NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Prison System: New Ground breaking partnership for ACT Government and Winnunga having an ACCHO deliver health and wellbeing services to prison inmates

“ACT Corrective Services recognises that increasing Aboriginal led services within the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) a minimum to maximum security prison is essential to maintaining cultural connection for Aboriginal detainees and improving overall wellbeing and safety.”

Speaking at the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) board meeting ACT Minister for Justice Shane Rattenbury announced that Winnunga Aboriginal Health and Community Services (AHCS) will move soon into full service delivery at the AMC

Photo above Minister with some of the new NACCHO Board December 2017 : Pic Oliver Tye

Julie Tongs pictured above with Shane Rattenbury and NACCHO CEO John Singer  

‘Importantly, Winnunga will continue to be a separate independent entity, but will work in partnership with the ACT Government to complement the services already provided by ACT Corrective Services and ACT Health to deliver better outcomes for Indigenous detainees.

It is ground breaking to have an Aboriginal community controlled and managed organisation delivering health and wellbeing services within its own model of care to inmates in prison in this capacity’ Ms Tongs said.

‘Winnunga delivering health and wellbeing services in the AMC and changing the way the system operates is the legacy of Steven Freeman, a young Aboriginal man who tragically died whilst in custody in the AMC in 2016

It is also ground breaking for our sector, so it needs to be given the recognition it deserves’

Julie Tongs, CEO of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services (Winnunga AHCS) welcomed the announcement by Minister Shane Rattenbury

Winnunga has commenced enhanced support at the AMC focused on female detainees, and will move to full delivery of standalone health, social and emotional wellbeing services in the AMC in 2018.

The Independent Inquiry into the Treatment in Custody of Steven Freeman highlighted the need for improvements in a range of areas including cultural proficiency to more effectively manage the welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees.

The ACT Government is working to develop a safer environment for all detainees, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees.

Minister Rattenbury welcomed the involvement of Winnunga AHCS in the delivery of health services within its culturally appropriate model of care in the AMC.

To achieve this ACT Corrective Services and Justice Health have been working closely with Winnunga AHCS to enhance their presence in the AMC. Winnunga AHCS has begun delivering social and emotional wellbeing services to female detainees who choose to access Winnunga AHCS in the AMC.

Over time, all detainees will have the option to access Winnunga AHCS services.

Winnunga AHCS will over time deliver services to all inmates in the AMC who choose to access this option, however the services will be implemented through a staged process initially focussed on female detainees. This will help inform system changes as we operationalise the model of care within the AMC.

‘In 2018, we will expand our role to deliver GP and social and emotional wellbeing services to all detainees who choose to access Winnunga AHCS in the AMC, Monday to Friday, between the hours of 9am to 5pm’, Ms Tongs noted.

‘Winnunga does not want to be divisive in the AMC, we will be inclusive.

Obviously, there will be some issues particularly around – strong identity and connection to land, language and culture, and how the impact of colonisation and stolen Generations affects unresolved trauma, grief and loss that will be specific to Aboriginal people, however we will work with all inmates’, said Ms Tongs.

Ms Tongs stated, ‘The priority for us is to ensure in time all Aboriginal people are provided with an Aboriginal health check and care plan…the goal is for Winnunga to provide all services we do outside in the community, to prisoners also on the inside and this is a very good starting point’.

NACCHO tribute and Bellear family thank you : #SolsLastMarch #StateFuneral for Sol Bellear AM ” Remembered as a giant of a man “

 

” Sol was giant of a man who made a giant contribution to self-determination for our people right throughout the land , one who would now take his honoured place amongst his very honoured ancestors.

News of his sudden death last week had sent shockwaves through Aboriginal Australia”.

Pat Turner, Chief Executive of NACCHO : National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation speaking at the State Funeral about her long term friendship and respect for Sol Bellear.  Pictures above Michelle Lovegrove

See full NACCHO Tribute to Sol Bellear AM Press Release

NACCHO tribute to Sol Bellear AM Aboriginal activist

NACCHO was also represented by Current Chair John Singer and Past Chairs Pat Anderson , Matthew Cooke and Justin Mohamed.

 ” We will always be grateful for the many expressions of kindness, love and support we have received following the loss of our father and brother, Sol Bellear, who passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday night, 29 November.

We have been overwhelmed by the numbers of people who have reached out to us in this very difficult time. Sol touched many lives in the movement for Aboriginal rights, the game of rugby league and the community of Redfern that he loved.  Now the people whose lives he touched are comforting us with their memories of him.”

Statement from the family of  Solomon David “Sol” Bellear AM

Sol stood for many things including self-determination, proper treaties with our people, Aboriginal control of our people’s health and legal services, Land Rights and a better understanding of our history.

Although, Sol achieved many great victories, much of this work remained unfinished at the end of his life. We ask all those who loved Sol to please continue his work so that the vision he had for his country and people might one day be fulfilled.

One of Sol’s last wishes was for the Sydney City Council to erect a plaque at Redfern Park to help people remember and reflect on the Redfern Speech delivered on that site by former Prime Minister, Paul Keating.

We will always treasure the time we had with him. He was the most loving and committed Father, Brother, Poppy and Uncle any family could hope for.=

We would like to particularly thank the NSW Premier and the staff from her Department, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Joshua Roxburgh and our brother, Shane Phillips for their generous assistance in organising Sol’s funeral.

 Sol Bellear remembered as giant at state funeral

Aboriginal land rights and health activist Sol Bellear has been remembered as a giant of indigenous advancement at a state funeral on Saturday at Redfern Oval in Sydney, the spiritual home of his beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs.

From the Australian

It was a mark of the man, mourners heard, that after being dropped as a player from the Rabbitohs squad after raising a black-power salute on scoring a try at the ground, he was within a year serving on the rugby league team’s board.

“He carried a great personal weight on his shoulders because he was a strong man,” fellow activist Paul Coe, one of the leaders with whom Bellear founded the Aboriginal tent embassy at the then parliament house in 1972, said.

“He would stand his ground no matter what or no matter who was opposing him.”

Bellear was joined in one final march to the football ground from the nearby Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern, an institution which mourners including NSW Governor David Hurley and wife Linda heard was one of his great legacies.

Sols Last March with 3,000 family and friends

The march ended at the park where, exactly 25 years ago tomorrow, Bellear led Paul Keating to the stage to deliver the then prime minister’s famous oration admitting white Australia’s culpability in the poor state of indigenous affairs.(see Picture in Part 1 above )

“He stood proud and he stood tall but he was not egotistical,” Mr Coe said.

“I’ve seen him give money out of his own pocket to people on the streets. This is the kind of man that he was — a kind of man you could admire but not completely understand.

“In those days as young students, trying to work out who and what we were, it was very hard to make ends meet. But he would always give of himself, both time and energy.”

A Bundjalung man from Mullumbimby in northern NSW, Solomon David Bellear, who was 66, leaves partner Naomi and children Tamara and Joseph. He was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1999 for services to the Aboriginal community, in particular in the field of health. His brother Bob, who died a decade ago, was the first Aboriginal judge.

In a letter from grand-daughter Rose read out at the service, Bellear was bid a “merry Christmas in the dreamtime” and the hope he had travelled there safely with his totem, the carpet snake.

Bellear’s achievements were legion. He was the founding chair of the Aboriginal Legal Service, a founding member of the Aboriginal Housing Company, an Aboriginal delegate to the UN General Assembly, player and director at the Rabbitohs, a foundation player with the Redfern All Blacks in the NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout, a manager with the indigenous dreamtime and All Stars rugby league teams, and deputy chair of the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

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Sol Bellear, whose funeral was held on Saturday. Picture: Dan Himbrechts

Ken Wyatt, federal Minister for Indigenous Health and Aged Care, said on Friday Bellear had “played a key role in establishing medical, housing, land rights and legal services for Aboriginal people and remains a towering figure on the journey towards justice for our people”.

He was remembered as being crucial to the consensus position developed at the Indigenous constitutional convention held in Central Australia in May this year, when disparate ambitions for reform were distilled into the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Singer Emma Donovan opened the funeral with the touchstone Land Rights Song, whose memorable lines “they keep on saying everything’s fine, still they can’t see us cry all the time” seemed particularly apt.

Bellear’s casket was borne from the park by a cortege including members of his beloved Redfern All Blacks, whose members linked arms to sing their team song for him one last time. His casket was draped with a Rabbitohs scarf, the hearse with an Aboriginal flag.

As it set off one final, slow, lap of the oval, fists were raised in a black-power salute

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Smoking Research Report : ‘Deadly progress’: substantial drop in Indigenous smoking from 2004-2015

“The research is a positive news story in Indigenous health, and more should be done to understand what is working to reduce Indigenous smoking” 

Professor Tom Calma, lead advocate for Indigenous tobacco control and Chancellor of the University of Canberra

Read Paper HERE

Read over 118 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Smoking published over the past 5 years

A paper led by ANU researcher Associate Professor Ray Lovett published in the journal Public Health Research & Practice today found a substantial drop in smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the last ten years.

