Indigenous environmental health practitioners » Yarning board


Indigenous Environmental Health update

  • 17 July

    Hi mob members!

    If you haven't checked out the latest IEHP newsletter lately, then I'd encourage you to take a look. You can view our newsletter archives here.

    Best wishes,

    Millie

    Research Officer
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

  • 15 July 2016

    Hi mob members!

    If you're sitting there  wondering why you aren't getting the usual information package from the HealthInfoNet anymore, then that's because we've updated to some great new newsletters, which still contain all of the old information, but are much nicer to look at and read.

    You can sign up to the new newsletters here, and also check out the archived versions from the past couple of months under 'Environmental Health'.

    If you have any issues subscribing, or any other queries, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

    Happy reading!

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Officer
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

     

  • 16 December 2015

    Hi mob members,

    Here's your last environmental health newsletter for the year (and in this format)!

    Don't forget to resubscribe if you're interested in receiving these in 2016. You can do so here: http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/key-resources/newsletters.

    Best wishes,

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Officer
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

    **************************************************************************

    News

    Indigenous rangers protecting the Great Barrier Reef
    Twenty Indigenous rangers from nine locations in Far North Queensland recently started the journey to become marine park inspectors with compliance qualifications that will help protect the Great Barrier Reef. Once completed, the qualifications will enable the participants to take on formal marine park inspector roles in addition to regular ranger duties.

    WA group represents Indigenous Australia at UN climate change conference
    A group of leaders from Northern Western Australia headed to the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris, to be the voice of Indigenous Australia. The Kimberley Land Council (KLC) group of five aimed to share their experience developing the North Kimberley fire abatement project, which uses managed fire regimes to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    New study shows mass ivermectin dosing effective in controlling scabies
    Australian researchers involved in a world-first study to eliminate scabies have noted that mass drug dosing of ivermectin has virtually eliminated the mites in a community in Fiji. The findings have implications for controlling the skin disease around the world, including in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, who are disproportionately affected by scabies.

    Bright future for Indigenous carbon farming project
    The future for one of the Northern Territory’s longest running carbon farming projects is looking positive, after securing funding for the next five years through the Federal Government’s Emissions reduction fund.

    Job vacancies

    Healthy Start Field Officer (Lead) (NSW) Maari Ma Health – Closes 21 December 2015

    Land and Sea Programs Manager (Qld) Yintjingga Aboriginal Corporation – 18 January 2016

    Municipal Services Officer (WA) Ngaanyatjarra Health Service – No closing date

    NT Program Director (Healthy Skin Program) (NT) One Disease – No closing date

    Healthy Skin Clinician (Katherine) (NT) One Disease – No closing date

    Healthy Skin Clinician (Darwin) (NT) One Disease – No closing date

    Publications, resources and reports

    Evaluating a handwashing with soap program in Australian remote Aboriginal communities: a pre and post intervention (2015)
    This publication evaluates the effectiveness of the No germs on me hand and face washing social marketing campaign, reporting on the mass media component of the program.

    Climate change and health adaptation: consequences for Indigenous physical and mental health (2015)
    This article looks at climate change and the health of Indigenous people by investigating a typology of health adaptations: physiologic, personal and household, and community and state-level adaptation.

    The importance of scabies co-infection in the treatment considerations for impetigo (2015)
    This article reports on the prevalence, demographics and treatment success outcomes of impetigo and scabies co-infection in Indigenous children who were participants in a randomised controlled trial of impetigo treatment conducted in remote communities of the NT.

    Learning on country program: progress evaluation report (2015)
    This report presents the findings of the Learning on country program progress evaluation, covering the first eighteen months of implementation.

    Antimicrobial activity of customary medicinal plants of the Yaegl Aboriginal community of northern New South Wales, Australia: a preliminary study (2015)
    This study looks in the antimicrobial activity of a number of plants used by the Yaegl Aboriginal community of NSW, and compares them against eight pathogenic organisms commonly implicated in wounds, sores and skin infections.

    Application of capability approach to assess the role of ecosystem services in the well-being of Indigenous Australians (2015)
    This paper explores what well-being means for Indigenous Australians, examining the current well-being framework and people’s links with natural systems, such as land and culture.

    The risk of reported cryptosporidiosis in children aged <5 years in Australia is highest in very remote regions (2015)
    This study analysed population-based surveillance data to describe the geographic variation in reported cryptosporidiosis in children under five years in Australia, from 2001-2012. Data is spatially linked on individual illnesses to an index of geographic remoteness to examine the association between remoteness and disease, after controlling for the well-established relationship of cryptosporidiosis with season.

    Impact of ivermectin mass drug administration on scabies prevalence in a remote Australian Aboriginal community (2015)
    This article reports on the outcomes against scabies of two oral ivermectin mass drug administrations delivered 12 months apart in a remote Aboriginal community.

    ‘All about healthy country’: Aboriginal perspectives of weed management in the Kimberley, Western Australia (2015)
    This thesis investigates Aboriginal management of pest weeds in Western Australia, and argues that the wholesale imposition of mainstream weed discourse on Aboriginal natural and cultural management programs disables Aboriginal rangers from basing their weed management on culturally-embedded perspectives.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences, events and workshops

    70th Environmental Health Australia (EHA) WA state conference: 1-2 September 2016, Perth WA
    Please save the date for the Environmental Health Australia (EHA) West Australia branch state conference. More information will become available closer to the conference date.

    41st Environmental Health Australia (EHA) national conference: 31 October – 3 November 2016, Hobart Tas
    Please save the date for the Environmental Health Australia (EHA) national conference. More information will become available closer to the conference date.

    2015 Annual Australasian Wildlife Management Society conference: 23-26 November 2016, Perth WA
    This conference is the 28th meeting of the Australasian Wildlife Management Society. The theme for 2015 is Wildlife management in a changing environment, which will focus on adapting management styles to Australia’s changing environment. Travel subsidies and registration costs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be considered where delegates cannot get full support from their member organisation and where it is considered desirable for them to attend a specific symposium.

    Spotlight on a project

    Aboriginal water initiative program (current)
    This project was developed to improve Indigenous involvement and representation in water planning and management in NSW, with the main aim of ensuring there is ongoing effective state-wide and regional engagement with Indigenous communities in water sharing plans, and that measurable Indigenous water outcomes for both environmental and commercial use are achieved and reported upon. The project is conducted through the NSW Office of Water.

    The IEHP team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other programs and projects that people are working on, or even ones that have already been completed. If you would like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your organisation on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our Indigenous Environmental Health Practitioner Twitter page!

    ******************************************************************** 

  • 20 November 2015

    Hey mob members,

    Here are your latest environmental health newsletters.



    Enjoy!

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Officer
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet


    October
    **************************************************************************

    News

    National review of Indigenous rangers program shows positive results
    The coordinator of an Indigenous ranger group in Western Australia’s (WA) far north says the group’s work is proving so successful it should be replicated elsewhere. A national review of Indigenous ranger groups has been released in Canberra this month, which highlights the social and environmental benefits the groups bring to remote communities.

    Indigenous community taking to 3D printing to turn plastic waste into goods
    The remote Indigenous community of Milingimbi, an island off Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory (NT) is using 3D printing to turn its plastic waste into sunglasses, phone cases and toys as part of an initiative to encourages school attendance.

    New alliance aims to eliminate trachoma in Yalata
    A new alliance between the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), the Australian Trachoma Alliance (ATA) and the community of Yalata in South Australia (SA) aims to eliminate trachoma. The alliance commits to working together on an action plan to address the key causes of trachoma.

    Indigenous rangers protecting the Great Barrier Reef
    Twenty Indigenous rangers from nine locations in Far North Queensland recently started the journey to become maritime park inspectors with compliance qualifications that will help protected the Great Barrier Reef.

