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Health cuts and education deregulation: critical issues for Indigenous doctors

Members of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association are gathering in Melbourne today for the start of their annual conference, at a time of great uncertainty for Indigenous health and Indigenous doctors. In previewing the conference, AIDA president Dr Tammy Kimpton raises concerns about the impact of the Federal Government’s plans for deregulation of higher education. Dr Kimpton, [...]

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The Koori Woman: Sharing stories of pain, and of strength (trigger alert)

Kelly Briggs writes: My first suicide attempt was when I was still a teenager. I had been in a serious relationship that had ended badly, included domestic violence and drastically reduced my self-esteem. When the relationship ended I was jubilant to the point of ecstasy. It wasn’t until months later that a depressive downward spiral [...]

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A plea to maintain the momentum in tackling Indigenous smoking rates

In the wake of budget uncertainty, brutal funding cuts and a review of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program, it is critical to maintain momentum in efforts to reduce smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. So says Associate Professor David Thomas, head of tobacco control research at the Menzies School of Health Research in [...]

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Deadly Choices: better ways of doing health promotion

Mainstream health promotion has failed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, according to Karen McPhail-Bell, a PhD candidate at Queensland University of Technology. In the article below, she argues that those working in the field could learn from strengths-based programs like The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health’s Deadly Choices. It offers lessons for all health promotion practice, she [...]

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Indigenous smoking program cuts risk widening the gap

Kristin Carson writes: Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and early death among Indigenous Australians, with smoking responsible for about one in every five deaths. Among Indigenous Australians, tobacco use contributes to 80% of all lung cancer deaths, 37% of heart disease, 9% of all strokes and 5% of low birth-weight babies. And in central Australia, rates of [...]

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A call for transformative decolonisation of the health sector

To overcome health inequities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Australia and New Zealand, health professionals and their institutions need to take a long, hard look at themselves and their biases, according to public health physician Dr Rhys Jones. Health professionals, health care organisations and educational institutions must commit to the lifelong, transformative ‘unlearning’ processes [...]

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The Health Wrap: Ebola and inequity; policy power and passion; our bodies as Temples of Doom?

                 By Kellie Bisset Ebola: a study in disadvantage More than 900 people have died in the West African Ebola epidemic from a total of just over 1700 suspected cases. Apart from awakening our latent fears of rampant infectious disease, what else does this outbreak tell us? Well, [...]

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Indigenous HIV groups place future in hands of young and Elders

Marie McInerney reports: Elders and young people may hold the key to beating stigma and discrimination about HIV and AIDS and to promoting better prevention in Indigenous communities. Eleven Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders from across Australia were special guests at the  International Indigenous Pre-Conference on HIV and AIDS, held in the lead-up to [...]

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AMSANT calls for action to avoid mental health service cut

While there has been a lot of focus on the federal budget’s potential impact on health services it is easy to forget that there are many health services facing immediate funding issues. Today AMSANT released the following press release: Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT (AMSANT) today called for urgent action to ensure that Aboriginal communities [...]

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How the global response to HIV/AIDS renders Indigenous peoples “invisible”

Marie McInerney reports: Australian Indigenous health researcher James Ward has called on the international HIV and AIDS community to identify Indigenous peoples as a “priority population”, warning that they are often invisible in international reports and declarations that shape HIV responses. He told AIDS 2014 – the 20th International AIDS Conference – in Melbourne on [...]

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