“This is the start of a dialogue on a number of issues of concern, primarily violence, but not as an Aboriginal specific issue, but as an issue for the whole community.”
Congress Deputy CEO Des Rogers (picture above)
Tuesday September 10
from 6.30pm until 8.30pm in the Theatrette at Centralian Senior College.
Congress Alice Springs , who are the leading Aboriginal primary health care provider in Central Australia, are holding the forum in partnership with CASSE to promote an interactive dialogue between all groups in the Alice Springs community.
The aim is find solutions that will make the region a happier, healthier, safer environment in which to live and raise a family.
CASSE, which stands for “creating a safe, supportive environment” are partnering with Congress, who also provide extensive social and emotional wellbeing services, to understand and address issues of violence and underlying trauma that currently exist within the community.
A respected and experienced panel made up of psychoanalysts and psychiatrists with experience in community mediation at an international level, together with Aboriginal leaders, the mayor and a local leader of business have been assembled for the forum.
Lord John Alderdice, Professor Stuart Twemlow and Justice Jenny Blokland will be visiting Alice Springs to participate as panel members, while William Tilmouth, Donna Ah Chee, Julie Ross and Damien Ryan make up the local contingent.
Lord Alderdice and Professor Twemlow will add a global perspective to the forum with their experience in peace negotiations in Northern Ireland and successful violence reduction projects in the USA respectively.
Facilitated by Ms Olga Havnen, the event will be recorded by NITV.
After hearing from the panel, members of the community will be invited to discuss their concerns in a question and answer session in an opportunity to look at what we have, where we are at and where we
The televised public forum on Tuesday September 10 from 6.30pm until 8.30pm in the Theatrette at Centralian Senior College. The event is open to the public and will be enriched by attendance and representation from all sections of the community
For further information regarding the Walk In My Shoes Public Forum please contact:
Marah Prior, Executive Assistant, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation
PO Box 1604 Alice Springs NT 0871 | T. 08 8951 4401 | F. 08 8959 4717 | E. firstname.lastname@example.org
A related public forum will be held in Melbourne on Saturday 7 September entitled
Lord John Alderdice and Professor Stuart Twemlow will also be presenting at this forum.
Lord John Alderdice, psychiatrist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, previously Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, currently Convener of Liberal Democrat Party in the House of Lords, who played a significant role in initiating the dialogues that led to the Good Friday Accord and peace in Northern Ireland.
Professor Stuart Twemlow, Psychoanalyst, Professor of Mental Health Prevention, University of Kansas; an international authority in the application of psychoanalytic principles and systemic interventions to the prevention of bullying and violence.
“Both major parties say they are committed to Aboriginal health care – the NGO’s major activity – but until the dollar numbers are made public, there’s a question mark over the size of their commitment.
There are something like 15 health providers. This is ridiculous. We need to be working in partnership. I don’t give a hoot who gets the kudos out of that, as long as the outcomes for our clients is better.” Des Rogers
Des Rogers pictured above left with Dr Mark Wenitong and Kevin from Jimmy Little Foundation making recommendations at a recent Male health summit.
The wish list of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, for whomever will gain power in Canberra, contains not what it wants to get, but what it doesn’t want taken away.
In a swirl of rumored spending cuts, where will the money come from to drive the NGO’s newly chosen direction?
It is 40 years old, has a budget of $38m a year, for both town and “auspiced” services. More than 70% comes from the Feds. Congress has 300 employees, half of them Aboriginal. It has a new chairman (William Tilmouth), a new CEO (Donna Ah Chee) and a new Deputy CEO
The NGO has emerged from the bunker where the previous regime resided, until it got its marching orders after a string of scandals and a Federal review.
Both major parties say they are committed to Aboriginal health care – the NGO’s major activity – but until the dollar numbers are made public, there’s a question mark over the size of their commitment.
Congress now wants to go further, earning back a place in town it occupied decades ago, not only as the voice of Aboriginal people, but engaging with the broad community and economy.
On the health scene, care for children from conception to age four is a key part of the main mission, in tandem with an attack on domestic violence where the facts are horrendous, mostly “Aboriginal male violence on Aboriginal women,” says Mr Rogers.