    Evaluation shows Learning on country program benefiting students
    An independent evaluation of the Learning on country program has found it is helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the NT to maintain a strong sense of cultural identify while improving remote school attendance.

    Job vacancies

    Essential Services Officer (NT) MacDonnell Regional Council – Closes 20 November 2015

    Women’s Ranger Mentor (NT) Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation – Closes 25 November 2015

    Community Liason Revenue Assurance Coordinator (NT) Power and Water Corporation – Closes 26 November 2015

    National Aboriginal Engagement Manager (NT) Bush Heritage Australia – Closes 30 November 2015

    Manager Demand Management (NT) Power and Water Corporation – Closes 1 December 2015

    Program Director (NT) One Disease – No closing date

    Healthy Skin Clinician (Katherine) (NT) One Disease – No closing date

    Healthy Skin Clinician (Darwin) (NT) One Disease – No closing date

    Electrician (x2) (WA) KRSP Pty Ltd – No closing date

    Publications, resources and reports

    Healthy skin program: guidelines for community control of scabies, skin sores, tinea and crusted scabies in the Northern Territory [3rd ed.] (2015)
    These guidelines provide information and advice on the diagnosis, treatment and control of scabies, skin sored and crusted scabies. They allow for a community based approach to reduce the incidence of these skin infections, and cover: definitions and clinical presentation; skin checks, treatment and follow-up; diagnosis and management of crusted scabies; and active surveillance and whole-of-community treatment.

    Scabies (2015)
    This resource, produced by the NT Centre for Disease Control, aims to provide a brief overview of scabies for communities in the NT.

    One Disease update: tackling scabies and crusted scabies across the Top End (2015)
    This publication provides an update of One Disease’s work in the NT to eliminate scabies and crusted scabies as a public health issue.

    Reporting back…2013-14: Working on country and Indigenous protected areas programmes (2015)
    This report provides a summary of the achievements of two national initiatives, the Working on country program and the Indigenous protected area program for the year 2013-14. The report covers the number of people employed, the types of activities they are doing, and the flow on benefits to the environment and local communities.

    Aboriginal involvement in caring-for-country: an economic case study in primary preventative health (2015)
    This article aims to demonstrate the involvement of Aboriginal people in caring for country as a case study of how appropriately targeted non-medical primary preventative health strategies can be a cost-effective approach to addressing chronic disease among Indigenous people. Secondly, it also aims to demonstrate the use of analogous approach in addressing the global chronic disease pandemic.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences, events and workshops

    2015 Annual Australasian Wildlife Management Society conference: 23-26 November 2016, Perth WA
    This conference is the 28th meeting of the Australasian Wildlife Management Society. The theme for 2015 is Wildlife management in a changing environment, which will focus on adapting management styles to Australia’s changing environment. Travel subsidies and registration costs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be considered where delegates cannot get full support from their member organisation and where it is considered desirable for them to attend a specific symposium.

    Spotlight on a project

    Aboriginal communities water supply and sewerage program (current)
    This project was initiated to address the water and sewerage issues experienced by Aboriginal communities in NSW, and aims to improve water supply and sewerage services in eligible communities. Key focus areas include: water disinfection by replacing pipes and treatment plants; improvements to water quality; repairs to centralised sewerage systems and sub-surface irrigation; and regular collection and testing of water. The program is a partnership between the NSW state government, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, and is led by the NSW Office of Water.

    The IEHP team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other programs and projects that people are working on, or even ones that have already been completed. If you would like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your organisation on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our Indigenous Environmental Health Practitioner Twitter page!

    **************************************************************************
    September

    **************************************************************************

    News

    ACT vets recognised for work improving dog health in Central Australia
    Two Canberra-based veterinarians have been honoured for their volunteer work building a dog desexing program in Central Australia. Dr Micheal Archinal and Dr Alison Taylor have been named as the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) 2015 Australian of the Year award finalists for their work with Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC).

    New project to provide continued support to manage desert country
    A new project will support continued management of the West Australian (WA) desert country across the Indigenous protected areas (IPAs) of Birriliburu and Kiwirrkurra.

    Fitzroy North woman wins Bob Brown Foundation’s Young environmentalist of the year
    A Fitzroy North resident has been recognised for her work inspiring young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to become leaders in campaigning against climate change.

    Veterinary students to provide care to remote camp dogs
    The Western Australian (WA) Department of Health has funded a group of Murdoch University veterinary students to travel to the remote One Arm Point community, north of Broome, to surgically desex dogs brought in from local communities, in a bid to control numbers and reduce the risks of residents contracting skin diseases and parasite-related illnesses.

    Job vacancies

    Water Quality Specialist (NT)
    The Power and Water Corporation are seeking applicants for the role of Water Quality Specialist. This position will work as part of a team working to improve water quality and wastewater through strategic management in 72 remote communities across the NT, which are primarily Indigenous.

    Technical Coordinator Water and Sewerage (Electrical) (NT)
    The Power and Water Corporation have a vacancy for a Technical Coordinator Water and Sewerage (Electrical). This position will be required to direct and supervise contractors undertaking electrical installation for instrumentation, controls and automation for water and sewerage infrastructure in Indigenous communities.

    Regional Fire Officer (WA)
    Kimberley Aboriginal Land Council are seeking suitable applicants to fill the role of Regional Fire Officer. This position will work as a member of the Land and Sea Management Unit in close consultation with Ranger Groups, Traditional Owners and relevant stakeholders to plan, develop, implement and review Fire Management Plans. This position will additionally provide support and oversight of fire operations across a set region in the Kimberley.

    Aboriginal Water Policy Officer (Vic)
    The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning are seeking applicants for the role of Aboriginal Water Policy Officer. This position will play a role in delivering the state-wide Aboriginal water program.

    Healthy Skin Clinician (Katherine) (NT)
    One Disease have a vacancy for a Healthy Skin Clinician to join their team based in Katherine. This position will develop and implement a scabies elimination program within the communities that the successful applicant is responsible for.

    Healthy Skin Clinician (Darwin) (NT)
    One Disease are seeking suitable applicants for a Healthy Skin Clinician to join their team based in Darwin. This position will develop and implement a scabies elimination program within the communities that the successful applicant is responsible for.

    Project Officer (NT)
    One Disease have a vacancy for a Project Officer. This position will work closely with the project field team to drive improvements in health outcomes and scabies reduction in target communities.

    Property Manager/Housing Officer (WA)
    Pilbara Meta Maya Regional Aboriginal Corporation are seeking suitable applicants for the role of Property Manager/Housing Officer. This position will provide housing management services, assistance and training to 13 communities throughout the Pilbara region.

    Publications, resources and reports

    The Study of environment on Aboriginal resilience and child health (SEARCH) preliminary findings (2015)
    This conference presentation presents the preliminary findings of the Study of environment on Aboriginal resilience and child health (SEARCH), which investigates the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal children living in urban communities in New South Wales.

    Cryptosporidiosis: a disease of tropical and remote areas in Australia (2015)
    This study analysed long-term cryptosporidiosis patterns across Australia (2001-2012) and reviewed published Australian studies and jurisdictional health bulletins to identify high risk populations and potential risk factors for disease. Rates of reported cryptosporidiosis are highest in the warmer, remote regions, and in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

    Communicable diseases in rural and remote Australia: the need for improved understanding and action (2015)
    This systematic review was undertaken to describe the types of research that have explored the epidemiology of communicable diseases in rural and remote communities in Australia, with particular reference to the social determinants of health.

    The NSW Crown Lands Review: risks and opportunities for Aboriginal people in New South Wales (2015)
    This paper explains the importance of Crown lands to Aboriginal communities in NSW and how certain elements of the internal interagency Crown lands management review may affect land of significance to Aboriginal people, indicating risks as well as opportunities.

    italklibrary (2014)
    The italk library is an online collection of visual and spoken stories that can be used with clients who are not able to read, write or understand English. It is a useful tool for cross-cultural learning. The italk library contains stories about a number of topics, including food safety.