The research highlights the positive downward trends in daily smoking prevalence for young Indigenous people and Indigenous people living in urban areas.

The majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults (around six in ten) do not smoke daily.

According to the study, the proportion of Indigenous people smoking daily dropped by 9%, from 50% in 2004 to 41% in 2014.

Lovett explains, ‘As a result, there are 35,000 fewer daily smokers today than there would have been if things had stayed the same since 2004. This will lead to thousands of lives saved’.

‘The way we communicate statistics matters. In our work we focus on the progress made within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, and we find that substantial progress has been achieved.

In contrast, when reports focus on the gap in smoking prevalence compared to the total Australian population, this can have negative consequences and can actually contribute to widening the gap’, said Lovett.

The team used data from national surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to assess trends in Indigenous smoking over time.

Dr Lovett and his research team are now working with two Aboriginal organisations, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress and Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, to better understand how their work contributes to the decline in smoking rates.

The full article can be found here: http://www.phrp.com.au/?p=37127

Discussion

The prevalence of daily smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in Australia has decreased by 8.6 percentage points (95% CI 5.5, 11.8), from 50.0% in 2004–05 to 41.4% in 2014–15.

This corresponds to an estimated 35 000 fewer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult daily smokers in 2014–15, compared with if the smoking prevalence had remained stable since 2004–05. Our findings indicate that thousands of premature deaths in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been prevented by the reduction in daily smoking prevalence over the past decade.

Accurately determining the number of deaths averted requires additional data, such as cause-specific mortality. Declines in daily smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were observed among both males and females, and were most evident among those aged 18–44 years, and those living in urban/regional areas.

The absolute decrease in smoking prevalence observed in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is comparable with the decrease of 6.8 percentage points (95% CI 5.6, 7.9) in the total Australian population over the same period, although the base smoking prevalence was substantially lower in the total Australian population (21.3% in 2004–05). These results demonstrate that considerable progress has been made in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in the past decade, matching in absolute terms the extent of progress made in the total Australian population.

Given the similar absolute decrease in smoking prevalence in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and total Australian population, the gap in smoking prevalence has remained relatively stable. This may appear inconsistent with the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare’s midterm report for the National Tobacco Strategy 2012–20185, which reported that the gap in smoking between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians had increased between 2008 and 2015.

The discrepancy arises from different methods used to report trends in smoking inequalities.9-11 Our analysis emphasises change in the absolute prevalence of smoking within the population (50.0% – 41.4% = 8.6% absolute prevalence decrease), whereas the midpoint report emphasises smoking prevalence in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population relative to the non-Indigenous population.5

In relative terms, the ratio of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to total Australian smoking prevalence increased from 2.4 (50.0%:21.3%) in 2004–05 to 2.9 (41.4%:14.5%) in 2014–15. This demonstrates that reporting change in absolute versus relative terms can lead to fundamentally different conclusions, which could affect support for programs and policies.9-12

Focusing on relative differences in isolation can obscure progress at the population level; that is, the absolute number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults quitting or not taking up smoking.

Further, research from other populations demonstrates that communicating information about health inequity using a progress frame (as used in this paper) rather than a disparity frame (i.e. focusing on the persisting gap) is associated with more positive emotional responses and increased interest in engaging in health-promoting behaviours.14 Therefore, we consider it ethical to report absolute progress in smoking prevalence.

The ambitious target to halve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult daily smoking prevalence to 23.9% by 20186 will not be achieved if current trends continue. However, this target would be reached within the next two decades if smoking prevalence continues to decrease at the current rate. If the success in smoking reduction observed within the younger age groups and those living in urban/regional areas is echoed in older age groups and in remote areas, this target may be reached earlier.

We observed significant reductions (about 10%) in daily smoking prevalence among the youngest age groups (18–24, 25–34 and 35–44 years). Data from the 2004–05 NATSIHS indicates that two-thirds of current and past Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers had begun smoking by age 1817; therefore, our findings of reduced smoking prevalence among younger adults is promising.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population has a younger age profile than the total population, and therefore the potential population-level benefit of reducing smoking among younger adults is important.18

We observed reductions in daily smoking prevalence among male and female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults living in urban/regional areas. Given that the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in urban/regional settings, this is another encouraging finding at the population level.

We did not detect a significant change between 2004–05 and 2014–15 in daily smoking prevalence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults living in remote areas. The observed stability of smoking prevalence in remote areas from 2004 to 2015 is consistent with trends from 1994 to 2004.7 Despite being the largest available datasets, the number of survey participants in remote areas was relatively small, and is likely to be insufficient to detect changes in prevalence.

Given the enduring high smoking prevalence among older age groups and in remote settings, improved intensive effort will be required to change the normalisation of tobacco use and correct potential misperceptions of tobacco use, particularly as older people may have had longer and more intense exposure to tobacco marketing.19

This includes continued and concerted effort from targeted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tobacco control programs, in addition to national strategies.4,20

The prevalence of smoking is reduced by increased numbers of people quitting and not taking up smoking. Since 2008, there has been a concerted effort in public health strategies, policies and programs to reduce tobacco smoking in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Australia’s approach to tobacco control is comprehensive, and it is difficult to attribute changes to one program; however, continuing support for both whole-of-population and targeted strategies is required.

For example, recent evidence indicates that the introduction of graphic warning labels on cigarette packages led to increased understanding of and concern about the harms associated with smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people19,21, and research has demonstrated that smokers’ knowledge of the effects of second-hand smoke is associated with desire and attempts to quit.22 Our findings may indicate that programs and policies have been particularly effective at reducing smoking among young people and those living in urban/regional areas. It is more difficult to assess the potential effectiveness of programs and policies in remote settings; finer regional estimates are required to assess policy and program impacts in this setting.23

Strengths and weaknesses

This paper analyses multiple cross-sectional data, which are the most comprehensive data available on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking status. Limitations of our approach include that comparability between survey estimates may be affected by differences in scope, sample design, coverage, and potential changes in the age structure of the population over time. The use of weighting generates estimates that are representative of the in-scope population, which were similarly defined across the four surveys. However, we note that the 2004–05 and 2008 surveys represent a somewhat smaller percentage (82–90%) of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population compared with the other surveys (95%); this may result from issues related to survey scope.17

We have restricted our analysis to current daily smoking – rather than including weekly or less frequent smoking – to enable consistent measurement across surveys, and to enable direct comparison with national tobacco targets.5,6 It is important to note that our analysis focused on cigarette smoking. Recent ABS surveys provide data on the use of other tobacco products (e.g. chewing tobacco); data on e-cigarette use are not yet available.

Although we include a comparison with daily smoking prevalence in the total Australian population as a benchmark, this article focuses on variation in daily current smoking trends within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. We have presented comparable estimates for the total Australian population, rather than the non-Indigenous Australian population, because of the data that were available, and we may therefore underestimate the gap in prevalence between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations. However, this underestimation is likely to be very small; for example, in 2014, the difference between daily adult smoking prevalence in the non-Indigenous population (14.2%; 95% CI 13.4, 15.0)3 versus the total Australian population (14.5%; 95% CI 13.6, 15.4) was marginal.

Conclusions

Applying a progress frame rather than a disparity frame and reporting absolute changes in smoking prevalence provides clear evidence of the substantial and significant declines in daily smoking prevalence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults, which will result in considerable health gain. Particular success has occurred among younger adults and those living in urban/regional areas.

Despite this progress, the smoking prevalence in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population remains high, with an estimated 165 000 current adult daily smokers. It will be critical to learn from the success among younger adults and those in urban areas to effect change among older age groups and those in remote areas. Continuation and enhancement of a suite of tobacco control efforts are required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aboriginal Health News : Our #NACCHO Members #Deadly good news stories #NT #NSW #QLD #WA #SA #VIC #ACT #TAS

1.National: Download the Indigenous health check (MBS 715) data tool

2.NSW: Last march and State Funeral : Sol Bellear AM

3.1 VIC : Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association  wins Victorian Health Award

3.2 VIC : Expanding Brabuwoolong Medical Centre East Gippsland Services for a Healthier Future

4.1 SA : Nganampa Health Council  Port Adelaide Football Club stars Chad Wingard and Paddy Ryder visit the APY Lands 

4.2 SA : AHCSA and Umoona Tjutagku Health Service in Coober Pedy to deliver a Meningococcal Vaccination Program

5.WA : The 2018 WA Australian of the Year, Aboriginal psychologist Tracy Westerman

6.Tas: Aboriginal warrior and diplomat Mannalargenna still showing the way forward, elder says

7.ACT : Winnunga News : Download November 2017 Edition

8. QLD : Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Co Ltd Senior Indigenous Games Australian Championship 2017

9 . NT : Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation NDIS Mental Health Team in Sydney presenting

 View hundreds of ACCHO Deadly Good News Stories over past 5 years

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

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media    

Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1.National: Download the Indigenous health check (MBS 715) data tool

All Indigenous people are eligible for an annual Indigenous-specific health check: item 715 on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

This tool shows numbers and usage rates of the checks at national, state and territory and Primary Health Network levels.

