NACCHO Aboriginal Health and the #UluruStatement : Our CEO Pat Turner to attend the first meeting of the 20 member Senior Advisory Leadership group on an “ Indigenous Voice “ at Old Parliament House this week

Over the past few weeks I’ve travelled to Queensland and the Northern Territory to listen to Indigenous Australians – I am committed to being the minister for all Indigenous Australians, and want to make sure that all of their voices can be heard loud and clear,” 

The best outcomes are achieved when Indigenous Australians are at the centre of decision making.

We know that for too long decision making treated the symptoms rather than the cause.

Mr Wyatt said when launching the consultation process he wanted a group of individuals “to have the rigorous discussions” The Morrison government has committed $7.3 million for the process.

I would like to get the opportunity to establish the bodies and the process and look at all the models and how they might work, and then at a future time look at – and this is the government’s role – to look at constitutional enshrinement or whatever,” Calma told the Guardian late last month

Both Calma and Langton support constitutionally enshrining the voice to parliament, but have said they are willing to work with the process to see what can be achieved.

CEO of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Pat Turner AM will be instrumental in the discussions and has previously said the long-term solution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination requires a strong commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart. “

Read over 30 NACCHO Uluru Statement articles Here

Media Coverage 

Originally published here 

The Minister for Indigenous Australians has announced a list of twenty names that will become members of the Senior Advisory Group that will charged with tasked with guiding the Co-Design process towards developing options for an Indigenous voice to government.

The list includes Uluru Statement from the Heart Advocate, Noel Pearson, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) CEO, Pat Turner, and the first international Indigenous netballer, Marcia Ella-Duncan.

Last week, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, announced he would be creating an elite committee that would oversee a co-design process to work towards realising an Indigenous voice to government.

The top committee will be responsible for developing two lower consultation groups at a local and regional, and national level to assist in putting forward models for consideration.

Indigenous Academics Professor Tom Calma and Professor Marcia Langton have been named co-chairs of the Senior Advisory Group and will oversee a committee made up of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Members include:

  • Professor Tom Calma AO
  • Professor Dr Marcia Langton AM
  • Professor Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO
  • Professor Peter Buckskin PSM
  • Ms Josephine Cashman
  • Ms Marcia Ella-Duncan OAM
  • Ms Joanne Farrell
  • Mr Mick Gooda
  • Mr Chris Kenny
  • Cr Vonda Malone
  • Ms June Oscar AO
  • Ms Alison Page
  • Mr Noel Pearson
  • Mr Benson Saulo
  • Ms Pat Turner AM
  • Professor Maggie Walter
  • Mr Tony Wurramarrba
  • Mr Peter Yu
  • Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM

The first meeting of the Senior Advisory Group will be held next Wednesday 13 November at Old Parliament House.

As the group prepares to kick off 12 months of consultations, there are some notable inclusions and absences.

Many prominent Indigenous Rights advocates are wary of the co-design process, saying the only meaningful form of recognition is through a constitutionally enshrined advisory body, truth-telling process and Makarratta commission, as called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

CEO of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Pat Turner AM will be instrumental in the discussions and has previously said the long-term solution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination requires a strong commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Lawyer and activist, Noel Pearson, has been selected for the group, following on from his role in the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians and the Referendum Council.

He is one of numerous former panel members to be part of the next consultation process.

Other prominent names in the recognition conversation however have been left out, including Professor Megan Davis, a former member of the Referendum Council, and Thomas Mayor, a vocal advocate of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Minister Wyatt has previously described outspoken advocates of the Uluru Statement as ‘influencers’, and claimed he preferred to listen to “grassroots” Indigenous voices.

His list includes representatives from across the country.

Former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda and current Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar are also part of the group.

Representing the next generation will be Benson Saulo, the first Indigenous person to be appointed to the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations and 2014 NAIDOC Youth of the Year.

Sky News political commentator, Chris Kenny was also appointed to the committee.

Members from remote communities include Eastern Arnhem Land leader, Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM and Yawuru man from Broome, Peter Yu.

Mr Wyatt said the group will ensure that all Indigenous people are heard.

“It will be a historic occasion that will mark a shift in the way government and Indigenous Australians work in partnership to shift the pendulum and advance positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” he said.

Aboriginal #Rural and #Remote Health #ClosingTheGap #HaveYourSayCTG : New @AIHW Report says the mob living in remote and regional areas are dying preventable deaths from treatable conditions because of a lack of access to health services

 “Australians living in remote and regional areas are dying preventable deaths from treatable conditions because of a lack of access to health services.

The damning assessment is contained in a new Australian Institut­e of Health and Welfare report on rural and remote health, which finds that those in the bush rely heavily on general practitioners to provide primary healthcare services in the absence of specialist doctors.

But patients most in need of GPs often can’t access them, with those in remote areas six times as likely as those in metropolitan centres to report they had no access­ to one.”

From Natasha Robinson The Australian October 24 Continued Part 1 below

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely to have higher rates of chronic conditions, hospitalisations and poorer health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians

The differences in health outcomes in Remote and Very remote areas may be due to the characteristics of these populations.

The proportion of the population that is Indigenous, is much higher in more remote areas

However, more Indigenous Australians live in Major cities and Inner regional areas (61% of Indigenous Australians) compared with Remote and Very remote areas (19%) “

From the AIHW Report see Part 2 Below

Download full report HERE

Rural & remote health

Part 1 The Australian media report 

The report comes as The Australian revealed yesterday that the numbers of domestically trained doctors entering GP training had fallen for the third year in a row, with rural areas relying heavily on overseas-trained doctors to fill the workforce shortfall.

The AIHW report finds people in remote areas die five years before­ their city counterparts, with a life expectancy of 76 years.

More than 70 per cent of those living in regional areas are overweight or obese, less than one in 10 eat the recommended number of serves of vegetables per day, and one-quarter have high blood pressure or mental health problems.

Rural Australians are dying of diabetes at much higher rates than city dwellers, and many cancers­ go undetected because of a lack of acces­s to screening programs.

“The rate of potentially avoidable deaths increased as remote­ness increased,” the report says. “These are deaths among people aged 75 and under from conditions considered potentially preventable through individualised care, and/or treatment through existing primary or hospital care.”

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine said the situation was a “tragedy”.

“We have a rural health crisis that extends right across from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island­er people to our rural communities,” said college president Ewen McPhee.

“I think it’s a tragedy that rural communities continue to be neglec­ted.”

In many tiny towns across the country, residents rely on the Royal Flying Doctor Service to provide access to a GP.

Yesterday in Stonehenge in remote­ central Queensland, doctor­ Arthur Beggs and nurse Jo Mahony­ flew in to provide the fortnightly mobile GP service for the town and surrounding areas of about 50 people.

“A lot of people don’t want to bother us unless they are really unwell and that’s really typical of the stoic, outback approach,” Dr Beggs said.

The RFDS has introduced a chronic disease management plan to the town, tracking baseline health measurements and flying specialist allied health practitioners in every few weeks to provide extra services.

Dr Beggs knows the challenges of being a rural GP, but says the difficulties are outweighed by the satisfaction of the work.

“I find rural and remote medicine fascinating and much more fulfilling than I do city-based medicine,” he said.

A recent report published by the Medical Deans of Australia found only 15 per cent of medical students in their final year of study said they were interested in becomin­g GPs, the lowest figure in five years.

Dr Beggs said attracting GPs to rural and remote areas was key to improving health outcomes in the bush.

“Modern medicine is all about specialties,” he said.

“The specialties can seem a more lucrative and controlled environm­ent than the realms of general practice, which is unfortun­ate because general practice­ gives you a much better overview of people and their health.”

Part 2

Profile of rural and remote Australians

See AIHW Online version HERE

For more information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by remoteness see: The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: 2015 and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework (HPF) report

Overall, more Australians live in Major cities compared with rural and remote areas

. In 2017, the proportion of Australians by area of remoteness was:

72% in Major cities

18% in Inner regional areas 8.2% in Outer regional areas 1.2% in Remote areas

0.8% in Very remote areas (ABS 2019b).

On average, people living in Remote and very remote areas were younger than those living in Major cities ( gures 1a and 1c).

Australians aged 25–44 were more likely to live in Remote and very remote areas and Major cities compared with Inner regional and outer regional areas. However, a higher proportion of people aged 65 and over lived in Inner regional and outer regional areas and Major cities, compared with Remote and very remote areas ( gures 1a, 1b and 1c).

Rural and remote Australia encompasses many diverse locations and communities and people living in these areas face unique challenges due to their geographic isolation.

Those living outside metropolitan areas often have poorer health outcomes compared with those living in metropolitan areas. For example, data show that people living in rural and remote areas have higher rates of hospitalisations, mortality, injury and poorer access to, and use of, primary health care services, compared with those living in metropolitan areas.

Health inequalities in rural and remote areas may be due to factors, including:

  • challenges in accessing health care or health professionals, such as specialists social determinants such as income, education and employment opportunities higher rates of risky behaviours such as tobacco smoking and alcohol use
  • higher rates of occupational and physical risk, for example from farming or mining work and transport-related accidents.