    Keep your food safe from germs (2013)
    This resource, produced for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, is a quick guide to good food safety.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences, events and workshops

    Territory Natural Resource Management annual conference: NT, 10-12 November 2015
    The Territory Natural Resource Management (TNRM) annual conference aims to bring together individuals from natural resource management groups, government departments, research centres, ranger groups, volunteers, and students from throughout the Northern Territory. Running since 2008, the conference provides a forum for people working in natural resource management (NRM) to collaborate, share experience and learn new skills. Conference topics include: best practice management of weeds, best practice management of fire and feral animals; and protecting and conserving natural assets. TNRM also offers free training and workshops across a range of NRM-related topics.

    Environmental Health Australia (EHA) 40th national conference: Sydney, NSW, 20-23 October 2015
    The 40th Environmental Health Australia (EHA) national conference aims to provide an opportunity for environmental health professionals to extend their skills and knowledge in the environmental health field. The theme for 2015 is Environmental health – strength in unity, which will bring together presenters from a variety of disciplines across the broader environmental health and sustainability profession. A key conference focus issue is the environmental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    Spotlight on a project

    Indigenous community dog health program
    This project aims to improve the health and safety of Aboriginal children and families in rural New South Wales communities through: the delivery of veterinary services; the presentation of information to schools and the community on the links between animal and human health; and working with local groups to develop an animal management plan, and to establish the role of a local animal health care worker to ensure the program continues. The program involves environmental health officers working in the population health unit of regional area health services.

    The IEHP team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other programs and projects that people are working on, or even ones that have already been completed. If you would like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your organisation on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our Indigenous Environmental Health Practitioner Twitter page!

    ******************************************************************** 

  • 25 August 2015

    Hey mob members!

    Here's your latest IEHP update.

    Happy reading!

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Assistant
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

    **************************************************************************

    News

    New base for Indigenous rangers in the Gulf of Carpentaria
    The Li-anthawirriyarra sea ranger group in Borroloola, in the Northern Territory, are bolstering their operations with the construction of a new base at Block Rock on the McArthur River. The group is one of 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ranger groups who receive part of the $12.4 million in Federal Government funding, announced last month.

    Bush tucker garden launched at Glen Innes Public School
    Glen Innes Public School has officially opened their bush tucker garden, which is hoped will start a conversation about healthy, natural foods, and their benefits, along with sustainability and environmental lessons. Uncle John Kirk, Aboriginal Elder, officially opened the ceremony and welcomed everyone to the brand new garden. He said the garden would be very useful to the children in teaching about natural food sources, and that not everything comes from the shops.

    Job vacancies

    Environmental Health Officer (WA)
    The Shire of Ashburton has a vacancy for an Environmental Health Officer. This position is required to manage the daily operations of health services including the Aboriginal Health Unit for the Shire. The successful applicant will be responsible for applying environmental health legislation in accordance with the Shire’s Environmental Health and other Council policies.

    Municipal Services Officer (WA)
    Ngaanyatjarra Council Aboriginal Corporation is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Municipal Services Officer. This position will coordinate and carry out the delivery of municipal services activities in the Ngaanyatjarra communities, which include: power, water and sewerage maintenance; maintenance of community roads; landscaping and fire protection; and waste disposal.

    South Kimberley Program Manager (Land and Sea Management Unit) (WA)
    The Kimberley Land Council has a vacancy for a Program Manager to join their Land and Sea Management Unit. This position is responsible for providing high level leadership, advice, feedback, and day-to-day management of the Indigenous protected area and Working on country programs.

    Publications, resources and reports

    Environmental attributable fractions in remote Australia: the potential of a new approach for a local public health action (2015)
    This study aimed to determine local values for environmental attributable fractions and explore their applicability and potential for public health advocacy. The study found that of the 150,357 reasons for attendance to a health service of patients of all ages, 31,775 (21.2%) were directly attributable to the environment, and was significantly higher for Aboriginal patients than others. The study concludes that by addressing environmental factors, 20% of total healthcare demand could be prevented, and some 25% presentations by Aboriginal children.

    Ecosystems and Indigenous well-being: an integrated framework (2015)
    This paper provides a socio-economic-ecological perspective on Indigenous well-being for incorporating nature related values. The paper reviews and analyses the basic concepts of human well-being, ecosystems and their ecosystem services from Indigenous perspectives, and available well-being frameworks on how to reflect and measure people’s connections with nature to appropriately reflect Indigenous well-being.

    ‘Red dust homelessess’: housing, home and homelessness in remote Australia (2015)
    Drawing on the perspectives of service providers, this paper discusses contested understandings of home and homelessness as well as housing and service provision in two remote Western Australian mining towns. The findings highlight westernised and urban assumptions underpinning the policy domain in which housing and homelessness responses are determined, emphasising the limits of current conceptualisations for Aboriginal people and service providers working in remote areas.

    Dennis (2015)
    This comic was developed to provide information to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing tenants about repairs and maintenance. Topics covered by the comic include: maintenance requests; fair wear and tear; pest control issues; and water service issues. The comic was commissioned by the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office, with contributions to the script provided by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of Bourke, NSW.

    Yabby fishin’ (2015)
    This comic was developed to provide information to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing tenants on the importance of keeping their housing provider up-to-date about changes to who is living in their home. Topics covered by the comic include: the difference between renting and owning a house; when you need to put other tenants on the lease; and succession of tenancy. The comic was commissioned by the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office, with contributions to the script provided by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of Collarenebri, NSW.

    The Murrakupuni and climate change song (2014)
    This 2.40-minute video was produced as part of the Engaging Tiwi Islanders in climate change science project, which aimed to increase the engagement of the Tiwi Islander people in the Northern Territory with climate change science. The music video discusses issues around climate change, and how people can reduce their impact on country.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences, events and workshops

    69th West Australia Environmental Health Australia (EHA) state conference: Perth, WA, 2-3 September 2015
    This conference is the 69th annual meeting of the WA branch of Environmental Health Australia, the main membership body in Australia for environmental health professionals. The conference presents knowledge of the latest issues, techniques and technology in environmental health, and provides an opportunity for members to liaise with others from similar fields. This year (EHA) WA is hoping to introduce a regional stream during concurrent sessions, and are particularly interested in any abstract submissions that have a regional focus, especially in the areas of effluent disposal, emergency management, and Indigenous environmental health.

    Mosquito management training course: Mandurah, WA, 21-25 September 2015
    The WA Department of Health is offering a mosquito management course for people working in environmental and public health, environmental, water and wastewater management, and environmental engineering and pest control. This course will include lectures, field work, practical mosquito identification sessions, and equipment demonstrations. Places are limited so register ASAP.

    10th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health conference: Novotel Coffs Harbour, Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour NSW, 12-15 October 2015
    This biennial national conference is convened by the Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (WGATSIEH), and is supported in 2015 by NSW Health. The aim of this conference is to: increase the understanding and awareness of environmental health issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; provide a forum for discussion on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health issues; and provide a national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health. The theme for 2015, Building foundations for a healthy community, will be addressed through a number of presentations delivered predominantly by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners. The conference program is now available, and can be accessed here.

    Territory Natural Resource Management annual conference: NT, 10-12 November 2015
    The Territory Natural Resource Management (TNRM) annual conference aims to bring together individuals from natural resource management groups, government departments, research centres, ranger groups, volunteers, and students from throughout the Northern Territory. Running since 2008, the conference provides a forum for people working in natural resource management (NRM) to collaborate, share experience and learn new skills. Conference topics include: best practice management of weeds, best practice management of fire and feral animals; and protecting and conserving natural assets. TNRM also offers free training and workshops across a range of NRM-related topics.

