NACCHO Aboriginal Health #RefreshtheCTGRefresh #ClosingTheGap : @ABSStats Release : #Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy lowest in remote and very remote areas

“Today’s figures show that life expectancy estimates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians remain lower than for the non- Indigenous population.

The life expectancy at birth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in 2015-2017 was 8.6 years lower than for non-Indigenous men, while that of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women was 7.8 years lower than that of non-Indigenous women”

The life expectancy at birth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in 2015-2017 was 71.6 years for men and 75.6 years for women, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

See ABS Website 

“However, life expectancy within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population varied considerably, with the lowest life expectancy experienced by those living in the more remote parts of the country” said Anthony Grubb, Director of Demography at the ABS.

“Life expectancy at birth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote and very remote areas was 65.9 years for men and 69.6 years for women, while those living in major cities had the highest life expectancy (72.1 years and 76.5 years for men and women respectively).”

“Today’s figures show that life expectancy estimates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians remain lower than for the non- Indigenous population. The life expectancy at birth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in 2015-2017 was 8.6 years lower than for non-Indigenous men, while that of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women was 7.8 years lower than that of non-Indigenous women”.

These differences were more marked in remote and very remote areas, where the difference in life expectancy at birth for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population compared with the non-Indigenous population was 13.8 years for men and 14.0 years for women.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the Northern Territory and Western Australia had the lowest life expectancy estimates.

Today’s release suggests the differences in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians narrowed slightly over the five-year period since 2010-2012.

LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH, Remoteness Areas – 2015-2017(a)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Non-Indigenous
Difference between non-Indigenous and Aboriginal and 
Torres Strait Islander life expectancy at birth(b)

MALES


Major Cities
72.1
80.7
8.6
Inner and Outer Regional
70.0
79.1
9.1
Remote and Very Remote
65.9
79.7
13.8

FEMALES


Major Cities
76.5
83.7
7.2
Inner and Outer Regional
74.8
82.8
8.0
Remote and Very Remote
69.6
83.6
14.0

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALES


Major Cities
-4.4
-3.0
. .
Inner and Outer Regional
-4.8
-3.7
. .
Remote and Very Remote
-3.8
-3.9
. .

.. not applicable.
(a) Based on the average number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths registered in 2015-2017 adjusted for under/over identification of Indigenous Status in registrations, and final Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population estimates for 30 June 2016 based on the 2016 Census.
(b) Differences are based on unrounded estimates. 

LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH, States and Territory – 2015-2017(a)

LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Non-Indigenous
Difference between non-Indigenous and Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander life expectancy at birth(b)
years
years
years

MALES


NSW
70.9
80.2
9.4
Qld
72.0
79.8
7.8
WA
66.9
80.3
13.4
NT
66.6
78.1
11.5
Aust.(c)
71.6
80.2
8.6

FEMALES


NSW
75.9
83.5
7.6
Qld
76.4
83.2
6.7
WA
71.8
83.8
12.0
NT
69.9
82.7
12.8
Aust.(c)
75.6
83.4
7.8

(a) Based on the average number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths registered in 2015-2017 adjusted for under/over identification of Indigenous Status in registrations, and final Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population estimates for 30 June 2016 based on the 2016 Census.
(b) Differences are based on unrounded estimates.
(c) These life expectancy estimates are calculated taking age-specific identification rates into account. 

Further details are available in Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2015-2017 (cat. no. 3302.0.55.003).

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health #refreshtheCTGRefresh #HOSW8 @fam_matters_au Download the #FamilyMatters Report 2018: The report 2018 urges that investment in #prevention is critical to stopping our national child removals crisis

 ” We call on all Australian Governments
 to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their representatives over the
 coming year and beyond to implement the evidence based strategies for change that this report shows are desperately needed. We hope that, as a result, next year’s report will show a changing story.

The choices that we make now go to the very heart of our shared obligation to heal our nation’s fractured past and secure our children’s future.”

– Natalie Lewis, Chair of Family Matters

At the launch of this Family Matters Report 2018, the campaign is calling upon the Council of Australian Governments to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and organisations across the country, to develop a generational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s strategy to eliminate over-representation in out-of-home care and address the causes of child removals.

Download the Report

Family-Matters-Report-2018

The rate at which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are being removed from their families is an escalating national crisis.

The Family Matters Report 2018, which was released at the Healing Our Spirit Worldwide Conference in Sydney today, finds that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are now 10.1 times more likely to be removed from their families than non-Indigenous children. And the rate is projected to triple in the next twenty years if urgent action is not taken.

Fewer than half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are placed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers, following a steep decline over the last 10 years. This places Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are removed from their families at serious risk of being permanently disconnected from their families, communities and cultures.

The Family Matters Report 2018 points to a number of issues as the drivers of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system. Poverty is one – it was found that 25 per cent of clients accessing homelessness services were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, and most disturbingly, of those clients, one in four was a child under the age of 10.

Family violence was also highlighted in the report, where in 2016-17, emotional abuse, which can include exposure to family violence, was the most common child protection concern for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Another driver of over-representation is intergenerational trauma. Direct descendants of the Stolen Generations are 30 per cent more likely to have poor mental health than other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. All of these factors put our children at greater risk of entering the child protection system.

The report also notes with concern the strong trends in policy and legislative reform to increase the focus on permanent care and adoption. The recently released report from the Senate Inquiry into Local Adoption recommends pathways to open adoption for all children in out-of-home care, which will disproportionately impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

As recognised in the ALP’s dissenting report this “willfully ignores the weight of evidence from submitters, it also flies in the face of human rights conventions”. Safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is always the priority and this includes ensuring their connection to culture, community and kin, as recognised in the Family Matters Report.

This year’s report is solutions-focussed, highlighting the way forward for positive change. We must shift from being reactive to being proactive, invest heavily in solutions, and involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in decision-making about their own children.

Governments are only investing 17% of child protection funding in support services for children and their families, which are critical to preventing the situations that lead to child removals. The majority of child protection funding (83%) is spent on child protection services and out-of-home care – reacting to problems once they’ve already occurred.

There must be a significant boost in funding of culturally safe preventative and early intervention measures to urgently put a stop to these high rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child removals.

But, the pace of investment and action in prevention and early intervention is slow. Efforts to address broader community and social issues that contribute to risk for our children across areas such as housing, justice, violence and poverty, remain vastly inadequate and lack coordination… This year’s Family Matters Report puts a spotlight on primary prevention measures in the early years of children’s lives – the years that matter most to changing the storyline for our families.”

– Natalie Lewis, Chair of Family Matters

Another way forward is putting greater focus on early years services to ensure that our children have the best possible start in life. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander five-year-olds are 2.5 times more likely to be developmentally delayed than non-Indigenous children. And yet they are accessing early childhood education and care at half the rate of non-Indigenous children. We must facilitate greater access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families to early years services.

The Family Matters Report 2018 also highlights the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander decision-making in child protection. So far only Victoria and Queensland have a statewide program to support Aboriginal families to participate in child protection decisions. Only the same two states have agreed on a comprehensive strategy to improve outcomes for children that is overseen by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family-led decision-making in child protection must be rolled out nation-wide to ensure the best outcomes for our children.

Family Matters is Australia’s national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture. The campaign is led by SNAICC – National Voice for our Children – the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Our goal is to eliminate the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 2040.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal #SexualHealth #UandMeCanStopHIV Check out #ACCHO Events this week @atsihaw and we cover Minister @KenWyattMP Launches new TV and Social Media campaign to tackle First Nations #HIV

 

” A new television, social media and community campaign has been launched during Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week, to increase understanding of HIV and reduce new cases among First Nations people.

Part of a $3.4 million project funded by the Federal Government, through the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the campaign aims to capitalise on a reduction in new HIV diagnoses last year.”

To view or download the new campaign resources visit see link below 

Check out over NACCHO 40 Aboriginal Sexual Health Articles like this HERE 

 “ Each year in the first week of December, to coincide with World AIDS Day, we host Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week – “ATSIHAW”.

The inaugural ATSIHAW was held in November 2014 to get a conversation going in our community about HIV prevention and the importance of regular testing for HIV.

