A peak Aboriginal health body has told a Senate committee that the proposed GP co-payment and changes to the PBS would discourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients seeking preventative health care and impact on efforts to close the gap in Aboriginal life expectancy.
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) submission to the Senate Select Committee on Health also calls for a recommitment to health promotion and early intervention programs and for a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific health initiatives.
The NACCHO submission said health policy should recognise Aboriginal people’s increasing preference to use Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services over mainstream services and ensure funding keeps up with demand and inflation.
“As a nation we must look for ways to improve the health of Aboriginal people and invest in programs and services that are working for Aboriginal people,” Mr Mohamed said.
“We must encourage Aboriginal people to get regular check ups, to see their GP and to participate in initiatives that promote healthy lifestyles.
“The introduction of extra expenses such as GP co-payment and a rise in the cost of PBS medicines will discourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to seek preventative health care and impact on their long-term health.
“The additional expenses will also seriously affect the long term sustainability of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, most of who will not pass on the charges to patients.
“For the sake of the health of Aboriginal men, women and children, these proposals must be rejected.”
Mr Mohamed urged the Senate committee to focus on preventative health measures which deliver long-term benefits through improved health and wellbeing and reduce the burden on the healthcare system at the tertiary and acute end of care.
“The NACCHO submission also calls for ongoing culturally-appropriate health programs that are specifically designed and run-by Aboriginal people as we know these have the greatest success,” Mr Mohamed said.
“In particular, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific population health initiatives and child and maternal health programs must be maintained to ensure we continue to close the gap on life expectancy and infant mortality.”
The most effective and sustainable way to engage Aboriginal people is the community controlled model, underpinned by principles of self-determination and community development. Real savings and progress in healthy outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can only be made by shifting expenditure on hospitals to Comprehensive Primary Health Care providers, who deliver preventative treatments.
NACCHO reject proposed additional healthcare costs, in the form of a GP co-payment and a rise in the cost of accessing PBS medicines, which would discourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients seeking preventative health care and proactively managing chronic disease. Reducing the Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) rebates and incentives would impact the capacity of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) to develop and maintain a sustainable service delivery model.
Recommit to the funding of health promotion and early intervention programs, which deliver long-term benefits through improved health and wellbeing and reduce the burden on the healthcare system at the tertiary and acute end of care. To ensure continued inroads to Close the Gap in overall life expectancy and the infant mortality gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific population health initiatives and child and maternal health programs must be maintained.
Focus needs to be placed on redirecting the expenditure gap in the mainstream services with relatively lower uptake by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the ACCHS sector to better meet demand.
ACCHS provide a long-term employment pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but uncertainty discourages greater uptake of positions in the sector. Greater funding commitments are required to facilitate pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to become health professionals across a diverse range of professions, such as clinical workers, administrative officers and in management.
Funding for ACCHS should be at a minimum indexed for population growth, demand for services and inflation.
The shift away from National Partnership Agreements and the defunding of the COAG Reform Council challenges the transparency and independence of measuring progress in Closing the Gap targets. Renewed commitments are needed to ensure monitoring of outcomes and allocation of resources remains equitable and relevant.
The Indigenous Allied Health Awards recognise the contribution of Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) members to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Indigenous Allied Health Awards showcase the outstanding achievements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health and provides identifiable allied health role models to inspire all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to consider and pursue a career in allied health.
The Indigenous Allied Health Awards will be held on 26 November 2013 at the Hilton Adelaide during the second national conference Healthy Footprints – Leading Generational Change, where winners will be announced.
Nominations close this Friday (tomorrow!) 8 November 2013. There are 5 categories of Indigenous Allied Health Awards:
1. Future Leader in Indigenous Allied Health Award – proudly sponsored by the Healing Foundation
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person
Current IAHA Full Student Member
Currently enrolled in 2nd, 3rd or 4th year of an undergraduate allied health degree.
