” Menzies Research and Orygen Australia have developed & just published a practice guide for ‘Improving the Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’.
Little is known about how best to practically meet the social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) needs of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those with severe and complex mental health needs.
Yet, there is an urgent need for health programs and services to be more responsive to the mental health needs of this population.
Based on recent statistics, 67 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 4-14 years have experienced one or more of the following stressors:
death of family/friend;
being scared or upset by an argument or someone’s behaviour; and
keeping up with school work. “
Download the Report HERE ( See PDF for all research references )
high rates of psychological distress, mental health conditions, and suicide noted among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people when compared to non-Aboriginal young people;
a lack of evidence-based and culturally informed resources to educate and assist health professionals to work with this population; and
notable gaps between knowledge and practice, which limits opportunities to improve the SEWB of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
This promising practice guide draws on an emerging, yet disparate, evidence-base about promising practices aimed at improving the SEWB of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. It aims to support service providers, commissioners, and policy-makers to adopt strengths-based, equitable and culturally responsive approaches that better meet the SEWB needs of this high-risk population.
The Australian Government appointed Orygen to provide Australia’s 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) with expert leadership and support in commissioning youth mental health initiatives.
Orygen has subsequently commissioned Menzies School of Health Research to identify and document promising practice service approaches in improving SEWB among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with severe and complex mental health needs. This promising practice guide is an output of that work.
What do we know about the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people?
It is recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies provided the optimal condition for their community members’ mental health and social and emotional wellbeing before European settlement.
However, the Australian Psychological Society has acknowledged that these optimal conditions have been continuously eroded through colonisation in parallel with an increase in mental health concerns.2
There is clear evidence about the disproportionate burden of SEWB and mental health concerns experienced among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The key contributors to the disease burden among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 10-24 years are:1 suicide and self-inflicted injuries (13 per cent), anxiety disorder (eight per cent) and alcohol use disorders (seven per cent).3
Based on recent statistics, 67 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 4-14 years have experienced one or more of the following stressors:
death of family/friend;
being scared or upset by an argument or someone’s behaviour; and
keeping up with school work.4
The stressors have a cumulative impact as these children transition into adolescence and early adulthood. Another study has shown that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are at higher risk of emotional and behavioural difficulties.5
This is linked to major life stress events such as family dysfunction; being in the care of a sole parent or other carers; having lived in a lot of different homes; being subjected to racism; physical ill-health of young people and/or carers; carer access to mental health services; and substance use disorders. These factors are all closely intertwined.
Relevant national frameworks and action plans
The Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 (2015) was developed by the Australian Government Department of Health in close consultation with the National Health Leadership Forum. It has a strong emphasis on a whole-of-government approach to addressing the key priorities identified throughout the plan.
The overarching vision is to ensure that the strategies and actions of the plan respond to the health and wellbeing needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across their life course. This includes a focus on young people.6
The National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023 provides more specific direction by highlighting the importance of preventive actions that focus on children and young people.7 This includes:
strengthening the foundation;
building capacity and resilience in people and groups at risk;
provide care for people who are mildly or moderately ill; and
care for people living with severe mental illness.
In addition, the National Action Plan for the Health of Children and Young People 2020-2030 identifies building health equity, including principles of proportionate universalism, as a key action area and identifies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people as a priority population.8
Social and emotional wellbeing frameworks relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Over the past decades, multiple frameworks have been developed to support the SEWB of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.4-8 These have identified some common elements, domains, principles, action areas and methods.7, 9-12
One of the most comprehensive frameworks is the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023, which has a foundation of development over many years.13
It has nine guiding principles:
Health as a holistic concept: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is viewed in a holistic context that encompasses mental health and physical, cultural and spiritual health. Land is central to wellbeing. Crucially, it must be understood that while the harmony of these interrelations is disrupted, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ill-health will persist.
The right to self-determination: Self-determination is central to the provision of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and considered a fundamental human right.
The need for cultural understanding: Culturally valid understandings must shape the provision of services and must guide assessment, care and management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health problems generally and mental health concerns more specifically. This necessitates a culturally safe and responsive approach through health program and service delivery.
The impact of history in trauma and loss: It must be recognised that the experiences of trauma and loss, a direct result of colonialism, are an outcome of the disruption to cultural wellbeing. Trauma and loss of this magnitude continue to have intergenerational impacts.
Recognition of human rights: The human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples must be recognised and respected. Failure to respect these human rights constitutes continuous disruption to mental health (in contrast to mental illness/ill health). Human rights specifically relevant to mental illness must be addressed.
The impact of racism and stigma: Racism, stigma, environmental adversity and social disadvantage constitute ongoing stressors and have negative impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and wellbeing.
Recognition of the centrality of kinship: The centrality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family and kinship must be recognised as well as the broader concepts of family and the bonds of reciprocal affection, responsibility and sharing.
Recognition of cultural diversity: There is no single Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture or group, but numerous groupings, languages, kinship systems and tribes. Furthermore, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in a range of urban, rural or remote settings where expressions of culture and identity may differ.
Recognition of Aboriginal strengths: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have great strengths, creativity and endurance and a deep understanding of the relationships between human beings and their environment.13
While the principles outlined above are not specific to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, they are considered to be appropriate within the context of adopting a holistic life-course approach.
What’s happening in practice?
This promising practice guide attempts to collate disparate strands of evidence that relate to enhancing youth mental health; improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander SEWB; and strategies for addressing severe and complex mental health needs.
It has been well documented that there are significant limitations in the evaluation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health programs and services across Australia.22-24 The Australian Governments’ Productivity Commission Inquiry into
Mental Health and the Lowitja Institute are, at the time of producing this document, looking at ways to strengthen work in this space.24, 25
In the absence of high-quality evaluation reports, the term ‘promising practice’ is used throughout this guide.
This is consistent with the terminology used by the Australian Psychological Society through its project about SEWB and mental health services in Australia (http://www.sewbmh.org.au/).
It adopts a strengths-based approach26 which acknowledges and celebrates efforts made to advance work in this space in the absence of strong practice-based evidence.
This is achieved through the presentation of five active case studies.
These reflect organizational, systems and practice focused service model examples. The principles included in the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023 have been mapped against each case study to illustrate how these privilege Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, doing and being.
Each case study includes generic background information to provide important contextual information; key messages or lessons learned, and reflections from staff involved in the project.
They have been developed in consultation with both the commissioning PHN and the service/organisation funded to develop and/or deliver the framework, program and service. Where possible, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders were consulted during the development of the case studies.
There are two types of bursaries available. We are offering 16 full bursaries, which cover:
Full Conference registration, including the Welcoming Ceremony and Conference dinner
Domestic flights (economy) to Darwin
3 nights accommodation (incl. breakfast) for those travelling from interstate
4 nights accommodation (incl. breakfast) for those travelling from a remote area
We also offer conference attendance bursaries.
These cover costs up to the amount of AU$2000.
We will be asking bursary recipients to assist with some conference duties, and to be available for media and promotional activities during the event.
Who can apply:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students currently enrolled in a course or discipline related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing (including VET, undergraduate, Masters or PhD) and
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members currently employed in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation, in the health and community service sector in Australia.
Eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander current student or community person working in the sector
Benefit to studies and/or organisation has been demonstrated
Plans to further and/or share knowledge gained at the conference has been demonstrated
Applicant has demonstrated that they are an emerging leader in their environment
A reference has been submitted supporting the application.
How to apply:
Complete the application form below before midnight Friday 12 April 2019.
VACCHO is Victoria’s peak representative Aboriginal health body, championing community control and health equality for our communities. We are a centre of expertise, policy advice, training, innovation and leadership in Aboriginal health, advocating for the equality and wellbeing of all Aboriginal people across the state.
