NACCHO Aboriginal Health #AusVotesHealth #VoteACCHO Debate : Who will be the Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for #Indigenous #Health for the incoming Government after 18 May ?

 

 ” Let us not forget that major policies that wreak havoc on communities — like the Northern Territory Intervention and the cashless welfare policies — were enacted with bipartisan support.

While Dodson is a strong voice against laws and policies that harm our people, we cannot ignore that he belongs to a party that has a long history of harming us and voting in favour of policies introduced by the other major party, which harmed us also, under the guise of “for our own good”.

It is disingenuous to lay the fault for oppressive policies solely at the feet of the Coalition, because Labor had their hand in supporting these policies and, in some instances, expanding their scope. Labor has a lot to answer for and only meaningful change can ever address the historical atrocities committed by this organisation.

Labor has not only been historically responsible for policies that oppressed our people but they have been complicit in contemporary oppressive policies “

On Pat Dodson, Labor’s paternalism and avoiding lip service NATALIE CROMB                

Gamilaraay woman and Indigenous affairs editor, Independent Australia. Crikey 

In the final week of the Election 2019 campaign this is the first of our series  “Who will be the Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Indigenous Health for incoming Government after 18 May ” We welcome your feedback in comments below 

“ Our Shadow Cabinet, guided by our First Nations’ Caucus Committee, has identified targeted and focused initiatives, launched today, that will bring the vision of justice and fairness to the lives of First nations’ peoples.

In education, we have many new and powerful initiatives that work directly to build bridges for the futures of our young people.

Our unprecedented investments in Indigenous health will be community designed and delivered, more than ever before.

Our new policies and programs in the environment will help visitors to understand the complex national cultural web from which our landscapes arise from.

It will be a challenge for us, to do all we have set out in our new policies and programs.

But we will work to achieve that.

We want to be the party of choice for First Nations Peoples “

Senator Patrick Dodson speaking at the Australian Labor Party national launch in Brisbane Sunday full speech HERE and Download policy Document

I have been asked by many about my thoughts on Pat Dodson potentially being minister for Indigenous affairs.

As an outspoken black woman, you best believe I have thoughts — many.

Do I think this is a good thing? Yes. Do I think this is the answer? Hard no on that one.

I am not here to rubbish Dodson, he has a lengthy track record of seeking change for our people. But he is part of the political machine.

He is part of a major party and is beholden to policies drafted about us without us, and because of that I view this announcement by Bill Shorten with the cynicism that is necessary for black fullas.

It is difficult not to be caught up in the exciting prospect of having an Indigenous person holding the role of Indigenous affairs minister after so many years dealing with the farce that has been Nigel Scullion and Tony Abbott but it is essential that we stow our celebrations and consider what this really means in politician speak.

Shorten’s promises

The clue in why we need to be reserved lies in the language of the announcement that Bill Shorten made. Shorten said that paternalism and top-down approaches had failed, which is correct. He also said that “we want to try something different if we get elected”, and stated further “we want to try the idea of Aboriginal-controlled organisations making decisions”.

We need to remember that the words used by politicians are very deliberate, considered and rehearsed. So when Shorten says we “want to try” it sends off alarm bells in my head — he is using this appointment and manner of policy roll-out as an experiment and we are the subjects of this experiment. You might think I am jumping at shadows and consider this rather innocuous but this language and approach is a maintenance of the deficit dynamic.

Bill Shorten does believe he is making a genuine and positive announcement but he doing this from a position of privilege and one where he has not considered change beyond policy roll-out. He has not considered that the issues affecting communities are not “problems” — they are consequences. He has not considered systemic reform to address the failure that is colonisation and the institutions resultant.

What Labor needs to do next

Consequently, it is essential that our support of this announcement be contingent upon it not being mere lip service and change goes beyond merely the manner of policy delivery.

If elected, Labor as a party and as a government needs to have their policies crafted by First Nations drafts people following community consultations with the very communities affected.

Policies should not be broad-brush either; they need to start seeing us for the diverse and vast communities we are. It is not unreasonable for a policy — at the request of the community — to apply solely to that community. Applying a “one size fits all” approach needs to go out the window, along with the viewpoint that we are a problem that needs to be solved.

This announcement does not change anything and we need to remember this and resist tokenism.

Shorten’s announcement is a good one and I do not want to diminish the pride we will all feel when we have one of our own heading up this portfolio. However, the appointment is merely tokenistic if it does not empower Dodson to make structural changes to the way this portfolio operates and to a Labor government should it be elected.

Unless Labor changes the way it operates as a party then this new approach will fail and that failure will be put at the feet of Dodson.

Make no mistake, unless there is change from within the institutions that “govern” this country, all that is happening here is paternalism repackaged. If the intent is to maintain the policies that oppress our people and communities but change the way in which the policies are rolled out, this is simply getting black bodies to do the work of white decision makers. Shorten is not suggesting systemic change here, he is suggesting a change in approach with the delivery of policies — not the policies themselves and herein lies the issue.

While I back Shorten’s announcement, I call upon him and his party for more. Think bigger, more than 200 communities bigger, and then you may grasp how utterly out of your depth you are and see the value in self-determination.

We are not homogenous and have resisted colonial assimilation for over 200 years, perhaps we might know a little something about survival under the worst conditions, and perhaps we could teach a thing or two about how to make this country thrive.

Let me tell you: what we have to teach has nothing to do with capitalism.

NACCHO has developed a set of policy  10 #Election2019 recommendations that if adopted, fully funded and implemented by the incoming Federal Government, will provide a pathway forward for improvements in our health outcomes.

The current health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are unacceptable. 65% of Indigenous people live in rural Australia.

We are calling on all political parties to include these 10 recommendations in their election platforms and make a real commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and help us Close the Gap.

Our ACCHO TOP 10 key asks of a new Federal Government

Read all the 10 Recommendations HERE

 

NACCHO Members #VoteACCHO #Election2019 #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : #NSW @ahmrc @Galambila #Armajun ACCHO #VIC @VACCHO_org @VAHS1972 #NT @CAACongress #KatherineWest #QLD @DeadlyChoices #Gidgee #Mamu #SA #ACT

Feature Article this week from Apunipima ACCHO Cape York leading the way vaccinating the mob against the flu at no cost to the patient

1.1 National :  Report from the recent Close the Gap for Vision by 2020: Strengthen & Sustain National Conference 2019 hosted by AMSANT released

1.2 National : Survey Yarning with New Media Technology:
Mediatisation and the emergence of the First Australians’ cyber-corroboree.

1.3 NACCHO calls on all political parties to include these 10 recommendations in their election platforms

2.1 NSW : AHMRC April Edition of Message Stick is out now!

2.2 Brand new Ready Mob team and Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour CEO Reuben Robinson participate in Team Planning & Meet n’ Greet day.

2.3 NSW : Adam Marshall MP  catches up with the team from Inverell-based Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation to discuss their exciting $5.7 million expansion plans

3.1 VIC : VACCHO Launches its #Election 2019 Platform

3.2 VIC : VAHS ACCHO launches new new 2019 Deadly Choices Health Check Shirts

4.1 NT : Katherine West Health Board ACCHO prepare healthy lunches for the kids at Kalkarindji School everyday.

4.2 NT Congress farewells and thanks Sarah Gallagher from our Utju Health Service after 22 years of exceptional service as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner.

5.1 QLD : Gidgee Healing ACCHO Mt Isa Comms & Marketing team were up in Doomadgee this week attending the ‘Get Set for School 2020 & Career Expo

5.2 QLD : MAMU Health Service Innisfail celebrates 29 Years of Service to community 

5.3 QLD : Deadly Choices Patrick Johnson say winter is coming!! Book into your local Aboriginal Medical Service ASAP for your flu shot and health check.

6.1 SA : Morrison Government is providing almost $250,000 to three South Australian Aboriginal medical services to replace outdated patient information systems.

7.1 ACT : Download the April edition of our Winnunga ACCHO Newsletter.

8.1 WA: KAMS ACCHO as an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services encourages the use of traditional bush medicines

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

Feature Article this week from Apunipima ACCHO Cape York leading the way vaccinating the mob against the flu at no cost to the patient

The Federal Government has recently announced a program that will ensure almost 170,000 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents are vaccinated against the flu at no cost to the patient, with an additional provision of $12 million provided to boost a national immunisation education campaign.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children aged between 6 months and 14 years will have access to the influenza vaccine. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander experience a higher burden from influenza infection and are more likely to be hospitalised with the disease. This funding is a welcomed initiative.

The ‘Get the Facts about Immunisation’ campaign will be delivered over the next three years and will include a national television campaign, to help raise awareness around the benefits and importance of immunisation.

FOR MORE INFO about immunisation

1.1 National :  Report from the recent Close the Gap for Vision by 2020: Strengthen & Sustain National Conference 2019 hosted by AMSANT released

The conference report from the recent Close the Gap for Vision by 2020: Strengthen & Sustain National Conference 2019 held by Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) and co-hosted by Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) in Alice Springs on 14 and 15 March 2019.

We also include for your interest and information a two-page conference summary report and an A3 poster to celebrate activities at the Conference.

Over two days of the Conference, more than 220 delegates and over 60 speakers from all state and territories and including representation from community, local and regional services, state organisations, national peak and non-government agencies, and government came together to share, learn, and be inspired.

Conference attendance has grown significantly year to year since the first conference (+83%) held in Melbourne in 2017. This increase also reflects over 50 regions, covering more than 80% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, that are now engaged in activities to close the gap for vision.

IEH would like to thank everyone that attended and contributed to the Conference and especially the speakers for sharing their stories, thoughts and learnings. Congratulations again to our deserved 2019 Leaky Pipe Award winners.

The feedback IEH has received from delegates and speakers has been very positive and supports the joint commitment to close the gap for vision by 2020.

The Conference reports, presentations, photo gallery, and other supplementary materials can be accessed here on IEH website. Please feel free to forward this email and information to your colleagues and networks and we also continue to welcome your further feedback, input and commentary.

