NACCHO Press Release : NACCHO Chair welcomes new Health Minister Greg Hunt and Ken Wyatt as new Indigenous Health minister


” We congratulate Mr Hunt on his appointment as Health Minister and look forward to meeting with the minister to discuss the importance of Aboriginal led medical services in developing and delivering health programs for more than 750,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote, regional and urban communities.

NACCHO has a very productive working relationship with Ken Wyatt in his role as Assistant Minister for Health and we’re very pleased it will continue now he is elevated to Minister for Indigenous Health and Aged Care –  the first Aboriginal Australian to hold the office of Commonwealth Minister.”

National Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Matthew Cooke:

Photo above 2008 : On the back of mounting community calls for action Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott signed the Close the Gap Statement of Intent in March 2008. Key ministers and other state and territory leaders soon followed. Here, Aboriginal parliamentarian, Ken Wyatt, signs the Close the Gap Statement of Intent

Download the NACCHO press release


NACCHO the peak body for Aboriginal health services is looking forward to working with newly appointed Health Minister Greg Hunt and Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt to close the gap in health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

” NACCHO is especially proud to see Minister Wyatt attain such a senior position in the Turnbull government. The historic promotion, one of many for this Member of Parliament, is an acknowledgment of the high regard he achieved working as an assistant minister, his attention to detail and how respected he is in the Aboriginal community and health sectors across Australia.

As a previous Director of Aboriginal Health in the public services of NSW and WA he brings a unique perspective to the role. NACCHO will assist him in meeting the expectations of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to enjoy a quality of life through whole-of-community self-determination.

Minister Wyatt has many years of experience working in both Indigenous health and education, which is invaluable at a ministerial level and the understanding, needed to make progress towards Close the Gap targets” he said.

Mr. Cooke also thanked outgoing Health Minister Sussan Ley for her work in the portfolio and her support for NACCHO.

Last year 140 Aboriginal community controlled health organisations (ACCHOs) provided nearly 3 million episodes of care to over 340,000 clients.

” It is clear that putting Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands is working ” Mr Cooke said

Ken Wyatt: new minister to tackle how Indigenous health funding used


 ” In health, Wyatt said he wanted particular improvements for children below the age of eight and young people generally.

Improving social determinants of health would help extend lifespan and achieve parity with all Australians.

The incoming Indigenous health minister, Ken Wyatt, has said he wants to tackle the “industry” in Aboriginal affairs siphoning funds into administration rather than frontline services ”

Wyatt made the comments to ABC Radio National on Thursday in an interview about his appointment as aged care and Indigenous health minister, which will make him the first Indigenous person to hold a commonwealth ministry.

Paul Karp writing in the Guardian

Wyatt has also broken from his Coalition colleagues who criticise Labor for considering debate on treaties with Indigenous people at the same time as constitutional recognition, saying the two are not in conflict and a “dual conversation” is possible.

He agreed it was in a sense “unbelievable” that it had taken this long for an Indigenous person to reach the ministry.

He said he and the other Indigenous members of parliament held their positions on merit and that sent “a very strong message to young Aboriginal Australians that their hopes and aspirations can be achieved in many arenas”.

“The ministerial appointment, including colleagues on the other side who have shadow appointments, sends home a very strong message that we can stand as equals amongst our peers.”

Wyatt agreed his appointment meant the federal government could implement policies that affected Indigenous people in a less paternalistic way, citing his participation on a cabinet subcommittee for Indigenous affairs. “Since I’ve been in the parliament … we’ve had the opportunity of shaping people’s thinking to focus on Indigenous issues in a different way.”

The emphasis had shifted to “working with Aboriginal people rather than doing things with them”, and he said working alongside Indigenous people had helped others understand issues in Indigenous communities.

Wyatt said he would aim to achieve “an all round improvement in Indigenous affairs, including the industry that has evolved around Aboriginal affairs that sees money being siphoned off to administration rather than directly to frontline [services]”.

In health, Wyatt said he wanted particular improvements for children below the age of eight and young people generally. Improving social determinants of health would help extend lifespan and achieve parity with all Australians.

On Wednesday night Wyatt told ABC’s 7.30 he still believed Australia was on track to achieve recognition of Indigenous Australians in the constitution.

He said aspirations among some Indigenous Australians for a treaty had not caused momentum for recognition to stall but had sparked a “dual conversation” on both concepts, which were not in conflict.

“I would certainly hope that we don’t abandon, nor set aside, our desire to have recognition within the foundation document of this country’s frameworks,” he said.

The comments are at odds with his Coalition colleagues who argue that Labor’s consideration of a treaty with Indigenous Australians puts at risk a “meaningful but modest” change in the form of constitutional recognition.

Wyatt did agree that recognition was the main priority, saying treaties are “a way forward but they’re not set in the … country’s [foundation] document and I’d rather see recognition first and then treaty”.

“I think the strength is in the constitution, because the constitution is the document that the high courts base their decisions around when challenges occur and in which legislation is framed against our founding document.”

NACCHO Advertisement


NACCHO has announced the publishing date for the 9 th edition of Australia’s first national health Aboriginal newspaper, the NACCHO Health News .

Publish date 6 April 2017

Working with Aboriginal community controlled and award-winning national newspaper the Koori Mail, NACCHO aims to bring relevant advertising and information on health services, policy and programs to key industry staff, decision makers and stakeholders at the grassroots level.

And who writes for and reads the NACCHO Newspaper ?


While NACCHO’s websites ,social media and annual report have been valued sources of information for national and local Aboriginal health care issues for many years, the launch of NACCHO Health News creates a fresh, vitalised platform that will inevitably reach your targeted audiences beyond the boardrooms.