This newly created role will be involved in consultation and development of a new approach and program model for the prevention of chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease for Aboriginal Victorians
To be successful in this role you will need:
Proven leadership in public health, nutrition, physical activity and/or health promotion
Demonstrated understanding and commitment to the philosophy and practice of Aboriginal Community Control and self-determination
Strong project management skills and ability to recommend culturally appropriate solutions to problems arising
This is an Aboriginal Designated Position, classified under ‘special measures’ of section 12 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. Only Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are eligible to apply.
The successful applicant will have an opportunity to make a difference and support VACCHO’s members to create positive change in their communities. If this interests you, please review the Position Description and Application Form at our website http://www.vaccho.org.au/jobs.
Doctors wanted for Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health & Community Services
Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health & Community Services is a community controlled health service providing holistic health care to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities of the ACT and surrounding areas. The Service manages various programs and employs more than 70 staff. Employees enjoy attractive remuneration, salary sacrificing, support of continuing professional education, no after hours or weekends, satisfying work in a proven multidisciplinary team environment.
The role of the GP is to enhance the clinical services offered at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health & Community Services. The aim of the clinical services team is to optimise the health outcomes for clients through providing best practice, evidence based clinical services and where appropriate to identify where a client requires referral to another team of the service or an external service provider.
Are you a Doctor who is passionate about Aboriginal Health and playing the part to close the gap in health between mainstream and Aboriginal Australia?
If you are, then opportunities exist at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health & Community Services for permanent part time General Practitioners to work 5days/week either between the hours of 9.00am to 1.00pm or 1.00pm to 5.00pm.
All applications should be addressed and mailed to Julie Tongs, CEO, Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service 63 Boolimba Crescent, Narrabundah ACT 2604 or by email to Roseanne.Longford@winnunga.org.au
AHMRC Marketing and Communications Coordinator
We are looking for a Marketing and Communications Coordinator to join our team. We are searching for someone who truly wants to make a difference in their community and is passionate about all things – marketing and communications!
About the Job
As the Marketing & Communications Coordinator, you will be responsible for assisting in the development of new and innovative marketing campaigns; and, proactively supporting AH&MRC teams to deliver programs.
Take ownership of day-to-day marketing admin and enquiries
Manage the development and execution of AH&MRC’s digital collateral
Create and implement AH&MRC brand and marketing collateral
Manage marketing and communications for campaigns
Ensure collateral meets AH&MRC brand standards and requirements
Build strong relationships with stakeholders
To be successful you will have;
A passionate approach to work and a can-do attitude
The ability to take initiative, learn and think creatively
A stakeholder/ member centric focus
Excellent organisational, oral and written skills
Understanding Aboriginal communities and cultures
Degree in marketing & communications and/or relevant experience
AH&MRC works across NSW to ensure Aboriginal communities receive high quality comprehensive primary health care services; from an adequately resourced and skilled workforce. AH&MRC works in collaboration with other Aboriginal health and non-Aboriginal health partners to systematically address the social determinants of health and wellbeing.
Generous study opportunities
Flexible working arrangements
Proving yourself in this role could lead to future opportunities within AH&MRC. We support our employees to take ownership of developing their career and encourage further development through study.
Mamu Health Service Limited is an Aboriginal community controlled health service providing comprehensive primary health care services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Innisfail and surrounding districts including Tully, Babinda and Ravenshoe.
We are recruiting to the position of Health Services Manager based at Innisfail. Your role is to provide strategic direction and leadership for the implementation and delivery of comprehensive PHC Services within Mamu Health Service Limited, strategic initiatives related to models of Primary Health Care (PHC), and strategic initiatives associated with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PHC programs.
This position is also responsible for business planning, administration, financial management and working collaboratively as part of the Senior Management Team.
All applicants must be willing to undertake an AFP Criminal History Check and hold a current Blue Card with Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian
If you are interested please download an application package from our website on www.mamuhsl.org.au. Applications close Friday 12th April 2019 at 5.00pm
Under section 25, of the Anti-discrimination Act 1991, there is a genuine occupational requirement of the incumbent to be of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander descent
MDAS ACCHO : New jobs this week in Mildura and Swan Hill.
If you are passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Western Australia then the below opportunities may interest you.
Alcohol and Drug Counsellor (FIFO 8:2)
Organisation: Spinifex Health Service, Tjuntjuntjara, Spinifex Lands, WA
Employment Type: Full time (8:2 roster), Fixed Term 12 Month Contract with a view to extend
Remuneration: $83,562 (negotiable for the right candidate) + superannuation + salary sacrifice + annual district allowance of $4333
About the Organisation
The Spinifex Health Service (SHS) is an expanding Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Service located in the Tjuntjuntjara Community on the Spinifex Lands, 680km north-east of Kalgoorlie in the Great Victoria Desert region of Western Australia.
SHS provides a comprehensive primary health care service from the Tjuntjuntjara Clinic, servicing approximately 200 people with a strong focus on chronic disease management, child and maternal health, social & emotional well-being, aged care and Home and Community Care (HACC).
As the Drug and Alcohol Counsellor, you will assist adults and young people to make healthy lifestyle choices, particularly in relation to alcohol and drugs.
Working within a strategic plan framework informed by the Health Committee (a sub Committee of the PTAC Board) and closely with the mental health team including a visiting Psychologist, your day to day responsibilities will include (but not be limited to) the following:
Implementing a range of strategies and interventions that support community and client awareness of Social and Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug services;
Providing both individual and group education sessions on positive / healthy lifestyles choices focusing on community identified issues;
Planning, developing, preparing, promoting and delivering education and other activities consistent with program goals for footprints for better health;
Providing case-management and support for clients on an as needs basis.
To be successful, you will have a qualification in counselling, psychology, social work, alcohol and drug education and mental health or a related field paired with a commitment to Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing.
You will have an understanding of the social determinants of health affecting Aboriginal people and the ability to communicate sensitively in a cross-cultural environment. Your strong interpersonal, communication and organisational skills will enable you to strengthen existing community partnerships, establish and sustain stakeholder relationships and determine priorities in order to meet agreed timelines and achieve results.
$83,562 (negotiable for the right candidate) + superannuation + salary sacrifice + annual district allowance of $4333
8:2 FIFO roster – travel provided from Kalgoorlie to the community and back each swing
Accommodation and utilities (including wifi) provided at a cost of $40 per week
Relocation allowance (including airfares from your place of origin to the community and the cost of freighting your belongings up to the cost of 1 Pallet)
4 weeks annual leave
At your own cost, you can bring your partner out to the community on your swing!
This position offers the opportunity to engage in a dynamic, challenging and fast-paced role where no two days are the same. You’ll be working closely with remote Aboriginal communities and making a drastic impact to the health and well-being outcomes of these communities. You’ll enjoy fantastic career progression and growth as you advance your skills, with ongoing training and support provided.
Not only this, but you’ll be working in some of the most beautiful outback regions that Australia has to offer!
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply.
Applications close at 5pm, 15 April 2019
For more information please contact Sarah Calder on 08 9227 1631
As per section 51 of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA) SHS seeks to increase the diversity of our workforce to better meet the different needs of our clients and stakeholders and to improve equal opportunity outcomes for our employees.
General Practitioners Carnarvon Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation
2 x General Practitioner – Location: Carnarvon
The Carnarvon Medical ServiceAboriginal Medical Corporation (CMSAC) is seeking to fill the above positions. CMSAC is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service; established in 1986 to provide health and medical services to the Aboriginal people of Carnarvon and the surrounding areas.
