lives lost, quality of life and wellbeing and what the risks factors really are,” Mr Cooke said.

“It’s shown that we still have a massive challenge to address the overwhelming level of non-fatal burden in mental health in particular – which makes up 43 per cent of non-fatal illness in men and 35 per cent of these conditions in women.

The AIHW report found that injuries, including suicide, heart disease and cancer are the biggest causes of death in Aboriginal people. Levels of diabetes and kidney disease are five and seven times higher in Aboriginal people than non-Aboriginal people.

Mr Cooke said the report must trigger a rethink on how health programs are funded and delivered to Aboriginal people.

“The risk factors causing health problems include tobacco use, alcohol use, high body mass, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high blood glucose and dietary factors – all of which can be addressed with the right programs on the ground and delivered by the right people.

“All levels of government should urgently act on this evidence; we need to see these findings translated into programs, policies and funding priorities that are proven to work. Too many programs aimed at addressing Aboriginal health are still fragmented, out of touch with local communities, unaffordable or inaccessible.

“If we are serious about turning this crisis around we need sustained investment in evidence-based programs for Aboriginal people, by Aboriginal people, through Aboriginal community controlled health services –  a model we know works.”

How you can share positive good news stories about Aboriginal Community Controlled Health ?

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Editorial Opportunities

We are now looking to all our members, programs and sector stakeholders for advertising, compelling articles, eye-catching images and commentary for inclusion in our next edition.

Maximum 600 words (word file only) with image

More info and Advertising rate card

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NACCHO Aboriginal #Heart Health : Why are Aboriginal children still dying from rheumatic heart disease?

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” The social, economic and human consequences of the disease are profound. Indigenous Western Australians with rheumatic heart disease die, on average, at 40 years old. Children must travel for heart surgery; young adults live with premature disability; and pregnant women face high-risk pregnancies.

Rheumatic heart disease remains an outstanding, preventable blight for a nation committed to closing the life-expectancy gap. Australia has a national approach to acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease control. We must not only ensure this approach continues, but that it expands, with properly funded, evidence-based interventions.

Jonathan Carapetis  Professor, Paediatrics, Telethon Kids Institute

The above are critical elements of the Endgame Strategy, currently under development by the END RHD Centre of Research Excellence. See www.rhdaustralia.org.au               The Conversation, CC BY-ND

Originally published The Conversation

This article is the second in our three-part series on blinding, deafening and sometimes deadly conditions in Indigenous Australian children that have little to no impact on their non-Indigenous counterparts. You can read yesterday’s piece on trachoma here. Tomorrow’s article will look at otitis media.


It seems far-fetched to think a sore throat or skin sore could take a lasting toll on your health, leading to heart failure and premature death. But this is the reality for many Indigenous children and young people in Australia’s most vulnerable communities.

For these young people, what we might consider a relatively harmless infection with streptococcus bacteria, in the throat or on the skin, can be the start of a tragic pathway towards life-threatening rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

Yet this pathway is completely avoidable; indeed in mainstream Australia, it is usually avoided. Today, most doctors in major Australian cities will not see a case of acute rheumatic fever, the precursor to RHD. Only around 50 years ago, though, children’s hospital wards were full of children with the two conditions.

The reality is different for Indigenous people. Young Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory are up to 122 times more likely to have rheumatic heart disease than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

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Rheumatic heart disease is responsible for the highest gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians; higher than diabetes or kidney failure.

So why is the condition still prevalent among Indigenous Australians?

From sore throat to heart disease

Infection by the Group A Streptococcus bacterium can manifest as either a strep throat or impetigo, commonly known as skin sores.

When fighting a strep infection, around 3% to 6% of people develop an abnormal response which leads to the body’s immune system attacking its own tissues. This happens due to a combination of bacterial, genetic and environmental factors and results in acute rheumatic fever. Symptoms include sore joints, fevers and inflammation of heart valves – which is the most damaging.

When acute rheumatic fever occurs repeatedly, often over many years, valve damage worsens and becomes permanent, resulting in rheumatic heart disease.

Heart valves are like doors in the heart that allow blood to move in one direction only. When they are damaged, the valves allow blood to leak in the wrong direction. This reduces the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively and ultimately leads to heart failure, stroke and sometimes early death.

Heart valves are like doors in the heart that allow blood to move in one direction only. from shutterstock.com

The pathway to rheumatic heart disease and its complications can be stopped at various points along the way. Acute rheumatic fever can be prevented if the original strep infection is accurately diagnosed and promptly treated with the antibiotic penicillin. But even if acute rheumatic fever occurs, it is not too late to intervene.

After even just a single episode of acute rheumatic fever, young people need monthly injections of penicillin for at least a decade, often longer. This protects them from further strep infections, subsequent episodes of rheumatic fever and further damage to the heart valves. Although this strategy works, it requires painful injections that need to be given on time, every month, for at least a decade.