Charts can be customised to show different time periods and, where possible, disaggregation by age and sex.

Download data tool etc. :

FROM HERE

2.NSW: Last march and State Funeral : Sol Bellear AM

Read NACCHO Tribute to Sol Bellear HERE

Health, justice and land rights Legend Sol Bellear AM will lead his last march at a State Funeral to be held in Redfern on Saturday.

Sol’s family, friends and supporters are invited to gather at Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service on Redfern Street from 10am for a last march to the State Funeral service at Redfern Oval starting at 11am.

WHEN: Saturday 9 December 2017

WHERE:

  • March from 10am outside Aboriginal Medical Service, Redfern Street
  • Service from 11am at Redfern Oval

For any enquiries please email media@alc.org.au or call 02 9689 4444.

3.1 VIC : Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association  wins Victorian Health Award

Last night and the Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association took home a award for implementing a shared-care model between Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and the Aboriginal Quitline!

Congratulations to Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association & Quit Victoria for taking home the award for Preventing Tobacco Use Pictured here with Health Minister Jill Hennesy

3.2 VIC : Expanding Brabuwoolong Medical Centre East Gippsland Services for a Healthier Future

A $5.14 million Turnbull Government investment in Bairnsdale’s new Brabuwoolong Medical Centre has secured a major step forward for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services in East Gippsland.

Welcoming the Centre’s official opening today, Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, said local services and solutions for local issues were fundamental to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

“This comprehensive facility provides a one-stop shop for better health,” MinistPDF printable version of Expanding East Gippsland Services for a Healthier Futurer Wyatt said.

“This is about grassroots community support to ensure local indigenous men, women and children have the care they need, close to where they live, work and go to school.

“Experience shows that culturally comfortable and trusted health services empower people to take control of their own wellbeing and achieve their full potential.”

Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, said it was a proud day for Koori people across the region.

“This is a welcoming place that will help health professionals work together with local families for better health,” Minister Chester said.

“With five GP consulting rooms, triage, procedure and meeting rooms and a major dental centre, Brabuwoolong has been designed with the future in mind.

“Koori maternity services are also a priority, along with outreach and chronic disease services. The current staff of 28, plus visiting specialists, are providing a whole new level of local health care.”

The new Brabuwoolong centre is operated by the Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-op Ltd (GEGAC) and is named after one of the five East Gippsland Koori clans. The overall cost of the centre was $5.26 million, including $120,000 raised by GEGAC.

The capital works program for the new facilities was provided in addition to Turnbull Government funding to GEGAC of more than $1.9 million this financial year, for health and aged care services.

“Working together with local communities in East Gippsland – and right across Australia – is the best way to help ensure we get the results we all want see to close the gap in indigenous health,” Minister Wyatt said.

4.1 SA : Nganampa Health Council  Port Adelaide Football Club stars Chad Wingard and Paddy Ryder visit the APY Lands 

Watch Video Here

“What you see is what you get. You see the people with smiling faces and understand there are two different worlds.” Earlier in October, Port Adelaide Football Club stars Chad Wingard and Paddy Ryder visited the APY Lands conducting healthy lifestyle workshops for school children. NHC is proud to be involved in this program, giving children on the APY Lands such a unique opportunity! #NHCPeople

4.2 SA : AHCSA and Umoona Tjutagku Health Service in Coober Pedy to deliver a Meningococcal Vaccination Program

AHCSA is teaming up with Umoona Tjutagku Health Service in Coober Pedy to deliver a Meningococcal Vaccination Program next week on the 12th, 13th & 14th December. Do you live in Coober Pedy or have family there?

If so, please share this information. #ourhealthourchoiceourway

5.WA : The 2018 WA Australian of the Year, Aboriginal psychologist Tracy Westerman.

Working with communities that have high rates of suicide, Tracy Westerman knows hopelessness and marginalisation can be deadly.

The Aboriginal psychologist, who delivers suicide prevention programs in remote areas, was this week crowned WA’s Australian of the Year.

She wants Aboriginal teenagers struggling to find hope for the future to know such an honour is not out of reach.

Having grown up in the inland Pilbara town of Tom Price, Dr Westerman did her high school exams via long-distance education.

When she was 15, she read a book about psychology and decided it was her calling.

She won a place at the University of WA and moved to Perth, where she suffered the “biggest culture shock ever” and struggled to catch a bus, cross Stirling Highway and reconcile mainstream psychology with Aboriginal culture.

“As a Pilbara woman, and as someone who had no expectations around me of being successful other than from my family, I find there’s this thing called the tyranny of low expectation,” Dr Westerman said.

“I want an Aboriginal kid to pick up the newspaper and go ‘far out, she did it’.

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Never let go of your dreams.”

Dr Westerman, a Njamal woman, founded Indigenous Psychological Services in 1998 to address the high rates of mental illness among Aboriginal people.

She loves going to work with her people every day, but laments the extent of racism and marginalisation they face and how it contributes to so much stress and mental ill-health.

She wants policymakers to talk more about the Aboriginal communities that don’t have suicides and learn from them.

“To me, that’s the story,” Dr Westerman said. “What is it about those communities that protects them from what troubles other communities that are caught in crisis or a chronic status of suicide and distress?”

Dr Westerman said many Australians had very little experience with Aboriginal people and did not realise they had an unconscious bias, so she gently tried to “make the unconscious conscious” and help them look at their reaction to Aboriginal people in an objective way.

“It’s very common that people go, ‘Oh my God, I just had no idea’.”

6.Tas: Aboriginal warrior and diplomat Mannalargenna still showing the way forward, elder says

Photo: Younger members of the community learnt traditional ochre painting to mark Mannalargenna Day. (ABC News: Tim Morgan)

One of Tasmania’s most revered Indigenous leaders, who died exiled from his homeland, is being held up as an example of reconciliation 182 years after his death. From the ABC

Mannalargenna died on December 4, 1835, at Wybalenna on Flinders Island, after being exiled from his homeland of Tebrikunna, now known as Cape Portland, on the state’s north-east coast.

The Aboriginal community has marked the anniversary of his the death with a gathering at Little Musselroe Bay.

Highly regarded by his people, the Pairrebeenne clan, Mannalargenna initially led guerrilla-style attacks against British settlers before shifting to the role of negotiator.

Along with other diplomats, he played a key role in convincing his people to agree to leave their country for Swan Island in 1830, with the promise that one day they would return.

As elder Aunty Patsy Cameron remembered, it was a promise that was never fulfilled for her ancestor

“At that time when you think about our history there are only about 400 Aboriginal people still free in the bush,” she said

“I think he was such a wise man and he could see that the only way forward was to go to the islands for a short while thinking he was going to be able to come back.

“Mannalargenna is the example of reconciliation and the way that we all move forward together.”

Hundreds of people braved wet weather to attend the third annual commemoration to share in a day of cultural food, activities and music.

They travelled from all corners of the state including Hobart and Stanley, while others made the trip from interstate.

Mandy Quadrio came from Queensland for the occasion and said there was “a strong spiritual connection” in being on the land of her ancestors.

“In contemporary times it gives us a sense of belonging,” she said.

The meaning of the day was not lost on the younger generation either.

Emily Wood was one of five girls from Flinders Island who performed a cultural dance which told the story of the muttonbird, a traditional source of food which is still harvested by the community.

“To all come together it’s nice. It means a lot because you can relate to other people and you meet new people,” she said.

Friend Lillie Scown agreed.

“It’s fun just coming here and seeing everybody dress up and just having fun,” she said.

“It’s a day to remember and celebrate.”

7.ACT : Winnunga News : Download November 2017 Edition

DOWNLOAD PDF HERE

Winnunga AHCS Newsletter November 2017

8. QLD : Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Co Ltd Senior Indigenous Games Australian Championship 2017

 

9 . NT : Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation NDIS Mental Health Team in Sydney presenting

Our NDIS Mental Health Team led an incredible presentation in Sydney recently.

The information delivered and the quality of our presenters shone through amongst the audience, prompting rave reviews from the Community Mental Health Australia hosts and national attendees.

The NDIA Directors were extremely keen on discussing and supporting our NDIS Mental Health Model and processes and we look forward to these relationships developing further in the future.

Congratulations to the NDIS Manager Tim Keane & Acting Mental Health Manager Johnny Wurarr Dhurrkay!

 

#NACCHOagm2017 Aboriginal Health Conference : Media Alert : Hear our national #ACCHO ” Voices ” in Canberra this week

  ” Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation leaders and health experts from across Australia will come together in Canberra this week to examine key policy issues and projects that are making a difference in closing the gap in Indigenous health.

The theme of the conference is Our Health Counts: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.

