Aboriginal Health Events / Workshops #SaveADate : #NDIS ,#Disability #Leadership, #Rural, #Kidneys , #RHD, #Ears


February – May   : NEW : Get NDIS Ready with a Roadshow NSW Launched

2 March  : Disability research within Aboriginal communities : Alice Springs

3 March: AMSANT: APONT Innovating to Succeed Forum – Alice Springs

3 March : The National Indigenous Youth Parliament (NIYP) applications close

5 March: Kidney Health Week Starts

14 March : Western Sydney : Aboriginal Health Services Community Forum –  Rooty Hill NSW

16 March: National Close the Gap Day

16 March Close the Gap Day VISION 2020

22 March: 2017 Indigenous Ear Health Workshop  Adelaide

29 March: RHD Australia Education Workshop Adelaide SA

26- 29 April The 14 th National Rural Health Conference Cairns

29 April:14th World Rural Health Conference Cairns

10 May: National Indigenous Human Rights Awards

26 May :National Sorry day 2017


If you have a Conference, Workshop or event and wish to share and promote contact

Colin Cowell NACCHO Media Mobile 0401 331 251

Send to NACCHO Media mailto:nacchonews@naccho.org.au


February – May   : Get NDIS Ready with a Roadshow NSW Launched


The Every Australian Counts team will be hitting the road from March – May presenting NDIS information forums in the NSW regional areas where the NDIS will be rolling out from July.

We’ll be covering topics including:

  • What the NDIS is, why we need it and what it means for you
  • The changes that the NDIS brings and how they will benefit you
  • How to access the NDIS and get the most out of it

These free forums are designed for people with disability, their families and carers, people working in the disability sector and anyone else interested in all things NDIS.

Please register for tickets and notify the team about any access requirements you need assistance with. All the venues are wheelchair accessible and Auslan interpreters can be available if required. Please specify any special requests at the time of booking.

Find the team in the following locations: 

Click on a link above to register online now! 

Every Australian Counts is the campaign that brought about the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Now it is a reality, the team are focused on engaging and educating the disability sector and wider Australian community about the benefits of the NDIS and the options and possibilities that it brings.

 2 March  : Disability research within Aboriginal communities : Alice Springs

Dr John Gilroy, a Koori man from the Yuin Nation of the the South Coast of New South Wales, will be presenting a seminar on disability research in Aboriginal communities in the Rubuntja Building, at the Alice Springs Hospital, Northern Territory (NT), on Thursday 2 March 2017 from 12pm – 1pm.

John, a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney (USYD) and a member of the Poche research family will present his journey from being a client of disability services to becoming one of the leading scholars in disability research within Aboriginal communities. His discussion will touch on disability research and scholarship undertaken with Aboriginal people and its implications for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, including the current disability research projects underway with the Anangu of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) lands

There are limited seats and registration is required, so book by email using contact below.


Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Well-being
Ph: (08) 8951 9601

3 March : The National Indigenous Youth Parliament (NIYP) applications close


Is your chance to come to Canberra, meet Australia’s leaders, learn about democracy and have your say on important issues. Fifty young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people will be selected, six from each state and territory and two from the Torres Strait, to come to Canberra for the week-long program

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people aged 16 to 25 years who are willing to stand up and speak about important issues, work as part of a team, travel to new places, meet new people and learn.

How do I apply?

Complete and submit the online application form below. Applications close Friday 3 March 2017.

Please contact us if you do not receive an email confirmation of your application within 3 days. The AEC accepts no responsibility for lost, damaged or late applications.

All information you provide in your application is managed and stored appropriately in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.

Letter of support

All applications must include a letter of support from your teacher or tutor, employer, coach, youth worker, community leader, family friend or other referee. The letter of support should support the claims made in your application and explain why you are suitable for the NIYP.