Significant contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and/or health
An inspirational role model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
2. Indigenous Allied Health Student Achievement Award – proudly sponsored by The Australian Council of Pro Vice-Chancellors and Deans of Health Sciences
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person
Current IAHA Full Student Member
Currently completing their final year of an undergraduate or postgraduate allied health course (excluding PhD)
Consistent academic progress throughout their allied health course
Contribution to university life and/or community and/or Indigenous health
3. Indigenous Allied Health Professional of the Year Award – proudly sponsored by Dietitians Association of Australia
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person
Has completed an undergraduate allied health degree
Current IAHA Graduate Full Member
Significant contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and/or health
An inspirational role model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
4. Commitment to Indigenous Health Award – proudly sponsored by SARRAH
An individual or organisation who actively contributes to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through allied health
Current IAHA Associate Member (Individual or Corporate)
An inspirational role model in Indigenous health
5. IAHA Life Time Achievement Award
Awarded to an IAHA Full Member for long standing commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
National initiatives to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy and to build the supporting health workforce will be discussed and debated at Health Workforce Australia’s (HWA) 2013 national conference in November.
The life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is more than 10 years less than other Australians. In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to close the gap in life expectancy within a generation by 2031.
This commitment affects all health professionals and the way care is provided.
Greg Craven, Deputy Chair of the COAG Reform Council and Adrian Carson (pictured above ), Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, will take part in a panel discussion at HWA’s conference, Skilled and Flexible – The health workforce for Australia’s future.
The session will feature a discussion on the progress made to improve health outcomes to close this gap and how Australia is tracking against its commitment. Mr Craven will also focus on flexible service delivery and funding.
“Any effort to close the gap must acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers make an invaluable contribution,” HWA Acting Chief Executive Ian Crettenden said.
“They are often the first point of contact because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people find it easier to access healthcare services from someone who they can relate to, who understands them and their culture.”
Romlie Mokak, Chief Executive of the Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association, and Janine Milera (pictured above) , Chief Executive of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives, will reveal initiatives underway to help increase the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals in the Australian health workforce.
Murra Mullangari – Pathways Alive and Well is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health careers development program, established by the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association to encourage Indigenous senior secondary school students to remain in school and pursue health careers.
Ms Milera will describe initiatives to overcome the challenge of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people being uncomfortable using mainstream healthcare services.
More than 50 local and international speakers will explore the latest ideas on leadership, innovation and workforce reform at the event at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 18 to 20 November.
Registrations are now open for this year’s conference.
Concession tickets cost $350 and full price tickets are $600.
Writing in the Australian head of the 20th anniversary todays of a landmark indigenous mental health report, Tom Calma and Pat Dudgeon (pictured above)
Recommended providing indigenous Australians with the training, power and resources needed to determine and deliver our own mental health strategies, within our terms of cultural reference and understandings of mental health.
And in the article below about Aboriginal suicide
Call on governments to do more to prevent Aboriginal people choosing death. “While we take great pride in the emergence of an indigenous mental health leadership, we are also frustrated that little on the ground has apparently changed,”
TWENTY years ago tomorrow, the landmark Burdekin report on mental health was launched. Among indigenous Australians it identified high rates of mental health conditions and dreadful impacts in our communities.
It recommended providing indigenous Australians with the training, power and resources needed to determine and deliver our own mental health strategies, within our terms of cultural reference and understandings of mental health.
Some things have improved in the past 20 years. Since 1993, the training of a critical mass of indigenous psychologists and other mental health workers, the establishment of the Healing Foundation, the rollout of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and the emergence of an indigenous mental health movement mean we are ready to both develop and implement our own mental health strategies.
Yet we have also seen little improvement in the statistics and a mental health gap has become apparent. At present, the rates of suicide and hospitalisation for mental health conditions among indigenous Australians are double those of other Australians. Further, poor mental health continues to exacerbate many other disadvantage gaps we suffer.
Today, one in four prisoners is indigenous, even though we comprise only one in 33 of the total population. Among them, the incidence of mental health conditions and substance abuse problems is shockingly high.