    Spotlight on a project

    Wild dog knowledge project
    This project seeks to increase ecological knowledge on wild dogs in the region of the Gumbaynggir people of New South Wales. In particular, it aims to collect information about the movement of dogs through the coastal and hinterland peri-urban landscape. Local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders were also engaged to share traditional knowledge about the role and significance that dingoes have played in the lives of the members of the Gumbaynggir nation.

    The IEHP team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other programs and projects that people are working on, or even ones that have already been completed. If you would like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your organisation on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our Indigenous Environmental Health Practitioner Twitter page!

    ********************************************************************

  • 29 July 2015

    Hi mob members!

    Here's your latest round up. I'd also like to let you know that soon we will be changing the appearance of these round ups slightly, but they will still contain the same content. If you have any concerns or queries about this please let me know.

    Best wishes,

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Officer
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

    **************************************************************************

    News

    Gumbaynggirr people caring and sharing knowledge on traditional land
    The people from the Gumbaynggir Nation are caring for their country and sharing traditional land management knowledge through a range of innovative projects. Gumbaynggir lands stretch from the Clarence River down to the Nambucca River on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. On these traditional lands the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are working on wild dog research and undertaking natural resource management (NRM).

    Student vets helping to improve dog health in outback Western Australia
    Student vets from Murdoch University in Western Australia (WA) are volunteering their time, and heading to outback WA to tackle the high number of aggressive and neglected dogs in some of the most remote communities in the state. Six students travelled to a series of East Kimberley Aboriginal communities earlier this month as part of a trial desexing program, funded by the WA Department of Health, and with support from health workers at the Nirrumbuk Corporation.

    Army Aboriginal community assistance program helping out in Titjikala
    The community of Titjikala, in the Northern Territory, is currently hosting a number of Army members, as part of the Army Aboriginal community assistance program. The program is a join initiative between the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Army, and aims to improve environmental health conditions within remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia. To date, more than 40 communities have benefited from the program.

    Warddeken caring for country project wins NAIDOC award
    The Warddeken caring for country project was announced as the winner of the 2015 NAIDOC Caring for country award at a ceremony last week. The project, also a recipient of the 2011 Banksia ‘Caring for country Indigenous award’ and the Eureka prize for ‘Innovative solutions to climate change’ aims to combine traditional knowledge, rules and responsibilities with modern science and technology to ensure that the country in the Warddeken Indigenous protected area (IPA) is maintained and healthy.

    Job vacancies

    PhD Scholarship in Water Resources Management in Remote Indigenous Communities (Qld)
    Griffith University is seeking suitable applicants for a PhD Scholarship in Water Resources Management in remote Indigenous communities. The successful candidate will be involved in an ARC Linkage project that aims to develop an empirically-based and community-driven framework to facilitate the efficient use, and secure long-term supply of energy and water resources in remote and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    Homelands Maintenance Officer (NT)
    The West Daly Regional Council has a vacancy for a Homelands Maintenance Officer to join their team. This position is responsible for ensuring the delivery of power generation, water supply, reticulation, storage and treatment of potable water, as well as maintenance of other areas such as generators, bores and mowers.

    Environmental Health Coordinator (WA)
    Ngaanyatjarra Health Service is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Environmental Health Coordinator. This position will provide environmental health services across 11 communities on the Ngaanyatjarra Lands, with a focus on improving the domestic and communal living conditions of each community.

    Publications, resources and reports

    Hunting down the germ (2015)
    This 13-minute video aims to raise awareness around the issues of trachoma and eye health for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The resource promotes the importance of getting regular eye health checks, washing your hands and face, and taking medicine prescribed by health professionals.

    Walking with us [short film] (2015)
    This video has a collection of connected stories about the importance of cultural protocol as told by Elders from Indigenous groups in South Australia. They share teachings of their past and propose ways forward by coming together to reinvigorate cultural protocol, particularly in relation to the land.

    Synergies: Walking together – belonging to country (Djena Koorliny Danjoo Boodjarang) (2015)
    This short film celebrates the remarkable similarities between Nyoongar and Western scientific understandings of the formation of Nyoongar land, which stretches across the South West region of WA. It uses explanatory animation to take the audience through the 300 million year journey, and features Edith Cowan University’s Elder in Residence, Dr Noel Nannup and world renowned expert in local flora and fauna, Professor Stephen Hopper.

    Daripi tarronga (2014)
    Daripi Tarronga (healthy skin) is a 4-minute video that aims to raise awareness of the importance of keeping skin healthy and treating skin conditions. The resource discusses topics such as how to keep your skin clean, keeping your home clean, and how often you should wash your skin.

    Keeping your dog healthy (2015)
    This set of five leaflets aims to provide information on how to keep dogs in remote communities healthy, and ensure safe and healthy relationships with dogs. The leaflets focus on the topics of: keeping your dog happy and healthy: ways to care for your dog; dog bites: staying safe from dogs; little families: stopping dogs from breeding; keeping your dog healthy: the dangers of ticks, fleas and lice; and keeping your dog healthy: the danger of worms.

    Trachoma arts based health promotion brings hygiene to life in remote communities (2015)
    This conference presentation provides information on using arts-based health promotion to encourage good hygiene practices to combat trachoma in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    The Indigenous health gap: social factors hit hard (2015)
    This article discusses the relationship between health and social issues in remote Indigenous communities, with a focus on overcrowded housing, ear infections and incarceration.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences, events and workshops

    69th West Australia Environmental Health Australia (EHA) state conference: Perth, WA, 2-3 September 2015
    This conference is the 69th annual meeting of the WA branch of Environmental Health Australia, the main membership body in Australia for environmental health professionals. The conference presents knowledge of the latest issues, techniques and technology in environmental health, and provides an opportunity for members to liaise with others from similar fields. This year (EHA) WA is hoping to introduce a regional stream during concurrent sessions, and are particularly interested in any abstract submissions that have a regional focus, especially in the areas of effluent disposal, emergency management, and Indigenous environmental health.

    Mosquito management training course: Mandurah, WA, 21-25 September 2015
    The WA Department of Health is offering a mosquito management course for people working in environmental and public health, environmental, water and wastewater management, and environmental engineering and pest control. This course will include lectures, field work, practical mosquito identification sessions, and equipment demonstrations. Places are limited so register ASAP.

    10th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health conference: Novotel Coffs Harbour, Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour NSW, 12-15 October 2015
    This biennial national conference is convened by the Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (WGATSIEH), and is supported in 2015 by NSW Health. The aim of this conference is to: increase the understanding and awareness of environmental health issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; provide a forum for discussion on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health issues; and provide a national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health. The theme for 2015, Building foundations for a healthy community, will be addressed through a number of presentations delivered predominantly by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners. The conference program is now available, and can be accessed here.

    Territory Natural Resource Management annual conference: NT, 10-12 November 2015
    The Territory Natural Resource Management (TNRM) annual conference aims to bring together individuals from natural resource management groups, government departments, research centres, ranger groups, volunteers, and students from throughout the Northern Territory. Running since 2008, the conference provides a forum for people working in natural resource management (NRM) to collaborate, share experience and learn new skills. Conference topics include: best practice management of weeds, best practice management of fire and feral animals; and protecting and conserving natural assets. TNRM also offers free training and workshops across a range of NRM-related topics.

    Spotlight on a project

    Warddeken caring for country project
    This project aims to combine traditional knowledge, rules and responsibilities with modern science and technology to ensure that the country in the Warddeken Indigenous protected area (IPA) is maintained and healthy. Key focus areas of the project include weed management, fire management, surveying, recording and managing the rock art sites across the plateau, and monitoring and management of feral animals such as buffalo and cats. To date, the project has been a success, bringing Traditional Owners back to country, renewing sacred places, keeping the land healthy, and providing the opportunity to pass on traditional knowledge and stories to younger community members.

    The IEHP team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other programs and projects that people are working on, or even ones that have already been completed. If you would like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your organisation on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our Indigenous Environmental Health Practitioner Twitter page!