We will look forward to welcoming you to the next national conference planned in March 2020 and in the year ahead let’s keeping working together to close the gap for vision.

Hugh R Taylor AC
Harold Mitchell Chair of Indigenous Eye Health
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
The University of Melbourne

1.2 : National : Survey Yarning with New Media Technology:
Mediatisation and the emergence of the First Australians’ cyber-corroboree.

Throughout this study, we use the terms ‘First Australian’ or ‘Indigenous Australian’ when referring to people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, and ‘Peoples’ when referring to the collective group of Aboriginal nations.

We acknowledge the inadequacy of these homogenising Western terms used to describe such a diverse range of Peoples, languages and cultures.  However, we hope this terminology is sufficient for the purposes of this survey in describing the multi-dimensional relationship that this survey covers. We offer an unreserved apology in lieu of our inadequate terminology causing any undue annoyance or umbrage; this was not our intention.

Take the survey HERE

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FVPD3K6

Any questions or concerns should be addressed to:- keith.robinson2@griffithuni.edu.au

1.3 NACCHO calls on all political parties to include these 10 recommendations in their election platforms

NACCHO has developed a set of policy #Election2019 recommendations that if adopted, fully funded and implemented by the incoming Federal Government, will provide a pathway forward for improvements in our health outcomes.

We are calling on all political parties to include these recommendations in their election platforms and make a real commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and help us Close the Gap.

With your action and support of our #VoteACCHO campaign we can make the incoming Federal Government accountable.

See NACCHO Election 2019 Website

2.1 NSW : AHMRC April Edition of Message Stick is out now!

Welcome to the April edition of the Message Stick!

Yaama from me, Dr Merilyn Childs! I recently joined AH&MRC in the role of Senior Research Advisor. This means that I help researchers improve the quality of research applications before they are sent to the AH&MRC Ethics Committee. I’ll be providing Professional Learning Opportunities and resources for researchers, and feedback on applications where appropriate.

While I’m with AH&MRC 3 days a week, I have other roles. For example, I’m Honorary Associate Professor at Macquarie University, and I’m on Academic Board for the newly proposed College of Health Sciences at the Education Centre of Australia.

As I write this, I think of my mother Helen. When I was a child in the 1960s, Helen taught me about racism, stolen land, and stolen Aboriginal lives and languages. She was a passionate advocate of land rights. With her, and my two-year-old toddler, I marched as an ally of First Nations people on January 26th, 1988 in Sydney.

Two decades later at Charles Sturt University I was fortunate enough to work for some years with the amazing team embedding Indigenous Cultural Competence into curriculum. Because of them I continued the journey I began with my mother as I tried respectfully to develop ‘yindiamarra winhanga-nha’ – the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in, from the voices of the Wiradjuri people’. In 2015 I joined Macquarie University and collaborated with Walanga Muru colleagues to amplify Aboriginal voices in Higher Degree Research training.

I feel privileged to continue my journey working at AH&MRC with warm and amazing colleagues and with those of you I meet in the future, to improve the quality of research applications that are submitted to the AH&MRC Ethics Committee.

Read View HERE

2.2 Brand new Ready Mob team and Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour CEO Reuben Robinson participate in Team Planning & Meet n’ Greet day.

Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour CEO Reuben Robinson joined in the interactive activities and shared his vision for Ready Mob and Galambila  in moving forward in service of our communities. SEE FACEBOOK PAGE

2.3 NSW : Adam Marshall MP  catches up with the team from Inverell-based Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation to discuss their exciting $5.7 million expansion plans

Adam Marshall MP  catches up with the team from Inverell-based Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation to discuss their exciting $5.7 million expansion plans last week.

Armajun is planning to build a new and expanded health service centre next door to its current premises in River Street to cater for for patients and offer more health services to the community.

Part of this will be a $400,000 expanded dental clinic, which Adam will be approaching the State Government to fund.

Armajun provides services to many communities across the Northern Tablelands and do a wonderful job!

3.1 VIC : VACCHO Launches its #Election 2019 Platform

It’s out! We’ve just published our #auspol  #AusVotes2019  Election Platform.
Read all about what Aboriginal Communities need from the Federal Government to improve our health and wellbeing, to not just Close the Gap, but eliminate it all together.
Sustainability, Prevention Accountability to & for us.
Download HERE

3.2 : VAHS ACCHO launches new new 2019 Deadly Choices Health Check Shirts

VAHS, Essendon Football Club and The Long Walk have continued to work collaboratively that empowers our community to be more aware of their personal and family health by completing an annual health assessment.

An annual Health Assessment is a deadly way to monitor your own health and identify or prevent a chronic disease. Plus its 100% free if you complete this health assessment at VAHS. Anyone can complete an Health Check.

We have plenty of shirts for our mob all year, so don’t stress if you have completed an Health Check recently. You only allowed an annual Health Check every 9 months. Ring VAHS on 9419-3000 if you’re due for a health check.

Also we have another exciting news to announce very soon. Stay tune

4.1 NT : Katherine West Health Board ACCHO prepare healthy lunches for the kids at Kalkarindji School everyday.

This is Gabrielle and Mary they help prepare healthy lunches for the kids at Kalkarindji School everyday.  They are both great cooks and are working with myself to make their meals high iron and vitamin C so kids can have strong blood to learn and play.
#oneshieldforall

4.2 NT Congress farewells and thanks Sarah Gallagher from our Utju Health Service after 22 years of exceptional service as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner.

For 22 years with us, Sarah has been delivering culturally safe and responsive health care and programs to her people in the Utju community.

Born and raised in Utju, Sarah commenced her training as an AHP in the Utju Clinic, received her Certificate IV in AHP and progressed her career as a senior health practitioner and clinic manager.

In 2014 Sarah was a finalist at the ATSIHP Awards in the excellence in remote service delivery category. Sarah remains committed to the health and wellbeing of her people as elected Chairperson of the Utju Health Services board.

5.1 QLD : Gidgee Healing ACCHO Mt Isa Comms & Marketing team were up in Doomadgee this week attending the ‘Get Set for School 2020 & Career Expo’

Was lovely to see so many people and services attend this event. If you pop down to the Gidgee Healing stall Guy Douglas our new Practice Manager at Doomadgee Clinic, Andrew, Trish or Gavin would be happy to help you fill in birth registration forms. There are a few goodies also so please go check them out and say hello.

5.2 QLD : MAMU Health Service Innisfail celebrates 29 Years of Service to community 

5.3 QLD : Deadly Choices Patrick Johnson say winter is coming!! Book into your local Aboriginal Medical Service ASAP for your flu shot and health check.

Make a Deadly Choices a healthy choice and get your DC beanie.

I’m sporting my North Queensland Toyota Cowboysbeanie what DC beanie are you sporting? Institute of Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH)

6.1 SA : Morrison Government is providing almost $250,000 to three South Australian Aboriginal medical services to replace outdated patient information systems.

Picture Above Minister Ken Wyatt visit earlier this year 

Ensuring high quality primary health care, delivered in a culturally competent way, is a key to improving the health and wellbeing of First Australians.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said it was important that all medical services across Australia were provided with the right tool kit to do their work.

“As a result of this announcement three Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in Grey, Nunyara in Whyalla, Pika Wiya in Port Augusta and and the Ceduna Kooniba Health Service will receive assistance to install new “state-of-the-art” patient record keeping systems”, Mr Ramsey said. “The efficiency of any good health system is dependent on good record-keeping and accurate, easy-to-access patient information.

“Streamlined modern information systems will enable healthcare professionals to gain instant, secure, and efficient access to the medical and treatment histories of patients. This can be especially valuable where we have transingent populations as is particularly the case with some indigenous families.”

This funding through the Morrison Government’s Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme will contribute to new systems to provide better patient care.

Under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme, the Morrison Government funds around 140 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across Australia to provide culturally appropriate comprehensive primary health care services to First Australians.

The Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt said the Federal Government is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to develop practical, evidence-based policy and deliver programs that will make a real difference to the lives of First Australians.

”It is part of our focus on closing the gap and supporting culturally appropriate primary health care and programs,” Mr Wyatt said.

“Good health is a key enabler in supporting children to go to school, adults to lead productive working lives, and in building strong and resilient communities.”

The Morrison Government is providing $4.1 billion to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the next four years.

7.1 ACT : Download the April edition of our Winnunga ACCHO Newsletter.

 

April edition of our Winnunga Newsletter.

Read or Download Winnunga AHCS Newsletter April 2019 (1)

Please also note that the details for Winnunga’s National Sorry Day Bridge Walk for 2019 is included in this newsletter, so please Save the Date and join us.

8.1 WA: KAMS ACCHO as an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services encourages the use of traditional bush medicines

 ” Back in 2017 when I found some funding ($3,000) to start the idea of making some Bush medicine with a couple of ex- AHW’s at Balgo, was a very exciting time for us and them.

 The Bush medicines an integral part of Aboriginal culture and traditional customs.

Jamilah Bin Omar Acting SEWB Manager Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Ltd.

 As an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services encourages the use of traditional bush medicines and talk up the bush medicine information through the Certificate III and Cert. IV Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Program under the competency units;

  • Support the safe use of medicines
  • Administer medicines

Myself and Joanna Martin (Pharmacist) from the KAMS Pharmacy Support team spent one week in Balgo working with the community Women Elders to make three different types of bush medicines.  These were;

  • Piltji (used on all parts of the body to heal internal injuries, organs, arthritis and many other problems)
  • Ngurnu Ngurnu (used for cold and flu and rubbed on the chest and head)
  • Yapilynpa (used as a rub on the chest and head for the relief of colds and headaches)

At the completion, bush medicines became available in the Balgo Health Centre, for patients to select and use individually or in conjunction with western medicine.