The associations between poor mental health and high imprisonment rates are clear. So, 20 years on, while we take great pride in the emergence of an indigenous mental health leadership, we are also frustrated that little on the ground has apparently changed. How then do we understand our mental health, and what might an indigenous response to the mental health gap look like?
Indigenous Australians describe their physical and mental health as having a foundation of “social and emotional wellbeing” originating in strong and positive connections to family and community, traditional lands, ancestors and the spiritual dimension of existence.
This can be understood as a protective factor against the high rates of stressors and negative social determinants (including sickness, poverty, disability, racism, unemployment and so on) that we suffer and that can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse and, sometimes, severe mental illness.
In the spirit of “prevention rather than cure”, then, building on culture and social and emotional wellbeing would be at the heart of any overall response to our mental health and suicide rates. We are particularly excited by research in Canadian indigenous communities that reports those with strong cultural foundations who are working to maintain and develop their culture into the future as having significantly lower rates of suicide among their young people than communities under cultural stress.
It is thought that young people from a strong cultural background have a sense of their past and their traditions and are able to draw pride and identity from them. By extension, they also conceive of themselves as having a future: a strong disincentive to suicide. Research in our communities, too, supports the idea that there is a high level of need for programs that support culture, and also those that draw on culture to ground healing, suicide prevention and mental health programs.
Cultural and social and emotional wellbeing-based policy and program development to address the mental health gap is something that indigenous Australians must lead at both the national and community level. Even with the best will in the world, Australian governments are ill-equipped to work in this profoundly cultural indigenous space.
The proper thing here is for Australian governments and others to partner and work with us. Partnership means listening to indigenous Australians and sharing power. For too long the capital in indigenous knowledge, leadership and lived experience has been marginalised and undervalued in all areas, including this one.
Such a partnership at the national level is critical because there is currently no overarching, dedicated strategic response to closing the mental health gap that both pulls together all the causal threads and recognises mental health as a potential circuit breaker in so many areas of disadvantage.
In fact, five overlapping strategies jostle in the space. An overarching plan, or policy framework, being developed under Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership is critical if these strategies are to work together towards a common goal and avoid wasteful duplication.
Such a plan would place mental health at the centre of the Council of Australian Governments’ Closing the Gap agenda. It would have a goal to close the indigenous mental health gap and inform a nationally consistent whole-of-government response that includes recognition of, and respect for, our human rights, addresses racism on a national level, and that works to complement the strategies to address disadvantage and social exclusion that already comprise much of the Closing the Gap agenda.
Placing mental health in the Closing the Gap agenda has the added benefit of harnessing the contribution closing the mental health gap could make to closing many other disadvantage gaps. In fact it is our belief that the contribution mental health conditions make to many areas of disadvantage is often underestimated – particularly in many areas that are deemed intractable. This includes lower life expectancy.
Mental health conditions, substance abuse and suicide have been estimated to account for as much as 22 per cent of the health gap. Investing in our mental health services should also be considered as a justice re-investment measure, diverting money that would have been spent on imprisonment into services that address the underlying causes of crime in our communities
. This is one possible source of the additional investment needed, and it could also help to fund the training of the required numbers of indigenous Australians to work at all levels of the mental health system, and to ensure all mental health workers are able to work competently across the cultural divide.
We call on Australian governments to support indigenous Australians to develop and deliver a national plan to close the mental health gap, and to partner with us to advance the solutions identified in the Burdekin report that have stood the test of time.
Tom Calma is a former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner and race discrimination commissioner; Pat Dudgeon, acknowledged as Australia’s first indigenous psychologist, is a member of the National Mental Health Commission. –
Suicide maps reveal Indigenous disaster
RESEARCHERS have painted a bleak picture of suicide in Australia, using mapping technology to pinpoint clusters and hotspots like never before.