CMSAC provides a supportive employment environment that values and encourages initiative and an outcome-based focus on improving Aboriginal health. CMSAC foster close links with major providers of health services in the Aboriginal communities throughout the North West Gascoyne region of WA.
Summary Job role:
The General Practitioner is accountable to the Clinical Operations Manager and is responsible for the provision of high quality clinical and medical services for the Aboriginal people of Carnarvon and surrounding areas. This includes providing a range of culturally appropriate comprehensive primary health care services taking account of the culture and practices of the community in which CMSAC operates.
To be successful you will need to meet the following essential and desirable requirements.
ESSENTIAL: General skills, experience and knowledge
Registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency as a General Practitioner;
Possess at least three years postgraduate medical experience,
If not vocationally registered as a General Practitioner, hold relevant vocational Registration, or hold a Fellowship, FRACGP, FACRRM or be part of a GP training scheme.
Demonstrated understanding of the principles of comprehensive primary health care and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services as well as an understanding of the issues affecting the health and well being of Aboriginal people, including social determinants of health.
Relevant client case load management experience
Demonstrated clinical and procedural experience
Demonstrated highly developed communication and interpersonal skills, both written and verbal
A demonstrated capacity to work effectively and collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team
Understanding of family medicine, primary health care and preventative health care practice
The ability to maintain a high level of professionalism and confidentiality
Ability to work with minimal supervision and to work to deadlines
A demonstrated knowledge of Medicare billing framework and application in primary health care and a demonstrated willingness to appropriately maximize Medicare billing.
A demonstrated understanding of applicable accreditation standards including AGPAL accreditation standards and a willingness to provide leadership in continual quality improvement in clinical practice.
Working knowledge of Communicare software package, will be an advantage,
Good time management skills with the ability to effectively plan, organise and coordinate own workload
Willingness to incorporate Aboriginal values into clinical practice.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Employment Type: Full-tIme
Employment Classification: Permanent
Award: Medical Practitioners Award 2010 (Cth)
Working Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm, Monday – Friday – no on-call
Part time (0.6 FTE) contract until 30 November 2019 based in Darwin
Menzies NHMRC-funded Centre of Research Excellence in Ear and Hearing Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children (CRE_ICHEAR) is dedicated to reducing educational and social disadvantage associated with ear disease and hearing loss, particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
The Research Program Manager will:
Provide secretariat support to the CRE_ICHEAR Leadership Group.
Administer research grants and student scholarships.
Monitor and contribute to progress against CRE_ICHEAR objectives which include Indigenous capacity building, research outputs, research translation, stakeholder engagement and collaboration.
Participate in research activities such as electronic surveys, systematic reviews, evidence summaries and grant applications.
Review and monitor CRE_ICHEAR budgets and monitor financial status in conjunction with the Child Health Division’s Business Manager.
Liaise with various Corporate Services units within Menzies to meet obligations and mitigate risks.
Maintain the CRE_ICHEAR website, Facebook page and Twitter accounts and work with the Menzies Communications team to promote CRE activities.
The successful applicant will have:
Tertiary qualifications in a health or related field, along with relevant work experience.
High level oral and written communication skills in preparing and publishing high quality reports, reviews and grant applications.
Ability to identify, build and maintain networks and relationships.
Demonstrated qualities in integrity, ability to work cross-culturally, resourcefulness, initiative in the delivery of service to stakeholders and a positive attitude.
Experience with computer software applications, in particular Microsoft Excel, Word, Power Point, Outlook and Endnote or the ability to adapt new technologies.
Willingness and ability to travel interstate for face to face meetings, likely one week 6-monthly.
Driver’s license and working with children clearance.
2 year part time (0.6 FTE) contract based in Darwin
The D-Kids trial was awarded funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council to determine whether daily vitamin D supplementation compared to placebo given to Indigenous Australian mothers reduces the incidence of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) in the infants’ first twelve months of life.
The Research Nurse will:
Ensure the trial meets standards of Good Clinical Practice, including informed consent, participant eligibility assessments and adverse event monitoring.
Be responsible for participant recruitment, clinical data and specimen collection and follow-up visits according to the study protocol and standard operating procedures.
Conduct visits to participating communities in urban and remote areas via either air or road (manual 4WD) under limited supervision.
The successful applicant will have:
Tertiary nursing or midwifery qualification and registration with the relevant Profession Health Board Licensing Authority.
Understanding and knowledge of health issues affecting the wellbeing of Indigenous children in contemporary Australian society.
Highly developed ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing to a range of audiences.
Strong record keeping skills, attention to detail, problem-solving skills, resourcefulness, punctuality and a positive attitude.
Experience with computer software applications, in particular Microsoft Excel.
Willingness and ability to travel on light aircraft or 4WD to remote communities as part of a team, for up to a week at a time, twice a month.
The ability to maintain a current Australian driver’s license and Working with Children Clearance.
As part of our commitment to providing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of Brisbane with a comprehensive range of primary health care, youth, child safety, mental health, dental and aged care services, we employ approximately 150 people across our locations at Woolloongabba, Woodridge, Northgate, Acacia Ridge, Browns Plains, Eagleby and East Brisbane.
The roles at ATSICHS are diverse and include, but are not limited to the following:
Wuchopperen Health Service Limited has been providing primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for over 35 years. Our workforce has a range of professional, clinical, allied health, social emotional wellbeing and administration positions.
We have two sites in Cairns and a growing number of supplementary services and partnerships.
We have a diverse workforce of over 200 employees
70 percent of our team identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people
Our team is dedicated to the Wuchopperen vision: Improving the Quality of Life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. If you would like to make a difference, and improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, please apply today.
Nunkuwarrin Yunti places a strong focus on a client centred approach to the delivery of services and a collaborative working culture to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients. View our current vacancies here.
Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services Inc. is passionate about creating a strong and dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander workforce. We are committed to providing mentorship and training to our team members to enhance their skills for them to be able to create career pathways and opportunities in life.
On occasions we may have vacancies for the positions listed below:
Medical Receptionists – casual pool
Transport Drivers – casual pool
General Hands – casual pool, rotating shifts
Aboriginal Health Workers (Cert IV in Primary Health) –casual pool
*These positions are based in one or all of our sites – East Perth, Midland, Maddington, Mirrabooka or Bayswater.
To apply for a position with us, you will need to provide the following documents:
WA National Police Clearance – no older than 6 months
WA Driver’s License – full license
Contact details of 2 work related referees
Copies of all relevant certificates and qualifications
We may also accept Expression of Interests for other medical related positions which form part of our services. However please note, due to the volume on interests we may not be able to respond to all applications and apologise for that in advance.
All complete applications must be submitted to our HR department or emailed to HR
This should include a covering letter outlining your job interest(s), an up to date resume and two current employment referees
Your details will remain on file for a period of 12 months. Resumes on file are referred to from time to time as positions arise with VAHS and you may be contacted if another job matches your skills, experience and/or qualifications. Expressions of interest are destroyed in a confidential manner after 12 months.
Applying for a Current Vacancy
Unless the advertisement specifies otherwise, please follow the directions below when applying
Your application/cover letter should include:
Current name, address and contact details
A brief discussion on why you feel you would be the appropriate candidate for the position
Response to the key selection criteria should be included – discussing how you meet these
Your Resume should include:
Current name, address and contact details
Summary of your career showing how you have progressed to where you are today. Most recent employment should be first. For each job that you have been employed in state the Job Title, the Employer, dates of employment, your duties and responsibilities and a brief summary of your achievements in the role
Education, include TAFE or University studies completed and the dates. Give details of any subjects studies that you believe give you skills relevant to the position applied for
References, where possible, please include 2 employment-related references and one personal character reference. Employment references must not be from colleagues, but from supervisors or managers that had direct responsibility of your position.