NACCHO will leverage the brand, coverage and award-winning production skills of the Koori Mail to produce a 24 page three times a year, to be distributed as a ‘lift-out’ in the 14,000 Koori Mail circulation, as well as an extra 1,500 copies to be sent directly to NACCHO member organisations across Australia.

Our audited readership (Audit Bureau of Circulations) is 100,000 readers

For more details rate card

Contact : Colin Cowell Editor

Mobile : 0401 331 251

Email  :





NACCHO Aboriginal Health : PM appoints Ken Wyatt Minister for Indigenous Health , Greg Hunt Health Minister


 ” Ken Wyatt, who has been the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, will become the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health. Just as Ken was the first indigenous person to be elected to the House of Representatives and the first to be appointed to the executive, he is now the first Indigenous person appointed to a Commonwealth Ministry.

His extensive knowledge and experience as a senior public servant in Indigenous health coupled with his work as an Assistant Minister in this portfolio will make him an ideal Minister for the area. “

Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull announcing new Ministerial Arrangements as a result of Sussan Ley resignation

Photo above #NACCHOagm2016 Launch speech @KenWyattMP NACCHO #HealthyFutures Report Card with NACCHO Chair Matthew Cooke

Today I am announcing changes to the Ministry that I will be recommending to His Excellency the Governor General.

I am pleased to announce that Greg Hunt will become the Minister for Health and Minister for Sport.

Greg has previously served as Minister for the Environment, and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. He has strong policy, analytical and communication skills developed over a long front bench career.

During his time as Environment Minister he demonstrated an ability to grapple with extremely complex policy issues, engage a diverse range of stakeholders and interest groups including State and Territory Governments.

Greg Hunt’s Press Release

 Appointment as Minister for Health and Sport

Health touches the lives of every Australian. It is essential that people can see a doctor when they need to and have medicine when they are not well.

For this reason, I am deeply honoured to take on this new and very important responsibility.

My mother was a nurse. My wife is a nurse. All my life I have witnessed the absolute dedication of Australia’s medical professionals.

I now look forward to working with our excellent nurses, doctors, researchers, and all our healthcare professionals.

Our scientists are recognised as some of the best in the world for their medical breakthroughs.

I am passionate about turning what is done in the laboratory into better healthcare for patients, and more effectively preventing illness in the first place.

I believe deeply in the importance of Medicare. It is key to Australia’s successful healthcare system.

The Turnbull Government has a rock solid commitment to the fundamental role that Medicare plays in our health system.

Mental health is an issue that is very close to my heart. I want to be a strong advocate for greater understanding and community awareness, and to ensure we have the necessary resources to help deal with this very important issue.

And as a sports fan and sports Dad, I am also thrilled to be working towards getting more Australians, including indigenous Australians, involved in sport.

Our love of sport is quintessentially Australian. Sport improves our health, brings communities together and inspires us.

Lastly, I am pleased to be working with the Hon Ken Wyatt AM and the Hon Dr David Gillespie in their respective roles.


Senator Arthur Sinodinos will take over as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. This portfolio is critical to generating the jobs of the future and Senator Sinodinos’ extensive public policy experience gives him a strong understanding of the key drivers of new sources of economic growth.

As Cabinet Secretary, Arthur restored traditional cabinet processes. That being done, he can now turn his talents to a front line portfolio and the Cabinet Secretary function can return to the Prime Minister’s Office as has been the practice of Coalition Governments.

This will reduce the size of the Cabinet by one.

The Special Minister of State, Senator Scott Ryan, will continue to support the work of the Cabinet as ‘Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cabinet’.

There will be other changes to the outer Ministry.

As senior minister, Mr Hunt will of course represent the Aged Care sector in Cabinet.

Dr. David Gillespie will continue to serve in the portfolio as Assistant Minister for Health.

Michael Sukkar will be appointed Assistant Minister to the Treasurer.

These changes will further strengthen my Ministry by combining experience and new talent. It’s a team that’s focused on delivering for all Australians.

The new Ministers will be sworn in by the Governor General in Canberra on Tuesday.

Media contacts:

Prime Minister’s Press Office: (02) 6277 7744


NACCHO Aboriginal Health #HIV #ATSIHAW #WorldAIDSDay :Minister @KenWyattMP speech at launch ” Together, you and me can stop HIV “


 ” High quality health care must be accessible and appropriate for the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We have to acknowledge that those with HIV may experience additional barriers in accessing health care which relate to stigma and shame.

Racism is one of the social and cultural determinants of health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Racism is part of a vicious circle that contributes to low levels of access to health services by Indigenous Australians and causes psychological distress.

I consider it a huge step forward to have racism recognised within the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Implementation Plan

Together we will build the capacity of the Indigenous community controlled health sector and make a real impact on the HIV rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP spoke at Parliament House, Canberra, to launch National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week.

Photo above Ken Wyatt, NACCHO CEO Pat Turner, James Ward , Mark Saunders and Professor Gracelyn Smallwood 

PDF printable version of Together, you and me can stop HIV – PDF 270 KB


Good morning.

Before I begin I want to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples and pay my respects to Elders past, present and future. I also acknowledge other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here this morning.

I want to thank the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week Organising Committee for inviting me to speak this morning. It’s good to be here with Minister Sussan Ley and Senator Dean Smith.

We are here today because HIV continues to be a serious health concern for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The rate of HIV among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is more than twice as high than it is for the Australian-born, non-Indigenous population, increasing to more than three times higher for those aged over 35 years. We know that access to HIV testing and treatment remains an issue for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for a wide range of reasons.

I welcome the Health Minister’s announcement this morning that $485,000 in funding will go to the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute to find out why our young Indigenous people are still at an increased risk of blood borne viruses and STIs.

High quality health care must be accessible and appropriate for the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We have to acknowledge that those with HIV may experience additional barriers in accessing health care which relate to stigma and shame.