But in doing so, they have also highlighted the tragedy of an Aboriginal suicide rate that is double the norm, illustrating the need for remote and impoverished communities to be given more support, compassion and hope. Using several different techniques, based on coronial data from 2004-08, health statistician Derek Cheung and colleagues identified 15 suicide clusters, mainly located in the Northern Territory, the northern part of Western Australia and the northern part of Queensland.
While their studies had some limitations, the researchers have drawn worldwide attention to the higher suicide rate in indigenous communities – publishing their findings in the prestigious PLOS ONE journal earlier this year, and Social Science & Medicine last year – and recommended more targeted policy responses.
“Our findings illustrated that the majority of spatial-temporal suicide clusters were located in the inland areas with high levels of socio-economic deprivation and a high proportion of indigenous people,” they wrote, also pointing to higher rates among men in remote areas, and the existence of clusters in metropolitan areas. The maps demonstrate the need for not only prevention but also “postvention”, where services are directed into communities after a sudden death to help the bereaved cope.
Jill Fisher, the co-ordinator of the National StandBy Response Service, became involved in postvention counselling after a youth suicide 15 years ago was followed, on the first anniversary of the death, by the suicide of two family members.
Having received a $6 million funding boost from the commonwealth last year, Ms Fisher now co-ordinates the largest program of its kind in the world and is rolling out more services here while also briefing agencies overseas on its successes and challenges.
The program, established in 2002 by not-for-profit agency United Synergies, works with local communities to respond to crises caused by suicide.
Ms Fisher said postvention seemed to be more effective in indigenous communities “because it is based on a principle that in a crisis people come together”.
“Some Aboriginal communities start to feel that suicide is all around them, and sometimes that is erroneous and we need to deliver hope,” Ms Fisher said.
“Many people don’t realise that suicide doesn’t appear to have been part of Aboriginal culture prior to white colonisation. We have strong cultural protocols, indigenous representation and the support of elders.”
Writing in Inquirer today, ahead of the 20th anniversary tomorrow of a landmark indigenous mental health report, Tom Calma and Pat Dudgeon call on governments to do more to prevent Aboriginal people choosing death. “While we take great pride in the emergence of an indigenous mental health leadership, we are also frustrated that little on the ground has apparently changed,” they write.
If you are depressed or contemplating suicide, help is available at Lifeline on 131 114.
Pictured above : Dr Aleeta Fejo – the first home-grown Northern Territory Aboriginal Fellow of the RACGP and a traditional owner and elder of Larrikia people whose family attended the Academic session to celebrate this personal and community achievement.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is proud to award nine RACGP Fellowships of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent in the past year with four attending the Academic session at GP13 in Darwin.
The RACGP Fellowship is the admission to the specialty of general practice – which for many new Fellows is a career highlight, provides important recognition from the RACGP and peers and represents excellence in general practice.
Associate Professor Brad Murphy, Chair of the RACGP National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health said that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, obtaining their Fellowship is more than a qualification; it is a step towards Closing the Gap for their entire community.
“It is well documented that health in Aboriginal and Torres Islander communities is considerably worse than in urban populations.”
“There are many cultural boundaries that affect the accessibility of healthcare in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and having a dedicated GP that is well-known and trusted within the wider community goes a long way to improving health outcomes.”
“The RACGP’s Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Fellows have faced the additional pressure of racial adversity in reaching this momentous achievement and should be commended for their dedication to improving the health outcomes for their direct communities and all Australians,” said A/Prof Murphy.
The RACGP Fellows of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent awarded Fellowship of the RACGP at the GP13 Academic session are:
Dr Aleeta Fejo – the first home-grown Northern Territory Aboriginal Fellow of the RACGP and a traditional owner and elder of Larrikia people whose family attended the Academic session to celebrate this personal and community achievement.
Dr Olivia O’Donoghue – the grand-daughter of Aunty Lowitja O’Donoghue and one of the first recipients of the Puggy Hunter Scholarships in 2002.
Dr Tammy Kimpton – the current President of the Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association.
Dr Katherine Engelke – the 2012 recipient of the RACGP General Practice Registrar of the Year award.