“You only need to go to the hospital emergency department, or sit in the mall, and you’ll see young and old Aboriginal women who are bruised, battered and in some cases disabled because of violence.
“Because of customs, kinship and cultural law, particularly Aboriginal women on a community attract violence. They either end up dead or they walk into the desert and end up dead. We’ve got to do something about that.
“There are plenty of Aboriginal men who would love to stand up for Aboriginal women but they don’t get the opportunity.”
Mr Rogers quotes some figures from the Justice Department: mothers of NT children are 48 times more likely to be admitted to hospital for reasons of assault than all Australian women.
In 2009/10, more than 840 Aboriginal women had assault-related admissions to hospital in the NT, compared with 27 “other” women. In the year ending June 2012, the rate of “assault offences” recorded in Alice Springs was nearly six per 100 people (almost double the NT average). 68% of domestic violence is alcohol related. The rate of domestic violence assaults is 98% greater than the NT average.
Aboriginal women in the NT are 80 times more likely than other Australian women to be hospitalised as a result of assault.
But the news is not all bad, says Mr Rogers: “In the NT, in terms of Aboriginal health improvement, there has been a 30% decline in the all-cause mortality rate over the last decade or so, and we want to build on what is working, and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
Congress has a major clinic, open seven days a week; a male health unit, family partnership program, birthing centre and other programs. It has spread beyond the town limits, “auspicing” five bush clinics at Amoonguna, Santa Theresa, Areyonga, Hermannsburg and Mutitjulu.
Congress is seeking Aboriginal Benefits Account money for a truck carrying three small offices on the back for doctors, paramedics or social workers, which will do the rounds of communities, spending several weeks in each one, as long as it takes, finding out from the locals what their issues and concerns are.
“It could be alcohol, suicide, violence,” says Mr Rogers. “We’ll let the community come to us, encourage them through activities, kids, women, fellas.
“Then we would encourage other agencies which have the expertise to come out and talk to the community. It’s grassroots stuff. You might say it’s an Aboriginal problem. In fact it affects all of us, the town, the economy.”
Mr Rogers, currently on three months’ probation but willing to serve Congress for five years, says he has never been on the dole, has run a produce business for 13 years, “trained, employed and mentored more than 200 Aboriginal people” most of whom “went on to bigger and better things”.
He says some of his employees left because they didn’t like the hours – 4am starts: “On the Mondays, during footy season, I employed backpackers,” he says. “You needed to be flexible as an employer.”
He was briefly a town council alderman, and the Labor Party candidate last year in the NT seat of Namatjira. He’s had a hand in several other businesses, including hospitality and security services.
NEWS: What about self-help to end the blight of welfare dependency? Drinking, not taking children to school, not feeding them properly – isn’t all of this up to the individual, or the community?
ROGERS: Yes and no. The main problem with Aboriginal children is neglect. It’s not deliberate neglect. It’s partly because young mothers and families don’t know how to look after young people, it is partly due to addictions and other mental health conditions and it is partly due to the often very adverse social environment that parents are trying to raise their children in. It is also a lack of knowledge caused by low levels of education.
A couple of my daughters are foster carers. Young babies, one or two years old, they certainly know what a straw is but you try to bottle feed them and they have never been bottle fed.
NEWS: How can that be changed?
ROGERS: It’s about education. We can blame us mob for everything – we drink and we fight and we argue, we smell and we’re untidy, we don’t want to be part of society. My view has been for a long time that it’s the system that has created that.
If you sit under that tree over there, regardless of what colour you are, and all the service providers come to you – as hard as it is to comprehend – you accept that as normal behaviour. And the media perpetuate that.
I’ve had a fortunate life, in a sense. I was sent to school down south, to Gawler, north of Adelaide. They were establishing Elizabeth at that time, for “ten pound Poms”. You go back there today, and you see four generations of welfare recipients. And I would strongly suggest that if you went to any major city in this country, you would find suburbs with welfare recipients.
The media is quite quick to point the finger of blame at the blackfellas, look how lazy they are, ripping off the welfare system. But the system has created that, nationally.
NEWS: Isn’t this the litany we’ve heard for decades? Should the dole be withdrawn for people not reasonably accepting employment offered?