Racism is one of the social and cultural determinants of health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Racism is part of a vicious circle that contributes to low levels of access to health services by Indigenous Australians and causes psychological distress. And it is this distress that can contribute to negative coping behaviours such as injecting drug use or just being too ashamed to talk about their health concerns, or ask to be tested for STIs, or access condoms and clean needles.

To make real progress, we need to work together and eliminate discriminatory and stigmatising behaviour wherever and whenever we see it. We must call it out.

We need to provide our people—young and old—with an environment where they can talk about important issues such as their health or sexuality. And they need to do this without the fear of losing the support of, or connection with, their community. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples also need to feel culturally safe in the mainstream health system.

I am proud of our close relationship with, and continued support for, community controlled health services, their peak bodies in every state and territory and the National Community Controlled Health Organisation. Aboriginal community controlled health services deliver holistic, culturally competent and safe primary health care and is a model for all health services as they strive to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

An appropriately trained health workforce helps build the cultural competence of mainstream primary health care services. It also supports the ongoing viability of Indigenous specific health services, particularly those delivered through Aboriginal community controlled health services.

To improve access to culturally safe, high quality health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the Government continues to invest in the Aboriginal community controlled sector.

In 2015-16, the Government provided funding to three additional community controlled health services to deliver comprehensive primary health care:

    • Moorundi Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in SA—a newly established service.
    • Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service in NSW, now an independent organisation.
    • And the Werin Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre in NSW, also now an independent organisation.

The Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023, was released last year. This important Plan guides our strategies, actions and deliverables to maximise health benefits for Indigenous Australians.

I consider it a huge step forward to have racism recognised within the Implementation Plan. This is the critical issue that must be addressed to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. And this is why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is at the centre of the Implementation Plan.

I see the theme of this event, ‘Together, You and Me Can Stop HIV’ as a call to action. Working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is critical to addressing poor health outcomes of Indigenous Australians. It is only through working together as true partners— the fundamental and guiding principle—of the Implementation Plan that we will achieve success.

Already we are seeing real progress against the deliverables in the Implementation Plan. The next stage of the Plan is to address health system effectiveness and the social and cultural determinants of health such as racial discrimination.

This Plan will also increase engagement and involvement with other Australian Government agencies, state, territory and local governments, the Aboriginal community controlled sector, the non-government sector and the corporate/private sector. This broader engagement base will provide the mechanism for significant improvements in Indigenous health outcomes, including the reduction of sexually transmissible infections and blood-borne viruses such as HIV.

Finally, to reiterate comments made by the Prime Minister, it is critical that the Government continues its policy of doing things with, and not to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

I am confident that by working with all our partners in developing and implementing actions, we will Close the Gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Australians because Closing the Gap is everybody’s business.

I recognise there is a lot of work to be done, but we must all recognise that respect of diversity and respect of cultures must be embedded into the way that all services are run. This is fundamental to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Together we will build the capacity of the Indigenous community controlled health sector and make a real impact on the HIV rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NACCHO Aboriginal #SexyHealth #ATSIHAW : Minister @KenWyattMP launches Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander #HIV Awareness Week


We have to acknowledge that those with HIV in Indigenous communities may experience additional barriers to health care which relate to stigma, shame and racism. To make real progress and combat the spread of HIV we need to work together,

“We need to eliminate discriminatory and stigmatising behaviour wherever, and whenever, we see it so people can seek the treatment they need without the fear of negative consequences.”

Assistant Minister Ken Wyatt announcing funding of $485,000  at ATSIHAW launch with Pat Turner, James Ward , Mark Saunders pictured below


Picture above NACCHO CEO Pat Turner launching the new website at Parliament House this Morning


NACCHO Aboriginal #SexyHealth #ATSIHAW : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander #HIV Awareness Week

Article from Page 12 and 13  NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper out Wednesday 16 November , 24 Page lift out Koori Mail : or download

naccho-newspaper-nov-2016 PDF file size 9 MB


Funding to conduct a survey to better understand why young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at increased risk of blood borne viruses (BBV) and sexually transmissible infections (STI) was announced today.

The Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley, MP and the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM, MP announced the funding at the launch of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week.


“While Australia has maintained one of the lowest HIV rates in the world it is still present and we need to do more,” Ms Ley said.

According to the Kirby Institute’s Annual Surveillance Report, the rate of HIV among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2015 is more than two times higher than the Australian-born, non-Indigenous population, with rates nearly three times higher for those aged over 35 years.

“While huge inroads have been made to prevent the spread of HIV, we need to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have timely access to scientific advances in treatment and diagnosis, as well as access to best practice management of HIV that is culturally safe,” Ms Ley said.

“This is why the Australian Government will provide funding of $485,000 to the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute to conduct a second GOANNA Survey to gain a better understanding of why our young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at increased risk of STI.”

The Australian Government remains committed to providing better public health programs that are responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through targeted initiatives including Closing the Gap, the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 and the BBV and STIs Strategy.

aids-video Watch video here

Or check out the new website



NACCHO November 16 Newspaper : Aboriginal Health and wellbeing is close to my heart says Ken Wyatt


 “I look forward to working with all stakeholders in the future. It is through the outstanding work of groups like the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health, the advocacy of organisations like NACCHO and partnering with local communities that we will one day see an Australia where all Australian’s have exactly the same life expectancy, the same opportunities for good health – and the gap closed.”

The Hon. Ken Wyatt Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care introduces himself to our members and stakeholders and tells of his plans to build strong, resilient communities capable of closing the gap.

Article from Page 11 NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper out Wednesday 16 November , 24 Page lift out Koori Mail : or download

naccho-newspaper-nov-2016 PDF file size 9 MB

The health and well-being of our first Australians is an issue very close to my heart. I believe it is everyone’s business to ensure every Australian has the same opportunities for good health and long life.