The theme of ATSIHAW is “U AND ME CAN STOP HIV”.

ATSIHAW has proven itself to be a popular event – engaging our communities, as well as HIV researchers, doctors, health workers and policy-makers. Each year ATSIHAW events that aim to promote awareness of HIV are run in local community based organisations. Engagement is continuing to grow with the number of events reaching over 60 during the week of ATSIHAW in 2016.

ATSIHAW 2018 will run from 27 November to 1 December 2018, with the official launch at Parliament House, Canberra, on 27 November 2018. Senator Dean Smith hosted the launch, in his capacity as Chair of the Parliamentary Liaison Group on HIV/AIDS, Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.” 

ATSIHAW community events and activities are held across Australia

See full list of events below or HERE 

The campaign has First Nations voices and people speaking directly to First Nations people – communicating with cultural understanding, to help ensure these lifesaving messages get through.

To view or download the new campaign resources visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCizXGcmiz9tKjrf6BvdMlOQ 

In 2017 there were 31 new HIV cases diagnosed in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – 30 per cent less than in 2016 – but HIV among First Australians remains too high.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are disproportionately affected by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

At 4.6 cases per 100,000, the per capita rate of HIV infection last year was still 1.6 times the rate for the non-Indigenous Australian-born population.

Although the majority of HIV cases in First Australians are in men who have sex with men, compared to other Australians, First Nations people are six times as likely to contract HIV as a result of injecting drugs, and more likely to contract it from heterosexual sex.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also more likely to have undiagnosed HIV.

This is particularly concerning as international evidence shows that people diagnosed with HIV who receive appropriate treatment can reduce HIV to levels so low that it is undetectable.

This reduces the risk of transmission significantly. This is known as ‘Treatment as Prevention’, and it is essential that it is better promoted and understood in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

VIEW HERE

As well as the SAHMRI education campaign, our Government is funding awareness raising about the use of HIV medicines to prevent HIV transmission – known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP.

We have committed $1.2 million over five years for education and awareness activities about PrEP for both doctors and other prescribers, and affected communities, including First Australians.

Since April, PrEP had been available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, making it affordable for all. If taken daily, PrEP has been shown to be highly effective in protecting people from contracting HIV.

The Government will provide an estimated $180 million a year in subsidies for PrEP to reduce HIV, especially among First Australians, some migrant groups, and gay and bisexual men.

To continue the fight against HIV – among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and across the whole country – we will shortly be announcing new national Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections strategies.

To view or download the new campaign resources visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCizXGcmiz9tKjrf6BvdMlOQ 

ACT

NATSISN (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Network)

HIV and community – Awareness event
26 Nov – 3 Dec
Department of Health foyer
51 Ellerston Ave
Isabella Plains ACT 2905

Contact: Kartika Medcraft kartika.medcraft@health.gov.au
Awareness of rise of HIV/ STI in indigenous community, local services and prevention campaigns


Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services

Community BBQ
3-Dec
Winnunga Aboriginal Health Service
63 Boolimba Cres
Narrabundah ACT 2604

HIV Awareness

Contact: Christine Saddler, christine.saddler@winnunga.org.au

New South Wales

Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC)

Redfern AMS
28 Nov – 5 Dec at Redfern AMS
U and Me can stop HIV

Raising awareness, treatment and support options for clients and families

Contact: Sophie Scobie: sscobie@ahmrc.org.au


Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC)

Rural Doctors Network

28 Nov – 5 Dec Rural Doctors Network – Conf. stall
U and Me can stop HIV
Raising awareness, treatment and support options for clients and families to GPs

Contact: Angela Draper adraper@ahmrc.org.au


Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC) – Tharawal AMS

U and Me can stop HIV
28 Nov – 5 Dec Tharawal AMS

Raising awareness, treatment and support options for clients and families

Contact: Pauline Weldon-bowen pbowen@ahmrc.org.au


Albury Community Health

596 Smollett Street Albury NSW 2640

STIGMA Performance
8-Dec 7:20pm
Hothouse Theatre

Examining the prejudices, discrimination and stigma experiences by people living with HIV

Contact: Helen Best helen.best@awh.org.au


Bega Sexual Health Clinic (SERH, SNSWLH)

4 Virginia Drive Beg NSW 2550

You and Me can Stop HIV
29 and 30 November 10:00 – 2:00
SERH foyer and Bega AMS Katungul waiting room

Promote HIV prevention, testing and treatment
HIV prevention, safe sex promotion, promote HIV testing. Promote awareness of HIV treatment to prevent transmission and PeP and PrEP

Contact: Fiona Mckenna fiona.mckenna@health.nsw.gov.au


Griffith Community Health Centre Sexual Health

39 Yambil Street Griffith NSW 2680

World AIDS Day community Event
1-Dec 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Memorial Gardens Griffith

Remembrance and raising awareness of stigma of positive people. Community engagement and prevention, testing and treatment of HIV in the local region
Contact: Sally Davoren sally.davoren@health.nsw.gov.au


HARP Unit M & SNSW LHD

Level 3, 34 Lowe Street Queanbeyan NSW 2620

Displays and Information Stalls – U and Me can stop HIV, come have a yarn
10am – 2pm on 23 Nov – 30 Nov
Queanbeyan Hospital Foyer and Goulburn Community Health Centre.

Prevention, testing and treatment and information of HIV to local community members and health care workers. 
Discussions on our free and confidential services in the local area which offers, information, screening, treatment and support

Contact: Kevin Schamburg  kevin.schamburg@health.nsw.gov.au


Illawara Aboriginal Medical Service

2/30 Princess highway Dapto NSW 2530

U and Me can stop HIV BBQ
29-Nov at Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service (Wollongong)

Raising awareness, treatment and support options for clients and families

Contact: Debbie Gaudie dgaudie@illawarraamd.com.au


MLHD Brookong Centre Sexual Health

79 Brookong Avenue Wagga Wagga NSW 2650

Distribution to local Aboriginal services during week
26 Nov – 31 Nov at local Aboriginal and youth based services
That as a community we can all do our part in ending HIV as well as show our support for people living with HIV

Contact: Janine Sutton janine.sutton@health.nsw.gov.au


Aboriginal Health Goulburn

Aunty Jeans Goulburn
6-Dec 10:00am – 2:00pm
Bourke Street Health Service

HIV prevention and awareness for the local Aboriginal community

Contact: Rick Shipp richard.shipp@health.nsw.gov.au


Orange Aboriginal Medical Service

27-31 Perc Griffith Way Orange NSW 2800

HIV awareness week
28 Nov – 5 Dec
Orange Aboriginal Medical Service

Get tested more treatment options

Contact: Michael Halls michaelh@oams.net.au


Riverina Aboriginal Medical & Dental Corp

14 Trail Street Wagga Wagga NSW 2650

Yandarra
11-Nov 8:30 – 4:00
Jack mission Oval, Ashmont

Caring for our community for 30 years

Contact: Latoya Terry latoya.terry@rivmed.org


SNSWLHD – Eurobodalla

2 River street Moruya NSW 2537

1 December from 9:00 – 1:00
Batemans Bay and Moruya WAD Roadshow

Promotion and availability of HIV testing and treatment services in Eurobodalla 

Contact: Will Hooke william.hooke@health.nsw.gov.au


South East Regional Hospital, Health NSW

4 Virginia Drive Bega NSW 2550

Awareness of HIV
1-Dec 9:00am
Foyer of hospital

Heighten awareness

Contact: Jo Donovan, joanne.donovan@health.nsw.gov.au


Yoorana Gunya Aboriginal Family Healing Centre

40-70 Church Street Forbes NSW 2871

Health Awareness Day
14-Nov Main Street, Forbes
Knowledge of what testing can be done for HIV? AIDS and treatment

Contact: Deanne Anderson dee@yooranagunya.com.au

Northern Territory

Marthakal Homelands Health Service

World AIDS Day
1-Dec at Mapurrui Health Clinic

We want to tell people about HIV – encourage testing & promote prevention

Contact: Peter Malavisi: health.manager@marthakal.org


Royal Darwin Hospital – SHBBVU

Royal Darwin Hospital, Tiwi NT

Raising Awareness among community and staff around reducing the risk of infection.
29th Nov from 10am – 12:00pm at the Royal Darwin Hospital

Contact: Letishia Parter: letihsia.parter@nt.gov.au


Royal Darwin Hospital – SHBBVU

Royal Darwin Hospital, Tiwi NT

ATSIHAW BBQ 

Raising Awareness
Friday 30th Nov 7am- 9am – Casuarina shopping centre (Woolworth’s side under the carpark)
The Darwin Sexual Health Blood Borne Virus Unit will have an ATSIHAW BBQ in the Casuarina shopping centre carpark with the Larrakia Nations HEAL program for the homeless from 7am-9am. 
Come along learn about HIV and grab some free ATSIHAW merchandise.