NACCHO would like to acknowledge that we will be gathering on the traditional Ngunnawal and Ngambri lands and acknowledge owner’s past, present and future “

Download the full conference program here https://www.nacchoconference.com.au/program/

 The NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM will provide a forum for our Aboriginal community controlled health (ACCHO ) services workforce, bureaucrats, educators, suppliers and consumers to:

  • Present on innovative local economic development solutions to issues that can be applied to address similar issues nationally and across disciplines
  • Have input and influence from the ‘grassroots’ into national and state health policy and service delivery
  • Demonstrate leadership in workforce and service delivery innovation
  • Promote continuing education and professional development activities essential to the Aboriginal community controlled health services in urban, rural and remote Australia
  • Promote Aboriginal health research by professionals who practice in these areas and the presentation of research findings
  • Develop supportive networks
  • Promote good health and well-being through the delivery of health services to and by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people throughout Australia.

Social Media

Follow on Twitter: #NACCHOagm2017 @NACCHOAustralia

Facebook : A limited number of sessions and interviews will be broadcast via our FACEBOOK Page @NacchoAboriginalHealth

National Media Contact: Jenny Stokes 0478 504 280

NACCHO Social Media: Colin Cowell 0401 331 251

NACCHO Contact at Conference: Oliver Tye 0450 956 942

Download the full conference program here https://www.nacchoconference.com.au/program/

The conference will also:

  • Launch a new Memorandum of Understanding between NACCHO and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to improve access to medicine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Reveal what the 2016 Census statistics tell us about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Launch the Mayi Kuwayu Study – an Aboriginal led longitudinal survey of more than 400,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults to provide the first large scale evidence of relationship between cultural engagement and health
  • Highlight PWC’s landmark report into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island incarceration rates.

The conference will be opened by the Secretary of the Department of Health, Glenys Beauchamp and Professor Brendan Murphy will later address delegates about an Enhanced Multijurisdictional Response to Sexually Transmitted Infections and Blood Borne Viruses in Indigenous Communities.

Background : We honour on our conference poster  the first Aboriginal ” Voices to go to Canberra”

 ” Jimmy Clements and another Wiradjuri man, John Noble were one of the earliest practitioners of what the politics of visibility, of being present where you are not meant to be and where your presence creates discomfort.

Regardless of whether they were as unaware or indifferent to the meaning of the event, as is often suggested, their presence was a powerful act, contesting claims of the erasure of Indigenous people from the land and place.”

For its poignancy and historical significance, is the image of Jimmy Clements, an old Wiradjuri man, sitting in the dust with his dogs and holding an Australian ensign, at the 1927 opening of Parliament House in Canberra.

A few days later the Canberra Times – again with an emphasis on Indigenous connection to country – reported:

“Where his dusky forebears have gathered in native ceremonial for centuries past, a lone representative of a fast diminishing race saluted visiting royalty. Despite the grotesque garb and untamed mane, the Aborigine comported himself not without dignity. With his three faithful dogs, he made an immediate target for a battery of cameras.”

Jimmy Clements (c. 1847 – 28 August 1927) was an Aboriginal elder from the Wiradjuri tribe , and was present at the opening of the Provisional Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May 1927.

He was also known as “King Billy”[1] and also by Nangar or Yangar.[2]

Clements and another Wiradjuri man, John Noble, had walked for nearly a week over the mountains from Brungle Mission near Gundagai, New South Wales.[3]

The two men were the only indigenous people to attend the first opening of parliament.

Clements was initially told to move on by police at the ceremony due to his attire but due to popular support from other members of the crowd he was among prominent citizens who were presented to the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Elizabeth the Queen Mother).[1]

The National Archives of Australia describes it as “possibly the first recorded instance of Aboriginal protest at Parliament House in Canberra”.

It was the precursor to so much activism – from the 1938 Day of Mourning, the fight for recognition and much else in 1967, and the ongoing battle for land rights that manifested with the enduring tent embassy, just across the road, on Australia Day 1972.

The sign out front reads: Sovereignty never ceded.

Monash University’s Maryrose Casey wrote of Clements and Noble in the International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies: “Regardless of whether they were as unaware or indifferent to the meaning of the event, as is often suggested, their presence was a powerful act, contesting claims of the erasure of Indigenous people from the land and place.

Clements died on 28 August 1927, aged 80, in Queanbeyan, New South Wales near Canberra

See Guardian Article

Aboriginal Health News : Our #NACCHO Members #Deadly good news stories #TAS #NT #NSW #QLD #WA #SA #VIC #TAS

1.1 #NACCHOagm2017 and Members’ Conference Program launched

2.NSW : Award winning Katungul Aboriginal Corporation  in new partnership with Deadly Choices

3. WA : AHCWA Gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous longevity surges in WA

4.SA: National Disability Insurance Scheme Aboriginal community consultation

5.QLD : Apunipima’s ACCHO Napranum Centre Working to National Standards

6. VIC : VACCHO : Korin Korin Balit-Djak: Aboriginal health, wellbeing and safety strategic plan 2017–2027 

7. NT: AMSANT APO NT :  Failure guaranteed if you don’t involve us, say Aboriginal organisations

8.ACT : Winnunga ACCHO Newsletter September 2017

9. Tas: Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre : Hobart seeks OZ Day move

 View hundreds of ACCHO Deadly Good News Stories over past 5 years

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

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media    

Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1.1 #NACCHOagm2017 and Members’ Conference Program launched

 Download the 48 Page Conference Program

NACCHO 2017 Conference Program

You can follow on Twitter , Instagram and Facebook using HASH Tag #NACCHOagm2017

The NACCHO Members’ Conference and AGM will provided a forum for the Aboriginal community controlled health services workforce, bureaucrats, educators, suppliers and consumers to:

  • Present on innovative local economic development solutions to issues that can be applied to address similar issues nationally and across disciplines
  • Have input and influence from the ‘grassroots’ into national and state health policy and service delivery
  • Demonstrate leadership in workforce and service delivery innovation
  • Promote continuing education and professional development activities essential to the Aboriginal community controlled health services in urban, rural and remote Australia
  • Promote Aboriginal health research by professionals who practice in these areas and the presentation of research findings
  • Develop supportive networks
  • Promote good health and well-being through the delivery of health services to and by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people throughout Australia.

Conference Website

2.NSW : Award winning Katungul Aboriginal Corporation  in new partnership with Deadly Choices

It’s important to all our staff, because even though we work for the organisation, we are still community members and part of the wider family,

 All our staff have a strong investment in not only seeing Katungul succeed, but because of our long community and family history, we also have those ties with the community, so it’s not only about what’s happening now but also building a strong base for future generations.

Those historical family and cultural ties reflects our ‘Koori health in Koori hands’ philosophy.”

Katungul chief executive officer Rob Skeen said the awards had definitely been a huge boost for staff, particularly receiving the peer-to-peer recognition of both the people’s choice and NAIDOC awards

Since taking over as CEO last year, Mr Skeen has seen the number of employees grow from 30 to 56 and the health service was getting recognition for its accomplishments from a range of other services and government entities.

Katungul has won the Excellence in Business Award in the Far South Coast Regional Business Awards. This follows their recent win in the Eurobodalla Business Awards.

The Excellence in Business award recognises a business employing more than 20 people that has attained significant growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies and processes implemented to achieve sustainable growth over the previous 24 months.

Katungul Aboriginal Corporation provides culturally appropriate health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on the Far South Coast of NSW. Staff are committed to providing high quality treatment and services in a culturally appropriate way.

Facilities include general practice and medical and dental clinics. Allied health programs are in place for eye health, otitis media and maternity care. There are many outreach programs available to serve the wider community.

At Katungul, they strive to work in partnership with local health services to ensure all specific medical, dental, social and emotional wellbeing needs are satisfied to a high standard.

Katungul serves communities from Eden to Batemans Bay.

Katungul will now be a finalist  in the NSW State Business Awards to be decided in Sydney in late November.

This is a significant achievement and reflects the hard work put in by all staff and the Board over the last few years.

Katungul and Deadly Choices will launch their partnership with a community day on Saturday 4 November

3. WA : AHCWA Gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous longevity surges in WA

The disparity between the life expectancy of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal West Australians has surged, bucking a national trend that shows a closing of the gap, a new report has found.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, released this week, shows the life expectancy gap between indigenous and non-indigenous West Australians increased from 14.7 years to 15.1 years in men and 12.9 years to 13.5 years in women in a comparison of data between 2005-2007 and 2010-2012.
Nationally, the gap decreased from 11.4 years to 10.6 years for men and remained stable at 9.6 years to 9.5 years for women during the same period.

The figures come despite the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017: Western Australia report showing small increases in the life expectancy of indigenous males in WA from 64.5 to 65 years and indigenous females from 70 to 70.2 years between 2005–2007 and 2010–2012.

Aboriginal Health Council of WA chairperson Michelle Nelson-Cox said despite the improvements to indigenous longevity and several other health outcomes, there was still a long way to go and health education remained a key focus.

“Positively, this report identifies several areas of improvement in Aboriginal health, including a 48% drop in deaths from circulatory diseases and five-fold increase in the rate of indigenous health checks being claimed,” Ms Nelson-Cox said.

