NACCHO Aboriginal Women’s Health #SocialDeterminants #RedfernStatement : The impact of political determinants of health must be recognised for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

 

 ” Western culture remains the dominant culture in Australian society.

Its worldview has shaped Australian society and is constantly in conflict with the cultural identity and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, including that of women.

Recently, Australian Indigenous leaders have set out a blueprint for action in the Redfern Statement. 

This blueprint acknowledges that Aboriginal people have provided viable, holistic solutions.

Without a change in leadership attitudes, governance and administration, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women will continue to be disadvantaged, and their health will continue to suffer.

It is high time that Australian policymaking recognized the above issues and acted with integrity on the deficits because we will not have equality until Australia recognizes the impact of the political determinants of health as identified throughout this paper.

Australia will never be a whole, functioning society until institutionalised oppression ceases. ” 

Originally published here Power and Persuasion

Read over 340 Aboriginal Women’s Health articles published by NACCHO over past 6 years

Read over 100 Aboriginal Health and Social Determinants published by NACCHO over past 6 years

The role of government policy is to support its citizenry to thrive. By this measure, Australian policy is failing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and women are bearing the brunt of failed policy through seriously compromised health and wellbeing. “

In this analysis, Vanessa Lee from the University of Sydney applies a lens of political determinants of health to illuminate policy failure for Indigenous women and their communities, and calls for the government to be held accountable to the outcomes of generations of harmful policy.

 This piece is drawn from an article that ran in the Journal of Public Health Policy in 2017.

Paternalism is compromising the health of Indigenous women

When it comes to Australian policy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are not being supported. Rather, a long history of paternalistic government decisions created barriers towards Indigenous women achieving equivalent health and wellbeing measures when compared to non-Indigenous women.

The manifestation of colonisation has included a displacement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, a history of segregation and apartheid, and a breakdown of culture and cultural values through the impact of missionaries and government legislation, Acts and policies.

These political determinants of health breech human rights conventions, lack an evidence base, and are profoundly damaging across generations. Better policy could be and should be implemented but there appears to be a lack of political will.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience poorer health and reduced social and emotional wellbeing when compared to non-Indigenous women, and this is due to generational life circumstances. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women take a holistic world view that intrinsically connects family and culture with everything else that they connect with.

What this means is that Indigenous women have a cultural and family relationship with their social and economic world.

The breakdown in life circumstances are evident today across employment and education where 39 per cent of the Indigenous females were employed compared to 55 per cent of the non-Indigenous females; and 4.6 per cent overall of the Indigenous compared to 20 per cent of the non-Indigenous people have completed a bachelor degree or higher degree.[1]

Educational attainment and employment are intrinsically linked to economic opportunity, with higher levels of education reducing societal disadvantage. Failure to address these fundamental social determinants in early life contributes to life-long disadvantage.

When the British colonized Australia, they did so under a paternalistic ideology that remains evident today as Australian federal, state, territory and local governments continue to implement paternalistic policies. Paternalistic policies are those that restrict choices to individuals, ostensibly in their ‘best interest’ and without their consent.

The justification of such policies is often to change individuals’ damaging behaviours; for example gambling, smoking, consumption of drugs and alcohol, or the reliance on welfare payments. Given the etymology of the word ‘paternalism’, it is little wonder that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have been the victims of extraordinarily high levels of sexism, domestic violence, marginalization, work-place lateral violence and racism.

Especially since the policies were developed and implemented from colonisation, with little or no evidence to support the need to change behaviours of the First Nations women of Australia.  The response to the impact of these paternalistic policies has resulted in an increase in prevalence in pain and trauma based behaviours such as substance abuse.

Social determining factors

Social determinants of health are about “the cause of the cause.” Poorer health outcomes are not narrowed to individual lifestyle choice or risky behaviour. Understanding the social determinants of health requires looking at the relationship between cause, social factors and health outcomes. Social factors are those societal factors that influence health throughout life and include housing, education, access to healthcare and family support.

The diagram below highlights an example of the circular relationship between the causes of the social factors and the social factors themselves across a person’s life stages. The unborn Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child of parents with high drug and/or alcohol intake, low income and low education will be born into an environment influenced at the macrosocial level by history, culture, discrimination and the political economy.

This first stage of inequality can manifest in increasing risky behaviours such as smoking, drinking, unhealthy eating, and lack of exercise or imprisonment. These behaviours have been associated with intellectual impairment that continues through all life stages.[ii] Quite often the continuous exposure to drugs and alcohol from adults becomes part of the child’s assumption of the normality of risk-taking behaviour and the cycle continues.

Tragically, at times the child born into this situation may commit suicide. Indigenous young people are as much as five times more likely to commit suicide as their non-Indigenous peers. Or the child may end up in prison, and although Indigenous women make up 2% of the adult female population 2% of the adult female populationin Australia they make up 27 to 34% of the female prison population across jurisdictions (see also here). T

he imprisonment of women causes an upheaval in their lives and that of their families and for Indigenous women it also creates a breakdown in their world view and to all that is connected to their world view.

Diagram 1: Relationship between ‘the cause’ and life stages

Relationship between causes, social factors and life stages

Social and economic circumstances have a profound impact on individual experiences of inequity, yet within a neoliberal framework the individual is blamed for making poor choices. The government’s failure to acknowledge or address the causes which shape the social factors that in turn underpin individual lifestyle “choices” reveals a disinterest in addressing the socio-structural causes of illness and health.

When governments invest long-term resources and time into understanding the socio-structural causes of illness and health, they will recognize that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are constantly subjected to unnecessary inequalities that mitigate against making positive lifestyle choices for future generations.

Structured inequities within society are based on unequal distribution of power, wealth, income and status. A woman’s ability to move up and down the class system is directly impacted by socioeconomic position or status – including education, employment and income.

This truth epitomizes the gross inequalities that continue to exist in Australian society. Inequities in health are heightened because social class not only includes education, employment and income but also differential access to power. Social class structures are characterized by factors including race, sex/gender, ethnicity, Indigeneity and religion. Fundamentally, it is structural issues of class and political disadvantage that place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women close to the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.

Political determinants

From colonization of Australia until the present day, the policy decisions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made by National, State and Territory governments, churches and other institutions have had dire effects on Indigenous peoples’ health and well-beingInequitable policies contributed to inequalities in health resulting from unequal distribution of power and resources between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

The impact of policies which fail to take a holistic view on Indigenous population health reflects a political failure of the system with regard to the basic human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their good health and well-being.

Denial of a human right directly violates a person’s right to self-determination. These rights should be protected by a covenant to which Australia is a signatory—The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) (The Covenant). It states that “all peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” (Article 1 Section 1).

The level of Australia’s commitment to this covenant became questionable with the implementation of The Northern Territory National Emergency Response (the Intervention) in 2007. This was a federal government action that ignored one of its own government-funded reports highlighting the critical importance of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the design and implementation of initiatives for their communities. In less than six months, following the politically motivated “Intervention” that was introduced just prior to an election, the Australian parliament introduced a complex legislative package consisting of five Bills, all 450 pages long and passed in parliament on the same day.

The bills were primarily associated with welfare reform. In 2008, a national emergency response by the Australian government took effect and was administered across all of the Northern Territory using the political rationale ‘to protect Aboriginal children’. This appeared to be an excuse to further erode Indigenous self-determination rather than to address the safety of children; as one critic pointed out, “we have witnessed the abandonment of consultation with Indigenous people, diminishing use of available statistical and research evidence and increased marginalization of the experts – especially if their views diverge from national leadership.” (p. 7)

The impact on health outcomes

Welfare data published in 2016 show that Indigenous children in the Northern Territory were being removed from families at 9.8 times more often than that of non-Indigenous children based on ‘reforms’ in the five new ‘welfare reform’ Bills.

The Northern Territory Indigenous death rates are still 2.3 times higher than those of non-Indigenous people, and Indigenous people experience assault victimization at six times the rate of non-Indigenous people (see here).

The 2014/2015 Social Survey found that fewer than half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were employed, and males were more than twice as likely as females to be working full time.

The deplorable outcomes of these politically motivated policies are most clearly illustrated by the understanding that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women between the ages of 20 and 24 years are four times more likely to commit suicide than are the other woman and between 70-60% of Indigenous women in prisons are due to them being victims of domestic violence.

Holding government accountable to policy outcomes

These outcomes demonstrate the political failure of Australian governments at national, state, territory and local levels to work with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the lack of integrity surrounding equitable policy administration, leadership and governance.

Many policies developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders over a long period of time have contributed to the shameful inequity in Australian society between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. This level of inequity is even more dramatic with regard to Indigenous women.

The Covenant is neither the first Human Rights Charter that Australia has signed nor the first it has violated to the disadvantage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, their health and well-being (and of the entire Indigenous population). Australia played a key role as one of eight nations involved in developing the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, when Australian Dr HV Evatt was the President of the United Nations General Assembly.

Until a referendum allowed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to become citizens, there was scant regard to Article 2: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. The Australian government is disregarding its own stated ideals when it disregards the rights of Indigenous Australians.

The gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians is becoming more apparent, leading to calls for a new and more effective response. The effects of discriminative policies are now being exposed more often – thus, they become more visible. Non-Indigenous services account for 80 per cent of Indigenous expenditure, and there is a lack of transparency and clarity evaluating how these organizations address policies developed by government for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Fifty per cent of the Indigenous Australian population is under the age of 22and their health, as that of their elders, remains dire. Without understanding their cultural ways of doing and knowing and without working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in making policy decisions, there will be no progress in achieving health equality for this population group.

Major changes needed

Western culture remains the dominant culture in Australian society. Its worldview has shaped Australian society and is constantly in conflict with the cultural identity and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, including that of women. Recently,

Australian Indigenous leaders have set out a blueprint for action in the Redfern Statement.

This blueprint acknowledges that Aboriginal people have provided viable, holistic solutions. Without a change in leadership attitudes, governance and administration, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women will continue to be disadvantaged, and their health will continue to suffer.

It is high time that Australian policymaking recognized the above issues and acted with integrity on the deficits because we will not have equality until Australia recognizes the impact of the political determinants of health as identified throughout this paper. Australia will never be a whole, functioning society until institutionalised oppression ceases.

