NACCHO TOP #JobAlerts #NRW2017 : This week in Aboriginal Health : #Doctors #GP #Aboriginal Health Workers / #Nurses / Health #Promotions

 

1.South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS)

2. Senior Drug and Alcohol Educator – Murdi Paaki Drug and Alcohol Network

3- 8 Danila Dilba Health Services Darwin  (see above graphic )

9. Aboriginal Quitline Coordinator

10.Congress ORGANISATIONAL CAPABILITY MANAGER\ Alice Springs

11. Congress EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST- CLIENT SERVICE ROLES

12. Congress General Practitioner

13.SA Aboriginal Health Educator/Liaison Officer

14. NT Medical Practitioner / General Practitioner

 

How to submit a Indigenous Health #jobalert ? 

NACCHO Affiliate , Member , Government Department or stakeholder

If you have a job vacancy in Indigenous Healt

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media

Tuesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Wednesday

 1.South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS)

The South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) is a non Government Health Service based in Bunbury which provides a variety of health services to Aboriginal people in the South West of Western Australia.  SWAMS delivers a wide range of community programs and has a strong growth strategy through partnership opportunities and future community development.

Aboriginal Health Worker (50d) Full Time

Here at SWAMS we have an exciting position available for someone looking to make a difference. As an Aboriginal Health Worker, you will be involved in assessment, care coordination, support, advocacy and community development activities.

Specific requirements of this position include but are not limited to;

Essential Criteria

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders descent under section 50(d) Equal Opportunity Act.
  • Current Certificate IV (preferred) in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with Aboriginal people.
  • A demonstrated understanding of the unique issues affecting and impacting upon the health of Aboriginal people
  • Experience, skills and knowledge in multidisciplinary teamwork and conflict management.
  • Sound written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated organisational and time management skills along with an ability to adapt to changing needs.
  • Knowledge and experience in the provision of health promotion programs.
  • Knowledge of community and local Aboriginal cultural issues.

Desirable Criteria

  • Knowledge and expertise in the use of Communicare or similar clinical database system.

All candidates must have a WA Drivers License and will be required to undertake a National Police Check prior to beginning employment.

In addition to above award wages, Salary Sacrifice is available for the right candidate .

For Information 

For further information about this position, please telephone the Human Resources Coordinator on (08) 9791 1166 during normal business hours.

To Apply

To apply for this role, please visit http://www.swams.com.au Current Vacancies and click on the role that you would like to apply for. This will take you to through the online application process. Alternatively please come and see one of the friendly HR staff who will be able to assist you in going through the online application process

Applications must be received by 5pm Wednesday, 14th June 2017

SWAMS reserves the right to withdraw this advertisement prior to the stated closing date.

To apply online, please click on the appropriate link below. Alternatively, for a confidential discussion, please contact Tia Ashwin on , quoting Ref No. 758896.

2. Senior Drug and Alcohol Educator – Murdi Paaki Drug and Alcohol Network

  • Rewarding opportunity to develop the capacity of health workers and support Aboriginal communities in the Murdi Paaki region.
  • Attractive remuneration package & excellent professional development opportunities.
  • Immediate start, contract position until 30th June 2018.

The organisation

Lyndon is a non-government organisation providing drug and alcohol services in regional, rural and remote areas, including: residential services in Orange and outreach programs to the Central West, Blue Mountains, the Murdi Paaki Region (West and Far West NSW) and Bega on the South Coast of NSW.

Lyndon provides innovative, person-centred and evidence-based programs to clients across the lifespan to improve the wellbeing of individuals, families and the community.

The role

Lyndon is seeking an experienced Drug and Alcohol Clinician for a Senior Drug and Alcohol Educator role in the Murdi Paaki Drug and Alcohol Network (MPDAN), a workforce development strategy that aims to reduce the harm done by drugs and alcohol in Aboriginal communities.

Based at the Clinical Hub in Orange NSW, the position is responsible for providing: clinical, group and practice supervision, training and education and capacity building services to primary health care providers such as Aboriginal Health Workers, D&A workers and other community service workers in the MPDAN region. An important part of this role is supporting service development of partner Aboriginal Health Services in the region.

Regular travel to the region (i.e. Bourke, Broken Hill, Walgett and Coonamble) is required.

The position is full-time until 30th June 2018.

The candidate

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Tertiary qualifications in health, welfare or related disciplines.
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in drug and alcohol service delivery.
  • A commitment to upskilling the drug and alcohol workforce including: evaluation, research, ongoing program development and quality improvement.
  • Experience providing education and supervision to clinical staff.
  • An ability to work in a multi-disciplinary, cross-agency and cross-cultural environment.
  • Experience working with or for Aboriginal organisations and communities.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with relevant experience and qualifications are encouraged to apply.

The benefits

Enjoy an attractive remuneration package negotiable with experience, plus superannuation, salary packaging, flexible working hours, laptop, paid travel expenses and excellent professional development and training opportunities.

How to apply

For further information on the position or to view a copy of the position description, contact RenCare Recruit on 0439 906 284 or email: renee@rencare.com.au.

 

To apply, email a cover letter (addressing the selection criteria, available at www.rencare.com.au/jobs) and your CV to renee@rencare.com.au. All applications will be reviewed upon submission.

3- 8 Danila Dilba Health Services Darwin

3.SOCIAL WORKER

(Integrated Team Care)

*Total Salary $101,200 – $106,344

Full Time / Fixed Term / 1 position

The Social Worker will be responsible for working collaboratively with patients, general practitioners, practice staff and Aboriginal Health Workers to provide appropriate multidisciplinary care and services for Aboriginal people with a chronic condition.

For further information please contact Malcolm Darling (General Manager, Darwin) on 0418 855 839 or email Malcolm.Darling@ddhs.org.au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 12 June 2017 (5pm)

All applicants must apply via the online portal (link below) ensuring they address the Selection Criteria and include current resume/CV.

 

To apply please select HERE

4.FAMILY PARTNERSHIP WORKER (FPW)

(ANFFP)

*Total Salary $66,097 – $70,920

Full Time / Fixed Term / 2 position

The Family Partnership Worker (FPW) is integral to the successful implementation of the Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program (ANFPP).

The Family Partnership Worker is responsible for maintaining high level standards of community practice, foster acceptance of the ANFPP model in the community and observe the Primary Health Care Service’s policies and guidelines. The FPW is an identified position.

joy.mclaughlin@daniladilba.org.au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 12 June 2017 (5pm)

All applicants must apply via the online portal (link below) ensuring they address the Selection Criteria and include current resume/CV.

 

To apply please select HERE

5.NURSE SUPERVISOR

(ANFFP)

*Total Salary $107,818 – $115,833

Full Time / Fixed Term / 1 position

The Nurse Supervisor will facilitate the implementation and delivery of the Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program (ANFPP) to pregnant women with an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander baby and their families using a therapeutic, partnership approach.

joy.mclaughlin@daniladilba.org.au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 12 June 2017 (5pm)

All applicants must apply via the online portal (link below) ensuring they address the Selection Criteria and include current resume/CV.

 

To apply please select HERE

6.COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

*Total Salary $81,186 – $89,229

Full Time / Fixed-Term / 1 position

The Marketing and Communications Officer works as part of Corporate Services Team in providing quality support services to the GM Marketing and Corporate Affairs in day-to-day communications, events and stakeholder engagement.