Despite poorer health outcomes for some, the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey found that Australians living in small towns (fewer than 1,000 people) and non-urban areas generally experienced higher levels of life satisfaction compared with those in urban areas (Wilkins 2015).

Rural and remote Australians also report increased community interconnectedness and social cohesion, as well as higher levels of community participation, volunteering and informal support from their communities (Ziersch et al. 2009).

Part 3 National : Closing the Gap / Have your say CTG deadline extended to Friday, 8 November 2019.

 

The engagements are now in full swing across Australia and this is generating more interest than we had anticipated in our survey on Closing the Gap.

The Coalition of Peaks has had requests from a number of organisations across Australia seeking, some Coalition of Peak members and some governments for more time to promote and complete the survey.

We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have their say on what should be included in a new agreement on Closing the Gap so it is agreed to extend the deadline for the survey to Friday, 8 November 2019.

This will help build further understanding and support for the new agreement and will not impact our timeframes for negotiating with government as we were advised at the most recent Partnership Working Group meeting that COAG will not meet until early 2020.

There is a discussion booklet that has background information on Closing the Gap and sets out what will be talked about in the survey.

The survey will take a little bit of time to complete. It would be great if you can answer all the questions, but you can also just focus on the issues that you care about most.

To help you prepare your answers, you can look at a full copy here

The survey is open to everyone and can be accessed here:

https://www.naccho.org.au/programmes/coalition-of-peaks/have-your-say/

NACCHO Aboriginal Kidney Health #NIKTT #NIDTC2019 #ClosingTheGap #HaveYourSayCTG : Our CEO Pat Turner pays tribute to her Uncle Charlie Perkins in speech to the National Indigenous Dialysis and Transplantation Conference

 ” Every which way you look at renal disease in Aboriginal people, the only solutions that will work in the long term are those that are Aboriginal–led, culturally responsive, located in Aboriginal organisations and evaluated through an Aboriginal lens.

As I have described below, Danila Dilba and KAMS show you the proven capacity of community control to deliver results and accelerate outcomes for people with chronic renal disease.  

Both services have people sharing their experiences at this conference.  Keep an eye out for their presentations.

To our non-Indigenous supporters in the audience today, I believe these examples about HOW we want to work together will be inspiring. Please expand your discussions during the conference with a positive acknowledgement of community control, and the rights we have as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to shape our own destiny, to partner with you as equals in service delivery, and to be accountable. ” 

Pat Turner NACCHO CEO

Read all Aboriginal Kidney Health articles published by NACCHO

Read all 160 Aboriginal Health and Diabetes articles published by NACCHO 

Before I begin, I acknowledge the Arrernte people and their country on which we meet today.  As many of you may know, I am back home where I was born and feeling very much re-energised by the country that knows me so well, my family and friends.

This conference brings together both community and health care sectors.  A hugely diverse audience!   Your efforts at this conference will help shape a five-year National Indigenous Kidney Transplantation Strategy to be provided to the Commonwealth in 2020.

With this conference mandate, I hope you will permit me to reflect on the WHY, the HOW and the WHEN of what we are all trying to achieve together.

The WHY is both personal and professional for me.

At the time of his death in 2000 from renal complications, one of my uncles had been the longest living Australian kidney transplant recipient.

And my uncle had been many other ‘firsts’ in his life.  For example:

  • The first Aboriginal person to graduate with a university degree
  • The first Aboriginal person to play soccer at elite level

and

  • The first Aboriginal person to be the permanent head of an Australian government department.

My uncle’s name?  Charlie Perkins.

His transplant in 1972 – the year he arrived in Canberra for the Tent Embassy  – gave my uncle another 28 years of life.

Instead of dying at 36 years of age, he died nearly three decades later at 64.

Imagine if his life had been cut short at 36, which is what would have happened without his renal transplant.

In the words of then Senator Aiden Ridgeway in the Senate chamber in October 2000  about my uncle: “we would not have had his contribution to the life of the nation”.

Dying in his mid-thirties would have been a tragic loss for the country.  BUT, it would ALSO have been a tragic personal loss for uncle’s family, including me, and his communities.   It would have robbed us of someone we loved far too soon.

Every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person whose life you save is just as important  to their family and community as my uncle was to me and mine.

While each one may not have the same national profile as Charlie Perkins, each person has a life with meaning and importance.

The old man you treated last week could be a respected cultural boss, a law man, an esteemed knowledge holder in his own community.

The young woman you treat next week could be on her own journey to become a healer, an artist or elder in her own right, as her community ordains.

The next 20 year-old your efforts engage in renal health could be Australia’s first Aboriginal Prime Minister, or the Chancellor of Australia’s first Indigenous university or our 1000th Aboriginal doctor.

You never know.  You must take the long view.

Every premature death from preventable renal disease inflicts a shortfall in community capacity and resilience: now and in the future.

Every funeral adds to our intergenerational trauma, our collective loss and our … exhaustion!  We have plenty of reserves  — history shows my people always manage to bounce back.  BUT the preventable toll of chronic renal disease must stop.

So there it is.  The WHY is huge!

Because of this WHY, let me now share a few ideas about HOW.

My first example comes from Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin. 

Data points taken over a ten-year period provided Danila Dilba with unique insights about the management and disease trajectory of people with chronic renal disease before and after the appointment of a Renal Case Manager to their team.   Creating this Renal Case Manager position specifically aimed to delay progression of their clients to end-stage kidney disease.

Danila Dilba recruited this new position in early 2008.   With this new role, all members of the primary healthcare team were to be supported through the provision of systematic patient monitoring, and access to the latest advice about evidence-based practice for very complex clinical challenges.  As a learning organization, Danila Dilba also committed to an independent evaluation of these service changes.

Before this new role, there were clear gaps in care that needed improving.  For example:

  • Documentation in the electronic clinical record system.  Only 60% of patients were identified with their diagnosis.
  • Screening of ‘at risk’ patients was very low. Although there were over 500 patients with diabetes for example, few of these had been screened for chronic renal disease.
  • There was underuse of the GP management plan.  Only 63% of patients had a current plan. Only 14% of these contained self-management goals.  Only 26% contained clinical goals.

Using the ten-year data, this independent evaluation documented convincing improvements. The evaluation showed that Danila Dilba increased screening and monitoring of people under their care with Stage 3 to 5 chronic renal disease.

Prompt access to expert knowledge at the tertiary level also increased the organisation’s competence to recognise and effectively manage patients with chronic renal disease and associated complex comorbidities.

BUT the risk of tertiary renal services taking over the management of people to the exclusion of their other health priorities was avoided.

There was a significant increase in the timely identification of people in Stage 3 rather than the later, more difficult stages of chronic renal disease.  In fact, the patient numbers with Stage 3 grew from fifteen to 101 patients. The growth in the number of people in Stages 4 and 5 was less dramatic in absolute numbers, but a positive improvement was shown.  There was an increase in clinic visits for people with more advanced disease and, overall, improved management of risk factors.

As a result of this initiative, those patients with both renal disease and diabetes were better managed in terms of meeting agreed evidence-based targets for diabetes control.

At Danila Dilba, the proportion of patients meeting specific clinical targets for their care has sat above 90% consistently since 2012. Indeed, management of patients with diabetes has been above average since these data audits commenced.  There was a very welcome stabilization of diabetes control for those with Stage 5 renal disease.  This is fantastic for the patient’s wellbeing.

Of course, you’ll also be asking whether this increased service output delayed progression of chronic renal disease!

Before the program, 50% of patients ended up with Stage 5 within two and half years of identification.  After the program, progression had slowed down dramatically.  Rather than two and half years, the time it took to progress had extended out to four years.  This represents a significant delay in disease progression.  I find these results very positive.  In my mind, the rate of progression seems to have been nearly halved.  My congratulations to the team.

Overall, this experience has helped shift Danila Dilba to a ‘systems approach’. Their new service design, which also takes services close to home, has increased client access and increased client numbers.  This is what community-controlled primary health care is all about.  Screening for chronic renal disease is embedded in annual health checks.   Anyone with acute kidney injury is managed with clinical precision, until their kidney function returns to usual.  Since 2014, there has also been a doubling of people with diabetes, so Danila Dilba staff are managing much more complexity.

As a result of these initiatives, those patients with both renal disease and diabetes are better managed in terms of meeting agreed evidence-based targets for diabetes control.  The evidence is convincing.  Danila Dilba’s national KPIs are either AT or VERY CLOSE to their 2023 targets.

At Danila Dilba, there is a careful balance between ‘siloed’ technical expertise held by those with super-speciality knowledge about chronic kidney disease, and the need for care that looks at the whole person.  As Dr Sarah Giles has said “We’re not managing numbers, we are caring for people”.  Danila Dilba is preventing disease onset through effective risk factor management AND preparing people with serious renal disease and their families for choices, for a planned transition to dialysis.