It is a fundamental human right, and a reasonable expectation, that any baby born in Australia, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, should have the best possible start to life, the prospect of good health and the same rates of life expectancy.

I grew up in the WA Wheatbelt town of Corrigin, where I was given the opportunity of a good education. It’s something I grabbed with both hands, because I knew that it was important. I think that’s what inspired me to become a teacher.

After 16 years teaching in classrooms I entered the public service – helping to shape Indigenous education and health policies in WA and NSW. Now as the Federal Minister responsible for Indigenous Health I hope to shape a better future for all Indigenous Australians.

A decade after the campaign to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians began we are starting to see positive change. But, we still have a way to go before the health and life expectancy of all Australians is equal.

The 2016 Closing the Gap report reveals the target to halve the disparity in child mortality rates by 2018 is on track and immunisation rates are high.

There have also been improvements in the Indigenous mortality rate from chronic diseases, particularly circulatory disease. But, Indigenous cancer mortality rates are rising and the gap there is widening.

The report also shows that we are not yet on track to close the gap in life expectancy by 2031. There still remains a 10.6 year difference for males and 9.5 year difference for females compared with non-Indigenous Australians.

Our Indigenous communities are increasingly under threat from the scourge of illicit drugs such as ice, and we have some of the highest suicide and domestic violence rates in the country.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women are more likely to be hospitalised for family-related assault than non-Indigenous Australians, 28 times more likely for men and 34 times more likely for women.

This needs to change and these are issues we as a Government are addressing urgently.

Our National Ice Action Strategy will see $241 million spent over four years for local specialist drug and alcohol treatment services through Primary Health Networks (PHN), with the close involvement of Aboriginal community controlled health services.

We are committed to tackling domestic violence rates in our Indigenous communities, with $85 million allocated over three years to improve access to culturally sensitive, integrated mental health services.

Under this initiative, PHN’s will plan, commission and implement services joining up closely related services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, suicide prevention, alcohol and other drug treatment.

Primary Health Networks in each region will collaborate closely with relevant local Indigenous and mainstream primary health care organisations, including Aboriginal community controlled health services and peak bodies.

Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull, recently announced a $100 million domestic violence action plan that will make a real difference in keeping women and children safe. The plan includes $21 million to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In October, I travelled to WA’s Kimberley region, with Health Minister Sussan Ley and Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, to see first-hand a community plagued by suicide, drug and alcohol addiction and domestic violence.

We sat down with local leaders to listen to their stories and to hear their thoughts on what services they need, and how we as a government can support their efforts to tackle suicide, drugs and domestic violence.

This is the first of many round table style talks I plan to hold with local groups around the country, because I believe that it is by listening and working together that we will build strong, resilient communities capable of closing the gap.

The Hon Ken Wyatt will be one of the keynote speakers at the  NACCHO Members Conference in Melbourne


1. NACCHO Interim 3 day Program has been released -Download
2. The dates are fast approaching – so register today

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #healthcarehomes Tender closes 15 December : $100m to support the rollout of stage one


 ” Health Care Homes is a major reform of primary health care and aims to reshape the management of chronic and complex conditions by placing patients at the centre of care with general practice and Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS).

The Turnbull Government has allocated over $100m to support the rollout of stage one, which aims to enrol up to 65,000 patients in 200 medical practices in 10 regions across Australia.”

Press Release Sussan Ley

Medical practices can apply for stage one of Health Care Homes

More information on the application process is available on the Tenders and Grant page

Read 10 NACCHO Articles about Health Care Homes Here

The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, today announced that medical practices in selected regions around Australia can apply for stage one of Health Care Homes.

In stage one, Health Care Homes will be rolled out in selected regions from July 2017.

Ms Ley said: “Health Care Homes aims to deliver more flexible care for people with chronic and complex conditions.

“This has never been more important with one in five Australians living with two or more chronic conditions.

“Health Care Homes allows for team-based, integrated and co-ordinated care for patients and gives greater flexibility to design individual care plans for patients and co-ordinate care services to support them.”

Ms Ley said Health Care Homes is an important reform of primary health care services, which are the first and most common point of contact for most Australians.

It demonstrated the Turnbull Government’s commitment to a healthier Medicare.

Ms Ley said: “We are implementing Health Care Homes to find a better way of delivering Medicare for Australians with chronic illnesses.”

Last year the Government invested more than $21 billion in Medicare to ensure all Australians had access to affordable universal healthcare and Medicare funding is expected to grow by another $4 billion over four years.

Under the Health Care Home model, practices will be given a monthly bundled payment for delivery of effective care to patients with chronic and complex health conditions.

Ms Ley acknowledged that doctors and health professionals had played a key role in introducing the concept of the Health Care Home model.

Health Care Home services will be delivered in implementation sites from 1 July 2017 until 30 June 2019 in the first stage. Evaluation of Health Care Homes in these regions will inform refinement of the new model of care and its suitability for broader rollout.

Ms Ley said: “I encourage all accredited general practices and ACCHS organisations in the selected regions to apply to participate in the trials, which are held on a voluntary basis.”

General practices and ACCHS in these regions can now apply for stage one of Health Care Homes: Perth North; Northern Territory; Adelaide; Country South Australia; Brisbane North; Western Sydney; Nepean Blue Mountains; Hunter, New England and Central Coast; South Eastern Melbourne; and Tasmania.

More information on the application process is available on the Tenders and Grant page

The department is seeking applications from eligible organisations within ten Primary Health Network regions for a restricted competitive grants program consisting of one off payments of $10,000 (GST exclusive) each. This funding round will identify eligible organisations to participate in Stage 1 of the implementation of Health Care Homes. This payment is intended to incentivise participation and facilitate readiness for a program start date of 1 July 2017.