Contact: Letishia Parter: letihsia.parter@nt.gov.au


Central Australian Aboriginal Congress

32 Priest Street Alice Springs NT 870

Health Promotion event 
30-Nov 10:00am
Congress main clinic

Safe sex, preventative programs and health promotion including other services

Contact: Natalee Norsworthy: natalee.norsworthy@caac.org.au

Queensland

Gar’ban’djee’lum Network

Brown Sugar
30-Nov 7:00pm til late
Australian National Hotel, 867 Stanley St, Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and positive sexual health. 
Condoman and Lubelicious will be handing out condom and lube packs

Contact: ddtat64@gmail.com


 Giradula

 

50 George Street Bowen QLD

Together as a community we can stop HIV
29-Nov at Collinsville Town Park
To encourage all of community to be aware of HIV and how as a community we can stop HIV

Contact: Leanne Prise: lprise@girudala.com.au


Giradula

50 George Street Bowen QLD

Together as a community we can stop HIV
27-Nov at Proserpine Town Park

To encourage all of community to be aware of HIV and how as a community we can stop HIV

Contact: Leanne Prise: lprise@girudala.com.au


Mamu Health Service 23 Glady Street Innisfail QLD

HIV awareness week 
7-Dec at Main Clinic, Innisfail

Keep you clean, palya, Keep you safe

Contact: Teayana Salter: tsalter@mamuhsl.org.au


Giradula, Bowen QLD

Together as a community we can stop HIV
28-Nov at Bowen Town Square

To encourage all of community to be aware of HIV and how as a community we can stop HIV

Contact: Leanne Prise: lprise@girudala.com.au


Mens and Womens Health Torres NPA

WAD Ball
1-Dec evening
Thursday Island Bowling Club

To inform and educate the indigenous and non-indigenous people living in the Torres Strait communities about the risks involved with unsafe sex, having more than one partner and the importance of regular screening and testing. We need to let the community know about the importance of knowledge and understanding in regard to sexual health, also the Men’s and Women’s health staff will be promoting HIV Awareness Week leading up to world AIDS day

Contact: Sandra or Richard: sandra.gregson@health.qld.au or Richard.Mola@health.qld.gov.au

South Australia

Aboriginal Health Council of SA

220 Franklin Street Adelaide SA 5000

HIV is Everybodys business!
You and me can stop HIV
Information Stall 28 Nov – 5 Dec all day
Reception area of Aboriginal Health Council of SA

Contact: Sarah Betts: sarah.betts@ahcsa.org


Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service

1 Eyre Highway Ceduna SA 5690

CKAHSAC HIV awareness day
HIV day 22-Nov 10:30am – 1:00pm

Contact: Con Miller con.miller2@ckahsac.org.au


Drug and Alcohol Services SA

91 Magill Road Stepney SA 5069

ATSIHAW promotion through our clean needle exchange program 
26-Nov from 9:00am  at 91 Magill Road Stepney 
Promoting ATSIHAW to all clean needle program clients, making them aware of the importance of the week

Contact: Kendall Robertson kendall.robertson@sa.gov.au


Nunkuwarrin Yunti

182 – 190 Wakefield St Adelaide SA 5000

ATSIHIV awareness week 
31 Nov – 4 Dec 9:00am – 5:00pm at Nunkuwarrin Yunti Health Service 
You and Me can stop HIV

Contact: Jorge Carvajal jorgec@nunku.org.au


Pangula Mannamurna Aboriginal Corporation

191 Commercial St West Mt Gambier SA 5291

Community Awareness 28 Nov – 5 Dec 9am – 5pm 
Pangula Mannamurna reception area and clinic treatment room 
By getting information out to all community in the hope to raise awareness and start the conversation

Contact: Narelle Winterfield narelle@pangula.org.au


Pika Wiya

40-44 Dartmouth Street Pt Augusta SA 5700

Lets talk about HIV
28-Nov Pika Wiya Health Service – Well Womens House
A lot of education on HIV, risk what treatment, STI’s, give out pamphlets

Contact: Kerryn Dadleh kerryn.dadleh@pikawiya.org.au


SAMESH

57 Hyde street Adelaide SA 5000

ATSIHAW Red Ribbon Appeal
28-Nov 7:00am – 9:00am
Adelaide Railway Station and Tram stops 
Aboriginal people are effected by HIV percentage wise more than the rest of the population.

Contact: Daniel Jeffries daniel.jeffries@samesh.org.au


SIN

220 South Rd Mile End SA 5031

HIV awareness week at SIN 
28 Nov – 5 Dec daily 
HIV awareness, decreasing stigma

Contact: street@sin.org.au


Tullawon

303 Tullawon Square, Yalata Community Ceduna SA 5690

HIV awareness day 
10-Dec Yalata Clinic 
With HIV awareness we can prevent disease prevalence

Contact: Natasha Desai natashad@tullawon.org.au


Nungay Night 2018 – Get your Glitter on Gurl

Saturday 24th November 2018 at Chateau Apollo, 74 Frome Street, Adelaide

Black n Deadly Live Acts, food, drinks, laughs, DJ
Special guests, door prizes and silent auction
Due to Adult Themes, the event is 16+

Order your tickets here:  https://www.feast.org.au/events/nungay-night/

Victoria

Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS)

9 Nolan Street Kerang VIC 3579

HIV Awareness and Support Services
U and Me can stop HIV BBQ Event 
30-Nov 11:30am at MDAS Kerang

Contact: Melanie Lane mlane@mdas.org.au


Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS)

70 Nyah Road Swan Hill VIC 3585

HIV statistics and stigma, sexual health and support services
U and me, HIV community BBQ 
30-Nov 12:00pm at MDAS Community Hall

Contact: Djallarna Hamilton dhamilton@mdas.org.au


Victorian Aboriginal Health Service

186 Nicholson Street Fitzroy VIC 3065

HIV & AIDS Awareness day 
30-Nov 9:00 – 5:00 at VAHS Medical clinic 
Fitzroy HIV and awareness information

Contact: Jermaine Charles jermaine.charles@vahs.org.au


Thorne Harbour Health

Level 5, 615 St Kilda road Melbourne VIC

HIV awareness 
30-Nov 11:00 – 1:00 at Dandenong Aboriginal Health Service 
Be aware of the rising rates of HIV in the Aboriginal community and the new options for prevention, care and treatment

Contact: Peter Waples-Crow peter.wapless-crowe@thorneharbour.org

Western Australia

Aboriginal Health Council of WA
450 Beaufort Street Highgate WA

Be STI and BBV free
Encouraging health checks in your people, normalising STI and BBV testing with any presentation, showing the new animation for STI/BBV including what HIV and AIDS is
26/27/28 Nov 9:30 – 10:30 at  AHCWA offices for staff inviting DYHS and MC staff

Contact: Jen Needham jennifer.needham@ahcwa.org


Bega Gambirringu

16-18 Mcdonald Street Kalgoorlie WA 6430

HIV awareness week at Bega
Testing availability at Bega – confidentiality and culturally appropriate
3 – 7 Dec 8:30am – 4:30pm at the Aboriginal Health Service Courtyard at Bega

Contact: Alicia Sheridan alicia.sheridan@bega.org.au


Bega Gambirringu

16 – 18 McDonald Street Kalgoorlie WA 6430

HIV Awareness
10-Nov 8:30am at the Community Health Service HIV awareness within the indigenous community of the goldfields