The Bush Medicines program is an opportunity for KAMS staff to collaborate with community members.  It will provide a forum for traditional practices to be used and passed onto future generations.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal #AusVotesHealth #VoteACCHO : With only 15 days to #Election2019 how do the major parties’@LiberalAus and @AustralianLabor Indigenous health election commitments stack up

” It’s difficult to identify major differences between the two parties’ Indigenous health promises. The likely impact of these polices is also hard to gauge given the significant role played by state and territory governments in service delivery.

Labor has promised to support Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations but specific details have not been announced.

Labor’s significant funding pledge for rheumatic heart disease, though, makes their Indigenous health offering perhaps slightly more likely to achieve health gains than the Coalition’s.”

David Coombs PhD candidate in Nura Gili Indigenous Studies, UNSW Diana Perche Senior Lecturer and Academic Coordinator, Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit, UNSW from The Conversation

See Part 2 below

And read all 17 NACCHO Election Articles HERE

Eleven years after Australia adopted the Closing the Gap strategy, many pressing First Nations health issues remain unresolved.

The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous life expectancy, currently 10.8 years for men and 10.6 years for women, is actually widening.

Similarly, the target to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous child mortality has not been met. The Indigenous rate of 164 deaths per 100,000 children aged 0-4 years is still 2.4 times the non-Indigenous rate of 68 deaths per 100,000 in this age group.

The causes of Indigenous health inequality are complex. They stem from social determinants such as employment, education, social inclusion, and access to traditional land, rather than strictly biomedical causes.

Government policies have a critical role to play here. But funding cuts, policy incoherence, and governments retaining control over resources and decision-making explain why the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health outcomes are not closing.

Regardless of who wins the federal election on May 18, these enduring health issues affecting Indigenous Australians will require sustained and concerted policy attention.

A look at the major parties’ policy promises reveals some signs of hope, but also plenty of room for improvement.

Read more: Three reasons why the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians aren’t closing

The Coalition’s commitments

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups criticised the lack of Indigenous-specific health measures in the Morrison government’s first budget detailed in April.

The budget did include A$35 million for First Nations solutions to family violence, and A$10 million for the Lowitja Institute for health research.

Indigenous youth suicide remains an urgent policy concern, with Indigenous children five times more likely to die in this way than non-Indigenous children. A coronial inquest recently identified complex causes including intergenerational trauma, poverty, and problems stemming from the home environment.

Read more: Indigenous health leaders helped give us a plan to close the gap, and we must back it

The Coalition’s budget committed A$5 million over four years to address Indigenous youth suicide. This figure has since been increased to A$42 million following criticism from First Nations organisations and advocates.

Meanwhile, the budget directed A$129 million towards the expansion of a cashless welfare card system that operates in a number of Aboriginal communities. The card quarantines 80% of welfare recipients’ income for use in government-approved stores, and on government-approved items, to prevent spending on alcohol, cigarettes and gambling. This decision was taken despite a lack of evidence these cards reduce social harm or public expenditure.

The government also made some pre-budget commitments around Indigenous health. These included:

The Coalition also honoured a previous commitment of A$550 millionfor remote housing in the Northern Territory.

The Morrison government deserves some credit for its part in reaching an agreement between the Council of Australian Governments and a coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations in December 2018.

This agreement commits governments and Indigenous peak bodies to shared decision-making and joint accountability in devising and working towards new Closing the Gap targets.

Read more: Budget 2019 boosts aged care and mental health, and modernises Medicare: health experts respond

Labor’s commitments

In keeping with its election campaign emphasis on health spending, Labor recently announced a A$115 million Indigenous health package.

The package includes almost A$30 million to reduce Indigenous youth suicide and mental ill-health.

It also offers A$33 million to address rheumatic heart disease, a preventable condition that disproportionately affects Indigenous children. The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) highlighted rheumatic heart disease as one of ten Indigenous health priorities for this election.

Labor has also promised A$20 million for sexual health promotion in northern Australia, A$13 million to combat vision loss, and A$16.5 million for the “Deadly Choices” initiative, which aims to prevent chronic disease through education.

Further, the opposition has announced a compensation scheme and healing fund for surviving members of the Stolen Generations and their families. This could help manage the effects of intergenerational trauma.

What’s lacking

Both parties’ funding commitments must be assessed in the context of the 2014 budget cut of more than A$500 million dollars to Indigenous affairs by the then Coalition government, which only the Greens have committed to restoring.

Impacts have been severe for specific programs, especially those run at the community level. These include youth services in Maningrida (NT) and employment and training programs in Inala (Queensland).

Funding for crucial Indigenous health infrastructure and capital works is also lacking, with the current shortfall estimated at A$500 million. Many Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are run from old buildings in desperate need of upgrades to accommodate increasing patient numbers and rising demand for services. The Coalition recently announced an incremental increase to infrastructure funding, but much more is needed.

Neither the Coalition nor Labor has made any substantial commitment to a national Indigenous housing strategy. Inadequate, insecure and poor quality housing worsens physical and mental health through overcrowding, inadequate heating and cooling, injury hazards, and stress.

Similarly, both parties have been silent on reducing poverty in Indigenous communities. Poverty is another social determinant that contributes to Indigenous physical and mental ill-health, as well as high incarceration levels.

What about self-determination?

Labor has stated it will prioritise Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations as the vehicles for delivering much needed health services.

As the Close the Gap steering committee’s shadow report emphasised, “when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are involved in the design of the services they need, we are far more likely to achieve success”.

The Coalition has been silent on the issue of community control, and funding reforms under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy and the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme have destabilised the position of Aboriginal organisations.

Read more: The Coalition’s report card on health includes some passes and quite a few fails

Community control is threatened by the government’s focus on competitive tendering, where First Nations organisations compete with “mainstream” service providers trying to secure contracts to deliver Indigenous health services.

Neither the Coalition nor Labor has outlined a response to these structural issues.

Part 2

NACCHO has developed a set of policy #Election2019 recommendations that if adopted, fully funded and implemented by the incoming Federal Government, will provide a pathway forward for improvements in our health outcomes.

We are calling on all political parties to include these 10 recommendations in their election platforms and make a real commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and help us Close the Gap.”

Our ACCHO TOP 10 key asks of a new Federal Government

1.The incoming Federal Government must increase funding of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to deliver primary health care services across Indigenous communities.

2.The incoming Federal Government must increase funding for capital works, infrastructure upgrades and Telehealth services through the Indigenous Australians Health Programme.

  1. The incoming Federal Government must end rheumatic heart disease by funding preventive health programs within 15 rural and remote communities across the country.

4.The incoming Federal Government must invest in ACCHOs, so we can address youth suicide

5.The incoming Federal Government must improve Indigenous housing and community infrastructure

6.The incoming Federal Government must allocate Indigenous specific health funding to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

7.The incoming Federal Government must Close the Gap at this Federal election by increasing range and access to Medicare items for Indigenous health workers and Aboriginal health practitioners.

8.The incoming Federal Government must improve Indigenous Pharmacy Programs

9.The incoming Federal Government fund Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations deliver dental services.

10.The incoming the Federal Government must support the development of an Indigenous Workforce Employment Strategy

Read all the 10 Recommendations HERE

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #AusVotesHealth #VoteACCHO : What the coalition’s Indigenous-specific and related budget measures reflect for #Election2019 @ScottMorrisonMP @KenWyattMP @GregHuntMP #SenatorNigelScullion

Indigenous-specific and related budget measures

As with previous budgets, the 2019–20 Budget includes both Indigenous-specific measures, listed here, and many mainstream measures that are likely to disproportionately affect Indigenous people, positively or negatively, due to Indigenous people’s level of disadvantage (including higher rates of disabilityunemployment, and mental illness) and relative geographical concentration in remote and very remote areas.

The extent to which mainstream services have a positive effect depends in large measure on whether their design and delivery is culturally safe and appropriate.

For consistency with other reporting frameworks, such as the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report and the Indigenous Expenditure Report, measures are categorised according to the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) ‘building blocks’, commencing with those areas the Government regards as key priorities (Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20: Budget Related Paper No. 1.14: Prime Minister and Cabinet, p. 30).

Since the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2018–19 (MYEFO) the Government has announced a number of other Indigenous measures which are probably funded from grants programs, departmental funds, or the MYEFO’s ‘decisions taken but not yet announced’ allocation. They are not listed in this brief unless they are directly relevant to a Budget measure.

Unless otherwise stated all page references are to Budget Paper No. 2: Budget Measures 2019–20.

James Haughton of the Parliamentary library about the Indigenous specific announcements by government in MYEFO, Budget and as part of their election campaign:

 “NACCHO has developed a set of policy #Election2019 recommendations that if adopted, fully funded and implemented by the incoming Federal Government, will provide a pathway forward for improvements in our health outcomes.

We are calling on all political parties to include these 10 recommendations in their election platforms and make a real commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and help us Close the Gap.”

Read all the 10 Recommendations HERE

Stakeholder reactions to Coalition Budget

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (NACCHO) provides a round-up and summary of Indigenous peak body responses to the Budget.

The CROAKEY health blog provides a summary of pre-budget submissions on Indigenous issues from the health and community sector here.

National Indigenous Television summarised Indigenous peak body reactions to the Budget as ‘lacklustre’ and ‘too little, too late’ despite some ‘glimmers of hope’, such as increased funding for ATSILS and Indigenous health research, although many stakeholders expressed concern at the rolling of the Indigenous Legal Assistance Program into a mainstream funding mechanism.

Many stakeholders expressed concern or outrage that the Budget only allocated $5.0 million in new Budget allocations to preventing Indigenous youth suicide.

The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention noted the additional $10.0 million announced by the Minister for Indigenous Health (see above) but suggested that if funding were to be in proportion to demand, then Indigenous-specific measures should have been about nine per cent of the total mental health package, or about $70.0 million

Indigenous budget drivers

Over the last decade, the Productivity Commission’s Indigenous Expenditure Reports (IER) have consistently shown that total Commonwealth, state and territory government per capita expenditure on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is approximately double the per capita expenditure on non-Indigenous Australians.