Ensure that any referees on your resume are aware of this and permission should be granted.
How to apply:
Send your application, response to the key selection criteria and your resume to:
All applications must be received by the due date unless the previous extension is granted.
When applying for vacant positions at VAHS, it is important to know the successful applicants are chosen on merit and suitability for the role.
VAHS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and are committed to ensuring that staff selection procedures are fair to all applicants regardless of their sex, race, marital status, sexual orientation, religious political affiliations, disability, or any other matter covered by the Equal Opportunity Act
You will be assessed based on a variety of criteria:
Your application, which includes your application letter which address the key selection criteria and your resume
Verification of education and qualifications
An interview (if you are shortlisted for an interview)
Discussions with your referees (if you are shortlisted for an interview)
You must have the right to live and work in Australia
Employment is conditional upon the receipt of:
A current Working with Children Check
A current National Police Check
Any licenses, certificates and insurances
6.2 Mallee District Aboriginal Services Mildura Swan Hill Etc
Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service (GWAHS) is an entity of Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service. GWAHS provides a culturally appropriate comprehensive primary health care service for the local Aboriginal communities of western Sydney and the Nepean Blue Mountains. GWAHS provides multidisciplinary services from sites located in Mt Druitt and Penrith.
The clinical service model includes general practitioners (GPs), Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners, nursing staff, reception and transport staff. The service also offers a number of wraparound services and programs focused on child and maternal health, social and emotional wellbeing, Drug and Alcohol Support, chronic disease, as well as population health activities.
GWAHS is committed to ensuring that patients have access to and receive high quality, culturally appropriate care and services that meet the needs of local Aboriginal communities.
University of Newcastle : Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Care Services Research Assistant and Aboriginal Cultural Liaison
Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter, NSW
$67,185 to $77,936 pa (pro-rated for p/t) + super Healthcare & Medical Clinical/Medical Research
Travelling interstate will be required as part of this role
The role is based at the Hunter Medical Research Institute
Initially part time (0.6 FTE) for 6 months then may be renewed for full time
Work in the SISTAQUIT program contributing to trial implementation in the
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Care Services Research Assistant and Aboriginal Cultural Liaison
Faculty of Health and Medicine
School of Medicine and Public Health
Research Assistant and Aboriginal Cultural Liaison
Job Ref# 3925
At the University of Newcastle, our staff are curious. We think big, see opportunity and are open to ideas and ask why. We share wisdom and partner with colleagues in Australia and around the globe to create an enduring impact. And we’re courageous – bold thinkers who have the confidence to take risks and to inspire change. We attract, foster and retain remarkable professional staff who actively contribute to our reputation. The University has an international reputation for research excellence and we continue to build on our research strengths, engagement with industry and partnering with outstanding international universities.
The Centre for Cancer Research, Innovation and Translation is a Priority Research Centre within the School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine at University of Newcastle.
Associate Professor Gillian Gould has a team that is developing interventions for Aboriginal smokers.
SISTAQUIT is a study of national importance to train health providers to deliver evidence-based care to pregnant Aboriginal women who smoke.
Is NEW for you?
This role will contribute to the cultural liaison for the cluster RCT in approximately 30 services in NSW and 4-5 other states, help set up the trial at the sites and support data collection and the on-site research facilitators.
Research activities include; Aboriginal Community consultations with ACCHS and their community members and relevant boards, site visits to ACCHS, engagement and training of Research Facilitators at ACCHS sites, site support, conducting interviews and surveys, data analysis, and the development of resources to support implementation.
What will you do?
This role will involve assistance with the cluster randomised controlled trial of the SISTAQUIT intervention in NSW and other states. The role will involve contributing to the management and trial implementation in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Care Services (ACCHS) and medical services nationally.
This role will involve travelling to sites to conduct on-site training, which includes; WA, SA, NT, QLD, VIC and NSW. When not travelling the role is based at Hunter Medical Research Institute in Newcastle.
Under section 31 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) female gender is a genuine occupation qualification of this role, as the position concerns predominantly sensitive Indigenous ‘women’s business’.
A degree in Psychology or Health with subsequent relevant experience; an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training.
Demonstrate success in the delivery of strengths-based initiatives and programs that are founded on positive connections, values and perspectives in the Indigenous community.
Applications for this position will only be accepted from those with Australian residency or a valid work permit.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants are encouraged to apply.
As part of the University’s commitment to increasing Indigenous employment within its workforce, this role is a targeted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander position. The University holds an exemption under Section 126 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) in relation to its targeted recruiting programs. Please note that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous candidates can apply, however priority will be given to Indigenous candidates who can demonstrate their Indigenous heritage by way of providing their Confirmation of Aboriginality with the completed application and successfully meet the selection criteria.
One of the strongest messages emerging in the program’s surveys of community and health centres is that they really believe that CQI “can make a difference”.
I believe Indigenous primary health services are leading the way in CQI, in part because they’re used to being accountable, but also because specific features of CQI suit them well.
Doctors and nursing staff in Aboriginal community controlled organisations tend to have a more public health and population health orientation and to be part of a larger network,
One21seventy and National Centre scientific director Ross Bailie says he has seen growing enthusiasm in Indigenous primary health for CQI over the past decade, as more services and staff accept that “it’s not about policing or blaming”.
Major conferences put the spotlight on improving Indigenous health and healthcare
The role of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary healthcare will be under the spotlight at a Lowitja Institute conferencein Melbourne this week.
Journalist Marie McInerney is covering the conference for the Croakey Conference Reporting Service and in the preview below examines the cultural shift that has occurred around CQI, and details the findings of a new report investigating the factors that help and hinder CQI uptake.
The discussions follow a recent national appraisal by the University of New South Wales’ Research Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity that showed that a specialist CQI workforce is developing across the Indigenous health sector. It found that while CQI has not been universally adopted as core business, there was “widespread interest and initial take-up” across the sector.
Much of this has come through the work of the One21seventy National Centre for Quality Improvement in Indigenous Primary Health, set up by the Menzies School of Health Research and the Lowitja Institute, which is hosting the conference. It defines CQI as: “a system of regular reflection and refinement to improve processes and outcomes that will provide quality health care.”
One21seventy and National Centre scientific director Ross Bailie says he has seen growing enthusiasm in Indigenous primary health for CQI over the past decade, as more services and staff accept that “it’s not about policing or blaming”.
One of the strongest messages emerging in the program’s surveys of community and health centres is that they really believe that CQI “can make a difference”.
Bailie also believes Indigenous primary health services are leading the way in CQI, in part because they’re used to being accountable, but also because specific features of CQI suit them well.
“Doctors and nursing staff in Aboriginal community controlled organisations tend to have a more public health and population health orientation and to be part of a larger network,” he said.
“We are seeing greater success with CQI when it’s being done at an integrated level or where we can get systematic data showing practice performance against best practice guidelines – data which we struggle to get more generally in (mainstream) general practice,” he said.
It’s credited, for example, with significant improvements in the quality of care and outcomes for diabetes (such as lifting rates of HbA1c testing once every six months from 41 to 74 per cent and the delivery of diabetes guideline scheduled services from 31 to 54 per cent).
ABCD also influenced the Healthy for Life program that collects data from about 100 Indigenous primary health care sites across Australia on essential health indicators and others relating to organisational structure and care provision.
One21seventy was named for its mission to “increase life expectancy for Indigenous people beyond One in infancy, beyond 21 in children and young adults and beyond seventy in the lifespan”.