Kyrn.Stevens@ddhs.org.au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 12 June 2017 (5pm)

All applicants must apply via the online portal (link below) ensuring they address the Selection Criteria and include current resume/CV.

 

To apply please select HERE

7.REGISTERED MIDWIFE

*Total Salary $118,730 – $123,714

Full Time / ongoing / 1 position

The Registered Midwife will contribute to the quality and delivery of primary health care within the Danila Dilba Health Service Mothers and Babies Clinic, by providing high quality, comprehensive and culturally appropriate midwifery care to patient with the aim of improving maternal and birth outcomes.

Elle.Crighton@ddhs.org.au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 12 June 2017 (5pm)

All applicants must apply via the online portal (link below) ensuring they address the Selection Criteria and include current resume/CV.

8.CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

(P101-213)

*Total Salary $107,666

Full Time / Fixed Term / 1 position

The Clinical Psychologist is responsible for the provision of high quality mental health and social and emotional wellbeing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These services may include clinical evidence based counselling, brief psychological interventions, case management, trauma informed practice and coordination of care/aftercare.

This position is supported by the Team Leader, Social and Emotional Wellbeing directly and also forms part of a larger team within Community Programs.

For further information please contact Joseph Knuth (Head of Programs) on 0417 404 419 or email Joseph.Knuth@ddhs.org.au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 22 May 2017 (5pm)

All applicants must apply via the online portal (link below) ensuring they address the Selection Criteria and include current resume/CV.

 

To apply please select HERE

All Employees must hold a current Drivers Licence, be willing to undergo a Police Check and be able to obtain Ochre card clearance.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply

*Includes base salary, superannuation and leave loading

To apply please select HERE

9. Aboriginal Quitline Coordinator

Medibank


We’re passionate about nurturing careers.

We support new innovation and thinking, and openly collaborate and share new ideas. We’re healthy and active in our lives and wellbeing is encouraged at every level.  Our people play an important role in the future of health and healthcare and we believe that working together, we’re stronger.

About Us

Medibank is a leading private health insurer with 40 years of experience delivering better health to Australians. We look after the health cover needs of millions of customers and deliver a wide range of programs to support health and wellbeing in the community.

The Opportunity

Medibank is delivering the best possible smoking cessation outcomes for Aboriginal clients in NSW and ACT on behalf of Quitline, the Cancer Institute of NSW and Healthdirect Australia.

The Aboriginal Quitline Program provides both inbound and outbound calls to Aboriginal clients who are considering smoking cessation. We have a dedicated team of counsellors who provide specific interventions such as delivering one off counselling, focusing on quit planning, supporting with quitting (including managing withdrawal symptoms), providing strategies for relapse prevention and providing outbound milestone checks.

Joining our Relationship Management team, the Aboriginal Coordinator will provide team leadership and program direction in relation to Quitline, specifically focused on the delivery of the program to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clients. This is a 12 month maternity leave contract and will be critical in promoting the service & liaising with Aboriginal Health workers & key Aboriginal Health & Community Controlled Services to ensure strong partnerships. The role will have a distinct community focus and will be key in the promotion of the program amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This is a satisfyingly broad role with a range of responsibilities including:

  • Develop and implement Aboriginal Health Community Engagement Strategies for the NSW and ACT Aboriginal Quitline program
  • Foster relationships within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to promote awareness of services by travelling to identified communities;
  • Represent NSW Quitline at Aboriginal Health community events, organising and hosting promotional stalls as required;
  • Lead Aboriginal Advisory Groups with participation from key influencers in Aboriginal health groups to inform service design and the delivery of service improvement initiatives;
  • Lead engagement efforts to increase the variety of services delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities;
  • Support the development and delivery of cultural education and training across the business and contribute to the Aboriginal Employment Strategy.

About You

You have exceptional communication and stakeholder engagement skills which enable you to build strong and lasting relationships across a range of internal and external stakeholders/clients and community groups. Critical thinking, decision making and problem solving skills are your strong suit as is your ability to lead and motivate others to achieve shared goals and objectives. You will also have the following skills and experience:

  • Strong community engagement experience with Aboriginal communities, ideally in health, welfare or similar;
  • Strong delivery focus; project management skills will be highly regarded;

Highly desirable – experience as a Counsellor, Registered Nurse or Allied Health Professional

This position will only be open to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants – Medibank considers this to be a genuine occupational requirement under the relevant anti-discrimination legislation.

What We Offer

In return for your hard work we offer a range of great benefits. Furthermore, we take the health and wellbeing of our employees seriously, offering flexible working conditions and encouraging well-being at all levels of life.

Medibank is an equal opportunity employer committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values diversity and inclusion. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at the time of application to assist you through the recruitment process.

A Career at Medibank adds up to more. More achievement. More progress. More passion and more innovation for health.

For a career option that will suit you better, click to apply.

Please note, if this position attracts a large volume of interest, the closing date for applications may be brought forward. With this in mind, we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.

MORE INFO

10.Congress ORGANISATIONAL CAPABILITY MANAGER\ Alice Springs

Reference: 3522029

Are you an experienced HR Generalist looking for a new challenge!

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an HR generalist to lead projects that will develop organisational capability, performance, development and engagement of Congress’ growing workforce. You will be an expert advisor at both operational and strategic levels with the ability to design and deliver practical and pragmatic solutions to develop organisational capability.

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress) has over 43 years’ experience providing comprehensive primary health care for Aboriginal people living in Central Australia.

As well as a wonderful lifestyle and rewarding work, Congress offers:

  • Competitive salaries
  • Six (6) weeks annual leave
  • 9.5% superannuation
  • Generous salary packaging
  • A strong commitment to Professional Development
  • Family friendly conditions
  • Relocation assistance (where applicable)
  • District allowance

For more information on the position please contact General Manager Human Resources, Kim Mannering on 0437 459 638 and email: kim.mannering@caac.org.au.

Applications close: Monday 5 June 2017.

*Total effective package includes: base salary, district allowance, superannuation, leave loading, and estimated tax saving from salary packaging options.

Contact Human Resources on (08) 8959 4774 or vacancy@caac.org.au for more information.

For more information about jobs at Congress visit http://www.caac.org.au/hr.

11. Congress EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST- CLIENT SERVICE ROLES

Alice Springs
Reference: 3511700
  • Client Service Officer
  • Across Multiple Sites​
  • Base Hourly Rate $25.84 – $31.10

Aboriginal Identified

Due to expansion of service locations in Alice Springs Congress is seeking experienced Client Service Officers who will provide a high standard of client service and general administrative support to various Congress Clinical Teams, the roles may involve evening and weekend shiftwork.

Congress offers the following:

  • Competitive salaries and allowances
  • Six (6) weeks’ annual leave
  • Generous salary packaging up to $30,000 per annum
  • A strong commitment to Professional Development
  • Relocation assistance (where applicable)
  • Access to selected Congress health services at no cost for self and eligible family.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

Application close: MONDAY 31 JULY 2017.

For more information about jobs at Congress call Human Resources on (08) 8959 4774 or email vacancy@caac.org.au or visit www.caac.org.au/hr.