The Australian Government directly spends around 1.5 times as much on Indigenous people on a per-capita basis, or 1.64 times as much if indirect spending (via transfers to the states and territories) is included (calculation based on IER 2017 supplementary data tables).

In 2015–16, the Australian Government directly spent $14.7 billion on Indigenous people, of which 77 per cent ($11.3 billion) was through mainstream programs such as Medicare, social security payments, child care benefits and support for university places accessed by Indigenous people. Around 23 per cent ($3.3 billion) was on Indigenous-specific programs such as ABSTUDY, Indigenous-specific health programs, or Indigenous rangers programs.

When state and territory government spending is included, mainstream spending climbs to over 80 per cent of the total expenditure on Indigenous people.

The main driver of Indigenous expenditure is thus not Indigenous-specific programs, but higher use of all government programs.

Some of this higher use is due to demographic differences—for example, Indigenous people are on average younger and have higher fertility rates than non-Indigenous Australians, leading to more per-capita demand for pre-school, school and university places, and child care services (IER 2017, p. xii).

However, much of it is caused by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s higher levels of disadvantage, leading to higher use of hospitals, social security, and social housing, as well as higher rates of child protection interventions and imprisonment.

These circumstances give rise to demand for Indigenous-specific programs, such as those detailed below, to divert people from these undesirable outcomes. Government per capita spending on Indigenous people and programs can be expected to remain above the per capita average in future budgets until there is real progress on closing the gaps.

In this context, there is currently no provision in the budget to continue the following National Partnerships[1] over the forward estimates period:

  • National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education[2]
  • national partnerships on cross border issues in the Torres Strait, including health issues, mosquito control, and blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections
  • National Partnership on Northern Territory remote Aboriginal investment (formerly the National Partnership on Stronger Futures in the NT) and
  • national partnerships on improving trachoma control and the rheumatic fever strategy.

Furthermore, no support will be provided beyond 2018–19 for remote housing outside the Northern Territory. With the possible exception of trachoma, the issues addressed by these National Partnerships are unlikely to radically improve in the near future.

Health

Education and early childhood

  • Closing the Gap refresh—Indigenous Youth Education Package. Announced in the Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap statement, this provides $200.0 million for scholarships and mentoring for Indigenous students, $70.6 million to freeze or waive Higher Education Loan Program debts for teachers in very remote schools, and $5.0 million to promote school attendance. Only $86.7 million is new money, with the remainder being found from ‘existing resources of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’, possibly referring to the Indigenous Advancement Strategy grant program (p. 153).
  • Extending Family Tax Benefit to ABSTUDY recipients aged 16 or over who study away from home: $36.4 million over five years (p. 159).
  • As well as enabling Indigenous children to access preschool (a Closing the Gap target), the one-year $453.1 million extension of the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education includes $1.4 million specifically to increase preschool attendance among Indigenous children, 41 per cent of whom do not make full use of the available 15 hours a week (pp. 67–8).
  • An unspecified portion of $62.4 million allocated to the Skills Package—Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow measure will go to pilot four Indigenous ‘second chance’ language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills education services in remote communities (p. 69).
  • $15.0 million under the Community Development Grants Programme measure to fund the William Cooper Centre at Punt Road, an educational hub for Indigenous students run by the Richmond Football Club (p. 126).

Employment and economic participation

  • Securing Tourism and Jobs in Kakadu: $216.2 million over ten years on several programs to boost tourism and upgrade and develop facilities in the Jabiru township. Funding has ‘already been provided for’, possibly in the 2018–19 MYEFO (p. 77). After criticism from the Northern Territory (NT) Government over lack of information on the timing of funding, Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion has stated that $150.0 million will be spent over four years, including $20.0 million from the Indigenous Affairs portfolio.
  • The Support for the Australian Music Industry measure includes $2.7 million for a grant program for Indigenous musicians (p. 60).
  • The Barkly Regional Deal ‘redirects’ $8.5 million in funding from the Indigenous Advancement Strategy to support economic development projects in the Barkly region of the NT (p. 125).
  • The Northern Territory Infrastructure Investment Program includes $60.0 million for road upgrades on the Tiwi Islands (p. 133). Other road projects under this program and the Queensland (pp. 134–5) and Western Australia (p. 143) Infrastructure Investment Programs also include roads in remote areas with high Indigenous populations, which may increase economic opportunities, particularly if Indigenous employment and procurement targets are included.
  • The Indigenous Procurement Policy will be extended to introduce a three per cent value target alongside the three per cent number of contracts target.

Community safety

  • $128.8 million to extend the Cashless Debit Card trials and transition people on Income Management to the Cashless Debit Card (pp. 157­–8). This measure includes:
    • funding to extend the trials in the current sites until 30 June 2021
    • changes to the payments system that will enable merchants to automatically decline transactions that involve restricted items, such as alcohol or gambling products, and
    • moving people who currently use the BasicsCard under income management onto the cashless debit card.

Most people subject to these income quarantining measures are Indigenous. This measure will require legislation, and will be covered in more detail in a separate Parliamentary Library publication.

Governance, leadership and culture

Housing

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s (PM&C) Review of Remote Housing estimates that South Australian remote Aboriginal communities need an additional 300 houses by 2028 to address existing overcrowding and accommodate population growth. The review found that in South Australia (which achieved the highest value for money in remote housing construction) it cost approximately $480,500 to build new houses, plus 6.9 per cent ancillary costs. On these figures, $37.5 million will build approximately 73 new houses, so will not meet the identified demand, although as noted, this item is only ‘part of transition arrangements’. No information is yet available on any longer term programs.

 


[1].          See Budget Paper No. 3: Federal Financial Relations or the Federal Financial Relations website for more information on the National Partnerships.

[2].          The Budget extends this National Partnership by one calendar year, but it still ends within the forward estimates. See the Parliamentary Library’s Education and training budget brief for more details.

[3].          Whether this strategy continues or replaces the National Partnership on addressing blood-borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections in the Torres Strait, which has a cross-border focus, is not clear.

NACCHO Members #VoteACCHO #Election2019 Update and #Aboriginal Health Deadly Good News Stories : #NSW Katungul and Armajun #QLD @DeadlyChoices @Wuchopperen #VIC @VAHS1972 #NT @CAACongress #ACT @WinnungaACCHO #WA

This weeks feature #VoteACCHO Good News Story

5.1 QLD : Deadly Choices : Deadly Days Ahead for Queensland Murri Carnival

Plus

1.1 NACCHO Launches new #VoteACCHO website resources page for #Election2019

Press Release  : NACCHO welcomes ALP Pledge of additional $115.1 million to focus on Aboriginal health

1.2 National : Pat Turner ACOSS Budget Breaky panel Speaker

1.3 National : All NACCHO members should be aware of Corporation Act Changes 

2.1 NSW : Katungul ACCHO one of only six high-performing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services who were selected as part of the Deadly Blues Origin Partnership

2.2 NSW : Armajun Aboriginal Health Service staff can’t wait for work to begin on their new $4.7 million building.

2.3 NSW : Armajun Aboriginal Health Service in Tenterfield couples the Walkabout Barber with mental health

3.VIC : VAHS ACCHO to open new clinic in northern suburbs of Melbourne

4. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO hosted our CTG event  with a screening of “Take Heart

5.2 QLD : Wuchopperen Health Service Cairns launches for their Deadly Choices Health Program 

6. WA  : Indigenous youth health forum focus  : Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial’s Empowered Young Leaders Project

7. NT : The Administrator of the Northern Territory, the honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM visits Congress Alukura to learn about the service to Aboriginal women and babies in Central Australia.

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

This weeks feature #VoteACCHO Good News Story

Deadly Choices QLD  : Deadly Days Ahead for Queensland Murri Carnival

Great to have the support of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, the Arthur Beetson Foundation and Moreton Bay Regional Council at the Launch of the 2019 Queensland Murri Carnival at South Pine Sports Complex.

Queensland rugby league royalty and Deadly Choices Ambassadors, Steve Renouf, Petero Civoniceva and Bo de la Cruz, came together at South Pine Sports Complex on Wednesday, to launch the 2019 QAIHC Arthur Beetson Foundation Queensland Murri Carnival.

This year’s format is bound to entice interest from right across Queensland, with up to 30,000 people expected at the venue across five days of competition from October 1-5.

Established in 2011, the Carnival draws on the popularity of rugby league in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to promote the value of health and education to young Indigenous people.

“Upwards of 100 teams across Open Men’s and Women’s divisions, plus under-age grades in boys and girls will compete in our annual showpiece, focussed on community connection and overall health and well-being among participants and spectators,” confirmed ABF Director Brad Beetson.

“We encourage all Queensland communities to start thinking about their plans for the week, as the 2019 QMC will be an event not to be missed.

“On the back of last year’s successes at the Bindal Sharks in Townsville, we’ll see an expansion of underage competition with Under 13s, 15s and 17s for boys and Under 15s and 17s for the girls.

“With the support of the various Deadly Choices regional teams scattered throughout Queensland, we’re looking to have all regions well represented across the grades and in open competition.

“Our smoke-free, alcohol-free event will require participants to have their 715 health checks up to date, adults enrolled to vote, while youngsters also need a 90% school attendance rate.”

Local, State and Federal funding, coupled with the valued support of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), Moreton Bay Regional Council and Queensland Rugby League (QRL), sees the annual showpiece make its debut appearance at South Pine Sports Complex.

“The Murri Rugby League Carnival is a major health promotion event in Queensland and contributes to increased health literacy and access to primary and preventative health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It’s so much more than just a football carnival”, said CEO of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), Neil Willmett.

“The Murri Carnival achieves significant health and education outcomes, and the requirements for all participants to have a health check and those of school age to maintain a high level of school attendance emphasise the important messaging underpinning the event.

“QAIHC is proud to sponsor the Murri Carnival and its contribution to closing the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” said Mr Willmett.