References

[1] Burns, J., MacRae, A., Thomson, N., Anomie., Catto, M., Gray, C., Levitan, L., McLoughlin, N., Potter, C., Ride, K., Stumpers, S., Trzesinski, A. and Urquhart, B. (2013) Summary of Indigenous women’s health. http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/population-groups/women/reviews/our-review.

[ii] Carson, B., Dunbar, T., Chenhall, R. and Bailie, R. (Eds.). (2007). Social determinants of indigenous health. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin.

Minister @KenWyattMP launches NACCHO @RACGP National guide for healthcare professionals to improve health of #Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients

 

All of our 6000 staff in 145 member services in 305 health settings across Australia will have access to this new and update edition of the National Guide. It’s a comprehensive edition for our clinicians and support staff that updates them all with current medical practice.

“NACCHO is committed to quality healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and will work with all levels of government to ensure accessibility for all.”

NACCHO Chair John Singer said the updated National Guide would help governments improve health policy and lead initiatives that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

You can Download the Guide via this LINK

A/Prof Peter O’Mara, NACCHO Chair John Singer Minister Ken Wyatt & RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel launch the National guide at Parliament house this morning

“Prevention is always better than cure. Already one of the most widely used clinical guidelines in Australia, this new edition includes critical information on lung cancer, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and preventing child and family abuse and violence.

The National Guide maximises the opportunities at every clinic visit to prevent disease and to find it early.It will help increase vigilance over previously undiagnosed conditions, by promoting early intervention and by supporting broader social change to help individuals and families improve their wellbeing.”

Minister Ken Wyatt highlights what is new to the 3rd Edition of the National Guide-including FASD, lung cancer, young people lifecycle, family abuse & violence and supporting families to optimise child safety & wellbeing : Pic Lisa Whop SEE Full Press Release Part 2 Below

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) have joined forces to produce a guide that aims to improve the level of healthcare currently being delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and close the gap.

Chair of RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Associate Professor Peter O’Mara said the third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (the National Guide) is an important resource for all health professionals to deliver best practice healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

“The National Guide will support all healthcare providers, not just GPs, across Australia to improve prevention and early detection of disease and illness,” A/Prof O’Mara said.

“The prevention and early detection of disease and illness can improve people’s lives and increase their lifespans.

“The National Guide will support healthcare providers to feel more confident that they are looking for health issues in the right way.”

RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said the RACGP is committed to tackling the health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“The National Guide plays a vital role in closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health disparity,” Dr Seidel said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should have equal access to quality healthcare across Australia and the National guide is an essential part of ensuring these services are provided.

“GPs and other healthcare providers who implement the recommendations within the National Guide will play an integral role in reducing health disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and ensuring culturally responsive and appropriate healthcare is always available.”

The updated third edition of the National Guide can be found on the RACGP website and the NACCHO website.

 

Free to download on the RACGP website and the NACCHO website:

http://www.racgp.org.au/national-guide/

and NACCHO

Part 2 Prevention and Early Diagnosis Focus for a Healthier Future

The critical role of preventive care and tackling the precursors of chronic disease is being boosted in the latest guide for health professionals working to close the gap in health equality for Indigenous Australians

The critical role of preventive care and tackling the precursors of chronic disease is being boosted in the latest guide for health professionals working to close the gap in health equality for Indigenous Australians.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, today launched the updated third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Prevention is always better than cure,” said Minister Wyatt. “Already one of the most widely used clinical guidelines in Australia, this new edition includes critical information on lung cancer, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and preventing child and family abuse and violence.

“The National Guide maximises the opportunities at every clinic visit to prevent disease and to find it early.

“It will help increase vigilance over previously undiagnosed conditions, by promoting early intervention and by supporting broader social change to help individuals and families improve their wellbeing.”

The guide, which was first published in 2005, is a joint project between the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners RACGP).

“To give you some idea of the high regard in which it is held, the last edition was downloaded 645,000 times since its release in 2012,” said Minister Wyatt.

“The latest edition highlights the importance of individual, patient-centred care and has been developed to reflect local and regional needs.

“Integrating resources like the national guide across the whole health system plays a pivotal role in helping us meet our Closing the Gap targets.

“The Turnbull Government is committed to accelerating positive change and is investing in targeted activities that have delivered significant reductions in the burden of disease.

“Rates of heart disease, smoking and binge drinking are down. We are on track to achieve the child mortality target for 2018 and deaths associated with kidney and respiratory diseases have also reduced.”

The National Guide is funded under the Indigenous Australian’s Health Programme as part of a record $3.6 billion investment across four financial years.

The RACGP received $429,000 to review, update, publish and distribute the third edition, in hard copy and electronic formats.

The National Guide is available on the RACGP website or by contacting RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health on 1800 000 251 or aboriginalhealth@racgp.org.au.

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Women’s Health Leadership #IWD2018 We honour all the woman working in our #ACCHO’s over 45 years in #NT #NSW #QLD #WA #SA #VIC #ACT #TAS

International Women’s Day (IWD) will be celebrated today across all our 304 Aboriginal community controlled health clinics and 8 affiliates , where thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman are involved daily in all aspects and levels of comprehensive Aboriginal primary health care delivery. Professional and dedicated Indigenous Woman CEO’S , Doctors, Clinic Managers, Aboriginal Health Workers , Nurses, Receptionists etc.

IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

The theme this year is #PressforProgress, a call to action for accelerating gender equality. Our ACCHO workforce is leading the way.

We can all play a part in improving outcomes for women and this year’s theme provides an opportunity to press even harder for progress in our ACCHO’s

These woman in our tribute today represent the 45 years of ACCHO’s advocating for culturally respectful, needs based approach to improving the health and wellbeing outcomes of our people in the past and now into our healthy futures .

1.NSW : Dr Naomi Mayers one of the founders of Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern ,AHMRC and NACCHO

2. VIC: Jill Gallagher AO VACCHO CEO 2001-2018

3. QLD : Pamela Mam establishment of the Aboriginal and Islander Community Health Service and Jimbelunga Nursing centre

4. SA : Mary Buckskin (1955 – 2015 ) CEO of AHCSA for 8 years

5.NT : Donna Ah Chee CEO Congress Alice Springs , NACCHO Board Member, Chair AMSANT former CEO NACCHO

6.WA : Vicki O’Donnell. Chair AHCWA : CEO – Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services.

7.ACT : Julie Tongs OAM CEO Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service, NACCHO Board Member,

8.TAS. Heather Sculthorpe CEO Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

9.NACCHO celebrating #IWD2017 Women in Aboriginal Health leadership : Pat Turner AM CEO and @DrDawnCasey COO

10.Read over 336 NACCHO Aboriginal Women’s Health articles published in past 6 years

1.NSW : Dr Naomi Mayers one of the founders of Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern ,AHMRC and NACCHO

The University of Sydney recently conferred a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) upon Naomi Mayers OAM, for her work delivering and transforming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care

“We’ve come a long way since the Aboriginal Medical Service first opened its doors, thanks to the efforts of so many people,

Of course there remains much work to be done and I urge the younger generations to continue fighting to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes.”

Dr Naomi Mayers in 1972 one of the founders of Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern and a founding member of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW and the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation (now NACCHO )

 “Australia owes a debt of gratitude to Dr Mayers, for her impressive contribution towards improving health care policy, system delivery and access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

She dedicated her working life to achieving health equity, and the empowerment of her community, in Redfern and beyond.”

Congratulating Dr Mayers, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) Professor Shane Houston said her work had made a tangible difference to countless people.

An advocate, leader and reformer, Dr Mayers has been at the forefront of change in health service provision to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities at local, state and national levels for over 40 years.

One of the founders of the first Aboriginal community-controlled health service in Australia in early 1972, the Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern, Dr Mayers worked as its Administrator, Company Secretary and finally Chief Executive Officer until her recent retirement.

Over 40 years, she guided its transformation from a small shop-front into a nationwide network of services.

Dr Naomi Mayers at the University of Sydney.

A Yorta Yorta/Wiradjuri woman, Dr Mayers was also a founding member of The Sapphires, the all-Aboriginal music group from country Victoria that formed the basis of the popular 2012 film of the same name.

Laurel Robinson, Beverly Briggs, Naomi Mayers and Lois Peeler are the women behind The Sapphires

Presented with the honour during a graduation ceremony at the University’s Great Hall, Dr Mayers acknowledged the importance of collaboration and persistence in achieving change.

At the age of 18, Dr Mayers began her work in health as a nurse, at the Royal Women’s Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, the Home Hill Hospital in Queensland and St Andrews Hospital in East Melbourne. She was also a board member of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

She was a founding member of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW and the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation (NAIHO, now the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation); founding president of the Federation for Aboriginal Women; and a member of the first Australian and Torres Strait Islander Commission Regional Council (Metropolitan Sydney).

Dr Naomi Mayers.

She was a witness during the inquiries of the 1977 House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal Health, and in 1981 she was appointed as a consultant by the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists.

Dr Mayers was also Chair of the National Aboriginal Health Strategy Working Party, which authored a pivotal report that introduced innovative Aboriginal health sector reforms which helped shape the 150 Aboriginal Medical Services across Australia today.

She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 1984 in recognition of her services to the community and holds a doctorate in Aboriginal Affairs from Tranby Aboriginal College in Sydney.

Aboriginal Health Download NACCHO Pre #Budget2018 Submission : Budget proposals to accelerate #ClosingTheGap in #Indigenous life expectancy

 

 ” A December 2017 report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that the mortality gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians are widening, not narrowing.

Urgent action is needed to reverse these trends to have any prospect of meeting the Council of Australian Governments’ goal to Close the Gap in life expectancy within a generation (by 2031).

The following submission by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) in relation to the Commonwealth Budget 2018 aims to reverse the widening mortality gaps.”