The RACGP is committed to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and will continue to support the pathway of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working towards or in a career in general practice.
Are you interested in working in Aboriginal health?
NACCHO is the national authority in comprehensive Aboriginal primary health care currently has a wide range of job opportunities in the pipeline.
NACCHO team member Arika Errington’s 10-year journey to become a University of Canberra graduate is a story of true perseverance.
An Aboriginal woman who grew up in Canberra, Ms Errington graduated with a Bachelor of Arts after having been diagnosed with depression and anxiety while studying and moving from Queensland to Tasmania and Melbourne before settling back in Canberra.
“It doesn’t quite feel real, I also feel relieved … it was a rough 10 years of starting, leaving, changing disciplines, illness, and self doubt,” Ms Errington said of graduating in a ceremony at Parliament House on 25 September.
“My aim is to one day be a voice for my people, to teach others about who we are as a community and the oldest living culture on earth … I want to change the assumptions/judgements people automatically make about Aboriginal people rather than judging them on their actions as human beings.”
Arika Errington pictured at her University of Canberra graduation ceremony at Parliament House. Photo: Michelle McAulay
The 29-year-old said she was “proud to even be offered the opportunity” to go to the University, majoring in journalism to follow in the footsteps of her father, William Errington, a former press photographer. Her mother Tjanara Goreng Goreng is an assistant professor at the University’s Ngunnawal Centre, which provides support and education programs for Indigenous students. Ms Errington said she has been inspired by her parents.
“I’m only attending my graduation so my mum and dad can see. I did it all for them, they have given me nothing but love and respect my entire life, whilst dealing with their own personal traumas,” she said.
“My mob are called the Wakka Wakka and Wulli Wulli people from Queensland and I’ve always known my culture growing up, my parents both made sure I knew who I was and where I was from, my mum used to sing me songs in language and I hope one day I’m blessed enough to share those to my children so some of our language can continue.”
Ms Errington moved to Queensland for a while in her teen years before her mother encouraged her to do the Ngunnawal Centre’s foundation program to prepare her to study at the University of Canberra, a program she later ended up teaching in, saying “all I wanted was to help students who were like me succeed”.
Despite calling Canberra home, Ms Errington has moved around a lot in her life, including living in a rainforest at a place called Main Arm Upper in NSW.
“We lived on the land without electricity, running water, and a makeshift toilet out the back, checking myself for leaches and ticks at the end of each day.”
Moving back to Canberra to start her studies, she took a break from university to work in Melbourne for a few years before returning to the University of Canberra, where she spent some time living on campus.
“I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to finish something I started. I completed a literature class but I was really unhappy (I eventually was diagnosed with depression/anxiety which I didn’t know about at the time) and moved to Tasmania where my mum was working at a university to have a break and be with my family,” she said.
“I then moved to Melbourne in 2005 and started a job, got my own place, and began finding out who I was and who I wanted to be, then in 2006 I woke up one day and decided to leave behind my life in Melbourne, and finish uni.”
Since 2012 she has worked in the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation as a project coordinator on the ‘Talking About the Smokes’ research project – designed to help Indigenous people quit smoking – in partnership with Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.
“I’m extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity because it has helped me grow as a person, and understand my true value, and also I get to show other Aboriginal people how to gather data for our project, the youngest I’ve trained to be a research assistant was 17, and the eldest 72, it’s really helping our communities and mob and showing them that anything is possible, no matter where you live or how old you are, it’s been great seeing different communities, community control at its finest.”
She also recently began a communications officer position with the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM), allowing her to draw on her journalism skills.
“I really respect what CATSINaM does for our people and for the Indigenous health sector and I enjoy being a part of two National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies.”
She was also recently awarded a scholarship to attend the ‘She Leads’ program run by the YWCA of Canberra in a Diploma of Management with leadership as a main focus.
There are over 155 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students currently studying at the University
NACCHO JOB Opportunities:
Are you interested in working in Aboriginal health?
NACCHO as the national authority in comprenhesive Aboriginal primary health care currently has a wide range of job oppportunities in the pipeline.