“QAIHC is excited to be undertaking a study to explore how Carnival participation as a player, spectator, or an official, may influence levels of accessing health services and overall knowledge and understanding of preventive health, contributing important data to inform evidence-based health promotion.”

As proud hosts, the Moreton Bay Regional Council sees major benefit in its association with such a prestigious sporting tournament that attracts visitation from right across Queensland.

“Moreton Bay Regional Council is a proud sponsor of this deadly event and I’m looking forward to the carnival taking place at the South Pine Sports Complex, home of the Albany Creek Crushers, later this year,” Mayor Allan Sutherland said.

“Sport is more than just a game – it’s culture, community and opportunity. Sport has the power to give us something to strive for.

“It teaches discipline, work ethic and above all, solidarity with our peers and teammates.

“The Queensland Murri Carnival takes this to another level — championing the health, education and Deadly Choices for Indigenous people.

“We are proud to be sponsors of a carnival which stands for so much more than just a game.”

Registrations are now open for the QAIHC ABF Queensland Murri Carnival. Team coaches and managers need to ensure all their players are up-to-date with their 715 health checks, adults currently enrolled to vote, while youngsters must maintain a 90% school attendance rate.

If not, book in for your 715 at your local Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS), before going online to register for the QMC at www.murrirugbyleague.com.au.

1.1 NACCHO Launches new #VoteACCHO website resources page for #Election2019

“ Welcome to the launch of our NACCHO #Election2019 #VoteACCHO campaign for Affiliates, ACCHO members, stakeholders and supporters.

 The health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is not a partisan political issue and cannot be sidelined any longer.

NACCHO has developed a set of 10 policy #Election2019 recommendations that if adopted, fully funded and implemented by the incoming Federal Government, will provide a pathway forward for improvements in our health outcomes.

We are calling on all political parties to include these recommendations in their election platforms and make a real commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and help us Close the Gap.

With your action and support of our #VoteACCHO campaign we can make the incoming Federal Government accountable. ” 

Donnella Mills Acting Chair NACCHO

Check out the new #VoteACCHO Website Page

and add #VoteACCHO to your Twitter Handle

NACCHO welcomes ALP Pledge of additional $115.1 million to focus on Aboriginal health

NACCHO welcomes the commitment made by Labor leader Bill Shorten to pledge an additional $115.1 million toward Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health if a Labor government is elected on 18 May.

“We are encouraged by the funding commitment made by the Labor Party today,” said NACCHO Acting Chair, Donnella Mills.

“This level of funding shows an acknowledgment of the unequal burden Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities face when it comes to health outcomes.”

“Our communities face a life expectancy gap of ten years less than non-Indigenous Australians – and this gap is only widening. And the death rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is more than double the rate of non-Indigenous children. How can this be?” Ms Mills said.

“The current national health policy hasn’t addressed the urgent needs that Indigenous peak organisations and medical professionals have been advocating for.”

“We hope to see a new direction embraced by all parties – one that places Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health at the forefront of national policy and one that has a genuine partnership and shared decision making with community health providers and organisations,” Ms Mills said.

Read or Download the Full NACCHO Press Release HERE

1.2 National : Pat Turner ACOSS Budget Breaky panel Speaker

At the ACOSS #BudgetBreaky #VoteACCHO event this morning our CEO of NACCHO Pat Turner said

1.That she’s sick of a ‘body parts’ approach to health funding. We need a comprehensive approach.

2 The Importance of preventative health and social determinants of health totally missed in budget and budget response

3.Calls on next Federal Govt to strengthen universal health care for every person in Australia, as well as resourcing the Aboriginal specialist services addressing additional health concerns using #SDOHand holistic care models

1.3 National : All NACCHO members should be aware of Corporation Act Changes 

Any changes to the Corporations Act either automatically apply to the CATSI Act or are closely followed by amendments dependent upon the relevant rules.

http://aicd.companydirectors.com.au/membership/company-director-magazine/2019-back-editions/april/advocacy

Particular changes of concern:

Maximum prison terms increase from five years to 15 years for serious criminal offences such as:

  • Recklessly or dishonestly breaching directors’ and officers’ duties (s184).
  • Dishonestly failing to comply with financial and audit obligations (s344(2)).
  • Intentionally or recklessly breaching the duties of officers or employees of the responsible entity of a registered scheme (ss601FD, 601FE).
  • Knowingly or recklessly providing defective disclosure documents or statements (ss952D, 952F, 1021D).

See ORIC Website

Changes to the CATSI Act

More accountability, less red tape

The Australian Government is proposing reforms to strengthen and improve the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) 2006 (CATSI Act). The reforms are intended to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations by reducing red tape, especially for small corporations. Other proposed changes seek to increase transparency for members. There are also minor changes to streamline and clarify some parts of the CATSI Act.

The proposed changes cover the topics of:

  • size classifications
  • rule books
  • business structures
  • meetings and reporting
  • membership
  • transparency of senior executives
  • payments to related third parties
  • special administrations
  • voluntary deregistration
  • compliance powers.

See ORIC website

2.1 NSW : Katungul ACCHO one of only six high-performing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services who were selected as part of the Deadly Blues Origin Partnership

Nathan Blacklock, Chin Weerakkody, Jaden Hansen and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs at the Deadly Blues launch in Batemans Bay.

This week Katungul launched a new health campaign at its Batemans Bay Clinic that aims to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to receive regular medical check-ups and improve their health.

From The Bega District News

The Deadly Blues health campaign, which involves the NSWRL, NRL clubs and other elite sports, is being run by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) and has been backed by the Australian government with $1.2million in funding.

It aims to target chronic disease, nutrition, physical activity and smoking which can have a negative impact on Indigenous Australian communities.

 NRL’s Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and Nathan Blacklock with supporters at the launch.

It will begin this month in the lead-up to the Holden State of Origin series in June and July 2019.

When clients visit any of Katungul’s three clinics on the South Coast for a health check, they will receive a free NSWRL-inspired jersey.

Katungul is one of only six high-performing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services who were selected as part of the Deadly Blues Origin Partnership.

2.2 NSW : Armajun Aboriginal Health Service staff can’t wait for work to begin on their new $4.7 million building.

The service is currently finalising designs for the purpose-built centre, which has already received development approval from the Inverell Shire Council. A $2.35 million federal government grant will help fund the building.

With construction expected to begin before the end of the year, the new centre could be ready by early 2021.

“We’ve been here since 2011. It’s OK, but it’s not really fit for purpose. Downstairs we’ve done a lot of renovations, but we’ve renovated it all that we can, and it’s a rabbit warren,” chief executive officer Debbie McCowen said of the current centre.

She said Armajun had been lucky to find such a convenient location, but had outgrown the rented space. The upstairs area has limited use due to a lack of accessibility for patients and, because they are not purpose-built, several consultation rooms have awkward layouts.

“The new building for Armajun AHS will be beneficial to both staff and patients as it will add much needed space and accessibility to the health care that we can offer our patients,” registered nurse Tara Price said.

“The new centre will enable us to try to reduce the impact of early mortality on the current and next generation of Aboriginal people in our community.”

Dental services are currently limited to a small office with two desks for a dental manager, two dentists, two dental assistants and an oral health therapist. Staff are looking forward to having a two chair dental clinic as well as a new sterilisation room to create mouth guards and dentures – which are currently made in the carpark due to space limitations.

The new space also promises a gym, children’s area, an outside meeting area and 10 consultation rooms for both in-house and visiting medical professionals.

“We’ve been limited by the number of doctors we’ve been able to have, because of the size of the current building,” Ms McCowen said.

“We’ve got about 3500-4000 clients who use Armajun. And there’s a lot of services. We have the medical clinic, the dental clinic, we have the drug and alcohol service, we have a mental health service.” With an exercise physiologist for the gym and visiting specialists ranging from paediatricians to ear, nose and throat specialists to optometrists; Ms McCowen said there’s often “a lot of traffic”.

She hopes the new space might attract more permanent general practitioners, and says it will allow Armajun to expand their services. “This makes the service more sustainable and viable into the future.”

2.3 NSW : Armajun Aboriginal Health Service in Tenterfield couples the Walkabout Barber with mental health,

Few can resist opening up to their hairdresser as they relax in the chair.

That’s the aim of an initiative that couples grooming with mental health, and it was all happening at Armajun Aboriginal Health Service in Tenterfield on Tuesday.

From The Tenterfield Star 

Walkabout Barber is the brainchild of Newcastle-based Brian Dowd, with the creed We cut hair anywhere. Mr Dowd and his team of cutters — and their customised Walkabout Barber truck — were part of a health roadshow the service was hosting, including dental and hearing checks.

The truck had visited Inverell, Tingah and Armidale communities earlier in the year. On this tour it stopped in at Ashford before Tenterfield, continuing on to Glen Innes the next day.

“Our main objective is to make people fresh on the outside, and to come out fresher on the inside,” Mr Dowd said.

“The barber’s chair is a magical experience especially for men. I’ve built the business as a healing space, for men and women to have a chat.”

The operation can do upwards of 60 cuts a day, so that’s a far reach. Mr Dowd said his barbers can also provide the styles and patterns that clients may find difficult to access in city areas.

He said that Armajun is an amazing partner to have on this journey, which is turning out to be a huge success.

It’s also providing employment for barbers to do a job they enjoy. Some of the crew come from Dubbo and Moree and just the previous day Mr Dowd had recruited someone from Ashford.

He’s going to need a lot more. A fixed Walkabout Barber location is about to open in Newcastle, and more trucks are on the way. One will be Walkabout Beautiful offering pedicures and manicures, and another one is heading to Western Australia.

One constant, however, will be the Walkabout moniker.

“The name sticks with our culture’s way of moving around,” Mr Dowd said.

He hopes the Walkabout truck will be a regular visitor to Tenterfield, in conjunction with Armajun. He feels positive repetition will be helpful, providing a safe place to not only receive a trim but also to have a talk especially about matters that people are finding difficult to discuss with family.