Applications Close: 31 Jul 2017

12. Congress General Practitioner

Alice Springs

Reference: 3326264

  • Base salary between $179,818 and $208,556 depending on experience (includes district allowance)
  • Paid annual leave 6 weeks plus 1 week paid professional development leave
  • Flexible working conditions
  • Medicare incentive scheme
  • NFP salary sacrifice up to $30,000 pa
  • General Practice Rural Incentives Program (as at 1 November 2016). Congress operates in MM6 and MM7 regions, providing access to annual gross payments of up to $35K and $60K respectively depending on performance.
  • Working with a large team of general practitioners
  • Access to Congress provided selected medical services at no cost for self and eligible family..

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress) has over 40 years’ experience providing comprehensive primary health care for Aboriginal people living in Central Australia. Congress is seeking a General Practitioner who is interested in making a genuine contribution to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal people.

This position is based in Alice Springs with a town of 27,000 people, with good access to good schools, flights, amenities.

For more information on the position please contract, Medical Director, Sam Heard 0438 556 050 or sam.heard@caac.org.au.

For more information about jobs at Congress call Human Resources on (08) 8959 4774 or email vacancy@caac.org.au or visit www.caac.org.au/hr.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

Applications Close: 30 Jun 2017

13.SA Aboriginal Health Educator/Liaison Officer

GPEx is the South Australian Training Organisation which delivers training to doctors selected to specialise in general practice in Australia.

We are a provider of the Australian General Practice Training program that is administered by the Department of Health and funded by the Australian Government.

GPEx is built on GPExpertise, centered on GPExperience and is a vision of GPExcellence

The role of Aboriginal Health Educator/Liasion Officer involves liaison and engagement with core stakeholders, program partners and other GPEx staff in the implementation of the ATSI Strategic Plan.

Reporting to the Director Medical Education Operations the key responsibilities will be:

  • Assist in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the ATSI Strategic Plan.  This will include:
    • Developing and supporting the role of cultural mentors within identified Aboriginal health training posts
    • Supporting the increase of Aboriginal health training posts by assisting the identified Aboriginal Health Services in becoming accredited training posts
    • In collaboration with the AGPT team, Aboriginal health team and relevant Medical Educators, assist with the integration of Aboriginal health within GPEX’s training program
    • Help facilitate the Aboriginal Health and Culture Workshops for registrars and staff
    • Contributing to internal and external communication of the GPEx Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategic Plan
    • Preparing, contributing to and managing relevant correspondence
    • Assist with the development of communication strategy to promote Aboriginal health training posts to registrars.
  • Prepare internal and external reporting, submissions and grant applications as required
  • Develop and maintain successful working relationships with key stakeholdersCandidates will ideally have relevant experience working in a health, education or policy environment.Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply.The position is full time until December 2018 and will be located in our new offices at 132 Greenhill Road, Unley.Further information and a position description can be obtained via our website at http://www.gpex.com.au or by contacting the People and Culture Support Officer Sarah Magill on 08 8490 0400 or via email sarah.magill@gpex.com.au.Applications to Rebecca Pit Manager People and Culture rebecca.pit@gpex.com.auApplications close Wednesday 7 June 2017.

14. NT Medical Practitioner / General Practitioner

Job No: 89281
Location: Ngukkur, Katherine region, NT
Closing Date: 8 Jul 2017
  • Rewarding opportunity for experienced GP to join a well-established Community Controlled Health Organisation! 
  • Contribute to the improvement of medical services for a number of remote communities!
  • Highly attractive remuneration package circa $330,000 including a number of fantastic benefits!

About the Opportunity

Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation now has a rewarding opportunity for a Medical Practitioner / General Practitioner to join their dedicated team in Ngukurr, within the Katherine Region of the Northern Territory.

As a Remote Medical Practitioner (RMP) at SHSAC, you will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team, led by the Director of Public Health and Planning. The role will involve provision of primary health care, support for and sharing of skills with other health centre staff and participation in key primary health care initiatives and community consultation.

To be considered for this position you must have the following:

  • Registration as a General Practitioner with AHPRA;
  • An understanding and commitment to the principles of Aboriginal community control in primary health care delivery; and
  • Broad based experience in primary health care appropriate to working in a rural/remote location.

Your dedication will be rewarded with a highly attractive salary package negotiable with skills and experience and salary packaging options.

You will be working in brand new, state of the art facility and also have access to a huge range of other benefits including:

  • 6 weeks leave per year;
  • Up to 10 days study leave;
  • Fully subsidised air-conditioned housing, utilities, subsidised phone rental and up to $100 in phone calls;
  • Salary packaging options up to $15,899 per packaging year;
  • Full support from the health team; and
  • Generous relocation and repatriation.

About the Organisation

Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation (SHSAC) is a community Controlled Health Organisation providing medical services to a number of remote communities throughout the Katherine region including Barunga, Manyallaluk, Wugularr, Bulman, Mataranka, Jilkminggan, Minyerri, Ngukurr and Urapunga.

Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation works in partnership with Northern Territory PHN (NT PHN), who provide support services to health professionals and organisation across the Northern Territory. NT PHN offers support and assistance to eligible nurses and allied health professionals who are relocating the to the NT for the purposes of employment.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity in which you can truly make a difference – Apply Now!

Aboriginal Health Events / Workshops #SaveADate #NAIDOC2017 Awards close 7 April #NACCHOAGM17 and Members Meeting

Awards Funding $ and surveys OPEN

April 7  National NAIDOC Committee Award closing date to 2:00pm (AEST) Friday 7 April 2017 see below for full info

April : NACCHO #IPAG Aboriginal Health Consultation  Mylife #MyLead Consultation opens for #NATSIHP : Closes 30 April

April – May   : NEW : Get NDIS Ready with a Roadshow NSW Launched

save-a-date

Events and Workshops

26- 29 April The 14 th National Rural Health Conference Cairns

29 April:14th World Rural Health Conference Cairns

10 May: National Indigenous Human Rights Awards

23-25 May Conference Aboriginal People with Disability

26 May :National Sorry day 2017

27 May to June 3 National Reconciliation Week

6 June : Stomp out the Gap : Cathy Freeman Foundation

1-2 July Aboriginal Health Conference  Perth

2-9 July NAIDOC WEEK

7 July Awabakal 40th Anniversary Dinner

8-9 August 2nd World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis Alaska in August 2017

10 October CATSINAM Professional Development Conference Gold Coast

30 October2 Nov NACCHO AGM Members Meeting Canberra Details to be released soon

27-30 November Indigenous Allied Health Australia : IAHA Conference Perth

 

If you have a Conference, Workshop Funding opportunity or event and wish to share and promote contact

Colin Cowell NACCHO Media Mobile 0401 331 251

Send to NACCHO Media mailto:nacchonews@naccho.org.au

save-a-date

April 7  National NAIDOC Committee Award closing date to 2:00pm (AEST) Friday 7 April 2017

The National NAIDOC Committee have extended the 2017 National NAIDOC Award nominations to encourage more people to acknowledge the contributions and talents of outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals by nominating them for a 2017 National NAIDOC Award.

Winning a National NAIDOC Award can have a significant impact not only the winner but also their family and the wider community. Award winners will have the honour of being celebrated at the highly prestigious National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony and Ball to be held in Cairns on Saturday, 1 July 2017.

