At the launch of ‘Growing up on Widjabul Wia-bal Country’ were (l-r) Sarah Black from Friends Child Care Centre, Shauna McIntyre, project coordinator, Lynette Funnell Lismore Pre School, Elder Aunty Thelma James, and sisters Audrey (aged 7) and Eliza (5) Zwiers who have Wiradjuri heritage through their father.

The meeting room at Lismore Regional Gallery was packed with Aboriginal Elders and community members, representatives from funding bodies (including YWCA, Southern Cross University, Lismore City Council), early childhood educators and, most especially, young children and jarjums (children in the Bundjalung language), who had participated in this remarkable project.

The book launch began with a Welcome to Country by Widjabul Wia-bal Elder Aunty Thelma James, a key member of the coordinating team, and included a live performance of the song Every Child by local artists Chris Fisher and Marcelle Townsend-Cross, (aka Monkey & the Fish) well-known in the Bundjalung community.

Reviewed by Dr Zewlan Moor @ByronBiblioTherapy

Eggshell Skull by  Bri Lee, published by Allen & Unwin
Reviewed by Dr Zewlan Moor @ByronBiblioTherapy

Statistics show that about 1-in-5 women experience sexual assault (ABS - Personal Safety Survey, 2012) yet only 1-in-6 reports to police of rape and less than 1-in-7 reports of incest or sexual penetration of a child result in prosecution (Sexual Offences: Law & Procedure Final Report, Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2004).

This book, shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and Indie Book Awards, tells a personal story behind those figures. It starts off as a journey into the working life of a young, idealistic law graduate who lands a prestigious job as a judge’s associate and then does the rounds of the District Courts in rural Queensland.

In a report whose recommendations are unlikely to gain traction until after the federal election, and perhaps only then if the Coalition fails to regain office, the Dietitians Association of Australia is leading a push to thoroughly update the 26-year-old National Nutrition Policy.

Alarmed by the impacts of poor diet on preventable chronic conditions the DAA has launched the Nourish Not Neglect report, an advocacy document aimed at addressing Australia’s $70 billion p.a. bill for chronic illness.

Despite this unaffordable situation, the National Nutrition Policy has not been updated in more than a quarter-century, during which time Australia has slipped from being a “global leader” in dietary influenced health practices.

Dr Tony Lembke

Dr Tony Lembke retired as the Chair of the North Coast Primary Health Network in December 2018. He looks back at his time with the various primary health care support organisations from the early 1990s until today.

Not long after I joined the Alstonville Clinic as a fresh young GP in 1993 my senior partner Paul Earner suggested I put myself forward to join the Board of the newly formed Northern Rivers Division of General Practice.

I think his precise words were ‘Make sure they don’t bugger things up’.

The Lismore Base Hospital Department of General Practice was already very active at this time, and nearly all the Lismore and Alstonville GPs were VMOs. More than half the patients admitted to LBH - including obstetrics - were under the care of GPs.  We all tended to run into each other each day on the wards, and every week we met at breakfast in the hospital cafeteria. On the menu was cold toast, bad coffee and a clinical presentation.

After three decades of groundbreaking Hep C treatment in Australia, a new research project is focusing on ways of expanding Hep C care for Indigenous people. Andrew Binns explains.

In 1996 the then-Northern Rivers Division of General Practice received Federal government funding for a Hepatitis C shared care project. At the time there were 20 new notified cases of hepatitis C (Hep C) each month, according to a GPSpeak article by Dr Jane Barker, the Project Manager.

Interferon was one of the drugs used for Hep C treatment. It was given over a 6-12 months period and for some had unpleasant side effects. The waiting time to see a gastroenterologist for treatment was quite long and GPs were encouraged to share the care to reduce the workload of the specialists involved.