The report showed a substantial increase in the rate of indigenous-specific health checks being claimed, rising from 42 per 1000 in 2006-07 to 254 per 1000 in 2014-15, she said.

“This is a significant move that shows health education campaigns and our commitment to making health checks more available to Aboriginal communities are having an impact,” she said.

“But we remain deeply concerned at several findings, including that the rate of indigenous women smoking during pregnancy is five times higher than non-indigenous women and the disparity in notifications for sexually transmitted infections for indigenous Australians.

“In addition, the death rates for chronic diseases are much higher for indigenous Australians than non-indigenous Australians.

“To that end, this report highlights the need for greater investment in evidence based, culturally safe, high quality responsive and accessibly primary health care for Aboriginal people in WA.

“AHCWA urgently calls on the government to provide further support to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) who continue to be the strongest, most effective means to addressing the gap in health outcomes.

“Without this investment, achieving our Closing the Gap targets will remain out of reach.”

Ms Nelson-Cox said while it was recognised that governments invested significant funding in Aboriginal health, Aboriginal community and community-controlled organisations were the most effective agencies.

There also needed to be greater transparency and accountability of other stakeholders in the sector, she said.

AHCWA is the peak body for Aboriginal health in WA, with 22 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) currently engaged as members.

4.SA: National Disability Insurance Scheme Aboriginal community consultation

Read over 25 NACCHO Disability NDIS articles HERE

 5.QLD : Apunipima’s ACCHO Napranum Centre Working to National Standards
 

Charkil-Om Primary Health Care Centre received AGPAL accreditation for the first time in September, just after celebrating its first birthday in August.

AGPAL (Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited) accreditation is independent recognition that a practice meets the requirements of governing industry standards which are set by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Apunipima’s Quality and Risk Manager Roberta Newton said accreditation acknowledged the high standard of care being provided to the community by the Charkil-Om team.

‘So stringent are the AGPAL standards that many mainstream clinics need more than one go to achieve accreditation,’ she said.

‘To achieve it first time is a real coup, not only for the staff but also for our community.’

While AGPAL accreditation is not mandatory, all Apunipima primary health care centres are either accredited or working towards accreditation.

‘We wanted the community to know that their health and wellbeing is our priority,’ Roberta said.

‘By choosing to attend an accredited practice, our patients know they will get quality and safe care that meets the national standards.’

The Centre offers a full range of culturally appropriate comprehensive primary health care services including doctors, nurse and maternal and child health worker supported by a range of visiting services, and is fast becoming a real hub for the community.

Charkil-Om Primary Health Care Centre manager Kelvin Coleman said the AGPAL team were impressed with both the Centre and its operation.

‘The AGPAL accreditors were particularly impressed that we were able to source full time permanent doctors and committed staff to deliver such comprehensive services in a remote area,’ he said.

“All of our staff played a valuable role in working together meet the AGPAL standards. Receiving AGPAL accreditation is an acknowledgement of the dedication, care and commitment of our staff.’

‘I am incredibly proud of what our team have achieved, not only for ourselves, but most importantly for our community.’

6. VACCHO : Korin Korin Balit-Djak: Aboriginal health, wellbeing and safety strategic plan 2017–2027 

Key messages

  • Korin Korin Balit-Djak means ‘Growing very strong’ in the Woi wurrung language. It provides an overarching framework for action to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal Victorians now and over the next 10 years.
  • The purpose of Korin Korin Balit-Djak is to realise the Victorian Government’s vision for ‘Self-determining, healthy and safe Aboriginal people and communities’ in Victoria.

VIEW WEBSITE HERE

Korin Korin Balit-Djak emerges at a significant time for both Aboriginal communities in Victoria and the government. It follows the government’s commitment to self-determination for Aboriginal Victorians.

The Department of Health and Human Services commissioned work that has informed both Korin Korin Balit-Djak and the discussion about Aboriginal self-determination across all areas of the Victorian Government and community. This research and discussion has underpinned a new policy platform for Aboriginal health, wellbeing and safety.

Korin Korin Balit-Djak is informed by an extensive consultation process with Aboriginal communities across Victoria, as well as a strong evidence base, including Koolin Balit evaluation findings (Victorian Government 2012). The plan details how the department will work with Aboriginal communities, community organisations, other government departments and mainstream service providers – now and into the future – to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal people in Victoria.

Korin Korin Balit-Djak covers five domains:

  • Aboriginal community leadership
  • prioritising Aboriginal culture and community
  • system reform across the health and human services sector
  • safe, secure, strong families and individuals
  • physically, socially and emotionally healthy Aboriginal communities.

Korin Korin Balit-Djak will be reviewed and updated every three years.

Korin Korin Balit-Djak is guided by the government’s vision to achieve optimum health, wellbeing and safety for all Victorians so they can live the life they value. It aligns with the department’s strategic directions and aspires to address, and ultimately eliminate, systemic racism within the Victorian health and human service sectors.

Digital story: Dixon Patten

Victorian Aboriginal artist Dixon Patten was commissioned by the department to produce the artwork titled Korin Korin Balit-Djak. In this video, he explains how his artwork depicts the way the department will work with Aboriginal communities to ensure the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people.

7. NT: AMSANT APO NT :  Failure guaranteed if you don’t involve us, say Aboriginal organisations

“We have been calling on the Minister for Indigenous Affairs to clarify and formalise the Community Development Program reform process since last December. Every request is met with silence,

The Prime Minister and Minister for Indigenous Affairs never tire of talking about how they want to do things with us, not to us. That they want new ways of working with Aboriginal people. Yet here is a program that affects the lives of 29,000 Indigenous people and has caused immense harm, and we still can’t get confirmation of a process that includes us,”

John Paterson CEO AMSANT spokesperson from APO NT

The Australian Government must step out from behind closed doors and involve Indigenous people in a transparent process for reforming the discriminatory remote ‘work for the dole’ scheme, the Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT (APO NT)1 urged today.

The Government committed to reviewing the program, called the ‘Community Development Program’ (CDP) and consulting with remote communities in May 2017.

Australia’s election to the world’s leading human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council, this week relied on a pledge to support the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ‘in both word and deed’. The Declaration requires the Government to work in partnership with Aboriginal people and respect the right to self-determination.

“The Australian Government said to the world that it would tackle Indigenous disadvantage in partnership with our people. Meanwhile the Government’s racially discriminatory program results in Aboriginal people receiving more penalties than other Australians, and hurts our communities,” said Mr Paterson.

“If the Government is serious about the promises it made to get elected to the Council, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs will immediately announce an independent and transparent reform process involving a partnership with Aboriginal people,” added Mr Paterson.

APO NT launched a positive alternative to CDP in Canberra last month (APO NT alternative to CDP). Our model would create 10,500 part time jobs to be filled by people in remote communities who currently get less than the minimum wage to do work they should be employed and paid properly to do. Our model would create new jobs and enterprises, strengthen communities and get rid of pointless administration. It has incentives to encourage people into work, training and other activities, rather than punishing people who are already struggling.

David Ross from APO NT, said, “Thirty-three organisations from around Australia have endorsed our new model. We have done the work, we want to talk, and we want a program that will actually deliver positive outcomes on the ground.”

“The Australian Government appears to be unable to put the rhetoric of collaboration into practice. What do all these commitments mean if they don’t deliver a seat at the table on this fundamental issue? Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past and impose a top-down program from Canberra that is guaranteed to fail in remote Australia,” Mr Ross concluded.

KEY FACTS ABOUT THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SCHEME

The CDP is the main program of job related assistance for unemployed people in remote areas of Australia. It is the equivalent of job active (formerly JSA) and Disability Employment Services in the rest of the country.

The CDP has around 35,000 participants, around 83% of whom are identified as Indigenous.

People with full time work capacity who are 18-49 years old must Work for the Dole, 25 hours per week, 5 days per week, at least 46 weeks per year (1150 hours per year). Under job active Work for the Dole only starts after 12 months, and then for 390-650 hours per year.

Despite having a caseload less than a 20th the size of job active, more penalties are applied to CDP participants than to jobactive participants.

In the 21 months from the start of CDP on 1 July 2015 to the end of March 2017, 299,055 financial penalties were applied to CDP participants. Over the same period, 237,333 financial penalties were applied to jobactive participants.

8.ACT : Winnunga ACCHO Newsletter September 2017

Download a PDF copy HERE

Winnunga AHCS Newsletter September 2017

9. Tas: Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre : Hobart seeks OZ Day move

 

Welcome your comments about all these ACCHO stories

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Evaluation Alert : Minister @KenWyattMP engages consultants to evaluates the #IAHP Indigenous Australians’ Health Program

Independent consultants have been engaged to conduct evaluations of the Australian Government’s Indigenous Australians’ Health Program (IAHP).

Our focus is on closing the gap and, while we are making gains, we need to accelerate progress and in some cases, just doing more of the same is not going to achieve that,

We need to know what is working well so we can best target our investment in, and support of, health programs.

The consultants will work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and key consumer, primary health care and government organisations, The subsequent implementation of the agreed evaluation design will be a separate, four-year project.”