Contact: Sonia Talamo robert.bell@bega.org.au


DAHS

1 Stanley Street Derby WA 6728

World AIDS Day 
7-Dec 8am – 12:30pm at DAHS waiting room 
World AIDS day messages/ yarning. We can walk hand in hand together

Contact: Theresa Kitaura traceyk@dahs.org.au


Derbal Yerrigan Health Service

156 Wittenoom Street East Perth WA 6004

No shame in getting a test 
19-Nov 12:00pm Derbarl Yerrigan Aboriginal Health Service 
No shame in getting a test

Contact: Jarrod Minnecon jarrod.minniecon@dyhs.org.au


Great southern Aboriginal Health Service

61 Serpentine Road Albany WA 6330

Family Fun Day 
28-Nov 11:00 – 2:00pm at the local Park 
To increase community awareness of HIV and other BBVS and STI’s and to promote safer sex and injecting practices and testing and treatment

Contact: Megan Robson megan.robson@health.wa.gov.au


Nullagine Clinic

Cooke Street Nullagine WA 6758

Random talks at the clinic when people present daily opening hours 
Informal meetings to be held at Nullagine Clinic Screen and stay safe. 
Protection

Contact: Mary Anne Hanson mary-anne.hanson@health.wa.gov.au


Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service

1125 Ironwood Dr Kununurra WA 6743

Yarning HIV over Billy Tea 
27-Nov tbc at Ski Beach, bush location 
General education regarding HIV/ AIDS – so many young peoople have never hear of HIV much less understand it

Contact: Jane Anglis jane.a@ovahs.org.au


Pilbara Population Health

62 Balmoral Road Karratha WA 6714

School HIV awareness day in class with Girls Academy/ CLONTARF indigenous students at Karratha Senior High School 
The focus will be on de-stigmatising HIV and the testing process. 
How pilbara polulation health has free and easy testing available as well as free access to clean needles and condoms.

Contact: Chantelle Pears chantelle.pears@health.wa.gov.au


WACHS Public Health Karratha Health Campus 

63 Balmoral Road Karratha WA 6714

School Health Promotion 
26-Nov all day School, community HIV education including prevention and safe sex messages

Contact: Jan Marie Grantham jan-marie.grantham@health.wa.gov.au.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download a PDF copy of Plan 

National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan 2018-2028

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Points of action plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the FASD Workshop in Perth this week 

The plan is committed to breaking FASD’s impact on

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

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

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

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

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

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

NACCHO Aboriginal #Eye Health #refreshtheCTGRefresh : @AHCSA_ @RANZCOeyedoctor @IEHU_UniMelb has launched the 2018 Annual Update on the Implementation of The Roadmap to #ClosetheGap for Vision

“All of these improvements are very encouraging, but more needs to be done if we want to achieve our goal of giving all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people the same eye health as other Australians,

“It is crucial that we keep working closely with local communities through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, and at higher levels to make sure that services are properly provided and resourced across states and territories.”

Professor Hugh Taylor, Head of Indigenous Eye Health at Melbourne University

” The feeling of restoring someone’s sight is what Taylor describes as “almost biblical”.

The surgery for restoring sight is often quite simple, but the impact of the surgery, and the emotional response that comes with it, often leaves Taylor at a loss for words.   

While 94 per cent of vision loss is avoidable, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are six times more likely to suffer from blindness than non Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults.

After working in remote Indigenous communities with the Fred Hollows Foundation, as well as overseas, and seeing little change in the statistics over a number of years, Taylor decided it was time to take serious action on closing the vision gap.

Taylor is on a mission to close the gap by 2020, through sustainable health systems that will change the landscape of Indigenous eye health, forever.  

In this months Changemaker, Prof Taylor discusses why he was inspired take charge of Indigenous eye health, creating sustainable solutions, and the feeling of restoring a human’s eyesight. See Full Interview Part 2 Below

Download 2018-AnnualUpdate_Close the Gap

Part 1:The Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision

The 2018 Annual Update on the Implementation of The Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision was launched on this week at the 50th Annual Scientific Congress of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists in Adelaide by Shane Mohor, CEO of the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia and Professor Hugh Taylor, Head of Indigenous Eye Health at Melbourne University. Dr Heather Mack, President-Elect of RANZCO hosted the launch.

Philip Roberts from the indigenous eye health unit hard at work

“It is terrific to see the progress that has been made with great work being done by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations and all of our partners in eye health,” Professor Taylor said. Progress includes:

  • 19 of 42 systemic issues identified in Indigenous eyecare have been fixed and three quarters of the intermediate activities have been completed
  • In 2008 blindness and impaired vision among Indigenous people were six times the national rate. Now it is down to three times the national rate
  • A third of Indigenous adults have diabetes and are at risk of blindness through diabetic retinopathy
  • Up to 98 per cent of diabetes-related blindness can be prevented through annual eye exams and timely treatment in the disease’s early stages
  • Diabetic retinopathy cameras and trained operators are being placed in more than 150 Aboriginal health clinics across Australia
  • 53 of 63 regions across the country are now working to co-ordinate eye care for Indigenous people – covering more than 70 percent of the nation’s Indigenous population
  • The rate of trachoma, a blinding eye infection passed child to child and prevented by keeping faces clean, dropped from 21 per cent in outback children in 2008 to 3.8 per cent in 2018 and is on track to be eliminated by the end of 2020
  • Australia remains the only developed country with endemic trachoma, which is only found in Indigenous communities. Prompt repair and maintenance of washing facilities is key to helping children wash faces, while more timely data-reporting would allow targeted intervention in trachoma hot spots.

Part 2 : In this months Changemaker, Taylor discusses why he was inspired take charge of Indigenous eye health, creating sustainable solutions, and the feeling of restoring a human’s eyesight.

Republished from Maggie Coggan Article Probono

What made you want to specialise in Indigenous eye health?

Back in the 70s, when I was doing my ophthalmology training, I spent a year working with the Fred Hollows Foundation. Over a period of a year or so, we examined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the whole country, and this gave me a real insight into some of the conditions and disadvantages of Indigenous people across the country.

It was when I did a review for the Commonwealth, in the mid 90s on Indigenous eye health, and made a series of recommendations, that I realised in 30 years, nothing had changed. I realised no one else seemed to be doing much to make a change, so I rolled up my sleeves and got on with it, moved to Melbourne University and set up the eye health unit, to really try and focus on this problem full time.

When you were working in those remote communities, at what point did you realise it was a really big problem?

I’d been brought up in middle class family, and went to school and university in Melbourne, living quite a privileged life.

Keep in mind, I was there over 40 years ago, so things have changed, but when I was working in these remote communities, many were wearing old second hand clothes, lacking facilities to wash themselves or their clothes, with eye, nose, ear and skin infections. It was very different from walking around suburban Melbourne or working in the emergency room or outpatient clinic. \

That fellow Australians were allowed to live like that was just not right and a real shock. I just couldn’t understand how that could happen in Australia. It was when I went overseas and did work in Africa, Asia, America and the Middle East, and saw what can happen and change there, that I realised things hadn’t changed in Australia and we needed to do something about it.

Dr Hugh Taylor screening for trachoma

Why did you think setting up your own clinic and area of work was more effective than the work you were doing with Fred Hollows?

The stuff I did with Hollows was really a survey, and one-off eye care, and an attempt to set up ongoing eye care. I was then one of the founding board members of the foundation, they weren’t really doing much in the Indigenous eye health space, mainly focusing their work overseas. I was also running a big clinical department and research group, and the Centre for Eye Research Australia, amongst other things, and it only left an hour or two a week to think about Indigenous eye health.

I really wanted to develop long term and sustainable changes, rather than having one-off services, that needed time and effort to identify the problems, and then working out what the solutions are, and how they could be best rolled out.

Restoring someone’s eyesight is a pretty significant act, what does that feel like for you doing the work?  