Under this model, eligible patients with chronic and complex health conditions will voluntarily enrol with a participating medical practice known as their Health Care Home. This practice will provide patients with a ‘home base’ for the ongoing coordination, management, and support of their conditions. Patients will nominate a preferred clinician within the Health Care Home and a tailored care plan will be developed by the clinician in partnership with the patient.

Stage 1 of the model will be implemented across ten Primary Health Network (PHN) regions that were selected to provide a good cross section of metropolitan, regional, rural and remote locations, and to leverage chronic disease programs operating in these regions.


NACCHO Aboriginal health, Bolt and racism: Aboriginal Coalition MP Ken Wyatt breaks ranks on race law moves


Indigenous Coalition MP Ken Wyatt has spoken out against the repeal of legislation making it unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate on the grounds of race or ethnicity.

Mr Wyatt told Fairfax Media he feared that repealing section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act would either disempower the vulnerable or result in a hardening of intolerant attitudes.

Aboriginal Coalition MP Ken Wyatt

So it feels I’ve lost, and not just this argument. I feel now the pressure to stop resisting the Government’s plan to change the Constitution to recognise Aborigines as the first people here — a dangerous change, which divides us according to the “race” of some of our ancestors.

My wife now wants me to play safe and stop fighting this new racism, and this time I’m listening. This time I was so bruised by Q & A that I didn’t go into work on Tuesday. I couldn’t stand any sympathy — which you get only when you’re meant to feel hurt.

Andrew Bolt Herald Sun (full response blog below )

Bolt was found to have contravened Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Nine aboriginal applicants brought a class-action against Bolt and the Herald and Weekly Times claiming Bolt wrote they sought professional advantage from the colour of their skin.

Aboriginal Coalition MP Ken Wyatt breaks ranks on race law moves

”Australia has come a long way in the last 30 or 40 years and what I wouldn’t like to see is a regression that allows those who have bigoted viewpoints to vilify any group of people at all,” he said.

”For me, it is about not disabling a mechanism that makes people think carefully about the vilification of anyone or any group because they know there is a deterrent,” he said.


His remarks came as Attorney-General George Brandis described the existing law as ”extremely invasive” and reaffirmed the government’s intention to ”do away” with it.

Tony Abbott vowed  in August 2012 to ”repeal section 18C in its current form” on the basis that freedom of speech should not be restrained ”just to prevent hurt feelings”. Ethnic, religious and indigenous groups have urged the government to think again, raising expectations that the words ”offend”, ”insult” and possibly ”humiliate” will be taken out of the section.

Mr Wyatt said his attitude was shaped by his 10 years’ experience in Western Australia’s equal opportunity tribunal and witnessing how ”racial vilification has significant impacts on people in ways we don’t fully appreciate”.

”I support the whole concept of free speech, but I think there are boundaries that you have to draw and this is one of them.”

He believed that section 18c encouraged mediation and parties coming together to resolve conflicts and that its repeal would result in disempowerment of vilified groups or ”greater use of litigation, which doesn’t resolve the issue at all”.

Senator Brandis has been meeting interested groups,  focusing on how to strike the balance between free speech and protection from vilification. ”The government comes down on the side of those who want to see maximum freedom of speech,” he told ABC radio on Friday.

”And, by freedom of speech, I mean people’s freedom to hold opinions and express those opinions without some bureaucrat or official or human rights body or judge telling them what they are allowed, and what they are not allowed, to say.”


STRANGE, after all I’ve been through, but Monday on the ABC may have been finally too much for me.


You see, I was denounced on Q & A — on national television — as a racist. I watched in horror as Aboriginal academic Marcia Langton falsely accused me of subjecting one of her colleagues — “very fair-skinned, like my children” — to “foul abuse … simply racial abuse”.

WILL THE ABC APOLOGISE? Blog with Andrew Bolt               

Langton falsely claimed I was a “fool” who believed in “race theories” and had “argued that (her colleague) had no right to claim that she was Aboriginal”. I had so hurt this woman she “withdrew from public life” and had given up working with students (something seemingly contradicted by the CV on her website).

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Marcia Langton’s apology               

And when Attorney-General George Brandis hotly insisted I was not racist, the ABC audience laughed in derision. Not one other panellist protested against this lynching. In fact, host Tony Jones asked Brandis to defend “those sort of facts” and Channel 9 host Lisa Wilkinson accused me of “bullying”. And all panellists agreed Brandis should drop the government’s plan to loosen the Racial Discrimination Act’s restrictions on free speech, which the RDA used to ban two of my articles. Can the Abbott Government resist the pressure from ethnic and religious groups to back off?

So it feels I’ve lost, and not just this argument. I feel now the pressure to stop resisting the Government’s plan to change the Constitution to recognise Aborigines as the first people here — a dangerous change, which divides us according to the “race” of some of our ancestors.

My wife now wants me to play safe and stop fighting this new racism, and this time I’m listening. This time I was so bruised by Q & A that I didn’t go into work on Tuesday. I couldn’t stand any sympathy — which you get only when you’re meant to feel hurt.

It was scarifying, even worse than when a Jewish human rights lawyer told a Jewish Federal Court judge that my kind of thinking was “exactly the kind of thing that led to the Nuremberg race laws” and the Holocaust — a ghastly smear published in most leading newspapers. That time, at least, half a dozen Jewish and Israeli community leaders and officials, who knew my strong support for their community, privately assured me such comments were outrageous and the attempt by a group of Aboriginal academics, artists and activists to silence me wrong.

True, none said so publicly for the next two years for fear of discrediting the RDA, which they hope protects them, yet it was some consolation.

But this?

How could I have failed so completely to convince so many people that I am actually fighting exactly what I’m accused of?

The country’s most notorious racist today is someone whose most infamous article, now banned by the Federal Court for the offence it gave “fair-skinned Aborigines”, actually argued against divisions of “race” and the fashionable insistence on racial “identity”.