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, said the two projects were part of a wide ranging approach to monitor and examine the IAHP.See NACCHO background below Part 2 and 3

1.A longer term evaluation of comprehensive primary health care will be co-designed with stakeholders over 9 months, by consultants Allen and Clarke.

2.In addition, a health economics analysis will be undertaken by Deakin University.

This project will consider the IAHP’s return on investment and the relative costs of providing comprehensive primary health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through Indigenous specific and non-Indigenous health care services.

“Improved health results, social returns and broader economic benefits will be assessed,” said Minister Wyatt.

“This economic evaluation will inform future IAHP investments, to improve efficiency and drive better health outcomes.

“Both studies will be supported by an Evaluation Advisory Group comprised of key stakeholders and health experts, to ensure a wide range of perspectives are taken into account.

“This work aligns with the Turnbull Government’s commitment to a more strategic, long-term approach to Indigenous health and Indigenous affairs as a whole.”

Part 2 NACCHO Background : IAHP Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme

The Indigenous Health Division is responsible for the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme, which commenced on 1 July 2014.

This Programme consolidated four Indigenous health funding streams: primary health care base funding; child and maternal health activities; Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory (Health); and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chronic Disease Fund.

The following themes comprise the Programme:

  • Primary Health Care Services;
  • Improving Access to Primary Health Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People;
  • Targeted Health Activities;
  • Capital Works; and
  • Governance and System Effectiveness.

The Guidelines for the Programme provide an overview of the arrangements for the administration of, and activities that may be funded under, the Programme.

PDF version: Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme Guideline – PDF 501 KB

Part 3 NACCHO background history February 2016

NACCHO $ Aboriginal Health Funding alert :Federal Goverment’s Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme

1.Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme – Tackling Indigenous Smoking Innovation Grants

The Australian Government has made available $6.3 million over three financial years from June 2016 to June 2018 for innovation grants. These projects will offer innovative and intense activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to reduce smoking prevalence in remote areas, for pregnant women and for young people vulnerable to entrenched cultural norms of smoking.

It is expected that successful grant recipients will work in collaborative partnerships of research organisations and service providers to seek solutions to reduce rates of smoking that have been resistant to reduction. This arrangement will improve the evidence on how to reduce smoking rates in areas or groups of high need and interventions will be evaluated in context to add to existing understanding of what works and what does not work in what circumstances.

This will be a competitive, open process for which various health service providers and research organisations may apply

2.Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme – Service Maintenance Programme

The Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme’s Service Maintenance Programme (SMP) is providing Commonwealth funded Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) a total of up to $2 million (GST exclusive) in grant funding in 2015-16. SMP grants will provide for the priority repair and upgrade of clinics and staff housing facilities run by organisations which aim to improve access to services and improve health outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

3.Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme – Primary Health Care Activity

The Department of Health has released two Invitations to Apply for the continuation of Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) in selected communities and regions across Australia for two years from 2016-17. IAHP Primary Health Care Activity aims to improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to effective and high quality health care services essential to improving health and life expectancy, and reducing child mortality. New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services Activity aims to improve the health of Indigenous Australians by improving access to antenatal care and maternal and child health services by Indigenous children, their mothers and families.

4.Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme – New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services Activity

The Department of Health has released two Invitations to Apply for the continuation of Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) in selected communities and regions across Australia for two years from 2016-17. IAHP Primary Health Care Activity aims to improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to effective and high quality health care services essential to improving health and life expectancy, and reducing child mortality. New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services Activity aims to improve the health of Indigenous Australians by improving access to antenatal care and maternal and child health services by Indigenous children, their mothers and families

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Disability : Can #NDIS Agency Actions Improve #Indigenous Participant Experience ?

 ” Participants by Indigenous and CALD status : The number of NDIS participants who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander is broadly in line with estimates of disability prevalence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represent 3 per cent of the population (ABS 2017a), and estimates of disability prevalence range from between 1.5 to 2 times the prevalence of the non-Indigenous population (ABS 2016a, 2016b; AIHW 2016).

The NDIS data indicate that about 5 per cent of NDIS participants identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

However, some caution is warranted as it is not clear how the rollout schedule has influenced the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants in the scheme and there are some factors that may make it difficult for the NDIS to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability are reluctant to identify as people with disability and have only had a limited interaction with the disability service system (FPDN 2016)).

Download the NDIS Summary Report  ndis-costs-overview

Download the full NDIS Report ndis-costs2

Read over 25 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Disability NDIS articles

 ” The NDIA said work was also underway to develop tailored pathways to ensure the NDIA had the right response for all participants, including people with psychosocial disability, children, people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with more complex needs.”

NDIS Agency Takes Action to Improve Participant Experience

Download 9 Page New-pathway-experience-combined

 ” It is [also] anticipated that the capacity for outreach will be significantly diminished due to the NDIS pricing structure. The most marginalised and vulnerable groups (eg homeless, CALD [culturally and linguistically diverse] communities, young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders), and those who are particularly unwell, often need assertive and active outreach to engage.

With a framework based on individual choice and control, consumers who don’t have knowledge of the NDIS, the ability to advocate for themselves or connections with support services (eg people who are homeless or socially isolated) may miss out on the benefits of the NDIS. It is critical that existing services and supports continue to be funded to ensure supports are provided to the most vulnerable groups. (sub. 50, p. 13) “

NACCHO has #NDIS questions for our ACCHO member discussion

1) Are any of your members approved providers of disability services under the NDIS? What services do they provide?

2) What is your members’ experience of accessing the NDIS, both as providers and assisting potential participants? What works, and what needs improving?

3) What accessible and culturally appropriate resources and documents are available for ACCHS and participants seeking to access the NDIS? Have you developed any resources for your members that you would be willing to share with the network? 

4) If insufficient resources exist, would you be willing to lead a network collaboration to develop some?

5) What other assistance can NACCHO and affiliates provide in supporting ACCHS to access NDIS funding?

NACCHO  welcomes your feedback and comments

NACCHO Contact

Paul Gardner NACCHO Policy Officer Ph: (02) 6246 9314 Email

OR  leave comments below

 ” Thin markets need more attention .When creating a new market for disability supports, there is a risk that, in some areas, or for some types of supports, the market (the number of providers or participants) will be too small to support the competitive provision of services (‘thin market’).

Thin markets are not new — they have been, and will continue to be, a persistent feature of the disability support sector.

In the absence of government intervention, there will be greater shortages, less competition, and ultimately poorer outcomes for participants. Participants at most risk are those who:

  •  live in outer regional, remote or very remote areas
  •  have complex, specialised or high intensity needs, or very challenging behaviours
  •  are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  •  are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians
  •  have an acute and immediate need (crisis care and accommodation).

NDIS timetable won’t be met, Productivity Commission warns

The federal government will not meet its target of 475,000 national disability insurance scheme participants by 2019-20, and is failing to grow the disability workforce fast enough to meet the looming demand, the Productivity Commission has warned.

From The Guardian

The commission releases its report on the costs of the $22bn NDIS on Thursday, and offers a bleak assessment of its chances of meeting the tight deadlines set out in a series of bilateral agreements between the commonwealth and the states and territories.

About 100,000 people have already been signed up but the government must develop support plans for at least 475,000 by 2019-20.

To meet that deadline, the NDIS – the biggest social reform since Medicare – is being implemented at a dizzying speed. Advocates have long voiced concerns that the pace of the rollout is compromising decision making and leaving people with a disability with inadequate support packages.

Those fears were confirmed by the Productivity Commission’s report, which said the “[National Disability Insurance Agency’s] focus on participant intake has compromised the quality of plans and participant outcomes”.

“Quality plans are critical, not only for participant outcomes but also for sending the right signals to providers about demand for supports and containing long-term costs of the scheme,” the Productivity Commission said.

The report described the pace of change brought by the NDIS as “unprecedented”, and warned meeting the intake targets would require the approval of hundreds of plans a day, and the review of hundreds more.

In the final year of the transition, it would require the approval of 500 plans – each complex and tailored to the needs of the individual – every day.

“The reality is that the current timetable for participant intake will not be met,” the report said. “Governments and the NDIA need to start planning now for a changed timetable, including working through the financial implications.”

The timetable would be pushed out by at least a year, the report warned, or possibly longer, if the rollout continues to fall behind.

The commission also recommended that states and territories increase their funding to the scheme by 4% from 2019-20, rather than 3.5%.

The growth of the disability workforce was found to be “way too slow”. At full operation, the scheme will require 70,000 additional disability support care workers. That means one in every five jobs created now need to be in the disability sector.

The Productivity Commission recommended the looming shortages be addressed by a targeted approach to skilled migration, intervention in thin markets, and independent price monitoring and regulation.

The report also urged for state and territory funding to be restored to disability advocacy groups.

Advocacy groups fight for the rights and interests of people with a disability and their carers, families and providers, a service particularly important during the complex and confusing NDIS transition.