Ophthalmology is almost biblical. You’re making blind people see again, and that can be both rewarding for the patient and the family, but also for the practitioners. Sometimes it’s quite embarrassing, because all you’ve done to people, once you’re trained, is a simple operation. But taking out someone’s cataract, particularly if it’s a very advanced cataract, to take that out and do it properly, you feel very satisfied at the end of surgery.

The next day when you take off the bandage and the dressing, and the patient is bursting with emotion, and joy at being able to see, count how many toes they have or touching their nose. Sometimes they are so excited, you really don’t know what to say, and that’s really very moving and very exciting.

Are there other reasons aside from a lack of services that contribute to the high numbers of vision loss for Indigenous people?  

Well it’s interesting, because when we first set up the Indigenous eye health unit, we did a survey and found that the unmet need in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, is the same as it is, in Fitzroy Crossing, up in the Kimberley.

In the Kimberley, we obviously need to get more eye services out there, but the Victorian Aboriginal health service in Fitzroy is less than a mile from the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, the largest eye hospital in the Southern Hemisphere.

They were also having seven times less surgery to remove cataracts, and they were four times more likely to wait for more than a year to get surgery done. Some of the reasons for not using services were for simple things like cultural safety, or institutional racism that was keeping people away.

Other things were the movement of more and more surgery into private hospitals, with big gap fees. We ended up saying that the path of care was like a leaky pipe, there are lots of cracks where people can fall out of the system, and if you only fix one or two cracks, the pipe is still leaking. You actually have to address each of those issues, to fix the pipe.

Changing behaviour through education

Do you feel you’ve received enough support from government?

We’ve had a lot of support from government, and there has been a lot of things done. Of our road map, there were 42 recommendations, and more than 16 of those have been fully implemented, and we have a first step done on every one of those, and about two-thirds or more of the intermediate steps have been done.

So we are actually making really good progress.

The government has put in a whole lot of funding into quite a number of those recommendations, and made a number of those changes. There’s still more work to do, and we’ve made good progress, rolling out this improved way of delivering eye care, we have halved the gap for blindness, but more needs to be done to implement those recommendations across the country. We are hopeful this will happen in the next funding cycle, people see what progress is being made, and we live in hope that we will close the gap for vision in 2020.

Do you think vision loss receives less attention because it doesn’t immediately cause death?

Something we outlined in our report on closing the gap, is the false reasons for not doing something about blindness. People say it doesn’t kill you, but actually, if you have visual impairment you have more than a two fold increased risk of dying. Vision loss caused 11 per cent of the health gap.

The first is heart disease, the second is diabetes, equal third is trauma and vision loss. It’s actually very important. The second is people say you can’t do anything about it, and it’s just a natural part of ageing, but in fact, 94 per cent of the vision impairment is unnecessary, and it’s treatable.

Much of it can be fixed overnight. You can give someone a pair of glasses, they see right away, and if you do cataract surgery, they will see the next day. So unlike some of these other chronic problems, like alcoholism, or heart disease, or kidney failure, with vision loss, most of it we can actually fix.

What we see, is the eye care is providing a paradigm or a template on how to link primary care with the specialist services, because if we can sort it out for eyes, it can work for hearts, and lungs and kidneys.

Why exactly is it that blindness is linked to shorter life expectancy?

People who have vision impairment, have a doubling risk of falls, an eight fold increase of hip fractures, are three times more likely to have depression, and you can’t actually get around to look after yourself, or go to the doctor or participate in community and religious events.

And in addition, if you’re so blind from diabetes, you can’t check your blood sugar, you can’t check all your pills, or your feet to make sure they aren’t having problems. There are some very serious impediments that happen because of sight loss. It also prevents healthy and independent ageing.

I mean, Makinti Napanangka, who won the 2008 Telstra Art award, had to stop painting because she was blind from cataract, and after she had surgery, she took out the award, and that’s fantastic. From not being able to take yourself to the doctor, or make a cup of tea, she was able to return to her career after surgery, so it’s really important.

What are you currently working on?

Our focus at the moment is working with advocacy and government to try and get additional funding, particularly the increase in funding for the visiting outreach services for ophthalmology and optometry, and funding for case management of patients who need care referrals in their treatment. We are doing a lot of work making sure that everyone with diabetes gets the regular treatment and that’s also across the country.

In the area of trachoma, while we’ve had very good progress, there is still much more work to be done to eliminate it as a blinding disease. For that we are focusing on health promotion so that every child and family knows to keep the kids faces clean, to stop the transmission of infection, and also to make sure there’s washing facilities in the houses and schools, so the kids can actually make sure that they can wash their faces.

Do you think it’s possible to close the vision gap by 2020?

Yes! There’s a lot of work to do, but you’ve gotta back things that work, and we are actually making real progress. We’ve already halved the gap for blindness, reduced the rates of trachoma in kids from remote communities from 21 per cent in 2008 to 3.8 per cent, so I think we are making some really good progress, we just need to have the support to finish the job.

What are you doing to ensure that the organisation that is set up is sustainable and continue on?

My little group may disappear, and that’ll be fine, what we are really trying to do is develop long term sustainable changes so that this system just keeps on running.

Once it’s set up in place, they’ll be checks and balances with monitoring and reporting, and the evaluation of reporting. So it’s really about building those sustainable solutions, building things into medicare, changing government policy, so services are properly funded and coordinated.

I started 40 years ago, dropping into communities and fixing eyesight and then leaving, and that’s not what we should be doing in 2018, we need to be more sustainable.

The national Close the Gap campaign extends beyond just eye health, does the complexity of the issue overwhelm you?

It is complex, and I recognise that but no I don’t feel overwhelmed. I actually feel empowered by recognising it’s complexity. Stepping back and taking this health system approach, looking at the patient journey or the pathway of care, coming up with the notion of it being a leaky pipe with many issues to fix is important.

There’s no silver bullet, it’s not the three key priorities. I’m quite empowered by a quote from Helen Keller, who said I am only one, and I can’t do everything, but I am one, and I can do something, and because I can’t do everything, doesn’t mean that I won’t do the something that I can do.

With eye care, you can actually do it, and teasing out the real things that need to be done and as I said, most of it can be fixed, and most of it can be fixed overnight. I think we are making really good progress, and learning the lessons that we’ve been working out for eye care to apply for the provisions of other specialist health services.

How has this experience changed you?

I guess it makes me optimistic that we can change, and recognising that there’s not a silver bullet, there’s not just three things that need to be done, you need to take a health systems approach, and look at the multiple things.

And so taking a complex problem and unpacking it has been very important, and I think that has given me the optimism for when people ask if we can get it all done by 2020, because of course we can! If we can keep pushing on and kicking a few goals, it’s very doable, we will get there.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #refreshtheCTGRefresh Campaign : 13 peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bodies propose meeting  with COAG reps to determine a framework for reaching agreement on a refreshed #ClosingtheGap strategy

We understand that at this stage it is intended that new Closing the Gap targets will be settled at COAG’s December meeting,

We are calling on COAG to hold off doing this and instead put in place a proper partnership mechanism with us. The new targets haven’t been published and Indigenous peaks are uncertain what the targets will be and therefore we cannot provide our support.

NACCHO and the peak bodies engaged with the process, took time to submit written submissions and attend workshops to discuss refreshing the Closing the Gap strategy earlier this year. But we can’t see how our input has been taken into account,

As a first step we propose a meeting with COAG representatives and the peak bodies to discuss a way forward that includes a genuine partnership approach.

Aboriginal people need to be at the centre of the Closing the Gap Refresh policy; the gap won’t close without our full engagement and involvement.

Having Aboriginal people involved in the design of the Refresh and proposed revised targets will lead to Aboriginal people taking greater responsibility for the outcomes. It’s been proven that Aboriginal community control is vital and delivers better outcomes for our people.” 

NACCHO Chief Executive Pat Turner AM see interview Part 3 below 

Download the NACCHO Press Release Here

NACCHO media release Refresh The CTG Refresh

Part 1 NACCHO Press Release continued 

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and other Aboriginal peak bodies across Australia have written to COAG First Ministers seeking a full partnership approach between Indigenous people and governments in refreshing the Closing the Gap Strategy, scheduled to be put to COAG for consideration in Adelaide on 12 December.