ROGERS: It’s hard when your mum and dad have never worked, your grandparents have never worked. As a welfare recipient – going back to Elizabeth, you learn to manipulate the system.
But the days of sitting on your bum and having all the services come to you are over. We’re not going to come and wake you up in the morning. But we can demonstrate we are a good employer, we have a good process in place, you show potential and we’ll mentor you into senior positions. I think that’s a great outcome.
NEWS: Could that be exported to other companies?
ROGERS: Yes, it can.
NEWS: Is such a process under way? Are you in touch with the Chamber of Commerce, for example?
ROGERS: I must say, no.
NEWS: This is the number one question today: How do you put an end to passive welfare, the issue often spoken of by Noel Pearson?
ROGERS: Sitting under that tree – if you start to withdraw some of those services, for example, the doctor and nurses, then I’ll have to get off my bum and go and see them.
What that does is instil a bit of responsibility. And I think that’s what we have to do, change the system, change the mentality. The Toyota dreaming – whitefellas coming in and out every day, yet making very little difference.
NEWS: How do you translate that into reality?
ROGERS: In this organisation, through the cross-cultural awareness program for staff.
NEWS: But these are people who have a job. What about the recipients of Congress services, how can they be motivated to help themselves?
ROGERS: Pre-birth to four, these are the formative years in terms of the development of responsibility and initiative, no matter what colour you are. We’ve got a number of generations out there who, to be honest, are a bit of a lost cause. And I’m not saying we should forget about them.
Congress does a whole bunch of stuff but we can drill it down to basically three things: we look after the elderly, we try to help the sick, and the other thing we do is preventative care. And it’s that which in the next couple of generations will make the difference. Give people a healthy upbringing then they can make choices.
NEWS: How grave is your fear that funding cuts will affect Congress work?
ROGERS: Taxation revenue is now less than 22% of GDP which is almost the lowest in the OECD and both sides want to reduce taxes further although the Coalition is planning bigger cuts than the ALP in this regard. Where is the money going to come from?
NEWS: Can the funding be streamlined?
ROGERS: There are something like 15 health providers. This is ridiculous. We need to be working in partnership. I don’t give a hoot who gets the kudos out of that, as long as the outcomes for our clients is better.
We are adopting the “collective impact” model, promoted here by Desert Knowledge here but in use world-wide now. It is about everyone working together. Here in Alice Springs, perhaps because of the funding models, we’ve had everyone working in parallel, especially Aboriginal organisations, diving into the same bucket, trying to get hold of the same money, being possessive about that as well, but serving the same clients.
That’s changing. For example, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs is changing their funding model from something like 100 different funding contracts down to six. That alone is fantastic. Congress is currently dealing with some 160 projects with a string of agencies, this will cut down on a mountain of paperwork.
NEWS: Are there too many NGOs?
ROGERS: It’s up to the government. It’s a question of compliance. Are NGOs actually spending the money they get appropriately and effectively?
NEWS: How do they decide what’s working and what’s not?
ROGERS: We have an open book policy with our funding providers, and I think that needs to occur. If we get money for a specific program and we see it’s not working, we want to have the ability to say to the funding agency, we think you need to change the parameters, because we can get better results by doing it this way.
Congress is very good at presenting evidence data, we can back our outcomes or outputs with evidence. There are problems when funding agencies allow their money to be spent willy nilly. The Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, which is part of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, have been very good with us. We have built a very good, honest, open relationship with them.
NEWS: What are the job opportunities right now? There used to be a cattle industry on what is now Aboriginal land, there are wild horses, camels, lots of land, idle labour and enough water. Road trains are going empty one way and could provide cheap transport of produce to markets. Should Congress develop some of these opportunities? Congress is picking up where people are already damaged. Is there not a case for that damage to be prevented?
ROGERS: Primary production has been tried here in the past but it has failed because it is a foreign industry, so to speak. We are hunters and gatherers. Where do you start? Is it housing, is it education? I’ve had a long time to think about this, and I think it starts from a health perspective. If you are a healthy child, regardless of your race, the other things will come.
NEWS: Could primary health care not include having a purpose in life, a job?
ROGERS: We are the largest primary health care provider in the NT but we’re not going to be able to fix all the problems.
NEWS: What changes is Congress making to its structure?