But in NSW alone, 50 groups are facing closure as the state pulls funding and puts the onus on the NDIS and Commonwealth to replace it.

“As advocacy remains important over the transition period, the commission recommends that funding be restored by jurisdictions that have ceased or reduced funding, and data collection and evaluation of disability advocacy be increased,” the report said.

But the overall message of the report was positive. The NDIS, if implemented well, would greatly improve the lives of people with a disability, it found. The support for the scheme was described as “overwhelming” and “extraordinary”.

The costs were broadly in line with what was expected, although that was largely because not all supports were being used by participants.

The report called for greater attention on the pre-planning and planning phases of the NDIS, which help determine what supports an individual is eligible for and for how long.

It comes just a day after the NDIA announced an overhaul of the way it interacts with people with a disability, promising more face-to-face planning conversations, and simpler and clearer communications.

The NDIA chief executive, Robert De Luca, conceded there had been flaws in the early implementation of the scheme, which were being learned from and addressed.

“What we’ve heard through the process is that the phone conversation hasn’t always been as engaging as it could have been in a face-to-face environment,” De Luca told Guardian Australia.

“The capability of the people on the phone wasn’t at the right level to understand the needs of the people that we’re helping.”

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Healthy Futures #closethegap #socialdeterminants @pmc_gov_au Debate : Where to from here?

 

” Federal Indigenous affairs bureaucrats have released a draft of their new evaluation framework, eight months after the Commonwealth committed $40 million over four years to evaluate policies in the portfolio and put a highly regarded university professor in the driving seat.

The draft sets out processes to look more objectively at national policies to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and contribute to Closing the Gap, which have been led by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for the past few years.”This is intended to align with the role of the Productivity Commission in overseeing the development and implementation of a whole of government evaluation strategy of policies and programs that effect Indigenous Australians,”

PM&C sets high standards for Indigenous affairs evaluation see PART 1 Below

 ”  It’s been widely known for fifty years that the health of Aboriginal people lags far behind that of other Australians. Despite that and the expenditure of billions of taxpayers’ dollars, serious gaps persist between Indigenous versus non-Indigenous health and wellbeing.

There is compelling evidence that social factors are potent determinants of the health of populations. In the simplest of terms these are (a) social disadvantage, and (b) the relationship of Indigenous Australians to mainstream society. Associated with these are basic issues already mentioned; these include education, housing standards, employment and socio-economic status. These must be addressed if health disadvantages are to be overcome. Until this happens the poor health outcomes of Indigenous Australians will persist.

It’s easy to identify medical problems, perhaps because they can be classified and measured. It is tempting then to decide that these problems are ‘medical’ and, therefore, should respond to ‘medical’ interventions or approaches in isolation. This is dangerously misleading.

It’s time for clinicians to realise and publicly acknowledge that most of the important issues which determine the health status of Indigenous people have ‘non-medical’ roots and need vigorous ‘non-medical’ approaches in order to be corrected.

 MICHAEL GRACEY. Aboriginal health: An embarrassing decades-long saga See Part 2 Below

Part 1

Around the same time as the new evaluation funding was announced, Malcolm Turnbull sought out indigenous health expert Ian Anderson to take over as deputy secretary leading the PM&C indigenous affairs group, which is also the only group within the central department overseen by an associate secretary, Andrew Tongue.

FROM The Mandarin

Anderson’s first major task was a review of the Closing the Gap target framework, which focuses attention on particular indicators of disadvantage. A few months into the job he set out some of his thoughts in a public speech at a special event marking 50 years since the referendum that effectively created this area of federal policy.

The framework notes good evaluation is “planned from the start, and provides feedback along the way” (referencing the audit office’s 2014 better practice guide to public sector governance).

“Good evaluation is systematic, defensible, credible and unbiased. It is respectful of diverse voices and world-views.

“Evaluation is distinct from but related to monitoring and performance reviews. Evaluation may use data gathered in monitoring as one source of evidence, while information obtained through monitoring and performance reviews may help inform evaluation priorities.”

The credibility of future evaluations depends on demonstrating their independence. To this end, the framework says a new external advisory committee, membership so far unknown, will “support transparency and ensure the conduct and prioritisation of evaluations is independent and impartial” by overseeing how the new framework is applied, checking the annual evaluation plan and with “ongoing advice, quality assurance and review”.

A “commitment to transparency” is also included. The committee will publish “all high priority evaluations” and reviews of them. Others will be randomly reviewed and summarised in an annual report.

“At the three year mark an independent meta-review of IAG evaluations will be undertaken to assess the extent to which the Framework has achieved its aims for greater capability, integration and use of robust evaluation evidence against the standards described under each of the best practice principles.”

All the actual evaluation reports will be published as well, at least in summary form, including “where ethical confidentiality concerns or commercial in confidence requirements” apply. Indigenous communities that have participated in evaluations will get to see the results too and additional “knowledge translation” efforts are proposed:

“Evaluation findings will be of interest to communities and service providers implementing programs as well as government decision-makers. Evaluation activities under the Framework will be designed to support service providers in gaining feedback about innovative approaches to program implementation and practical strategies for achieving positive outcomes across a range of community settings.”

The draft framework says it aims to:

  • generate high quality evidence that is used to inform decision making,
  • strengthen Indigenous leadership in evaluation,
  • build capability by fostering a collaborative culture of evaluative thinking and continuous learning across the IAG and more broadly across communities and organisations, and
  • place collaboration and ethical ways of doing high quality evaluation at the forefront of evaluation practice in order to inform decision making.

Higher quality evaluation that is “ethical, inclusive and focused on improving outcomes” is more likely to have impact, the draft points out. “It aims to pursue consistent standards of evaluation of Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) programs but not impose a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of evaluation.”

The guide calls for best-practice evaluation to be “integrated into the cycles of policy and community decision-making” in a way that is “collaborative, timely and culturally inclusive.”

“Our approach to evaluation, as outlined in this Framework, reflects a strong commitment to working with Indigenous Australians.

“Our collaborative efforts centre on recognising the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and cultures.

“Fostering leadership and bringing the diverse perspectives of Indigenous Australians into evaluation processes helps ensure the relevance, credibility and usefulness of evaluation findings. In evaluation, this means we value the involvement of Indigenous Australian evaluators in conducting all forms of evaluation, particularly using participatory methods that grow our mutual understanding.”

Indigenous Advancement Strategy evaluations will look at how well programs meet three criteria:

Do they build on strengths to make a positive contribution to the lives of current and future generations of Indigenous Australians?

Are they designed and delivered in collaboration with Indigenous Australians, ensuring diverse voices are heard and respected?

Do they demonstrate cultural respect towards Indigenous Australians?

Four elements of good evaluation

The draft framework lists four elements of good evaluations — they are robust, relevant, credible and appropriate, which is to say they are “fit for purpose” and done in a timely fashion — and explains in detail how each of these ideals is to be achieved in Indigenous affairs through higher standards.

“Evaluation needs to be integrated into the feedback cycles of policy, program design and evidence-informed decision-making,” explains a chapter on relevance. “Evaluation feedback cycles can provide insights to service providers and communities to enhance the evidence available to support positive change. This can occur at many points in the cycle.”

While not being too prescriptive, the framework aims to set a high standard for the evidence that is used to judge the impact of programs.

“A range of evaluation methodologies can be used to undertake impact evaluation. Evaluations under the Framework will range in scope, scale, and in the kinds of questions they ask. Measuring long-term impact is challenging but important. We need to identify markers of progress that are linked by evidence to the desired outcomes.

“The transferability of evaluation findings are critical to ensure relevant and useful knowledge is generated under the Framework. High quality impact evaluations use appropriate methods and draw upon a range of data sources both qualitative and quantitative.

“Evaluation design should utilise methodologies that produce rigorous evidence and make full use of participatory methods. Use of participatory approaches to evaluation is one example of demonstrating the core values of the Framework in practice.”

Perhaps the moves to take a more academic approach at the federal level will allow for more open discussion of what works, in a portfolio where this year the minister has seen fit to publicly attack researchers in the field, and blast the independent audit office for doing its job instead of helping him attack the opposition.

Part 2 :  Aboriginal health: An embarrassing decades-long saga

It’s been widely known for fifty years that the health of Aboriginal people lags far behind that of other Australians. Despite that and the expenditure of billions of taxpayers’ dollars, serious gaps persist between Indigenous versus non-Indigenous health and wellbeing.

Recognition of an Aboriginal Health Problem

When these inequities were recognised in the 1960s the very high rates of Aboriginal childhood malnutrition and infections and high death rates of infants and young children brought home the unpalatable fact that Australia had a so-called ‘Third World’ health problem. This is a feature of poverty-stricken nations. This was clearly unacceptable in our otherwise affluent and healthy country. There was a public outcry which stirred the federal government into attempts to remedy this embarrassing state of affairs.

In 1979 the Commonwealth Parliamentary Committee on Aboriginal Affairs found that . . .