I learned from the Transplant Society’s Performance Report that Aboriginal Australians are less likely than other Australians to receive a kidney transplant primarily because they are less likely to be put on the waiting list.  The need for culturally competent pre-transplant education is indisputable.  What Danila Dilba shows is that this education cannot happen out-of-the-blue without an existing relationship between the person, their family AND a health service they trust.  Expanding that waiting list is a clear role for community-controlled primary health care in concert with their tertiary service colleagues.

The second community-controlled example I’d like to share with you today is from the Kimberley region.

There, the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services known as KAMS has taken a pioneering step in becoming the first aboriginal community controlled renal healthcare service in Australia.  And quite possibly in the world.  This service is known as Kimberley Renal Services, or KRS, a wholly owned subsidiary of KAMS.  By running KRS itself, KAMS ensures a culturally appropriate renal healthcare service is available for Aboriginal people with chronic renal disease close to home.

There are 124 people currently receiving lifesaving haemodialysis treatment cared for by KRS. KRS provides renal healthcare services within four renal health centres.  These are located in the towns of Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Kununurra.  Another 18 patients have chosen Home Therapy.   But there is a very large number of Kimberley people waiting in Perth to be able to come back home for dialysis.  Perth is a long way from country.

After many years frustrated by a model that wasn’t working for communities, KAMS secured significant funding for this service innovation which they have designed with absolute attention to cultural safety and clinical outcomes.

KRS has ensured a multi-disciplinary team approach is available to support people throughout their renal healthcare journey.  Access to the renal health centres is provided 6 days a week Monday to Saturday all year round.  The only days that the service is not available are Sunday’s and Christmas Day.

In designing their own solution, our colleagues in KAMS thought it was important to emphasise health as a priority, not disease.  So the decision was made to change from the previous term ‘dialysis units’ to the new term, ‘renal health centres’.   Anyone can engage with their renal health centre for advice, information and understanding.

There is a focus on local staff in each of these sites, learning and doing and caring for their families and communities in jobs vital for the community.  These local KRS staff include Aboriginal Health Workers, Patient Care Assistants, Aboriginal care co-ordinators and Aboriginal nurses.   KAMS is committed to Aboriginal employment.  Currently, 36% of the staff employed in KRS is Aboriginal.   There is an affirmative Aboriginal employment policy and, because KRS is managed by KAMS, cultural values permeate the entire service.  No patient is seen without an Aboriginal staff member.  All non-Indigenous staff recognise that Aboriginal staff guide their practice.

As a matter of necessity, there are three “renal GPs” in the team.  These are qualified GPs credentialed for independent practice who have also gained specific expertise in the nuanced management of chronic renal disease and other medical conditions affecting kidney function.  In a region the size of Germany, this works in a shared care model.

KRS has also been designed to conduct scheduled outreach to communities.  In doing so, this KRS multidisciplinary team does not cut across primary health care. Indeed, KRS has a shared care model that requires a strong foundation in primary health care to work.  This partnership is best when there are common values, clear team arrangements and community control.  Clinical medical records are shared. The renal team offers in-service training, both formal and informal, any time they are visiting a location for regular community outreach visits.  There can be telephone enquiries about patients at any time.

Another part of this service addresses community engagement and life-saving prevention. There are approximately 2,800 people known to KRS who are in Stages 1 to 3 of chronic renal disease across the region.  It is this commitment to prevention that will stem the tide of future incidence.

KAMS is looking outwards and wants to ensure none of these people in Stages 1, 2 or 3 progress to the more critical Stages 4 or 5.  Currently, there are 138 people progressing to End Stage Kidney Disease.  These patients will require haemodialysis within the next 12 to 18 months.  This will more than double the caseload.  With this projection, people are asking why the region does not yet have at least one full-time residential nephrologist.  Addressing this unresolved aspect of medical workforce planning and distribution nationally is critical to successful chronic disease management, and achieving equity of access to renal replacement therapy that our people deserve.

Having visited the Kimberley last week, I was most impressed by the commitment to evidence-based renal disease management through Australia’s first community-controlled renal healthcare service. Speaking with staff and community, the best outcomes are coming through with community-controlled primary health care.  Indeed, this KAMS model can’t work unless there is a strong foundation of community-controlled primary health care.

I learned last week that some of the greatest frustrations occur when primary health care is understaffed, especially when members of the primary health care team are pulled off chronic disease management for a different priority, OR when locum staff don’t handover properly and neglect to check critical pathology results.  These “stop-start” dynamics in primary health care are seen in all settings across the country.  They compromise shared care models.  They are also unsafe for patient care.

For this reason, NACCHO is leading national projects to ensure that core services are fully funded in primary health care and deliver the outcomes our people deserve.

NACCHO supports statements by various governments to transition Aboriginal primary health care to community control.   Successful transition of one local primary health care service in East Arnhem from government management to community control achieved a 400% (yes, FOUR hundred percent) increase in episodes of care within five years.  This community engaged with an Aboriginal community-controlled primary health care service in a way that increased health checks beyond the national average.  More babies were born with healthy weights.  You, in the audience, know better than me the importance of healthy human development right from the beginning of conception to ensure healthy kidneys for life!

Every which way    you look at renal disease    in Aboriginal people, the only solutions that will work in the long term are those that are Aboriginal–led, culturally responsive, located in Aboriginal organisations and evaluated through an Aboriginal lens.

As I have described, Danila Dilba and KAMS show you the proven capacity of community control to deliver results and accelerate outcomes for people with chronic renal disease.  Both services have people sharing their experiences at this conference.  Keep an eye out for their presentations.

To our non-Indigenous supporters in the audience today, I believe these examples about HOW we want to work together will be inspiring. Please expand your discussions during the conference with a positive acknowledgement of community control, and the rights we have as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to shape our own destiny, to partner with you as equals in service delivery, and to be accountable.

So that covers the WHY and the HOW.

I want to talk about WHEN.

WHEN should we start working differently together? 

The answer is right now.

An historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap has been signed between COAG and the national Coalition of Peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisations.  Now, for the first time, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through their peak representatives will share decision making with governments on Closing the Gap.

This Partnership Agreement has created a high-level COAG Joint Council for Indigenous Affairs.

This Joint Council is made up of 22 members.  That means a Minister from the Commonwealth Government, a Minister from each State and Territory Governments, and a representative from local government. This makes up ten members.

What about the other twelve?

The Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Bodies has ensured that the majority of members on this Joint Council are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander representatives.  Chosen by us, in the majority, working for our mobs.

The Joint Council has three reform priorities.  These are:

  1. Establishing shared formal decision making between Australian governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the State/Territory, regional and local level to embed ownership, responsibility and expertise on Closing the Gap.
  2. Building and strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations to deliver services and programs in priority areas.
  3. Ensuring all mainstream government agencies and institutions undertake systemic and structural transformation to contribute to Closing the Gap.

This commitment to equal partnership through COAG has brought us to the table.  There’s no going back.

The Joint Council also agreed to the Coalition of Peaks leading engagements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to ensure others can have a say on the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.  Surveys are out now and can be submitted anytime by Friday 25 October.

So to close my presentation to you today, a final reflection.

I am mindful that the Bulletin of the World Health Organization recently carried an article stating that kidney disease is ‘THE most neglected chronic disease’.

….. but neglected by whom?

Certainly NOT by anyone in THIS audience!

I applaud your dedication and your hard work.  By being here in Alice Springs, your commitment to better health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia is visible and much appreciated.

I know this issue is complex and no doubt frustrating.  Occasionally, you must feel completely demoralized in your work.  The Society’s Performance Report recognizes there is ‘no easy fix’.

But please be strengthened by the WHY, the HOW and the WHEN I have described today.

Working together, we can achieve even more than my uncle ever imagined.

National : Closing the Gap / Have your say CTG deadline extended to Friday, 8 November 2019.

 

The engagements are now in full swing across Australia and this is generating more interest than we had anticipated in our survey on Closing the Gap.

The Coalition of Peaks has had requests from a number of organisations across Australia seeking, some Coalition of Peak members and some governments for more time to promote and complete the survey.

We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have their say on what should be included in a new agreement on Closing the Gap so it is agreed to extend the deadline for the survey to Friday, 8 November 2019.

This will help build further understanding and support for the new agreement and will not impact our timeframes for negotiating with government as we were advised at the most recent Partnership Working Group meeting that COAG will not meet until early 2020.

There is a discussion booklet that has background information on Closing the Gap and sets out what will be talked about in the survey.

The survey will take a little bit of time to complete. It would be great if you can answer all the questions, but you can also just focus on the issues that you care about most.

To help you prepare your answers, you can look at a full copy here

The survey is open to everyone and can be accessed here:

https://www.naccho.org.au/programmes/coalition-of-peaks/have-your-say/

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #HaveYourSayCTG #ClosingTheGap New @OxfamAustralia report shows #self-determined First Peoples like our ACCHO’s are In Good Hands : Download HERE

“ Not only will this give First Peoples a sense of empowerment, control and indeed sovereignty, as the case studies in this report show, this approach will also help to address the systemic disadvantage that is a consequence of Australian history.