Tips for completing this form

  • Write your answers on a document saved to your computer first in case your connection is lost.
  • Have a scanned copy of your letter of support ready to upload with your application.
  • Contact us if you don’t receive an email confirmation within 3 days of submitting this form to make sure we received it.
Apply online now

3 March: AMSANT: APONT Innovating to Succeed Forum – Alice Springs


Following our successful 2015 AGMP Forum we are pleased to announce the second AGMP Forum will be held at the Alice Springs Convention Centre on 3 March from 9 am to 5 pm. The forum is a free catered event open to senior managers and board members of all Aboriginal organisations across the NT.

Download the Program


Come along to hear from NT Aboriginal organisations about innovative approaches to strengthen your activities and businesses, be more sustainable and self-determine your success. The forum will be opened by the Chief Minister and there will be opportunities for Q&A discussions with Commonwealth and Northern Territory government representatives.

To register to attend please complete the online registration form, or contact Wes Miller on 8944 6626, Kate Muir on 8959 4623, or email info@agmp.org.au.

5 March: Kidney Health week


is nearly here! Learn how you can get involved this 5-11 March, and order your free event pack:

14 March : Western Sydney : Aboriginal Health Services Community Forum –  Rooty Hill NSW

WACHS invites Aboriginal community representatives from Western Sydney and the Nepean Blue Mountains region to meet to discuss future directions for Aboriginal health.

Topics will include:

  • Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service (WACHS)
    – History and background
    – Service support
    – Service programs
  • Western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains Project: Service Delivery
    – Funding agreement
    – Structure and staffing
    – Financial and risk management
  • Western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains Project: Service Support
    – Community engagement and consultation
    – Infrastructure
    – Identity and recognition

pdfDownload flyer

More information: Anthony Carter, anthonyc@wachs.net.au

Forum transport registration: Rita McKenzie, rita.mckenzie@swahs.com.au


Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service
Aboriginal Health Services Community Forum
14 March 2017, 10.00am–1.00pm
Novotel Hotel, 33 Railway St, Rooty Hill

Cost: Free

16 March Close the Gap Day


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples die 10-17 years younger than other Australians and it’s even worse in some parts of Australia. Register now and hold an activity of your choice in support of health equality across Australia.


Resource packs will be sent out from 1 February 2017.

We will also have a range of free downloadable resources available on our website


It is still important to register as this contributes to the overall success of the event.

More information and Register your event

16 March Close the Gap Day VISION 2020


Indigenous Eye Health at the University of Melbourne would like to invite people to a two-day national conference on Indigenous eye health and the Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision in March 2017. The conference will provide opportunity for discussion and planning for what needs to be done to Close the Gap for Vision by 2020 and is supported by their partners National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Optometry Australia, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists and Vision 2020 Australia.

Collectively, significant progress has been made to improve Indigenous eye health particularly over the past five years and this is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made. The recent National Eye Health Survey found the gap for blindness has been reduced but is still three times higher. The conference will allow people to share the learning from these experiences and plan future activities.

The conference is designed for those working in all aspects of Indigenous eye care: from health workers and practitioners, to regional and jurisdictional organisations. It will include ACCHOs, NGOs, professional bodies and government departments.

The topics to be discussed will include:

  • regional approaches to eye care
  • planning and performance monitoring
  • initiatives and system reforms that address vision loss
  • health promotion and education.


Indigenous Eye Health – Minum Barreng
Level 5, 207-221 Bouverie Street
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
The University of Melbourne
Carlton Vic 3010
Ph: (03) 8344 9320


22 March2017 Indigenous Ear Health Workshop  in Adelaide


The 2017 Indigenous Ear Health Workshop to be held in Adelaide in March will focus on Otitis Media (middle ear disease), hearing loss, and its significant impact on the lives of Indigenous children, the community and Indigenous culture in Australia.

The workshop will take place on 22 March 2017 at the Adelaide Convention Centre in Adelaide, South Australia.

The program features keynote addresses by invited speakers who will give presentations aligned with the workshop’s main objectives:

  • To identify and promote methods to strengthen primary prevention and care of Otitis Media (OM).
  • To engage and coordinate all stakeholders in OM management.
  • To summarise current and future research into OM pathogenesis (the manner in which it develops) and management.
  • To present the case for consistent and integrated funding for OM management.