Download the full NACCHO submission HERE

NACCHO-Pre-budget-submisson-2018

Also read NACCHO Aboriginal Health @AMAPresident Download AMA Pre-Budget Submission 2018-19 #Indigenous health reform – needs significant long-term investment

Widening mortality gaps require urgent action

The life expectancy gap means that Indigenous Australians are not only dying younger than non-Indigenous Australians but also carry a higher burden of disease across their life span, impacting on education and employment opportunities as well as their social and emotional wellbeing.

Preventable admissions and deaths are three times as high in Indigenous people yet use of the main Commonwealth schemes, Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) are at best half the needs based requirements.

It is simply impossible to close the mortality gaps under these conditions. No government can have a goal to close life expectancy and child mortality gaps and yet concurrently preside over widening mortality gaps.

Going forward, a radical departure is needed from a business as usual approach.

Funding considerations, fiscal imbalance and underuse of MBS/PBS

The recent Productivity Commission Report found that per capita government spending on Indigenous services was twice as high as for the rest of the population.

The view that enormous amounts of money have been spent on Indigenous Affairs has led many to conclude a different focus is required and that money is not the answer.

Yet, the key question in understanding the relativities of expenditure on Indigenous is equity of total expenditure, both public and private and in relation to need.

In terms of health expenditure, the Commonwealth spends $1.4 for every $1 spent on the rest of the population, notwithstanding that, on the most conservative assumptions, Indigenous people have at least twice the per capita need of the rest of the population because of much higher levels of illness and burden of disease.

This represents a significant market failure. The health system serves the needs of the bulk of the population very well but the health system has failed to meet the needs of the Indigenous population.

A pressing need is to address the shortfall in spending for out of hospital services, for which the Commonwealth is mainly responsible, and which is directly and indirectly responsible for excessive preventable admissions funded by the jurisdictions – and avoidable deaths.

The fiscal imbalance whereby underspending by the Commonwealth leads to large increases in preventable admissions (and deaths) borne by the jurisdictions needs to be rectified.

Ultimately, NACCHO seeks an evidenced based, incremental plan to address gaps, and increased resources and effort to address the Indigenous burden of disease and life expectancy.

The following list of budget proposals reflect the burden of disease, the underfunding throughout the system and the comprehensive effort needed to close the gap and ideally would be considered as a total package.

NACCHO recommends initiatives that impact on the greatest number of Indigenous people and burden of preventable disease and support the sustainability of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) sector – see proposals 1. a) to e) and 3. a) and b) as a priority.

NACCHO is committed to working with the Australian Government on the below proposals and other collaborative initiatives that will help Close the Gap.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

NACCHO is the national peak body representing 144 ACCHOs across the country on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues

. In 1997, the Federal Government funded NACCHO to establish a Secretariat in Canberra, greatly increasing the capacity of Aboriginal peoples involved in ACCHOs to participate in national health policy development.

Our members provide about three million episodes of care per year for about 350,000 people. In very remote areas, our services provided about one million episodes of care in a twelve-month period.

Collectively, we employ about 6,000 staff (most of whom are Indigenous), which makes us the single largest employer of Indigenous people in the country.

The following proposals are informed by NACCHO’s work with Aboriginal health services, its members, the views of Indigenous leaders expressed through the Redfern Statement and the Close the Gap campaign and its engagement and relationship with other peak health organisations, like the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

Guiding principles

Specialised health services for Indigenous people are essential to closing the gap as it is impossible to apply the same approach that is used in health services for non-Indigenous patients.

Many Indigenous people are uncomfortable seeking medical help at hospitals or general practices and therefore are reluctant to obtain essential care. Access to healthcare is often extremely difficult due to either geographical isolation or lack of transportation.

Many Indigenous people live below the poverty line so that services provided by practices that do not bulk bill are unattainable. Mainstream services struggle to provide appropriate healthcare to Indigenous patients due to significant cultural, geographical and language disparities: ACCHOs attempt to overcome such challenges.

An ACCHO is a primary health care service initiated and operated by the local Aboriginal community to deliver holistic, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate health care to the community which controls it, through a locally elected Board of Management.

They form a critical part of the Indigenous health infrastructure, providing culturally safe care with an emphasis on the importance of a family, community, culture and long-term relationships.

Studies have shown that ACCHOs are 23% better at attracting and retaining Indigenous clients than mainstream providers and at identifying and managing risk of chronic disease.

Indigenous people are more likely to access care if it is through an ACCHO and patients are more likely to follow chronic disease plans, return for follow up appointments and share information about their health and the health of their family.

ACCHOs provide care in context, understanding the environment in which many Indigenous people live and offering true primary health care. More people are also using ACCHOs.

In the 24 months to June 2015, our services increased their primary health care services, with the total number of clients rising by 8%. ACCHOs are also more cost-effective providing greater health benefits per dollar spent; measured at a value of $1.19:$1.

The lifetime health impact of interventions delivered our services is 50% greater than if these same interventions were delivered by mainstream health services, primarily due to improved Indigenous access.

If the gap is to close, the growth and development of ACCHOs across Australia is critical and should be a central component to policy considerations.

Mainstream health services also have a significant role in closing the gap in Indigenous health, providing tertiary care, specialist services and primary care where ACCHOs do not exist.

The Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme accounts for about 13% of government expenditure on Indigenous health.

Given that other programs are responsible for 87% of expenditure on Indigenous health, it reasonable to expect that mainstream services should be held more accountable in closing the gap than they currently are.

Greater effort is required by the mainstream health sector to improve its accessibility and responsiveness to Indigenous people and their health needs, reduce the burden of disease and to better support ACCHOs with medical and technical expertise.

The health system’s response to closing the gap in life expectancy involves a combination of mainstream and Indigenous-specific primary care providers (delivered primarily through ACCHOs) and where both are operating at the highest level to optimise their engagement and involvement with Indigenous people to improve health outcomes.

ACCHO’s provide a benchmark for Indigenous health care practice to the mainstream services, and through NACCHO can provide valuable good practice learnings to drive improved practices.

NACCHO also acknowledges the social determinants of health, including housing, family support, community safety, access to good nutrition, and the key role they play in influencing the life and health outcomes of Indigenous Australians.

Elsewhere NACCHO has and will continue to call on the Australian and state and territory governments to do more in these areas as they are foundational to closing the gap in life expectancy.

Addressing the social determinants of health is also critical to reducing the number of Indigenous incarceration. Comprehensively responding to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory must be a non-negotiable priority.

Proposals

The following policy proposals are divided into four areas below and summarised in the following table:

  1. Proposals that strengthen and expand ACCHOs’ capacity and reach to deliver health services for Indigenous people
  2. Proposals that improve responsiveness of mainstream health services for Indigenous people
  3. Proposals that address specific preventable diseases
  4. Proposals that build in an Indigenous position into policy considerations that impact on health.

NACCHO is committed to working with the Australian Government to further develop the proposals, including associated costings and implementation plans and identifying where current expenditure could be more appropriately targeted

Continued HERE NACCHO-Pre-budget-submisison-2018

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #SmartEatingWeek : We give 40,000 years of bushtucker and #nutrition the #thumpsup : Contributions from @Wuchopperen @NutritionAust #NATryFor5 #NATryFor5 @SandroDemaio @MenziesResearch @DAA_feed

 ” Bush tucker, or bush food, we have used the environment around us for generations (40,000 years ) , living off a diet high in protein, fibre, and micronutrients, and low in sugars. Much of the bush tucker eaten is still available and eaten today.

We guide you through it here ”

See Part 1 Below.

Read over 45 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Nutrition Healthy Foods articles published last 6 years

 ” Wuchopperen Health Service celebrated Smart Eating Week (12 – 18 February) by promoting the GOOD TUCKER app which gives food items thumbs up, thumbs across, or thumbs down depending on how healthy they are.

The GOOD TUCKER app was developed by Uncle Jimmy Thumbs Up!, The University of South Australia and Menzies School of Health Research in partnership with The George Institute, to provide a simple way for people to identify the healthiest food and drink options available in stores.

Your smart phone can help you make smart choices, Sometime the nutrition panels on food items can be complex – using the Thumbs Up app gives people a quick rating to help them make a better choice “

See Part 2 Below

 ” Why you still need to eat healthy foods — even if you aren’t overweight

We all have that one friend whose eating habits and body shape simply don’t add up. While enjoying the unhealthiest of meals and a sedentary lifestyle, somehow they effortlessly retain a slender figure.

At first glance we may assume these slim people are healthy, but it’s not always the case.

So if you don’t have weight to worry about, what’s the impetus for avoiding sweet or salty temptations and eating good, nutritious foods instead? ”

Alessandro R Demaio is an Australian medical doctor and fellow in global health and non-communicable diseases at the University of Copenhagen ( and a supporter of NACCHO ) See Part 3 Below

 ” Menzies is working towards better health through better nutrition by supporting #SmartEatingWeek,Join the celebrations by following
#SmartEatingWeek and check out our SHOP@RIC study resources “

Click here for Resources

To help celebrate Smart Eating Week we’re giving five Australians the chance to WIN some great prizes! To enter upload a photo or video on Facey or Insta of how you’re incorporating veggies into your snacks!

  To help celebrate Smart Eating Week we’re giving five Australians the chance to WIN some great prizes! To enter upload a photo or video on Facebook or Instagram of how you’re incorporating veggies into your snacks!

Don’t forget to tag @NutritionAust and use the hashtag #NATryFor5

DAA would  love for you to get involved this week in . Share with us what Smart Eating means to you. Join the celebrations by downloading our social media toolkit here

Part 1 Bush tucker, or bush food, we have used the environment around us for generations

Originally published HERE

Food from Animals

Providing the consumer with their required intake of Vitamin B, Aboriginal people learnt to hunt animals when they were at their fattest, offering the most amount of meat. Sometimes the meat would require a pounding before being traditionally cooked either over an open fire or by steaming it in pits. When fishing in the ocean, rivers, and ponds, mud crabs and barramundi were the popular choices. Whilst mud crabs were easy to catch, and tasted delicious boiled or roasted, barramundi would commonly grow to 1.2 metres, feeding more mouths, served on hot coals and wrapped in paper bark.