Sadly, Australia’s current approach lags well behind similar countries in closing the health and well-being gaps endured by First Peoples around the world.

Oxfam Australia is calling on State and Federal governments to empower and fund local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to allow them to build on traditional knowledge and culture when delivering services,” 

National Manager for Oxfam’s First Peoples’ Program, Ngarra Murray, said preferencing Aboriginal organisations was essential in working towards a future underpinned by the principles of self-determination, community-control and effective service delivery to the First Peoples of Australia.

Download the Report HERE 

2019-AP-001-IN_GOOD_HANDS_FINAL_FA_WEB

“We walk and work in two worlds . We have a far better grasp of the issues faced by these communities. We shouldn’t be overlooked because we are an Aboriginal medical service.”

Acting Chief Executive Jo Grant says in the report that Katungul ACCHO staff had a much deeper understanding of the issues facing the Aboriginal people of the region

Government policies that empower local Aboriginal communities and build on traditional knowledge and culture to deliver services generally produce better results and should become the policy norm in Australia, according to a landmark report released today by Oxfam Australia.

The report, In Good Hands, shows how programs that embrace the principle of self-determination have been rolled out extensively in the United States and other countries with similar historical settings, with better outcomes for Indigenous people than those achieved in Australia.

However, the report also demonstrates that successive Australian governments have instead taken a top- down approach and ignored advice from their own experts on how to effectively tackle the systemic disadvantage and poverty that afflicts too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The Oxfam report captures numerous case studies that demonstrate why community-based services are best placed to respond to the complex needs of First Peoples.

The unique network of more than 145 Aboriginal medical services is a prime example of how trusted organisations that are grounded in community and culture deliver results that improve health outcomes – and at the same time can reduce the demand on the hospital system.

The report cites new data showing an impressive 30 per cent reduction in preventable hospitalisations in the region where Katungul Aboriginal Medical Service operates on New South Wales’ south coast in the six years to 2016-17, compared with a rise of 20 per cent for the entire NSW population.

In Western Australia, the Ngalla Maya employment service has placed more than 300 ex-prisoners into jobs by taking an approach that is grounded in traditional culture.

Former prisoner and now Chief Executive Mervyn Eades explained: “The cultural stuff, mentoring, that is the heart of our project.

We talk a lot about culture. A lot of the young ones don’t have identity in heritage and the self-worth in being part of the oldest culture in the world; they haven’t been taught and told, the stories haven’t been handed down to empower them.”

The report highlights that despite these results, many Aboriginal organisations are forced to navigate a never- ending treadmill of grant applications and changing funding streams to keep their lights on and staff paid.

“Oxfam Australia is calling on State and Federal governments to empower and fund local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to allow them to build on traditional knowledge and culture when delivering services,” Ms Murray said.

Have your say about what is needed to make real change in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mob #HaveYourSay about #closingthegapCTG

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people know what works best for us.

We need to make sure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth voices are reflected and expertise is recognised in every way at every step on efforts to close the gap in life outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.’

‘The Coalition of Peaks is leading the face to face discussions, not governments.

The Peaks are asking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth to tell us what should be included in a new Closing the Gap agreement and we will take this to the negotiating table.’

There is a discussion booklet that has background information on Closing the Gap and sets out what will be talked about in the survey.

The survey will take a little bit of time to complete. It would be great if you can answer all the questions, but you can also just focus on the issues that you care about most.

To help you prepare your answers, you can look at a full copy here

The survey is open to everyone and can be accessed here:

https://www.naccho.org.au/programmes/coalition-of-peaks/have-your-say/

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health #WorldMentalHealthDay 2019: NACCHO recognises the foundations are in place to Closing the #MentalHealth Gap, but the work lies ahead. @cbpatsisp @MenziesResearch #ClosingtheGap #HaveyourSayCTG

“Our people experience very high levels of psychological stress at almost three times the rate of other Australians and are twice as likely to commit suicide.

At the heart of suicide is a sense of helplessness and powerlessness, which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience across multiple domains in direct response to their intractable circumstances.

Almost all of our people who die of suicide are living below the poverty line.

Our children are four times more likely to kill themselves in comparison with other Australian children.

In 2018, suicide was the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, accounting for more than a quarter of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child deaths.”

NACCHO CEO Pat Turner AM highlighting the most vulnerable victims of this mental health crisis

Read over 230 Aboriginal Mental Health articles published by NACCHO over past 7 years 

Read over 150 Aboriginal Health and Suicide articles published by NACCHO over past 7 years

” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will have greater support for their wellbeing with the release of a video in nine Aboriginal languages and in Aboriginal English during Mental Health Week.

Led by Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) and in collaboration with Indigenous communities, “Yarning About Mental Health:

Becoming Better, Becoming Stronger” aims to support the wellbeing of Indigenous communities by drawing on the strength and resilience of communities to promote mental health and wellbeing

See Menzies Press Release and English video version Part 2 below

Download this NACCHO Press Release in PDF HERE

NACCHO is marking World Mental Health Day by emphasising the importance of the 2019 theme and focus, suicide prevention.

In Australia, the rate of suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities continues to grow.

NACCHO believes that suicide prevention initiatives must incorporate culturally safe, holistic approaches that are co-designed with communities, and which consider the physical, emotional, spiritual and cultural wellbeing of individuals and families.

Professor Pat Dudgeon, Director of the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Director, said, “The evidence shows that Indigenous cultural strengths already provide an overarching foundation for the national effort ahead. These strengths contribute to what we call our ‘social and emotional wellbeing’. Strong families, strong communities and strong cultures and cultural identity support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental (and indeed physical) health.”

There is a range of evidence which demonstrates that community-led initiatives, exemplified by the values, beliefs and services of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), are critical for designing programs that strengthen Social and Emotional Wellbeing and promote healing.

Ms Turner stated, “Our ACCHOs deliver culturally safe, trauma-informed services in communities dealing with the extreme social and economic disadvantage that are affected by intergenerational trauma, but they need more support. Our services know what’s happening on the ground, and the help that our communities need and that is why government funding is so vital.”

NACCHO understands harnessing the global momentum on World Mental Health Day is critical to ensure productive and culturally meaningful solutions are resourced and delivered to drive suicide rates down within Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities.

“NACCHO urges the Commonwealth Government to continue providing support for the national suicide prevention trials in 12 communities by looking at the learnings and how they can transition the successful elements into ongoing funding and programs,” Ms Turner stated.

Part 2 : Media Release Menzies School of Health Research : New resource to promote mental health and wellbeing in Indigenous communities featured during Mental Health Week

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will have greater support for their wellbeing with the release of a video in nine Aboriginal languages and in Aboriginal English during Mental Health Week.

Led by Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) and in collaboration with Indigenous communities, “Yarning About Mental Health: Becoming Better, Becoming Stronger” aims to support the wellbeing of Indigenous communities by drawing on the strength and resilience of communities to promote mental health and wellbeing.

The short video provides information about common mental illnesses and delivers strength- based messages about staying strong and seeking help.

According to project lead, Associate Professor Tricia Nagel, releasing the video during Mental Health Week where the focus is on ‘Do you see what I see’, is very appropriate.

“People tell us that story telling in a way that shares strengths and cultural values, and includes local people and language, is the best way to share wellbeing messages – and that is what this video is all about,” A/Prof Nagel said.

“The video describes key mental health concepts and uses imagery designed to resonate with Indigenous people, drawing on connections to country and kin.”

Menzies Indigenous researcher, Jahdai Vigona says the video has been designed for use by wellbeing service providers and within communities to talk about wellbeing and ways to stay strong.

“It makes talking about mental health more accessible and the discussion more relevant to community members,” Mr Vigona said.
The video is now available on YouTube in nine Aboriginal languages and in Aboriginal English here.

The project was supported by funding from the Australian Government through the Primary Health Network Program.

Menzies’ full suite of mental health resources dedicated to Indigenous wellbeing can be found at www.menzies.edu.au/mentalhealthresources

Part 3 : Have your say about mental health / suicide prevention and what is needed to make real change in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people #HaveYourSay about #closingthegap

There is a discussion booklet that has background information on Closing the Gap and sets out what will be talked about in the survey.

The survey will take a little bit of time to complete. It would be great if you can answer all the questions, but you can also just focus on the issues that you care about most.

To help you prepare your answers, you can look at a full copy here

The survey is open to everyone and can be accessed here:

https://www.naccho.org.au/programmes/coalition-of-peaks/have-your-say/

NACCHO Aboriginal #MentalHealth Download @NMHC National Report 2019 Released today : The Australian Government encourages PHNs to position Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services as preferred providers for mental health and suicide prevention services for our mob

” Working to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a priority area for PHNs.

The PHN Advisory Panel Report recommended that PHN funds for mental health and suicide prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be provided directly to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) as a priority, unless a better arrangement can be demonstrated.

The Senate Inquiry into the accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia also made a similar recommendation.

PHNs should continue to work on formalising partnerships with ACCHS.