    ******************************************************************** 

  • 8 July 2015

    Hi mob members!

    Here's your first environmental health round up for July.

    We hope that you're having an excellent NAIDOC week.

    Best wishes,

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Assistant
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

    **************************************************************************

    News

    Child doctors improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
    More than 500 Indigenous and non-Indigenous boys and girls in Kempsey, New South Wales, are learning hygiene, first aid and bush medicine as part of a Young doctor program to bridge the health gap in some of the poorest communities across Australia. The health ambassadors are learning how to keep their homes clean, how to buy healthier food choices, how to keep their faces clean, and how to navigate the local hospital and health system.

    RHDAustralia travels to Barunga to paint the story of rheumatic fever
    RHDAustralia travelled to Barunga Festival for the second successive year to teach children and their parents about the causes of rheumatic fever, and some easy preventative strategies to help avoid Group A streptococcus, the germ that causes acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). RHDAustralia focused their stall around primary prevention of rheumatic fever through activities to teach visitors about the germs that cause rheumatic fever, and provide them with some basic education around hand and face washing.

    Healthy animals mean healthy communities
    An Australian Government program, which has volunteer veterinarians and other health professionals working closely with communities to improve dog health and control their numbers, has not only resulted in healthier dogs, but has also seen the health of communities improve. The Dog health program in the Barkly Region of the Northern Territory has been very successful, with the project being jointly delivered by the Barkly Regional Council and Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities.

    Million dollar boost to scabies management in the Northern Territory
    One Disease, a not-for-profit organisation aiming to eliminate preventable infectious disease, has been the recipient of a $1.2 million donation. Merck and Schering-Plough (MSD) in Australia, a subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc. donated $600,000 to One Disease, which is also being matched by an unnamed benefactor. One Disease is currently focusing on eliminating scabies from 28 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the Northern Territory, where it is a serious health issue.

    Job vacancies

    Veterinary Nurse (NT)
    Northern Territory Veterinary Services is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Veterinary Nurse. This position involves all aspects of animal care and vet nursing, including feeding, grooming, medical care of patients, cleaning, surgical nursing, inventory management, reception duties, and visits accompanying vets to remote towns, stations and communities. The NT Veterinary Services additionally operate Aboriginal Community Veterinary Services, providing vet services to remote Indigenous communities throughout the NT.

    Learning on Country Coordinator (NT)
    Anindilyakwa Land Council has a vacancy for a Learning on Country Coordinator to join their Land and Sea Management Unit. This position will be responsible for ensuring the successful delivery of the Learning on country program in the Groote Archipelago, working with schools and community members.

    Natural Resource Management Officer (Ranger Supervisor) (Qld)
    The Torres Strait Regional Authority is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Natural Resource Management Officer. This position will be responsible for managing and supervising ranger groups, mentoring and coaching rangers, providing technical advice and coordinating ranger field operations.

    Essential Services Officer (Homelands) (NT)
    The West Daly Regional Council has a vacancy for an Essential Services Officer (Homelands) to join their team in Wadeye. This position will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of the homelands (outstations), power generation, water supply, reticulation, storage and treatment of potable water to ensure compliance with power and water specifications. The Officer will also be responsible for the civil services activities within the Homeland to ensure that health amenities are available, and to report any health and safety issues to relevant agencies to rectify.

    Program Manager (Land Management) (SA)
    Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara has a vacancy for a Program Manager (Land Management). The successful applicant will manage a Natural resource management program, which will include travel throughout South Australia, and learning about Anangu language and culture.

    PhD Scholarship in Water Resources Management in Remote Indigenous Communities (Qld)
    Griffith University is seeking suitable applicants for a PhD Scholarship in Water Resources Management in remote Indigenous communities. The successful candidate will be involved in an ARC Linkage project that aims to develop an empirically-based and community-driven framework to facilitate the efficient use, and secure long-term supply of energy and water resources in remote and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    Publications, resources and reports

    Scabies: an ancient global disease with a need for new therapies (2015)
    This publication aims to focus on the challenges found with diagnosis, treatment and emerging resistance among scabies mites, and the need for further research in this field to identify new and alternative therapies for the treatment and prophylaxis of scabies. The emergence of resistance among scabies mites to classical scabicides and ineffectiveness of current treatments raise serious concerns regarding current therapy. Treatment adherence difficulties, and safety and efficacy uncertainties in the young and elderly, all signal the need to identify new treatments for scabies.

    Aboriginal consumption of estuarine food resources and potential implications for health through trace metal exposure; a study in Gumbaynggirr country, Australia (2015)
    This paper examines the relationship between the Nambucca River estuary, and the use of food resources by the Gumbaynggirr people of New South Wales. While there are many foods consumed by these people, this article focuses particularly on the naturally recruited Saccostrea glomerata (Sydney rock oysters) and Myxus elongates (Sand mullet). Due to their feeding, both species have a high capacity for bioaccumulation of contaminants, and human consumption of these species may lead to undesirable health implications.

    Local and global pyrogeographic evidence that Indigenous fire management creates pyrodiversity (2015)
    This study combined fieldwork, modelling and a literature survey to examine the extent and mechanism by which anthropogenic burning alters the spatial grain of habitat mosaics in fire-prone ecosystems. The study surveyed the distribution of Callitris intratopica, a conifer requiring long fire-free intervals for establishment, as an indicator of long-unburned habitat availability under Aboriginal burning in the savannas of Arnhem Land.

    It’s hot and getting hotter. Australian rangelands and climate change – reports of the Rangelands cluster project (2015)
    This report presents the key findings from the Rangelands cluster project, which is designed to assist rangeland natural resource management (NRM) groups to include planning for climate change impacts into their normal NRM planning processes to ensure better informed decisions and strategic investments in relation to climate change impacts, and sustainability of rangeland communities and industries in the longer term.

    Trachoma in remote Indigenous Australia: a review and public health perspective (2015)
    This paper aims to explore the social epidemiology of trachoma in remote Indigenous Australian communities, and to identify practical and sustainable strategies to alter the social determinants of the disease. The study found that having a clean face was found to be protective for trachoma, but face-washing education programs have produced no significant benefits. Sanitation infrastructure in the community, such as swimming pools, were a key determinant of facial cleanliness, and has been demonstrated to reduce the prevalence of several common childhood infections.

    Strongyloides stercoralis infection and antenatal care [letter] (2015)
    This letter to the editor argues that reliable enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing for Strongyloides stercoralis should be carried out when delivering antenatal care to women of Aboriginal and Torres Strait decent, particularly in the northern regions of Australia. Strongyloides infection in pregnancy presents a theoretical threat to the mother’s health, which the ELISA test would negate.

    Healthy ears, happy kids resources (2015)
    These resources promote the importance of good personal hygiene, nutrition and regular ear checks for preventing middle ear disease (otitis media). They also describe the signs of ‘sick ears’ which parents and caregivers should look out for in children. They are designed to be shared with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged zero to six years old in New South Wales. They were produced as part of the Healthy ears, happy kids: the NSW Aboriginal ear health program.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences, events and workshops

    69th West Australia Environmental Health Australia (EHA) state conference: Perth, WA, 2-3 September 2015
    This conference is the 69th annual meeting of the WA branch of Environmental Health Australia, the main membership body in Australia for environmental health professionals. The conference presents knowledge of the latest issues, techniques and technology in environmental health, and provides an opportunity for members to liaise with others from similar fields. This year (EHA) WA is hoping to introduce a regional stream during concurrent sessions, and are particularly interested in any abstract submissions that have a regional focus, especially in the areas of effluent disposal, emergency management, and Indigenous environmental health.

    Mosquito management training course: Mandurah, WA, 21-25 September 2015
    The WA Department of Health is offering a mosquito management course for people working in environmental and public health, environmental, water and wastewater management, and environmental engineering and pest control. This course will include lectures, field work, practical mosquito identification sessions, and equipment demonstrations. Places are limited so register ASAP.

