NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ACCHO Xmas Final Edition 2018 Deadly Good News stories : Featuring many award winners #VIC @VACCHO_org @VAHS1972 #NSW #RedfernAMS @awabakalltd #QLD @IUIH_ @DeadlyChoices @Wuchopperen #NT @DanilaDilba ACT @WinnungaACCHO #WA @TheAHCWA #TAS

Picture above staff Santa Xmas Party at Wuchopperen ACCHO Cairns

1.1 National :  1.1 National :  Our CEO Pat Turner launches AIHW 4th Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and is interviewed by Speaking Out

1.2 National : Pat Turner Scholarship winners announced

1.3 National : NACCHO launches all AGM speaker and sponsor interview on NACCHO TV

2.1 NSW : Redfern AMS wins Dreamtime Community Organisation of the Year 2018

2.2 Awabakal ACCHO Newcastle spreads the Christmas cheer with hamper deliveries

3.1 VIC : Deadly news! VAHS ACCHO very own Deadly Dan just won the 2018 Victorian Health award in Tobacco Prevention.

4.2 QLD : Wuchopperen ACCHO Expands Exercise Program Into Local Schools

5. SA: The South Australian Government is committed to improving the opportunities and services available to Aboriginal South Australians.

6. WA : The WA Aboriginal Tobacco Control Strategic Leadership Team received the Bob Elphick Medal from the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH

7. NT Danila Dilba Health Service Darwin wins Stan Grant Indigenous Employment Award recognises excellence in Indigenous employment initiatives and programs in the workplace.

8. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO Newsletter launched

9. TAS : Tasmania Aboriginal Centre Training For Success end of program celebrations. Congratulations to all involved

 

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251

Closing date for next edition 23 January 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication 24 January Thursday /Friday

1.1 National :  Our CEO Pat Turner launches AIHW 4th Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and is interviewed by Speaking Out

Last week, the AIHW celebrated the launch of our 4th Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This important occasion began with a Welcome to Country from Ngunnawal Elder Ms Violet Sheridan, followed by CEO Patricia Turner’s story and thoughts on reconciliation.

Listen to 18 minute interview with ABC Speaking Out

Ten years on from the introduction of the Close The Gap strategy, the push for a community-led partnership in policy development is as strong as ever.

But what are the prospects of gaining a seat at the government’s table?

Aunty Pat Turner has had a long and distinguished career in Indigenous Affairs, and in 1990, was awarded the Order of Australia for her service to the sector.

She is currently the CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), and shares her thoughts on the highs and lows of 2018.

1.2 National : Pat Turner Scholarship winners announced 

The Pat Turner Scholarship Program provides full pay scholarships for Australian Public Service employees to complete full time post-graduate study at the Australian National University or Charles Darwin University.

The scholarship program contributes to the improvement of Australian public policy by scholars researching complex topics of national significance and by building the leadership capabilities of Indigenous APS employees through targeted leadership training and networking opportunities.

The scholarship program is only available to Indigenous staff employed in participating APS agencies.

NACCHO CEO Patricia Turner, AM is the daughter of an Arrente man and a Gurdanji woman and was raised in Alice Springs.

Pat’s career as a public servant included many great achievements. She was the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the Deputy CEO of ATSIC at its inception. She was also responsible for setting up the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation when working in the Dept of Prime Minister & Cabinet.

After winning the Monash Chair of Australian Studies, Georgetown University she moved to Washington DC as Professor of Australian Studies. She was the inaugural CEO of NITV, and was appointed NACCHO Chief Executive Officer in April 2016.

Pat has actively promoted self-determination and social justice for Aboriginal people throughout her career.

MORE INFO

1.3 National : NACCHO launches all AGM speaker and sponsor interview on NACCHO TV

 

WATCH HERE 

2.1 NSW : Redfern AMS wins Dreamtime Community Organisation of the Year 2018

Awarded to a community not-for-profit organisation in recognition of their contribution to their local community or region in one or more of the following: leadership, advocacy, capacity building, partnerships, and wellbeing.

The Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer and staff, would like to take this opportunity to thank the wider community for their continuous support over our 46 years of service delivery.

We endeavour to continue to reduce the health inequalities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by empowering our community to make more informed decisions that will result in better health outcomes.

2.2 Awabakal ACCHO Newcastle spreads the Christmas cheer with hamper deliveries

 

The Christmas spirit is in the air at Awabakal Ltd as the organisation gets ready to surprise the Newcastle community with a surprise Christmas hamper delivery run this week.

Awabakal’s Board of Directors are excited to be partnering with Newcastle’s Telstra Business team, the Newcastle Knights and the Australian Defence Force to deliver 360 Christmas hampers to Awabakal’s community groups and individuals in need of support, including women, men and members of Mums and Bubs groups, Awabakal Preschool parents, and their aged care group and Elders.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of Awabakal, Toni Johnston has praised the community spirit of Telstra, Newcastle Knights and Australian Defence Force, saying the hamper run wouldn’t have been possible without their support.

“Our partners Telstra, Newcastle Knights and Australian Defence Force see the benefits of contributing to such a wonderful community initiative,” said Toni. “Telstra has been on board for three years and their staff volunteer their time to assist in the delivery of hampers. The Newcastle Knights and Australian Defence Force have kindly joined us for the first time and it’s great to see such great role models lend a helping hand during the festive season.”

“It takes a lot of different resources to pull together such a wonderful community initiative. We would like to thank our Board of Directors, corporate partners, volunteers and staff, Toll Group for couriering the hampers, Foodbank for supplying the hampers and of course our valued community members who access our services,” said Toni.

The hamper delivery will run throughout this week from Awabakal’s Head Office in Wickham, with Telstra, several Newcastle Knights players, and indigenous members of the Australian Defence Force assisting in delivering the hampers to the community.

3.1 VIC : Deadly news! VAHS ACCHO very own Deadly Dan just won the 2018 Victorian Health award in Tobacco Prevention.

Deadly Dan is a smoke free superhero. His motto is “You smoke you choke!” and he flies around country teaching the mob about the importance of making healthy choices and staying smoke free.

Deadly Dan includes a suite of expanding, culturally relevant, age-appropriate, teaching and learning resources including two editions of a beautiful illustrated children’s book (Deadly Dan at the League), a film and a growing base of lesson plans for schools. The latter two are readily accessible on the VAHS website.

Deadly Dan also has a costume and possum skin cloak which are equally important artefacts of this project, allowing for accessibility and interaction between children, families and community with this culturally respected and respectful superhero.

Deadly Dan at the League reflects on four important practices of effective health promotion education:
• excellent quality, culturally appropriate, evidence-based, ‘entertainment-education’ as the pivotal methodology relevant to young children and their families
• interrogates and affirms the power of both positive education and peer relationships as a critical influence in children and young people’s behaviour ( the Deadly Dan at the League film is especially strong on highlighting both aspects) https://www.vahs.org.au/deadly-dan/


• affirming self-determination including the active participation of community members as experts in the development of all resources (e.g. Aunty Diane Kerr and Jacqueline Morris in the design and creation of Deadly Dan’s Possum Skin Cloak 2017 ; and children of Bubub Wilam for Early Learning and Yappera Children’s Services and families for critical input into the development of the Deadly Dan at the League story book; and local Aboriginal children, young people and community members as actors and co-collaborators in the Deadly Dan film)
• collaborating with a diverse range of organisational partners, for broader communication and promotion of all Deadly Dan resources ( e.g.Darebin Schools’ and Early Years Services Professional Development of Deadly Dan at the League, held at the Aborigines Advancement League, 2018 in collaboration with Darebin City Council)

Developed as an early childhood Aboriginal health promotion tool, Deadly Dan at the League also allows teaching and learning of non-Aboriginal children about place-based Aboriginal history and culture.

Deadly Dan at the League strongly mirrors the principles and strategies of both Korin Korin Balit-Djak Aboriginal health, wellbeing and safety plan 2017–2027 and Marrung – The Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026.

3.2 VIC : VACCHO Ditching the sugary drinks! A Victorian Aboriginal sugary drinks ad is kicking goals.

First evaluation results from the Aboriginal Rethink Sugary Drink campaign show that these important health messages are resonating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The evaluation published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia highlights that the over half of people who saw the Aboriginal Rethink Sugary Drink ad cut down on their sugary drink intake and also agreed it had an important message for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

The Aboriginal campaign, developed by the Rethink Sugary Drink alliance, stresses how much sugar is loaded into sugary drinks and the health risks associated with regular consumption. The ad was seen to be more believable, to be more relevant and to have an important message for the Aboriginal community compared to the LiveLighter advertisement.

Louise Lyons, Director of the Public Health and Research Unit, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), said the evaluation results demonstrate the cut through and value of having ads directed primarily at an Aboriginal audience. “Because this ad was developed in consultation with local Aboriginal people, it delivers a relevant and culturally appropriate message to our communities – sugary drinks are not good for our health and to go for water instead”.

Launched online in 2015 and broadcast on NITV in the same year, the Victorian-made ad is hitting the mark with Victorian Aboriginal communities and other Aboriginal communities around Australia.

Online surveys completed by 150 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander adults from around Australia showed that 60% of participants who had seen the ad reported that they drank less sugary drinks.

A key message of the ad is that there are 16 teaspoons of sugar in a regular 600mL bottle of soft drink. Almost two-thirds (64%) of survey respondents who had seen the ad previously were able to correctly identify the sugar content of regular soft drink, compared with less than half (49%) those who had not seen it previously.

Check out the latest campaign from Rethink Sugary Drink featuring Victorian Aboriginal community members sharing how cutting back on sugary drinks helped their health and wellbeing here!

4. 1 QLD : Institute for Urban Indigenous Health named joint winner in Indigenous Governance Awards

The quality of Indigenous governance was on show at a gala event in Melbourne last month

The Indigenous Governance Awards ‘identify, celebrate and promote effective Indigenous governance, which is about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people making and implementing decisions about their communities, lives and futures.’

After a rigorous judging process the winners of the 2 awards were selected from amongst 9 finalists.

In Category A, for incorporated organisations, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (Windsor, QLD) and Nyamba Buru Yawuru (Broome, WA) were named joint winners.

The Warlpiri Education and Training Trust (Alice Springs, NT) won the Category B award for non-incorporated organisations. The Alekarenge Community Development Working Group (Ali Curung, NT) was highly commended in this category.

Professor Mick Dodson, the Indigenous Governance Awards Chair, commented on the calibre of finalists.

‘In the 14 years I’ve been involved with the Awards, I’ve seen the quality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander governance practiced by the applicants rise and rise,’ Professor Dodson said.

‘This year, again, I can say that the finalists are the best we’ve ever had.’

The awards highlight success in leadership, good management, partnerships and brave, creative thinking.

 

South East Queensland is home to 38 per cent of Queensland’s and 11 per cent of Australia’s Indigenous people. The region has the largest and fastest growing Indigenous population in the nation and the biggest health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

In 2009, only a fraction of this population were accessing community controlled comprehensive primary health care.

The imperative to address these challenges shaped the blueprint for a ground-breaking new regional community governance architecture and the formation of a regional backbone organisation – the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH).

Critically, this contemporary regional model was underpinned by strong cultural foundations and goes back to traditional ways of being, doing and belonging, when for thousands of years, Aboriginal tribes and nations across South East Queensland came together to achieve shared and cross-territorial goals.

Through strengthened community self-determination, an entrepreneurial business model, and pioneering a brand new regional health ‘ecosystem’, IUIH has now been able to make the biggest single health impact of any Indigenous organisation in Australia, in the shortest time period, and with a national best practice standard of care.

In just nine years, the numbers of Indigenous clients accessing comprehensive and culturally safe care in South East Queensland has increased by 340 per cent (from 8000 to 35,000); annual health checks have increased by 4100 per cent (from 500 to 21,000); and, progress against Closing the Gap targets is being made faster than predicted trajectories.