The NMHC supports the recommendations made by both these reports and recommends that the Australian Government encourages PHNs to position ACCHS as preferred providers for mental health and suicide prevention services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people “

Extract from Page 14 

Recommendation 16: The Australian Government encourages PHNs to position Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services as preferred providers for mental health and suicide prevention services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The National Mental Health Commission today released its National Report 2019 on Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention system, including recommendations to improve outcomes.

Download the full 97 Page Report HERE 

National_Report_2019

or 9 Page Summary HERE 

National Report 2019 Summary – Accessible PDF

The Commission continues to recommend a whole-of-government approach to mental health and suicide prevention.

This broad approach ensures factors which impact individuals’ mental health and wellbeing such as housing, employment, education and social justice are addressed alongside the delivery of mental health care.

National Mental Health Commission Advisory Board Chair, Lucy Brogden, said we are living in a time when we’re seeing unprecedented investment and interest in making substantial improvements to our mental health system.

“Current national reforms are key, but complex, interrelated and broad in scope, and will take time before their implementation leads to tangible change for consumers and carers,” Mrs Brogden said.

“The National Report indicates while there are significant reforms underway at national, state and local levels, it’s crucial that we maintain momentum and implement these recommendations to ensure sustained change for consumers and carers.”

National Mental Health Commission CEO Christine Morgan said the National Report findings align with what Australians are sharing as part of the Connections Project, which has provided opportunities for the Commission to hear directly from consumers, carers and families, as well as service providers, about their experience of the current mental health system.

“What’s clear is we must remain focused on long term health objectives. Implementation of these targeted recommendations will support this focus,” Ms Morgan said.

The NMHC recommendations require collaboration across the sector.  As part of its ongoing monitoring and report role, the NMHC will work with stakeholders to identify how progress of the recommendations can be measured.

For your nearest ACCHO contact for HELP 

NACCHO Aboriginal #EyeHealth : @FredHollows Foundation launches new Five Year Country strategy investing at least $40 million to close the eye health gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

While we have made significant progress over the last decade, we still have much more to do to achieve full eye health equity.

Fred was passionate about partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and involving them in health programs that affected them.

This is a huge focus for us over the next five years, to empower Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services by giving them the support and tools they need to provide their own quality eye health services.

Last year, The Fred Hollows Foundation contributed to more than 1,000 cataract surgeries for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and doubled the number of cataract surgeries in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory.

We thank the Australian Government and our partners for supporting our work and we ask that they join in our efforts to close the gap on eye health for good.”

Launching the strategy on The Foundation’s 27th Anniversary, Indigenous Australia Program Manager Shaun Tatipata pictured above said Australia’s First Peoples are three times more likely to go blind than other Australians and 12 times more likely to have cataract, the world’s leading cause of blindness

The launch was held at the Aboriginal Medical Service in Sydney’s Redfern, to which Fred donated resources when it was first established.

Read over 50 Aboriginal Eye Health articles published by NACCHO over past 7 years

See the Indigenous Australia Program Five Year Country Strategy here: Or Download

Indigenous-Australia-Strategy-2020-2024

The Fred Hollows Foundation pledges its biggest ever investment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health

The Fred Hollows Foundation today committed its biggest ever investment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health with the launch of its new Indigenous Australia Program Five Year Country Strategy.

The strategy will see The Foundation invest at least $40 million over the next five years to closing the eye health gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Dignitaries present included Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney and Gabi Hollows AO, Founding Director of The Foundation.

The Foundation’s CEO Ian Wishart said Fred’s pioneering spirit was very much alive in the new Country Strategy, which seeks to identify and test better ways to address challenges.

“Empowerment is at the heart of what we do, and today is about empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples by giving their eye health an ambitious way forward,” Mr Wishart said.

See the Indigenous Australia Program Five Year Country Strategy here: [link]

For more resources, including The Foundation’s Spring Appeal video featuring Sally from Katherine, see: https://www.hollows.org/au/spring-appeal

Highlights of the new Indigenous Australia Program Five Year Country Strategy:

The Fred Hollows Foundation’s new Indigenous Australia Program Five Year Country Strategy is underpinned by five goals and five objectives.

Our initiatives align with the Strong Eyes, Strong Communities plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health, developed by members of Vision 2020 Australia.

Goals

  • Goal 1: Effective cataract treatment is accessible to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  • Goal 2: Trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, is eliminated from Australia.
  • Goal 3: Effective refractive error prevention and treatment is accessible to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  • Goal 4: Effective and timely treatment for diabetic retinopathy and other eye conditions is accessible to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Objectives

  • Strengthen regional eye health services.
  • Train and strengthen the eye health workforce.
  • Strengthen eye care in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.
  • Finally eliminate trachoma.
  • Ensure governments adopt The Strong Eyes, Strong communities

Extra Resources and Save a date Webinar from Healthinfonet

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, in collaboration with The Fred Hollows Foundation, has launched a series of knowledge exchange tools about eye screening and care.

These new resources provide a broad overview of the screening services available for eye health and outline the roles of various professionals such as regional eye health coordinators, optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Each product has been designed as a useful tool for health workers and practitioners working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to assist in understanding the eye care journey.

This series of knowledge exchange products includes:

  • fact sheet for a comprehensive summary of eye screening and care (four pages)
  • an in brief fact sheet for quick, easy-to-digest bites of information (one page)
  • a short animated video offering educational information in an audio-visual format.

To complement the release of these eye health resources, the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet and The Fred Hollows Foundation will host a webinar featuring a special guest presenter Dr. Kristopher Rallah-Baker, Australia’s first Indigenous ophthalmologist.

The webinar, titled ‘Eye screening and care: treatment pathways and professional roles along that pathway’, will take place on at 12:00pm AEST on Wednesday 25 September 2019 and will include a Q & A session with Dr Rallah-Baker.

Participants are invited to register their interest prior to the event with the webinar organiser

Webinar Organiser
Tamara Swann
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Ph: (08) 6304 6158
Email: t.swann@ecu.edu.au

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Ice #ClosingTheGap : Some call it an epidemic, others call it the “Ice Age”. What ever you call it , it is destroying families, and Indigenous culture

“You need to trust us to be able to deliver a service to our own people linked in with culture. Who are the right people to deliver that? Our people.

I have seen it a thousand times over. Once they are addicted to ice, culture’s gone, you don’t care about your kids, your primary focus is ‘I need this drug.’ It is worse than heroin.

Ice has a terrible impact on the family. Yet there was nothing to explain to families “why all your stuff is being sold at the pawn shop” and how to get help “

Tanya Bloxsome, a Waddi Waddi woman of the Yuin, who is chief executive of a residential rehabilitation service for men, Oolong House

Read over 60 Aboriginal Health and Ice articles published by NACCHO

Originally published SMH Julie Power

It makes Nowra grandmother Janelle Burnes’ day when her grandson Lucas* says, “Nanny, you’ve got a beautiful smile. I love you.”

The Wiradjuri woman has been punched and kicked by eight-year-old Lucas, who hears voices and suffers psychosis.

Janelle Burnes had to give up work to care for her eight-year-old grandson. He suffers from a range of mental illnesses, including psychosis, attributed to his parents’ ice addictions.

Abandoned by his mother as a baby, Lucas has fetal alcohol and drug syndrome attributed to his parents’ ice use when he was conceived.

Experts told the NSW special commission of inquiry into ice in Nowra last week that they were increasingly seeing multiple generations of users living together, exposing children to violence, neglect, abuse and witnessing sex and drug use by intoxicated adults.

Some call it an epidemic, others call it the “Ice Age”.

When Lucas hit his grandmother over the head with a guitar, she didn’t yell at him. Determined to stop the boy from becoming part of another generation broken by ice, Ms Burnes ignored the blood running down her face and the waiting ambulance.

“I walked back to him, I hugged him, I cuddled him, I told him, ‘You are going to hurt Nanny if you do stuff like that.’ And I gave him a kiss and I told him I still loved him.”

Ice is a stronger and more addictive stimulant than speed, the powder form of methamphetamine, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation says. It causes aggression, psychosis, stroke, heart attacks and death. It causes confusion, making it nearly impossible to get a rational response from someone under the drug’s influence.

Tanya Bloxsome, chief executive of Oolong House, a residential rehabilitation service where more than 90 per cent of its male residents have been addicted to ice. CREDIT:LOUISE KENNERLEY

Ms Burnes doesn’t blame Lucas for his behaviour, but ice. It is destroying Indigenous and non-Indigenous families across the Shoalhaven region. It is also destroying Indigenous culture.

To recover, Indigenous leaders say they have to develop role models and restore pride in their identity.

“You need to trust us to be able to deliver a service to our own people linked in with culture. Who are the right people to deliver that? Our people,” said Tanya Bloxsome, a Waddi Waddi woman of the Yuin, who is chief executive of a residential rehabilitation service for men, Oolong House.

“I have seen it a thousand times over. Once they are addicted to ice, culture’s gone, you don’t care about your kids, your primary focus is ‘I need this drug.’ It is worse than heroin.

“Ice has a terrible impact on the family,” she said. Yet there was nothing to explain to families “why all your stuff is being sold at the pawn shop” and how to get help.