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people contribute to Australian society through music, art, culture, community, education, environment, sport, employment and politics. If you know someone who you think deserves an award, the Committee encourages you to nominate them in one of the ten categories covering the fields of art, education and training, sport, environment and leadership.

The National NAIDOC Committee wish to extend the nomination closing date to 2:00pm (AEST) Friday 7 April 2017. Nomination forms can be found at http://www.naidoc.org.au

NAIDOC Week 2017 will run nationally from 2-9 July and is an occasion for all Australians to come together to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – the oldest continuing cultures on the planet.

The 2017 theme – Our Languages Matter – aims to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.

For more information including competition and nomination forms and ideas on how to celebrate, visit www.naidoc.org.au

April : NACCHO #IPAG Aboriginal Health Consultation  Mylife #MyLead Consultation opens for #NATSIHP : Closes 30 April

My Life, My Lead is a new online public consultation portal to highlight the issues that support or impede Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have good health.

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said that the launch of the new portal will give more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people an opportunity to lead the discussion about the life they live now, and the life they want in the future for themselves, their families and their communities.

The Australian Government is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities, and other stakeholders to improve progress against the goals to improve health outcomes for Indigenous Australians, and is  welcoming participation in the IPAG Consultation 2017 from a broad range of stakeholders.

You can have your say by taking part in the online submission to the IPAG consultation 2017.

The online submission will be open from Wednesday 8 March 2017 and will close 11.59 pm Sunday 30 April 2017.

April – May   : Get NDIS Ready with a Roadshow NSW Launched

ndis

The Every Australian Counts team will be hitting the road from March – May presenting NDIS information forums in the NSW regional areas where the NDIS will be rolling out from July.

We’ll be covering topics including:

  • What the NDIS is, why we need it and what it means for you
  • The changes that the NDIS brings and how they will benefit you
  • How to access the NDIS and get the most out of it

These free forums are designed for people with disability, their families and carers, people working in the disability sector and anyone else interested in all things NDIS.

Please register for tickets and notify the team about any access requirements you need assistance with. All the venues are wheelchair accessible and Auslan interpreters can be available if required. Please specify any special requests at the time of booking.

Find the team in the following locations: 

Click on a link above to register online now! 

Every Australian Counts is the campaign that brought about the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Now it is a reality, the team are focused on engaging and educating the disability sector and wider Australian community about the benefits of the NDIS and the options and possibilities that it brings.

 7 April National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers 

 

Join the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers Association (NATSIHWA) for a one day CPD networking workshop focussed on current workforce development opportunities.

Register

7 April Perth   Register Free Entry  Here

11 April Broome  Register Free Entry Here

28 June Cairns Register Free Entry Here

Upskill and strengthen your skill level in a specialised area and find out what is happening through program development, education and funding opportunities.

Hear from organisations such as: PHN Primary Heath Network, CranaPlus, Autism QLD, Rheumatic Heart, PEPA Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach, Aboriginal Learning Circle, Diabetes Australia, IBA Indigenous Business Australia, HESTA Superannuation, 1800 RESPECT, Hearing Australia and more to be annuonced in the coming months (tailored for your specific region).

Current topics on the agenda:

Who is NATSIHWA? – an update on what is happening on a national level.

NATSIHWA Membership Benefits – Why join? Access to online members portal, web resources, weekly eNewsletter and social media.

Scope of Practice – An update on the development of the national framework for the scope of practice for ATSIHW’s and ATSIHP’s.

AHPRA – Who is AHPRA and what do they do? Why register with AHPRA? CPD requirements of ongoing registration.

Modern Award – An update on the progress of the modern award process with Fair Work Australia.

Workforce Development – Career development, training opportunities, CPD Points, GNARTN Tool, Scholarships.

26- 29 April The 14 th National Rural Health Conference Cairns c42bfukvcaam3h9

INFO Register

29 April : 14th World Rural Health Conference Cairns

acrrm

The conference program features streams based on themes most relevant to all rural and remote health practitioners. These include Social and environmental determinants of health; Leadership, Education and Workforce; Social Accountability and Social Capital, and Rural Clinical Practices: people and services.

Download the program here : rural-health-conference-program-no-spreads

The program includes plenary/keynote sessions, concurrent sessions and poster presentations. The program will also include clinical sessions to provide skill development and ongoing professional development opportunities :

Information Registrations HERE

10 May: National Indigenous Human Rights Awards

nihra-2017-save-the-date-invitation_version-2

” The National Indigenous Human Rights Awards recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons who have made significant contribution to the advancement of human rights and social justice for their people.”

To nominate someone for one of the three awards, please go to https://shaoquett.wufoo.com/forms/z4qw7zc1i3yvw6/
 
For further information, please also check out the Awards Guide at https://www.scribd.com/document/336434563/2017-National-Indigenous-Human-Rights-Awards-Guide

 23-25 May Conference Aboriginal People with Disability

Save the date: Conference for #Aboriginal People with #disability May 23, 24, 25 in #WaggaWagga

On 23, 24 and 25 May 2017 FPDN is hosting a conference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability. Community members and service providers are also welcome. Sponsorship is available for First Peoples with disability.

Website

The agenda will be published in April 2017.

Download the PDF Save the Date – Living Our Way Conference

26 May :National Sorry day 2017
 
bridge-walk
The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998 – one year after the tabling of the report Bringing them Home, May 1997. The report was the result of an inquiry by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families.

27 May to June 3 National Reconciliation Week
 
 6 June : Stomp out the Gap : Cathy Freeman Foundation

More info Here

 1-2 July Aboriginal Health Conference  Perth .

We would like to invite NACCHO and any partnering organisations to submit an Abstract on these projects for consideration in our Aboriginal Health Conference taking place at the Parmelia Hilton Perth on the 1-2 July 2017.

Abstract submissions are now being invited that address Aboriginal health and well-being.

Underpinned by a strong conference theme; Champions | Connection | Culture, it will provide an inspirational platform for those with evidence based approaches, improved health outcomes and successful projects in

  • Aboriginal Health;
  • Community Engagement;
  • Education;
  • Workforce Development.

If you are currently engaged in work, research or other collaborations relating to Aboriginal health you are encouraged to submit an abstract of 300 words. Abstracts will be reviewed by our Education Steering Committee. Abstracts that fulfil the requirements as outlined in the Submissions Guidelines will be considered. Due consideration will be given to originality and quality.  Receipt of abstracts will be acknowledged within one week of them being received and successful applicants will be notified by 23 May 2017. Successful abstracts will be published in the Conference Program handbook.

Attached for your reference is the Abstract Submission Form and the Abstract Submission Guidelines.

Download Here abstract-submission-form_2017-v1

Closing date for abstract submission is Monday 10 April 2017.

Should you have any further questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Should you have any further questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact the Events team.
events@ruralhealthwest.com.au | T: 6389 4500 | F: 6389 4501
 
2-9 July NAIDOC WEEK
 
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The importance, resilience and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages will be the focus of national celebrations marking NAIDOC Week 2017.

The 2017 theme – Our Languages Matter – aims to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.

