- St Vincent’s Hospital Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Graduate Nurse Project 2012
- In response to a commitment to develop and implement strategies to increase recruitment and retention of Aboriginal health workers, the department commissioned the St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, to evaluate their current early graduate program, and to determine what is needed to support a new targeted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduate nurse program.
- This work is new ground for the hospital sector, and a report has been developed through broad consultation with key stakeholders from Australia and New Zealand.
- St Vincent's Hospital envisage that the document will provide health services with a guide to the main areas required for consideration when establishing a new graduate nurse program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses.
- St Vincent's Hospital concludes that "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses should have the same access and opportunities to participate in any graduate nurse program. By bringing groups together in a supportive environment all graduate nurses are able to flourish."
- Victorian Scholarship Information guide 2011
There are many scholarships available for students across Victoria.
The Victorian Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisation (VACCHO) has developed a guide to assist Aboriginal students and prospective students wishing to access a scholarship in 2011. The guide details many of the scholarships on offer from both the public and private sectors and provides web-links for further information and applications.
Scholarships assist students to overcome the financial burdens that often act as a barrier to further education and can contribute to providing positive educational experiences and outcomes.
The Victorian Scholarship Information 2011 guide is available from the VACCHO website - http://www.vaccho.org.au/vcwp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Scholarships-20111.pdf
- SACS Award for Leadership
The SACS Award for Leadership is an annual event that recognised outstanding leadership in the state government, local government and not-for-profit sectors.
We are pleased to announce Jill Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation was recognised for her outstanding leadership and innovation in Aboriginal health in Victoria by receiving second place in the not-for-profit sector Executive category.
We would also like to congratulate Karen Bryant, Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Northern Health for receiving second place in the State Government Non-Executive category.
We congratulate both Jill and Karen and commend their commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal Victorians and contribution to closing the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians.
- Launch - Life is health is life - resource to help close the health gap
The Minister for Health the Hon David Davis, MP, launched a ground breaking resource to help health services tackle chronic disease among Aboriginal Victorians and promote healthy living.
Close to 200 people attended the launch on Thursday 19 May, at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service in Fitzroy.
VicHealth developed the resource with funding from the Department of Health. It includes a vast range of stories and case studies on successful health promotion practices from across Victoria and a review of the scientific literature.
At the launch, Max Wells, Executive Director, Surfing Victoria, described how a surfing participation program for young Aboriginal people has led to the creation of jobs for participants, some of whom had drug and alcohol problems, or issues within the justice system.
The program, now owned by the Wathaurong Co-operative in Geelong has grown from humble beginnings 13 years ago and now includes the annual Woorrangalook Victorian Koori Surfing Titles, which in 2010 had 214 participants.
The program is so well known that Kelly Slater, winner of the 2010 Rip Curl Pro (surfing's equivalent to tennis' Wimbledon trophy), gave his trophy, the iconic Bells Trophy, to the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative. This symbolic gesture acknowledged the importance of a partnership between the Wathaurong Co-operative, Surfing Victoria/Rip Curl (co-owners of the Rip Curl Pro) and its importance to surfing.
‘Everything is about creating opportunities for the kids. Surfing is the vehicle to allow them to feel good about themselves and participate in other broader community opportunities.’ Max Wells, Executive Director.
To access the Life is health is life resource, please click here.
- Simplified funding and reporting
The Simplified funding and reporting project is a joint project between the Department of Health and Department of Human Services.
The project aims to:
- provide flexibility in funding to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) to reflect community needs
- reduce the administrative burden on Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) funded by the Department of Health and Department of Human Services
- improve reporting and rationalise data requirements.
Block funding modelThis new approach to funding provides Aboriginal organisations with greater freedom in how funding is allocated within each Department of Health 'ACCO Services' activity funding category to meet the needs of the community.
ACCHOs are now able to redirect any recurrent health funds between the Department of Health 'ACCO Services' activities funding category through negotiations with their region and approval through local financial delegation processes.
Round table reportingIn February 2010 organisations were asked to implement round table reporting. Round table reporting was a recommendation arising from the Improving the Way we Work with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations project. The objectives of this were to:
- provide Aboriginal organisations with an opportunity to talk with their funding body about their organisation and their community, rather than just service provision.
- improve the consistency and quality of information being reported by Aboriginal organisations and receive feedback.
- reduce the administrative burden on Aboriginal organisations by using the meeting to address and replace current reporting requirements.
Joint reporting projectThe Joint reporting project is a Department of Health and Department of Human Services project which aims to streamline the reporting requirements of ACCOs.
For more information about this project, please visit the Publications and resources page.
Aboriginal Health Branch
Phone: (03) 9096 1295
- Success stories from the frontline of Aboriginal Health
On Monday 4 April, 2011, the Secretary of the Department of Health, Fran Thorn launched a new series of video stories that document the crucial role that Victorian health workers are playing to close the Aboriginal life expectancy gap.
The ten multimedia testimonies were produced in workshops held across the state with a range of Aboriginal health workers who wrote, recorded and produced stories about their work.
The workshops were conducted by the Victorian Aboriginal Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), the Victorian Department of Health and Oxfam Australia in partnership with a number of Victorian mainstream and community controlled health organisations.
VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher said she hoped the project would help spread the message that the Aboriginal health workforce is crucial to closing the life expectancy gap.
‘The positive experiences of Aboriginal health workers don’t get told enough which is why we want to celebrate and share these stories,’ Ms Gallagher said.
One video describes a walking group formed by three local women in Gippsland. The group has grown to 30 Aboriginal women who exercise together several times a week at their local gym. They also have regular health checks with the support of an Aboriginal Health Worker and the Aboriginal community-controlled health service. As a result, many of the women have lost weight, several have quit smoking and the participants report feeling less isolated in their lives.
Another video, featuring Jock Peterson, depicts his experiences working for an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in regional Victoria.
‘Where I work, rates of chronic disease such as diabetes are extremely high and I’m hoping by telling my story people will get a better understanding of the work we are doing in the community to address these health issues,’ Mr Peterson said.
Francine Riches’ video depicts her experiences as an Aboriginal health worker at a metropolitan mainstream health service.
‘As an Indigenous person working for a mainstream health service, I’ve been able to act as an advocate for both Indigenous people within the health sector, and an advocate for the health service in the Indigenous community,’ Ms Riches said.
‘In the two years I have been here, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of Aboriginal people using our service and have also been able to help other health workers better understand the needs of our people.’
The project is a part of the Aboriginal Health Promotion and Chronic Care Partnership (AHPACC) initiative that has forged bold partnerships between Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and community health services in eleven sites throughout Victoria.
AHPACC aims to increase access to primary health services by supporting and training health workers and health services to provide culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal Victorians.
For more information, please visit the Aboriginal Health Promotion and Chronic Care partnership program page or contact Kate Gilbert, Senior Program Officer - Primary Health Programs, Aboriginal Health Branch on 03 9096 8631