Nearly two-thirds of 52 Indigenous and non-Indigenous children placed in out-of-home care in the Nowra region in the past year were removed because of ice use by their parents. It was also a “risk factor” in about 40 per cent of the 124 families working with Family and Community Services’ case managers.

When Indigenous groups met the commission last week, they said they needed more culturally appropriate programs, rehabilitation places and detoxification units (the closest are in Sydney, Canberra and Dubbo).

Indigenous Australians are more than 2.2 times as likely to take meth/amphetamine than other Australians.

In the opening address to the commission, Sally Dowling, SC, said the impacts of colonisation and dispossession, intergenerational trauma and socio-economic disadvantage had continued to contribute to high levels of amphetamine use in Indigenous communities.

Ice use in Nowra is not as bad as out west. But the region has seen the biggest year-on-year growth in arrests for possession and use since 2014, with a 31 per cent increase compared with 6 per cent across the state.

Cheaper than Maccas

Getting high on ice was “cheaper than going for Maccas”, said Nowra’s Aboriginal Medical Corporation’s substance abuse counsellor Warren Field, who runs a weekly men’s group for recovering addicts.

Ice had also become a “rite of passage” for some young people after they had received their first Centrelink payment or wage.

Mr Field said “99 per cent” of ice users had suffered some form of trauma. Nearly all had other mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.

“Everyone says there is nothing [like it] that will numb the pain and take the grief and loss away,” he said. It also makes women lose weight and gives men incredible sexual prowess.

“Most people are vulnerable when they go through a traumatic event and the Aboriginal community has had more than its fair share of that,” he said.

He argues they know what works – culturally appropriate rehabilitation which develops strong role models and a sense of identity. But there had to be more support when people came out of rehabilitation to stop them from relapsing.

The first year of rehabilitation was particularly hard. People in recovery were often depressed and their ability to feel happiness or pleasure without the drug was dulled.

Mr Field said “black fellas” were also unfairly targeted by police who, he argued, should spend more time closing the crack houses that “everyone” knew about.

 

At Oolong House, 21 men – 18 of whom were Indigenous – were getting themselves breakfast while 42-year-old Bobby McLeod jnr played guitar and a mate accompanied him on the didgeridoo.

More than 90 per cent of men in the program had been using ice, very often with other drugs, and increasingly with heroin, Ms Bloxsome said.

“Every addicted person who comes in here has a mental health issue,” she said. And residents addicted to ice were more psychotic than those addicted to other drugs.

Most residential programs are 12 weeks, but Oolong offers 16 weeks, and Ms Bloxsome believes even longer programs would be better. But like services up and down the South Coast, it can’t keep up with demand.

The program offered cognitive behavioural therapy, addressed mental and physical health, and encouraged the men to undertake training that would help them get work. Nearly all the men arrived with hepatitis C and those released from jail were, with few exceptions, addicted to the drug, bupe (buprenorphine).

The most powerful medicine, though, was getting back to culture by doing traditional dance, learning language and going on bush walks. After a lifetime in prison, Mr McLeod  said painting and writing songs about his life had helped his recovery.

When everything else was bad, ice had made him “feel invincible”. But it cost him his family and caused anxiety and depression, which made him feel suicidal.

His old man was a successful singer, his brother had travelled around the world with an Indigenous dance group, but he was the one who “went to jail”, Mr McLeod said.

Raising money for a funeral 

Ms Burnes lives in fear of a phone call telling her that Lucas’ 39-year-old mother is dead.

In anticipation of the inevitable – her nephew died earlier this year from a heart attack caused by his ice addiction – she is raising money for anticipated funeral costs.

Lucas’ mother has had three heart attacks caused by decades of addiction.

Janelle Byrnes is planning a funeral for her ice-addicted daughter. In a Facebook post, her 39-year-old daughter asks others to stop using ice. CREDIT:FACEBOOK

In a Facebook post, her daughter wrote about how her “huge addiction” had caused two heart attacks in two weeks.

“Now I’ve got to plan my funeral just in case I don’t make the next,” she wrote. “That’s not the saddest thing. It is listening to my mum cry and plan it with me. ”

“If U love your family reconsider having that pipe or putting that needle in your arm,” Ms Burnes’ daughter said.

In the meantime, Ms Burnes does everything she can to provide a stable home for Lucas.

She quit her job of 22 years as an Aboriginal education officer to care for her grandson, to ensure he gets to doctors’ appointments and maintain his schooling.

She’s been working with him to maintain his good results in reading and spelling, despite frequent suspensions for getting into fights, so he has a chance of fulfilling his dream of becoming a police officer.

* name changed

With additional reporting by Louise Kennerley.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #NRW2019 Our CEO Pat Turner Interview : Could @KenWyattMP historic Ministerial appointment be truly transformational for our mob #ClosingTheGap #Refresh and the #Voice

“Closing the Gap and the Voice are the two big issues, they’re separate but complimentary, and they can run in parallel. We want both. We want a real say over our lives. We have to be at the negotiating table.”

The Aboriginal heath sector is the biggest employer of Aboriginal people in Australia.

By investing in Aboriginal community controlled health organisations, they are investing in communities but they’re also employing Aboriginal people in real jobs.

They need to remove the punitive welfare measures immediately. they make absolutely no sense. It’s accountability gone mad. We’ve offered him a briefing, we’re looking forward to a positive working partnership, and for the ministry to be properly funded.”

It was well past time to get moving on the voice to parliament.

We are more than ready to finalise the model with our own people, and get out in the broader Australian community and have the conversations with them about why it’s important.

The PM said he wouldn’t be rushed on the matter of the voice, but the PM has to take a leadership role. When has he got the best chance of getting things done? In the first term. There’s no reason why we have to wait.”

CEO the National Coalition of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (NACCHO), Pat Turner said Wyatt had a big job ahead, facing “massive expectations” on all sides. Pat also co-chairs the joint council on Closing the Gap, a 10 year agreement between Australian governments and Aboriginal organisations to work together on solutions

Watch ABC TV News interview with Pat Turner

” When I saw Ken’s tweet about his appointment on Sunday, my heart grew big with pride. It was a welcome joy on a day that is always hard and sad – Sorry Day – the day we remember the pain and heartache of the stolen generations and all the histories and reverberations through families that came from this terrible period of pain, inflicted on First Australians by the government.

There is deep significance in Ken’s appointment being announced on Sorry Day, given his own family was directly affected by the then government’s actions.

Ken brings a depth of experience in Aboriginal education, health and policy, but of course the one thing he has that none of the previous office holders have ever had is that he is Indigenous. “

Dr Jessa Rogers is a Wiradjuri academic, consultant and board director based in Adelaide : see full article Part 2 Below

Part 1 from The Guardian 

Praise, hope and high expectation have followed the appointment of Noongar man Ken Wyatt as minister for Indigenous Australians in the new Morrison government.

Wyatt is the first Aboriginal person to hold the federal ministry, and the first Aboriginal person to sit in cabinet.

In a statement Wyatt said he was “incredibly honoured to be the first Aboriginal minister for Indigenous Australians, committed to working and walking together with our elders, families and communities, to ensure the greatness of our many nations is reflected in the greatness of the Australian nation, now and forever”.

The appointment, made on national Sorry Day and at the start of Reconciliation Week, has been welcomed by Aboriginal organisations and advocates, hopeful of progress on constitutional reform, a voice to parliamentClosing the Gap targets and long-standing welfare, health and justice issues.

Wyatt arrived in Canberra on Monday from his home state of Western Australia amid speculation about how he might consult Indigenous organisations and communities.

Scott Morrison said a new “national Indigenous Australians agency” would be established, but details are yet to be announced.

Nor would the prime minister give a timeframe for a referendum on constitutional reform and a voice to parliament.

The federal government has set aside $7.3m for co-design, and while Morrison said the work would start immediately, he would not set a deadline for a result.

“I’m committed to getting an outcome on recognition, but we need to work together across the aisle and across our communities to get an outcome that all Australians can get behind and we’ll take as long as is needed to achieve that,” Morrison said.

“My priorities for Indigenous Australians are to ensure Indigenous kids are in school and getting an education, that young Indigenous Australians are not taking their own lives and that there are real jobs for Indigenous Australians so they can plan for their future with confidence like any other Australian.

“Recognition must be achieved alongside these practical goals and we will continue to work together.”

Newly minted Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the ALP was ready to advance the agenda of the Uluru statement in a bipartisan manner.

“Our nation is diminished by not recognising first Australians in our constitution. And while Indigenous Australians are the most disadvantaged in our nation, Labor stands ready to cooperate on how we advance the agenda of the Uluru statement,” Albanese said.

The Greens also said a voice should happen without delay. Senator Rachel Siewert said Wyatt’s appointment was a “positive step towards self-determination”.

The social justice commissioner and fellow Western Australian, June Oscar, said Wyatt’s appointment was “truly historic”.

“Ken Wyatt carries the hopes and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country, and we look forward to working together,” Oscar said.

The co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Rod Little, said Wyatt’s appointment “heightens our hope that things will be different”.