“I have to thank Armajun for the opportunity to let us do what we do,” he said.

3.1 VIC : VAHS ACCHO to open new clinic in northern suburbs of Melbourne

It’s finally completed!!!!! After 10 weeks of construction of our new Epping Clinic, it is now officially done!!! VAHS received the keys to our new building today.

VAHS will notify the community very soon on the official opening date but it’s definitely opening in a few weeks.

We need to add more medical equipment, supplies, I.T. hardware, accreditation and upskill the new staff members on our new clinical system. Stay tune for further updates! Very exciting!

4. ACT : Winnunga ACCHO hosted our CTG event  with a screening of “Take Heart

Winnunga hosted our CTG event recently with a screening of “Take Heart”, The quest to rid Australasia of Rheumatic Heart Disease (DVD) narrated by Stan Grant.

What powerful stories from such brave kids.

Also check out the Take Heart Info 

5.2 QLD : Wuchopperen Health Service Cairns launches for their Deadly Choices Health Program 

The Bumma Bippera Team were broadcasting live from Wuchopperen Health Service Ltd for their Deadly Choices launch 🚀

The Deadly Choices team

Check out these prizes at the Deadly Choices launch 

6. WA Indigenous youth health forum focus  : Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial’s Empowered Young Leaders Project

Young indigenous health and social workers from across the region united in Broome recently to brainstorm ideas for encouraging youth to speak up about their mental health.

From HERE

The workshop and forum was held across three days last fortnight, as part of the Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial’s Empowered Young Leaders Project, which provides resources for Aboriginal role models between 18 and 30 to drive change in the region.

The seminar consisted of a panel discussion about unique challenges faced by indigenous people in the region, a number of speakers, including senator Pat Dodson, as well as team-building and self-care activities.

EYLP working group member Jacob Smith said the event took a very positive approach and left many feeling ready to create change.

“The forum focused more on the strengths of us as young people and not just on the negatives, such as the statistics around suicide,” he said. “The goal was to build the people here up and empower them to recognise themselves as leaders and celebrate the role they can play in the community.

“It was put together by young people for young people and I think there are a lot of people leaving feeling very motivated with the tools and techniques to drive change.”

Soleil White, also a member of the working group, said self-care was a major topic highlighted throughout the three days.

“The realities of suicide can be very heavy and daunting and so it is important for us as young leaders to take care of ourselves before taking care of family and community,” she said.

“This includes coping mechanisms and skills to deal with the issues we are being faced with to have a strong body, spirit and mind.

“Overall I think this forum has absolutely been a success and a number of the delegates have expressed that it has been extremely helpful for them.”

The Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial was launched by the Federal Government in 2016 in response to the high rate of suicide in the region.

It is led by the WA Primary Health Alliance and Country WA Primary Health Networks in partnership with Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services and the region’s working group.

7. NT : The Administrator of the Northern Territory, the honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM visits Congress Alukura to learn about the service to Aboriginal women and babies in Central Australia.

Congress Alukura has always been at the forefront of providing comprehensive and cultural responsive health care to Aboriginal women and babies, embedded in the knowledge of our traditional Grandmothers.

We were thrilled to receive a visit from the Administrator of the Northern Territory, the honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM who was keen to learn about the unique service Alukura provides to Aboriginal women and babies in Central Australia.

NACCHO #VoteACCHO Aboriginal Health #Election2019 @billshortenmp and @SenatorDodson set to unveil a $115 million #Labor plan to tackle the Indigenous health crisis today in Darwin : Including $ for @DeadlyChoices #SuicidePrevention  #MentalHealth #RHD #SexualHealth #EyeHealth

“Labor believes innovative and culturally appropriate health care models are central to improving the health outcomes of First Australians and closing the gap, noting that improving Indigenous health was “critical to our journey towards reconciliation. Labor would be funding programs “co-designed with and led by First Nations peoples – driven by the Aboriginal health workforce “

The Opposition Leader, who is also Labor’s spokesman for Indigenous affairs, will unveil the commitment while on the campaign trail with his assistant spokesman Senator Pat Dodson in the Northern Territory today;

Summary of the Labor Party $115 million commitments against NACCHO #VoteACCHO Recommendations

See all 10 NACCHO #VoteACCHO Recommendations Here

Refer NACCHO Recommendation 4

$29.6 million to improve mental health and prevent youth suicide : to administer the mental health funds through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

See our NACCHO Chair Press Release yesterday

Refer NACCHO Recommendation 6

Sexual health promotion would get a $20 million boost

$13 million would be invested to tackle preventable eye diseases and blindness.

$3 million in seed funding provided to Aboriginal Medical Services to develop health and justice programs addressing the link between incarceration and poor health

Deadly Choices campaign would get $16.5 million for advertising to raise awareness of health and lifestyle choices

Refer NACCHO Recommendation 3

$33 million to address rheumatic heart disease

Media report from

‘Critical to reconciliation’: Labor’s plan to close the gap on Indigenous health

Bill Shorten is set to unveil a $115 million plan to tackle the Indigenous health crisis, as he seeks to position Labor as the only party capable of closing the ten-year gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and their non-Indigenous peers.

The package includes $29.6 million to improve mental health and prevent youth suicide, which has rocked communities in remote areas including the Kimberley where a spate of deaths has been linked to intergenerational trauma, violence and poverty.

The Opposition Leader, who is also Labor’s spokesman for Indigenous affairs, will unveil the commitment while on the campaign trail with his assistant spokesman Senator Pat Dodson in the Northern Territory on Thursday.

“Labor believes innovative and culturally appropriate health care models are central to improving the health outcomes of First Australians and closing the gap,” Mr Shorten said, noting that improving Indigenous health was “critical to our journey towards reconciliation”.

Labor’s package is $10 million more than the $19.6 million Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced for Indigenous suicide prevention on Saturday, after the suicide of an 18-year-old girl from the Kimberley last week.

Indigenous health advocates have previously raised concerns that the Coalition’s wider mental health package could be consumed by “mainstream” services like Headspace.

Mr Shorten highlighted Labor would be funding programs “co-designed with and led by First Nations peoples – driven by the Aboriginal health workforce”.

The Labor plan is to administer the mental health funds through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, which employ teams of paediatricians, child psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses and Aboriginal health practitioners in vulnerable communities.

Official statistics show a ten-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, with the rate of preventable hospital admissions and deaths three times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Labor’s Indigenous health plan, which would be delivered over four years, also includes $33 million to address rheumatic heart disease, a preventable cause of heart failure, death and disability which is common in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Sexual health promotion would get a $20 million boost, while $13 million would be invested to tackle preventable eye diseases and blindness.

The Deadly Choices campaign would get $16.5 million for advertising to raise awareness of health and lifestyle choices and $3 million in seed funding provided to Aboriginal Medical Services to develop health and justice programs addressing the link between incarceration and poor health.

Mr Shorten said Labor would reinstate the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council, abolished by the Abbott Government in 2014.

Crisis support can be found at Lifeline: (13 11 14 and lifeline.org.au), the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467 and suicidecallbackservice.org.au) and beyondblue (1300 224 636 and beyondblue.org.au) Or 1 of 302 ACCHO Clinics 

Aboriginal Health #Budget2019 2 of 5 CEO Pat Turner NACCHO Press Release and @NACCHOChair Donnella Mills #NACCHOTV Interview : Funding for #IndigenousHealth Absent from Federal Budget

This weeks NACCHO Budget Coverage 

Post 1: NACCHO Intro #AusVotesHealth #Budget2019

Post 2: NACCHO Chair Press Release

Post 3:  Health Peak bodies Press Release summary

Post 4 : Government Press Releases

Post 5 : Opposition responses to Budget 2019 

Read all Budget 2019 Posts 

Part 1 Acting Acting Chair Donnella Mills discusses #Budget2019

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) is disappointed at the lack of funding allocated in the 2019-2020 federal budget for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector. 

The gap between the health outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians will continue to persist unless there is a significant commitment to supporting the work of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations,

NACCHO has long called for an increase to the baseline funding for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to support the sustainable delivery of high quality, comprehensive primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. 

We know that closing the gap will never be achieved until primary health care services are properly funded and our clinics have good infrastructure and are fit for purpose; until our people are living in safe and secure housing; until there are culturally safe and trusted early intervention services available for our children and their families; and until our psychological, social, emotional and spiritual needs are acknowledged and supported.

The physical and mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities needs to be a priority for the Australian government. Our communities suffer disproportionately higher rates of suicide, cancer, kidney disease and obesity compared to non-Indigenous Australians,”

We are disappointed that the Federal funding commitment does not match this critical need,” she said.

We call on the all political parties to put Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and full funding of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector at the heart of their election commitments. ” 

Pat Turner CEO NACCHO

Read and or DOWNLOAD Full NACCHO Budget Press Release Here

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Jobalerts to #CloseTheGap : Features @VACCHO_org #Doctors @TheAHCWA @WinnungaACCHO @IAHA_National @MenziesResearch Plus ACCHO’s in #NT #NSW #SA #WA #QLD #ACT #TAS #VIC

Before completing a job application please check with the ACCHO that the job is still open

1. ACCHO Workforce Scholarship NEWS

Lowitja are offering 16 full bursaries

SCHOLARSHIPS CLOSING APRIL 12 – IAHA and the RFDS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Scholarship.