Further challenges lie ahead. In response to even more rapid Indigenous population growth – expected to reach 130,000 in South East Queensland by 2031

IUIH is now exploring further transformative models which, if realised, have the potential to double its existing client population.

4.2 QLD : Wuchopperen ACCHO Expands Exercise Program Into Local Schools

 

Wuchopperen Health Service Limited’s successful exercise program has expanded with a new partnership engaging two Cairns primary schools to tackle unhealthy lifestyles and obesity rates in children.

The Wuchopperen team will visit Cairns West and Balaclava Primary Schools every week to work with over 60 children in year five on exercise sessions and making healthy life choices.

Exercise Physiologist at Wuchopperen, Myles Hardy says the program is tackling unhealthy lifestyle factors and making long term change for children in our community.

“There is so much research out there which shows obesity and unhealthy lifestyles in childhood carry over into adulthood, resulting in an increase in the risk of developing chronic disease, and reducing overall life expectancy,” says Myles.

In Queensland alone, 27 per cent of children are overweight or obese and according to research from 2013, around 30 per cent of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children were overweight or obese.

“We want to work with young people to establish healthy habits in the younger years. Our program will focus on exercise, but will also have other members of the Wuchopperen team working with the kids in the program on mental health, nutrition and overall healthy lifestyle factors,” says Myles.

The program is now in its second week and will run until the end of the school term.

Wuchopperen also works with our Elders in the community to increase exercise and improve social and physical health outcomes, with a total of 976 sessions provided to both men’s and women’s groups in the last financial year.

“You’re never too young or too old to make change and start living a healthier life. We see people come through Wuchopperen who have never exercised before and start training in their 60s. It is really inspiring see people take their health in their own hands at any age, but the sooner we can get people focused on living a healthy life, the easier it is to implement life-long health habits,” says Myles.

Before starting any new exercise regime, Wuchopperen recommends consulting with a healthcare professional.

5. SA: The South Australian Government is committed to improving the opportunities and services available to Aboriginal South Australians.

To achieve this ambition, the government has developed the Aboriginal Affairs Action Plan that outlines a series of initiatives and actions for completion by agencies during 2019-20.

These actions fall within three objectives:

Creating opportunities for Aboriginal jobs and businesses

Improving the quality and the delivery of services to Aboriginal South Australians

Building strong and capable Aboriginal communities

To learn more about each objective and the actions within it, download the South Australian Government Aboriginal Affairs Action Plan 2019-2020 (PDF, 12434.23 KB).

Once available, progress updates will be published on this page

6. WA : The WA Aboriginal Tobacco Control Strategic Leadership Team received the Bob Elphick Medal from the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH)

Members of the WA Aboriginal Tobacco Control Strategic Leadership Team from BRAMS, AHCWA, Wirraka Maya, GRAMS and QALT with staff members from ACOSH and the Hon. Roger Cook MLA

The WA Aboriginal Tobacco Control Strategic Leadership Team received the Bob Elphick Medal from the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH), in recognition of a distinguished contribution to tobacco control in Western Australia.

Here are a few photos from the award ceremony.

Staff members from Wirraka Maya with their Bob Elphick medal

Acceptance speech from Tricia Pearce , Tackling Indigenous Smoking Coordinator from AHCWA.

7. NT Danila Dilba Health Service Darwin wins Stan Grant Indigenous Employment Award recognises excellence in Indigenous employment initiatives and programs in the workplace.

 

The Stan Grant Indigenous Employment Award recognises excellence in Indigenous employment initiatives and programs in the workplace. This year’s award was won by Danila Dilba Health Service! In a Recruitment Marketing Magazine exclusive, we interviewed their CEO Olga Havnen and HR Manager Sulal Mathai who shared how their employer branding efforts have made an impact.

Danila Dilba Health Service is an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation providing culturally-appropriate, comprehensive primary health care and community services to Biluru (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) people in the Yilli Rreung (greater Darwin) region of the Northern Territory.

Last year, the organisation launched their career pathways project as part of their HR strategy to promote Indigenous staffing across all levels in their organisation, including leadership positions. The project has been a huge success, with Indigenous employees now comprising 50 per cent of their overall workforce and 65 per cent of their executive leadership team

As Danila Dilba’s CEO, Olga Havnen explains, “our aim is to maintain our status as an employer of choice, both to attract talented employees and increase the professionalism and capability of employees at every level of the organisation. Our vision is to ensure continuing leadership by a well-qualified, skilled Indigenous management team.”

Danila Dilba offers traineeships, leadership opportunities, mentoring for emerging leaders, and has introduced new positions for safety and community liaison officers who engage with clients in their clinics. All their new positions are opportunities to bring more Indigenous employees on board.

Danila Dilba’s Indigenous Emerging Leadership program enables their Indigenous employees to put forward expressions of interest to receive formal mentoring opportunities through external pathways. This facilitates leadership pathways for these employees and eases their transition into these positions.

They also have a program called the Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program (ANSPP), a new home visiting social support service for Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies.

“The program is part of eight different Australian organisations, including Danila Dilba,” said Hiring Manager Sulal Mathai. “We are the only location where all our team members are Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander women. This makes a difference because they bring cultural appropriateness and understanding when visiting homes, which is a special outcome for the program.”

To promote all these great initiatives, they conducted an employer branding project with external specialists from Employment Office. Their employer branding project was amplified through digital initiatives, such as restructuring and updating their careers website, and showcasing their employees in various roles through written and video content.

“The project helped Danila Dilba strengthen our employer brand and market our unique employee value proposition across Australia. Along with the branding project we revamped our website and careers pages which helped us attract quality applicants to join Danila Dilba in 2018 across all levels of our organisation.”

Mathai measured their return on investment through analysing key metrics, such as visits to their careers website (which increased by 60%!). They also managed to fill 80% of their advertised opportunities, which was also a significant increase for them.

“Our employer branding initiatives have been very successful in ensuring we receive our fair share of quality talent. It’s helped us in both recruitment and retention. We’ve retained a greater number of employees as we’ve opened more leadership positions.”

Conducting an employer branding through external specialists enabled Danila Dilba to see the bigger picture and connect the dots.

“This made a big difference. We used to do things in a silo, and Employment Office’s Employer Branding specialists provided a unified approach. They were able to produce feature stories of our people and their successful career pathways, and use consistent wording to showcase our organisation, increasing the quality of our recruitment process and content.”

Mathai also implemented social media campaigns to showcase their employee profile story videos.

“Now, when we advertise, we don’t need to rely on recruitment partners. We received a large number of quality responses!”

“Employer Branding Specialists took a comprehensive approach that helped us to understand and amplify our brand, and the also conducted a talent competitor analysis of what similar organisations were doing with their employer brand. This helped us to ensure we are presenting a unique employer offering that was one step ahead of other primary healthcare providers in our state. We knew what our industry was doing and we could take a step forward to brand ourselves with more strength.

Winning the 2018 AHRI Stan Grant Indigenous Employment Award

As a community-focused Indigenous organisation, Danila Dilba’s goal was to promote Indigenous employment and career pathways across their whole organisation at all levels.

“We wanted to demonstrate our high-standard for employment,” said Mathai. “We applied for AHRI’s Stan Grant Indigenous Employment Award, one of Australia’s most prestigious awards for excellence in Indigenous employment initiatives in the workplace, to see how our practices stood in comparison to the rest of Australia. Through winning the award, we’re so pleased to demonstrate how we do well in this sector!”

“In Darwin, we cater to the community. But that doesn’t mean we want to limit our practices. We want to have world-class processes and practices, and continue to enhance the reputation and credibility of our organisation. Winning the award affirmed our knowledge that our HR and business practices should be recognised and celebrated. It’s proven the success of our Indigenous employment and career pathways.”

8. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO Newsletter launched

Download Newsletter Winnunga AHCS Newsletter November 2018

9. TAS : Tasmania Aboriginal Centre Training For Success end of program celebrations. Congratulations to all involved

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Obesity : #refreshtheCTGrefresh : Download the Select Committee into the #Obesity Epidemic in Australia 22 recommendations : With feedback from @ACDPAlliance @janemartinopc

The Federal Government must impose a tax on sugary drinks, mandate Health Star Ratings and ban junk food ads on TV until 9 pm if it wants to drive down Australia’s obesity rates, a Senate committee has concluded.

The Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic, comprising senators from all major parties and chaired by Greens leader Richard Di Natale, has tabled a far-reaching report with 22 recommendations.”

See SMH Article Part 1 below

Download PDF copy of report

Senate Obesity report

Extract from Report Programs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

The committee heard that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) run effective programs aimed at preventing and addressing the high prevalence of obesity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Ms Pat Turner, Chief Executive Officer of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), gave the example of the Deadly Choices program, which is about organised sports and activities for young people.

She explained that to participate in the program, prospective participants need to have a health check covered by Medicare, which is an opportunity to assess their current state of health and map out a treatment plan if necessary.

However, NACCHO is of the view that ACCHOs need to be better resourced to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity.

Access to healthy and fresh foods in remote Australia

Ms Turner also pointed out that ‘the supply of fresh foods to remote communities and regional communities is a constant problem’.

From NACCHO Submission Read here 

Recommendation 21 see all Recommendations Part 2

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce is funded to develop and oversee culturally appropriate prevention and intervention programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Recommendation 22

The committee recommends the Commonwealth develop additional initiatives and incentives aimed at increasing access, affordability and consumption of fresh foods in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Unhealthy weight is a major risk factor for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Preventing obesity in children is particularly important, as it is difficult to reverse weight gain once established,” 

Chair of the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance Sharon McGowan said limiting unhealthy food marketing would reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food and its subsequent consumption.See in full Part 3

“Obesity in this country has reached epidemic proportions, but it is not a problem without a solution. Today’s report demonstrates a willingness from representatives across all political parties to investigate the systemic causes of obesity and develop a way forward.”

A key recommendation from the Inquiry’s report is the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks; something the OPC has led calls for, and which has been supported by around 40 public health, community and academic groups in the Tipping the Scales report.

Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition, said that when two thirds of Australians are overweight or obese, the Inquiry’s comprehensive report provides an acknowledgement of the scale of the problem and a blueprint for tackling it .See part 4 Below for full press release

Part 1 SMH Article 

About 63 per cent of Australian adults are overweight or obese.

In a move that will likely delight health groups and enrage the food and beverage industries, it has recommended the government slap a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), saying this would reduce sugar consumption, improve public health and push manufacturers to reformulate their products.

“The World Health Organisation has recommended governments tax sugary drinks and, at present, over 30 jurisdictions across the world have introduced a SSB tax as part of their effort and commitment toward preventing and controlling the rise of obesity,” the report said.

While health groups, such as Cancer Council, have demanded a 20 per cent levy, the committee suggested the government find the best fiscal model to achieve a price increase of at least 20 per cent.

“The impacts of sugary drinks are borne most by those on low income and they will also reap the most benefits from measures that change the behaviour of manufacturers,” it said.

About 63 per cent of Australian adults and 27 per cent of children aged 5 to 17 are overweight or obese, which increases the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

At the heart of the report is the recognition of the need for a National Obesity Taskforce, comprising government, health, industry and community representatives, which would sit within the Department of Health and be responsible for a National Obesity Strategy as well as a National Childhood Obesity Strategy.

“Australia does not have an overarching strategy to combat obesity,” it said.

“Many of the policy areas required to identify the causes, impacts and potential solutions to the obesity problem span every level of government.”

The committee has also urged the government to mandate the Health Star Rating (HSR) system, which is undergoing a five-year review, by 2020.