Land animals such as kangaroos, historically known as being high in protein, and emus whose meat is known to be higher in protein, Vitamin C, and protein than beef, are both low in fat. Not only are the two animals from the national emblem native foods, but hunters don’t stop there, hunting both small and large animals. Goannas are said to offer oily white meat tasting like chicken, while a 100g serving of stewed crocodile meat contains as much as 46g of protein, which is almost double the serving of a similar portion of chicken.

Other native animals previously captured by both Aboriginal and White Australians include: carpet snakes, rats, mussels, oysters, turtles, wallabies, echidnas, eels, and ducks. Most animals are still eaten today, and many like barramundi have made it to restaurants.

Insects and Grubs

The most famous of all bush tucker is the witchetty grub, which can be eaten either raw or roasted over a fire or coals, and holds a nutty taste. This grub is ideal for survival as they are a good source of calcium, thiamin, folate, and niacin, rich in protein and supportive of a healthy immune system. Like witchetty grubs, green ants are relatively high in fat content and another popular choice for tucker. Said to taste like lemon, the green ant’s white larvae is usually eaten, otherwise the green ants and their eggs have also made an appearance in a drink suitable for relieving headaches by grounding and mixing them together with water.

Many other insects known to be favoured include river red gum grub, Coolibah tree grub, cicadas, and tar vine caterpillars. Edible insects themselves offer a large amount of protein for such small creatures, for example, caterpillars contain 280g of protein per 1kg, which is 20g more than what salmon provides, along with good flavour, making insects a popular choice for bush tucker, especially on-the-go.

Fruits and Vegetables

We all know you need to find your five a day, and in bush tucker this is no exception.  Red fruits like quandong, which can be eaten raw or dried, and are often made into jams, and green fruits such as Kakadu plums contain 100 times more Vitamin C than oranges do. Other fruits and berries often eaten include kutjera, Davidson’s plum, boab, native gooseberry, lady apple, wild orange, wild passionfruit, desert lime, snow berry, and white elderberry.

Similarly to fruits, vegetables also act as a source of vitamin C, however, they are usually richer in other vitamins. The kumara, for example, are a staple crop of sweet potatoes that are rich in protein, Vitamins A and C, calcium, dietary fibre, and iron. Other common vegetables include yams, warrigal greens, water lilies, bush potatoes, and sea celery.

Native Spices

You can’t have a meal or make herbal drinks or sweets without a variety of spices. Throughout Australia, there are plenty of native spices from the mountain pepper and aniseed myrtle, to native basil, native ginger, and blue-leaved mallee. Each of these sources is able to be turned into food, an alternative flavour to one of the aforementioned food groups, a healthy drink, or act as a natural medicine.

Tree gums, for example, can be dissolved in water with honey, making sweets that the kids will love, but alternatively the sweet exudate that can be found on some of these trees can be made into jelly. Lemon ironbark and, one of the most famous plants in history, lemon myrtle, can be used in cooking or alternatively used as a herbal ingredient for tea to relieve cramps, fevers, and headaches.

Edible Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are another popular small choice; however, with many nut allergies seen today this shouldn’t be a go-to food group should you have any. Many of the edible seeds require soaking, pounding, and grinding before being baked in a careful ritual that is designed to remove the toxins from the food prior to eating them. If this preparation is not done correctly, most seeds will not be suitable for eating. Most nuts like the macadamia nut, peanut, and the Australian cashew, and seeds like the cycad palm seeds and seeds from the strap wattle and pigweed, can be eaten or turned into breads and cakes.

A prominent food for the Australian Aboriginals is the bunya nut. Similar to a chestnut (in both taste and appearance) this nut can be eaten raw or cooked. Traditionally, the Aboriginal people have been known to turn this nut into a paste to be eaten, or cooked on hot coals making bread. Similarly, seeds from the dead finish are collected to make delicious seedcakes.

Fungi

Although fungi are often believed among Aboriginal communities to hold ‘evil magic’, thus deeming them inedible, there are certain fungi that are believed to be of ‘good magic’. The truffle-like fungus, Choiromyces aboriginum, is a traditional native food that can be eaten raw, as well as cooked for over an hour in hot sand and ashes. This fungus is also a source of water, which is always key.

Commonly known as native bread (fungi) the Laccocephalum mylittae can also be eaten raw, but alternatively when roasted this fungi has been described to hold the flavour of boiled rice.

Part 2 Wuchopperen Health Service ACCHO Thumbs Up for Smart Eating Week

Wuchopperen Health Service Limited will celebrate the Dietitians Association of Australia Smart Eating Week (12 – 18 February) by promoting the GOOD TUCKER app which gives food items thumbs up, thumbs across, or thumbs down depending on how healthy they are.

Members of Wuchopperen’s Allied Health team including Community Dietitian Matthew Topping, Coordinator Allied Health Service Michelle Dougan, Diabetes Educator Tony Pappas, Dietitian Sue Charlesworth, and Exercise Physiologist Myles Hardy will wheel a trolley of common food items around Wuchopperen clinics , showing clients how the app works, and spark conversations about why particular foods get a thumbs up, across or down.

Community Dietitian Matthew Topping said the app was a useful tool to help people make healthy choices around what to eat.

‘Your smart phone can help you make smart choices,’ Matthew explained.

‘Sometime the nutrition panels on food items can be complex – using the Thumbs Up app gives people a quick rating to help them make a better choice.’

‘There’s no need to up end your diet, the key messages are around scanning a couple of your regular items and if they come up thumbs down or thumbs across, scanning another one to see if it’s a thumbs up.

Small changes are all that’s needed. The other thing to remember is that the healthy choice is not always the expensive choice – a home brand bag of rolled oats for example, is only a few dollars.

‘We are looking forward to taking our trolley into the clinics and having a chat with clients about the ratings, and why common foods may be rated thumbs up or thumbs down. This app is all about giving people the knowledge to make good choices.’

App demonstrations took place across Wuchopperen clinics on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 February and at Wuchopperen’s Edmonton Clinic on Thursday 15 February.

Find out more about the GOOD TUCKER app here

Check out the app here

 Part 3 Why you still need to eat healthy foods — even if you aren’t overweight

We all have that one friend whose eating habits and body shape simply don’t add up. While enjoying the unhealthiest of meals and a sedentary lifestyle, somehow they effortlessly retain a slender figure.

At first glance we may assume these slim people are healthy, but it’s not always the case.

So if you don’t have weight to worry about, what’s the impetus for avoiding sweet or salty temptations and eating good, nutritious foods instead?

Healthy weight ≠ good health

Body mass index or BMI, the tool most often used to determine “healthy weight ranges”, was designed primarily to track the weight of populations.

While it’s a simple and useful screening tool when looking at groups of people, it’s not a good marker of individual health.

This is because BMI is a measure of our height and our weight, and the ratios of their combination.

But weight alone doesn’t discriminate between a kilogram of fat versus a kilogram of muscle nor does it account for body shape and fat distribution differences relating to, say, ethnicity or gender.

Just as not all obese individuals have heart disease risk factors or unhealthy metabolisms (the conversion of food into energy), nor do all lean people have healthy ones.

There’s a well-documented subset of people known as metabolically obese, normal weight individuals.

These people are not obese as determined by their height and weight, but may face metabolic dysfunction such as insulin resistance (which leads to a build-up of sugar in the blood), and like their physically obese counterparts are predisposed to type 2 diabetes, high levels of fats in the blood, heart disease and even some cancers.

Food is health

The most compelling reason to eat healthy foods is the correlation between good nutrition and wellbeing.

Coupled with regular exercise, eating a diet rich in whole foods and grains, healthy oils and low in sugar and salt, has been shown to convey a number of benefits.

These include a longer life with less pain and suffering, less risk of back pain or muscular problems and even an increased libido.

Studies from around the world also show people with healthy diets are less likely to experience depression while unhealthy diets may put individuals at an increased risk of depression.

Food has been identified as an important risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia in older age.

A healthy diet combined with physical activity can strengthen bones and reduce body aches and pains.

And these benefits are conferred irrespective of your baseline weight or age.

Health risks aren’t always visible

While it might be easy to take solace in a thinner weight, many of the serious health risks associated with poorer diet are often hidden from plain sight.

Excessive salt consumption can cause the kidneys to hold on to more water, resulting in an increase in blood pressure.

High blood pressure strains the arteries that supply blood to our vital organs including our heart and brain, and increases our risk of stroke, dementia, heart attack and kidney disease.

Consumption of high amounts of sugar, especially from sugar sweetened beverages, is associated with an increased risk in fatty liver disease, among many other health problems.

This in turn significantly increases our risk of liver scarring, heart disease and stroke.

Recent research has also reconfirmed a link between bowel cancer and red meat consumption. Processed meats such as ham, bacon and salami appear to be especially problematic.

Not only can all of these occur without any visual cues, but they can also develop irrespective of our weight.

Our kids’ health

The importance of a good diet is not just limited to our own health.

Children of parents with poor diets are significantly more likely to inherit similarly unhealthy eating habits.

And it doesn’t stop there. Through a mechanism called epigenetics, our health and our diet can result in alterations to the expression of our genes.

Animal studies have shown epigenetic changes resulting from poor diet (and other stressors) can influence the healthiness of future generations.

Many scientists now believe the same will prove true for humans too.

Saving lives, and money

Contrary to what many of us think, the latest evidence suggests eating a healthy diet is actually cheaper than consuming the unhealthy foods that now dominate many Australian households.

Analysis of both wealthier and poorer suburbs in Brisbane, for example, showed the average family of four spends 18 per cent more on current diets than would be required if they could more closely adhere to healthy dietary recommendations.

This is not to say eating healthily is easy, accessible or even possible for everyone, but might be more possible than we first think.

Not only would adopting a healthy diet be a beneficial investment for individuals and families, it might also go a long way to curbing the major societal costs from growing weight gain.

The annual costs from obesity already add up to $830 million in Australia alone.

The consequences of poor diet increasingly burden Australians and our healthcare system.

While it’s easy to measure our health based on a reading of the bathroom scales, eating a diverse and nutritious diet will bring overwhelming benefits to everyone — regardless of our current weight.

Thomas Goodwin contributed to the research and writing of this article.

Alessandro R Demaio is an Australian medical doctor and fellow in global health and non-communicable diseases at the University of Copenhagen.