The letter, signed by 13 peak bodies, proposes an urgent meeting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies to meet with COAG representatives to determine a framework for reaching agreement on a refreshed Closing the Gap strategy.

It’s the second letter the group has written to COAG after failing to receive a response to their initial letter in early October from any government except the Northern Territory.

Part 2 Letter to Council of Australian Government First Ministers

Dear Council of Australian Government First Ministers 16/11/2018

We write again, further to our letter of 4 October 2018, concerning the Closing the Gap Refresh, a joint initiative of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), to seek a formal partnership mechanism between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and governments in the Closing the Gap Refresh policy. We have only received a response from the Northern Territory Government.

As stated in our original letter, all of us believe it is essential that agreement is reached on the Closing the Gap Refresh policy between Indigenous organisations, on behalf of communities across Australia and Australian governments. What we propose is entirely consistent with the commitment made by COAG to set a new relationship with our communities based on a partnership.

If governments alone, continue to make decisions about the Closing the Gap, without an opportunity for us to be at the table, it will not be possible to advocate with any confidence or motivate our communities to support Closing the Gap and to take joint responsibility with governments for achieving the targets.

Pictures above and below from our #refreshtheCTGRefresh Campaign

The evidence is strong that when Indigenous people are included and have a real say in the design and delivery of services that impact on them, the outcomes are far better. We are certain that Indigenous peoples need to be at the centre of the Closing the Gap Refresh policy: the gap won’t close without our full involvement and COAG First Ministers, who are responsible for the Closing the Gap framework, cannot expect us to take responsibility and work constructively with them to improve outcomes if we are excluded from the decision making.

We have proposed a reasonable way forward to Australian Governments in our original letter without making it public to give everyone a reasonable opportunity to consider it. However, we understand that it is the intention of Australian Governments to still settle on targets at the forthcoming meeting of COAG on 12 December 2018.

We also understand that implementation arrangements are to be left over for COAG to agree in 2019. We make the points that neither ourselves nor anyone else outside government have seen the proposed targets which we think is way short of being partners and transparent and we cannot see how the targets can be agreed without considering at the same time how they are to be achieved.

We assume that Australian Governments will justify agreeing to targets by referring to the consultations earlier this year. Those consultations were demonstrably inadequate. They were conducted at a very superficial level without an opportunity for Indigenous interests to be prepared for the workshops held across Australia.

They were based on a discussion paper produced by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in December 2017 and which stated that only one of the seven targets was on track which two months later was contradicted by the former Prime Minister who said that three targets were on track. Critical elements of the original Closing the Gap framework, particularly COAG’s National Indigenous Reform Agreement, were not referred to at all in the consultations and the focus was on new targets instead of how we could make sure that this time around they were achieved.

There was no independent report prepared on the outcomes of the consultations and there is no way of telling if what was said in the consultations is reflected in the proposed Refresh policy including the targets.

The consultations started far too late which has left us with 4 targets having expired in June 2018. We do not accept that we have been properly consulted let alone given the opportunity to negotiate a mechanism that allows a proper partnership to be put in place in relation to the design, delivery and monitoring of Closing the Gap.

There is a now a significant opportunity to put this disappointing process back on track and in particular to establish a robust Closing the Gap framework founded on a genuine partnership between Indigenous people and governments.

It is open to governments on 12 December 2018, to endorse a partnership approach and establish a mechanism to initiate negotiations between representatives of COAG and Peak organisations with a view to developing a genuine partnership as part of the Closing the Gap Refresh. This would be endorsed by the Peak Organisations across Australia.

Subject to COAG endorsing a partnership approach, we propose a meeting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak bodies to meet with COAG representatives to determine a framework for reaching agreement on a refreshed closing the gap strategy.

We stand ready to do this quickly and would work with COAG on having a partnership framework in place in early 2019 with a revised approach agreed by the middle of the year.

Ms Pat Turner AM, the CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, is our contact for the purpose of responding to this vital matter and we ask that you contact her.

We look forward to working with you on the Closing the Gap Refresh through an established partnership mechanism.

Yours sincerely,

 

Part 3 Going backwards’: Aboriginal bodies take aim at Closing the Gap

Aboriginal peak organisations have slammed federal, state and territory governments for failing to give Indigenous leaders an effective role in re-energising the faltering Closing the Gap process.

In a letter written jointly to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, chief ministers and premiers, the leaders of the 13 peak bodies say they have been shut out of meaningful consultation about refreshed targets to overcome Aboriginal disadvantage.

By Deborah Snow SMH 19 November

Pat Turner, chief executive of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, said "it's all gone backwards".
Pat Turner, chief executive of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, said “it’s all gone backwards”. CREDIT:GLENN CAMPBELL

And they want the Coalition of Australian Governments – due to consider an update to Closing the Gap next month – to defer setting new targets until a fresh pact is hammered out giving “full partnership” to Aboriginal bodies.

“I think it’s all gone backwards,” the chief executive of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Pat Turner,  told the Herald.

“In the last few years, governments seem to have dropped the ball a lot. I hope they are giving serious consideration to our letter. They can’t go on having two bob each-way. They are there to lead and they have to have a bit of backbone. [The state of] Aboriginal affairs is a national shame, it is something that they should be wanting to get fixed.”

Ms Turner said only one government – the Northern Territory – had bothered replying to the group when they first wrote a letter a month ago seeking better consultation over new targets and implementation strategies.

“NACCHO and the peak [Indigenous] bodies engaged with the process took time to submit written submissions and attend workshops to discuss refreshing the Closing the Gap strategy earlier this year” she said. “But we can’t see how our input has been taken into account.”

The peak bodies decided on Sunday to release a second letter they wrote to all governments at the end of last week.

The letter says the “disappointing” Closing the Gap process has to be put “back on track” with Indigenous people taking part in the design and delivery of services on the basis of “genuine partnership”.

“As a first step we propose a meeting with COAG representatives and the peak bodies to discuss [such an] approach” Ms Turner said.

The Herald sought a response from Aboriginal Affairs minister Nigel Scullion but was unable to contact his office on Sunday.

Closing the Gap was first conceived of a decade ago as a way to measure Aboriginal disadvantage and set clear targets to redress it.

Earlier this year a report from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet said three of seven targets were “on track”: to halve the gap in year 12 attainment and halve the gap in child mortality by 2018, and to have 95 per cent of Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025.

However it said that other targets, including halving the gap in reading and numeracy, and halving the gap in employment, as well as closing the gap on life expectancy, were not on track.

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Women’s Health #SistersInside #imaginingabolition : Our CEO Pat Turner address to @SistersInside 9th International Conference Decolonisation is not a metaphor’: Abolition for First Nations women

NACCHO supports the abolition of prisons for First Nations women. The incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island women should be a last resort measure.

It is time to consider a radical restructuring of the relationship between Aboriginal people and the state.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities must be part of the design, decision-making and implementation of government funded policies, programs and services that aim to reduce – or abolish –the imprisonment of our women.

Increased government investment is needed in community-led prevention and early intervention programs designed to reduce violence against women and provide therapeutic services for vulnerable women and girls. Programs and services that are holistic and culturally safe, delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

NACCHO calls for a full partnership approach in the Closing the Gap Refresh, so that Aboriginal people are at the centre of decision-making, design and delivery of policies that impact on them.

We are seeking a voice to the Commonwealth Parliament, so we have a say over the laws that affect us. “

Pat Turner NACCHO CEO Speaking at  Sisters Inside 9th International Conference 15 Nov

See Pats full speaking notes below

Theme of the day: ‘Decolonisation is not a metaphor’: Abolition for First Nations women

About Sisters Inside

  • Sisters Inside responds to criminalised women and girls’ needs holistically and justly. We work alongside women and girls to build them up and to give them power over their own lives. We support women and girls to address their priorities and needs. We also advocate on behalf of women with governments and within the legal system to try to achieve fairer outcomes for criminalised women, girls and their children.
  • At Sisters Inside, we call this ‘walking the journey together’. We are a community and we invite you to be part of a brighter future for Queensland’s most disadvantaged and marginalised women and children.