It ended with a paragraph the court does not let me repeat, but which I will paraphrase as precisely as my lawyer allows: Let us go beyond racial pride. Let us go beyond black and white. Let us be proud only of being human beings set on this country together, determined to find what unites us and not to invent racist excuses to divide.

Yet I am not asking for your sympathy. My critics will say I’m getting no more than what I gave out — except, of course, this is more vile and there’s no law against abusing me, or none I’d use.

No, what’s made me saddest is the fear I’m losing and our country will be muzzled and divided on the bloody lines of race.

I worry, for instance, for the kind of person who turned up in the Q & A audience on Monday and still dared ask why so much land was being returned to Aborigines when “really we’re all here, we’re all Australians”.

He was shown the lash just used to beat me. He was corrected (rightly) for overstating the effect of land rights laws but reprimanded (wrongly) for allegedly ignoring Aboriginal disadvantage, as if he were some, you know, racist.

No panellist addressed his deepest concern, that we are indeed all in this together, yet find ourselves being formally divided by race and by people only too keen to play the race card against those who object.

Langton is an exemplar of those who use the cry of “racist” not to protect people from abuse but ideas from challenge. She’s accused even feminist Germaine Greer of a “racist attack” for criticising Langton’s support for federal intervention in Aboriginal communities.

She accused warming alarmist Tim Flannery of making a “racist assumption” in arguing wilderness was “not always safe” under Aboriginal ownership and when Labor lawyer Josh Bornstein protested, she slimed him as a racist, too: “Doodums. Did the nig nog speak back?”

And three years ago Langton wrote an article in The Age falsely claiming I believed in a “master race” and “racial hygiene” — like the Nazis.

It was a public vilification for which she privately apologised two years ago, but never publicly.

Instead, she now accuses me of this “foul abuse” of her colleague, Dr Misty Jenkins, in a column six years ago.

HER allegations are utterly false. My column, written before my now-banned articles, was on the groupthink Leftism at Melbourne University, of which I gave many examples.

I wrote: “Read the latest issue of … the university’s alumni magazine … The cover story argues that the mainly black murderers (in the Deep South) … are victims … Page two promotes Kevin Rudd’s apology … Page three announces that Davis has picked … global warming alarmist Ross Garnaut, as one of his Vice-Chancellor’s Fellows.

“Page four has a feature on Dr Misty Jenkins, a blonde and pale science PhD who calls herself Aboriginal and enthuses: ‘I was able to watch the coverage of Kevin Rudd’s (sorry) speech with tears rolling down my cheeks … Recognition of the atrocities caused by Australian government policies was well overdue’ …

“Pages six and seven boast that the university hosted Rudd’s ‘first major policy conference’ … You get the message.”

Where’s the “foul abuse”, Marcia? Where have I “argued that [Jenkins] had no right to claim that she was Aboriginal” — something I have never believed and never said of anyone?

But that’s our retribalised Australia. Criticise the opinions of someone of an ethnic minority and you’re ripe for sliming as a racist.

How dangerous this retreat to ethnic identities and what an insult to our individuality. And how blind are its prophets. Take Lisa Wilkinson, who actually uttered the most racist sentiment of the night, accusing Brandis of being a “white, able-bodied heterosexual male” suggesting this was “part of the reason why you can’t sympathise” with victims of racism.

White men can’t sympathise? Pardon?

And so today’s anti-racists become what they claim they oppose. Do I resist or run?

You can hear more about Aboriginal health and racism  at the NACCHO SUMMIT


The importance of our NACCHO member Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) is not fully recognised by governments.

The economic benefits of ACCHS has not been recognised at all.

We provide employment, income and a range of broader community benefits that mainstream health services and mainstream labour markets do not. ACCHS need more financial support from government, to provide not only quality health and wellbeing services to communities, but jobs, income and broader community economic benefits.

A good way of demonstrating how economically valuable ACCHS are is to showcase our success at a national summit.



NACCHO political alert: What is the future of Aboriginal leadership and activism ?

Image:  The next generation. Aboriginal students cheer in celebration after watching Prime Minister Kevin Rudd deliver the apology to Aboriginal people for injustices committed since white settlement on February 13, 2008. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)

How loud will the Aboriginal voice be as activism looks to the future?

The Aboriginal ‘voice’ seems quieter than in previous decades.

But as Ann Arnold discovered this NAIDOC week, the lack of a strong national representative body, and the dispersal of Aboriginal policy across government departments, hasn’t made life easy for activists.


A decade or two ago, Aboriginal leaders like Mick Dodson, Pat Dodson and Lowitja O’Donoghue were household names.

Firebrands like Michael Mansell and Gary Foley regularly caught our attention.

And the ALP was seen as the party more naturally aligned with Indigenous causes.

Now, the Liberal Party has its second Aboriginal Federal parliamentarian —Ken Wyatt, from Western Australia. The first, so long ago now, was Senator Neville Bonner in the 1970s.

The Labor Party has never had a Federal Aboriginal MP or Senator.

In the Northern Territory’s CLP government, the Chief Minister Adam Giles is Aboriginal, as is one of his ministers, Alison Anderson. She defected from the Labor Party, was more recently an Independent, and has four portfolios.

“Everyone needs someone sticking up for them. That’s what the National Congress can do for Aboriginal and TI people. It’s the mark of a country’s maturity to enable people to have a voice.”

      Kirstie Parker, Editor, Koori Mail

Another newcomer in that government is Bess Price, an outspoken supporter of the Northern Territory intervention. She’s the CLP member for Stuart, comprising most of the Territory’s west, and held for the past thirty years by Labor.