The voluntary front-of-pack labelling system has come under fire for producing questionable, confusing ratings – such as four stars for Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain – and becoming a “marketing tool”.

“Making it mandatory will drive food companies to reformulate more of their products in order to achieve higher HSR ratings,” the report said.

“The committee also believes that, once the HSR is made mandatory, the HSR calculator could be regularly adjusted to make it harder to achieve a five star rating.”

Pointing to a conflict-of-interest, it has recommended the HSR’s Technical Advisory Group expel members representing the industry.

“Representatives of the food and beverage industry sectors may be consulted for technical advice but [should] no longer sit on the HSR Calculator Technical Advisory Group,” it said.

The government has also been asked to consider introducing legislation to restrict junk food ads on free-to-air television until 9pm.

The group said existing voluntary codes were inadequate and also suggested that all junk food ads in all forms of media should display the product’s HSR.

The committee is made up of seven senators – two  Liberals, two Labor, one each from the Greens and One Nation and independent Tim Storer.

The Liberals wrote dissenting statements, saying a taskforce was unnecessary, HSR should remain voluntary, there shouldn’t be a sugar tax, and current advertising regulations were enough.

“No witnesses who appeared before the inquiry could point to any jurisdiction in the world where the introduction of a sugar tax led to a fall in obesity rates,” they said.

Labor senators also said there was no need for a sugar tax because there isn’t enough evidence.

“Labor senators are particularly concerned that an Australian SSB would likely be regressive, meaning that it would impact lower-income households disproportionately,” they said.

Committee chair, Dr Di Natale said: “We need the full suite of options recommended by the committee if we’re serious about making Australians happier, healthier, and more active.”

Part 2 ALL 22 Recommendations

Recommendation 1

The committee recommends that Commonwealth funding for overweight and obesity prevention efforts and treatment programs should be contingent on the appropriate use of language to avoid stigma and blame in all aspects of public health campaigns, program design and delivery.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that the Commonwealth Department of Health work with organisations responsible for training medical and allied health professionals to incorporate modules specifically aimed at increasing the understanding and awareness of stigma and blame in medical, psychological and public health interventions of overweight and obesity.

Recommendation 3

The committee recommends the establishment of a National Obesity Taskforce, comprising representatives across all knowledge sectors from federal, state, and local government, and alongside stakeholders from the NGO, private sectors and community members. The Taskforce should sit within the Commonwealth Department of Health and be responsible for all aspects of government policy direction, implementation and the management of funding

Recommendation 3.1

The committee recommends that the newly established National Obesity Taskforce develop a National Obesity Strategy, in consultation with all key stakeholders across government, the NGO and private sectors.

Recommendation 3.2

The committee recommends that the Australian Dietary Guidelines are updated every five years.

Recommendation 6

The committee recommends the Minister for Rural Health promote to the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation the adoption of the following changes to the current Health Star Rating system:

  • The Health Star Rating Calculator be modified to address inconsistencies in the calculation of ratings in relation to:
  • foods high in sugar, sodium and saturated fat;
  • the current treatment of added sugar;
  • the current treatment of fruit juices;
  • the current treatment of unprocessed fruit and vegetables; and
  • the ‘as prepared’ rules.
  • Representatives of the food and beverage industry sectors may be consulted for technical advice but no longer sit on the HSR Calculator Technical Advisory Group.
  • The Health Star Rating system be made mandatory by 2020.

Recommendation 7

The committee recommends Food Standards Australia New Zealand undertake a review of voluntary front-of-pack labelling schemes to ensure they are fit-forpurpose and adequately represent the nutritional value of foods and beverages.

Recommendation 8

The committee recommends the Minister for Rural Health promote to the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation the adoption of mandatory labelling of added sugar on packaged foods and drinks.

Recommendation 9

The committee recommends that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council work with the Department of Health to develop a nutritional information label for fast food menus with the goal of achieving national consistency and making it mandatory in all jurisdictions.

Recommendation 10

The committee recommends the Australian Government introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, with the objectives of reducing consumption, improving public health and accelerating the reformulation of products.

Recommendation 11

The committee recommends that, as part of the 2019 annual review of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice, Free TV Australia introduce restrictions on discretionary food and drink advertising on free-to-air television until 9.00pm.

Recommendation 12

The committee recommends that the Australian Government consider introducing legislation to restrict discretionary food and drink advertising on free-toair television until 9.00pm if these restrictions are not voluntary introduced by Free TV Australia by 2020.

Recommendation 13

The committee recommends the Australian Government make mandatory the display of the Health Star Rating for food and beverage products advertised on all forms of media.

Recommendation 14

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce is funded to develop and oversee the implementation of a range of National Education Campaigns with different sectors of the Australian community. Educational campaigns will be context dependent and aimed at supporting individuals, families and communities to build on cultural practices and improve nutrition literacy and behaviours around diet, physical activity and well-being.

Recommendation 15

The committee recommends that the National Obesity Taskforce, when established, form a sub-committee directly responsible for the development and management of a National Childhood Obesity Strategy.

Recommendation 16

The committee recommends the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) consider adding obesity to the list of medical conditions eligible for the Chronic Disease Management scheme.

Recommendation 17

The committee recommends the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and other college of professional bodies educate their members about the benefits of bariatric surgical interventions for some patients.

Recommendation 18

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce commission evaluations informed by multiple methods of past and current multistrategy prevention programs with the view of designing future programs.

Recommendation 19

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce is funded to develop and oversee the implementation of multi-strategy, community based prevention programs in partnership with communities.

Recommendation 20

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce develop a National Physical Activity Strategy.

Recommendation 21

The committee recommends the proposed National Obesity Taskforce is funded to develop and oversee culturally appropriate prevention and intervention programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Recommendation 22

The committee recommends the Commonwealth develop additional initiatives and incentives aimed at increasing access, affordability and consumption of fresh foods in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Part 3 Protect our children chronic disease groups support calls to restrict junk food advertising

Junk food advertising to children urgently needs to be better regulated.

That’s a recommendation from the Senate report on obesity, released last night, and a message that the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance strongly supports.

Chair of the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance Sharon McGowan said limiting unhealthy food marketing would reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food and its subsequent consumption.

“Unhealthy weight is a major risk factor for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Preventing obesity in children is particularly important, as it is difficult to reverse weight gain once established,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms McGowan said one in four children are already overweight or obese, and more likely to grow into adults who are overweight or obese with greater risk of chronic disease.

“While there are multiple factors influencing unhealthy weight gain, this is not an excuse for inaction,” she said. “Food companies are spending big money targeting our kids, unhealthy food advertising fills our television screens, our smartphones and digital media channels.

“Currently, self-regulation by industry is limited and there are almost no restrictions for advertising unhealthy foods online – this has to stop.

“We need to act now to stem this tide of obesity and preventable chronic disease, or we risk being the first generation to leave our children with a shorter life expectancy than our own.”

The Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance also welcomed the Report’s recommendations for the establishment of a National Obesity Taskforce, improvements to the Health Star Rating food labelling system, development a National Physical Activity Strategy and introduction of a sugary drinks levy.

“We support the recent Government commitment to develop a national approach to obesity and urge the government to incorporate the recommendations from the Senate report for a well-rounded approach to tackle obesity in Australia,” Ms McGowan said.

Part 4

Sugary drink levy among 22 recommendations

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has welcomed a Senate Inquiry report into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia as an important step toward saving Australians from a lifetime of chronic disease and even premature death.

Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition, said that when two thirds of Australians are overweight or obese, the Inquiry’s comprehensive report provides an acknowledgement of the scale of the problem and a blueprint for tackling it.

“Obesity in this country has reached epidemic proportions, but it is not a problem without a solution. Today’s report demonstrates a willingness from representatives across all political parties to investigate the systemic causes of obesity and develop a way forward.”

A key recommendation from the Inquiry’s report is the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks; something the OPC has led calls for, and which has been supported by around 40 public health, community and academic groups in the Tipping the Scales report.

“Sugar is a problem in our diets and sugary drinks are the largest contributor of added sugar for Australians. Consumption of these beverages is associated with chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and tooth decay,” Ms Martin said.

“We have been calling for a 20% health levy on sugary drinks for a number of years, but Australia continues to lag behind 45 other jurisdictions around the world that have introduced levies. When sugary drinks are often cheaper than water, it’s time to take action.”

The report also calls for a review of the current rules around junk food advertising to children.

Ms Martin insisted any review should prioritise an end to the advertising industry’s selfregulated codes.

“We know industry marketing is having a negative effect; it directly impacts what children eat and what they pester their parents for. It’s wallpaper in their lives, bombarding them during their favourite TV shows, infiltrating their social media feeds and plastering their sports grounds and uniforms when they play sport,” Ms Martin said.

“With more than one in four Australian children overweight or obese, it’s time for the Government to acknowledge that leaving food and beverage companies to make their own sham rules allows them to continue to prioritise profits over kids’ health.”

While the Inquiry’s report calls for a National Obesity Strategy, a commitment announced by the COAG Health Ministers earlier this year, Ms Martin stressed that this must be developed independently, without the involvement of the ultra-processed food industry, which has already hampered progress to date.

“The OPC, along with 40 leading community and public health groups, have set out clear actions on how best to tackle obesity in our consensus report, Tipping the Scales. These actions came through strongly from many of the groups who participated in the inquiry and we are pleased to see them reflected in the recommendations.

“The evidence is clear on what works to prevent and reduce obesity, but for real impact we need leadership from policy makers. We need to stop placing the blame on individuals. The Federal and State governments must now work together to push those levers under their control to stem the tide of obesity.”

The senate inquiry report contains 22 recommendations which address the causes, control of obesity, including:

  • The establishment of a National Obesity Taskforce, with a view to develop a National Obesity Strategy
  • Introduction of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages
  • The Health Star Rating system be made mandatory by 2020
  • Adoption of mandatory labelling of added sugar
  • Restrictions on discretionary food and drink advertising on free-to-air television until 9pm
  • Implementation of a National Education Campaign aimed at improving nutrition literacy and behaviours around diet and physical activity
  • Form a sub-committee from the National Obesity Taskforce around the development and management of a National Childhood Obesity Strategy

BACKGROUND:

On 10 May 2018, the Senate voted to establish an inquiry to examine the impacts of Australia’s obesity epidemic.

The Select Committee into the obesity epidemic was established on 16 May 2018 to look at the causes of rising levels of obese and overweight people in Australia and how the issue affects children. It also considered the economic burden of the health concern and the effectiveness of existing programs to improve diets and tackle childhood obesity. The inquiry has received 145 submissions and has published its full report today.

The Committee held public hearings from public health, industry and community groups. The OPC provided a submission and Jane Martin gave evidence at one of these sessions.

NACCHO Aboriginal #RefreshtheCTGRfresh and #FASD2018 @GregHuntMP and @KenWyattMP unveil a new National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Strategic Action Plan 2018- 2028 and more than $7 million in new funding.

“Success is underpinned by a team effort, with collaboration between families, communities, service providers and governments.

FASD requires a national approach, linking in closely with local solutions. We are acknowledging the scale of the issue in Australia and intensifying efforts to address it.”

The Minister for Indigenous Health and Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, said the Government’s approach to FASD was to invest in activities which have been shown to be effective.

“This plan will show us the way forward to tackle the tragic problem of FASD – guiding future actions for governments, service providers and communities in the priority areas of prevention, screening and diagnosis, support and management, and tailoring needs to communities.

Alongside the plan’s release, I am pleased to announce a new investment of $7.2 million to support activities that align with these priority areas.

This funding will enable work to start immediately and help protect future generations and give children the best start possible.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Government is committed to reducing the impact of FASD on individuals, families and communities.

