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Articles by Melissa Sweet

Read and listen to the “strong statements from hurt hearts and sad voices” in this new book: The Intervention – An Anthology

Many Croakey readers may be interested in a new book, The Intervention – An Anthology, which is due to be launched in Sydney this week (July 1) by Professor Gillian Triggs, president of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Edited by Rosie Scott and Dr Anita Heiss, the book includes fiction, memoir, essays, poetry and communiqués from [...]

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Linking you into a stack of important health reading – and check out the human rights “rant”

A stack of health-related inquiries and reports have been released that may be of interest to Croakey readers. Plus, some human rights ranting to follow… • The second interim report of the Senate Select Committee inquiring into health policies raised concerns about the damage being done to primary health care by Federal funding cuts. Cuts [...]

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Devastating news for Aboriginal health in western Sydney

The Australian newspaper reported this week that the Federal Department of Health has given a large Aboriginal community controlled health service in western Sydney notice of imminent loss of funding. Patricia Delaney, a longstanding Aboriginal health advocate and policy advisor with a background in nursing and mental health, who helped set up the service, writes below [...]

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New report illustrates “the collision” of economic, health and social agendas

A new report from the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) investigating the increasing inequality of income and wealth is an important resource for those working to improve the community’s health, according to public health experts. “Finally there is recognition that economic, health and social agendas are colliding,” write Professor Fran Baum and Professor Sharon Friel [...]

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#SOSBlakAustralia – What’s happening in the NT?

Coinciding with an #SOSBlakAustralia global call to action on June 26, 27, and 28 against threatened closures of remote communities in WA, a community forum in Darwin this weekend will hear of wide-ranging concerns facing Top End Aboriginal communities. Thomas Mayor, Secretary NT Branch of Maritime Union of Australia, writes: Towards the beginning of the [...]

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“We need to spend more on preventive health.” So let’s slash it….

One of the “overarching concerns” raised by those who contributed suggestions to the Reform of the Federation Discussion Paper was “that there is insufficient funding directed to preventive health”. Meanwhile, a major obesity prevention initiative is about to get the chop. The Collaboration of Community-based Obesity Prevention Sites (CO-OPS Collaboration) – whose funding stops on [...]

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Five options for health reform: what are the chances?

Five options for health reform – which are not mutually exclusive – are proposed in the Reform of the Federation Discussion Paper, which has been released for public comment. Although the paper states that “the order in which the options appear does not indicate any preference”, predictably enough, it is option one that is getting [...]

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Powerful alliances pushing for action on climate change, locally and globally

In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Summit #COP21 in Paris later this year, the demands for effective climate action will grow ever louder. The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age are among 25 media organisations to join a new global publishers network with the aim of extending their coverage of climate change through [...]

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A call for clarity in policy around drugs known as “biosimilars”

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and the Therapeutic Goods Administration have been urged to clarify their policies around “biosimilars” – drugs which act in the same way as patented biological drugs, although they may not be exactly the same. Dr Ruth Lopert, who was the TGA’s Principal Medical Adviser from 2008-2011 and Director of the [...]

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“As a nation, we should be unified in an unwavering commitment to stop Aboriginal deaths in custody”

Many of the celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta as a symbol of liberty and freedom ring very hollow for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, one recent conference examining the Magna Carta legacy did acknowledge the “justice gap”, describing the increasing incarceration rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples [...]

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