Despite the Territory’s thirty per cent Aboriginal population, compared to three per cent nationwide, the NT ALP has never fielded an Aboriginal federal candidate. That was one reason why Julia Gillard, as PM, overrode the local branch and in January installed the athlete Nova Peris at the top of the Labor Senate ticket.

Epitomising the changeable political realities is the stance of Warren Mundine. The former National President of the ALP quit the party last year, and has said that he would welcome the opportunity to work with Tony Abbott should he become prime minister.

More recently, Mundine talked on National Indigenous Television about Kevin Rudd’s return as leader. ‘How amazing is Kevin Rudd!’ he exclaimed.

As a result of the apology to the Stolen Generations, Mundine said, Rudd is ‘immensely popular in the Aboriginal community, in fact I haven’t heard anyone saying anything bad about him’.

Given there’s some Aboriginal disillusionment with Labor over its dearth of Indigenous candidates and its continuation of the Northern Territory intervention—a policy which divides Aboriginal people—it’s not surprising, perhaps, that some allegiances are shifting.

 Warren Mundine told The Australian: ‘I will walk with anyone who is going to help us as a nation achieve the outcomes that we need to achieve for all Australians. And I don’t care what politics they are.’

The splintering of the Aboriginal vote is one of the reasons there are less likely to be recognised, national Aboriginal spokespeople. The loss of ATSIC, dismantled by the Howard Government, is another. It was as chair of that body that Lowitja ‘Lois’ O’Donoghue became so well-known.

Pat Turner, a former CEO of ATSIC, and Australia’s most senior Aboriginal government official to date, believes there’s now a gap. ‘There’s no focal point for Aboriginal people,’ she says. ‘That collective voice has dissipated.’

Turner is a critic of The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, the entity intended to replace ATSIC, because it is not perceived to have had much impact. ‘I’m not a fan of it. I can’t see what they’ve done.’

Before ATSIC, Pat Turner was deputy secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and deputy CEO of Centrelink. She rarely made her views public. Now retired in Alice Springs, she shakes her head as she watches policies unfold. When the NT intervention was announced, in 2007, she came out swinging, furious that Aboriginal communities would be controlled in ways that would never be applied to other communities, and without consultation.

But if there hasn’t been sustained, unified protest at the intervention from Aboriginal leaders, Turner believes it’s partly because of the ‘whole of government’ funding model now in place. Instead of dealing with one department—Indigenous Affairs—groups have to make their case with numerous government departments.

While Pat Turner agrees with the principle that every department should fulfil its obligations to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, there are practical problems. ‘Every department has its own guidelines, performance indicators, requires a financial report, and a progress report.’

‘If you’re [an Aboriginal organisation] administering over one hundred grants, you can imagine how burdensome that is.’

It means leaders are overstretched as well as wary of damaging their government ‘partnerships’ through criticism.

Turner observes that community leaders are tending to operate more locally now, finding they can achieve more within their regions than on a bigger scale.

There are of course many Aboriginal voices that are still loud and spectacularly clear. Linda Burney, Larissa Behrendt, Noel Pearson, and Marcia Langton come to mind; all integral to this country’s intellectual and political fabric, and engaging in multiple ways—writing, debating, speaking in various forums.

Tom Calma, Mick Gooda, Tanya Hosch, Aden Ridgeway, and Sam Jeffries are some of the more versatile leaders. There are dozens of others, spread across the professions, the arts, business and sport.

That is the good news story. According to John Maynard, a historian of activism: ‘We have educated lawyers, doctors, people in a variety of areas, so the real smart, street savvy Aboriginal political activist has probably diverted into different areas.’

Professor Maynard, an ARC Research Fellow based at Newcastle University, nonetheless worries that the Aboriginal voice does not appear to be so strong. He believes that ironically, it’s one of the side effects of land rights and native title.

‘We’ve been steered off to localised battles, fighting over money and land. That has stopped people thinking bigger and nationally. We need a united voice to come together.’

The prevailing reconciliation template may also have diverted some energy away from advocacy.

John Maynard’s grandfather Fred Maynard was a prominent activist in the 1920s, albeit one who has been under-appreciated historically. In 1924 he was calling for citizenship, an end to the forced removal of children from families, for Aboriginal people to be in charge of Aboriginal affairs, and for government to respect cultural knowledge.

Fred Maynard also wanted every Aboriginal family to be given 40 acres. Had that been done, his grandson believes, much of the hardship that has been endured since would been averted.

Professor Maynard is the deputy chair of  AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies). Mick Dodson is the chair. At an AIATSIS conference this week, Maynard will present a session on activism, celebrating the heroes, and actions, of the past—Charlie Perkins and the Freedom Ride; the Garindji walk off at Wave Hill; Chicka Dixon who in the late ‘60s was ‘inspirational’.

‘Paul Coe, Gary Foley, Michael Anderson—there were a whole host of articulate, confident outspoken activists,’ Maynard says. ‘Their strategies were amazing’.

For the 21st century, though, the focus needs to be different. ‘We’d like to unearth some coming through now into politics, probably mainstream politics.’

Kirstie Parker, the editor of the national newspaper the Koori Mail, agrees the strategy has to be different now. ‘A couple of decades ago, there was one pan-Aboriginal view. Governments were not paying their dues to Aboriginal people’s views. We were fighting for basics.’

Now, she says, activism has to have a fluid definition. ‘You’re active for a cause. How you do that is irrelevant. We need people in every realm.’

‘If it’s worked, people respond to it. If they don’t, it hasn’t.’

But still, that missing national voice concerns Parker. She has been on leave from her editor position to campaign for the position of female co-chair of the National Congress for First Peoples. Voting closed last Friday.

Parker doesn’t see the Congress as ideal, but worth putting her energy into.

‘Everyone needs someone sticking up for them. That’s what the National Congress can do for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.’

‘It’s the mark of a country’s maturity to enable people to have a voice.’