Download a PDF copy of Plan 

National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan 2018-2028

The forum delegates agreed that there was an urgent need for action to prevent FASD in our Top End communities, and across the Northern Territory.

It is essential that our responses do not stigmatise women or Aboriginal people.

It is important that we don’t lay blame, but instead work together, to support our women and young girls.

Everyone is at risk of FASD, so everyone must be informed the harmful effects of drinking while pregnant.

Our men also need to step up and support our mothers, sisters, nieces and partners, to ensure that we give every child the best chance in life.”

A landmark Top End Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) forum* was held in Darwin on 30-31 May 2018

Read over 25 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and FASD articles published over 6 years

The Federal Government is stepping up its fight against Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) today by unveiling a new national action plan and more than $7 million in new funding.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is the term used to describe the lifelong physical and neurodevelopmental impairments that can result from fetal alcohol exposure.

FASD is a condition that is an outcome of parents either not being aware of the dangers of alcohol use when pregnant or planning a pregnancy, or not being supported to stay healthy and strong during pregnancy.

This funding will enable new work to get underway and build on proven programs – to help protect future generations and give children the best possible start in life.

Key Points of action plan

FASD will be tackled across a range of fronts – including prevention, screening and diagnosis, support and management, and priority populations at increased risk of harm.

PREVENTION: $1.47 million including new consumer resources and general awareness activities – including national FASD Awareness Day, translation of awareness materials into a variety of First Nations languages, and promotion of alcohol consumption guidelines, and bottle shop point of sale warnings.

SCREENING: $1.2 million to support new screening and diagnosis activities, which will include reviewing existing tools and developing new systems and referral pathways, to assist professionals in community settings.

MANAGEMENT: $1.2 million goes to management and support activities, including tailored resources for people working in the education, justice and police sectors.

LOCAL TARGETING: $1.27 million to develop targeted resources, to meet local cultural and community needs.

BUILDING ON SUCCESS: $1.55 million to continue proven activities – with support for Australia’s FASD Hub, a one-stop shop containing the FASD Register and public awareness campaigns.

The Strategic Action Plan also establishes an expert FASD Advisory Group – which will report to the National Drug Strategy Committee on the progress being made, while promoting successful models and highlighting emerging issues and evidence.

From the FASD Workshop in Perth this week 

The plan is committed to breaking FASD’s impact on

  • Encounters with the law
  • Family breakdowns
  • Deaths in custody
  • Suicides and chronic health conditions

FASD requires a national approach, linking in closely with local solutions.

We are acknowledging the scale of the issue in Australia and intensifying efforts to address it.

The activities and actions outlined in the priority areas of the Plan are intended to guide future action – they are not compulsory and can be adopted as needed, along with other interventions and programs, based on local needs.

Activities should be evidence informed and based on best available research and data – actions should be tailored to individual communities and regions.

Since 2014, the Liberal National Government has provided almost $20 million in direct funding to tackle

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ACCHO Deadly Good News stories : New @NACCHOChair Elected #QLD @DeadlyChoices @IUIH_ #VIC Njernda ACCHO #NSW Orange and Tharawal #SA @DeadlyChoices #ACT @WinnungaACCHO #WA Kimberley AMS

1.1 National : Donnella Mills Becomes Chairperson of the  National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Plus NACCHO Board changes 

1.2 National NACCHO AGM 2019 acknowledges years of ACCHO Service

1.3 National : Download NACCHO Annual Report 2017-2018

2.1 NSW : Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation nurse named 2018 Australian Mental Health Nurse of the Year.

2.2 NSW : Orange ACCHO Health Service continues efforts to improve Aboriginal health

3.Vic : Njernda ACCHO chronic care coordinator, Garry Giles is empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country to improve their health

4.1 QLD : IUIH and University of Queensland awarded Outstanding Collaboration in Higher Education and Training through Business Higher Education Round Table (BHERT).

4.2 QLD : Deadly Choices help celebrate 20th Anniversary of Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health and the 150th Anniversary of the town itself.

5. NT : Katherine West Health Board’s  Healthy Harold yarned with the Kids at Timber Creek about how to stay safe and healthy

6. SA : Deadly Choices SA mob exercise and eating health promotion

7. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO Canberra download their October 2018 Newsletter

8. WA : NACCHO and Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Syphilis Test and Treat kits now available in the Kimberley region in Western Australia

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 /Friday

1.1 National : Donnella Mills Becomes Chairperson of the  National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Plus NACCHO Board changes 

I am very honoured and excited to be taking up the role of Chairperson for NACCHO. I would like to acknowledge the excellent leaders NACCHO has had in the past, I am following in the footsteps of some amazing people to continue the essential national conversation on community led health initiatives.

I believe Community Control is the key model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care and will see us achieving greater autonomy and self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,

Donnella Mills pictured at NACCHO AGM this month in Brisbane thanking Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt 

Wuchopperen Health Service Limited (Wuchopperen) Chairperson, Donnella Mills has been recognised for her contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through her appointment as Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

Donnella has served as the Deputy Chairperson of the NACCHO Board for the past 12 months and takes on the role of Chairperson following the 1 November resignation of John Singer.

When the new Board met for the first time after the AGM on 2 November, it fully endorsed the Deputy Chair, Donnella Mills to act in the role of Chairperson as set out in the NACCHO constitution.

NACCHO is the peak body for the Aboriginal Community Controlled health sector and represents 145 services, and 302 health centres across the country.

Donnella will work with the NACCHO Board to drive the national health debate in Australia, particular in regards to self-determination and community led solutions for closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Ms Mills is a Torres Strait Islander woman with ancestral and family links to Masig and Nagir in the Torres Strait. She is a Cairns-based lawyer with LawRight, a Community Legal Centre which coordinates the provision of pro bono civil legal services to vulnerable members of our community, as well as the Chairperson for Wuchopperen. She will use her previous experience in the legal and health care systems to address the issues facing our community in both Cairns, and on a national level.

“Health and legal issues are intrinsically linked. It is no coincidence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – among the most incarcerated people in the world – also have some of the poorest health outcomes in the world. The provision of Community Controlled, holistic and culturally appropriate health care services really is a way to ensure a healthy future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” says Donnella.

CEO Pat Turner and the Board of NACCHO welcome her to the role of Chairperson and look forward to working with her over the next 12 months.

At the AGM, four new members were appointed to the new NACCHO Board. From Queensland, we are joined by Gail Wason, CEO of Mulungu Primary Health Care Service in Mareeba and Gary White, Chairman of Goondir Health Service in Dalby. From Victoria, we welcome Michael Graham, CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service and Karen Heap, CEO of Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative.

The retiring members are: Adrian Carson and Kieran Chilcott from Queensland; and John Mitchell and Rod Jackson from Victoria. The Board thanks them all for their contribution to NACCHO over the years.

1.2 National NACCHO AGM 2019 acknowledges years of ACCHO Service

Congratulations on up to 40 years of service and the outstanding contribution by ACCHO Members .

On behalf of the NACCHO Board and 145 Members we also honour the community members and staff who were all seriously concerned about the availability of health care service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living there regions many years ago

1.Presented to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Mackay for 40 years of service WEBSITE 

2.Presented to Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service 40 years of service WEBSITE 

3.Presented to Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services 30 years of service WEBSITE 

4. Presented to Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Regional Health and Community Services 25 years of service WEBSITE 

Download a copy of all certificates

 J3291 – Member Services Anniversary certificates_v1

1.3 National : Download NACCHO Annual Report 2017-2018

Download from the NACCHO website 

2.1 NSW : Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation nurse named 2018 Australian Mental Health Nurse of the Year.

Matthew James knows all too well about the challenges that mental health can bring.

Mr James has assisted Macarthur’s Indigenous population as a mental health practisioner at the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation for the past year.

The nurse leads Tharawal’s Byala team, which supports people struggling with mental health issues, or drug and alcohol-related problems.

Originally published Here 

Byala means “Let’s talk” in the local Dharawal Aboriginal language.

Mr James was rewarded for his dedication to the cause when he was named 2018 Australian Mental Health Nurse of the Year award late last month.

The Orangeville resident said he was nominated for the award by a Thawaral colleague.

“I’m stoked, it was really nice to get recognition at a national level,” he said.

Matthew always makes people feel comfortable… he is amazing.

Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation team manager Tina Taylor

He received the honour at an Australian College of Mental Health Nurses seminar in Cairns.

Mr James, who has more than 20 years of industry experience, joined the Tharawal team in October 2017.

He said his role included providing counselling, diagnosis reviews and medication for Indigenous people

“There is a huge amount of disadvantage here in Macarthur and there are challenges, such as helping people with trauma issues,” he said.

Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation was formed in 1983 to provide medical and community health services to Indigenous people.

Mr James said Tharawal did a great job supporting Macarthur’s Indigenous community.

“Tharawal offers the leading Aboriginal health service in Australia,” he said.

“I am very proud of our work.”

Tharawal’s social and emotional well-being team manager Tina Taylor said Mr James was a great leader and compassionate with his clients.

“Matthew has brought a whole new dynamic to the team,” Ms Taylor said.

“He always makes people feel comfortable… he is amazing.”

For more information about these services, visit the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation Airds Facebook page.

2.2 NSW : Orange ACCHO Health Service continues efforts to improve Aboriginal health

IMPROVING the health of one of the region’s most vulnerable populations has been the focus for Orange Health Service during NAIDOC Week.

The hospital held its ceremony on Thursday, including a flag raising, acknowledgement of country, dancing and a barbecue lunch complete with cake, with more than 60 people in attendance.

Originally Published HERE

But general manager Catherine Nowlan said the full appreciation of the theme, ‘Because of her, we can’, came via a sustained effort for the entire week.

Health professionals shared stories about their own Aboriginal heritage and how the strong women in their lives inspired them to succeed in their adult careers, as well as about the Aboriginal patients they treated.

“One of our health leaders said she had the opportunity to meet the most wonderful Aboriginal lady and her family embraced her because she was part of the care team,” Ms Nowlan said.

“She said it was the simple things we do every day that make the difference.

“It’s all about creating a world worth living in and a responsibility to understand each other’s cultures.”

Orange Health Service has an Aboriginal component in its staff inductions on the need to involve the whole family in a patient’s treatment, as well as social conventions.

 “If you haven’t asked the question, how do you know? So it’s about giving the right and appropriate care.”

Orange Health Service general manager Catherine Nowlan

However, Ms Nowlan said there had also been extra training in July to help 370 staff members be more comfortable in asking patients when they arrived at the hospital as to whether they identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

“By asking the question, it helps us improve the identification of patients,” she said.

3.Vic : Njernda ACCHO chronic care coordinator, Garry Giles is empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country to improve their health

AS A Yorta Yorta man, Garry Giles knows family comes first.

Followed by housing, food, safety.

And finally, lingering right at the bottom, health.

It’s an unspoken yet age-old hierarchy not just for his mob, but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people across the country.

Originally Published HERE 

And while it’s seen him raised in a tight-knit community where aunties, uncles, cousins and siblings (blood-related or not) always had his back, it’s also a hierarchy that has caused endless heartache.

Because, as Njernda chronic care coordinator, Garry has seen how neglected health can lead to tragic outcomes, with clients, friends and family members taken too soon.

Currently, indigenous Australians are two to three times more likely to develop a chronic disease than non-indigenous people.

These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease.

And not only are Indigenous Australians more likely to have each of these conditions individually.

They are also more likely to have all three, and die from them.

But Garry is dreaming of a (hopefully not too distant) day when this gap is closed.

‘‘There is a huge need, our community is very sick,’’ he said.

‘‘And so many of our people seem to put their health on the backburner and don’t realise these diseases can be managed, they can be controlled.’’

Garry started working in his community when he was just 15 as a farmhand on an Indigenous farm.