    10th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health conference: Novotel Coffs Harbour, Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour NSW, 12-15 October 2015
    This biennial national conference is convened by the Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (WGATSIEH), and is supported in 2015 by NSW Health. The aim of this conference is to: increase the understanding and awareness of environmental health issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; provide a forum for discussion on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health issues; and provide a national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health. The theme for 2015, Building foundations for a healthy community, will be addressed through a number of presentations delivered predominantly by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners.

    Territory Natural Resource Management annual conference: NT, 10-12 November 2015
    The Territory Natural Resource Management (TNRM) annual conference aims to bring together individuals from natural resource management groups, government departments, research centres, ranger groups, volunteers, and students from throughout the Northern Territory. Running since 2008, the conference provides a forum for people working in natural resource management (NRM) to collaborate, share experience and learn new skills. Conference topics include: best practice management of weeds, best practice management of fire and feral animals; and protecting and conserving natural assets. TNRM also offers free training and workshops across a range of NRM-related topics.

    Spotlight on a project

    Fish River fire project
    This project is an Australian Government approved carbon credit project that aims to deliver significant social, cultural, economic and biodiversity benefits while protecting a nationally significant landscape in the Northern Territory. Fish River is Australia’s first controlled savannah burning project to be approved under the Carbon farming initiative, and is being used as a demonstration project to assist development of other controlled savannah burning projects by Indigenous groups across northern Australia. Under the Fish River fire project, Indigenous rangers combine traditional burning knowledge with modern technology to help address climate change, generate new income stream for future land management, and provide paid, environmental-based on country jobs for Indigenous people.

    The IEHP team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other programs and projects that people are working on, or even ones that have already been completed. If you would like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your organisation on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our Indigenous Environmental Health Practitioner Twitter page!

    ************************************************************************** 

  • 25 June 2015

    Hi mob members,

    Here's the latest environmental health round up.

    As always, if you've got any information you'd like us to include then please don't hesitate to let me know!

    Best wishes,

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Assistant
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

    **************************************************************************

    News

    AHCWA welcome release of report into Aboriginal health programs
    Western Australia’s (WA) peak Aboriginal health organisation has welcomed the release of a review into the performance of WA’s State-Funded Aboriginal health programs, but says it still has some questions the State government needs to answer. The review, undertaken by UWA Emeritus Professor, D’Arcy Holman, found that of the Aboriginal health projects it evaluated, 91% delivered ‘good’, ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’ value for money. The review includes some recommendations about the funding and structure of Indigenous environmental health programs.

    More women taking on ranger jobs on Martu country
    For the first time, the Martu people have a permanent women’s ranger team based at Parnngurr in the Western Desert region of Western Australia. The team consists of six permanent women’s positions and several casual positions, and is coordinated by the Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa Martu organisation. The women work with local Elders and the men’s team to look after country and plan for the future.

    Indigenous army building initiative considering environmental health projects in Wilcannia
    Community members in Wilcannia in outback New South Wales have been asked to nominate construction and engineering projects that need attention, as an Australian Army assistance program looks to expand. Since 1997, the Army Aboriginal community assistance program has run in northern and central Australia. The Army, in partnership with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, has delivered housing, construction and health projects to improve environmental health and living conditions in remote Indigenous communities.

    New skills for rangers teaming up with NT fisheries
    This month, 19 Indigenous rangers will be trained to expand the monitoring and surveillance capacity in Northern Territory (NT) fisheries to support their management of Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs). Rangers from Daly River, Crocodile Island and Finniss River have travelled to Maningrida in West Arnhem Land, NT, to join the Djelk rangers in training for a Certificate II in fisheries compliance. As part of their role managing the Djelk IPA, the sea rangers undertake surveillance and monitoring for the NT fisheries, Australian Customs and the Department of Agriculture.

    Job vacancies

    Healthy Skin Clinician (NT)
    One Disease has a vacancy for a Healthy Skin Clinician to join their team. This position will be given responsibility for two to three communities in the NT, where the successful applicant will develop and implement a scabies elimination program in partnership with the local residents.

    PhD Scholarship in Water Resources Management in Remote Indigenous Communities (Qld)
    Griffith University is seeking suitable applicants for a PhD Scholarship in Water Resources Management in remote Indigenous communities. The successful candidate will be involved in an ARC Linkage project that aims to develop an empirically-based and community-driven framework to facilitate the efficient use, and secure long-term supply of energy and water resources in remote and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    Graduate Ranger (SA)
    The South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources has a vacancy for a Graduate Ranger to join their team. This position will work closely with Indigenous people and communities to co-manage national parks and reserves, and will carry out conservation initiatives and fire management.

    Water Planning Manager (NT)
    The Power and Water Corporation is seeking suitable applicants to fill the role of Water Planning Manager. This position will lead the strategic direction of the Water Quality and Treatment section, and will ensure that water and wastewater systems in Indigenous communities achieve sustainable system performance outcomes and regulatory compliance.

    Works Supervisor/Essential Services Officer (NT)
    Central Desert Regional Council has a vacancy for a Works Supervisor/Essential Services Officer to join their team. This position will work with staff involved in the maintenance and development of waste management, facilities, roads, gardens and parks, and ensure that contractual obligations to the Power and Water Corporation are met.

    Publications, resources and reports

    A promising future: WA Aboriginal health programs: review of performance with recommendations for consolidation and advance (2014)
    This external review of WA’s state-funded Aboriginal health programs was released to the public this month. It includes some recommendations about the funding and structure of Indigenous environmental health programs in WA, noting that that environmental health interventions were funded at around one half their levels of priority.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health performance framework 2014 report (2015)
    This is the fifth report against the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework, released by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council. The report finds that there was a significant decline in the mortality rate for Indigenous Australians (16%) and a significant narrowing of the gap with non-Indigenous Australians (15%) between 1998 and 2013. The Tier 2 sections address environmental factors, including housing; access to functional housing with utilities; and environmental tobacco smoke.

    Environmental health challenges in remote Aboriginal Australian communities: clean air, clean water and safe housing (2015)
    This literature review aimed to investigate information on the unique environmental challenges that remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities face, to improve understandings of environmental risk factors in remote Indigenous communities. The review found that the environmental factors focused on, water, overcrowding and air pollution, are anecdotally high in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and have been linked to cardiovascular, respiratory and other infectious diseases.

    Be crocwise (2015)
    The Be crocwise video provides information on crocodile safety for rural and remote communities across Australia, with a specific focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The resource is available in English, Kriol, Anindilyakwa, Murrinh-Patha, Tiwi and Yolngu Matha.

    Waru, kuka, mirrka, wankarringu-lampaju – burning, bushfoods and bioviersity (2015)
    This film was developed as part of the Rangelands Natural Resource Management (NRM) Western Australia’s (WA) Traditional and contemporary fire project. The film aims to reveal the Martu perspectives of fire, and how they use fire to look after their families and keep their country alive and productive. The work undertaken by the Martu people, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and other bodies, enables both cultures to learn from each other and work together to keep country healthy and thriving, and to keep Martu culture alive.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences, events and workshops

    69th West Australia Environmental Health Australia (EHA) state conference: Perth, WA, 2-3 September 2015
    This conference is the 69th annual meeting of the WA branch of Environmental Health Australia, the main membership body in Australia for environmental health professionals. The conference presents knowledge of the latest issues, techniques and technology in environmental health, and provides an opportunity for members to liaise with others from similar fields. This year (EHA) WA is hoping to introduce a regional stream during concurrent sessions, and are particularly interested in any abstract submissions that have a regional focus, especially in the areas of effluent disposal, emergency management, and Indigenous environmental health.

    Mosquito management training course: Mandurah, WA, 21-25 September 2015
    The WA Department of Health is offering a mosquito management course for people working in environmental and public health, environmental, water and wastewater management, and environmental engineering and pest control. This course will include lectures, field work, practical mosquito identification sessions, and equipment demonstrations. Places are limited so register ASAP.