Originally published in The Conversation

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #CloseTheGap Press Release : Download a 10 year Review : The #ClosingTheGap Strategy and 6 Key Recommendations to #reset

The life expectancy gap has in fact started to widen again and the Indigenous child mortality rate is now more than double that of other children.

This is a national shame and demands an urgent tripartite health partnership. This must be high on the agenda at tomorrow’s COAG meeting.”

In a departure from the campaign’s usual report, this year’s review focusses on the decade since the 2008 signing of the Close the Gap Statement of Intent.”

Close the Gap Campaign Co-Chair and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar AO, said the Close the Gap strategy began in 2008 with great promise but has failed to deliver.

 Read  CTG call for urgent action to address national shame press release Part 2

Download the 40 Page review HERE

CTG 2018_FINAL_WEB

 

“ The Close the Gap refresh being considered by the COAG provides an opportunity to reflect upon and reform current policy settings and institutionalised thinking,

The Close the Gap targets should remain, as should the National Indigenous Reform Agreement framework and associated National Partnership Agreements. They serve to focus the nation and increase our collective accountability.

What we need however is radically different action to achieve the targets

This starts with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their community controlled health organisations and peak representatives having a genuine say over their own health and wellbeing and health policies.

“Increased funding is needed for ACCHOs to expand in regions where there are low access to health services and high levels of disease, and in areas of mental health, disability services and aged care.

ACCHOs have consistently demonstrated that they achieve better results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, at better value for money.

NACCHO Chairperson, Mr John Singer.

Download NACCHO Press Release

1. NACCHO media release CtG – FINAL

Download NACCHO Press Background Paper

2. NACCHO media release ATTACH CTG – FINAL 10 Years On

Part 1 NACCHO Press Release : Increased support to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations needed to Close the Gap in life expectancy gap

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) calls for urgent and radically different action to Close the Gap.

“The Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) commitment to Close the Gap in 2007 was welcome.

It was a positive step towards mobilising government resources and effort to address the under investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health”, said NACCHO Chairperson, Mr John Singer.

“But ten years on the gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians is widening, not closing.

Jurisdictions currently spend $2 per Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander for every $1 for the rest of the population whereas the Commonwealth in the past has spent only $1.21 per Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island person for every $1 spent on the rest of the population. NACCHO calls for the Commonwealth to increase funding to Close the Gap”, said John Singer.

NACCHO is a proud member of the Close the Gap Campaign and stands by its report released today: ‘A ten-year review: the Closing the Gap Strategy and Recommendations for Reset’.

The review found that the Close the Gap strategy has never been fully implemented. Underfunding in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and infrastructure has persisted – funding is not always based on need, has been cut and in some cases redirected through mainstream providers.

The role of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) in delivering more successful care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples than the mainstream service providers is not properly recognised.

A health equality plan was not in place until the release of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan Implementation Plan 2015, and this is unfunded.

And despite the initial investment in remote housing, there has not been a sufficient and properly resourced plan to adequately address the social determinants of health.

The framework underpinning the Close the Gap strategy – a national approach and leadership, increased accountability, clear roles and responsibilities and increased funding through National Partnership Agreements – has unraveled and in some cases been abandoned altogether.

A comprehensive and funded Indigenous health workforce is required to improve the responsiveness of health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples and increase cultural safety.

A boost in disease specific initiatives is urgently needed in areas where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a high burden of disease or are particularly vulnerable, like ear health and renal disease, delivered through ACCHOs.”

“There also needs to be a way in which NACCHO and other Indigenous health leaders can come together with COAG to agree a ‘refreshed approach’ to Close the Gap”, said Mr Singer.

NACCHO has proposed to Government a way forward to Close the Gap in life expectancy and is looking forward to working with the Australian Government on the further development of its proposals.

The only way to close the gap is with the full participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Until Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are fully engaged and have control over their health and wellbeing any ‘refresh’ will be marginal at best, and certainly won’t close the gap

Part 2 CALL FOR URGENT JOINT ACTION TO ADDRESS NATIONAL SHAME

Australian governments must join forces with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to address the national shame of a widening life expectancy gap for our nation’s First Peoples.

“It’s time for each State and Territory government to affirm or reaffirm their commitments made via the Close the Gap Statement of Intent.

“Until now, the scrutiny has rightly been on the Federal Government regarding the need for it to lead the strategy and to coordinate and resource the effort.

But it’s now time for state and territory governments to step up.

“We want to see Premiers, Chief Ministers, Health and Indigenous Affairs Ministers in every jurisdiction providing regular and public accountability on their efforts to address the inequality gaps in their State or Territory.

“No more finger pointing between governments. A reset Closing the Gap Strategy should clearly articulate targets for both levels of government and be underpinned by a new set of agreements that include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their leaders and organisations.”

Last year, the Prime Minister reported that six out of the seven targets were ‘not on track’. Since then, the Federal Government has announced that the COAG agreed

Closing the Gap Strategy would go through a ‘refresh’ process.

Close the Gap Co-Chair and Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Rod Little, said the refresh process is the last chance to get government policy right to achieve the goal of health equality by 2030.

“The Close the Gap Campaign is led by more than 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous health and human rights bodies,” Mr Little said.

“No other group can boast this level of leadership, experience and expertise. We stand ready to work together with Federal, State and Territory governments. We have the solutions.

“You must get the engagement on this right. No half measures. No preconceived policies that are imposed, rather than respectfully discussed and collectively decided.”

The Close the Gap Campaign Co-Chairs have warned that, without a recommitment, the closing the gap targets will measure nothing but the collective failure of Australian governments to work together and to stay the course.

“While the approach has all but fallen apart, we know that with the right settings and right approach, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples leading the resetting of the strategy, we can start to meet the challenge of health inequality, and live up to the ideals that all Australians have a fundamental right to health,” the Co-Chairs said.

Part 3 :This review’s major findings are:

1.First, the Close the Gap Statement of Intent (and close the gap approach) has to date only been partially and incoherently implemented via the Closing the Gap Strategy:

An effective health equality plan was not in place until the release of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan Implementation Plan in 2015 – which has never been funded. The complementary National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023 needs an implementation plan and funding as appropriate. There is still yet to be a national plan to address housing and health infrastructure, and social determinants were not connected to health planning until recently and still lack sufficient resources.

The Closing the Gap Strategy focus on child and maternal health and addressing chronic disease and risk factors – such as smoking through the Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program – are welcomed and should be sustained.

However, there was no complementary systematic focus on building primary health service capacity according to need, particularly through the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and truly shifting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health to a preventive footing rather than responding ‘after the event’ to health crisis.

2.Second, the Closing the Gap Strategy – a 25-year program – was effectively abandoned after five-years and so cannot be said to have been anything but partially implemented in itself.

This is because the ‘architecture’ to support the Closing the Gap Strategy (national approach, national leadership, funding agreements) had unraveled by 2014-2015.

3.Third, a refreshed Closing the Gap Strategy requires a reset which re-builds the requisite ‘architecture’ (national approach, national leadership, outcome-orientated funding agreements).

National priorities like addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health inequality have not gone away, are getting worse, and more than ever require a national response.

Without a recommitment to such ‘architecture’, the nation is now in a situation where the closing the gap targets will measure nothing but the collective failure of Australian governments to work together and to stay the course.

4.Fourth, a refreshed Closing the Gap Strategy must be founded on implementing the existing Close the Gap Statement of Intent commitments.

In the past ten years, Australian governments have behaved as if the Close the Gap Statement of Intent was of little relevance to the Closing the Gap Strategy when in fact it should have fundamentally informed it.

It is time to align the two. A refreshed Closing the Gap Strategy must focus on delivering equality of opportunity in relation to health goods and services, especially primary health care, according to need and in relation to health infrastructure (an adequate and capable health workforce, housing, food, water).

This should be in addition to the focus on maternal and infant health, chronic disease and other health needs. The social determinants of health inequality (income, education, racism) also must be addressed at a fundamental level.

5.Fifth, there is a ‘funding myth’ about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health – indeed in many Indigenous Affairs areas – that must be confronted as it impedes progress.

That is the idea of dedicated health expenditure being a waste of taxpayer funds.

Yet, if Australian governments are serious about achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality within a generation, a refreshed Closing the Gap Strategy must include commitments to realistic and equitable levels of investment (indexed according to need).

Higher spending on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health should hardly be a surprise.

Spending on the elderly, for example, is higher than on the young because everyone understands the elderly have greater health needs.

Likewise, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population have, on average, 2.3 times the disease burden of non-Indigenous people.[i] Yet on a per person basis, Australian government health expenditure was $1.38 per Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person for every $1.00 spent per non-Indigenous person in 2013-14.[ii]

So, for the duration of the Closing the Gap Strategy Australian government expenditure was not commensurate with these substantially greater and more complex health needs.

This remains the case. Because non-Indigenous Australians rely significantly on private health insurance and private health providers to meet much of their health needs, in addition to government support, the overall situation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health can be characterised as ‘systemic’ or ‘market failure’.

Private sources will not make up the shortfall. Australian government ‘market intervention’ – increased expenditure directed as indicated in the recommendations below – is required to address this.

The Close the Gap Campaign believes no Australian government can preside over widening mortality and life expectancy gaps and, yet, maintain targets to close these gaps without additional funding. Indeed, the Campaign believes the position of Australian governments is absolutely untenable in that regard.

 

In considering these findings, the Close the Gap Campaign are clear that the Close the Gap Statement of Intent remains a current, powerful and coherent guide to achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality, and to the refreshment of the Closing the Gap Strategy in 2018.

Accordingly, this review recommends that:

Recommendation 1: the ‘refreshed’ Closing the Gap Strategy is co-designed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders and includes community consultations.

This requires a tripartite negotiation process with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders, and the Federal and State and Territory governments. Time must be allowed for this process.

Further, Australian governments must be accountable to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for its effective implementation.

Recommendation 2: to underpin the Closing the Gap Strategy refresh, Australian governments reinvigorate the ‘architecture’ required for a national approach to addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality.

