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The Health Wrap: Workplace mental health, an Indigenous health mix-bag, and health budget predictions

By Melissa Davey Employee well-being is being addressed, but needs work Mental health in the workplace is becoming an increasingly discussed issue as mental illness becomes less stigmatised, and workplaces are seen as key partners in its prevention and treatment. Writing for Croakey, Jaelea Skehan and Brian Kelly say it is promising to see workplaces given a [...]

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Introducing “The Croakey Koori” and “Wonky Health” – please support

If you are a regular or even an occasional reader of Croakey – or even if you are visiting for your first time today – I invite you to support two new writing-for-health projects. They are: • The Croakey Koori Kelly Briggs, a Gomeroi writer from Moree (famous on Twitter as @TheKooriWoman), is fund-raising via [...]

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Bad news: negative Indigenous health coverage reinforces stigma

Melissa Stoneham writes: Think of Aboriginal health and you’ll probably recall messages of large gaps in life expectancy, increasing rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease and asthma. Or that the last ten years has been a “wasted decade” for Aboriginal people. It won’t be too much of a surprise, then, to learn that 74% of [...]

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Raising questions about the cultural competence of health professionals and services

The importance of developing culturally competent health professionals and services was explored at Congress Lowitja in Melbourne recently. Marie McInerney reports: Evidence of why we need culturally competent health professionals and services may be found in preliminary research which is showing different rates of unspecified diagnoses in major hospitals between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and [...]

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Catch some beautiful songs and stories and have a laugh too: showcasing strong culture

A strong cultural identity is widely acknowledged as important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing, and the recent Congress Lowija showcased some inspiring projects. Marie McInerney reports: A chance meeting outside a country town hall inspired a new project for the Stiff Gins – one of Australia’s most popular Indigenous singing groups [...]

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The Racial Discrimination Act needs strengthening – not weakening: a public health perspective

We are having the wrong debate about the Racial Discrimination Act. Rather than moving to water it down, we should be investigating how the Act might be strengthened in order to reduce the public health burden of racism. This argument is made below by Deakin University academics, Dr Naomi Priest, a Senior Research Fellow in [...]

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“If we built housing to suit the community’s needs, we might end up with more children at school and more people in work”

The news that Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion plans to link priority for social housing in remote areas to school attendance and employment is ringing alarm bells for Paul Dutton, a ‘wiimpitja’ of the Barkindji nation in western NSW. Paul Dutton writes: The Minister’s plan looks like putting the cart before the horse. You [...]

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Contributors sought for “Indigihealth International” – a new blogazine sharing knowledge and experience in Indigenous health

Ray Gates, an Aboriginal physiotherapist based at the Gold Coast, who was the inaugural president of the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Physiotherapists Inc., is launching a “blogazine” to cover Indigenous health issues with a global perspective. Thanks to Ray (who tweets as @raymondgates) for taking time to answer “Ten Questions with [...]

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Mundine leaves many questions unanswered about future of Indigenous health programs & funding

The two-day Congress Lowitja 2014: Many mobs, one vision: creating a healthy future was opened yesterday morning in Melbourne by the Institute’s patron,  Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue. Warren Mundine, the chair of the Federal Government’s Indigenous Advisory Council, gave a keynote address, which raised more questions than it  answered about the future of Indigenous health services and funding. [...]

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Congress Lowitja to focus on racism and the growing risk of “interventions”

Marie McInerney reports: Indigenous health leader Pat Anderson will today warn that Australia’s Aboriginal medical services risk being driven away from their roots and original missions by growing pressure to chase specific purpose funding for “technical ‘interventions’”. Anderson will tell the Lowitja Institute’s biennial conference that having to continually chase after tied funding “chips away [...]

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