Invited speakers will include paediatricians, public health physicians, ear nose and throat surgeons, Aboriginal health workers, Education Department and a psychologist, with OM and hearing updates from medical, audiological and medical science researchers.

The program will culminate in an address emphasising the need for funding that will provide a consistent and coordinated nationwide approach to managing Indigenous ear health in Australia.

Those interested in attending may include: ENT surgeons, ENT nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers, audiologists, rural and regional general surgeons and general practitioners, speech pathologists, teachers, researchers, state and federal government representatives and bureaucrats; in fact anyone interested in Otitis Media.

The workshop is organised by the Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (ASOHNS) and is held just before its Annual Scientific Meeting (23 -26 March 2017). The first IEH workshop was held in Adelaide in 2012 and subsequent workshops were held in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.

For more information go to the ASOHNS 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting Pre-Meeting Workshops section at http://asm.asohns.org.au/workshops

Or contact:

Mrs Lorna Watson, Chief Executive Officer, ASOHNS Ltd

T: +61 2 9954 5856   or  E info@asohns.org.au

29 March: RHDAustralia Education Workshop Adelaide SA


Download the PDF brochure sa-workshop-flyer

More information and registrations HERE

26- 29 April The 14 th National Rural Health Conference Cairns c42bfukvcaam3h9

INFO Register

29 April : 14th World Rural Health Conference Cairns


The conference program features streams based on themes most relevant to all rural and remote health practitioners. These include Social and environmental determinants of health; Leadership, Education and Workforce; Social Accountability and Social Capital, and Rural Clinical Practices: people and services.

Download the program here : rural-health-conference-program-no-spreads

The program includes plenary/keynote sessions, concurrent sessions and poster presentations. The program will also include clinical sessions to provide skill development and ongoing professional development opportunities :

Information Registrations HERE

10 May: National Indigenous Human Rights Awards


” The National Indigenous Human Rights Awards recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons who have made significant contribution to the advancement of human rights and social justice for their people.”

To nominate someone for one of the three awards, please go to https://shaoquett.wufoo.com/forms/z4qw7zc1i3yvw6/
For further information, please also check out the Awards Guide at https://www.scribd.com/document/336434563/2017-National-Indigenous-Human-Rights-Awards-Guide
26 May :National Sorry day 2017
The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998 – one year after the tabling of the report Bringing them Home, May 1997. The report was the result of an inquiry by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families.

The importance, resilience and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages will be the focus of national celebrations marking NAIDOC Week 2017.

The 2017 theme – Our Languages Matter – aims to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.

More info about events


NACCHO #closethegap kidney and heart disease : How can we cut salt, sugar in basic foods in remote Aboriginal communities



“Food manufacturers should find ways to reduce salt and sugar in basic foods to help prevent the high rates of kidney disease in remote Australian communities, .

Lowering the cost of healthy food in remote areas — where the burden of end-stage kidney disease is up to 30 times higher than the rest of Australia — was not enough.

The health sector should partner up with food manufacturers to lower the salt content in foods like bread and processed meat, which are the major contributors to kidney and heart disease.”

“The new initiatives, we hope, might involve trying to improve the quality of food that’s in the food supply that people naturally get, so that people eat and enjoy food with a lower salt content without even noticing,” Professor Cass said.

He said it was important for partnerships to be formed between stores and communities with the goal of making healthy food accessible and affordable.

“[It’s essential] to try to work with schools so that kids themselves are involved in programs to make healthy food attractive,” Professor Cass said.

Rate of kidney disease in the NT worst in the world

These are mothers and fathers with children … people at the peak of their community and family activity who are affected by this illness

Professor Alan Cass, Menzies School of Health Research

The Northern Territory has the highest rate of kidney disease in Australia and the world, and is a major community and health service problem.

The rate is also far higher among the Indigenous population, particularly young people.

“These are mothers and fathers with children, people who might otherwise be in employment if they weren’t very unwell,” Professor Cass said.

“So it’s people at the peak of their community and family activity who are affected by this illness.”

Money making its way to people who need it most

The federal and Territory governments have increased efforts to bolster treatment services for people with end-stage kidney disease, and injected $25 million to the cause in July last year.