ROGERS: We now require people with tertiary qualifications to be in the top positions, not appointing Aboriginal people into management positions, irrespective of qualification, as a report 20 years ago recommended.
Unfortunately, that set some Aboriginal people up to fail. We are mentoring Aboriginal people into management roles. This is big business, and needs to be treated like big business.
IMAGES from the Congress annual report 2010-11, as published on the World Wide Web.
This week’s Health Wrap has been prepared by Melissa Davey, former SMH journalist, prolific tweeter and keen public health observer who has joined me at the Sax Institute in the new role of Communications Manager.
This expansion of the Croakey Health Wrap team is well timed given the amount of health news being produced and debated. This past fortnight, tobacco was on the agenda, there were some interesting discussions on obesity and the Federal Government unveiled its new vision for Aboriginal health.
Drawing attention to Aboriginal health is difficult when the launch of the National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Health Plan falls on the same day of the birth of a new Royal, writes Colin Cowell for Croakey. The plan aims to provide an evidence-based framework to guide policy. Priorities identified include Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing and the factors influencing it, including drugs and alcohol.
“The plan has also resolved to tackle the difficult and distressing issues of violence, abuse and self-harm,” Cowell writes. “Importantly, in this plan the sector has signalled the need to expand our focus on children’s health to broader issues in child development. There is also much work to do in developing robust research and data systems. The plan has also resolved to tackle the difficult and distressing issues of violence, abuse and self-harm.”
Bridie Jabour for the Guardiandetails how the Federal Government has pushed ahead with the plan despite the June 30 deadline for signing the Closing the Gap agreement on Indigenous health being missed. However, Victoria has since put forward its own funding offer.
A culturally appropriate screening tool that can gauge Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing may be one solution to help determine patients with mental health concerns or who need referring on for evaluation, writes Marnie McKimmie in The West Australian.
And about 120 Aboriginal men came together recently at at Ross River, 100 km east of Alice Springs, to identify ways of better targeting men in remote communities. (The location of the meeting has been corrected from an earlier version of this post). Indigenous health minister, Warren Snowdensaid, “Rather than having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel like they are part of the problem, we want to encourage and support Aboriginal men to be a part of the solution”. A national summit on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health was also held in Melbourne.
As NAIDOC week drew to a close, 10 Indigenous Australians were honoured at the NAIDOC award ceremony in Perth. ABC reported the story here.
And in an update on closing the gap in Indigenous health for Croakey, health policy analyst Dr Lesley Russell hopes Prime Minister Kevin Rudd sees formal funding agreements with the states and territories as “part of the unfinished business that must be taken off his desk before the election is called”.
Elizabeth Strakosch is particularly scathing of the lack of progress in Indigenous health from both sides of politics in this piece for The Conversation.
Tobacco reform: evidence takes a back seat
The UK Government’s backflip on plans to introduce plain packaging of tobacco has attracted widespread criticism from public health experts over the past couple of weeks. The Conservative party’s chief strategist, Lynton Crosby, has previously said issues like immigration and the economy should be the focus of government, with health barely rating a mention. His stance is perhaps not surprising, given this New Statesman report that his lobbying company has close links to the tobacco industry. Conservative MP Philip Davies also said introducing plain packaging in the UK would be “gesture politics” with “no basis in evidence”.
Writing for The Conversation, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Holly Jarmansays it’s looking like the policy is dead in the water. Her comments were prompted by an announcement from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that the UK Government had decided to wait until the impact of plain packaging in Australia could be measured before acting. But Professor Jarman refers to numerous studies that indicate plain packaging is effective. “The evidence base for plain packaging is arguably better than that for many other policies currently being pursued by the government,” she says.
New research published in the online medical journal BMJ Open also concludes plain packaging is associated with lower smoking appeal, more support for the policy and more urgency to quit among adult smokers. It’s the first study to examine the effect of Australia’s plain packaging reforms on the attitudes of smokers. Tobacco control advocate and professor of public health Simon Chapman shares his thoughts on the study for The Conversation.
Meanwhile, a Guardianeditorial sums the UK Government’s public health policy like this: “Squint for long enough at the remains of the coalition’s policies to help Britons live longer, healthier lives, and it might appear that ministers really believe multinational tobacco businesses and FTSE-listed retailers deserve greater protection than parents doing the school run.”
