August, 2015

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Calling for national action on discriminatory, unfair laws and systems #JustJustice

, Aug 21, 2015

In a recent article for the #JustJustice project, Darren Parker, a Ngunawal man and Phd candidate at Melbourne Law School, wrote about experiencing racism and violence within his family as a young boy. The article highlighted the importance of the social and cultural determinants of health in any discussion about the over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres […]
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#IHMayDay15 Longread: Trending by breakfast, talking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, healing, justice, media & MORE

, Jun 24, 2015

#IHMayDay15 took over Twitter on May 29 with a day of action and listening on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It ran for more than 15 hours, was trending in Queensland by 8am and nationally through the day, featured 15 moderators and generated nearly 50 million Twitter impressions by […]
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Australia’s health bodies unite to protest “appalling gag” on doctors, nurses working in detention centres

, Jun 20, 2015

Australia’s peak health professional bodies have voiced collective concern about the “appalling secrecy provisions” in the Australian Border Force Act 2015 which threaten jail for up to two years for health and medical professionals who disclose information about the conditions in immigration Detention Centres. In a joint statement released on World Refugee Day, the peak bodies […]
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#JustJustice: Campaign to save the NSW Custody Notification Service: ‘lifeline’ for Indigenous people in custody

, Jun 16, 2015

Many Croakey readers will know that we recently reached the target to fund the #JustJustice campaign at Croakey, to look at the solutions to over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We will be starting work soon on the project, which aims to give a priority platform to community voices and stories. We’re very […]
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Tom Calma urges Justice Reinvestment to bring #JustJustice for Indigenous people

, May 26, 2015

Australia needs to follow international leaders in Justice Reinvestment programs if it is to address the high rate of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, says leading social justice and human rights advocate Professor Tom Calma. Lending his support to the #JustJustice campaign, Professor Calma, former Social Justice Commissioner, said better research is also […]
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A Twitter tribute as @malcolmfraser12 falls silent: Vale Malcolm Fraser

, Mar 20, 2015

*Updated 22 March with additional responses and reflections Much is being written and broadcast about the life of former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser after his death earlier today – which came as a shock for many, despite his advancing age, given how energetic and engaged he remained to the end in public life. This […]
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#SOSBlakAustralia call goes out across the land to save remote Indigenous communities

, Mar 19, 2015

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Aboriginal woman from the Kimberley, Tammy Solenec from @amnestyOz, speaks at #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA Perth #closethegappic.twitter.com/WxWYxzdktP — Simone van Hattem (@simone) March 19, 2015 A day of action to protest plans to close remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia ended up not only trending nationally on Twitter but hit the streets in real-life, with rallies across Australia, […]
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Queensland policies on mental health: doing harm & breaching the law?

, Jan 27, 2015

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The use of ‘locked wards’ in acute mental health services is not backed by evidence and is associated with greater risk of patient self-harm and increased violence and aggression, according to a new analysis by UTS researcher Jon Wardle. Wardle suggests that Queensland Government support for locked wards policies may be in breach of the […]
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The Health Wrap: holistic health systems; drug complexities; mental health, G20, Ebola, climate change

, Nov 17, 2014

By Frances Gilham Striving for holistic health systems Conversations about Australia’s health system continued this fortnight, with the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association holding an ‘Integrated Care Simulation’, gathering 85 health leaders to workshop major health policy initiatives. Croakey reported on the event, saying a key theme that emerged from the role-playing exercise was the […]
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Indigenous leaders plea to PM Abbott to step in on “chaotic” policy, funding environment

, Sep 04, 2014

Updated to include statement below from the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) on concerns about discriminatory changes to the way some Aboriginal organisations will be required to incorporate, and from the Close the Gap Steering Committee on cuts to anti-smoking programs. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders have called on Prime […]
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“We have a voice, and people are listening” – wrapping #IPCHIV14 and #AIDS2014

, Jul 27, 2014

Marie McInerney reports: Among the stars at AIDS 2014, the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, were Bill Clinton, Bob Geldof and, perhaps lesser known outside HIV circles, Professor Françoise Barré Sinoussi, outgoing President of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and the Nobel Laureate who co-discovered HIV. So Simoussi’s formal visit to the Indigenous Networking […]

Frontline health, legal services, and what’s crucial behind them

, Jul 08, 2014

The Federal Government talks much about shifting funding to “frontline services – where people need them”. It sounds obvious, until we look at what’s lost from the backline. In the first of two posts below, doctor and lawyer Dr Fiona Lander looks at new restrictions on law reform advocacy by community legal centres (CLCs). Noting the […]

Why New South Wales abortion law should be decriminalised

, Jun 27, 2014

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Abortion legislation in New South Wales and Queensland is the “most severe and antiquated” in Australia and the most urgently in need of rescission, says medical specialist Caroline de Costa. That’s why, she says, New South Wales Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi’s bill towards decriminalisation should be supported by politicians across the spectrum. *** Caroline de […]

Gambling in a mobile era: a wrap on last month’s 5th International Gambling Conference in NZ

, Mar 14, 2014

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The recent 5th International Gambling Conference in Auckland had its focus on: Gambling in a Mobile Era: Developments, Regulation and Responses. The biennial conference is a well-established New Zealand event hosted by three organisations; Maori public health provider Hapai Te Hauora Tapui, the Gambling and Addictions Research Centre at Auckland University of Technology, and the […]
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NSW’s tough new drink-related laws to have biggest impact on Aboriginal people & in the bush

, Mar 11, 2014

Tough new laws for drink-related offences in New South Wales will have a disproportionate effect on Aboriginal people, says Amy McQuire, editor of Tracker, the magazine produced by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council. Her editorial from the magazine’s latest edition says tough on-the-spot fines will be a particular burden in rural and regional areas like […]
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On breaking down the barriers between health and legal issues: insights from @fionalander as @wepublichealth

, Feb 26, 2014

In the chair last week at @wepublichealth, doctor and lawyer Dr Fiona Lander generated a lot of interest in the connections and crossover of legal and health issues, particularly for disadvantaged people. Fiona is currently working at Austin Health and Corrs Chambers Westgarth and on secondment with the Advocacy-Health Alliance Network at Justice Connect, assisting with […]

Alcohol in NSW – After the party

, Feb 14, 2014

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The NSW government has recently responded to public concern about alcohol fuelled violence and introduced a range of measures aimed at reducing such behaviour.  In this article, Professor Mike Daube of Curtin University and Director, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, suggests that while this is a beginning there is much more to be done.   […]
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The new world of big health data: some questions about profits, privacy and the public interest

, Jan 30, 2014

It’s time for an informed public debate about the many questions raised by the commodification of “big data” in health, according to Canberra Law School academics, Bruce Baer Arnold and Wendy Bonython. ***  Who is taking care of your health data? Bruce Baer Arnold and Wendy Bonython write: Are the UK and Israeli health systems […]

Sounding the public health alarm about criminalisation of homosexuality in India

, Dec 22, 2013

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The Indian government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court in India, asking it to review its decision to reinstate a 153-year-old law that criminalises homosexuality. Melbourne-based public health lawyer Dr Fiona Lander, who has previously worked in India, explains below why the criminalisation of homosexuality (in many countries a legacy of British colonial […]

What is the evidence on involuntary treatment for people with schizophrenia?

, Feb 22, 2013

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Are our policies and laws leading to treatment delays for people with schizophrenia? It seems so, suggests a review of the evidence around involuntary treatment orders, conducted by the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research and Schizophrenia Research Institute. *** Time for a rethink around involuntary treatment for people with schizophrenia Dr Anne-marie Boxall writes: […]