1.1 Job/s of the week 

2.Queensland

    2.1 Apunipima ACCHO Cape York

    2.2 IUIH ACCHO Deadly Choices Brisbane and throughout Queensland

    2.3 ATSICHS ACCHO Brisbane

    2.4 Wuchopperen Health Service ACCHO CAIRNS

3.NT Jobs Alice Spring ,Darwin East Arnhem Land and Katherine

   3.1 Congress ACCHO Alice Spring

   3.2 Miwatj Health ACCHO Arnhem Land

   3.3 Wurli ACCHO Katherine

   3.4 Sunrise ACCHO Katherine

4. South Australia

4.1 Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc

5. Western Australia

  5.1 Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services Inc

  5.2 Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS)

6.Victoria

6.1 Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

6.2 Mallee District Aboriginal Services Mildura Swan Hill Etc 

6.3 : Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative 

7.New South Wales

7.1 AHMRC Sydney and Rural 

7.2 Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service 

7.3 Katungul ACCHO 

8. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre ACCHO 

9.Canberra ACT Winnunga ACCHO

10. Other : Stakeholders Indigenous Health 

Over 302 ACCHO clinics See all websites by state territory 

NACCHO Affiliate , Member , Government Department or stakeholders

If you have a job vacancy in Indigenous Health 

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media

Tuesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Wednesday

1. ACCHO Workforce Scholarship News : 

Lowitja are offering 16 full bursaries

The 2019 Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference is offering bursaries to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and community members to attend the conference.

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.

Selection criteria:

  • 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.
SCHOLARSHIPS CLOSING APRIL 12 – IAHA and the RFDS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Scholarship.
JCU Centre for Rural and Remote Health, Mount Isa (MICRRH) and IAHA Student Placement Scholarship Closing 12 April

Contact admin@iaha.com.au for more info

1.1 Jobs of the week 

VACCHO Aboriginal Life! Project Officer
  • Unique opportunity to join a dynamic team
  • Full-time, 12 month contract
  • New Program

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.

To apply, please provide a copy of your resume and application form to employment@vaccho.org.au.

For queries about the position please contact the HR team on 9411 9411.  Applications close on Friday 5 April 2019.

More INFO

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.

General Practitioners

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.

Enquiries for the above positions may be directed to the CEO, Julie Tongs on 62846222 or email Julie.Tongs@winnunga.org.au

For more information and/ or a copy of the position description please call Roseanne Longford, HR Manager on 6284 6259 or email Roseanne.Longford@winnunga.org.au

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.

You will:

  • 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

About You
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

About Us
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.

We Offer

  • Generous study opportunities
  • Salary sacrificing
  • 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.

What’s next?
Apply via the link

Got questions?
Feel free to contact us on (02) 9212 4777 or email recruitment@ahmrc.org.au

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.

Closing April 8

See Website for more info 

AHCWA Western Australia

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).

To find out more about SHS, please visit http://www.spinifexhealth.org.au

About the Opportunity

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.

To view the full position and selection criteria please visit http://www.ahcwa.org.au/employment

About the Benefits

$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!

To find out more about the Tjuntjuntjara Community, please visit http://www.spinifex.org.au

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.

VIEW all opportunities HERE 

General Practitioners Carnarvon Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation

2 x General Practitioner – Location: Carnarvon

The Carnarvon Medical Service Aboriginal 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
  • Remuneration:  $290,000 – $300,000 pa + superannuation + salary sacrifice benefits
  • Additional Benefits: House + Utilities + Vehicle
  • Leave Provisions: 6 weeks annual leave
  • Supportive GPs, Nursing, AHPs, AHWs, allied health and admin support

For further information or if you would like to become a part of CMSAC team and work towards improving the health of Aboriginal people please contact either

Suzanne Kent or Davies Chibale

E-mail: suzanne.kent@cmsac.com.au  / davies.chibale@cmsac.com.au

Telephone (08) 9947 2231 or 0438 739 849

To apply:

  1. Include Cover letter; addressing the selection Criteria
  2. Attach copy of your latest CV/Resume; relevant certificates, registration and documentation that supports your claim for the position.
  3. Complete and submit your application to Suzanne or Davies  by 5pm Monday 8th April 2019 (Closing date).

Report this job advert

Be careful– Don’t provide your bank or credit card details when applying for jobs. If you see something suspicious .

CATSINaM Nursing and Midwife jobs in all States and Territories

The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) is the sole representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives in Australia.

CATSINaM’s primary function is to implement strategies to increase the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into nursing and midwifery professions.

Search Here by State and Territory 

Menzies : Research Program Manager

$117,691 – $136,988 pro-rata salary package (comprising gross salary $93,073 – $109,095 pro-rata, superannuation & salary packaging benefits)

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.

Contact: Prof Amanda Leach on 08 8946 8560 oramanda.leach@menzies.edu.au

Closing date:  14 April 2019

Applications should be emailed tohumanresources@menzies.edu.au and should include the following information:

  • A brief covering letter identifying the position being applied for.
  • A statement addressing the selection criteria in the position description.
  • A curriculum vitae (resume).
  • Names and contact details of three referees.

 Menzies : Research Nurse or Midwife (2 positions available)

$107,399 – $115,578 pro-rata salary package (comprising gross salary $84,184 – $91,359 pro-rata, superannuation & salary packaging benefits)

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.

Contact: Verity Powell on 08 8946 8603 orverity.powell@menzies.edu.au

Closing date:  14 April 2019

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply

Applications should be emailed tohumanresources@menzies.edu.au and should include the following information:

  • A brief covering letter identifying the position being applied for.
  • A statement addressing the selection criteria in the position description (maximum one page)
  • A curriculum vitae (resume).
  • Names and contact details of three referees.

For information on how to apply for these positions and to obtain the Position Description and Selection Criteria please visitwww.menzies.edu.au/careers or phone 08 8946 8624. 

2.1 JOBS AT Apunipima ACCHO Cairns and Cape York

The links to  job vacancies are on website


www.apunipima.org.au/work-for-us

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:

  • Aboriginal Health Workers
  • Registered Nurses
  • Transport Drivers
  • Medical Receptionists
  • Administrative and Management roles
  • Medical professionals
  • Dentists and Dental Assistants
  • Allied Health Staff
  • Support Workers

Current vacancies

2.4 Wuchopperen Health Service ACCHO CAIRNS 

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.

Expressions of Interest

We invite Expressions of Interest from:

  • Aboriginal Health Workers
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Dietitians
  • Diabetes Educators
  • Exercise Physiologists
  • Medical Officers (FAACGP / FACCRM)
  • Registered Nurses
  • Midwives
  • Optometrists
  • Podiatrists
  • Speech Pathologists

In accordance with Wuchopperen’s privacy processes, we will keep your EOI on file for three months.

 Current Vacancies

NT Jobs Alice Spring ,Darwin East Arnhem Land and Katherine

3.1 JOBS at Congress Alice Springs including

More info and apply HERE

3.2 There are 30 JOBS at Miwatj Health Arnhem Land

 

More info and apply HERE

3.3  JOBS at Wurli Katherine

More info and apply HERE

3.4 Sunrise ACCHO Katherine

Sunrise Job site

4. South Australia

   4.1 Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc

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.

NUNKU SA JOB WEBSITE 

5. Western Australia

5.1 Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services Inc

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:

  • Detailed CV
  • 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

Also in accordance with updated privacy legislation acts, please download, complete and return this Permission to Retain Resume form

Attn: Human Resources
Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services Inc.
156 Wittenoom Street
East Perth WA 6004

+61 (8) 9421 3888

 

DYHS JOB WEBSITE

 5.2 Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS)

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS)

https://kamsc-iframe.applynow.net.au/

KAMS JOB WEBSITE

6.Victoria

6.1 Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

 

Thank you for your interest in working at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

If you would like to lodge an expression of interest or to apply for any of our jobs advertised at VAHS we have two types of applications for you to consider.

Expression of interest

Submit an expression of interest for a position that may become available to: employment@vahs.org.au

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:

employment@vahs.org.au

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 

 

MDAS Jobs website 

6.3 : Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative 2 POSITIONS VACANT

.

http://www.rumbalara.org.au/vacancies

 

7.1 AHMRC Sydney and Rural 

 

Check website for current Opportunities

7.2 Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service 

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.

WEBSITE

7.3 Katungul ACCHO

Download position descriptions HERE 

8. Tasmania

 

 

TAC JOBS AND TRAINING WEBSITE

9.Canberra ACT Winnunga ACCHO

 

Winnunga ACCHO Job opportunites 

10. Other : Stakeholders Indigenous Health 

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

About Us

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.

About you

  • 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.

For a full job description visit https://www.newcastle.edu.au/aboutuon/jobsatuon/jobvacancies

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.

What NEW can offer?

From a flexible working environment to discounts in private health insurance and gym memberships, we offer access to a wide range of employee benefits including salary packaging. You can learn more about these at  https://www.newcastle.edu.au/aboutuon/jobsatuon/benefitsataglance

We provide opportunities for all people regardless of their background and experience, and this philosophy is reflected across all that we do.

The remuneration is from $67,185- $77,936 pa (pro-rated for part time) + 9.5% super and is commensurate with experience.

Your next steps

Click on ‘Apply for this job’. Your application will be assessed on selection criteria. Read all information about the role so you understand what is required. In addition:

  • Follow all directions and complete all necessary fields of the application; and
  • In your selection criteria demonstrate clearly how your skills and experience meet each point and should be a maximum of four pages.

Closing Date: 3 weeks

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal #AusVotesHealth and #Budget2019 1 of 5 : @nakarithorpe @NITV Reports  : A cash splash but what’s in it for Indigenous mob like @NACCHOChair @LowitjaInstitut @congressmob @NATSILS_ @NationalFVPLS?

This weeks NACCHO #Budget2019 Coverage

Post 1: NITV Indigenous mob #AusVotesHealth #Budget2019

Post 2: NACCHO Chair Press Release

Post 3:  Health peak bodies Press Release summary

Post 4 : Government Press Releases

Post 5 : Opposition responses to Budget 2019

“The treasurer kept on about how we are geared towards surplus. We need to focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised in our community, but this budget does nothing for my mob.

I don’t need another reminder that colonisation is still living. I don’t need to be reminded of that; we see it every day. I need to be reminded of the Uluru statement from the heart.

It just shows we have a long way to travel toward real equity and real social justice outcomes.”