Sisters Inside Website Website 

In Picture above Dr Jackie Huggins, Pat Turner, Jacqui Katona, Dr Chelsea Bond and June Oscar, Aunty Debbie Sandy and chaired by Melissa Lucashenko.

Panel: Why abolition for First Nations Women?

Panel members:

  • Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA (Co-Chair, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples)
  • Pat Turner AM (CEO, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation)
  • Dr Chelsea Bond (Senior Lecturer, University of Queensland)
  • Jacqui Katona (Activist & Sessional Lecturer (Moondani Balluk), Victoria University)
  1. Imprisonment, colonialism, and statistics
  • The Australian justice system was founded on a white colonial model that consistently fails and seeks to control and supress Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Indigenous peoples are overrepresented in the prison system:
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are 12.5 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Indigenous Australians.[i]
    • Our women represent the fastest growing group within prison populations and are 21 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Indigenous women.[ii]
  • Imprisonment is another dimension to the historical and contemporary Aboriginal experience of colonial removal, institutionalisation and punishment.[iii]
  • Our experiences of incarceration are not only dehumanising. They contribute to our ongoing disempowerment, intergenerational trauma, social disadvantage, and burden of disease at an individual as well as community level.
  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s experiences of imprisonment
  • The Change the Record report found that most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who enter prison systems:
    • are survivors of physical and sexual violence, and that these experiences are most likely to have contributed to their imprisonment; and
    • struggle with housing insecurity, poverty, mental illness, disability and the effects of trauma.
  • Family violence must be understood as both a cause and an effect of social disadvantage and intergenerational trauma.
  • Risk factors for family violence include poor housing and overcrowding, substance misuse, financial difficulties and unemployment, poor physical and mental health, and disability.[iv]
  • Imprisoning women affects the whole community. Children are left without their mothers. The whole community suffers.
  1. Kimberley Suicide Prevention Trial
  • The Kimberley Suicide Prevention Trial, of which NACCHO is a member, provides a grim example of the link between trauma, suicide, incarceration and the social determinants of health.
  • The rate of suicide in the Kimberley is seven times that of other Australian regions.
  • Nine out of ten suicides involve Aboriginal people.
  • Risk factors include imprisonment, poverty, homelessness and family violence.
  • Western Australia has the highest rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment.
  1. Imprisonment and institutional racism
  • The overrepresentation of Aboriginal peoples in prison systems is not simply a law-and-order issue.[v] The trends of over-policing and imprisoning of Indigenous peoples are examples of institutional racism inherent in the justice system. [vi]
  • Institutional racism affects our everyday encounters with housing, health, employment and justice systems.
  • Institutional racism is not only discriminatory; it entrenches intergenerational trauma and socioeconomic disadvantage.[vii]
  • Exposure to racism is associated with psychological distress, depression, poor quality of life, and substance misuse, all of which contribute significantly to the overall ill-health experienced by Indigenous people. We are twice as likely to die by suicide or be hospitalised for mental health or behavioural reasons.
  1. Ways forward see opening quote Pat Turner 
  2. The role of ACCHSs in supporting Indigenous women

Increasing access to the health care that people need

  • Racism is a key driver of ill-health for Indigenous people, impacting not only on our access to health services but our treatment and outcomes when in the health system.
  • Institutional racism in mainstream services means that Indigenous people do not always receive the care that we need from Australia’s hospital and health system.
  • It has been our experience that many Indigenous people are uncomfortable seeking help from mainstream services for cultural, geographical, and language disparities as well as financial costs associated with accessing services.
  • The combination of these issues with racism means that we are less likely to access services for physical and mental health conditions, and many of our people have undetected health issues like poor hearing, eyesight and chronic conditions.

Early detection of health issues that are risk factors for incarceration

  • The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health model provides answers for addressing the social determinants of health, that is, the causal factors contributing to the overrepresentation of Indigenous women’s experiences of family violence and imprisonment.
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health organisations should be funded to undertake comprehensive, regular health check of Aboriginal women so that risk factors are identified and addressed early.

Taking a holistic approach to health needs and social determinants of health and incarceration

  • Overall, the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health model recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people require a greater level of holistic healthcare due to the trauma and dispossession of colonisation which is linked with our poor health outcomes.
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health is more sensitive to the needs of the whole individual, spiritually, socially, emotionally and physically.
  • The Aboriginal Community Controlled Model is responsive to the changing health needs of a community because it of its small, localised and agile nature. This is unlike large-scale hospitals or private practices which can become dehumanised, institutionalised and rigid in their systems.
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health is scalable to the needs of the community, as it is inextricably linked with the wellbeing and growth of the community.
  • The evidence shows that Aboriginal Community Controlled organisations are best placed to deliver holistic, culturally safe prevention and early intervention services to Indigenous women.
  1. About NACCHO
  • NACCHO is the national peak body representing 145 ACCHOs across the country on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues. In 1997, the Federal Government funded NACCHO to establish a Secretariat in Canberra, greatly increasing the capacity of Aboriginal peoples involved in ACCHOs to participate in national health policy development.
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health first arose in the early 1970s in response to the failure of the mainstream health system to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the aspirations of Aboriginal peoples for self-determination.
  • An ACCHO is a primary health care service initiated and operated by the local Aboriginal community to deliver holistic, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate health care to the community which controls it, through a locally elected Board of Management. ACCHOs form a critical part of the Indigenous health infrastructure, providing culturally safe care with an emphasis on the importance of a family, community, culture and long-term relationships.
  • Our members provide about three million episodes of care per year for about 350,000 people. In very remote areas, our services provided about one million episodes of care in a twelve-month period. Collectively, we employ about 6,000 staff (most of whom are Indigenous), which makes us the single largest employer of Indigenous people in the country.

[i] https://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/over-representation

[ii] Human Rights Law Centre and Change the Record Coalition, 2017, Over-represented and overlooked: the crisis of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s growing over-imprisonment: NB: The foreword is written by Vicki Roach, a presenter in the next session of the Abolition conference

[iii] file://nfs001/Home$/doris.kordes/Downloads/748-Article%20Text-1596-5-10-20180912.pdf – John Rynne and Peter Cassematis, 2015, Crime Justice Journal, Assessing the Prison Experience for Australian First Peoples: A prospective Research Approach, Vol 4, No 1:96-112.

[iv] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2018. Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia. Canberra.

[v] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/20/indigenous-incarceration-turning-the-tide-on-colonisations-cruel-third-act

[vi] ‘A culture of disrespect: Indigenous peoples and Australian public institutions’.

[vii] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jul/12/indigenous-women-caught-in-a-broken-system-commissioner-says

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

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

1.2 National NACCHO AGM 2019 acknowledges years of ACCHO Service

1.3 National : Download NACCHO Annual Report 2017-2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday /Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.2 National NACCHO AGM 2019 acknowledges years of ACCHO Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download a copy of all certificates

 J3291 – Member Services Anniversary certificates_v1

1.3 National : Download NACCHO Annual Report 2017-2018

Download from the NACCHO website 

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

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

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

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

Originally published Here 

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

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

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

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

Matthew always makes people feel comfortable… he is amazing.

Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation team manager Tina Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I am very proud of our work.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Originally Published HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orange Health Service general manager Catherine Nowlan

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

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

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

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

Followed by housing, food, safety.

And finally, lingering right at the bottom, health.

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

Originally Published HERE 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Too deadly everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

#oneshieldforall
Life Education NT

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

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

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

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

#DeadlyChoicesSA #Eatinghealthyfact #healthytip

📷 Power .aboriginal.programs

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

 Download the Newsletter

Winnunga AHCS Newsletter October 2018 (3)

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

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

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

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

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Racism #VicVotes @VACCHO_org Survey finds 86 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Victoria have personally experienced racism in a mainstream health setting

“Racism hinders people from actually getting good medical care, getting good health care accessing services,

The results highlight the need for government to appoint an independent health commissioner and address cultural awareness at all levels of the health system.