It has developed a range of clinical audit tools to measure the delivery of best practice service for chronic health conditions and maternal and child health care by more than 200 Indigenous primary healthcare services (see image below – and see the tool in action here).
One21seventy will launch a new tool at the conference for improving youth health, and a set of online modules so that health service staff around the country can access training when they want it – another effort, it says, “to overcome the tyranny of distance and cost of workforce development across the Indigenous primary health care sector”.
Making CQI “everyone’s business”
Lowitja Institute CEO Lyn Brodie said integrating CQI into the operations of primary health care providers delivers substantial benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They include:
better quality of clinical treatment and care to patients with specific diagnoses
quality of health promotion programs (for example, smoking cessation and physical activity programs)
quality of community-based care, such as to new parents by Aboriginal health workers
capacity and/or readiness of services and systems to meet pre-determined goals (including Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
“Our goal is to make CQI everyone’s business,” she said. To that end, the Lowitja Institute commissioned the University of NSW national appraisal to look at what influences the take up of CQI initiatives in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health services.
The appraisal found uptake was assisted by:
leadership, including the commitment of senior management, appointment of dedicated CQUI staff who can then act as CQI champions
strong partnerships between CQI system providers and Aboriginal community controlled health service managers, health workers and communities
ready availability of standards and tools to use in auditing and assessing local performance
access to national and state/territory networks of CQI practitioners and researchers.
The barriers to uptake included:
difficulty in recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce (particularly in rural and remote areas), compounded by insecure funding for CQI positions
confusion among service managers and health workers/clinicians about CQI and lack of clear understanding about the capacity required by services to conduct CQI
scepticism or ambivalence about the purposes and benefits of CQI.
Similar issues and insights were identified in the June 2013evaluation by Allen & Clarke of the Northern Territory CQI Investment Strategy being developed and implemented in the NT Aboriginal primary health care sector.
The next step, Bailie says, is to develop and apply a CQI focus not just to the local health centre level but “across the whole system and at different levels of the system”.
“The focus up to now has been very much supporting local primary health care centres to use that information for their own purposes,” he said. “We’re now aggregating that data and analysing it at a state and national and territory level, to identify at a system level what is working well, what are the major barriers to improvement, and what we can do about it.”
The Federal Department of Health looks interested. It’s currently calling for tenders for a summary and analysis of CQI activity on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care, looking to identify “systemic enablers, barriers and linkages relevant to the development of a national continuous quality improvement framework that may be used to support improved capacity.”
The two day conference will:
discuss challenges and strategies around embedding CQI daily within the workplace
hear successful CQI stories and learn from their journeys
highlight how CQI contributes to better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities
harvest best CQI practices, locally, nationally and internationally, from within the primary health care landscape.
Speakers will include:
Selwyn Button, CEO of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council
Associate Professor Gail Garvey, program leader of the Healthy Start, Healthy Life program
Dr Mark Wenitong, senior medical advisor at Apunipima Cape York Health Council
Lisa Briggs, CEO of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (NACCHO).
You can hear more about Aboriginal health and CQI 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.
The NACCHO 2014 Summit in June at the Melbourne Convention Centre offers an unparalleled opportunity for you to build relationships with NACCHO, our affiliates, stakeholders, government and our 150 Aboriginal community controlled health organisations that are committed to improving Aboriginal health and Closing the Gap by 2030. The theme this year is:
“Investing in Aboriginal community controlled health makes economic sense.” After reading this newsletter and obtaining our Summit Partnership and Exhibition Opportunities prospectus, we think you will agree that a sponsorship investment in the NACCHO 2014 Health Summit “makes economic sense”.
Delegates at the Summit will be looking for partnerships, products and services that will help them improve delivery of comprehensive primary health care for their patients and communities and the overall cost efficiency of their service finance and administrative delivery.
Become a sponsor and take advantage of the many excellent sponsorship and exhibition opportunities that are available to promote your organisation at Australia’s most prestigious and well-attended Aboriginal health conference.
What you will achieve by sponsoring and exhibiting?
Achieve profile and brand enhancement through your association with, and support for Australia’s national authority in comprehensive Aboriginal primary health care.
Your involvement in, and contribution to the NACCHO 2014 Summit will help you meet your business objectives:
Network and exchange knowledge to better identify community wants and needs
Identify prospective health sector supply and partnership opportunities
Promote how your product or service will enhance the delivery of a sustainable Australian Aboriginal health sector
Support Australia’s Aboriginal health capabilities by providing insightful, relevant and practical information to your clientele about your brand values and attributes
Build community relationships and increase your company networks within the Australian Aboriginal health sector
Increase sales through direct promotion of your business
Promote your staff, products and services among the Aboriginal health businesses and service industries
NACCHO 2014 SUMMIT Objectives
NETWORK with the movers and shakers of the Aboriginal health sector
LEARN about the latest research and developments in Aboriginal health
SHAREexperiences and ideas with forward thinkers
MEET with clinicians, researchers, industry innovators and others who share the desire to deliver better health to all BENEFITS OF PARTNERSHIP NACCHO Member Services and state territory Affiliates will be attending the Summit so this is a perfect opportunity to interact with delegates first hand.
It is a unique opportunity for government, non-government organisations, and private industry to promote their products and services to NACCHO member services from all over Australia.
This is the premier opportunity for your organisation to become the major sponsor of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s (NACCHO) 2014 Healthy Futures Summit. Your organisation will have an exclusive profile for the period leading up to the Summit and at the event, with your organisation’s logo displayed in conjunction with the Summit logo. THE BENEFITS
One complimentary exhibition stand (3m x 3m) in your preferred position from the spaces available.
The chance to prominently display your corporate banner (to be provided by your organisation) in the main plenary room during the Summit.
Your organization’s name/logo will be displayed in conjunction with the Summit logo in a prominent position at the Summit to ensure maximum exposure.
As well as the following acknowledgement; “The NACCHO2014 Healthy Futures Summit is proudly supported by our Platinum Sponsor (your Company Name/logo Displayed Here)”.
Acknowledgement as Platinum Sponsor in publicity associated with the Summit marketing.
Your organisations logo will be prominently featured on a range of print materials (excluding pads, pens, name badges, lanyards and satchels).
Acknowledgement as the Platinum Sponsor of the Summit on the website with a short organisational profile and a link to your organization’s website.
Your logo will be displayed on the cover of the Summit program as the principle sponsor of the summit.
Your logo will be displayed on the Summit name badges as the principle sponsor of the summit.
An opportunity to address the Summit in plenary sessions.
The opportunity to include a suitable promotional item or a piece of literature (one flyer or brochure) in the Summit satchel.
Your organisation will receive two complimentary satchels with all the Summit information and materials.
Three complimentary full Summit delegate registrations,
You will also receive an additional two complimentary to the Welcome Event and Dinner with a reserved table.
Your organisation will have access to SUMMIT delegate information
Only ONE available (price on application) This is an opportunity for your organisation to become the Gold Sponsor of the NACCHO’s 2013 Summit. Your organisation will have a high exposure for the period leading up to the event, with your organisation’s name and logo displayed in conjunction with the Summit logo.
TRADE EXHIBITION BOOTH
$ 3,520 Inc. GST
You will have the opportunity to offer your products and services to the entire delegation as well as all of the summit break hospitality will be held in the exhibition area. Delegates will also be encouraged to visit all stands if the Expo passport sponsorship is taken up.