Chair of NACCHO (the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation) Donnella Mills told the Guardian ( and expressed frustration)  that there’s $12m in the budget for a Captain Cook memorial, but only $15m to address Indigenous youth suicide :

See full NACCHO Press Release and NACCHO TV interviews to be posted later this morning

Post 1: NITV Indigenous mob #AusVotesHealth #Budget2019 Nakita Thorpe NITV

 

For more discussion of Budget 2019, watch NITV’s The Point, 8.30pm tonight on Channel 34.

Originally published Here

Federal treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has handed down his first budget and has described it as being “back in the black” with a budget surplus of $7.1 billion expected to be delivered next financial year, but the treasurer acknowledged “serious challenges” lay ahead.

“The global economy is slowing. Communities are feeling the impacts of flood, fire and drought. Families face cost of living pressures. And every one of us wants to see wages growing faster. But let me be clear: the answer to these challenges is not higher taxes,” he said.

The 2019 Budget sees further tax relief for low to middle-income earners. It also includes a record $100 billion National Infrastructure Plan and a $525 million skills package which the treasurer said will create 80,000 apprenticeships.

However, despite the Coalition’s rhetoric about a “stronger economy”, spending on Indigenous programs and services was lacklustre, with specific expenditure buried deep in the budget papers.

The government said it will invest $160 million for Indigenous health, with $10 million going to the Lowitja Institute, the national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research.

Ms Janine Mohamed, interim CEO fro the institute welcomed the investment and thanked Ken Wyatt, the minister for Indigenous Health.

“The new funding will ensure that the Lowitja Institute continues to deliver public value of more than $3 per every $1 invested, and will enable us to remain as a key component of the national research architecture,” she said.

$35 million will go toward funding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific solutions to family violence.

$5 million over four years will also go toward implementing Indigenous suicide prevention, to be led by young Indigenous leaders.

A further $4.5 million will be for Indigenous leadership to create a national plan for culturally appropriate care, and $3 million for a centre of excellence in childhood wellness.

Chief executive of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINAM), Melanie Robinson, said she was disappointed about the lack of expenditure in youth suicide.

“As we know there is a massive issue going on in our communities around suicide and lots of our young people are struggling,” she told NITV. “I thought there would have been more of a commitment … in that space.”

An additional $60 million will be spent upgrading roads in the Tiwi Islands, as part of a $492.3 million Roads of Strategic Importance to the Northern Territory, which was provided for in last year’s federal budget.

The government will also put $276.5 million over five years into supporting Indigenous students as part of its  Closing the Gap refresh. A further $5 million will go to promote school attendance in remote communities.

Another $70.6 million will cover the cost of extinguishing Higher Education Loan Program (Help) debts for teachers after they undertake a four-year placement in very remote locations, as announced in February.

An increase of less than $20 million has gone towards legal assistance, prompting the Law Council of Australia to label the allocation “abysmal”. They say the figure falls well short of the additional $310 million per year needed to provide adequate access to legal justice.

“The Budget may be in surplus but Australia will remain in a significant justice deficit so long as the government fails to deliver adequate funding for Legal Aid Commissions (LACs), Community Legal Centres (CLCs), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS) and Family Violence Prevention Legal Services,” said Arthur Moses, the president of the Law Council of Australia.

Mr Moses did however acknowledge that reversing proposed cuts and providing additional funding of $16.7 million over three years for ATSILS was welcome, saying the decision to dissolve the Indigenous Legal Assistance Program and roll funding for ATSILS into a single funding mechanism could threaten the independence of those services.

“ATSILS provides specialised and culturally appropriate legal services for some of the most marginalised people in our community,” he said. “They need to maintain independence to effectively continue their vital work.”

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Co-Chair, Dr Jackie Huggins, said it was still too early to know the “actual detail” of the impact of the budget on funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and interests.

There are some glimmers of hope, said Ms Huggins, particularly around the Royal Commission into the abuse and neglect of people with a disability, women’s safety and health initiatives and education, but she said Congress still had questions.

“No progress has been made on the economic empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” she said.

Ivan Simon, co-chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Authority, said he was sad and disappointed about the lack of remote housing commitment.

“I didn’t see much in there. I guess the devil is in the detail,” he told NITV News.

Mr Simon said he was concerned about how Indigenous housing service providers will be involved in the rollout of a $315 million social bond into mainstream community housing.

“We find it very difficult to play in that mainstream system,” he said.

Finance Minister Matthias Cormann told NITV News his government considered Indigenous Australians a priority.

“From Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, it’s been a very strong personal priority of three prime ministers, and of course it’s a priority for Nigel Scullion… We are strongly committed to Closing the Gap and there is increased funding right across the board,” he said.

  • For more discussion of Budget 2019, watch NITV’s The Point, 8.30pm tonight on Channel 34.

 

 

 

NACCHO Press Release : Aboriginal Health and #ClosetheGap Report : #NationalClosetheGap Day : A Time to Reflect and Recommit how our mob can enjoy the same access to health, education and employment outcomes as non-Indigenous Australians.

“ We were really pleased when the Council of Australian Governments agreed to a formal partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies on closing the gap.

It was encouraging to hear the Prime Minister acknowledge that until Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are brought to the table as equal partners, the gap will not be closed and that this principle would be part of Closing the Gap efforts going forward,”

NACCHO CEO, Pat Turner see Press Release Part 1

Download NACCHO Press Release

NACCHO CTG Day Media Release Final

Releasing the report, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander commissioner June Oscar AO said Indigenous people had “the right to self-determination and full participation in decision-making about matters that affect us”.

“We need to invest in and support on the ground voices and solutions,” she said.

The programs have reduced the rate of incarceration, addressed health problems like anaemia and low birth weight babies and helped families find secure housing

From The Sydney Morning Herald March 21 :

Our choice, our voice: to close gap, Indigenous leaders say what works

“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO and the Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Rod Little, will today release the 2019 Close the Gap report – “Our Choices, Our Voices”.

The report, prepared by the Lowitja Institute, is being released at a community event at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation – Aboriginal Medical Service South Western Sydney, as part of National Close the Gap day events around the country.

The report highlights the incredible work being carried out by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

From the CTG Press Release see Part 2 Below

Download a copy of the 2019 Close the Gap report Our Choices, Our Voices visit

ctg2019_final2_web

https://antar.org.au/campaigns/national-close-gap-day

As Australia marks National Close the Gap (CTG) Day, it is an opportunity for the nation to reflect on the progress and challenges in the life outcomes facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.

For ten years Closing the Gap has put an important spotlight on the vast health, economic and life disparities between First Nations peoples and the Australian population at large.

Historically, the challenge of Closing the Gap has always centred around the lack of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and input in the larger framework, policies and targets.

The top-down approach of Closing the Gap was never going to yield the outcomes we all hoped to see.

“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations were established on principles that address structural power imbalances. Our services are fundamental to closing the gap. But we have long recognised that closing the gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and disadvantage will never be achieved until:

  • Our primary health care services are adequately resourced, and their infrastructure hardware is fit for purpose;
  • Our people are living in safe, secure and health housing;
  • Culturally safe and trusted early intervention services are available to our vulnerable children and their families to address the unacceptably high rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth in out of home care and detention facilities;
  • Services to promote our psychological, social and emotional wellbeing need to be fully funded within our comprehensive primary health care service model; and
  • Our connection to our land, languages and lore need to be respected, maintained and promoted, given we are the oldest living culture in the world over the past 65,000 years.

National Close the Gap Day is an opportunity for us all to reflect on the status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our country and consider how we can work together to ensure our First Nations people enjoy the same access to health, education and employment outcomes as non-Indigenous Australians.

Part 2 CTG Press Release

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO and the Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Rod Little, will today release the 2019 Close the Gap report – “Our Choices, Our Voices”.

The report, prepared by the Lowitja Institute, is being released at a community event at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation – Aboriginal Medical Service South Western Sydney, as part of National Close the Gap day events around the country.

“The report highlights the incredible work being carried out by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“The stories in the report clearly demonstrate that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are involved in the design and delivery of the services they need, we are far more likely to achieve success,” the Co-Chairs said.

The report comes one month after the Commonwealth Government’s Closing the Gap report was tabled in Federal parliament, showing a lack of progress on most targets.

In his address, the Prime Minister restated the government’s commitment to work collaboratively in a formal partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Commissioner Oscar said the report highlights the need to have genuine and meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the decision-making process.

“We have a right to self-determination and full participation in decision-making about matters that affect us. We need to invest in and support on the ground voices and solutions. An investment in our community-controlled organisations is an investment in success,” Commissioner Oscar said.

Rod Little said he hopes that National Close the Gap Day will encourage further commitment to address the challenge of health inequality.

“Health outcomes and life expectancy in Aboriginal communities are affected by many different factors, such as housing, educational opportunity, access to community-controlled primary health services, a culturally safe workforce, racism, and trauma and healing.

“I want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have the same opportunity to live full and healthy lives, like all other Australians,” Rod Little said.

Among the case studies included in the report;

The Birthing on Country Project provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women access to culturally and clinically safe, inclusive care that incorporates cultural birthing traditions within mainstream maternity services. It is currently piloting two programs;

* South East Queensland in collaboration with Indigenous Urban Health Institute and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Services Brisbane and

* Nowra, New South Wales, alongside Waminda South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation

Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy is taking a new approach to education and training. This is a community-led learning model focussed on re-shaping and re-designing the way training is delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students.

IndigiLez Leadership and Support Group offers support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) women.

Yawuru Home Ownership Program was established in 2015 after the Yawuru people in highlighted housing as a key priority.

The Co-Chairs said the over-riding principle throughout the stories is that the success of these initiatives is based on community governance and leadership, which is imperative to the success and longevity of the programs.

“These stories illustrate that ‘our choice and our voice’ is vital if we are to make gains and start to close the gap.

“We are optimistic that by supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led initiatives and a commitment to working in genuine partnership, that we can close the gap,” they said.

Further information on National Close the Gap Day visit the ANTaR website; https://antar.org.au/campaigns/national-close-gap-day