This architecture includes: a national agreement, Federal leadership, and national funding agreements that require the development of jurisdictional implementation plans and clear accountability for implementation.

This includes by reporting against national and state/territory targets.

Recommendation 3: the Closing the Gap Strategy elements such as maternal and infant health programs and the focus on chronic disease (including the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program) are maintained and expanded in a refreshed Closing the Gap Strategy.

Along with Recommendation 2, a priority focus of the ‘refreshed’ Closing the Gap Strategy is on delivering equality of opportunity in relation to health goods and services and in relation to health infrastructure (housing, food, water).

The social determinants of health inequality (income, education, racism) must also be addressed at a far more fundamental level than before. This includes through the following recommendations:

Recommendation 4: the current Closing the Gap Strategy health targets are maintained, but complemented by targets or reporting on the inputs to those health targets.

These input targets or measures should be agreed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders and Australian governments as a part of the Closing the Gap Strategy refresh process and include:

  • Expenditure, including aggregate amounts and in relation to specific underlying factors as below;
  • Primary health care services, with preference given to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, and a guarantee across all health services of culturally safe care;
  • The identified elements that address institutional racism in the health system;
  • Health workforce, particularly the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people trained and employed at all levels, including senior levels, of the health workforce; and
  • Health enabling infrastructure, particularly housing.

Recommendation 5: the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan Implementation Plan is costed and fully funded by the Federal government, and future iterations are more directly linked to the commitments of the Close the Gap Statement of Intent; and, an implementation plan for the complementary National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023 is developed, costed and implemented by the end of 2018 in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders and communities

This will include:

  1. A five-year national plan to identify and fill health service gaps funded from the 2018-2019 Federal budget onwards and with a service provider preference for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs). This includes provision for the greater development of ACCHS’s satellite and outreach services.
  2. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leadership, Federal, State and Territory agreements clarifying roles, responsibilities and funding commitments at the jurisdictional level.
  3. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leadership, Primary Health Network and Federal agreements clarifying roles, responsibilities and funding commitments at the regional level.

Recommendation 6: an overarching health infrastructure and housing plan to secure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples equality in these areas, to support the attainment of life expectancy and health equality by 2030, is developed, costed and implemented by the end of 2018.

 

 

 

 

[i]      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016. Healthy Futures—Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services: Report Card 2016. Cat. no. IHW 171. Canberra: AIHW, p. 40.

[ii]     Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council, 2017, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 Report, AHMAC, Canberra, p. 192.

Aboriginal Community Controlled and Health Sector : 30 plus #JobAlerts Includes @ahmrc #Nursing @Nganampa_Health @IUIH_ @CAACongress This week #TopJobs #CEO Jobs in #SA and #WA

This weeks #Jobalerts

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

This weeks top job

Chief Executive Officer

Location: Carnarvon, WA
Employment Type: Full time/ Permanent
Remuneration: Salary and employment conditions will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and will be negotiated with the successful applicant

About the Organisation

Carnarvon Medical Services Aboriginal Corporation (CMSAC) is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service established in 1986. CMSAC aims to provide primary, secondary and specialist health care services to Carnarvon and the surrounding region.

About the Opportunity

CMSAC has a highly rewarding opportunity for a Chief Executive Officer to lead its professional, multi-disciplinary team, based in Carnarvon, WA.

This pivotal leadership position will work directly with the Board of Directors and is responsible for the day to day management and delivery of high quality, comprehensive and culturally appropriate primary healthcare services to the local Aboriginal community.

Key areas of responsibility will include (but will not be limited to):

  • Leading, directing and managing the operations of the organisation;
  • Implementing and achieving the strategic objectives and responsibilities of the organisation set by the Board of Directors;
  • Developing and fostering a high performing work environment
  • Driving and implementing cultural workplace changes;
  • Diversifying and growing revenue streams to increase service delivery;
  • Strengthening the organisation’s stakeholder relations, community engagement and patient satisfaction; and
  • Building and sustaining strong financial performance.

To view the full position description and selection criteria, please click here.

To view and download the application pack, please click here.

About YouOur successful candidate will have sound experience in a senior leadership position, along with tertiary qualifications in business and/or health.

As an inspiring and collaborative leader with a strong understanding of healthcare trends for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, you will work strategically to enable transformative change by strengthening the organisation and creating a sustainable future for improved health outcomes for our local Aboriginal communities.

Although not essential, experience working in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service will be highly regarded.

Please Note: The successful candidate will be required to undertake a National Police Check prior to employment.

About the BenefitsFor your hard work and dedication, you will enjoy a highly attractive remuneration package plus salary sacrifice benefits. (Salary and employment conditions will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and will be negotiated with the successful applicant).

In addition, you will have access to a number of fantastic benefits including:

  • Fully furnished accommodation (exc utilities)
  • A fully maintained company vehicle for business and reasonable personal use
  • Mobile phone allowance (up to $1200 p/a)
  • 6 weeks annual leave
  • Support to further invest in your career through additional training
  • Study leave options
  • Annual leave loading
  • Employee assistance program
  • Work/life balance, with Monday – Friday hours, 8:30am – 5pm

A relocation allowance can be negotiated with the right candidate!

Closing date: Wednesday 14 February 2018 at 5pm.

APPLY HERE

 

How to submit a Indigenous Health #jobalert ? 

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

 

Job Ref : N2018 -1

ACCHO Member : Congress Alice Springs

Position: Childcare Educational Leader

Location : Alice Springs

Closing Date : 9 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 -3

ACCHO Member : Congress Alice Springs

Position: Continuous Quality Improvement Facilitator

Location : Alice Springs

Closing Date : 5th February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 -6

ACCHO Member : Congress Alice Spring

Position : Dentist

Location : Alice Springs

Closing Date : 30 january

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 -7

ACCHO Member : Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service

Position: GP. General Practitioner

Location : Wyalla SA

Closing Date : 31 January

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 -8

ACCHO Member :

Position: Remote Chronic Disease Nurse

Location : Tjunjuntjara via Kalgoorlie WA

Closing Date : 9 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 -9

ACCHO Member : Nganampa Health Service

Position: Remote Area Nurses and Midwives

Location : Far NW region of SA

Closing Date : 2 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 -10

ACCHO Member : Ngaanyatjarra Health Service

Position: Alcohol & Other Drugs Counsellor

Location : Remote WA

Closing Date : 29 January

More Info apply :

Job Ref : 2018-16

ACCHO Member : Institute for Indigenous Urban Health

Position: Early Years Education Coordinator

Location : Brisbane

Closing Date : 2 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018-17

ACCHO Member : Institute for Indigenous Urban Health

Position: Clinical Optometrist

Location : Brisbane

Closing Date : 31st January

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018-22

ACCHO Member : Institute for Indigenous Urban Health

Position: Trainer – Aged Care and Disability

Location : Brisbane

Closing Date : 2nd February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018-26

ACCHO Member : Wellington ACCHO

Position: Aboriginal Health Worker (Counsellor) – SEWB

Location : wellington NSW

Closing Date : 31ST January

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018-27

ACCHO Member : Wellington ACCHO

Position: Drug & Alcohol Worker- SEWB

Location : Wellington NSW

Closing Date : 31ST January

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 – 32

ACCHO Member : AHMRC – NSW

Position: Policy Management Systems Officer

Location : Surry Hills – NSW

Closing Date : 19 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 – 33

ACCHO Member : AHMRC – NSW

Position: Training and Workforce Development Coordinator

Location : Little Bay – NSW

Closing Date : 19 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 – 34

ACCHO Member : AHMRC – NSW

Position: Finance Officer

Location : Little Bay – NSW

Closing Date : 19 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 – 35

ACCHO Member : AHMRC – NSW

Position: Executive Support Officer

Location : Surry Hills – NSW

Closing Date : 19 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 – 36

ACCHO Member : Stakeholder PHN Murray

Position: Aboriginal Access Advisor Intern

Location : Bendigo

Closing Date : 18 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 – 37

ACCHO Member : Stakeholder PHN Murray

Position: Aboriginal Access Advisor Intern

Location : Mildura – VIC

Closing Date : 18 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 – 38

ACCHO Member : Stakeholder PHN Murray

Position: Aboriginal Access Advisor Intern

Location : Shepparton – VIC

Closing Date : 18 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 – 39

ACCHO Member : AHCWA

Position: Human resources Advisor

Location : Perth WA

Closing Date : 6 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 40

ACCHO Member : Bulgarr Ngaru Medical AC

Position: Practise Nurse RN

Location : Tweed Heads – NSW

Closing Date : 14 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 – 41

ACCHO Member : ATSICHS

Position: Care Coordinator – Registered Nurse

Location : Brisbane – QLD

Closing Date : 9 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 – 42

ACCHO Member : Carnavon Medical Services

Position: Chief Executive Officer

Location : Carnavon – WA

Closing Date : 14 February

More Info apply :

 

Job Ref : N2018 – 43

ACCHO Member : Pangula Mannamurra AC

Position: Chief Executive Officer

Location : Mt Gambier – SA

Closing Date : 16 February

More Info apply :

Job Ref : N2018 -44

ACCHO Member : South West AMS

Position: Human Resources Officer

Location : Bunbury WA

Closing Date : 1 February

More Info apply :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Saveadate 13 February The 10th Anniversary of the National #Apology10 : Plus Download 2018 Calendar #Indigenous Days #Health days and events calendar HERE

This anniversary is a great opportunity for all Australians to come together and acknowledge a significant milestone in our history,”

“The National Apology made in Federal Parliament on 13 February 2008 was a landmark event, as the first formal, national recognition of past atrocities and a first step towards national truth telling and reparation.

“It was a significant event for members of the Stolen Generations and their families, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and other Australians.  It really was a time to feel proud about being Australian.”

Healing Foundation CEO Richard Weston.

National Apology concert celebrates resilience and healing see full press release Part 2 below

Some of Australia’s most popular Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists will share the stage to send a message of unity and healing at a concert to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.

The concert, which will be a free public event, will take place on February 13, 2018, at Federation Mall (Lawns of Parliament House), hosted by the Healing Foundation.