He then cleaned for Berrimba Childcare Centre for five years before moving into home and community care for another five years.

From there he moved into health, completing a certificate III in ATSI health, and two years later he was an Aboriginal health worker with Njernda.

At that point, it wasn’t really a dream come true — a career in health had never been on Garry’s radar previously.

‘‘One of my aunties encouraged me to do it,’’ he said.

‘‘She said I had the compassion and the heart for it. If it weren’t for her, I probably wouldn’t have gone down this path.’’

Garry has now been chronic care coordinator for 12 months — but even in this specialised role, he still needs to keep a range of talents up to scratch.

‘‘I can be a counsellor one day, a driver or support worker the next,’’ he said.

‘‘But my main focus is chronic care. I book clients in and liaise with all allied health services.

‘‘This is a one-stop shop as a lot of our mob don’t tend to go through mainstream health services for their care — they prefer to come here.’’

Allied health staff connected to Njernda include podiatrists, dentists, endocrinologists, optometrists and child and maternal health practitioners.

As well as mental health, diabetes and drug and alcohol services.

It can sometimes feel like a 24-hour job for Garry.

‘‘Everyone is linked in some way, we’re all like family,’’ he said.

‘‘So you might run into someone in the supermarket and have a consultation there, because they just need that reassurance.

‘‘A lot of people don’t have any family, so we become that family. And while we try not to work outside our opening hours, if people have no one and are a bit scared, we’re more than happy to help.’’

Garry said education was key to better health for ATSI people.

And through his role at Njernda, he’s seen how proper support and guidance can lead to life-changing outcomes.

‘‘One of the best things is seeing people take more control of their lives,’’ he said.

‘‘A lot of our mob have low self esteem after facing so many barriers in life and a chronic illness is just another burden.

‘‘But we want to empower them to take steps to improve their health.

‘‘Because if they’re not well, they can’t help anybody — they won’t be there for their grandchildren. They won’t be there for their family.’’

4.1 QLD : IUIH and University of Queensland awarded Outstanding Collaboration in Higher Education and Training through Business Higher Education Round Table (BHERT).

Congratulations to IUIH and University of Queensland for receiving an Award last night for Outstanding Collaboration in Higher Education and Training through Business Higher Education Round Table (BHERT).

Receiving the award here is IUIH CEO Adrian Carson, Chair of the IUIH Board Aunty Lyn Shipway, UQ representative Leanne Coombe, and IUIH Director of Workforce Development Alison Nelson.

IUIH is the largest Aboriginal community-controlled, health organisation in Australia, and the largest employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in South East Queensland.

The partnership with UQ was designed to address indigenous health disadvantage by developing a generation of health professionals familiar with the special challenges within Indigenous health offering placements within a community controlled clinical setting.

The program has grown from providing placements to 30 students across 3 disciplines in 2010 to more than 350 students across 20 disciplines in 2017.

Congratulations to the team involved and thanks to all the students and team who have completed placements and contributed to this partnership.

4.2 QLD : Deadly Choices help celebrate 20th Anniversary of Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health and the 150th Anniversary of the town itself.

The DC team were on the road last week, in Cunnamulla for the 20th Anniversary of Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health and the 150th Anniversary of the town itself. They also launched Deadly Choices at Cunnamulla.

While in the region, they visited Charleville and Western Areas Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Community Health Limited and helped launch the Charleville Men’s Group, and joined them for a morning tea.

DC Ambassador Petero Civoniceva was a big hit with the locals and he can’t wait to get back out there again!

Too deadly everyone!

5. NT : Katherine West Health Board’s  Healthy Harold yarned with the Kids at Timber Creek about how to stay safe and healthy

Healthy Harold yarned with the Kids at Timber Creek about how to stay safe and healthy. One of the best ways to stay safe is to say no to drink driving.

The kids tried a driving game with beer goggles on to feel what it is like when a drunk person drives a car and everyone crashed 😱

It is dangerous to be driving a car, or be in the car with someone who is drunk.
If you are drinking give a sober person the keys to the car and always have a sober person to drive.

Keep your family and community safe
Drink Safe, Be Safe, Have a Deadly Time

#oneshieldforall
Life Education NT

6. SA : Deadly Choices SA mob exercise and eating health promotion

Having a workout buddy is a great advantage. Your workout partner could inspire and motivate you to reach your goal. Make that connection today!

#DeadlyChoicesSA #workout #friendship
📷 Power .aboriginal.programs

If you eat with other people you are more likely to eat regularly and healthy than those who eat alone or in front of the TV or computer.

#DeadlyChoicesSA #Eatinghealthyfact #healthytip

📷 Power .aboriginal.programs

7. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO Canberra download their October 2018 Newsletter

 Download the Newsletter

Winnunga AHCS Newsletter October 2018 (3)

8. WA : NACCHO and Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Syphilis Test and Treat kits now available in the Kimberley region in Western Australia

 
NACCHO and the Australian Government Department of Health are working together to coordinate an $8.8 million response to address the syphilis outbreak in Northern Australia. 

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services is the latest ACCHS to participate in training conducted by Flinders University and the roll out of the Test and Treat kits.  

Results from traditional blood tests can take up to two weeks to be processed, which cause issues with people moving on before receiving treatment and potentially spreading the disease.  The Test and Treat kits allow instant diagnosis and if needed, immediate treatment.
Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services staff completing accredited training
Left to right
Tori Jamieson, KAMSC Sexual Health and Wellbeing Officer
Jarlyn Spinks, KAMSC Peer Education Support Officer
 
Tracey Kitaura, DAHS Aboriginal Health Worker (EN) Chronic Disease/STI/RHD
For further information please visit the NACCHO website https://www.naccho.org.au/programmes/esr/
 

NACCHO Press Release Aboriginal Male Health Outcomes : #OchreDay2018 The largest ever gathering for a NACCHO male health conference : View 15 #NACCHOTV interviews with speakers

 ” We, the Aboriginal males  gathered at the Ochre Day Men’ Health Summit, nipaluna (Hobart) Tasmania in August 2018; to continue to develop strategies to ensure our  roles as grandfathers, fathers, uncles, nephews, brothers, grandsons, and sons  caring for our families.

We commit to taking responsibility for pursuing  a healthy, happier,  life for  our families and ourselves, that reflects the opportunities experienced by the wider community.

We acknowledge the NAIDOC theme “Because of her we can”We celebrate the relationships we have with our wives, mothers, grandmothers,  granddaughters,  aunties, nieces  sisters and daughters.

We also acknowledge that our male roles embedded in Aboriginal culture as well as our contemporary lives  must value the importance of the love,  companionship, and support of our Aboriginal women, and other partners.

We will pursue the roles and practices of Aboriginal men grounded in their  cultural as  protectors, providers and mentors. “

Our nipaluna (Hobart) Ochre Day Statement:  That our timeless culture still endures 

All NACCHO reports from #Ochre Day

For so many of the men at Ochre Day, healing had come about through being better connected to their culture and understanding, and knowing who they are as Aboriginal men. Culture is what brought them back from the brink.

We’ve long known culture is a protective factor for our people, but hearing so many men in one place discuss how culture literally saved their lives really brought that fact home.

It made me even more conscious of how important it is that we focus on the wellbeing side of Aboriginal health. If we’re really serious about Closing the Gap, we need to fund male wellbeing workers in our Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

In Victoria, the life expectancy of an Aboriginal male is 10 years less than a non-Aboriginal male. Closing the Gap requires a holistic, strength- based response. As one of the fellas said, “you don’t need a university degree to Close the Gap, you just need to listen to our mob”.

I look forward to next year’s Ochre Day being hosted on Victorian country, and for VACCHO being even more involved.

Trevor Pearce is Acting CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Health Organisation (VACCHO) Originally published CROAKEY see in full part 2 below  : Aboriginal men’s health conference: “reclaim our rightful place and cultural footprint “

Download our Press Release NACCHO Press release Ochre Day

The National Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chairperson John Singer, closed recent the Hobart Ochre Day Conference-Men’s Health, Our Way. Let’s Own It!

View interview with NACCHO Chair John Singer

Ochre Day is an important Aboriginal male health initiative to help draw attention to Aboriginal male health in a holistic way. The delegates fully embraced the conference theme, many spoke about their own journeys in the male health sector and all enjoyed participation in conference sessions, activities and workshops.

More than 200 delegates attended and heard from an impressive line-up of speakers and this year was no exception.

Delegates responded positively to The Hon. Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health funding of an Aboriginal Television network.

View Minister Ken Wyatt speech

Mr John Paterson CEO of AMSANT spoke about the importance of women as partners in men’s health

View interview with John Paterson

and Mr Rod Little from National Congress delivered a brief history on the progress of a Treaty in Australia as a keynote address for the Jaydon Adams Oration Memorial Dinner. The winner of the Jaydon Adams award 2018 was Mr Aaron Everett.

View interview with Rod Little

A comprehensive quality program involving presentations from clinicians, researches, academics, medical experts and Aboriginal Health Practitioners were delivered.

Delegates listened to passionate speakers like Dr Mick Adams, Dr Mark Wenitong, Patrick Johnson.

View all interview here on NACCHO TV 

Joe Williams, Deon Bird, Kim Mulholland and Karl Briscoe. Topics included those on suicide, Deadly Choices, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases as well as family violence impacting Aboriginal Communities. Initiatives to address these problems were explored in workshops that were held to discuss how to make men’s health a priority and how to support the reaffirmation of cultural identity.

Speeches by Ross Williams, Stan Stokes and Charlie Adams addressed the establishment of Men’s Clinics within the Anyinginiyi Aboriginal Health Service and Wuchopperen Aboriginal Health Service, which demonstrated the positive impact that these facilities have had on men’s health and their emotional wellbeing.

These reports as well as the experiences related by delegates highlighted the urgent need for more Aboriginal Men’s Health Clinics to be established especially in regional, rural and remote areas.

As a result of interaction with a broad cross section of delegates the NACCHO Chairman
Mr John Singer was able to put forward a range of priorities that he believed would go some way to addressing some of the concerns raised.

These priorities were the acquisition of funds to enable the;

  • Establishment of 80 Men’s Health Clinics in urban, rural and remote locations and
  • The employment of both a Male Youth Health Policy Officer and Male (Adult) Health Policy Officer by NACCHO in Canberra.

Delegates also welcomed the funding of $3.4 million for the Aboriginal Health Television network provided that the programs were culturally appropriate and supported a
strength-based approach to Men’s Health.

Our Thanks to the Sponsors 

 

 

Part 2 Trevor Pearce is Acting CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Health Organisation (VACCHO) Originally published CROAKEY 

 Aboriginal men’s health conference: “reclaim our rightful place and cultural footprint “

I’ve just returned from my first NACCHO Ochre Day Men’s Health Conference in Hobart, and it was so deadly, it most definitely won’t be my last.

About 260 Aboriginal men from the Kimberleys to urban environments and everywhere in between attended. White Ochre Day started as an Aboriginal response to White Ribbon Day. For Aboriginal people, White Ochre has significant cultural and ceremonial values for Aboriginal people.

It’s not just about the aesthetics of painting white ochre on to our skin, there are strong cultural elements to the ceremony and identity. Ochre Day is a gathering of Aboriginal men for sharing ideas of best practice and increasing access to better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men for us to deal with family violence, and with spiritual healing, as Aboriginal men.

I was privileged to attend this conference with all the male Aboriginal staff members from VACCHO, who represented a diversity of ages and backgrounds. They work at VACCHO in areas including cultural safety, mental health, policy, sexual health and bloodborne viruses, telehealth, and alcohol and other drugs. It was a great bonding experience for us, and fantastic to be part of this national conversation.

Aboriginal men die much younger than Aboriginal women, and we die an awful lot younger than the non-Aboriginal population. We have the highest suicide rates in the world, and suffer chronic disease at high rates too.