More info about events

8-9 August 2nd World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis Alaska USA

2nd World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis in Anchorage Alaska in August 2017 after the 1st which was held in Alice Springs in 2014.

Download Brochure Save the date – World Indigenous Hepatitis Conference Final
Further details are available at https://www.wipcvh2017.org/

10 October CATSINAM Professional Development Conference Gold Coast

catsinam

Contact info for CATSINAM

30 October2 Nov NACCHO AGM Members Meeting Canberra

Details to be released

27-30 November Indigenous Allied Health Australia : IAHA Conference Perth

iaha

save-a-date

NACCHO political health news : Abbott Government cuts to impact on Aboriginal health

Shane

Closing the gap requires a coordinated approach at the state and federal levels as the challenges faced by Aboriginal people are interconnected.You can’t improve overall health outcomes without also looking at the social determinants, things like housing, education and poverty. Similarly, you can’t improve health outcomes while the numbers of Aboriginal people in our jails continues to rise,”

Said NACCHO chair Justin Mohamed .(see press release below) pictured above with Shane Duffy NATSILS

Congress calls upon the Prime Minister to show leadership and understanding of the need for increased capacity in our organisations and communities.  He can demonstrate that by ensuring the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services is retained and strengthened,”

Said Co-Chair National Congress Les Malezer.(see press release below)

Overview

Yesterday the Federal Government delivered the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2013-2014.
Here are some things from the report as they relate to Aboriginal Affairs and Aboriginal Health and Health more broadly.
Ceased
-The Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund
-Remote Indigenous Energy Programme
-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Programme ($1.0 m in 2013-2014)
-Office of the Coordinator-General for Remote Indigenous Services
-$27m from the Healthier Communities Priority Infrastructure Programme
-$5m Chronic Disease Prevention and Services Improvement Fund
-National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Programs – 22.3m
-Public Health Program – $6mil
Established
-$45 mil for Vocation Training and Employment Centres for 5000 Aboriginal job seekers under the Generation One model
-$5 for Empowered Communities based on Jawun Model.
-$1mil for Indigenous Advisory Council (Chaired by Warren Mundine)
-$40mil of redirected funding to re-open Indigenous Employment Programme in remote areas

NACCHO Press release

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Justin Mohamed, said cutting legal services made no economic sense when you take into account the wider implications of incarceration on issues such as employment, education and health.

“The fact is people in our jail system often suffer from poor mental and physical health,” Mr Mohamed said.

“Incarceration also can have broader impacts on the health of those left behind – on the imprisoned person’s family and broader community.

“With rates of incarceration of Aboriginal people increasing, we should be doing everything we can to turn around the huge numbers of Aboriginal people in our prisons.

“NACCHO supports the good work of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services – both who play an important role in keeping our people out of jail.

“They provide education and early intervention support and advice which can mean the difference between a life of incarceration and one that makes a contribution to the community.

“The Federal Government need to rethink their position and recognise how crucial a national voice on Aboriginal legal policy is in reducing the disproportionate numbers of Aboriginal people in the justice system.

“Aboriginal peak bodies understand better than anyone the issues their people face and the factors that contribute to them entering the justice system.

“Taking that voice from the mix to save a few dollars will just hamper future efforts to improve outcomes across a range of factors including health, education and employment.”

Mr Mohamed said closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people needed an integrated approach.

“Aboriginal people make up more than thirty percent of the prison population, despite being only a fraction of the Australian population.

“Closing the gap requires a coordinated approach at the state and federal levels as the challenges faced by Aboriginal people are interconnected.

“You can’t improve overall health outcomes without also looking at the social determinants, things like housing, education and poverty. Similarly, you can’t improve health outcomes while the numbers of

Aboriginal people in our jails continues to rise,” Mr Mohamed said.

National Congress Condemns Cuts

 
The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) strongly opposes the decision by the Federal Government to cut funding to community controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.
The government’s ‘hit or miss’ funding cuts to our organisations, at the beginning of their term and before the completion of their highly-publicised inquiries, endangers the collaborative approach offered by the Prime Minister.
Today’s news that the national body for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services is to be defunded is a significant blow and does not reflect an effort to engage in partnership.
Having a national body for the legal services increases the skills, experience and effectiveness of all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, and brings greater efficiency to the expenditure incurred by those legal services.
“Congress calls upon the Prime Minister to show leadership and understanding of the need for increased capacity in our organisations and communities.  He can demonstrate that by ensuring the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services is retained and strengthened,” said Co-Chair Les Malezer.
“Our Peoples must be self-determining and will not accept Governments making decisions on funding priorities without us.
“Removing our capacity for policy reform and advocacy to legal assistance programs delivered by Aboriginal, community and legal aid services will affect the most marginalised and vulnerable members of our community.
“Congress supports organisations controlled by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to continue representing our interests and to provide expert advice on service delivery,” said Mr Malezer.
Congress recently made a strongly worded submission to the National Commission of Audit which reinforces our fundamental principles of self-determination and community decision making.
“Significant under investment by successive Governments makes our Peoples predicament comparable to some developing countries, “said Co-Chair Kirstie Parker.
“We cannot accept any reduction in Commonwealth spending on housing, remote infrastructure, legal services, community safety, native title, languages and culture, when investment and capacity building is what’s clearly required.
“We will continue to work with the Commission to engage with all of our members.
“Community input and ownership are highlighted as keys to achieve improvements by the Government’s own landmark reports – including the Department of Finance Strategic Review of Indigenous Expenditure (2011) and the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key indicators 2011 report,” said Ms Parker.
Contact Congress : Liz Willis 0457 877 408  NACCHO Colin Cowell 0401 331 251
 
 

Government avoids scrutiny by cutting Coordinator-General for Remote Indigenous ServicesGeneral for Remote Indigenous Services.

“This cost cutting measure from the Government is deeply disappointing and will further undermine efforts to deliver on our Closing the Gap commitments,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues.
“The role of Coordinator General is to ‘monitor, assess, advise and drive progress relating to improvements in government service delivery in 29 remote Indigenous communities across Australia’.
Removing this role will directly affect the ability of the Government to monitor and report on the implementation of policies.
“This cut is a comparatively small amount of money that the Government admits will be used to either save money or fund other, unnamed policies.
It isn’t even being reinvested in other programs to help people in remote Australia.
“Decisions such as this make a mockery of Tony Abbott’s comments about being the Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs, as once again his Government seeks to avoid scrutiny and accountability for its policies,” Senator Siewert concluded.

NACCHO Aboriginal health news: Aboriginal health isn’t all bad news

 

It’s easy to feel disheartened by the bombardment of negative statistics about Indigenous health, but we shouldn’t ignore the many successes, writes Lisa Jackson Pulver in the  ABC online DRUM Photo:  (Dave Hunt, file photo: AAP)

Lisa Jackson Pulver holds the Inaugural Chair of Indigenous Health and is a Professor of Public Health at UNSW. View her full profile here.

The media loves a bad news story – and the response to the latest report on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is no exception.

The Sydney Morning Herald called the past 10 years a “wasted decade“, highlighting increasing rates of diabetes, kidney disease, asthma and osteoporosis among Indigenous people, along with the 11-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

But the largest-ever survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics also has some good news to report that was all too easily passed over.

