At an Aboriginal advisory committee meeting to the Lismore Regional Gallery some years ago advice was given on the Northern Coast Primary Health Network’s (NCPHN’s) project called Art on Bundjalung Country which was aimed at linking art, health and wellbeing. This project has now been commissioned by the NCPHN to Arts Northern Rivers.

At the meeting a comment was made by one of the Aboriginal arts advisors that if we really wanted to take art and health seriously we should consider the health and wellbeing of those who are incarcerated. Little thought is given to the plight of this significant group of people in our community.

Our jails are bursting at the seams and there is a significant disproportion of Aboriginal people spending long periods of their lives in corrective services. Recidivism rates are high.

Dr Nathan Kesteven

Dear Readers,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019 to all.

This brief report is to inform members about an this issue the the Board has been discussing for some time; the next step for the development of the NRGPN.

On 13th December 2018 at 6.00 pm we are holding a meeting at the Goonellabah Tavern to discuss the proposal to dissolve the Northern Rivers General Practice Network and launch Nordocs in its place.

Although relatively short this memoir by Rick Morton comes across as a number of books in one, mostly very moving and something of a wake-up call for those who would discriminate against rural dwellers, people of differing sexualities and those with mental health conditions.

The author, who rose from dirt poor Queensland roots to become a senior journalist with The Australian, fits all three categories and harbours understandable anger for many of his life experiences.

Active users get a gold star

Secure medical communication started in Australia in the mid-nineties with simple home spun solutions. Since then a number of companies have developed secure communication as a service to medical practitioners. Over the ensuing years some of the early providers have disappeared and there has been consolidation in the market.

The current providers’ systems are incompatible with each other, making it frustrating for end users who complain it is like being on Optus but not being able to call Telstra phones. While it is feasible to bridge data from one provider to another, it is never in an individual company’s interest to enable this.

The fear is losing customers to a rival or worse incurring the technology costs while the rival reaps the income. Discussions aimed at progressing a solution have been ongoing for years but the business problem has yet to be solved.

"China must be very interesting."
"Very big, China."
"And Japan"
"Very small."
(Noel Coward, Private Lives, Cathay Hotel, Shanghai, 1930)

Chinese civilisation dates back several millennia. Its history is one of successive dynasties rising and falling as a result of war and conquest. Unlike Western societies its culture has been one of almost continuous development and many of the West’s societal, agricultural and industrial processes started there. On every level, China’s development is continuing at a frenetic rate.