AHCWA e-bulletin – Issue #95

NAIDOC Week ‘For Our Elders’

Each year, AHCWA joins with Western Australian organisations to celebrate the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for NAIDOC Week. This year, AHCWA partnered with the Mirrabooka NAIDOC committee, assisting with their Mirrabooka NAIDOC Cultural Celebration 2023, held at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre on Thursday, 6 July.

AHCWA was proud to volunteer their time by assisting in numerous jobs such as handing out tea, coffee, and milo to guests, preparing hundreds of sandwiches and lunchboxes, pouring 600 bowls of kangaroo stew, and buttering hundreds of damper slices!

WA ACCHS Corporate Services Forum

The Aboriginal Health Council of WA was proud to host its first Corporate Services Forum on Tuesday 27 June 2023. The face-to-face forum was held at Fraser’s, Kaarta Koomba (Kings Park), and welcomed 32 representatives from the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector (ACCHS).

The unique event brought together healthcare professionals, corporate services experts, and key stakeholders from ACCHS to discuss and collaborate on crucial corporate services and administrative challenges the Aboriginal Health Services face.

The Corporate Services Forum aimed to address ACCHS’s specific needs and concerns and equipped participants with the essential tools and resources required to navigate the complexities of the modern healthcare services landscape.

WA ACCHS Ear Health Forum

The Aboriginal Health Council, in collaboration with Rural Health West, hosted a two-day forum on ACCHS Ear Health at the Parmelia Hilton Hotel on 1-2 June 2023. During the event, Member Service representatives shared positive news stories and discussed the great work in the regions to prevent hearing loss and promote healthy ears within communities. AHCWA would like to thank Rural Health West, their partners, all attendees, stakeholder representatives, and AHCWA staff members for making the two-day event a resounding success.

BRAMS CEO Recognised with Prestigious Award

Congratulations to the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service CEO, Cassie Atchison, for receiving the esteemed WA Business News 40 Under 40 Award in May. Cassie’s dynamic leadership over the past four years has driven profound growth and success at BRAMS. We appreciate her outstanding contributions to the Aboriginal health sector and are very proud of her achievement.

Council of Aboriginal Services Western Australia (CASWA) Update

CASWA is now incorporated and registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) and has an ABN and Tax File number.  We have applied for registration with the Australian Charities and Non-Profits Commission and await confirmation of our status as a Charity.

Recruitment of a Chief Executive Officer has also commenced utilising the Aboriginal agency Pipeline Talent Recruitment.

We are also happy to confirm that we are in final negotiations with the Department of Premier and Cabinet for operational funding of $5.75million for the next 3 years. We would like to have the contract commence on 1 September 2023.

All membership applications can be found here: Member Information – CASWA

Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference

A number of AHCWA staff attended the 3rd International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference in Cairns from 14 to 16 June. The conference took place on the lands of the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji and Yirrganydji people and was attended by more than 1200 delegates.

The conference provided opportunities for discussions around ways of knowing, sharing knowledge, acting for the benefit of Indigenous peoples everywhere and exploring what constitutes ‘Indigenous Solutions.’

Other focus areas for the conference included sovereignty and self-determination, living a good life, data and technology, environment, Country and belonging, and workforce and leadership development.

The conference included powerful keynote, panels, and presentations by highly esteemed and respected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Maori and Native American peoples who spoke with great passion about the work that they are doing.

One powerful presentation by Mark Patterson, Warden of the State of Hawaii and Chair of the Hawaiian Correctional System, was about juvenile justice reform and the role culture played in decreasing youth interactions with the system, as well as how decriminalising some of the reasons youth were entering the system, and putting in place diversionary pathways, led to an overall reduction in the number of young people in correctional facilities in Hawaii.

Culture Care Connect Program

NACCHO has been funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health to nationally coordinate the Culture Care Connect Program (CCC) until 30 June 2025. This program is the first of its kind.

The CCC program supports establishing up to 31 community-controlled suicide prevention networks and community-controlled aftercare services in each network region. It also supports jurisdictional suicide prevention planning and coordination within Affiliates and community-controlled suicide prevention training, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid.

The CCC program brings together key streams of suicide prevention planning, coordination, and activity across the network regions, including raising awareness, early intervention, crisis management and aftercare services.

Community Controlled Suicide Prevention Networks (CCSPN) will be established nationwide. Aftercare services will also be delivered by ACCHOs participating in a CCSPN, in partnership with existing regional mental health services.

The AHCWA Project Team attended an onboarding workshop in Canberra with NACCHO at the end of June.

The team will be making contact across the state in coming weeks to connect and identify priorities going forward.