Fewer Indigenous people are taking up smoking, and those who do smoke are giving up the habit. This is despite nicotine being an addictive substance, highly influenced by social norms. For years, smoking rates have been much higher in the Indigenous community than in the non-Indigenous community. But according to the Bureau, the proportion of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 17 years who have never smoked has increased from 61 per cent to 77 per cent, with an increase from 34 per cent to 43 per cent for those aged 18 to 24 years.

This result is matched by the non-Indigenous community. It should be applauded and recognised by all Australians: it shows the resilience of our young people who are increasingly saying no to smoking. The choice they are making will mean a decrease in the knock-on effects that chronic smoking brings.

While it must be acknowledged that this is only one indicator of success, it is still a win. So, where are the accolades for all the tobacco control programs, the Aboriginal Health Worker mentors and those with the resolve to never smoke or to stop? Why is this not the story?

Among the findings in the ABS report, Indigenous Australians are reported as being more than three times as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to have diabetes. While this is cause for concern, many of the major health problems for Indigenous communities are not only affected by health spending, but by the wider determinants of health. This means it will take much longer before we see viable gains. So it should come as no surprise that in such a short period, since 2009, the Closing the Gap policy framework and funding did not produce positive health outcomes on all measures. The period surveyed (2012-2013) cannot have benefitted from the new money that flowed as a result of Closing the Gap. It is too early. More importantly, the severe disadvantage many of these data reflect reinforces the argument for concerted action and sustained funding over the longer term.

We must also remember that early prevention and intervention is important, so we need to continue to look for the early and intermediate signs of what will become a long-term improvement in health – which of course includes lower smoking rates, a top risk factor for a wide array of other health conditions. Likewise, we should not simply focus on the current rates of chronic disease, but also the factors that contribute to good health in the future: nutritional status and healthy diets, physical activity, access to antenatal care, not smoking, engagement in family and community activities, housing quality and whether there is overcrowding, employment and cultural and psychological wellbeing – all of which lay the foundations to health.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, like everyone’s health, is much more than the absence of disease. It involves physical, social, emotional, cultural, spiritual and ecological wellbeing and fulfilment of potential to contribute to the wellbeing of the whole community. Looking more deeply, we can see the outstanding successes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary healthcare services, visual and performing arts, drama, music, tertiary education and sport as examples of early indicators that many people are flourishing.

It is very easy to see only the negative, given the statistics that seem to bombard us. That’s unfortunate because it promotes a sense of hopelessness, when what is needed is energy, positive models of change and positive commitment over the long term. There would be great value in capturing these positive changes, in collecting and amplifying the voices of those young people in particular who have made conscious decisions to live well and let these voices join the growing chorus of role models, exemplars and successful ventures in our communities.

Closing the Gap is a great start – and a much needed catalyst for change – but it is necessary to shift the lens towards the kinds of deeper changes that lead to lifelong health, including not smoking. Instead of focusing on the negatives, why not support those effective, community-driven enterprises and programs already having positive impacts, so that the children of our children will again enjoy the great opportunities that life in this magnificent country has to offer.

Lisa Jackson Pulver holds the Inaugural Chair of Indigenous Health and is a Professor of Public Health at UNSW. View her full profile here.

Topics: indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, indigenous-policy

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

WDConlineregeblast

Is the only truly global diabetes event.

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

LAST  DAYS FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION

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

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

Top Three Reasons to Attend the World Diabetes Congress:

1. Connect

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

2. Learn

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

3. Discover

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

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

DATES & LOCATION

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

www.worlddiabetescongress.org

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

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

Program highlights

NACCHO Aboriginal health : Coalition’s focus on improving Aboriginal health service access for regional Australians

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“Our vision is for a sustainable system that delivers quality health outcomes for all Australians, including indigenous Australians whose health and well-being are a key priority for this government.”

Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash pictured above

THE largest rural medicine conference ever held in Australia has been told the federal government has a reform program in place to ensure better access to health services for people living in regional, rural and remote communities. 

Story Picture Brad Cooper

Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash (pictured) told 650 delegates in Cairns today that there would be more time and effort put into consulting local professionals and communities about their needs.

The centrepiece of Senator Nash’s address was a commitment to provide $40 million over the forward estimates to support up to 100 additional intern places each year in private hospitals and non-traditional settings, with priority given to positions and rotations in rural and regional areas.

She said the government would provide $13.4 million for an additional 500 scholarships for nurses and allied health professionals, and allow more rural allied health workers to take leave, on top of the 100 allied health locum placements provided each year.

“Further, the government will invest $119 million to double the Practice Incentive Program (PIP) Teaching Payment for GPs who provide teaching opportunities with an additional benefit paid to those in rural and remote areas,” Senator Nash said.

“GP practices can also apply for expansion grants for teaching infrastructure based on an equal financial commitment, starting next July.

“Training for existing doctors and nurses in rural areas is also vital to keep up their skill levels and allow them to develop as professionals.

“Our vision is for a sustainable system that delivers quality health outcomes for all Australians, including indigenous Australians whose health and well-being are a key priority for this government.”

Rural Doctors Association of Australia president Dr Sheilagh Cronin, Cloncurry, said more support for training students was one of the best ways of increasing doctor numbers in the bush.

“We know that students who spend time in rural communities to get their training and have a positive experience there are more likely to return as registrars before moving to become qualified general practitioners,” she said.

NACCHO health alert: Ear and Hearing Peer Support and Mentoring Framework

Melbourne Mentoring Workshop2

Picture above participants Melbourne Mentoring Workshop

The need for mentoring and peer support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers (AHWs) after formal training had become increasingly evident since the NACCHO Ear and Hearing Training for the AHW Workforce Project began in July 2010.

Three recommendations from the pilot evaluation related to this area, and how this can contribute to career pathways in ear and hearing health and increasing the number of ear health trainers.

Therefore, a National Trainers Workshop was held in March 2012.  AHW participants were involved in workshopping support and mentoring models and training pathways.

Feedback from this workshop, each professional development and accredited training program and further strategic planning in NACCHO has informed the “Towards an Ear and Hearing Health Peer Support and Mentoring Framework for the AHW Workforce” Report.

The report outlines an overall framework for a peer support model and a mentoring model that is built on five ‘pillars’, some of which have been progressed through the project to date and some that need to be strengthened with a variety of strategies.

NACCHO has commenced implementing two components from the Peer Support and Mentoring Framework, i.e. Trainer Bursary Scheme and trialling a peer and mentoring model.

The Trainer Bursary Scheme began with an Information Day in Brisbane on 14th February where there were a total of 24 participants comprising of the 12 selected future trainers and their organisational representatives.

The Bursary will complement and extend the Certificate IV Training and Assessment by customising relevant aspects of it towards an ear health focus to prepare them for a training role.  The students will undertake training at AHCSA in March and April and also must complete 5 days co-facilitation at one of the RTO delivery of the National Aboriginal Ear and Hearing Health Skill Set up to September 2013.

The second component is a support and mentoring trial between May and October 2013.  The focus is on mentoring the new graduates of the National Aboriginal Ear and Hearing Health Skill Set with support by senior ear health workers.

The trial will include support mechanisms for a mentee and a mentor.  Mentoring will be tailored to prepare senior ear health workers for their mentoring role and new graduates for their mentee role.