Another blow to the “not enough evidence” argument comes from the World Health Organization, which released a report on the global tobacco epidemic describing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship as one of six measures known to be protective against tobacco’s effects. And packaging is a key platform for that advertising and promotion.
The Telegraph’sTom Chivers, however, is not convinced the freedom of tobacco companies to sell cigarettes in one coloured pack or another is particularly important.
Obesity: a wicked problem
Perhaps some Australians are getting the message to cut back on fast food with this report from Eli Greenblat that McDonald’s sales in Australia are going backwards. However McDonald’s president, Don Thompson, appears to have fudged youth unemployment figures to explain the decline in sales. “Youth unemployment in Australia is about 25.5 per cent,” he is quoted as saying. “So they’re facing something; unemployment for them has risen.” In fact, youth unemployment was at 11.6% as of May.
But even if our taste for some fast foods has dropped it is well known that portion sizes are growing. Senior Lecturer at the University of NSW Lenny Vartanian says people eat large portions even if they are not very hungry or if the food doesn’t taste that good. Writing for The Conversation, he also says education about portion size alone may not be enough to help people to eat more mindfully.
One tactic that definitely doesn’t help people lose weight is weight discrimination, a study published online by PLoS Onehas found. Not only does it lead to poorer mental health outcomes, but discrimination increases risk of obesity rather than motivating people to lose weight, the study found. Cat Pause offers a good analysis of the issues here.
The obesity epidemic here has attracted the attention of the US media. This excellent analysis by The New York times reports the prevalence of obesity is growing faster in Australia than any other industrialised nation. It also gives an overview of the various strategies state and territory governments have tried to tackle the problem. But the report says these campaigns may not be enough, with obesity rates projected to rise across all age groups in Australia for the next decade.
More than 5000 NSW nurses and midwives went on strike this week, saying patient care had been compromised because of a lack of clinical staff to treat them. In the Sydney Morning Herald, Lucy Carroll writes that the NSW Midwives and Nurses Association wants one nurse for every four patients in general medical, surgical and mental health wards. It also wants one nurse for every three patients in general children’s wards and in emergency departments.
The NSW branch of the Australian Medical Association was among those to lend support to the action. In a statement their president, Associate Professor Brian Owler, says nurse-to-patient ratios have provided a sound basis for improving staffing levels in major hospitals and should be extended to hospitals more generally. He says hospitals are often staffed on the basis of historical funding levels rather than patient need, which means western and outer metropolitan Sydney hospitals are understaffed compared to those in the CBD.
And with Health Workforce Australia predicting a shortfall of nearly 110,000 nurses by 2025, University of Sydney vice-chancellor, Dr Michael Spence says the Federal Government’s proposed $2000 cap on self-education tax deductions for the health and medical workforce is a bad move. He’s not alone. The cap has attracted significant attention and a good debate on the issue can be found at The Conversation.
Meanwhile Sean Nicholls writes in the SMH that paramedics are plagued by inappropriate emergency call-outs for “ailments” such as bed-bugs, leech bites, scraped knees and even light bulb changes.
It’s a problem exacerbated by current protocols which require paramedics to take patients to hospital if the patient insists, the NSW Auditor General Peter Acherstraatreports. He found only 65% of ambulance crews handed over patients within 30 minutes of arriving at hospital, well below NSW Health’s target of 90 per cent.
Doctors in Queensland seem to be having an easier time of it, if this report from news.com.au is to be believed, which found senior public hospital doctors are being paid $100,000 to do nothing.
At the federal level, The Drum and Croakey ask: whatever happened to the health debate? In the latter piece, Croakey co-ordinator Melissa Sweet says health policy is unlikely be a vote-swinger come the federal election, despite the AMA doing its bit to drum up interest. It has released its health policy platform – available here. Affordable healthcare and rural and Aboriginal health are key areas on their agenda, news.com.au reports.
Vaccination supporters get vocal
Confirmation that actress and anti-vaxxer Jenny McCarthy will be appointed as a panellist on popular US day-time talk show The View, has Toronto Public Health in Canada up in arms. As Canada.com reports, they have launched a campaign against her hire by the ABC. And National Public Radio in the US aired this podcast called ‘A Dangerous View’ that gives a great overview of the controversy surrounding her hiring.