“We have hope every time there’s an election. We hope there are people who can work with us, who we can trust, who know how our communities are feeling, and we need somebody who is trustworthy and honest who is going to take on the challenges to make our lives better.”

Chief executive of the National Coalition of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (Naccho), Pat Turner said Wyatt had a big job ahead, facing “massive expectations” on all sides.

The first Indigenous member of the House of Representatives Ken Wyatt delivers his maiden speech to the House of Representatives in Canberra, 29 September 2010

Part 2 Ken Wyatt’s historic appointment could be truly transformational for Indigenous Australians : from Jessa Rogers

Also from The Guardian 

For the first time the final approval on policies and funding which affect our lives will be made by an Indigenous person

Ken Wyatt was announced the minister of Indigenous affairs on Sunday, which was also Sorry Day. Wyatt’s own family was part of the stolen generations. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Scott Morrison has made an historic appointment early in his new term as prime minister that has the potential to radically alter the way Indigenous policy is made in Canberra.

One hundred and eighteen years after the commonwealth of Australia was formed we finally have our first ever minister of Indigenous affairs (now appropriately called minister for Indigenous Australians) who is actually Indigenous. Ken Wyatt, who in 2010 was the first Aboriginal man to be elected to the House of Representatives, has made history again. And while I do not know him well, I know he is a decent man with a heart for the people.

Some may argue that this appointment is merely symbolic given any major policy direction is likely to require the approval of the cabinet, but the minister for Indigenous Australians will have significant influence over major government programs and resources.

Ken brings a depth of experience in Aboriginal education, health and policy, but of course the one thing he has that none of the previous office holders have ever had is that he is Indigenous. And we now no longer have a non-Indigenous person with no experience in our world, making and influencing important decisions on our behalf.

This is the first time senior officials in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (where Indigenous Affairs is currently based) will have to answer to an Indigenous person. This will be the first time the final approval on policies and hundreds of millions of dollars will be made by an Indigenous person.

Having spent over a decade working in schools and universities where the people who hold the power to make the key decisions that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff are almost always non-Indigenous, I am encouraged to think that this decision by Scott Morrison is more than just symbolic. It has the potential to be truly transformational.

The first Indigenous member of the House of Representatives, Ken Wyatt, delivers his maiden speech on 29 September 2010. On Sunday Wyatt was appointed the first ever minister of Indigenous affairs.

For many years now, I have had an image board of inspirational people, moments and quotes in my office. Ken Wyatt has been on that board, his image taken in September 2010, when he took his seat as member for Hasluck wearing a kangaroo skin.

That image made me proud then, as I know it did for many people. That symbol of leadership, presented by Elders, showed so much of what it means to be an Aboriginal person who also represents a wide and diverse group of Australians in his home electorate.

The picture I had of Ken delivering his first speech always reminded me of the important points he made that day, in particular his recollection of the apology. It brought tears to my eyes, and something burned inside me when he said that the standing orders at that point prevented an Indigenous response.

So during that speech, cloaked in kangaroo skin, Ken said: “On behalf of my mother, her siblings and all Indigenous Australians, I, as an Aboriginal voice in this chamber, say thank you for the apology delivered in the federal parliament.” That voice in the chamber was so important, just as his voice as minister for Indigenous Australians will be now.

‘I feel like Labor was the only hope for our mob’: Indigenous people cannot feel defeated

I have raised my children to believe that we as Aboriginal people cannot let negative opinions, low expectations or stereotypes hold us back from achieving our goals. We have the power to shape our futures, even though we still have a long road ahead of us

As Ken has said, the decisions we make determine our destiny, and the choices we make shape our future. We need to work hard towards a world where Indigenous people can determine our own destinies, but also take time to celebrate the wins, when we have them.

So, today I am celebrating Ken’s appointment as a step in the right direction for the newly elected government, and for us as Indigenous peoples in Australia.

I am hoping this appointment will bring about more than just symbolic change, because we need more than that to improve our lives as Indigenous Australians.

NACCHO Members #VoteACCHO #Election2019 #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : #NSW @ahmrc @Galambila #Armajun ACCHO #VIC @VACCHO_org @VAHS1972 #NT @CAACongress #KatherineWest #QLD @DeadlyChoices #Gidgee #Mamu #SA #ACT

Feature Article this week from Apunipima ACCHO Cape York leading the way vaccinating the mob against the flu at no cost to the patient

1.1 National :  Report from the recent Close the Gap for Vision by 2020: Strengthen & Sustain National Conference 2019 hosted by AMSANT released

1.2 National : Survey Yarning with New Media Technology:
Mediatisation and the emergence of the First Australians’ cyber-corroboree.

1.3 NACCHO calls on all political parties to include these 10 recommendations in their election platforms

2.1 NSW : AHMRC April Edition of Message Stick is out now!

2.2 Brand new Ready Mob team and Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour CEO Reuben Robinson participate in Team Planning & Meet n’ Greet day.

2.3 NSW : Adam Marshall MP  catches up with the team from Inverell-based Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation to discuss their exciting $5.7 million expansion plans

3.1 VIC : VACCHO Launches its #Election 2019 Platform

3.2 VIC : VAHS ACCHO launches new new 2019 Deadly Choices Health Check Shirts

4.1 NT : Katherine West Health Board ACCHO prepare healthy lunches for the kids at Kalkarindji School everyday.

4.2 NT Congress farewells and thanks Sarah Gallagher from our Utju Health Service after 22 years of exceptional service as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner.

5.1 QLD : Gidgee Healing ACCHO Mt Isa Comms & Marketing team were up in Doomadgee this week attending the ‘Get Set for School 2020 & Career Expo

5.2 QLD : MAMU Health Service Innisfail celebrates 29 Years of Service to community 

5.3 QLD : Deadly Choices Patrick Johnson say winter is coming!! Book into your local Aboriginal Medical Service ASAP for your flu shot and health check.

6.1 SA : Morrison Government is providing almost $250,000 to three South Australian Aboriginal medical services to replace outdated patient information systems.

7.1 ACT : Download the April edition of our Winnunga ACCHO Newsletter.

8.1 WA: KAMS ACCHO as an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services encourages the use of traditional bush medicines

How to submit in 2019 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 Thursday /Friday

Feature Article this week from Apunipima ACCHO Cape York leading the way vaccinating the mob against the flu at no cost to the patient

The Federal Government has recently announced a program that will ensure almost 170,000 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents are vaccinated against the flu at no cost to the patient, with an additional provision of $12 million provided to boost a national immunisation education campaign.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children aged between 6 months and 14 years will have access to the influenza vaccine. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander experience a higher burden from influenza infection and are more likely to be hospitalised with the disease. This funding is a welcomed initiative.

The ‘Get the Facts about Immunisation’ campaign will be delivered over the next three years and will include a national television campaign, to help raise awareness around the benefits and importance of immunisation.

FOR MORE INFO about immunisation

1.1 National :  Report from the recent Close the Gap for Vision by 2020: Strengthen & Sustain National Conference 2019 hosted by AMSANT released

The conference report from the recent Close the Gap for Vision by 2020: Strengthen & Sustain National Conference 2019 held by Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) and co-hosted by Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) in Alice Springs on 14 and 15 March 2019.

We also include for your interest and information a two-page conference summary report and an A3 poster to celebrate activities at the Conference.

Over two days of the Conference, more than 220 delegates and over 60 speakers from all state and territories and including representation from community, local and regional services, state organisations, national peak and non-government agencies, and government came together to share, learn, and be inspired.

Conference attendance has grown significantly year to year since the first conference (+83%) held in Melbourne in 2017. This increase also reflects over 50 regions, covering more than 80% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, that are now engaged in activities to close the gap for vision.

IEH would like to thank everyone that attended and contributed to the Conference and especially the speakers for sharing their stories, thoughts and learnings. Congratulations again to our deserved 2019 Leaky Pipe Award winners.

The feedback IEH has received from delegates and speakers has been very positive and supports the joint commitment to close the gap for vision by 2020.

The Conference reports, presentations, photo gallery, and other supplementary materials can be accessed here on IEH website. Please feel free to forward this email and information to your colleagues and networks and we also continue to welcome your further feedback, input and commentary.

We will look forward to welcoming you to the next national conference planned in March 2020 and in the year ahead let’s keeping working together to close the gap for vision.

Hugh R Taylor AC
Harold Mitchell Chair of Indigenous Eye Health
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
The University of Melbourne

1.2 : National : Survey Yarning with New Media Technology:
Mediatisation and the emergence of the First Australians’ cyber-corroboree.

Throughout this study, we use the terms ‘First Australian’ or ‘Indigenous Australian’ when referring to people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, and ‘Peoples’ when referring to the collective group of Aboriginal nations.

We acknowledge the inadequacy of these homogenising Western terms used to describe such a diverse range of Peoples, languages and cultures.  However, we hope this terminology is sufficient for the purposes of this survey in describing the multi-dimensional relationship that this survey covers. We offer an unreserved apology in lieu of our inadequate terminology causing any undue annoyance or umbrage; this was not our intention.