What are Regional Tackling Smoking & Healthy Lifestyle Teams?
Regional Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyle Teams work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and relevant organisations to tackle some of the main causes of chronic disease and early death: smoking, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity.
TO GET HELP see full list of our sites below
Teams are mainly involved in health promotion and social marketing activities. They are not clinical teams and are not intended to run clinics.
Teams are made up of Tackling Smoking Workers and Healthy Lifestyle Workers who work together cooperatively.
Teams are being rolled out across Australia over a three year period from 2010-11. National coverage will be achieved in 2013, with Teams being active in 57 regions plus the ACT, in cities, outer suburbs, and rural and remote areas.
When all of the Teams have been rolled out, each region will have one Regional Tobacco Coordinator and a number of Tobacco Action Workers and Healthy Lifestyle Workers. The Australian Capital Territory has one Tobacco Action Worker and one Healthy Lifestyle Worker.
What do the Regional Tackling Smoking & Healthy Lifestyle Teams do?
Regional Tackling Smoking Workforce The Regional Tackling Smoking workforce works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to develop regional and local approaches to reducing smoking rates.
They aim to help smokers quit and to encourage young people not to start smoking through social marketing campaigns, community events, and health information sessions to:
Increase community understanding of the dangers of smoking, the benefits of quitting and the benefits of smoke free environments;
Support creation of smoke free homes and workplaces; and
Share information about quitting smoking.
The Regional Tackling Smoking workforce, in each region, is made up of one Regional Tobacco Coordinator and Tobacco Action Workers:
Regional Tobacco Coordinators develop networks in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in a region to build community support for smoking prevention and quitting, and health promotion activities. They also coordinate, organise and deliver smoking prevention and quit initiatives, and organise the work of the Tobacco Action Workers in their region.
Tobacco Action Workers work with communities to deliver non clinical smoking prevention and quit initiatives under the coordination of the Regional Tobacco Coordinator. They work in partnership with the network of Tobacco Action Workers in the region and with the broader national network coordinated by the National Coordinator. Tobacco Action Workers also promote access to health checks and may refer people to existing quit programs or to health care professionals for clinical advice, where appropriate.
Healthy Lifestyle Workforce Healthy Lifestyle Workers focus on working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and find healthy alternatives to smoking.
Initiatives include healthy lifestyle events and information sessions which promote healthy eating and physical activity, and support people to take part in appropriate physical activity sessions. Local role models are also identified and supported to help promote healthy lifestyles.
Healthy Lifestyle Workers promote access to health checks and may also refer people to:
health care professionals for clinical advice, where individuals already have a chronic disease; and
existing lifestyle modification programs and other health programs where appropriate.
Where Are Regional Teams Located?
Regional Tackling Indigenous Smoking and Healthy Lifestyle Teams are being rolled out in 57 regions in urban, rural and remote areas around the country. Regions which currently have a Team in place are listed below.
New South Wales
Mid North Coast
Host organisation: Galambila Aboriginal Health Incorporated
Regional Tobacco Coordinator contact: (02) 6652 0800
New England, Central West, Far West
Host organisation: Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service, with three teams covering each region.
Regional Tobacco Coordinator contact: (02) 6845 3545
Far North Queensland
Host organisation: Wuchopperen Health Service Limited
Regional Tobacco Coordinator contact: (07) 4080 1000
South East Metropolitan and South East Queensland
Host organisation: Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Ltd, with two teams covering each region
Regional Tobacco Coordinator contact: (07) 3648 9500
Wide Bay/Sunshine Coast
Host organisation: GP Links Wide Bay
Regional Tobacco Coordinator contact: (07) 4151 0814
Host organisation: North and West Queensland Primary Health Care
Regional Tobacco Coordinator contact: (07) 4725 8868
Torres and NPA
Host organisation: Queensland Health
Regional Tobacco Coordinator contact: (07) 4030 6821
Host organisation: Apunipima Cape York Health Service
Regional Tobacco Coordinator contact: (07) 4051 7450
South West Queensland
Host organisation: Darling Downs Share Care (Carbal Medical Centre)
Regional Tobacco Coordinator contact: (07) 4639 4461
Kimberley West and Kimberley East
Host organisation: Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council Incorporated, with two teams covering each region
Regional Tobacco Coordinator contact: (08) 9194 3200
On behalf of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) Board,
I would like to invite you to the 2013 Annual CATSINaM Conference
WHERE AND WHEN?