In addition to these injections, people with rheumatic fever require long-term check-ups. If they have rheumatic heart disease, they require life-long clinical review, regular heart scans and long-term medication to treat heart failure or heart-rhythm abnormalities.

If the heart-valve damage is severe, surgery may be needed to repair or even replace the valve. This can only be done in major hospitals, often thousands of kilometres away from where the person lives. Surgery can be life-saving, although it doesn’t cure rheumatic heart disease.

RHD in Australia and the world

Rheumatic heart disease was common until the 1960s in wealthy populations, including major Australian cities.

Since then, improved living standards in high-income countries have reduced the transmission of the bacterial infection. A combination of less crowded housing, improved sanitation and better access to health services also resulted in a dramatic decrease in the incidence of acute rheumatic fever and resultant heart disease.

Penicillin has also had an added impact, both in preventing initial episodes of rheumatic fever by treating sore throat, and in preventing recurrences that enable slow disease progression.



Over the last few decades, however, an uncontrolled epidemic of rheumatic heart disease has been uncovered in developing countries and our own Indigenous populations, especially those living in rural and remote areas of northern and central Australia.

Today, rheumatic heart disease affects more than 32 million people worldwide and claims more than 275,000 lives each year. Almost all cases occur in low and middle-income countries, with the greatest burden being among some of the most disadvantaged populations.

Particular hotspots include sub-Saharan Africa, parts of South Asia and the South Pacific. However, the highest rates of rheumatic heart disease are in Australia.

The social, economic and human consequences of the disease are profound. Indigenous Western Australians with rheumatic heart disease die, on average, at 40 years old. Children must travel for heart surgery; young adults live with premature disability; and pregnant women face high-risk pregnancies.

Rheumatic heart disease remains an outstanding, preventable blight for a nation committed to closing the life-expectancy gap. Australia has a national approach to acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease control. We must not only ensure this approach continues, but that it expands, with properly funded, evidence-based interventions.

NACCHO #BlackLivesMatter : WALEED Aly dismay over Australia’s willingness to accept black deaths in custody

Blacklivesmatter

“Or maybe they’ve not even committed a crime at all. They’ve just been detained for their own safety. And this is a penalty we’ve administered almost 400 times in the last 25 years.”

Of those locked up in Australian prisons, 28 per cent are indigenous. That’s despite indigenous Australians making up only 2 per cent of the Australian population.

That means the likelihood of being locked up is 13 times higher for indigenous Australians than for non-indigenous Australians.

WALEED Aly has expressed dismay over Australia’s willingness to accept black deaths in custody. He says “Black Lives Matter” overseas, but Australia is “not at a point where we can fully accept that”.

See previous NACCHO News Alert

BLM

Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody 25th anniversary today : What’s changed

The Project host used Friday night’s editorial to tackle the huge number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders being locked up in Australian prisons and the tragic deaths we accept as a normal part of that process reports News Ltd

“I learned in school that the last person to receive the death penalty in Australia was Ronald Ryan, hanged in 1967,” Aly said.

“But the truth is, we still have the death penalty. Clearly death is still a penalty we’re OK with in this country. As long as, one, the person dying is indigenous, and two, their carers don’t illegally murder them outright.

“The difference is, we don’t even need their deaths to be signed off by a court anymore. And rather than their crimes being something serious like murder, sometimes the crime for which they’re dying is failing to pay some fines.

Aly said what happens when indigenous Australians are locked up is the real problem. Like what happened last month to NSW woman Rebecca Maher, who was walking home disoriented and possibly drunk when she was picked up by Maitland Police.

She was locked up and, less than six hours later, was found dead in her cell.

Ms Maher was the first indigenous woman to die in NSW police custody since 2000.

Aly said “there’s no suggestion that police are murdering indigenous Australians” but that a 1991 Royal Commission found about a quarter of indigenous deaths in custody were caused by “external trauma, meaning they died from injuries incurred before they were locked up or while in custody”.

Of all the deaths reviewed, Aly said more than a third were caused by disease, a third by suicide and 10 per cent by alcohol or drug use. But inherent racism played a big role, too.

“In other parts of the world right now, people are protesting that black lives matter. Clearly we’re not at a point where we can fully accept that.”

“But what I want to ask you is, now knowing everything I’ve just told you, do black deaths matter? I really hope the answer is yes.”

Aly is calling on the national rollout of a Custody Notification Service, otherwise known as the CNS. It is a notification service that alerts Aboriginal Legal Services that an Aboriginal person is in custody.

The service is used in NSW but, in Rebecca Maher’s case, was not used because she wasn’t officially arrested. She was held “for her own care”.

Tom Whitty, The Project’s supervising producer, co-wrote Friday night’s editorial.

 

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