A Mentoring Information Day was held on 22 March.  A total of 14 mentors and mentees will attend a two day workshop in Melbourne to on 23-24 April 2013.

Trainer Bursary Info Day2

Photo of participants at the Trainer Bursary Information Day

For further information contact

Tricia Elarde National Coordinator 02 6246 9322 or tricia@naccho.org.au

NACCHO health and politics:Aboriginal health and the Australian Constitution ,how do we fix both ?

Aboriginal Soverienty

Chris Lawrence

chris-lawrence

The George Institute for Global Health, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, New South Wales

As an Aboriginal Noongar person from Whadjuk country (Perth) Western Australia, I have seen first- hand the experiences and devastating impact of poor health and the effects of premature death on loved ones. In my own large family and community, there have been many preventable deaths in young and mature age people, but poor health decisions still occur.

Acquiring diabetes or heart disease is almost like a rite of passage, some sort of “cultural initiation”. “We all die from something eventually” , is the general notion.

It saddens me to hear many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people talk about early death as if it is inevitable and life is not worth living.

Since the first Aboriginal Medical Service was set up in 1972 in Redfern, New South Wales, health care services have improved for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country. There is really no excuse for people to not have regular health checks, or is there ?.

The life expectancy gap between an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians is still too wide. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2011 estimated that this life gap is 12 years for males and 10 years for females. These statistics clearly illustrate that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are still not taking full advantage of these health services or programs. Why is that ?.

I believe there are two fundamental issues to help us understand this disparity. One is about the individual and their health status; the second is about their status as an Australian citizen.

This essay will discuss the association between the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples and the fundamental legal right of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders to be officially recognised in the Australian Constitution. I acknowledge there are other important determinants of health and well being; however this editorial focuses on health and citizenship status.

Health Status

In 1946 the World Health Organization (WHO) Constitution stated that, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

In Australia in 1989, the first and only National Aboriginal and Islander Health Strategy clearly advocated for a holistic approach to addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health : we need to recognize the whole person and their environment and not just treat sick body parts.

It has been widely documented that poor people are more often unhealthy people. The more money you have, the more likely you are to look after yourself (in theory, not always in practice). In research terms this is known as social determinants of health, where socioeconomic factors are often taken into consideration to help explain poor health outcomes.

This journal has consistently published papers and letters on these issues, in particular, the December 2012 issue provided varying commentaries on “Healthy Equity”. For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, these social determinants of health are largely related to the legacy of British colonial history and the generations of poor government policies that have continued to have a profound impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.

The 1997 “stolen generations” report Bringing them Home provided detailed information about the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. For the first time, the report highlighted the depth of this legacy and, in particular, the traumatic experiences of childhood issues (often physical and sexual abuse), and the relationship of the social and emotional wellbeing to the health of the person. This report only scratched the surface, and there is a need for a follow-up report that more deeply explores the consequences for long-term health.

As an early career researcher in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health who is exploring ways of reducing obesity, diabetes and heart disease through early intervention methods such as nutritious diets and exercise, I research attitudes and behaviours that influence health decisions. I regularly see data showing conflicting patterns of attitudes and behaviour, a complex array of “mixed messages” shaping how people decisions regarding their own health.

On the one hand, people know that good food and exercise mean good health. However, at the same time people will acknowledge that they smoke, and are diabetic and overweight. In some of our focus groups, research participants will talk about their childhood experiences and relate these to their own poor health status in a direct connection.

Citizenship status

As an Aboriginal person, I often find myself feeling like a second-class citizen, and perhaps this has something to do with my own birth date and where I lived at that time. I was born in 1966, the year before the Australian 1967 Referendum, which was not explicitly about citizenship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Commonwealth Electoral Act was amended in 1962 to give franchise to all Aboriginal people, extending the right to vote to Aboriginal people in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory people in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. The Referendum changed sections of the Constitution from 1901 that stated, “in reckoning the numbers of people… Aboriginal natives shall not be counted”.

It also changed sections that said the Commonwealth would legislate for any race except Aboriginal people. This left the power over Aboriginal Affairs with the States. We can take two perspectives of the Referendum : 1) Aboriginal people were counted in the Census and 2) the Commonwealth was given the power to legislate for Aboriginal people; ironic that the Commonwealth government now uses this power to mount the intervention in the Northern Territory.

While the Referendum provided voting rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, many were still living in conditions shaped by the White Australia Policy enacted at Federation in 1901. The Western Australian Aborigines Act passed in 1905 made the Chief Protector the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and “half-caste” child under 16. Reserves were established, a local protector appointed and rules governing Aboriginal employment were laid down.

My own Aboriginal mother and father were fresh from the Missions and aged 16 and 17 when I was born in 1966. While my mother was allowed to give birth to me in a hospital, I was later taken home to the local Reserve where I am told we lived in tin shacks with dirt floors, overcrowding and no sanitation.

I recall going back to the Reserve during my childhood holidays and it has always haunted me to think that governments segregated Aboriginal people to live this way. In great contrast, also in 1966, the United Nations launched the International Covenant on Economic, social and Cultural Rights which states that, “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.

I also become perplexed about my own “citizenship status’ particularly when I listen to discussions about native title and land rights as well as human rights in Australia. We have a long way to go to address the First Peoples’s issues, but watching mainstream TV or listening to radio talk-back shows discussing these topics is disturbing and disheartening.

Most panellists are either ill-informed and  ignorant or are deliberately misleading the audience to gain points for their own political parties. Listening to these programs does not encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be “proud Australians; rather the discussion can further isolate them from the wider Australian population.

I believe not feeling a proud citizen of your own country can affect your sense of self-worth and directly shape decisions and choices about one’s own health and wellbeing.

The Australian Constitution

For more than 100 years, The Australian Constitution has been providing the basic rules by which Australia is governed. It is of continuing importance to Australia because it is the legal and political foundation on which our nation is built and continues to function.

What does the Constitution represent for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people ?. From my perspective, the Australian Constitution discriminate and does not provide adequate (if any) protection for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country.

We would need to go to a referendum to make any changes to the Constitution but, in great contrast, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 has been amended at least three times. All three related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Islander issues – most recently to accommodate the expansion of the Commonwealth Government’s Northern Territory intervention/response and “therefore, it was ineffective in protecting our peoples from the most fundamental of all freedoms, the freedom from discrimination.

Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution is inherently the right thing to do as we are the First Peoples of Australia. In 1992, Prime Minister Paul Keating addressed the nation from Redfern Park. He said, “complex as our contemporary identity is, it cannot be separated from Aboriginal Australia’ and “the starting point might be to recognise that the problem starts with non-Aboriginal Australians”. Keating went on to discuss the need for constitutional recognition : “It begins with the act of recognition … We have to give meaning to ‘justice and ‘equality’ … We need these practical building blocks of change.

If we change the Constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place in Australia, it will start to deliver and address a wide range of human and Indigenous rights issues. It will also be a unique catalyst to improving the health and well-being of ALL Aboriginal and Torres Strait People and our future generations.

In 2008, when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered a national apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, he said, “We apologize for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians’ and “We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians. A future where this parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never, happen again… A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity. A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed”.

