NACCHO Aboriginal Male Health #OCHREDay Press Release : Over 200 delegates inspired to take home new skills and knowledge to face the challenges in improving the health of men in their communities.

“We all know about the statistics in regards to Indigenous men’s health, we got some pretty numbers, better than some cricket scores.

We can close the gap about men’s health a lot better than a lot of the attempts that were made from Canberra.”

Ernie Dingo spoke at Ochre Day about their successful men’s health remote community program – Camping on Countrywhere culture is an integral part of health

NACCHO Ochre Day is an important event that reflects on the social and emotional issues our men face and are less likely to seek help for themselves. It is a great platform to hear stories of hope and empowerment and to learn what is working in our communities – of strategies that are successful for our men to take better care of their health and wellbeing.

This year’s conference saw great participation from all 200 delegates who embraced the three focus areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men being in control, innovative and influential.

 Problems were met with solutions, with many delegates taking home new skills and knowledge to face the challenges in improving the health of men in their communities.”

NACCHO’s commitment is to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males to live longer, healthier lives and reduce the rate of preventable hospitalisations, which is almost three times higher than for other Australian men.”

Mr John Paterson, CEO of Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) and spokesperson for NACCHO said in his opening address at the seventh annual Ochre Day Men’s Health Conference over August 29-30 at Pullman On the Park, Melbourne : Hosted by VACCHO

Read in full John Paterson’s opening speech

Read and or Download this NACCHO Press Release HERE

NACCHO Ochre Day Media Release 30 August 2019

Please note all photography James Henry : Contact Here

The NACCHO Ochre Day Conference celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male health and wellbeing.

It upholds traditional values of respect for the law, elders, culture and traditions, responsibility as leaders and men, holders of lore, providers, warriors and protectors of families.

The enduring theme for the conference is – Men’s Health, Our Way. Let’s Own It!

The comprehensive program had an eminent line-up of speakers cover diverse topics, such as behavioural change and using data to tell stories about health.

“True empowering moments are the connections and friendships that lead the change for ourself’s, family and communities.

Strong men, Strong families and strong communities”.

Patrick Johnson at OCHRE day 

In photo above from left to right : Preston Campbell Dally M Award winner, Olympian Karl Vander-Kuyp ,Lomas Amini Bush TV, Ben Mitchell OChre Day MC Coolamon Adisors and Patrick Johnson Olympian and Deadly Choices Ambassador

Read or Download a full list of speakers HERE

Please note a full Ochre Day report on all speakers will be published next month 

Lomas Amini and Ernie Dingo spoke about their successful men’s health remote community program – Camping on Country, where culture is an integral part of health.

While Delroy Bergsma and Robert Binismar of Youth Focus shared their success stories in using art and music to help young people in rural areas deal with mental health.

Former NRL star and community leader Preston Campbell moved delegates, speaking about what it means to be a leader and an Elder.

He drove home the message that “Leaders aren’t the ones proclaiming to be leaders. Leaders put their hand up and take accountability”. Preston shared how his NRL career taught him the value of self-reflection and honesty in articulating a vision for his community.

Every year, during the Ochre Day conference, NACCHO hosts a memorial dinner in honour of Jaydon Adams, a young leader whose contribution to youth participation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health lives on.

The winner of the 2019 Jaydon Adams Memorial Award was Nathan Taylor from Dandenong and District Aborigines Co-operative Ltd. Pictured here on right with Mark and Lizzie Adams

Nathan was recognised for his exemplary work as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth worker

Nathan Taylor is employed as a Youth Worker at DDACL. In his role he comes into contact with many Aboriginal young people and is always caring about what they are doing and their health and their current situation. He shows exemplary care and concern for his fellow Koori (male or female) and advocates on their behalf with various providers, especially within our organisation.

Nathan Taylor is always concerned about better health for Aboriginal young people. He has been integrally involved in a good health program for young people early in the morning before school. He arranges to pick them up, gets them to a basketball facility and puts them through their paces, then they get ready and changed and have breakfast. He then drops them off at school.

It has changed these young peoples perceptions of themselves and improved their outlook on life and lifting their self-esteem and has encouraged them to do better at school and be more mindful of their health and that of their family and friends.