Part 1 NACCHO Weekly Member Service Aboriginal Health

2018 # Save A Date as at 23 January 2018

Aboriginal Conferences, Events, Workshops, Health Awareness Days

For many years ACCHO organisations have said they wished they had a list of the many Indigenous “ Days “ and Aboriginal health or awareness days/weeks/events.

With thanks to our friends at ZockMelon here they both are!

It even has a handy list of the hashtags for the event.

Download the 50 Page 2018 Health days and events calendar HERE

2018-Health-Days-and-Events-Calendar-by-Zockmelon

Download the 6 Page 2018 Aboriginal / Health  days and events calendar HERE or view below  

NACCHO Save a date date as at 23 Jan 2018

We hope that this document helps you with your planning for the year ahead.

Events have been selected on their basis of relevance to the broad Aboriginal health promotion and public health community in Australia.

Every Tuesday we will update these listings with new events and What’s on for the week ahead

To submit your events or update our info

Contact: Colin Cowell www.nacchocommunique.com

NACCHO Social Media Editor Tel 0401 331 251

Email : nacchonews@naccho.org.au

Part 2 National Apology concert celebrates resilience and healing

‘Words are not enough’ – musicians celebrate the Apology while calling for renewed commitment to healing

 ” Busby Marou will take to the stage next month in Canberra for #Apology10 – a concert to mark the 10 year anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.

The Rockhampton duo are keen to celebrate the significance of the Apology and its impact for Stolen Generations members, while also highlighting concerns around increasing levels of disadvantage for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders Including the impact on young people.”

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation established in 2009 to address the ongoing trauma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities caused by past actions like the Stolen Generations.

By building culturally strong, community designed and delivered pathways to healing, it is creating real change in the social, spiritual and emotional wellbeing of survivors and their families.

On February 13, The Foundation will lead a range of commemorative activities for all Australians to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and inspire healing informed and trauma aware national action.

The concert will be hosted by Aboriginal comedian Steven Oliver and TV and radio presenter Myf Warhurst. It will feature live performances from Archie Roach, Shellie Morris, The Preatures, Busby Marou and Electric Fields.

Entitled ‘Apology10 – Heal Our Past, Build Our Future’, the concert will shed light on the continued strength and resilience of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

This anniversary is a great opportunity for all Australians to come together and acknowledge a significant milestone in our history,” said Healing Foundation CEO Richard Weston.

“The National Apology made in Federal Parliament on 13 February 2008 was a landmark event, as the first formal, national recognition of past atrocities and a first step towards national truth telling and reparation.

“It was a significant event for members of the Stolen Generations and their families, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and other Australians.  It really was a time to feel proud about being Australian.”

By coming along to the concert, Australians can continue to acknowledge what happened to the Stolen Generations and therefore support their ongoing healing.

They can also celebrate the strong spirit and strong culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today, including our musicians who have been taking the world by storm in recent years.

Aboriginal music icon Archie Roach, whose well known song, ‘Took The Children Away’, speaks to the very heart of Stolen Generation’s trauma and healing.

Members of the Stolen Generations, from around Australia, will be there for the celebrations and I hope Canberrans, and anyone from interstate who wants to make the journey, will come along and show their support and solidarity for building a different future.”

“The National Apology means a great deal to me. It means that the Government of the day recognised the great injustice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by the forced removal of children from families. It means they are sorry and ashamed that such practices took place.”

“I am still grateful for the National Apology but we need to address the high number of our children still in out of home care,” said Archie. “The 10th anniversary will bring attention to the fact there is much more work to be done, and that all Australians can work together to heal the past.”

“In particular, we need to people to understand the impact and reach of Intergenerational Trauma and its link to social and health issues in in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including suicides family violence, substance abuse, incarceration rates and the high number of children entering the protection system”, said Mr Weston.

“The Healing Foundation is partnering with communities to design and deliver successful healing initiatives, which have had significant impact but we need to scale this work up”.

Event Details:

Federation Mall, Canberra (the lawns in front of Parliament House)

Tuesday 13th February 2018 / 6pm – 10pm

Facebook: facebook.com/healingfoundation
Twitter: @HealingOurWay

Website: www.healingfoundation.org.au

DATE EVENT #
January
26/1/2018 Invasion/Survival Day

#InvasionDay

#SurvivalDay

#AustraliaDay

February
11/2 – 17/2/2018 National Sexual Health Week #NationalSexualHealthWeek
12/2-18/2/2018 Smart Eating Week #SmartEatingWeek
13/2/2018 Apology Day

More info

#StolenGensHeroes
20/02/2018 World Day of Social Justice #socialjusticeday
25/2-3/3/2018 Hearing Awareness Week #HearingAwarenessWeek
March
All March Australian Women’s History Month
3/3/2018 World Hearing Day
4/3-10/3 2018 Kidney Health Week #KidneyHealthWeek
8/03/2018 2018 Indigenous Ear Health Workshop Perth WA

More info

8/03/2018 International Women’s Day #InternationalWomensDay #BeingBornaGirl
8/03/2018 World Kidney Day #WorldKidneyDay                       #move4kidneys
15 -16 /3/2018 Close the Gap for Vision by 2020 – Striving Together Conference

MORE INFO Close the Gap for Vision by 2020 – Striving Together Conference

16/3/2018 Close the gap Day #Closethegapday
16/3/2018 National Day of Action

Against bullying

#BullyingNoWay
18/3-25/3/2018 Cultural Diversity Week
19/3-25/3/2018 A taste of harmony #TasteofHarmony
20/03/2018 World Oral Health Day #WOHD2018
21/3/2018 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination #jointogether

#standup4human rights #fightracism

31/3/2018

More info share your view Close the Gap

April
31/3-9/4 2018 National Youth Week #NationalYouthWeek
2/4/2018 World Autism Awareness Day #WorldAutismAwarenessDay #LightitUpBlue

#LIUB

7/4/2018 World Health Day
11/4/2018

More INFO

23/4-29/42018 World Immunisation Week
25/4/2018 World Malaria Day #EndMalaria
May
6/5-12/5/2018 Heart Week #HeartWeek
7/5/2018 National Domestic Violence Remembrance Day
12/5/2018 International Nurses day #IND2017
13/05-19/5/2018 Food Allergy Awareness Week #FoodallergyWeek
15/5- 21/5/2018 National Families Week #FamiliesWeek
18/5/2018 HIV Vaccine Awareness Day #HVDA2018
21/5-28/5/2018 National Palliative Care Week #npcw18

#dying to talk

26/05/2018 National Sorry Day #NationalSorryDay
26/05-2/6/2018 National Reconciliation Week #NRW2018
31/05/2018 World No Tobacco Day #WorldNoTobaccoDay
June
3/6/2018 National Cancer Survivors Day
3/6/2018 Mabo Day #MaboDay
5/6/2018 World Environment Day #WorldEnvironmentDay
11/6-17/6/2018 Men’s Health Week #MENHEALTHWEEK
16/6/2018 Fresh Veggies Day #FreshVeggiesDay
28-29 June National Conference on Indigenous Incarceration

More INFO mailto:mperkinsnsw@gmail.com

30/6/2018 Red Nose Day #RedNoseDay OZ
July
7/7/2018 AIME National Hoodie Day #AIMEHoodieDay
8/7-14/7/2018 National Diabetes Week #NationalDiabetesWeek #NDW2018

#NDW18

8/7-15/7/2018 Naidoc Week #NAIDOC 2018
27/7/2018 White Ribbon Night #whiteRibbonNight
28/7/2018 World Hepatitis Day #WorldHepatitisDay

#Showyourface

August
4/8-11/8/2018 Dental Health Week #DentalhealthWeek
9/82018 International Day for the Worlds Indigenous Peoples #weareIndigenous
14 to

16/08/2018

 

 

More info Close the Gap Hearing

24/8/2018 Daffodil Day #DaffodilDay
SEPTEMBER Prostate cancer Awareness Month
1/9- 7/9/2018 Asthma Week #NationalAsthmaWeek
3/9-7/9/2018 Women’s Health Week #WomensHealthWeek
3/9-9/9/2018 National Stroke Week #StrokeWeek

#fightstroke

6/9/2018 Indigenous Literacy Day #IndigenousliteracyDay
9/9/2018 FASD Awareness Day #FASDAwarenessDay
10/09/2018 World Suicide Prevention Day #WSPD
13/9/2018 RU OK ? DAY #RUOK ?

 

29/9/2018 World Heart Day #WorldHeartDay
October
ALL OCTOBER Breast Cancer Awareness Month #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth
10/10/2018 World Mental health Day #WorldMentalHealthDay
11/10/2018 WORLD Sight Day #WorldSightDay
11/10/2018 World Obesity Day #WorldObesityDay
14/10-20/10/2018 National Nutrition Week #NNW2018
14/10-20/10/2018 Anti-Poverty Week

More info

15/10 National Carers Week #Carers2018
20/10-28/10/2018 Children’s Week
November
14/11/2018 World Diabetes Day #WorldDiabetesDay

#WDD2018

25/11/2018 White Ribbon Day #WhiteRibbonDay

#BreakingtheSilence

25/11/2018 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women #orangetheworld
December
1/12/2018 World AIDS Day #WorldAIDSDay

#WAD2018

#GettingtoZero

 

NACCHO Aboriginal #MentalHealth #Suicide : #DefyingTheEnemyWithin Powerful new book extract from @joewilliams_tew out 22 January – a promising career derailed by booze, drugs and mental health problems.

That afternoon, a guy I’d never seen before, who was partying with the group, approached me and asked if I needed anything to help me stay awake. That was the day I had my very first ecstasy tablet. Boom. I was instantaneously hooked.

Now I had a drinking and drug problem. But I didn’t for one second think I might have a mental-health problem.

I thought that someone who was mentally unwell was “weird” or not stable in society. I even believed that mentally ill people were criminals.