We walk and live with poor health every day, and much of this is down to the symptoms that colonisation has brought us. We didn’t have these high rates of illness and suicide pre-colonisation, when we had strength in our culture, walked on our traditional homeland estates and we all spoke our languages. And we certainly didn’t have incarceration before contact.

A rightful place

The Ochre Day Conference covered all aspects of health and wellbeing for Aboriginal men; physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing. It was about our need to reclaim our rightful place and cultural footprint on the Australian landscape.

It is a basic human right to be healthy and have good wellbeing, as is our right to embrace our culture. Improving our health is not just about the absence of disease, it’s about developing our connection to Country, our connection to family, and feeling positive about ourselves.

This position of reclamation of our right place within Australia society is critical given the current political landscape, and the challenges that Aboriginal people face. Victoria has an election in November, and a national election to come soon too. As Aboriginal people we know that race relations will be a tool used against us, and our lives will often be portrayed from the deficit point of view that will focus on what’s wrong with us.

In light of the above, it was good to hear about all the positive things Aboriginal men are doing across the country to help their families and communities, from the grassroots to the national level.

Rightfully, we talked a lot about mental health issues. There was a lot of personal sharing; men talking about their own issues; men who had attempted suicide speaking openly about it. There were survivors of abuse, of family violence. For any man, Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal, these are big things to get up and talk about.

I was so impressed and moved by what these Aboriginal men had to share. There was such generosity of spirit from these men in sharing their stories, and I’m not ashamed to say some of these brought me to tears.

 

 NACCHO Aboriginal Hearing Health : #OMOZ2018 Ear Health Project Officers will spearhead a new $7.9 million #HearingforLearning program to fight hearing loss among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander childre

Hearing for Learning aims to dramatically lift the capacity for communities to identify ear disease within the first few months of life.

Infants rarely show signs of ear pain, so infections are not detected and diseases like otitis media persist and progress.

By 12 months of age, only five per cent of First Nations children in remote communities have bilateral normal hearing, compared with over 80 per cent of children in the rest of Australia.

Children with undiagnosed hearing loss tend to fall behind at school due to delayed speech and language development.

This can have a huge impact on their early years, future employment opportunities and their chance of a happy and successful life.”

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM

The Territory Labor Government promised to put children at the centre of our decision-making, because we want a brighter future for our kids – a future filled with opportunity.

When we focus on the first 1000 days of a child’s life, we know we get better outcomes for their future, and that’s what this partnership aims to do.

Hearing health has an enormous impact on a child’s development, and by addressing this at a community level, the entire community will benefit.” 

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner

Watch video 

 

Read over 40 Aboriginal Ear and Hearing articles published by NACCHO over last 6 years

Hearing is essential for strong early childhood development and chronic hearing problems in children cause education difficulties leading to entrenched disadvantage.

The Hearing for Learning Initiative is a ground-breaking 5-year investment combining public and private funding to solve this serious health and education problem “

Professor Alan Cass Director Menzies School of Health Research

When we learned about the chronic nature of ear disease in children living in remote communities in the Northern Territory, we could not ignore the fact that this likely leads to profound disadvantage in health, education and employment outcomes.

We believe more must be done and the next step is to support the community to deliver a solution.

Philanthropy plays a unique role in recognising and piloting new approaches, however, it requires partnership with government to deliver these approaches at scale.

The Government is to be applauded for putting this unique partnership together to solve what has now become a serious epidemic.

Neil Balnaves AO, Founder, The Balnaves Foundation and Chancellor, Charles Darwin University

Dozens of local Ear Health Project Officers will spearhead a new $7.9 million program to fight hearing loss among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Northern Territory.

The Hearing for Learning initiative will be established in 20 urban, rural and remote sites, where up to 40 local people will strengthen and complement the work of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) ear specialists.

“This is an exciting new opportunity to remove the preventable blight of hearing loss from current and future generations,” said Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM.

“These local ear health warriors will integrate with existing primary care services, to help protect the hearing of up to 5,000 children from birth to 16 years old.

“Lifting the capacity of local families to recognise, report and treat ear problems early promises to help our children reach their full potential.”

The initiative will be implemented by the Menzies School of Health Research and co-led by Professor Amanda Leach and Associate Professor Kelvin Kong.

The Hearing for Learning is a ground-breaking 5-year initiative by the Northern Territory Government, founded on scientific research by Northern Territory scientists at Menzies School of Health Research, combining public and private funding to solve this serious health and education problem.

$2.4 million from NT Government

$2.5 million from The Balnaves Foundation

$3 million from the Federal Government

Hearing for Learning aims to dramatically lift the capacity for communities to identify ear disease within the first few months of life,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Infants rarely show signs of ear pain, so infections are not detected and diseases like otitis media persist and progress.

“By 12 months of age, only five per cent of First Nations children in remote communities have bilateral normal hearing, compared with over 80 per cent of children in the rest of Australia.”

“Children with undiagnosed hearing loss tend to fall behind at school due to delayed speech and language development,” Minister Wyatt said.

“This can have a huge impact on their early years, future employment opportunities and their chance of a happy and successful life.”

The Menzies School of Health Research aims to make Hearing for Learning a care model that can be replicated across the nation.

Hearing for Learning will complement the Government’s existing ear health programs, including Healthy Ears, which together will receive funding of $81.8 million over four years from 2018–19.

This includes $30 million for a new outreach program to provide annual hearing assessment, referral and follow-up treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children before they start school.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #WorldHypertensionDay @strokefdn High #bloodpressure – known to doctors as ‘hypertension’ – is a silent killer of our mob with 47% having high #stroke risk

 

 ” But high blood pressure – known to doctors as ‘hypertension’ – is a silent killer of our mob because there are no obvious signs or symptoms, and many people don’t realise they have it. “

A staggering 82 percent of those, found to have high blood pressure, were not aware prior to taking the health check and were referred to their doctor for a further assessment.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are between two and three times as likely to have a stroke than non-Indigenous Australians which is why increasing stroke awareness is crucial.

Too many Australians couldn’t spot a stroke if it was happening right in front of them.

We know that in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities this awareness is even lower.

We want all Australians, regardless of where they live or what community they’re from, to learn the signs of stroke.”

Stroke Foundation and Apunipima ACCHO Cape York Project

 ” Naomi and Rukmani’s stroke rap runs through vital stroke awareness messages, such as lifestyle advice, learning the signs of stroke, and crucially the need to seek medical advice when stroke strikes.

Music is a powerful tool for change and we hope that people will listen to the song and remember the FAST message – it could save their life,”

Stroke Foundation Queensland Executive Officer Libby Dunstan 

Naomi Wenitong  pictured with her father Dr Mark Wenitong Public Health Officer at  Apunipima Cape York Health Council  in Cairns:

Share the stroke rap with your family and friends on social media

Listen to the new rap song HERE

                                       or Hear

Research has shown the number of strokes would be practically cut in half (48 percent) if high blood pressure alone was eliminated

NACCHO has published over 90 articles Aboriginal health stroke prevention and recovery READ HERE

“It can happen to anyone — stroke doesn’t discriminate against colour, it doesn’t discriminate against age “

Photo above Seith Fourmile, Indigenous stroke survivor campaigns for culture to aid in stroke recovery

” Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who experience and die from cardiovascular disease at much higher rates than other Australians.

What you don’t know can hurt you. Heart disease and strokes are the biggest killers of Australians, and the biggest risk factor for both of them is high blood pressure.

But high blood pressure – known to doctors as ‘hypertension’ – is a silent killer because there are no obvious signs or symptoms, and many people don’t realise they have it. “

John Kelly CEO-National, Heart Foundation

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, when compared with other Australians, are:

  • 1.3 times as likely to have cardiovascular disease
  • three times more likely to have a major coronary event, such as a heart attack
  • more than twice as likely to die in hospital from coronary heart disease
  • 19 times as likely to die from acute rheumatic fever and chronic rheumatic heart Disease
  • more likely to smoke, have high blood pressure, be obese, have diabetes and have end-stage renal disease.

It was World Hypertension Day yesterday  and the Stroke Foundation is determined to slash stroke numbers in Australia – with your help.

Today kicks off Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check for 2018 and communities are being urged to take five minutes out of their day for a potentially life-saving blood pressure check.

More than 4.1 Million Australians are living with hypertension or high blood pressure, putting themselves at serious and unnecessary risk of stroke.

Research has shown the number of strokes would be practically cut in half (48 percent) if high blood pressure alone was eliminated.

The major concern with high blood pressure is many people don’t realise they have it. It has no immediate symptoms, but over time, it damages blood vessels and increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.

How you can help?

  • Encourage your family and friends to take advantage of a free check.
  • Help spread the word via social media:  Research has shown the number of strokes would be practically cut in half if high blood pressure alone was eliminated.
  • Get your free health check today! https://bit.ly/2ps1UOn #WorldHypertensionDay

  • I am urging you – no matter what age you are – to have a blood pressure check regularly with your ACCHO GP (General Practitioner), pharmacist or via a digital health check machine.
  • Stroke strikes in an instant, attacking the brain. It kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer and leaves thousands with an ongoing disability, but stroke is largely preventable by managing blood pressure and living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Stroke Foundation and SiSU Wellness conducted more than 520,000 digital health checks throughout 2017, finding 16 percent of participants had high blood pressure putting them at risk of stroke

Given there will be 56,000 strokes in Australia this year alone, if we can reduce high blood pressure we will have a direct and lasting impact on the rate of stroke in this country.Yours sincerely,

Sharon McGowan
Chief Executive Officer
Stroke Foundation

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ACCHO #6rrhss Deadly Good News stories :#NSW #QLD #VIC #WA #NT #SA #ACT Including @Galambila @DeadlyChoices @IUIH_ @WinnungaACCHO

1.1 NSW: Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour leads the way incorporating cultural healing artwork into new building and staff uniforms

1.2. NSW : Indigenous Doctor to specialise in women’s health and high-risk pregnancy care. after graduating this month

2.1 NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin hosts Wurrumiyanga community on Bathurst Island with information about improving health and career pathways in health.

2.2 NT : Katherine West Health Board Timber Creek’s Women’s Health Day 2018.

3.QLD :Institute for Urban Indigenous Health :Because of Her I must : Adrian Carson and Aunty Pamela Mam

4SA : Colourful health bus provides medical services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in remote areas

5. VIC : Officially launch in Mildura partnership with MDAS & Deadly Choices hosting a community day for the mob.

6. 1 ACT : Winnunga has commenced a new program for first time mothers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies.

6.2 ACT : Winnunga Save a date : celebrating 30 Years of excellence ACCHO health

 View hundreds of ACCHO Deadly Good News Stories over past 6 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 /Friday

1.1 NSW: Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour leads the way incorporating cultural healing artwork into new building and staff uniforms

On behalf of the Board and management, NACCHO congratulates the Galambila Aboriginal Health Service in Coffs Harbour on the opening of its new reception and patient waiting area. It is good that staff and community members alike will benefit from this new facility.

It is also great to have the Commonwealth Government’s financial support for this initiative. It is pleasing to see the Galambila Aboriginal Health Service improving its facilities for the benefit of our community, and I congratulate you on your continued efforts to improving Aboriginal health outcomes in the region.”

Pat Turner CEO NACCHO

Galambila ACCHO Compassionate, Respectful, Empowering & Inclusive

This week the Chair of the Galambila ACCHO Rueben Robinson officially opened the new building and reception at a smoking ceremony on Gumbaynggirr country

Local artist, Brentyn Lugnan, who designed the artwork for the building and is also embedded on the staff shirts.