SPACES ARE LIMITED AND SELL FAST (as at 9 March only 24 left)
SILVER PLATYPUS and BANDICOOT on PASSPORTSOnly TWO Available
This is an opportunity not to be missed, become one of two Silver Platypus and Bandicoot Passport Sponsors of the NACCHO2014 Healthy Futures Summit. Each delegate will be given your passport at the beginning of the Summit and, if they visit of the booths and have their passport stamped they are eligible to win one of several major prizes drawn at the end of the Summit. MORNING & AFTERNOON BREAK
Only Three Available Become the Morning & Afternoon Break Sponsor for a day at the NACCHO 2014 Summit LUNCH
Only THREE Available Become the Lunch Sponsor of the NACCHO 2014 Summit for a day. SATCHEL
Only ONE Available
Get your business logo mobile, as this sponsorship option allows your organisation to become the Satchel Sponsor. These quality satchels will be handed to all delegates and exhibitors at the Summit. PADS & PENS
Only One Available
Take a firm grasp of this marketing opportunity. Become the pads & pens Sponsor at the NACCHO 2014 Summit. ADVERTISING in Summit handbook
For an additional cost you can have an advertisement printed in the Summit Handbook
. FULL PAGE ADVERTISEMENT $ 700 + GST
HALF PAGE ADVERTISEMENT $ 500 + GST (must be landscape)
QUARTER PAGE ADVERTISEMENT $ 400 + GST (must be portrait)
All advertisements will be printed in colour and must be according to your specifications. For further information and pricing contact:
Implementing any research methodology among Indigenous Australian groups will work best when the following 10 principles are met. These principles are reflected in the many documents related to working and researching with Indigenous Australians; for example, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) ethical guidelines for research among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In this article, we set out these principles in one short, accessible document
Working with Indigenous communities towards research that is relevant, effective and culturally respectful
Lisa M Jamieson, Yin C Paradies, Sandra Eades, Alwin Chong, Louise Maple-Brown, Peter Morris, Ross Bailie, Alan Cass, Kaye Roberts-Thomson and Alex Brown
Picture above Remote communities Male Health Summit Ross river 2013
Writing in the Journal about Indigenous health in 2011, Sir Michael Marmot suggested that the challenge was to conduct research, and to ultimately apply findings from that research, to enable Indigenous Australians to lead more flourishing lives that they would have reason to value. As committed Indigenous health researchers in Australia, we reflect Marmot’s ideal – to provide the answers to key questions relating to health that might enable Indigenous Australians to live the lives that they would choose to live.
As a group, we have over 120 collective years experience in Indigenous health research. Over this time, particularly in recent years as ethical guidelines have come into play, there have been many examples of research done well. However, as the pool of researchers is constantly replenished, we hold persisting concerns that some emerging researchers may not be well versed in the principles of best practice regarding research among Indigenous Australians populations.
Implementing any research methodology among Indigenous Australian groups will work best when the following 10 principles are met. These principles are reflected in the many documents related to working and researching with Indigenous Australians; for example, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) ethical guidelines for research among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In this article, we set out these principles in one short, accessible document.
1.Addressing a priority health issue as determined by the community
No group is more aware of the health inequalities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians than Indigenous Australians themselves. Researchers need to work in close partnership with the community so that their own objectives and ideas do not mask the community’s own priority areas. This will require both parties to learn how to work together to manage potentially conflicting agendas, including differences in priority perceptions, community politics and interpretation of findings. The communities and participants need to be engaged as equal partners in all phases of the research process with a flexible agenda responsive to broader environmental demands.
2.Conducting research within a mutually respectful partnership framework
An open and transparent relationship with key community groups is critical to the success of implementing research projects among Indigenous Australians. This can be neither rushed nor faked. Indigenous communities are more likely to embrace working with researchers with whom they have an established rapport than with someone unfamiliar, regardless of the eminence of the researchers, sophistication of the study design or amount of funding available. Researchers should ideally have a commitment to continuing to work with a given Indigenous group (especially if reasonably secure employment opportunities might be possible) following cessation of the study.
In addition, within any given community it is vital to identify key champions for the study and those who are likely to block access. The team of champions might take months or years to foster but their involvement will make an enormous difference in peoples willingness to enrol in and continue with the study. We have learnt (sometimes the hard way) the importance understanding the local “lay of the land” in terms of governance and in working hard to foster open and trusting relationships with those whose support the study’s success will rely on.
3.Capacity building is a key focus of the research partnership, with sufficient budget to support this
Investigators must have a commitment to employ Indigenous staff and provide opportunities for such staff to continue and develop their research careers if at all possible. As well as allowing capacity building of Indigenous staff, this will create substantial learning opportunities for non-Indigenous staff, this will create substantial learning opportunities for non-Indigenous personnel. Different models of employing Indigenous staff may be required in different situations, and partnering with Aboriginal controlled health services can be critical.
Many projects are underfunded. Personnel costs are high and staff turnover might be excessive, more time than anticipated might be required for community engagement, trips may need to be rescheduled, it may take much longer to recruit and unforeseen circumstances (eg, cultural – based delays to the study) are almost certainly guaranteed. It can be difficult to achieve the desired sample size when undertaking research with Indigenous Australians. These issues are not unique to Australia, with other investigations involving Indigenous populations internationally also having been abandoned due to recruiting difficulties. Researchers need to be realistic about these well documented difficulties when planning budgets.
4.Flexibility in study implementation while maintaining scientific rigour
Flexible study implementation may relate to issues such as the need to adjust the planned geographic location, modify eligibility criteria while maintaining scientific rigour, or revise the study protocol based on community feedback. In the United States, many intervention studies among the Native American population have reported no effects, when in fact the lack of results stemmed from poor implementation of the intervention rather than from shortcomings in the intervention itself.
Researchers have suggest that future interventions should “place greater emphasis on the involvement of community members and organizational leaders in the development and implementation of intervention” and that “community –based approach is key to sustainability and acceptability”.
5.Respecting communities past and present experience of research
On one level, the history of Australia’s Indigenous populations – involving forced policies of assimilation, imposed removal of children, profound and sustained social disadvantage, and dislocation from mainstream life – needs to be recognised. In the context of research Indigenous Australians past experience of involvement in research needs to be understood when conducting community consultation in order to foster support and trust. Researchers also have to be ready for communities to say “no” at any point during a study/
Finally, communities have a right to expect that if they agree to be involved in research, it will be of sufficiently high quality and rigour to generate meaningful results and change health outcomes.
6.Recognising the diversity of Indigenous Australian populations
Although Australia’s Indigenous population represents a small proportion of the total population (2.6% in the 2006 Census), there is great heterogeneity among the many Indigenous groups. This diversity is not such an issue when studies are based within a localised geographic area (although even in small geographic areas the differences may be greater than appreciated), but needs to be carefully planned for when implementing research (such as national population-level surveys) that may include many different language and culturally distinct groups.
7.Ensuring extended timelines do not jeopardise projects
In our collective experience, timelines for conducting research with Australian Indigenous groups sometimes need to be extended. Reasons include delays in obtaining ethical approvals (many studies require formal approval from Aboriginal human research ethics committees, which frequently require written letters of support from key Indigenous stakeholder groups); delays and interruptions to community consultation sessions; delays to interviewing and employing local community members as staff ; unforeseen community – based events (eg, funerals community meetings, council or health service instability).
The need for longer recruitment times’ unforeseen weather events; and difficulties in securing appropriate travel and accommodation. In addition, the myriad demands placed on Indigenous communities and their members require research to “wait its turn”. Projects that have run on time and within budget have usually taken account of these challenges in the planning stages.
8.Preparing for Indigenous leadership turnover
Leadership turnover among key Indigenous stakeholder groups can be high. This occurs at both high-end governance and grassroot community levels. There is enormous, often unreasonable, pressure placed on many Indigenous Australians in leadership, both from within their own communities and from mainstream structures.