Hotel Realm in Canberra from the 7th –8th of October.
The CATSINaM Conference has been an annual event for CATSINaM members for fifteen years.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
Nurses and midwives from all health sectors, student nurses and midwives, and recently graduated nurses and midwives.
WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND?
1.NETWORKING It brings together experienced nurses and midwives, clinicians, educators, policy makers and administrators from across the nation.
2.SHARING The intention is to share information and work toward an integrated approach to improving health care and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
3.SHOWCASING: It also provides an opportunity to showcase the very real difference being made in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by our members.
4.INFORMATION: There will also be guests from a range of allied health professionals attending, along with representatives from State and Commonwealth Government, higher education and the VET sector and leaders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Health.
Suggestions for a New Arrangement in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Affairs
Please find attached the proposal Suggestions to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott for a New Arrangement in Aboriginal Affairs written byCo-Chair Indigenous People’s Organisation (IPO) Network of Australia Ms Dea Thiele MPH.
Picture above Dea Theale at the Alta global indigenous preparatory conference for the world conference on indigenous peoples 2014,
This proposal on election eve is provided to NACCHO members and stakeholders for information and discussion and is not endorsed by NACCHO.
We welcome debate and invite you to leave your suggestions comments or feedback below
In respect to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples, to close the gaps in life expectancy, infant mortality rates and other continuing markers of disadvantage, the Federal Government needs a new arrangement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.
While it is noted that ATSIC was of concern to the government of the day, there was not, as the ATSIC review clearly articulated, the need to dismantle the organisation. Political will is needed to allow Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples to be socially and politically included into all aspects of the Australian system that impinge on their health, wellbeing and economic development.
Given the range of social determinants that impact on the health, spiritual, social, emotional and environmental wellbeing, including the economic development of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples, ATSIC, could not be held responsible for the disparities between Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians. It is a shared responsibility between Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Government and non-government sectors, which requires long term commitment and resources commensurate with need.
It is widely known and acknowledged that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples are the most disadvantaged population group in Australia. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Amendment Bill 2004 abolished ATSIC, and to dismantle the national body without due planning, consideration, consultation and negotiation with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples has left a huge gap in transparency, monitoring and accountability of all programs that impact on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
The right to self-determining structures is clearly supported and articulated by a number of United Nations international treaties, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Serious and effective engagement means we need a nationally elected Aboriginal Authority/Commission or a similar structure that is underpinned by a legislative framework that is based on the principle of self-determination that will fully discharge a broad range of functions efficiently and transparently for the benefit of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People being held accountable for the administration of such a body.
Failure to include and effectively engage the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander population and organisational representatives from the beginning and right throughout the policy process risks the development of inappropriately targeted and ill-conceived policy and at worst, may be inappropriate, unhelpful, unsustainable and ineffective for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS Self Determination in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Affairs
1. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples have an inalienable right to a nationally elected self-determining organisation that fully discharges the widest range of functions efficiently and transparently for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. It follows the need for a new arrangement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.
2. Real and effective consultation in partnership with Aboriginal communities must inform the entire process of development of a broad based nationally elected Aboriginal self-determining organisation. Aboriginal communities could be represented by their existing bodies in health, land, law and childrens’ services.
These organisations and individuals could nominate others where any additional expertise might be needed. This national structure could stand in the position of the board of commissioners in order to ensure that service delivery to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples is governed by self-determining rather than government controlled processes.
Dea is available for comment and interview on +61 448 123 444.