‘None of us are big, healthy or robust enough independently to not be threatened by political whims—ill-thought out decisions by government like blanket discrimination under the NT intervention.’

There are still hankerings though in some Aboriginal quarters for another act of powerful symbolism. The 50th anniversary of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions is being celebrated as part of this NAIDOC Week. That the Yolngu people, in 1963, brought those petitions from the Northern Territory’s Gove Peninsular to Parliament House seeking recognition of their traditional lands and a say over mining rights was surely an inspiring act of defiant dignity.

Hear Phillip Adams in discussion with Kirstie Parker, Pat Turner and John Maynard on Late Night Live.

NACCHO 2013 Election political alert:What are all the political parties promising Aboriginal Australia?


If there’s one issue that marks Australia out as an international pariah, it’s extreme Aboriginal disadvantage.

While the mining boom burbles along as a boy wonder of the global market, images of Third World-style conditions in bush camps continue to put a lie to the “lucky country” narrative.

The indigenous population lags behind on nearly every major social indicator.

Crikey is rolling out its exclusive PromiseWatch series in conjunction with the Centre for Policy Development.

Today, Aboriginal affairs and “closing the gap”

Reproduced from CRIKEY

NOTE the spelling of indigenous is Crikey not NACCHO

Making up 2.5% of the Australian population, indigenous people are vastly over-represented when it comes to poverty, life expectancy, health problems, disability, psychological distress and unemployment, according to the ABS.

There is just one indigenous MP, Ken Wyatt, currently serving in the House of Representatives and only three Aborigines have ever been elected to federal parliament.

The current government has committed itself to Closing the Gap, a national intergovernmental program meant to address the disadvantages that indigenous Australians face. Under this program, the state and federal administrations aim to:

  • close the gap in life expectancy (the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous life expectancy is 11.5 years in males and 9.7      years for females)
  • halve the gap in mortality rates for indigenous children under five by 2018
  • ensure  access to early childhood education for all indigenous four year olds in  remote communities by 2013
  • halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for children by 2018
  • halve the gap for indigenous students in Year 12 (or equivalent) attainment  rates by 2020
  • halve the gap in employment outcomes between indigenous and other Australians by      2018

The government has sought to directly intervene in the most disadvantaged indigenous communities in the NT, reshaping the policies of John Howard and Mal Brough’s NT intervention through the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory bills.

The legislation seeks to address alcohol abuse, land reform and food security. Under the oversight of the federal government, penalties for alcohol possession on Aboriginal land will be increased, failure for children to attend school will be discouraged through a decrease in welfare payments, X-rated material will be banned in certain areas and customary law considerations can be excluded in sentencing and bail decisions.

So what have the major parties promised on indigenous affairs?


Labor reiterated its support for the Closing the Gap program in its 2011 national platform, and says it recognises the disadvantage that Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders face in their daily lives. Areas selected for specific attention include literacy, numeracy, employment, infant mortality, life expectancy and education. Labor aims to close the gap by:

  • overcoming decades of under-investment in services and infrastructure
  • establishing clear expectations for governments, and holding all governments to account  for their progress
  • supporting personal responsibility as the foundation for healthy, strong families and  communities
  • building strong, respectful and robust relationships between indigenous and  non-indigenous Australians, so that we can work in partnership

The platform commits the party to investment in healthcare for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders of every age, along with better access to education, employment and housing.

Labor is in favour of the official acknowledgement of indigenous people in the constitution. It has passed a bipartisan Act of Recognition through Parliament committing to some change, however no referendum will be held on the issue until community support reaches an adequate level.

The ALP has preselected former sprinter Nova Peris for a winnable NT Senate slot, a move Julia Gillard says was explicitly designed to increase the party’s paucity of indigenous representation.

The Coalition:

Under its 2010 election policy, the Coalition outlined nine key areas. In March, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott pledged that he would put indigenous affairs at the centre of government by establishing a “Prime Minister of Aboriginal Affairs”.

The Indigenous Affairs portfolio would be relocated to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. In its “Our Plan” policy precis released in January, the Coalition said it would “encourage indigenous Australians to get ahead” by:

  • working  with indigenous communities to bring in a new suite of purposeful and innovative strategies
  • eliminating red tape and streamline programmes to move away from the complex web of overlapping initiatives
  • directing funding away from bureaucracies and overlapping and competing programmes towards local communities and real action
  • working with families to ensure all indigenous children attend school every day
  • supporting the Australian Employment Covenant and its many supporting employers to  create more opportunities for indigenous Australians to get ahead and actively engage more indigenous Australians in real jobs
  • providing $10 million to fund four trial sites to train 1000 indigenous people for  guaranteed jobs, working with the Australian Employment Covenant and Generation One
  • ending training for training’s sake and implement employment or work for the dole programmes
  • Tony Abbott continuing to spend a week a year in a remote community, to gain a better understanding of people’s needs

The party has also said it would retain former ALP national secretary Tim Gartrell as head of the group campaigning for constitutional recognition. And Abbott said last year he wants “authentic” Aborigines in parliament to join Wyatt.

The Greens:

The Greens’ indigenous affairs policies emphasise the respect and deference owed to the First Australians. Like Labor and the Coalition, the party seeks to obtain constitutional recognition of the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in pre-1788 Australia. Furthermore, it aims to provide equal access to services such as health, education, training, housing, community infrastructure, employment support, and policing. Under their watch, the Greens will:

  • provide protection and respect for indigenous cultural rights
  • prioritise programmes to improve indigenous health
  • establish community initiatives to address issues of family violence, alcohol and  substance abuse
  • incorporate  indigenous culture and language into the education system
  • repeal the Stronger Futures legislation
  • establish  effective heritage protection laws and protection bodies
  • ensure food security for indigenous populations in regional and remote areas.