Non-Indigenous researchers would do well to anticipate this in advance rather than rely on a small number of key Indigenous leaders to promote and advocate their study. Indigenous advisory committees are invaluable in offering further advice on this issue, as are local Aboriginal ethics committees and community – controlled health organisations. Maintaining close and trusting relationships with a number of local Indigenous leaders (and recognising that these may take years to establish) may help researchers prepare for such occurrences.
9.Supporting community ownership
In the past, the rights interests and concerns of Indigenous participants were frequently ignored by non-Indigenous participants were frequently ignored by non-Indigenous researchers. We now know that the sustainability of research projects is achieved only when there has been substantive community input and ownership.
From the outset, research projects need to be directed by the relevant Indigenous communities, by forming Indigenous advisory committees where possible, and by researchers constantly reviewing their study goals ideal, membership of advisory or steering committees can place a substantial burden and expectation on the relatively small number of people who have the time, interest and skills to sit on them, If it is not possible to form such a committee, the role of Indigenous staff and Indigenous community members becomes even more critical.
10. Developing systems to facilitate partnership management in multicentre studies
Investigations involving Indigenous Australians are becoming increasingly multicentre, both within Australia and with International collaborators. Ensuring that equitable and transparent processes are in place for managing partnerships, community engagement and recruitment, ethics, intervention implementation, use of new technologies, and compliance with privacy requirements is critical for the wellbeing of both study participants and the wider research community.
“These 10 principles should be considered from the initial design stage of the project, ideally when consulting with the community and writing funding applications”
This may have policy implications for funding bodies, as substantially more funding will likely be necessary to ensure that specific principles can be followed – eg, regarding capacity building (3) and extended timelines (7). Application of the principles should not affect the accurate reporting of trials using tools such as the Consolidated Standard of Reporting Trials. The principles support, and could be considered in harmony with existing NHMRC ethics guidelines.
Most of the principles have been reported before with respect to research involving marginalised peoples, Indigenous Australians, other Indigenous peoples and the general population. They should also be seen in their broad context – We believe that the 10 principles are relevant to all Indigenous health- related research. If considered, they may, in a small way, help research projects among Indigenous Australians be implemented in the most effective and culturally respectful way possible.
NACCHO needs to improve how we connect, inform and engage into the Ifuture.
A new resource package focused on improving nutrition in remote stores in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will help to address the poor state of diets in remote Indigenous populations
With support from The Fred Hollows Foundation, the Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) has developed a Talking about Shelf Labels flipchart and a comprehensive resource manual as part of its Remote Stores Project.
Dietary improvement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is a priority for reducing the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Poor quality diets are a significant risk factor for three of the major causes of premature death – cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Research Fellow with Menzies’ Nutrition Research Team, Dr Susan Colles said a number of remote communities have previously used shelf labels to highlight healthier food and drink choices to help promote good nutrition in remote community stores.
“But there’s been limited support available, for instance there were no tools for developing, implementing, maintaining and evaluating effective shelf label projects,” Dr Colles said.
The Remote Stores Project worked with four communities across Arnhem Land, Cape York, Central Australia and The Torres Straits, to gather information on what sort of shelf label systems currently existed, which were effective and accepted in communities, what sort of tools were necessary and how to work with local people to develop culturally appropriate shelf label projects.
“In each site we collaborated with local people together with store staff, health professionals and other stakeholders to develop and implement shelf label projects and other activities for their stores,” Dr Colles said.
“The findings from this process were used to form a resource package which will assist health and nutrition staff to work with store staff and communities to develop and evaluate a program based on putting better labelling or “shelf talkers” in community stores,” Dr Colles said.
The resource will benefit Indigenous families, remote nutritionists, remote area store staff and health professionals working in communities.
The ‘Talking about Shelf Labels’ resource package can be used when:
· Talking with community leaders, members and stakeholders about shelf labels to help people decide whether they want a shelf label in their store
· Talking about what people might want or expect from a shelf label program
· Helping people decide what their shelf labels might say or look like, and how to provide clear health messages
· Looking for practical training ideas, and for building effective systems for monitoring and maintaining shelf labels
Dr Colles said the resource package also focuses on the promotion of strong partnerships with community store staff. She hopes that people working in remote nutrition and food supply will access the tools andwork in conjunction with communities to promote healthy food choices.
The Remote Stores Project was funded through The Fred Hollows Foundation. Menzies would like to thank all communities, store organisations and stakeholder organisations that participated in this study.
A small number of hard copies of the ‘Talking about shelf labels’ flipchart are available by contacting Karen Black on Ph: 08 8922 6541
The resource manual is available upon request contact: Richmond Hodgson (Media contact) on 08 8922 8438 or 0408 128 099
Background: Menzies School of Health Research are Australia’s only Medical Research Institute dedicated to improving Indigenous health and wellbeing. We have a 27-year history of scientific discovery and public health achievement. Menzies work at the frontline and collaborate broadly, partnering with over 60 Indigenous communities across Northern Australia to create resources, grow local skills, and find enduring solutions to problems that matter.
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) was an early adopter of social media, and finds it a valuable advocacy tool, according to its Chair, Justin Mohamed. (Currently we have over 3,500 followers on Twitter alone)
Public health journalist Melissa Sweet from CROAKEY highlights successes that have resulted from innovative use of social media
Around the world, social media is a disrupting and transforming force, bringing new opportunities for innovation and participation.1 In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed resources to provide guidance on using social media in health communication.2
In the United Kingdom, the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement encouraged its staff to explore the potential of using social media to transform care and staff engagement.3In Australia, the Indigenous health sector has been at the forefront of innovative use of social media for advocacy, public health promotion and community development.
Two striking examples are the Lowitja Institute’s nuanced explanation of knowledge exchange from Indigenous perspectives4 and the Healing Foundation’s engaging explanation of the impact of colonisation on Indigenous health.5
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) was an early adopter of social media, and finds it a valuable advocacy tool, according to its Chair, Justin Mohamed.
It distributes daily Aboriginal health news alerts via social media. Mohamed says downloads of NACCHO’s policy submissions have increased since they have been promoted on Twitter and other online channels.
The popularity of user-generated content — a hallmark of social media — is being harnessed in new tobacco control programs. These include the No Smokes campaign from the Menzies School of Health Research and the Rewrite Your Story initiative by Nunkuwarrin Yunti (a community-controlled service).
In New South Wales, the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council uses Facebook to promote sexual health and smoking cessation.While the digital divide is thought to be an issue relevant to remote and hard-to-reach communities,6 social media has been successfully used in the Torres Strait Islands to connect young people with a public health initiative in sexual health — the Kasa Por Yarn (“just for a chat”) campaign, funded by Queensland Health.
Unpublished data show that Facebook, YouTube and text messaging were effective in reaching the target audience of 15–24-year-olds (Heather Robertson, Senior Network Project Officer, Cairns Public Health Unit, Queensland Health, personal communication).
Patricia Fagan, a public health physician who oversaw the campaign, says that social media helped increase its reach.The campaign was using tools with appeal to young people, and, importantly, “it didn’t feel like health, it felt like socialising”.
Heather Robertson, the project leader, says engaging local writers, musicians and actors in developing campaign messages and social media content was also important.Social media has also been used to increase engagement with the Heuristic Interactive Technology network (HITnet), which provides touch-screen kiosks in Indigenous communities and in prisons.
The kiosks embed health messages in culturally based digital storytelling. Helen Travers, Director of Creative Production and Marketing for HITnet, says this has brought wider health benefits, by developing the content-creation skills of communities. “The exciting thing for health promotion is that this kind of work is increasing digital literacy and digital inclusion”, she says.