Take the survey HERE

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FVPD3K6

Any questions or concerns should be addressed to:- keith.robinson2@griffithuni.edu.au

1.3 NACCHO calls on all political parties to include these 10 recommendations in their election platforms

NACCHO has developed a set of policy #Election2019 recommendations that if adopted, fully funded and implemented by the incoming Federal Government, will provide a pathway forward for improvements in our health outcomes.

We are calling on all political parties to include these recommendations in their election platforms and make a real commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and help us Close the Gap.

With your action and support of our #VoteACCHO campaign we can make the incoming Federal Government accountable.

See NACCHO Election 2019 Website

2.1 NSW : AHMRC April Edition of Message Stick is out now!

Welcome to the April edition of the Message Stick!

Yaama from me, Dr Merilyn Childs! I recently joined AH&MRC in the role of Senior Research Advisor. This means that I help researchers improve the quality of research applications before they are sent to the AH&MRC Ethics Committee. I’ll be providing Professional Learning Opportunities and resources for researchers, and feedback on applications where appropriate.

While I’m with AH&MRC 3 days a week, I have other roles. For example, I’m Honorary Associate Professor at Macquarie University, and I’m on Academic Board for the newly proposed College of Health Sciences at the Education Centre of Australia.

As I write this, I think of my mother Helen. When I was a child in the 1960s, Helen taught me about racism, stolen land, and stolen Aboriginal lives and languages. She was a passionate advocate of land rights. With her, and my two-year-old toddler, I marched as an ally of First Nations people on January 26th, 1988 in Sydney.

Two decades later at Charles Sturt University I was fortunate enough to work for some years with the amazing team embedding Indigenous Cultural Competence into curriculum. Because of them I continued the journey I began with my mother as I tried respectfully to develop ‘yindiamarra winhanga-nha’ – the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in, from the voices of the Wiradjuri people’. In 2015 I joined Macquarie University and collaborated with Walanga Muru colleagues to amplify Aboriginal voices in Higher Degree Research training.

I feel privileged to continue my journey working at AH&MRC with warm and amazing colleagues and with those of you I meet in the future, to improve the quality of research applications that are submitted to the AH&MRC Ethics Committee.

Read View HERE

2.2 Brand new Ready Mob team and Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour CEO Reuben Robinson participate in Team Planning & Meet n’ Greet day.

Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour CEO Reuben Robinson joined in the interactive activities and shared his vision for Ready Mob and Galambila  in moving forward in service of our communities. SEE FACEBOOK PAGE

2.3 NSW : Adam Marshall MP  catches up with the team from Inverell-based Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation to discuss their exciting $5.7 million expansion plans

Adam Marshall MP  catches up with the team from Inverell-based Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation to discuss their exciting $5.7 million expansion plans last week.

Armajun is planning to build a new and expanded health service centre next door to its current premises in River Street to cater for for patients and offer more health services to the community.

Part of this will be a $400,000 expanded dental clinic, which Adam will be approaching the State Government to fund.

Armajun provides services to many communities across the Northern Tablelands and do a wonderful job!

3.1 VIC : VACCHO Launches its #Election 2019 Platform

It’s out! We’ve just published our #auspol  #AusVotes2019  Election Platform.
Read all about what Aboriginal Communities need from the Federal Government to improve our health and wellbeing, to not just Close the Gap, but eliminate it all together.
Sustainability, Prevention Accountability to & for us.
Download HERE

3.2 : VAHS ACCHO launches new new 2019 Deadly Choices Health Check Shirts

VAHS, Essendon Football Club and The Long Walk have continued to work collaboratively that empowers our community to be more aware of their personal and family health by completing an annual health assessment.

An annual Health Assessment is a deadly way to monitor your own health and identify or prevent a chronic disease. Plus its 100% free if you complete this health assessment at VAHS. Anyone can complete an Health Check.

We have plenty of shirts for our mob all year, so don’t stress if you have completed an Health Check recently. You only allowed an annual Health Check every 9 months. Ring VAHS on 9419-3000 if you’re due for a health check.

Also we have another exciting news to announce very soon. Stay tune

4.1 NT : Katherine West Health Board ACCHO prepare healthy lunches for the kids at Kalkarindji School everyday.

This is Gabrielle and Mary they help prepare healthy lunches for the kids at Kalkarindji School everyday.  They are both great cooks and are working with myself to make their meals high iron and vitamin C so kids can have strong blood to learn and play.
#oneshieldforall

4.2 NT Congress farewells and thanks Sarah Gallagher from our Utju Health Service after 22 years of exceptional service as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner.

For 22 years with us, Sarah has been delivering culturally safe and responsive health care and programs to her people in the Utju community.

Born and raised in Utju, Sarah commenced her training as an AHP in the Utju Clinic, received her Certificate IV in AHP and progressed her career as a senior health practitioner and clinic manager.

In 2014 Sarah was a finalist at the ATSIHP Awards in the excellence in remote service delivery category. Sarah remains committed to the health and wellbeing of her people as elected Chairperson of the Utju Health Services board.

5.1 QLD : Gidgee Healing ACCHO Mt Isa Comms & Marketing team were up in Doomadgee this week attending the ‘Get Set for School 2020 & Career Expo’

Was lovely to see so many people and services attend this event. If you pop down to the Gidgee Healing stall Guy Douglas our new Practice Manager at Doomadgee Clinic, Andrew, Trish or Gavin would be happy to help you fill in birth registration forms. There are a few goodies also so please go check them out and say hello.

5.2 QLD : MAMU Health Service Innisfail celebrates 29 Years of Service to community 

5.3 QLD : Deadly Choices Patrick Johnson say winter is coming!! Book into your local Aboriginal Medical Service ASAP for your flu shot and health check.

Make a Deadly Choices a healthy choice and get your DC beanie.

I’m sporting my North Queensland Toyota Cowboysbeanie what DC beanie are you sporting? Institute of Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH)

6.1 SA : Morrison Government is providing almost $250,000 to three South Australian Aboriginal medical services to replace outdated patient information systems.

Picture Above Minister Ken Wyatt visit earlier this year 

Ensuring high quality primary health care, delivered in a culturally competent way, is a key to improving the health and wellbeing of First Australians.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said it was important that all medical services across Australia were provided with the right tool kit to do their work.

“As a result of this announcement three Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in Grey, Nunyara in Whyalla, Pika Wiya in Port Augusta and and the Ceduna Kooniba Health Service will receive assistance to install new “state-of-the-art” patient record keeping systems”, Mr Ramsey said. “The efficiency of any good health system is dependent on good record-keeping and accurate, easy-to-access patient information.

“Streamlined modern information systems will enable healthcare professionals to gain instant, secure, and efficient access to the medical and treatment histories of patients. This can be especially valuable where we have transingent populations as is particularly the case with some indigenous families.”

This funding through the Morrison Government’s Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme will contribute to new systems to provide better patient care.

Under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme, the Morrison Government funds around 140 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across Australia to provide culturally appropriate comprehensive primary health care services to First Australians.

The Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt said the Federal Government is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to develop practical, evidence-based policy and deliver programs that will make a real difference to the lives of First Australians.

”It is part of our focus on closing the gap and supporting culturally appropriate primary health care and programs,” Mr Wyatt said.

“Good health is a key enabler in supporting children to go to school, adults to lead productive working lives, and in building strong and resilient communities.”

The Morrison Government is providing $4.1 billion to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the next four years.

7.1 ACT : Download the April edition of our Winnunga ACCHO Newsletter.

 

April edition of our Winnunga Newsletter.

Read or Download Winnunga AHCS Newsletter April 2019 (1)

Please also note that the details for Winnunga’s National Sorry Day Bridge Walk for 2019 is included in this newsletter, so please Save the Date and join us.

8.1 WA: KAMS ACCHO as an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services encourages the use of traditional bush medicines

 ” Back in 2017 when I found some funding ($3,000) to start the idea of making some Bush medicine with a couple of ex- AHW’s at Balgo, was a very exciting time for us and them.

 The Bush medicines an integral part of Aboriginal culture and traditional customs.

Jamilah Bin Omar Acting SEWB Manager Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Ltd.

 As an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services encourages the use of traditional bush medicines and talk up the bush medicine information through the Certificate III and Cert. IV Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Program under the competency units;

  • Support the safe use of medicines
  • Administer medicines

Myself and Joanna Martin (Pharmacist) from the KAMS Pharmacy Support team spent one week in Balgo working with the community Women Elders to make three different types of bush medicines.  These were;

  • Piltji (used on all parts of the body to heal internal injuries, organs, arthritis and many other problems)
  • Ngurnu Ngurnu (used for cold and flu and rubbed on the chest and head)
  • Yapilynpa (used as a rub on the chest and head for the relief of colds and headaches)

At the completion, bush medicines became available in the Balgo Health Centre, for patients to select and use individually or in conjunction with western medicine.

The Bush Medicines program is an opportunity for KAMS staff to collaborate with community members.  It will provide a forum for traditional practices to be used and passed onto future generations.