How wrong I turned out to be. “

This is an edited extract from Defying The Enemy Within by Joe Williams, published by ABC Books, in stores Monday

See 3 Pages from book below Part 2

Win a copy of the book by sending an email to media@naccho.org.au

Telling Joe in 50 words or less why you would like to read his book : Entries Close Wednesday 24 January : Winner Announced Thursday 25 January NACCHO Deadly Good News Post

‘Joe Williams has been into the darkest forest and brought back a story to shine a light for us all. He’s a leader for today and tomorrow.’Stan Grant

‘In telling his powerful story, Joe Williams is helping to dismantle the stigma associated with mental illness. His courage and resilience have inspired many, and this book will only add to the great work he’s doing.’Dr Timothy Sharp, The Happiness Institute

‘It is through his struggles that Joe Williams has found direction and purpose. Now Joe gives himself to others who walk the path he has.‘ – Linda Burney MP

Former NRL player, world boxing title holder and proud Wiradjuri First Nations man Joe Williams was always plagued by negative dialogue in his head, and the pressures of elite sport took their toll.

Joe eventually turned to drugs and alcohol to silence the dialogue, before attempting to take his own life in 2012. In the aftermath, determined to rebuild , Joe took up professional boxing and got clean.

Defying the Enemy Within is both Joe’s story and the steps he took to get well. Williams tells of his struggles with mental illness, later diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder, and the constant dialogue in his head telling him he worthless and should die. In addition to sharing his experiences, Joe shares his wellness plan – the ordinary steps that helped him achieve the extraordinary.

Joe Williams was guest speaker at NACCHO Conference Canberra : See full text from the Enemy Within  .

 

View Joe Williams Presentation from NACCHO Conference 2018

Read over 169 NACCHO Mental Health Articles published over past 6 years

Read over 119 NACCHO Suicide Prevention articles published over past 6 years

MOVING to Sydney to chase my dream in the NRL was a fantastic opportunity; spending my first two years in the big city under Arthur Beetson’s roof gave me a lifetime of memories and an experience I am truly grateful for.

But those years also provided me with some of the biggest and toughest life lessons I’ve learned.

During the 2002 pre-season, I got my first taste of mixing with the squad as a full-time player. I was expected to train with the team either on the field or in the weights room two or three times a day, five days a week.

It was essential to get to training on time but one day I was running late for a mid-morning session because I’d had to stay at Marcellin (College) a bit later than usual for school photos.

I raced to training, knowing I’d get in trouble from coach Ricky Stuart for being late. Sure enough, being the tough coach he was, Ricky started ripping into me.

When I told him I was late because I had my school photos, he and all the players burst out laughing. For the next few weeks, it became the running joke as an excuse for being late.

I learned so much during that off-season and impressed the coaching staff enough to be chosen in the top squad for the trial period.

Having just turned 18, it was amazing to play in two trial first grade NRL games at halfback inside Brad “Freddy” Fittler, one of the greatest five-eighths of all.

I didn’t make my NRL debut that year because the coaching staff wanted me to gain more experience playing in the Roosters’ under-20s Jersey Flegg side.

Looking back, although I felt like I was ready, I definitely needed the time and experience under my belt to become a more complete player and the sort of on-field leader a halfback needs to be

At the time, though, it was disappointing to go from playing with the first grade team one week to training with guys who were pretty much hoping to get a spot so they’d be contracted.

It was after I was put back to the under-20s that I first noticed the negative voices in my mind rearing their ugly head, telling me I didn’t deserve to be in Sydney given I wasn’t playing first grade and that I should just pack up and head back to the bush (Wagga) because I was worthless.

Back then, there wasn’t as much emphasis on the psychology of professional athletes and the pressures that came with playing elite sport.

There were days when training staff were almost like army drill sergeants. Sometimes they screamed at players and humiliated and even degraded players in front of other members of the team.

Occasionally, they would even bring the racial identity of a player into the abuse. It may be that they believed this was the way to make the players mentally stronger and that, if you weren’t mentally strong, you should just give up playing rugby league.

For me and many others, that approach of ridicule, embarrassment and tough love didn’t work.

In fact, it had the opposite impact of sending my self-esteem lower and lower.

But the negative thoughts were a different story altogether. They’d often spiral out of control, to the point where I felt like I was witnessing an argument taking place between two separate people; the negative Joe and positive Joe.

The head noise and voices affected my mental well-being so severely that it started to affect me physically.

Things grew worse, as the voices wreaked havoc on my ability to think. I started second-guessing every decision I made both on and off the field. The voices became so vivid and loud in my head, it was like I was hearing actual voices.

After a while, I became so anxious and down that I’d get to the point where I’d convinced myself I was worthless, a failure.

Even on the days I didn’t put a foot wrong on the footy field or won player of the match, I’d convince myself I would be dropped from the squad because of the negatives in my game.

I would be scared to go to training because I dreaded the coach saying I wouldn’t be in the team the following week.

The only way I knew how to combat these constant thoughts, turn down the voices and deaden the pain I felt, was to drink as much alcohol as I could.

Despite the negative voices and drinking, I managed to stay on track with my footy, even captaining the under-20s Roosters team. They were a great bunch of guys and good players and we ended up having a fantastic season and making it through to the Grand Final.

On the day of the Grand Final I kicked three goals, had two try assists and kicked the winning field goal. After our first grade team also won their grand final, we had one hell of a party that went on for a few days.

During the 2003 season, I was really battling emotionally, suffering from homesickness and looking for comfort at the bottom of a bottle. Instead of concentrating on playing well, I was busy worrying about what drinking and late-night partying the crew had planned after the game.

It all began to take its toll physically and mentally. At the same time, I found I was clashing with some of the coaching staff. I became desperate for a change. As a result, I decided to move to South Sydney Rabbitohs.

When I called my mother to tell her I’d signed with the Rabbitohs, she burst into tears of joy. Mum had been an avid Souths fan since she was a young girl and had dreamed that one day she’d get to see me run out in the famous red-and-green South Sydney colours.

I’d signed with Souths to show I was still keen to be an NRL player but the money wasn’t great so the pre-season was tough. As a result, I had to make a living like many league players did, working long hours labouring on a construction site. Afterwards, I’d go to football training then get some sleep and do it all over again.

To make matters worse, I broke my thumb in the opening trial game and had to have surgery on it, causing me to miss the first six weeks of the season.

I was no longer drinking so much or partying hard as I didn’t have much money. After a few weeks of putting a huge effort into training and committing myself both physically and mentally, I was picked in the reserve grade team. I began to play myself into form, stringing a few good games together and it was noticed by the coaching staff.

It wasn’t long before I was picked in the first grade team to make my NRL debut. Finally, the time had come to live out my childhood dream.

I didn’t sleep a wink the night before my first grade debut. On the way to Shark Park, I seemed to take every wrong turn and was late for the warm-up. To my surprise and happiness, though, the coach had organised for my dad to present me with my playing jersey.

I’d dreamed of this moment for most of my life and the fact I was playing for the mighty South Sydney Rabbitohs made things even sweeter.

People sometimes ask me what it was like playing my first NRL game. The funny thing is, I copped a knock to the head that gave me a mild concussion for the rest of the match.

I do remember that we lost but one thing that stood out for me was that my idol, close friend and mentor Dave Peachey was playing in his 200th NRL game. After the siren and when we were shaking hands, “The Peach” said to me: “Young brother, as my career is nearing its end, yours is just starting. Good luck”.

Joe Williams tells his story.

I had spent my entire life chasing the dream of becoming an NRL player. I now had the monkey off my back and it was time to get to work and live up to my potential.

Unfortunately, wins were few and far between for Souths in 2004.

My alcohol abuse was becoming rampant again, now I was earning more, and playing first grade had sent my ego to an all-time high, especially after I was named Rookie of the Year in 2004.

Things got even worse when I discovered party drugs during the 2004-2005 off-season. I enjoyed being the life of the party, laughing and joking, the centre of attention.

On Mad Monday, I celebrated by drinking so much alcohol I couldn’t stand up. That afternoon, a guy I’d never seen before, who was partying with the group, approached me and asked if I needed anything to help me stay awake. That was the day I had my very first ecstasy tablet. Boom. I was instantaneously hooked.

Now I had a drinking and drug problem. But I didn’t for one second think I might have a mental-health problem.

I thought that someone who was mentally unwell was “weird” or not stable in society. I even believed that mentally ill people were criminals.

How wrong I turned out to be.

NEED Help ? Contact your nearest ACCHO and see a Doctor or Mental Health Professional OR

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Heart Health : @HeartAust #NickysMessage “Heart disease is the number one killer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. “

 “The people you love, take them for heart health checks.

Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and make sure to ring 000 (Triple Zero) if you think someone in your community is having one. Secondly give cigarettes the boot:

If you smoke, stop. I was only a light smoker but it still did me harm, so now I’ve given up.”

Former champion footballer Nicky Winmar always looked after his health, apart from having been a light smoker for years.

Nicky Winmar lifts his jumper in the memorable 1993 St Kilda v Collingwood match. Picture: Wayne Ludbey

But he had a heart attack at only 46, after losing his own father to a heart attack at 50

Read over 50 NACCHO Aboriginal Heart Health articles published in the past 6 years

Watch Nicky’s very moving heart story HERE

 

What’s a heart health check?

  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples over the age of 35 should have regular heart health checks. These are simple and painless.
  • A heart health check can be done as part of a normal check up with your ACCHO doctor or health practitioner.
  • Your ACCHO doctor will take blood tests, check your blood pressure and ask you about your lifestyle and your family (your grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters).

  • Give your doctor as much information about your lifestyle and family history as possible.
  • Once your doctor or health practitioner has your blood test results, ask them for your report which will state if you have high (more than 15%); moderate (10-15%) or low risk (less than 10%) of a heart attack or stroke.

Warning signs of a heart attack

  • Pain in the chest – or arms, shoulders, neck, jaw or back
  • Breathless
  • Sick in the stomach
  • Cold sweats
  • Dizzy or light-headed

If someone seems to be having a heart attack:

  • Make them stop what they are doing
  • Give them a tablet of aspirin to chew
  • Call 000 (Triple Zero) for help. The operator will tell you what to do next

Do you have more questions?

The Heart Foundation Helpline is here to answer them. Call 13 11 12 and talk to one of our qualified heart health professionals. If you need an interpreter, call 131 450 and ask for the Heart Foundation.

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For help also Contact your nearest ACCHO -Download the APP