Back in Australia, anti-vax lobby group the Australian Vaccination Network has been dealt a blow. Medical Observer reports the group had been using comments made by former Greens leader Bob Brown to promote their cause. But in an open letter, Brown says his view has always been that vaccination is in the interests of public health and should be promoted.
NSW Opposition leader John Robertson meanwhile, has accused the State Government of making its new policy on vaccinating mothers against whooping cough confusing. The changes mean NSW Health will no longer provide free whooping cough vaccine to GPs for mothers after they have given birth. Explaining the changes, NSW Health Director of Communicable Diseases Dr Vicky Sheppeard says to be most effective the vaccine needs to be given before the baby is born.“Research by NSW Health and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance confirms it’s best to get vaccinated before conception, during the third trimester of pregnancy or failing that, at soon as possible after delivery,” Dr Sheppeard says.
*** Research and pharma
Australians are abusing and becoming dependent on a wider range of opioids, reports Shevonne Hunt for the ABC. Shevonne’s report highlights a presentation at the International Narcotics Research Conference in which Professor Paul Haber showed a continuous rise in the use of oxycodone over the past three years, while fentanyl and buprenorphine use are also rising. “Instead of having an epidemic of one prescription opioid we’re in the midst of an epidemic of three,” he says.
In other research news, the Guardian health editor Sarah Boseley reports alcohol-related deaths of UK women in their 30s and 40s are steadily rising. Late night drinking culture, cheap alcohol and industry marketing and promotion had all played a part, researchers found – these are also issues for Australia, Fairfax reports.
In international research, a study linking the consumption of fatty acids found in fish with increased prostate cancer risk has been widely written about, read and criticised. The Inquisitrexamines the views of some of the critics of the study. David Katz sits more in the middle, writing for the Huffington Post that while the study does not prove that fish oil intake causes prostate cancer, it was not “dismissible rubbish”.
Also on the Huffington Post is this piece from neurologist Aysha Akhtar, who argues animals should not be used in medical research because they are not good ‘models’ of human physiology. “Over one hundred stroke drugs have been found effective in animals in the lab, yet all have failed in humans,’’ she writes. “Over 85 HIV vaccines that worked in non-human primates failed miserably when tried in humans.”
Another controversial topic this fortnight was male fertility, after an analysis from France found the sperm concentration of men had decreased by one third between 1989 and 2005. It led fertility experts attending the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference to debate whether male fertility is on the decline, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In women’s health, researchers from the University of NSW have found in a major study that women may not need a pap smear every two years. In their review of 20 years’ worth of data from Australia, New Zealand and England, they found women screened every three years had a similar rate of cervical cancer and deaths compared to those screened more regularly, the ABC reports.
Sensitive and confidential medical data belonging to nearly 3000 patients was found on a computer sold by the National Health Service in England through an auction site. The Service was fined 200,000 pounds for the data breach, ehealth Insider reports.
And in Australia, 6Minutes reports e-records are still a long way from benefiting GPs. It comes as the Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersekannounced $8 million towards developing software to enable pathology and radiology results to be sent to the patient’s personally controlled electronic health record, as well as to their GP.
What doctors won’t do
Only 11% of doctors who responded to a recent Australian Doctor survey said they would want to be kept alive after a major accident. And one third of male GPs would shun PSA screening for prostate cancer. Check out @australiandr who is tweeting results from their survey of GPs about the medical treatments they would never want to undergo themselves.
You can find previous editions of the Health Wrap here.
Twitter shout-outs this week go to: @LRussellWolpe, @lucy_carroll, @australiandr, @cancerNSW, @picardonhealth, @DrHWoo, @SimonChapman6, @curious_scribe, @upulie, @richardhorton1
Melissa Davey is the Sax Institute’s Communications Manager. She was previously a health and medical reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Sun Herald. She is completing her Masters of Public Health at the University of Sydney and has a strong interest in public health messaging and mental health. The Sax Institute is a not-for-profit organisation that drives the use of research evidence in health policy and planning. Twitter: @MelissaLDavey