Brentyn attended the opening and explained the story his art that follows the journey from the foundations of the family / community thru to the travels of kangaroos ,  middens connecting to country and the role of bush medicine  for Gumbaynggirr people

1.2. NSW : Indigenous Doctor to specialise in women’s health and high-risk pregnancy care. after graduating this month

 

 “I had the opportunity to undertake placement at the Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Medical centre in Wyong, attend rural obstetrics clinics in Moree – the birthplace of my Nan, and complete an elective subject at the Menzies School of Health Research in Brisbane, which explored barriers to early diagnosis and poor outcomes in gynaecological cancers in Indigenous women,” 

Following in the footsteps of her Aunty, Professor Gail Garvey, Nicole Whitson is proud to be the third person to graduate from her large Indigenous family of almost 40 immediate relatives.

Commencing her studies at the University as an Open Foundation student, Nicole persevered with her studies and has become a doctor, graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine with Distinction.

Nicole said she was particularly interested in medical care for Indigenous people and enjoyed the opportunity to tailor her study to reflect her interests.

It was through this practical experience that Nicole realised her desire to specialise in high-risk pregnancy care.

Reflecting on her experience at the University of Newcastle, Nicole said she was “glad to study in a supportive environment.

“As an Indigenous medical student from a large family with little exposure to the tertiary education system, I expected to encounter challenges but I had a lot of support from the University, its Wollotuka Institute, and my husband Elliot.”

Nicole said she was grateful for her time at university, not only to realise her dream of becoming a doctor, but to have built a network of life-long friends.

“One of the highlights was definitely the close-knit community, I met some of my best friends during my studies at university,” Nicole said.

The University of Newcastle has graduated approximately one-third of Australia’s Indigenous doctors and today celebrates a proud milestone, graduating its largest ever cohort of Indigenous students from the Joint medical Program, with ten students crossing the graduation stage today.

2.1 NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin hosts Wurrumiyanga community on Bathurst Island with information about improving health and career pathways in health.

This week visiting students from Xavier Catholic College in the Wurrumiyanga community on Bathurst Island came to visit Danila Dilba.

The students got an overview of our organisation, including information about improving health and career pathways in Danila Dilba.

Great to see the enthusiasm of these students and their interest in health.

2.2 NT : Katherine West Health Board Timber Creek’s Women’s Health Day 2018.

A successful day where the ladies from Timber Creek region and Bulla community came together to yarn about women’s health.

A shout out to SARC Katherine for coming long. Thank you Victoria Daly Regional Councill for your spport.

#oneshieldforall

3.QLD :Institute for Urban Indigenous Health :Because of Her I must : Adrian Carson and Aunty Pamela Mam

Adrian Carson has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health for more than 25 years and has been the CEO of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health since 2011.

Adrian nominated Aunty Pamela Mam’s story to lead the Because of Her campaign, a celebration of women who have made our communities what they are today.

Aunty Pamela Mam (Aunty Pam) was one of the first Aboriginal nurses in Queensland. She was the first Nurse Manager of the Aboriginal and Islanders Community Health Service Brisbane (now ATSICHS Brisbane) and the first Manager of the Jimbelunga Nursing Centre – where she worked for 15 years.

Raised on Palm Island, Aunty Pam started working as a Nurse Aide at Palm Island Hospital, later receiving permission to train as a nurse at Townsville Hospital.

She went on to study midwifery at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Brisbane and in conjunction with her late husband, Uncle Steve Mam, was hugely active in advocating for and establishing many services that exist today.

Adrian says that he chose to nominate Aunty Pam because of the sacrifices she has made to lead our community to where we are today. He says, “She has supported IUIH since we were established in 2009 and has always been here for us when we needed her.

“Aunty Pam is a great leader in the community and we are so lucky to have her as our patron. Her hard work and tireless efforts to make sure we are accessing the health care we need in the way that we need it has made a huge impact on the health of our people.

“Through her amazing work in the community, she connects all of us to our humble beginnings.”

He mentions that Aunty Pam has impacted his life greatly by providing support within the work that IUIH does. He says, “She has always been a great support for me, she always gives a good counsel, and she’s there when I need her.”

“She lives by three words, commitment, compassion and dedication. These are the qualities that IUIH as an organisation reflects on when working with and for our people.”

Aunty Pam continues to serve as the patron for IUIH, and supports many other community projects that focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in South East Queensland.

To recognise Aunty Pam’s contribution the Because of Her project was launched at Aunty Pam’s 80th birthday celebration held at Jimbelunga Nursing Centre in March this year.

Share your own story of a deadly woman in your life at www.facebook.com/IUIHBecauseofHer

Image: Adrian Carson (IUIH), Aunty Pamela Mam, Jody Currie (ATSICHS Brisbane)

4SA : Colourful health bus provides medical services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in remote areas

 See original story in full here 

Remote communities often grapple with challenges of distance from health care and support, but an outreach service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in South Australia’s Riverland is hoping to change this, with the help of a bus.

Bright and colourful, the Pi:Lu Bus is designed to be a safe place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to receive help and health advice.

The bus is highly regarded and well recognised by Riverland locals, with a role of providing specific health prevention messages and free testing.

The mobile service is one of only a few in Australia.

“The bus is available to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community who may not be able to get into our service for reasons that they could not have transport available or their funds may be really low,” Riverland Aboriginal Health Service coordinator Corinne Thompson said.

“I think the bus is helping to build relationships between our local Aboriginal people and some of our mainstream services as well.

“Any needs that the community have around their health, we’re there to support them.”

Community shines spotlight on its health

The Pi:Lu Bus was returned to the community last year at NAIDOC Week celebrations following extensive consultation around local health services.

Previously known as the Peelies Bus — the Aboriginal word for eyes — the bus travelled the region conducting health examinations, with a particular focus on eyes.

It was decomissioned for five years due to mechanical troubles, but a push from the community saw its re-commissioning and name change to the Pi:Lu Bus — Aboriginal for all-seeing eyes.

“Aboriginal people, Torres Straight Islander people have vastly different health needs to mainstream Australia,” Ms Thompson said.

“I guess we need to be working more to get those prevention messages out there.”

5. VIC : Officially launch in Mildura partnership with MDAS & Deadly Choices hosting a community day for the mob.

6. 1 ACT : Winnunga has commenced a new program for first time mothers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies.

See attached brochure ANFPP brochure (2)

6.2 ACT : Winnunga Save a date : celebrating 30 Years of excellence ACCHO health 

 

7. WA : @AHCWA pioneering new ways of working in Aboriginal Health :Our Culture Our Community Our Voice Our Knowledge

VIEW HERE

NACCHO Aboriginal Women’s Health #SocialDeterminants #RedfernStatement : The impact of political determinants of health must be recognised for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

 

 ” Western culture remains the dominant culture in Australian society.

Its worldview has shaped Australian society and is constantly in conflict with the cultural identity and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, including that of women.

Recently, Australian Indigenous leaders have set out a blueprint for action in the Redfern Statement. 

This blueprint acknowledges that Aboriginal people have provided viable, holistic solutions.

Without a change in leadership attitudes, governance and administration, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women will continue to be disadvantaged, and their health will continue to suffer.

It is high time that Australian policymaking recognized the above issues and acted with integrity on the deficits because we will not have equality until Australia recognizes the impact of the political determinants of health as identified throughout this paper.

Australia will never be a whole, functioning society until institutionalised oppression ceases. ” 

Originally published here Power and Persuasion

Read over 340 Aboriginal Women’s Health articles published by NACCHO over past 6 years

Read over 100 Aboriginal Health and Social Determinants published by NACCHO over past 6 years

The role of government policy is to support its citizenry to thrive. By this measure, Australian policy is failing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and women are bearing the brunt of failed policy through seriously compromised health and wellbeing. “

In this analysis, Vanessa Lee from the University of Sydney applies a lens of political determinants of health to illuminate policy failure for Indigenous women and their communities, and calls for the government to be held accountable to the outcomes of generations of harmful policy.

 This piece is drawn from an article that ran in the Journal of Public Health Policy in 2017.

Paternalism is compromising the health of Indigenous women

When it comes to Australian policy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are not being supported. Rather, a long history of paternalistic government decisions created barriers towards Indigenous women achieving equivalent health and wellbeing measures when compared to non-Indigenous women.

The manifestation of colonisation has included a displacement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, a history of segregation and apartheid, and a breakdown of culture and cultural values through the impact of missionaries and government legislation, Acts and policies.

These political determinants of health breech human rights conventions, lack an evidence base, and are profoundly damaging across generations. Better policy could be and should be implemented but there appears to be a lack of political will.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience poorer health and reduced social and emotional wellbeing when compared to non-Indigenous women, and this is due to generational life circumstances. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women take a holistic world view that intrinsically connects family and culture with everything else that they connect with.

What this means is that Indigenous women have a cultural and family relationship with their social and economic world.

The breakdown in life circumstances are evident today across employment and education where 39 per cent of the Indigenous females were employed compared to 55 per cent of the non-Indigenous females; and 4.6 per cent overall of the Indigenous compared to 20 per cent of the non-Indigenous people have completed a bachelor degree or higher degree.[1]

Educational attainment and employment are intrinsically linked to economic opportunity, with higher levels of education reducing societal disadvantage. Failure to address these fundamental social determinants in early life contributes to life-long disadvantage.

When the British colonized Australia, they did so under a paternalistic ideology that remains evident today as Australian federal, state, territory and local governments continue to implement paternalistic policies. Paternalistic policies are those that restrict choices to individuals, ostensibly in their ‘best interest’ and without their consent.

The justification of such policies is often to change individuals’ damaging behaviours; for example gambling, smoking, consumption of drugs and alcohol, or the reliance on welfare payments. Given the etymology of the word ‘paternalism’, it is little wonder that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have been the victims of extraordinarily high levels of sexism, domestic violence, marginalization, work-place lateral violence and racism.

Especially since the policies were developed and implemented from colonisation, with little or no evidence to support the need to change behaviours of the First Nations women of Australia.  The response to the impact of these paternalistic policies has resulted in an increase in prevalence in pain and trauma based behaviours such as substance abuse.

Social determining factors

Social determinants of health are about “the cause of the cause.” Poorer health outcomes are not narrowed to individual lifestyle choice or risky behaviour. Understanding the social determinants of health requires looking at the relationship between cause, social factors and health outcomes. Social factors are those societal factors that influence health throughout life and include housing, education, access to healthcare and family support.

The diagram below highlights an example of the circular relationship between the causes of the social factors and the social factors themselves across a person’s life stages. The unborn Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child of parents with high drug and/or alcohol intake, low income and low education will be born into an environment influenced at the macrosocial level by history, culture, discrimination and the political economy.

This first stage of inequality can manifest in increasing risky behaviours such as smoking, drinking, unhealthy eating, and lack of exercise or imprisonment. These behaviours have been associated with intellectual impairment that continues through all life stages.[ii] Quite often the continuous exposure to drugs and alcohol from adults becomes part of the child’s assumption of the normality of risk-taking behaviour and the cycle continues.

Tragically, at times the child born into this situation may commit suicide. Indigenous young people are as much as five times more likely to commit suicide as their non-Indigenous peers. Or the child may end up in prison, and although Indigenous women make up 2% of the adult female population 2% of the adult female populationin Australia they make up 27 to 34% of the female prison population across jurisdictions (see also here). T

he imprisonment of women causes an upheaval in their lives and that of their families and for Indigenous women it also creates a breakdown in their world view and to all that is connected to their world view.

Diagram 1: Relationship between ‘the cause’ and life stages

Relationship between causes, social factors and life stages

Social and economic circumstances have a profound impact on individual experiences of inequity, yet within a neoliberal framework the individual is blamed for making poor choices. The government’s failure to acknowledge or address the causes which shape the social factors that in turn underpin individual lifestyle “choices” reveals a disinterest in addressing the socio-structural causes of illness and health.