‘the appalling state of Aboriginal health’ . . . ‘can be largely attributed to the unsatisfactory environmental conditions in which Aboriginals live, to their low socio-economic status in the Australian community, and to the failure of health authorities to give sufficient attention to the special needs of Aboriginals and to take proper account of their social and cultural beliefs and practices’ . . .

The Committee criticised governments for their lack of recognition of these factors and commented on the need for Aboriginal people to be much more closely involved in all stages of planning and delivering their own health care. Notwithstanding some improvements in Indigenous health which occurred over the almost forty years that followed, many of that Committee’s findings and criticisms are still valid.

Efforts to Improve Indigenous Health

In 1981 a $50 million Aboriginal Health Improvement Program was launched with the aim of upgrading environmental health standards, such as better housing and community and family hygiene conditions. Government funds were allocated and State and Territory health departments implemented strategies and programs and deployed clinical and allied staff in order to achieve better Indigenous health.

An important objective was to provide more accessible services for Indigenous people. Some positive health gains followed; for example, better pregnancy outcomes, fewer maternal deaths, fewer infant and young child infections, suppression of vaccine-preventable illnesses through immunisation, and lower infant death rates.

This should have helped Indigenous youngsters to negotiate the rough ride through early life that would otherwise have been their lot. However, health and disease statistics for Indigenous Australians generally stayed well behind those of other citizens in the years that followed.

Strategies to ‘Close the Gap’

The persisting poor standards of Indigenous health prompted the Federal Government in 2008 to ‘Close the Gap’ for Indigenous Australians in a range of health outcomes and other facets of life and wellbeing so that they and other Australians would have ‘equal life chances’. The then Prime Minister Rudd anticipated within a decade halving the widening gap in literacy, numeracy and employment opportunities for Indigenous people. The Statement of Intent also anticipated better opportunities for Indigenous children so that within a decade . . . “the appalling gap in infant mortality rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children would be halved and, within a generation, the equally appalling 17-year life gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous when it comes to overall life expectancy” . . .  would be gone.

These aspirations seemed commendable and were well received by the public. However, their feasibility was questioned soon after they were announced. The target of closing the gap in life expectancy was said to be “probably unattainable” and the capacity to extinguish the risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease) and related deaths was considered publicly by a renowned medical expert to be “implausible” in the 22-year timetable set out by the government. This is pertinent because those chronic diseases are the main contributor to the discrepancy in Indigenous versus non-Indigenous deaths. Those reservations were well founded.

Obstructions to Closing the Gap

Indigenous Australians now have very high rates of chronic diseases, as already mentioned. These are aggravated by smoking- and drug-related disorders. These conditions are long-term and have permanent complications, such as visual loss or blindness, or severe limitations on mobility. These cannot be reversed and, therefore, restrict prospects for longevity. In many Aboriginal communities a third or half of adults 35 years or over have one or more of these problems. Nationally, these diseases and accidental or intentional injuries, including suicide and homicide, are several times more prevalent in Indigenous Australians than in the total Australian population.

This well-documented and widespread heavy burden of illnesses, disabilities and related excess premature deaths among Indigenous Australians makes it virtually impossible to remove, within a generation, the inequalities between this pattern and the better outcomes which prevail in the rest of the population. This is made more difficult because some of these problems are trans-generational and can have their origins during intra-uterine development.

There are practical impediments in bringing better health to the Indigenous population. Inadequate access and maldistribution of facilities, personnel and services can be serious drawbacks, particularly in rural and remote areas. Of course, improving access to services does not necessarily lead to their appropriate utilisation.

And compliance with treatments and follow-up supervision and medications can be problematic. Similarly, altering health knowledge and modifying risky personal lifestyles are difficult among many people whether they are Indigenous or not. There have also been serious problems with management and governance of clinical services for Indigenous people whether they are Indigenous-specific or mainstream services.

This has tended to weaken their impact on health service delivery and waste limited financial and other resources. Collectively, all of these factors have diluted the much-needed positive outcomes of efforts to close the gaps in Aboriginal health standards and statistics.

Indigenous Health: the current situation

Some indicators of the current situation are revealing: death rates of Indigenous children under five years are more than double the national rates; their low birth weight rate is about double the overall national rate; hospitalisation rates are almost three times the national rates; hospital admission rates for potentially preventable conditions are almost four times higher; deaths from complications of diabetes at 35 to 55 years are approximately twenty times higher; and dementia rates are about five time higher than in non-Indigenous Australians and the  condition starts earlier in life. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimated that among Indigenous Australians born from 2010 to 2012 life expectancy would be about nine to ten years shorter than for other Australians. These indicators of health status, illness patterns and life expectancy are disgraceful and require urgent attention.

Where to from here?

 The targets set to be met by the Close the Gap Strategy are reported publicly each year. Regrettably, the goals are falling short in many of the government’s nominated areas. These include several of the health-related areas which have been mentioned.
Tellingly, the targets are not being met in many other facets of Indigenous life which have significant impacts on physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing.

These include, for example, early childhood schooling rates, closing the gaps in literacy and numeracy for older Indigenous schoolchildren, achieving equity in employment rates and the economic benefits which should follow, having Indigenous people housed in adequate and hygienic living conditions, and being more engaged with the wider Australian community in various day-to-day activities. These failures have been publicly acknowledged by successive Prime Ministers including Abbott and Turnbull.
In the health arena itself there is a need for closer cooperation and collaboration between the three main sectors which provide curative and health promotion activities for Indigenous people. These sectors are: (a) mainstream services provided by governments; (b) Indigenous-specific services from Aboriginal or Indigenous Health or Medical Services; and (c) privately funded clinical and allied services. There is often overlapping of these sectors and, sometimes, issues of territoriality which detract from their effectiveness and, potentially, add to the financial costs involved.
As mentioned by that Parliamentary Committee as far back as 1979, there is a pressing need for more Indigenous involvement and responsibility for decision-making and delivery of their own health services. Although this is improving slowly, there is a long way to go before those people who need the services have the power to help control their own future health. This is particularly so in remote areas where local communities and their committees are often sidelined from this important function.

Social Dimensions which affect Health

There is compelling evidence that social factors are potent determinants of the health of populations.

In the simplest of terms these are (a) social disadvantage, and (b) the relationship of Indigenous Australians to mainstream society. Associated with these are basic issues already mentioned; these include education, housing standards, employment and socio-economic status.

These must be addressed if health disadvantages are to be overcome. Until this happens the poor health outcomes of Indigenous Australians will persist.

It’s easy to identify medical problems, perhaps because they can be classified and measured. It is tempting then to decide that these problems are ‘medical’ and, therefore, should respond to ‘medical’ interventions or approaches in isolation. This is dangerously misleading. It’s time for clinicians to realise and publicly acknowledge that most of the important issues which determine the health status of Indigenous people have ‘non-medical’ roots and need vigorous ‘non-medical’ approaches in order to be corrected. This means, of course, that non-medical sectors of governments must accept more responsibility and become more actively involved in issues which ultimately determine the health of populations which they are expected to serve. This will require a major shift in thinking within Federal and State governments and bureaucracies and wider acceptance among the Australian community.

The challenges are daunting but the need is urgent. Surely it is within our collective capabilities to turn around this sad and long-standing saga into a success story.

Michael Gracey AO is a paediatrician who has worked with Indigenous children, their families and communities for more than forty years. He was Australia’s first Professor of Aboriginal Health and for many years was Principal Medical Adviser on Aboriginal Health to the Western Australian Department of Health. He is a former President of the International Paediatric Association.

NACCHO Aboriginal #MentalHealthDay 2/2 @KenWyattMP Minister Scullion : Download Building a Better Understanding of Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health

“Social and emotional wellbeing is the foundation for physical and mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and is essential for them to  lead successful and fulfilling lives.

“This framework will help shape the way we consider and deal with social and emotional wellbeing and mental health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

Professor Pat Dudgeon

The framework was developed under the auspices of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group, co-chaired by Professor Pat Dudgeon and Professor Tom Calma AO.

“ The Framework recognises the importance of connection to land, culture, spirituality and ancestry and how these affect individuals and their mental health. This is about working with, and respecting, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.”

Minister Wyatt noted that the framework provides a dedicated focus on improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by providing holistic care.

See also our previous NACCHO post today

NACCHO Aboriginal #MentalHealthDay 1/2  : Australia’s new digital #mentalhealth gateway now live

Today is World Mental Health Day – a day to raise awareness and educate people and communities about mental health issues.

This is especially important for First Australians who experience higher levels of mental health issues than other Australians.

Today saw the public release of the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023.

Download the Framework HERE

MHSEWB framework 17-23

This framework sets out a comprehensive and culturally appropriate guide for use by Indigenous specific and mainstream health services.

It will also inform the development of social and emotional wellbeing and mental health programs and activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion, noted that this will be an invaluable resource for policy makers, Primary Health Networks, service providers, and health professionals.

“The Australian Government is committed to improving the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health outcomes for First Australians” Minister Scullion said.

“The framework has been developed to help direct social and emotional wellbeing and mental health programs and reforms and has been endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council.