    10th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health conference: Novotel Coffs Harbour, Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour NSW, 12-15 October 2015
    This biennial national conference is convened by the Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (WGATSIEH), and is supported in 2015 by NSW Health. The aim of this conference is to: increase the understanding and awareness of environmental health issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; provide a forum for discussion on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health issues; and provide a national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health. The theme for 2015, Building foundations for a healthy community, will be addressed through a number of presentations delivered predominantly by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners.

    Territory Natural Resource Management annual conference: NT, Date TBC, November 2015
    The Territory Natural Resource Management (TNRM) annual conference aims to bring together individuals from natural resource management groups, government departments, research centres, ranger groups, volunteers, and students from throughout the Northern Territory. Running since 2008, the conference provides a forum for people working in natural resource management (NRM) to collaborate, share experience and learn new skills. Conference topics include: best practice management of weeds, best practice management of fire and feral animals; and protecting and conserving natural assets. TNRM also offers free training and workshops across a range of NRM-related topics.

    Spotlight on a project

    Take pride in personal hygiene
    This project enlists role-models from the Northern Pride Rugby League Clob to promote the importance of personal hygiene to children in Far North Queensland, in order to reduce rates of skin, ear, respiratory and diarrhoeal disease. The core component of the program is a hand hygiene education session, delivered by Northern Pride players to children at remote community schools. Each session includes: hand-washing education; the use of a UV light machine to check hands for germs; and the opportunity to meet high profile Rugby League players.

    The IEHP team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other programs and projects that people are working on, or even ones that have already been completed. If you would like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your organisation on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our Indigenous Environmental Health Practitioner Twitter page!

    ************************************************************************** 

  • 10 June 2015

    Hi mob members,

    Please see below for the latest environmental health round up.

    Best wishes,

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Assistant
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

    **************************************************************************

    News

    Turtle camp keeping culture and heritage alive
    The li-Anthawirriya people, who live in and around Borroloola in the Northern Territory, have set up a trial eco-tourism business and cultural program that is providing many benefits for the local community, with support from the Australian Government’s Working on country and Indigenous protected areas programs. Tourists are invited to attend the annual turtle camp on West Island, part of the Sir Edward Pellew group of islands off the coast of Borroloola. Visitors stay on site with Traditional Owners and participate in Wundanyuka (flatback turtle) monitoring.

    Gladstone Indigenous ranger program getting young people back to country
    A Queensland Indigenous group have been working hard to develop a program they say will help keep young program engaged with country and culture. Richard Johnson, from the Gidarjil Development Corporation, said they want to break the cycle of welfare in Gladstone, Qld, and encourage locals to become environmental rangers for the region. On 1 July, five full-time rangers will take up positions in the Gladstone region as caretakers of significant Indigenous sites and areas along the coastline and inland waterways.

    Rangelands NRM WA secures National Landcare programme funding
    Rangelands NRM Western Australia has received Australian Government funding to 2018, which will support the delivery of a number of projects under the National Landcare programme (NLP). Rangelands NRM CEO, Gaye Mackenzie, said the new funding would ensure the organisation’s continued collaboration with Rangelands communities to identify and set regional priorities for investment in sustainable management of the region’s natural resources. ‘Under the NLP, funding will be allocated to larger delivery organisations, community and Indigenous groups to address natural resource management (NRM) and sustainable agricultural priorities,’ she said.

    Job vacancies

    Municipal Services Supervisor (NT)
    East Arnhem Regional Council has a vacancy for a Municipal Services Supervisor to join their team. This position will deliver effective and quality services related to waste management, parks and gardens, cemetery maintenance, local road maintenance and various other Council infrastructure works within the community.

    Ranger Coordinator (x3) (NT)
    The Northern Land Council is seeking suitable applicants to fill three Ranger Coordinator vacancies. The successful applicants will assist Aboriginal landowners and managers to maximise their participation in land management activities, from planning to implementation, with a specific focus on caring for country initiatives.

    Healthy Skin Clinician (NT)
    One Disease has a vacancy for a Healthy Skin Clinician to join their team. This position will be given responsibility for two to three communities in the NT, where the successful applicant will develop and implement a scabies elimination program in partnership with the local residents.

    Project Manager (Design) (NT)
    The Centre for Appropriate Technology is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Project Manager (Design). This position will manage and work on a number of CAT’s projects, which cover areas such as housing, infrastructure, essential services, energy services, and community engagement for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    Publications, resources and reports

    The dynamics of services, housing, jobs and mobility in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in central Australia (2015)
    This paper aims to provide evidence on the extent of temporary mobility for remote Aboriginal communities centred around Alice Springs, and the links to demographic factors, the labour market, housing circumstances and access to services. Adopting a re-conceptualisation of mobility as a means to access things that promote wellbeing, it highlights the enduring importance of attachment to country, culture and kinship networks as drivers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mobility, and, by implication, their wellbeing.

    Identifying seasonal stars in Kaurna astronomical traditions (2015)
    This paper uses established techniques identify seasonal stars in the traditions of the Kaurna Aboriginal people of the Adelaide Plains in South Australia.

    The West Australian Indigenous storybook: celebrating and sharing good news stories: the Gascoyne edition (2015)
    This is the sixth edition of the West Australian Indigenous storybook, showcasing the achievements of Indigenous communities and people across Western Australia. The stories in this edition are from the Gascoyne region of WA, including the Carnarvon and Shark Bay area. This edition features stories about a men’s group, youth services, an environmental health clean-up, dance and jewellery-making workshops, an eco-tourism initiative and a community group.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences, events and workshops

    Traditional knowledges conference: Brisbane, Qld, 25-26 June 2015
    The theme of this conference, Our ways of knowing and our ways of doing aims to create a culturally safe space for discussion on First Nations Australians ways of knowing and ways of doing. It will create dialogue relating to the implementation of traditional knowledge through research, education and cultural and traditional practices. The conference will also explore the complex social, emotional, spiritual, environmental and political issues impacting on the lives of First Nations Australians in today’s changing society.

    69th West Australia Environmental Health Australia (EHA) state conference: Perth, WA, 2-3 September 2015
    This conference is the 69th annual meeting of the WA branch of Environmental Health Australia, the main membership body in Australia for environmental health professionals. The conference presents knowledge of the latest issues, techniques and technology in environmental health, and provides an opportunity for members to liaise with others from similar fields. This year (EHA) WA is hoping to introduce a regional stream during concurrent sessions, and are particularly interested in any abstract submissions that have a regional focus, especially in the areas of effluent disposal, emergency management, and Indigenous environmental health.

    Mosquito management training course: Mandurah, WA, 21-25 September 2015
    The WA Department of Health is offering a mosquito management course for people working in environmental and public health, environmental, water and wastewater management, and environmental engineering and pest control. This course will include lectures, field work, practical mosquito identification sessions, and equipment demonstrations. Places are limited so register ASAP.

    10th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health conference: Novotel Coffs Harbour, Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour NSW, 12-15 October 2015
    This biennial national conference is convened by the Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (WGATSIEH), and is supported in 2015 by NSW Health. The aim of this conference is to: increase the understanding and awareness of environmental health issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; provide a forum for discussion on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health issues; and provide a national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health. The theme for 2015, Building foundations for a healthy community, will be addressed through a number of presentations delivered predominantly by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners.

    Spotlight on a project

    The Martu living deserts project (Warrarnpa Kana)
    This project is a conservation initiative that assists the Martu people of the Western Desert in Western Australia, to continue their connection to country by combining modern scientific land management with traditional Indigenous cultural practices. A partnership between BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa and the Nature Conservancy, the project aims to conserve part of the world’s most intact desert. The project’s partners are working together to ensure effective conservation, while balancing Martu aspirations to look after their country and harness economic development.