Nathan Taylor understands that young people need to be active and that will help them to stay fit through out their life, prevent take up of smoking and enable them to be better parents for the next generation and good roll models for our community at large. He knows that this will help reduce incidents of chronic disease like hypertension and diabetes, and reduce the risks of stroke and other lifestyle illnesses.

Nathan Taylor has a soft voice and a personal way of engaging with Aboriginal young people. He is able to build a quick rapport and to find out about a person (who they are and where they’re from) so that he can provide advice or a point of referral.

In 2018 Nathan Taylor earned a Diploma in Youth and received the Koori Student of the Year Award for 2018 and the CEO Award from Chisholm Institute TAFE Dandenong i

Our thanks to the sponsors Aboriginal Health Television

See AHTV website

Aboriginal Health Television (AHTV) has potential to reach over 1 million patients, family members and carers every month in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations & Aboriginal Medical Services across the country.

Our digital TV network delivers targeted, culturally relevant, health & wellbeing messages to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities resulting in better health decisions & outcomes

Jake Thomson pictured below

NACCHO Aboriginal Men’s Health : John Paterson launches Men’s Health Our Way – Let’s Own it #Ochre Day program in Melbourne around three main themes, – In Control, Influence and Innovation : Read full speech HERE

Ochre Day is an important event for reflecting on these issues, and for hearing stories of hope and empowerment, and learning what is working in our communities – of strategies that are successful in engaging our men to take better care of their health and wellbeing.

It is good to see that other presentations will also be illustrating the connections between culture, sense of place and wellbeing, and the importance of supporting Aboriginal men to become leaders, role models and mentors within their communities. ”

Opening address by John Paterson, AMSANT CEO August 29

Download or view the full 2 Day Program

Good Morning everyone and welcome to the NACCHO Ochre Day Men’s Health Conference.

My name is John Paterson, I am a Ngalakan man from the Roper River Region of the NT. I am the CEO of AMSANT, the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health peak body in the Northern Territory, and I have been invited to speak to you today on behalf of NACCHO.

I would like to acknowledge that the land we meet on today is the traditional lands for the Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurnundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation. Their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurnundjeri) people today.

This is also true for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that are here this morning. We draw on the strength of our lands, our Elders past and on the lived experience of our community members.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank our hosts, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

And finally, I would like to acknowledge and welcome our Mr Phillip Matsamato of Broome who has been our patron since 2013

Ochre Day was first held in 2013.

It is an important initiative that seeks to bring a positive approach to male health and wellbeing that celebrates Aboriginal masculinities, and uphold our traditional values of respect for our laws, respect for Elders, culture and traditions, responsibility as leaders and men, teachers of young males, holders of lore, providers, warriors and protectors of our families, women, old people, and children.

Finally, NACCHO’s commitment is to support Aboriginal males to live longer, healthier lives as males for themselves.

The goals of Ochre Day are to:

  • Provide an opportunity to ‘showcase’ examples of best practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male health service delivery;
  • Raise awareness of issues that have an impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male health and social, emotional wellbeing; and
  • Enable the exchange of information among delegates on initiatives that are focused on improving male health and wellbeing.

This year’s Ochre Day program has been developed around three main themes, – In Control, Influence and Innovation. They focus on strategies that:

  • Enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to take control of their health;
  • Influence new health behaviours; and
  • Highlight new innovations in Aboriginal men’s health.

The three main themes sit comfortably with the Ochre Day logo – Men’s Health Our Way – Let’s Own it.

This year marks the seventh Ochre Day. The concept of Ochre Day was developed in 2013 by Mark Saunders and Colin Cowell to launch the NACCHO Aboriginal Male Health 10-Point Blueprint Plan 2013 -2030.

Deputy NACCHO chair Matthew Cooke, Chair Justin Mohamed and board member John Singer launching Blueprint 2013

The 2013 one day event was held in a marque in front of Parliament House Canberra to highlight the positive work of Aboriginal males in our sector and communities

We do not need another top down Federal Government strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Men’s health when we already have the foundations with this Blue Print.

See 2013 BluePrint Plan HERE

Yes ,we need to review and edit our plan but

As we say its Men’s Health Our Way – Let’s Own it.

Speaking of the history of Ochre Day I  would also like to acknowledge the great work of Mark Saunders who managed on very tight budgets the first four Ochre Days held in Canberra , Brisbane , Perth and Adelaide.

See OCHRE DAY history HERE

So why is it important to hold an annual conference specifically focusing on men’s health?

