Launching the Northern New South Wales Integrated Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-2020

A broad partnership of health services, Aboriginal community representatives and state government agencies has committed to addressing what a newly released health plan calls “large disparities in estimated life expectancy and health outcomes between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people in Northern NSW.”

The partners came together in early August to launch the three volumes of the Northern New South Wales Integrated Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-2020 at the Lismore headquarters of the Northern NSW Local Health District.

The event was hosted by Deborah Monaghan, LHD Board member and chair of the committee that oversaw the report’s development. Attending were Aboriginal Elders, Aboriginal Medical Services, North Coast Primary Health Network, Family and Community Services, Aboriginal Learning Circle - TAFE, and Northern NSW Police.

 One of the many Burners training session in the three-month program.

A group of Aboriginal people from local communities has recorded significant health and fitness gains from a program that saw them become the first Northern Rivers team to participate in the annual, statewide ‘Team NSW Knockout Health Challenge’.

In addition, they came in the top fifteen for NSW, a remarkable performance according to Northern NSW Local Health District’s Aboriginal Chronic Care Officer, Anthony Franks.

Lismore Regional Gallery is presenting an exhibition and community engagement project with acclaimed Australian artist, Hiromi Tango. Tango is a sculptural installation and performance artist who uses textiles to weave together tactile and immersive environments by hand. For Art Magic: Remnant, her project and exhibition at Lismore Regional Gallery (exhibition 12 September to 26 October 2015), Tango has been working with local community members to make a Rainbow Forest, responding to the flora, fauna and landscape of the Lismore region.

Tango has used the concept of the regeneration of the rainforest as a metaphor for emotional healing. She has a strong belief in the therapeutic qualities of her process and has developed “Art Magic recipes” to share the delight of making. Tango has worked extensively with a variety of community groups including local artists, the elderly, anxiety sufferers, children and young people, students, people living with a disability and culturally diverse community members.

Professor Lesley Barclay AM, director University Centre for Rural Health. Photo: Arthur Mostead.

The director of the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH), Professor Lesley Barclay AM, has won an accolade from the federal government for leading one of Australia’s top-ten research projects over the past year.

The Ten of the Best Research Projects 2014 were selected for their innovativeness and potential to make a difference to the lives of Australians and people worldwide.

While regarded as an essential means of communication between hospitals and GPs to facilitate optimal care of patients returning to the community, electronic hospital discharge letters, or eDLs, are insufficiently understood by doctors, and this is putting patient wellbeing at risk.

This is the key result of a major survey of GPs in Sydney’s Nepean Blue Mountains area, and the findings are likely to apply elsewhere.

The 2012 survey, details of which were published recently in the Medical Journal of Australia was based on an audit of 321 identified abbreviations used at Nepean Hospital.