“There are avenues that can be taken to overcome these issues and we are here to urge they be adopted by whichever party wins government at the Victorian election later this month,

Acting CEO for VACCHO, Trevor Pearce, says incidents of racism within the mainstream health system often lead to Indigenous Australians seeking treatment much later than non-Indigenous people or avoiding it all together, contributing to the gap in health and wellbeing outcomes.

“On an individual level, exposure to racism is associated with psychological distress, depression, poor quality of life, and substance misuse, all of which contribute significantly to the overall ill-health experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Prolonged experience of stress can also have physical health effects, such as on the immune, endocrine and cardiovascular systems.”

Pat Anderson is chairwoman of the Lowitja Institute,  (and a former chair of NACCHO) see her opinion article below link ”

This article has been read over 22,000 times in past 4 years 

Read HERE 

 

Researchers have polled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians about their experiences of racism at hospitals and GP clinics.

The online survey, with 120 respondents, found high levels of everyday racism in the health sector.

FROM NITV

Of those polled, 88 per cent reported incidences of racism from nurses, and 74 per cent had experienced racism when dealing with GPs.

The survey was conducted by the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and designed in partnership with Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) students.

The results revealed 86 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Victoria have personally experienced racism in a mainstream health setting at least once, while 54 per cent said they experienced racism in hospitals every time they attended.

The survey responses showed fewer incidents of racism when interacting with dentists (48 per cent) and the ambulance service (46 per cent).

Mr Pearce attributed the lower figures to the cultural competency work VACCHO has done with Dental Health Services Victoria and Ambulance Victoria, and said it showed how working with the Aboriginal community could achieve beneficial results for everybody involved.

“This is going to require Aboriginal people not just being heard, but actions being taken on what we say. We know what is best for us, we have the answers. Pay attention to us and act accordingly,” he said.

Victoria’s health minister Jill Hennessy says the government is taking the issue seriously.

“We are ensuring our services are more responsive to the needs of Indigenous Australians, so they can get the high quality and safe care they need, when they need it – free from discrimination,” she said in a statement.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #WorldStrokeDay @strokefdn #UpAgainAfterStroke. One-third to a half of all our mob in their 40s, 50s and 60s are at high risk of future heart attack or stroke but the good news is more than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.

 ” Around 80 million people living in the world today have experienced a stroke and over 50 million survivors live with some form of permanent disability as a result.

In Australia, stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer. It is the biggest cause of adult disability.

While for many, life after stroke won’t be quite the same, with the right care and support living a meaningful life is still possible.

As millions of stroke survivors show us every day, it is possible to get #UpAgainAfterStroke.

While the impact of stroke will be different for everyone, on World Stroke Day (29 October) we want to focus the world’s attention on what unites stroke survivors and caregivers, namely their resilience and capacity to build on the things that stroke can’t take away – their determination to keep going on the recovery journey.

Stroke Foundation World Stroke Day 

Download World Stroke Day 2018 Brochure

 

Recently released Australian National University research, found around one-third to a half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their 40s, 50s and 60s were at high risk of future heart attack or stroke. It also found risk increased substantially with age and starts earlier than previously thought, with high levels of risk were occurring in people younger than 35.

The good news is more than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.

As a first step, I encourage all the mob to visit to visit one of our 302 ACCHO clinics , their local GP or community health centre for a health check, or take advantage of a free digital health check at your local pharmacy to learn more about your stroke risk factors.

On World Stroke Day we are urging all the mob to take steps to reduce their stroke risk.”

Colin Cowell NACCHO Social Media editor and himself a stroke survivor 3 years ago today 

 The current guidelines recommend that a stroke risk screening be provided for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people over 35 years of age. However there is an argument to introduce that screening at a younger age.

Education is required to assist all Australians to understand what a stroke is, how to reduce the risk of stroke and the importance be fast acting at the first sign of stroke.”

Dr Mark Wenitong, Public Health Medical Advisor at Apunipima Cape York Health Council (Apunipima), says that strokes can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle and Health screening, and just as importantly, a healthypregnancy and early childhood can reduce risk for the child in later life.

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

Share the stroke rap with your family and friends on social media and celebrate World Stroke Week in your community.

Listen to the new rap song HERE  or Hear

The song, written by Cairns speech pathologist Rukmani Rusch and performed by leading Indigenous artist Naomi Wenitong, was created to boost low levels of stroke awareness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said the rap packed a punch, delivering an important message, in a fun and accessible way.

“The Stroke Rap has a powerful message we all need to hear,’’ Ms McGowan said.

“Too many Australians continue to lose their lives to stroke each year when most strokes can be prevented.

“Music is a powerful tool for change and we hope that people will listen to the song, remember and act on its stroke awareness and prevention message – it could save their life.”

Ms McGowan said the song’s message was particularly important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who were over represented in stroke statistics.

Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islanders are twice as likely to be hospitalised for stroke and are 1.4 times more likely to die from stroke than non-indigenous Australians. These alarming figures were revealed in a recent study conducted by the Australian National University.

There is one stroke every nine minutes in Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are overrepresented in stroke statistics. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in Australia.

Apunipima delivers primary health care services, health screening, health promotion and education to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people across 11 Cape York communities. These health screens will help to make sure you aren’t at risk  .

We encourage you to speak to an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health Practitioner or visit one of Apunipima’s Health Centres or your nearest ACCO to talk to them about getting a health screen.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted, depriving an area of the brain of oxygen. This is usually caused by a clot (ischaemic stroke) or a bleed in the brain (haemorrhagic stroke).

Brief stroke-like episodes that resolve by themselves are called transient ischaemicattacks (TIAs). They are often a sign of an impending stroke, and need to be treated seriously.

Stroke is a time-critical medical emergency. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke-related brain damage. After an ischaemic stroke, patients can lose up to 1.9 million neurons a minute until blood flow to the brain is restored.

What to do in case of stroke?

Stroke is a time-critical medical emergency. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke-related brain damage. After an ischaemic stroke, patients can lose up to 1.9 million neurons a minute until blood flow to the brain is restored.

The Australian National Stroke Foundation promotes the FAST tool as a quick way for anyone to identify a possible stroke. FAST consists of the following simple steps:

Face – has their mouth has dropped on one side?

Arm – can they lift both arms?

Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Time – is critical. Call an ambulance.

But the good news is more than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.

Part 3

WHEN Aboriginal elder Aunty Pam Smith first had a stroke she had no idea what was happening to her body.

On her way back to town from a traditional smoking ceremony, she became confused, her jaw slack and dribbling.

FROM HERE

Picture above : CARE: Coral and Bill Toomey at National Stroke Awareness Week.

“I started feeling headachey, when they opened up the car and the cool air hit me I didn’t know where I was – I was in LaLa Land,” she said.

A guest speaker at the Stroke Foundation National Stroke Awareness Week event in Tamworth, Ms Smith has created a cultural awareness book about strokes for other Aboriginal people.

Watch Aunty Pams Story

She hopes it will teach others what to expect and how to look out for signs of a stroke, Aboriginal people are 1.4 times more likely to die from stroke than non-Indigenous people.

But, most still don’t go to hospital for help.

“Every time we went to a hospital we were treated for one thing, alcoholism – a bad heart or kidneys because of alcohol,” Ms Smith said.

“We were past that years ago, we’re up to what we call white fella’s things now.”

Elders encouraged people to make small changes in their daily lives, to quit smoking, eat a balanced diet and drink less alcohol.

For Bill Toomey it was a chance to speak with people who understood what it was like to have a stroke. A trip to Sydney in 2010 ended in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital when he was found unconscious.

Now in a wheelchair, Mr Toomey was once a football referee and an Aboriginal Health Education Officer.

“I wouldn’t wish a stroke on anyone,” Mr Toomey said.

“I didn’t have the signs, the face didn’t drop or speech.”

His wife Coral Toomey cares for him, she was in Narrabri when he was rushed to hospital.

“Sometimes you want to hide, sit down and cry because there’s nothing you can do to help them,” she said.

“You’re doing what you can but you feel inside that it’s not enough to help them.”

Stroke survivor Pam Smith had a message for her community.

“Please go and have a second opinion, it doesn’t matter where or who it is – go to the hospital,” she said.

“If you’re not satisfied with your doctor go to another one.”