When NACCHO first conceived the idea of an Ochre Day, it was in response to what we were hearing in the Aboriginal Community Controlled health sector, backed up by evidence-based research that suggested our men have the worst health outcomes of any group in Australia.[i]

Our men have an unacceptable higher rate of fatal and non-fatal burden for almost every health condition, and we also have a higher prevalence of risk factors and risk-taking behaviours. We are overrepresented in mental health statistics and are three times more likely to die prematurely than other Australian men.[ii]

Help seeking behaviour is important for addressing health issues. Sadly, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are much less likely than our women to seek help from health professionals.[iii] It is not surprising, then, to learn that our rate of preventable hospitalisations is almost three times higher than for other Australian men.

These statistics paint a disturbing picture of the state of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.

Ochre Day is an important event for reflecting on these issues, and for hearing stories of hope and empowerment, and learning what is working in our communities – of strategies that are successful in engaging our men to take better care of their health and wellbeing.

We are looking forward to hearing from Lomas Amini and Ernie Dingo on how Camping on Country, which has been designed around the principle that culture is an integral part of health, is achieving great outcomes in communities.

It is good to see that other presentations will also be illustrating the connections between culture, sense of place and wellbeing, and the importance of supporting Aboriginal men to become leaders, role models and mentors within their communities.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men make up one of the nine priority population groups of the National Men’s Health Strategy. We will have an opportunity to learn more about the goals of this important strategy later in the program, including how we can become involved in key activities.

We all know the devastating effects of social and emotional wellbeing issues in our communities, and the Ochre Day program includes several presentations on culturally appropriate interventions for engaging with young people and identifying persons with depression and possibly at risk of self-harm.

Sadly, nearly half of our men continue to smoke. This is in comparison with about 17% of non-Indigenous men. As you are aware, smoking is one of the biggest causes of death. It will be good to learn about how a Smoking in Prisons project is being rolled out in SA.

Culturally appropriate health promotion interventions are vital for engaging our men and changing health behaviours. I am looking forward to discovering more about what is working and what doesn’t work. It will also be good to learn more about Aboriginal Health Television, which plays important messages in the reception areas of our Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.

Making sure that we have the information we need to help us improve our health outcomes is also important, and it will be good to hear about a national longitudinal study of culture, health and wellbeing that has been designed by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people.

I am sure that you agree that an excellent program has been put together again. I am confident that the presentations will interest and inform; and I am looking forward to our discussions over the next two days.

I sincerely hope that the knowledge gained from Ochre Day will energise you to continue your ongoing and important contributions to men’s health in your communities.

I HEREBY DECLARE THE SEVENTH ANNUAL NACCHO NATIONAL OCHRE DAY CONFERENCE OPEN

[i] Commonwealth Department of Health. 2019. National Men’s Health Strategy 2020-2030. Canberra.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2017. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework. Canberra.

NACCHO #ClosingTheGap Aboriginal Men’s Health #OCHREDay 1 of 7 : @DrKootsy @theMJA:  Our ACCHO/ AMS’s health services must make the appropriate changes to improve access and, ultimately, men’s health outcomes

 

 Only 7 weeks to the NACCHO OCHRE Day in Melbourne and registrations are open

Between now and the 29-30 August National men’s Conference NACCHO will be publishing each Monday articles about Men’s Health and contributions from an amazing line up of speakers: Our first contribution from Trevor Pearce Acting CEO VACCHO 

” For so many of the men at Ochre Day, healing had come about through being better connected to their culture and understanding, and knowing who they are as Aboriginal men. Culture is what brought them back from the brink.

We’ve long known culture is a protective factor for our people, but hearing so many men in one place discuss how culture literally saved their lives really brought that fact home.

It made me even more conscious of how important it is that we focus on the wellbeing side of Aboriginal health. If we’re really serious about Closing the Gap, we need to fund male wellbeing workers in our Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

In Victoria, the life expectancy of an Aboriginal male is 10 years less than a non-Aboriginal male. Closing the Gap requires a holistic, strength- based response. As one of the fellas said, “you don’t need a university degree to Close the Gap, you just need to listen to our mob”.

I look forward to this year’s Ochre Day being hosted on Victorian country, and for VACCHO being even more involved.”

Trevor Pearce is Acting CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Health Organisation (VACCHO) Originally published here 

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