Sarah Brown from the Alice Springs-based dialysis treatment centre Purple House said the money had helped keep her centre’s door open for the next three years.

She said it had also kickstarted the building of new dialysis infrastructure in remote communities so sick people did not have to go to cities for treatment.

A woman receives dialysis

“When we talk to patients and families, the number one issue is having access to country and family and not being away from all those things that are important,” Ms Brown said.

“So we’ve made considerable strides in that front, but there are still lots of people who are stuck away from their families to access treatment.”

Ms Brown said there also needed to be more money made available for kidney transplant services.

But both Ms Brown and Professor Cass said the long-term policy focus had to be on prevention.

“In terms of improving access to effective prevention treatment, screenings for kidney damage and best possible control of diabetes, blood pressure, smoking cessation and diet for people with early kidney disease,” Professor Cass said.

Ms Brown agreed screenings and diet were part of the solution.

“Kidney disease is a disease of poverty, powerlessness and dispossession,” Ms Brown said.

“Communities need to have some agency over their lives and future: housing, education, environmental health. What’s really important is people having a vision for their future and some understanding that life on communities and their culture is valued by the general Australian community.”

Declaration of Interest : The editor of NACCHO Communique Colin Cowell was the originator of the Cuz Congress food branding concept

DO YOU HAVE AN Aboriginal Health message to share with out 100,000 readers in 150 communities and 302 Medical Clinics ??

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ir culture is valued by the general Australian community.”


NACCHO #WorldKidneyDay #closethegap :Apunipima Renal Nurse, Kidney Health Australia Ambassador Rochelle Pitt says ‘Kidneys Count’



‘Your kidneys count. This World Kidney Day go get blood sugar and kidney function tests – it could save your life.’

That’s the blunt message coming from Apunipima’s Renal Nurse and Kidney Health Australia Ambassador Rochelle Pitt.

‘Chronic kidney disease is a real and present danger on Cape York given the high numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders suffering from type 2 diabetes. Complications associated with type 2 diabetes include including kidney failure, blindness, heart attack, stroke and amputations,’ she said.

‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are three and a half times more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than their non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counterparts. Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are nine times more likely to experience end stage kidney disease than their non – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counterparts.’

In order to reduce the rates chronic kidney disease on Cape York, Apunipima has provided kidney function tests to almost half of diabetic patients and almost two thirds of patients with heart disease across Cape York over the last six months.

Those who have issues with their kidneys are now taking steps to reduce their chances of developing chronic kidney disease.

‘We are testing the kidney function of people suffering from diabetes because diabetes can cause chronic kidney disease. We are also testing the kidney function of those with heart conditions because chronic kidney disease can cause cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in Australia,’ Rochelle said.

‘Chronic kidney disease is mostly preventable and last year we identified that we needed to improve the monitoring of our chronic disease patients to make sure that indicators of kidney disease could be identified early and managed so we could reduce the prevalence of end stage kidney disease in our people, helping them manage their condition and avoid dialysis.’

Previous Articles

Apunipima renal nurse Rochelle Pitt is taking her expertise in kidney health to a new level as the official ambassador for Kidney Health Australia.

When Rochelle isn’t behind a microphone, she is busy seeing clients in Cape York, helping them to look after their kidney health and educating them about the most simple but important organs in their bodies.

In 2014, Rochelle, who is also a singer/songwriter, made it to the top eight in Channel 7’s X Factor and was dubbed the soul mamma of music on the reality television show because of her soul/jazz/blues style of music genre.

“As a renal nurse with Apunipima I’m able to help our people in the Cape and being a face for kidney health at the same time, is very exciting,” Rochelle said.

Despite relatively few early warning signs, Rochelle is always on the lookout to nip any precursors like high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes in the bud, to help steer patients away from the path of Chronic Kidney Disease.

In 2012-13, almost one in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 18 years, had indicators of Chronic Kidney Disease. Indigenous Australians were likely to have signs of Chronic Kidney Disease, and four times more likely to have Stage 4-5 Chronic Kidney Disease than non-Indigenous Australians.