Social media’s facilitation of citizen-generated movements is exemplified by the @IndigenousX Twitter account, where a different Indigenous person tweets every week, enabling many health-related discussions.Innovation in service development is also being informed by the anti-hierarchical, decentralised nature of social media.
The Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre is developing virtual mental health resources for Indigenous youth in remote communities. The centre’s Chief Executive Officer, Jane Burns, envisages that these will resemble a social network more than a health care intervention, and will link young people and their health care providers with online collection of data about sleep, weight, physical activity and related measures.
Burns says, “It really is . . . creating a new mental health service, a new way of doing things that empowers the individual, rather than being that top-down service delivery approach”.However, barriers to wider use of social media exist.
Burns says that upskilling health professionals is critical. Kishan Kariippanon, a former paediatric physician studying social media and mobile phone use among youth in the Yirrkala community in Arnhem Land, says health professionals need support and encouragement to engage more creatively with technological innovations. He would like to see regular “hackathons” to bring together programmers, health professionals, innovators and community members to encourage “out of the box” thinking.
“Research into these areas help identify possible protective factors, such as cultural affiliation and family support, and may in the longer term enable some individuals to lead relatively positive lives.”
The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) today released Youth gangs in a remote Indigenous community: Importance of cultural authority and family support which contains new research on gang culture in the Aboriginal community of Wadeye in the Northern Territory.
Over the past decade, Wadeye has attracted some negative media because of community violence, often portrayed as the result of gang activity.
Researchers from the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin conducted a mixed-method survey of 133 young people from the Wadeye community, including those that were incarcerated.
The research formed a picture of the gang concept, highlighting its complex structure, with various cultural origins both indigenous and external to country. It also examined perceived protective factors for gang involvement such as cultural affiliation and family support.
The authors state that: “The Wadeye study provides further perspective to the generally held perceptions of gang-type activity, such as illegal drug use and violent behaviour, because it examines what support gangs may provide in terms of social networks for young people as they grapple with progression to adulthood in a turbulent multicultural environment.”
“We found differences between the values of the older established gangs who based their structure on traditional culture and values, and those of the emergent gangs which more focused on western attitudes and values. Older gangs also saw their membership as part of a ‘tribe’ rather than a ‘gang’.”
Research into these areas help identify possible protective factors, such as cultural affiliation and family support, and may in the longer term enable some individuals to lead relatively positive lives.
Research was made possible through the Criminology Research Grants program.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more than twice as likely to smoke as other Australians, with those who have been incarcerated nearly four times more likely to smoke than other Indigenous people.
Tobacco Action Workers from Aboriginal health services and the NT Department of Health have been involved in providing information and support for inmates in the lead up to 1 July
All Northern Territory prisons will be totally smokefree from Monday 1 July. No one will be able to smoke indoors or outdoors within these prisons, or on surrounding correctional centre land including carparks: neither prisoners, visitors nor staff. Prison staff (and inmates) will now be protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke just like many other Australian workers.
The Northern Territory will be the first Australian jurisdiction to make all its prisons smoke free. Other jurisdictions are watching and will probably follow this lead. This will be challenging with very high smoking rates among both inmates and staff.
As always there are the skeptics who say this will not work, or more commonly that it will make other things worse. Some staff have expressed concerns about increased tension and violence associated with nicotine withdrawal and because staff previously offered inmates a cigarette when trying to defuse tense situations. What did they do in similar situations with non-smokers?
There are good signs that this new policy will work. Some other correctional facilities are already smokefree. The Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre near the main Darwin prison has been smokefree for years, although until now staff have been able to smoke in the adjacent carpark.
The Northern Territory has also closely modelled its approach on the successful introduction of smokefree prisons in New Zealand in July 2011. An evaluation identified three key elements in New Zealand’s success: careful and long preparation, increased access to services to help staff and inmates to quit smoking, and having a comprehensive rather than a partial smoking ban.
The comprehensive nature of the New Zealand’s policy has made it more straightforward to enforce than ‘indoor only’ smoking bans. Some initial problems of smoking contraband tobacco or smoking nicotine patches and tea leaves have diminished. It does appear that successful enforcement of the policy by prison staff was crucial to many other elements of the policy’s success, so close work with staff, and clear guidelines and training, will be essential in the NT.
A positive side effect of the New Zealand ban has been the dramatic reduction in arson-related prison fires, as matches and lighters are also banned, as they will be in NT prisons.
As in New Zealand, the Northern Territory Correctional Services have increased the availability of smoking cessation support services, including free Nicotine Replacement Therapy for staff and inmates since 1 January.
In the Northern Territory, more than 80% of prisoners are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more than twice as likely to smoke as other Australians, with those who have been incarcerated nearly four times more likely to smoke than other Indigenous people. Tobacco Action Workers from Aboriginal health services and the NT Department of Health have been involved in providing information and support for inmates in the lead up to 1 July.
Smokefree prisons will protect the health of this particularly disadvantaged group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Australians, but it will obviously continue to be much more important to reduce the disproportionate numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prisons.
Associate Professor David Thomas is a National Heart Foundation Fellow at the Menzies School of Health Research and the Lowitja institute in Darwin.
A study by the Menzies School of Health Research has confirmed that gambling problems in remote Indigenous communities are associated with poorer health outcomes for children.
The study by Dr Matthew Stevens is the first of its kind to look at the association between reported gambling problems and Indigenous child health.
The study entitled, Gambling, housing conditions, community contexts and child health in remote Indigenous communities in Australia, analysed data from 10 Northern Territory communities collected as part of a larger housing and child health study.
A range of information was collected from the primary care provider of children aged under seven years and from the ‘head’ of the house. This included data on housing conditions, community contexts, characteristics of the carer and the head of the house, household and carer reported gambling problems, and child health.
Dr Stevens said the study revealed a direct correlation between levels of gambling in communities and carer report of illness experienced by Indigenous children in those same communities.
“We found that where gambling problems were reported in households, there was a 50 per cent increase in carer report of ear infection, and for scabies, rates of reporting were nearly doubled in these houses,” he said.
“Across the 10 communities involved in the study the prevalence of reported gambling problems in houses ranged from 10 per cent to 75 per cent.
Dr Stevens said the relationship between gambling problems and infectious disease could be a result of children being exposed to other gamblers who may be carriers.
“If the house is a regular card gambling venue there would be a steady flow of visitors through the house who would be using household facilities such as the toilet, linen and towels, and if contagious, greatly increase the chances of transmission to children in the house,” he said.
“This is very concerning because the immediate health problems identified in this research are in addition to the other impacts of gambling in communities, including a lack of money, child neglect when parents are gambling for long periods of time, and kids failing to attend school due to a lack of sleep resulting from noise associated with card games.”
The study also investigated a range of community variables such as location and access to services, to see what made a difference to community rates of reported gambling problems.
“I found that gambling problems were higher in communities where there were poorer housing conditions and where environmental health was poor, such as sewerage leaks and litter around the community,” Dr Stevens said.
“There is an identified need to develop and implement public health programs and initiatives to minimisethe harm associated with gambling in remote Indigenous communities. These approaches also need to link closely with other measures to improve community safety.
“Interestingly, carer reported gambling problems were lower in communities where they had a permanent doctor and community facilities such as an aged care and women’s centre, dropping from 52 per cent to 25 per cent.”
Future research is planned that hopes to shed light on the relationship between gambling problems and community services, and how these services could play a role in reducing harms associated with excessive gambling.
Dr Stevens was conferred a Doctorate of Philosophy at Charles Darwin University’s recent mid-year graduation ceremony.