When governments invest long-term resources and time into understanding the socio-structural causes of illness and health, they will recognize that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are constantly subjected to unnecessary inequalities that mitigate against making positive lifestyle choices for future generations.

Structured inequities within society are based on unequal distribution of power, wealth, income and status. A woman’s ability to move up and down the class system is directly impacted by socioeconomic position or status – including education, employment and income.

This truth epitomizes the gross inequalities that continue to exist in Australian society. Inequities in health are heightened because social class not only includes education, employment and income but also differential access to power. Social class structures are characterized by factors including race, sex/gender, ethnicity, Indigeneity and religion. Fundamentally, it is structural issues of class and political disadvantage that place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women close to the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.

Political determinants

From colonization of Australia until the present day, the policy decisions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made by National, State and Territory governments, churches and other institutions have had dire effects on Indigenous peoples’ health and well-beingInequitable policies contributed to inequalities in health resulting from unequal distribution of power and resources between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

The impact of policies which fail to take a holistic view on Indigenous population health reflects a political failure of the system with regard to the basic human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their good health and well-being.

Denial of a human right directly violates a person’s right to self-determination. These rights should be protected by a covenant to which Australia is a signatory—The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) (The Covenant). It states that “all peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” (Article 1 Section 1).

The level of Australia’s commitment to this covenant became questionable with the implementation of The Northern Territory National Emergency Response (the Intervention) in 2007. This was a federal government action that ignored one of its own government-funded reports highlighting the critical importance of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the design and implementation of initiatives for their communities. In less than six months, following the politically motivated “Intervention” that was introduced just prior to an election, the Australian parliament introduced a complex legislative package consisting of five Bills, all 450 pages long and passed in parliament on the same day.

The bills were primarily associated with welfare reform. In 2008, a national emergency response by the Australian government took effect and was administered across all of the Northern Territory using the political rationale ‘to protect Aboriginal children’. This appeared to be an excuse to further erode Indigenous self-determination rather than to address the safety of children; as one critic pointed out, “we have witnessed the abandonment of consultation with Indigenous people, diminishing use of available statistical and research evidence and increased marginalization of the experts – especially if their views diverge from national leadership.” (p. 7)

The impact on health outcomes

Welfare data published in 2016 show that Indigenous children in the Northern Territory were being removed from families at 9.8 times more often than that of non-Indigenous children based on ‘reforms’ in the five new ‘welfare reform’ Bills.

The Northern Territory Indigenous death rates are still 2.3 times higher than those of non-Indigenous people, and Indigenous people experience assault victimization at six times the rate of non-Indigenous people (see here).

The 2014/2015 Social Survey found that fewer than half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were employed, and males were more than twice as likely as females to be working full time.

The deplorable outcomes of these politically motivated policies are most clearly illustrated by the understanding that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women between the ages of 20 and 24 years are four times more likely to commit suicide than are the other woman and between 70-60% of Indigenous women in prisons are due to them being victims of domestic violence.

Holding government accountable to policy outcomes

These outcomes demonstrate the political failure of Australian governments at national, state, territory and local levels to work with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the lack of integrity surrounding equitable policy administration, leadership and governance.

Many policies developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders over a long period of time have contributed to the shameful inequity in Australian society between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. This level of inequity is even more dramatic with regard to Indigenous women.

The Covenant is neither the first Human Rights Charter that Australia has signed nor the first it has violated to the disadvantage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, their health and well-being (and of the entire Indigenous population). Australia played a key role as one of eight nations involved in developing the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, when Australian Dr HV Evatt was the President of the United Nations General Assembly.

Until a referendum allowed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to become citizens, there was scant regard to Article 2: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. The Australian government is disregarding its own stated ideals when it disregards the rights of Indigenous Australians.

The gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians is becoming more apparent, leading to calls for a new and more effective response. The effects of discriminative policies are now being exposed more often – thus, they become more visible. Non-Indigenous services account for 80 per cent of Indigenous expenditure, and there is a lack of transparency and clarity evaluating how these organizations address policies developed by government for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Fifty per cent of the Indigenous Australian population is under the age of 22and their health, as that of their elders, remains dire. Without understanding their cultural ways of doing and knowing and without working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in making policy decisions, there will be no progress in achieving health equality for this population group.

Major changes needed

Western culture remains the dominant culture in Australian society. Its worldview has shaped Australian society and is constantly in conflict with the cultural identity and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, including that of women. Recently,

Australian Indigenous leaders have set out a blueprint for action in the Redfern Statement.

This blueprint acknowledges that Aboriginal people have provided viable, holistic solutions. Without a change in leadership attitudes, governance and administration, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women will continue to be disadvantaged, and their health will continue to suffer.

It is high time that Australian policymaking recognized the above issues and acted with integrity on the deficits because we will not have equality until Australia recognizes the impact of the political determinants of health as identified throughout this paper. Australia will never be a whole, functioning society until institutionalised oppression ceases.

References

[1] Burns, J., MacRae, A., Thomson, N., Anomie., Catto, M., Gray, C., Levitan, L., McLoughlin, N., Potter, C., Ride, K., Stumpers, S., Trzesinski, A. and Urquhart, B. (2013) Summary of Indigenous women’s health. http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/population-groups/women/reviews/our-review.

[ii] Carson, B., Dunbar, T., Chenhall, R. and Bailie, R. (Eds.). (2007). Social determinants of indigenous health. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin.

Press Release @NACCHOChair calls on the Federal Government to work with us to keep our children safe #WeHaveTheSolutions Plus comments from CEO’s @Anyinginyi @DanilaDilba

” The sexual abuse of any Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal children has got to stop.

 It is not acceptable and in no way can our communities, the Australian community at large or Governments at all levels condone this continuing.

 I welcome a thorough investigation by the Northern Territory Child Abuse Taskforce and Children’s Commissioner into this grave allegation.”

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation(NACCHO ) Chair John Singer said he is deeply concerned that some of our  children are being sexually interfered with.

Download Press Release NACCHO Calls on the federal government to work with us to keep our children safe – FINAL

 “According to media reports last this week, a four-year-old boy from the community of Ali Curung in the Northern Territory has been taken to Alice Springs for medical care after he was allegedly sexually assaulted on the weekend and police are investigating.”

See The Guardian article Part 2 Below

” High levels of disadvantage, alongside “vulnerable and very impoverished” communities, was putting children at risk.

What’s really tragic is that we’ve known about them [problems] for well over a decade and more, and there’s been very little sustained, concerted effort to deal with them,

What’s absolutely needed are more of the early intervention and prevention programs, better parenting programs, and a better level of education and awareness about child.”

Chief executive of the Danila Dilba Aboriginal Medical Service, Olga Havnen, is unsurprised by the most recent incident : Interview ABC

 ” The community was devastated, but not surprised by the latest allegations, and there had been a feeling of “absolute hopelessness” as community leaders beared witness to social dysfunction, alcohol abuse and child protection problems.

They are issues which are attribute to overcrowded public housing.

Resourcing across all sectors and services is what’s needed to support vulnerable families,

I think it’s just been a build-up of years and years of neglect and limited resources.”

At least 40 extra houses were needed in the area to reduce overcrowding, and reduce the risk for children.

It just allows for an explosion, if you like, to further dysfunction of Aboriginal families.

[It] just leads to total hopelessness… creating such incidents as what’s happening now where our children are being harmed.”

Barb Shaw, the chief executive of the Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation, which takes in Ali Curung.

Interview ABC

Photo: Children in the Barkly region have been calling for change. (ABC News: Jane Bardon

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Media Alert March 20

CEO Pat Turner , Olga Havnen CEO Danila Dilba and James Ward appear on #Sunrise to respond to Indigenous child protection issues #wehavethesolutions

#WeHaveTheSolutions :Government must take off the blinkers over these issues, show leadership and take the actions outlined.

1.Immediate Government action to assist families to keep their children safe. We know these are complex issues requiring urgent responses but the abuse still continues.

2.We need a comprehensive approach to child and community safety with a focus on prevention and community education.

3. Establishing a Confidential Child Help Line within Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services by regions which is a no-brainer for any government to fund and implement in this budget cycle.

In getting better rates of disclosure, we can respond to both victims and offenders.  This is particularly important when young people are perpetrators so that they can be held to account for their behaviour and receive appropriate rehabilitation and behavioural change programs.

4.Extra resources should also be made immediately available for wrap around Families and Children Support services to work with traumatised children and their families. This requires a multi-disciplinary professional team to provide full assessment and treatment programs in our local communities. A health-led therapeutic model will deliver much better outcomes for our people.

Often as the academic evidence now suggests, perpetrators have themselves often been abused and they too require treatment not punitive punishment regimes or they will not be rehabilitated and will re-offend.

5.National plan to redress the Social Determinants of Health in Aboriginal communities throughout Australia.[1]

6.Liquor licenses :The NT Government needs to take a good hard look at the total number of liquor licenses granted and curtail them to stop the flow of alcohol. People must come before profits. The grog is killing our people and our children are exposed to the results of that every day.

Those dry communities are to be  commended for their efforts to control alcohol consumption, but the sheer number of liquor outlets at Roadhouses on the Highway and in the closest towns undermines their efforts to live safe and peacefully in their local community. Government must take off the blinkers over these issues, show leadership and take the actions outlined,” said Mr Singer.

Part 2 Boy, 16, charged with rape of four-year-old boy in remote Northern Territory community

Helen Davidson in The Guardian

Noting NACCHO press release was published in online article

A 16-year-old boy has been charged over the alleged rape of a four-year-old boy in a remote Northern Territory community.It is at least the second such incident in the Barkly region, after a two-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in Tennant Creek last month.

The 16-year-old is scheduled to appear in the Alice Springs youth court on Tuesday, to face one charge of sexual intercourse without consent.

The NT police child abuse taskforce was investigating the alleged attack, which reportedly occurred on Sunday, and said it was not seeking anyone else in relation to the matter.

The territory families minister, Dale Wakefield, said a full team of staff was on the ground as part of the child abuse taskforce.

“They are working alongside police and engaging with the family and the community,” she said.

“We have also spoken to the children’s commissioner and will keep her informed of any developments.

“It is heartbreaking for any child anywhere to be harmed. Every child deserves a childhood where they are safe and given pathways to reach their full potential.”

A 24-year-old charged with sexually assaulting a two-year-old in Tennant Creek is scheduled to appear in court in April.

That alleged incident prompted emergency measures by NT authorities, including the immediate deployment of extra Territory Families department staff and the implementation of strict alcohol restrictions on Tennant Creek.

The community where the latest alleged assault happened is one of about 100 in the NT with restrictions or bans on drinking alcohol.

Steve Edgington, the mayor of Tennant Creek, said there had been “immediate learnings” after the alleged assault in his town.

Edgington said there was a clear need to decentralise government resources and divert them to identified hotspots of disadvantage.

“What needs to be done is a full audit of where these particular incidents are happening,” he said.

“I’m sure they’re happening elsewhere. We need to allocate resources to where these incidents are, tackling issues from the ground up. It’s just critical – children need to be safe in our communities.”

Edgington said most resources in the Barkly region were based in Tennant Creek and there were a number of small remote communities nearby where governments could look at what resources were allocated for child protection and welfare, housing, and other areas.

On Monday the NT chief minister, Michael Gunner, said extra Territory Families staff had been deployed to the community and the incident would also be referred to the children’s commissioner.

“This is an extremely disturbing incident,” he told the ABC. “Every child, no matter where they live, deserves to be in a safe environment.”

[1] http://www.who.int/violenceprevention/publications/en/index.html and Canadian Red Cross, Ten Steps to Creating Safe Environments, 2nd Edition How organizations and communities can prevent, mitigate and respond to interpersonal violence 2011