    The IEHP team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other programs and projects that people are working on, or even ones that have already been completed. If you would like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your organisation on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our Indigenous Environmental Health Practitioner Twitter page!

    ************************************************************************** 

  • 29 May 2015

    Hi mob members,

    Here's the latest environmental health round up!

    Happy reading.

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Assistant
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

    **************************************************************************

    News

    Collaboration commences for protection of Australia’s outback
    Last month, more than 30 representatives from Aboriginal and natural resource management organisations met for the first face-to-face workshop of the Ten deserts project in Alice Springs, Northern Territory. The workshop was opened by the Project Coordinator, Jimmy Cocking, with an introduction to the initiative, which aims to build partnerships across state and territory borders to support the protection of the natural and cultural values of Australia’s outback.

    Brisbane artist wins NAIDOC poster competition
    Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, has congratulated Brisbane, Queensland, graphic artist, Elaine Chambers, on being the 2015 National NAIDOC poster artist. Ms Chambers called her artwork We all stand on sacred ground. She describes her artwork, which features four unique sets of feet, as representing the ages and colours of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We all stand on sacred ground represents a strong spiritual and cultural connection to the land and sea, the different people, from Elders to the young, and the stories our Elders shared,’ she said.

    Pastoralists and Indigenous rangers unite to protect Purple-crowned Fairy-wren
    The Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA) teamed up last month with the Wungurr Rangers and pastoralists in the north-west Kimberley, Western Australia, in an effort to protect the habitat of the endangered Purple-crowned Fairy-wren. DAFWA Biosecurity Officer, Tracey Vinnicombe, who coordinated the Rangelands NRM-funded project, said the team covered nearly 49 hectares within the Wilinggin Indigenous Protected Area to resurvey and control Ornamental rubbervine (Cryptostegia madagascariensis). The weed has been degrading the bird habitat along the bands of the Adcock River at Mount House Station by chocking eucalyptus and pandanus trees.

    Job vacancies

    Woman Ranger Coordinator (NT)
    Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) in central Arnhem Land is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Woman Ranger Coordinator. This position will work with a team of six women rangers on a seasonal work calendar managing the Djelk Indigenous Protected Area.

    Housing Officer/Community Worker (Tom Price) (WA)
    Pilbara Meta Maya Regional Aboriginal Corporation has a vacancy for a Housing Officer/Community Worker to join their team, based in Tom Price. The successful applicant will visit five remote Indigenous communities in the Tom Price area, providing essential and community services.

    Djelk Ranger Manager (NT)
    Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) in central Arnhem Land is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Djelk Ranger Manager. This position will work on the Djelk Indigenous Protected Area, managing a group of 30 rangers.

    Aboriginal Trainee Environmental Health Officer (NSW)
    NSW Health is seeking applicants for the role of Aboriginal Trainee Environmental Health Officer to join their team at Cootamundra Shire Council. The successful applicant will be provided with a six year traineeship, fully funded tertiary qualification, study leave provisions, access to tutoring and support, award wage and conditions, nine day fortnight, and the potential for a public sector career. The applicant will also gain a number of skills and knowledge with exposure to environmental health issues such as pollution control and water testing.

    Municipal Services Supervisor (NT)
    East Arnhem Regional Council has a vacancy for a Municipal Services Supervisor to join their team. This position will deliver effective and quality services related to waste management, parks and gardens, cemetery maintenance, local road maintenance and various other Council infrastructure works within the community.

    Publications, resources and reports

    Owned dog and cat populations in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory: a retrospective study (2015)
    This retrospective study was performed by Aboriginal Community Veterinary Services, in conjunction with the Roper Gulf Shire, Victoria Daly Shire, Central Desert Shire, Katherine Town Council and Minyerri Council to give a representative level of treated dogs and cats in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. The study found that dog populations in NT Indigenous communities were at least 6.3-fold higher per household compared with data for the rest of Australia. Cat populations per household were similar to the overall population. The study makes a number of recommendations to address related issues, such as improving house and yard design, increasing education regarding animal care, and increasing the presence of animal professionals.

    Intestinal parasites of children and adults in a remote Aboriginal community of the Northern Territory, Australia, 1994-1996 (2015)
    This paper documents the prevalence of intestinal parasites in a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory from 1994 to 1995. The research provided baseline data with which to compare the current situation, which contributes to the evaluation of deworming strategies. Faecal testing indicated a very high prevalence of intestinal parasites, especially in schoolchildren. The decrease in percentage positive for hookworm was likely to a deworming program, however there was no sustained decrease in percentage positive for other parasite species.

    Identifying effective arrangements for tenancy management service delivery to remote Indigenous communities (2015)
    This paper lays the foundation for an investigation of the effectiveness of property and tenancy management arrangements in terms of tenant outcomes and efficiency of service delivery in remote Indigenous communities. It builds on research undertaken in 2013 which investigated the forms of tenancy management arrangements have taken in the NT, Qld, SA and WA, and what factors have influenced these decisions.

    Delivering essential services to remote Aboriginal communities (2015)
    This report provides information on the delivery of power, water and wastewater services to 84 remote Aboriginal communities under the Remote areas essential services program. The report focused on the level and quality of these services provided to eligible remote communities, and how Housing managed their delivery, and its coordination with other agencies. The report found that while power and water services were reliable, drinking water quality often falls short of Australian standards. There are a number of recommendations included, where the program can be delivered better and more efficiently.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences, events and workshops

    Communicable disease control conference: Brisbane, Qld, 1-2 June 2015
    This conference will bring together high quality international and Australian experts who will present on various aspects of communicable diseases, with a focus on communicable disease control in Indigenous populations and other vulnerable groups. The theme of the conference, An area of change: global threats and harnessing new technologies, highlights the significant improvements in disease control through sustained public health effort and recent technological advancements, while acknowledging the ongoing threat to populations in the region by old communicable disease issues, and newly emerging infections.

    69th West Australia Environmental Health Australia (EHA) state conference: Perth, WA, 2-3 September 2015
    This conference is the 69th annual meeting of the WA branch of Environmental Health Australia, the main membership body in Australia for environmental health professionals. The conference presents knowledge of the latest issues, techniques and technology in environmental health, and provides an opportunity for members to liaise with others from similar fields. This year (EHA) WA is hoping to introduce a regional stream during concurrent sessions, and are particularly interested in any abstract submissions that have a regional focus, especially in the areas of effluent disposal, emergency management, and Indigenous environmental health.

    Mosquito management training course: Mandurah, WA, 21-25 September 2015
    The WA Department of Health is offering a mosquito management course for people working in environmental and public health, environmental, water and wastewater management, and environmental engineering and pest control. This course will include lectures, field work, practical mosquito identification sessions, and equipment demonstrations. Places are limited so register ASAP.

    10th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health conference: Novotel Coffs Harbour, Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour NSW, 12-15 October 2015
    This biennial national conference is convened by the Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (WGATSIEH), and is supported in 2015 by NSW Health. The aim of this conference is to: increase the understanding and awareness of environmental health issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; provide a forum for discussion on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health issues; and provide a national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health. The theme for 2015, Building foundations for a healthy community, will be addressed through a number of presentations delivered predominantly by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners.

    Spotlight on a project

    EON healthy homes
    The EON healthy homes program, delivered by the Edge of Nowhere Foundation as part of the EON thriving communities initiative, aims to link health and disease prevention components to personal and home hygiene. The program aims to address a lack of appropriate and quality housing by helping to prevent communicable diseases, and providing homes with areas where healthy food can be stored and prepared in a safe way, and where home conditions are conducive to good health. The program additionally teaches community members about home hygiene skills as well are providing the materials needed to keep homes safe and clean.

    The IEHP team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other programs and projects that people are working on, or even ones that have already been completed. If you would like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your organisation on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our Indigenous Environmental Health Practitioner Twitter page!

    **************************************************************************