“The statistics are alarming with one in every three Australians at an increased risk of kidney disease,” she said. “Due to chronic disease in Cape York being so prevalent, our mob are at greater risk of developing kidney disease and if I can do my bit with Kidney Health Australia then it’s a step in the right direction.”

World Kidney Day falls on March 10





DO YOU HAVE AN Aboriginal Health message to share with out 100,000 readers in 150 communities and 302 Medical Clinics ??

Our Newspaper closes March 18 for Advertising

BOOK Here or for More INFO

Kidney action group launches in Alice Springs: Family,country,compassion and hope

Kidney Mob.jpg Low Res

Download press release,speeches and letters of support

Speakers Left to right: John Paterson (CEO AMSANT), Donna Ah Chee (CEO Central Australian Aboriginal Congress), Preston Thomas (Deputy Chair of Ngaanyatjarra Health / Director of Western Desert Dialysis), Sarah Brown (CEO Western Desert Dialysis), Andrea Mason (Coordinator, NPY Women’s Council)

FamilyCountry.   CompassionHope.

KAN Launch_NPY ladies

 These words, written onto a sea of purple balloons, were a poignant symbol of unity for almost 100 people who gathered in Alice Springs today to launch the Kidney Action Network.

 Those gathered yesterday – World Kidney Day – included representatives from Aboriginal health organisations, NGOs, health workers and renal patients and their families, many of whom have had to relocate into town to access the dialysis services they rely on to survive.

 John Paterson, CEO of Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT (AMSANT) said in his address that kidney disease affects Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory at greater rates than anywhere in Australia.

 “Its impact is felt most acutely in our remote communities, where the social and cultural structures and everyday wellbeing of our communities depends on the presence of our old people. We need them to be present as long as possible.”

 Mr Paterson called on the SA, WA and NT governments to work together with the Commonwealth and the community sector to “engage in proper planning and provide the extra services and infrastructure that are essential for a fair deal for remote area kidney patients.”

 “The Kidney Action Network has been established to put life at the front and centre of health policy here in the NT.”

 Bobby West, Chair of Western Desert Dialysis, also called on governments to work together on solutions for renal patients in the NT.

 “Instead of fighting each other, governments should be working together,” Mr West commented. “We just want to live longer.”

 Messages of support from Dr Mandawuy Yunupingu and Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner were read out.

 Most touching were the words spoken by renal patients themselves:

 “Every day I’m in two places. I’m here [in Alice Springs] for my family who are on renal but I’m also back home where my country and my family are. Families are worried for families. Governments should build something out on the lands so that everybody can be safe and healthy.”  Margaret Smith from Imanpa, NT

 “We are worrying for our families back home when we here [in Alice Springs] for renal. We cry because we lost our family here. We need something to help people to go back home and sit down with family. We been talking about this one for long time and we still talking. We are crying for our family. Lot of Aboriginal people they all got renal.” Janet Inyika from Amata, APY Lands, SA

 Also speaking at the launch was Donna Ah Chee, CEO of Central Australian Aboriginal Congress; Sarah Brown, CEO of Western Desert Dialysis; Andrea Mason, Coordinator of NPY Women’s Council; Preston Thomas, Deputy Chair of Ngaanyatjarra Health / Director of Western Desert Dialysis.

 The importance of tri-state planning – between Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia – was emphasized as one of the critical issue for the Network to lobby state and territory governments.

 Preston Thomas, in his address, summed it up very well:

 “Expecting people to seek renal treatment thousands of kilometres from home is not Closing the Gap.”

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Brown, CEO Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation
Mobile:  0488 685 610

Kidney Action Network Member Organisations

  • Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT)
  • Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation
  • NPY Women’s Council
  • Ngaanyatjarra Health
  • Miwatj
  • Waltja
  • WDNWPT (Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation – Western Desert Dialysis)
  • Central Land Council
  • Red Cross
  • Papunya Tula Artists
  • Uniting Communities
  • Poche Centre for Indigenous Health
  • Business Council of Australia
  • Baker IDI
  • Desert Knowledge Australia