The monumental legal act of recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution will instil a real sense of pride and dignity for our First Peoples and be one of the solutions to closing the life expectancy gap. It will strongly encourage a more robust participation in the health, as well as the education and employment systems to build strong and proud future generations of Australians.

In regards to health, it will particularly benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the primary health stages, so people will utilise community health programs and embrace health promotion to reduce chronic and preventable diseases rather present with advanced or end-stage disease. This would have the potential to save millions of dollars in health care and social support and, most importantly, save lives.

It is time that we recognise the True First Peoples of this country in our Constitution but more importantly from a health perspective, we need to address these issues as a nation in unity. Health education and funding resources are essential, but recognising one’s own value and worth in the framework of this country as a first-class citizen is vital to taking personal responsibility and addressing one’s own health needs. It has to start with the individual if we as a nation and as health care professionals can truly make any difference.

A healthy Australian is a proud Australian.

NACCHO health news:Doctors should be able to provide subsidised “prescriptions” for healthy food

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Doctors should be able to provide subsidised “prescriptions” for healthy food to people in remote Aboriginal communities, says an Indigenous nutrition expert.

Professor Kerin O’Dea, Professor of Nutrition and Public Health in the Health Sciences Division of the University of South Australia, made the call after a study she co-authored found that people in three remote Aboriginal communities ate mostly processed foods high in sugar and salt and low in fruit and vegetables.

The study is published today in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Articlec published in the CONVERSATION

The study collected data on food purchased in three remote Northern Territory communities over a 12-month period and examined food expenditure, estimated per capita intake, nutrient profile and density relative to daily requirements, and major nutrient sources.

The study found that one-quarter of total food expenditure was spent on non-alcoholic beverages, with 15.6% spent on sugar-sweetened soft drinks. As little as 2.2% of money spent went on fruit, and only 5.4% on vegetables. Sugars contributed between 25.7% and 34.3% of energy, of which 71% was refined sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks.

“People in the study communities spend more on food ($379 to $418 per person per month) compared with the expenditure estimated for other Australians ($314 per person per month),“ the study said.

Professor O’Dea said the study highlighted the high cost of food in remote communities, especially perishable foods like fresh fruit, vegetables, and lean meat which should be staple foods.

“We should consider subsidising healthy foods for low income people in remote parts of Australia. I suggest we could have such a system incorporated into primary health care, doctors should be able to provide ‘prescriptions’ for healthy food,” Professor O’Dea said.

“We spend huge amounts on people once they are ill, but are reluctant to support people to remain healthy.”

Dr Vicki Flood, Nutritional Epidemiologist and Associate Professor in Public Health at the University of Woolongong said she could see value in incorporating food prescriptions into the primary health care system to help highlight the importance of a healthy diet.

“Medications are very costly and yet we could achieve improved health with better support for healthier diets, and would likely be a much smaller proportion of other health costs,” Dr Flood said.

“It could be implemented with a whole suite of preventive health strategies. This might include: better access to more affordable healthy foods (eg. reduced cost for fruit and vegetables, including subsidy of transport costs); good interpretative front of pack labelling like traffic light labelling to make it easier for people to identify healthier food choices; support to build capacity among Aboriginal communities about food and nutrition, etc.”

“You want to give people some scope to have healthy food in their diet but you still want them to be free to make that choice. I think it is about encouraging healthy choices to be easier choices.”

Dr Annabelle Wilson, Public Health Research Fellow at Flinders University said supporting people to remain healthy using a strengths-based approach was vital.

“As the authors suggest in the paper a cost benefit analysis of improved dietary intake on health outcomes is an important part of demonstrating why and how this could be done,” Dr Wilson said.

“There is no doubt that the cost of food in remote communities needs to be addressed, in particular the cost of healthy food,”

“I would advocate for a system that reduces the cost of healthy food at the community level, focuses on the health and well-being of all community members, builds local community capacity and is driven by local community members.”

NACCHO healthly kids good news: “Yamba” the award winning Aboriginal healthy living “musical” national tour dates

Yamba and Jacinta

Yamba’s Roadshow the Aboriginal healthly musical is going on tour again.

Deadly Award finalist for Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in 2011 and 2012, the healthy living musical will be performed to early childhood audiences in the Queensland towns of Longreach, Blackall, Barcaldine and Winton.

Picture above:Yamba the Honeyant and best friend Jacinta Price

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The stageshow stars Yamba the Honeyant, the popular preschool character, and best friend Jacinta Price, both from the hit preschool television series Yamba’s Playtime.

 But the highlight of the tour will be a special visit to the Northern Territory’s Ti Tree school and a performance with Yamba’s friend, Milpa the Goanna, at Tennant Creek. Milpa and Yamba always encourage children to “wash their face whenever it’s dirty” to help eliminate trachoma.

 Yamba’s Playtime, the first indigenous themed preschool television program to be granted a P Classification is broadcast nationally on the Nine Network’s digital channel GO!

It has also been a finalist at the 2011 and 2012 Deadly Awards for Television Show of the Year.

Because of Yamba’s immense recognition amongst indigenous and non-indigenous children, it was decided to take the admired honeyant on the road to remote communities within producer Imparja Television’s footprint, to deliver many healthy living messages via a singing and dancing stageshow, Yamba’s Roadshow.

 Yamba’s Roadshow has been travelling extensively throughout the Northern Territory and Queensland since early 2011. The stage musical has certainly been making a mark in delivering these healthy living messages and word of this has been ‘spreading like wildfire’. The Spirit Festival in Adelaide featured the Roadshow performance this year, with both Yamba and Jacinta winning the hearts of many children and parents.

 The musical targets an early childhood audience.  The overall messages it presents are getting a good night’s sleep, drink water, clean faces mean strong eyes, blowing your nose, wash your hands, brushing your teeth, eating bush tucker, eat fruit and vegetables, eat a healthy breakfast, playing sport and exercise, visit the dentist and doctor.

 Yamba and Jacinta’s Roadshow album has been a great resource for schools, health clinics, childcare centres, kindergartens and parents all around Australia, particularly in the Northern Territory and Queensland. The album features the whole stageshow performance, including the roadshow’s hugely popular healthy living songs such as the Healthy Body Song and Ngapa Kapi.

Yamba and Jacinta are ANTastically excited about their tour and looking forward to singing and dancing with the children and sharing about ways to ‘stay healthy and strong’.

Yamba the Honeyant and best friend Jacinta Price

Like Yamba’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/yambathehoneyant

http://livelonger.health.gov.au/2012/04/10/kids-learn-health-messages-from-yamba-the-honeyant/

 

 PERFORMANCE DATES
         
Friday 26th April 9.30am      
Tennant Creek Primary School Hall  
Tennant Creek NT      
         
Monday 29th April 10am    
Longreach Civic and Cultural Centre  
Longreach QLD      
Wednesday 1st May 9.30am
Blackall Cultural Centre
Blackall QLD  Saturday 4th May 11.30am
       
Barcaldine Showgrounds    
Barcaldine QLD    
       
         
Wednesday 8th May 9.30am    
Winton Shire Hall      
Winton QLD      
         
VISITS        
         
Wednesday 24th April 11.30am  
Ti Tree School. Preschool, Transition, Year 1 Classes
Ti Tree NT