Welcome to the April 2015 IAHA Newsletter.
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In this issue


IAHA is pleased to announce that we have had confirmation of operational funding for the next 3 years. Specific details of the new funding agreement will be negotiated over the coming weeks.

Message From Board Director Jane Havelka

Welcome to our April 2015 Newsletter. We are so excited to know IAHA can continue making a difference as we work towards our vision, purpose and strategic direction. On behalf of the board and all IAHA members I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire staff within IAHA for their ongoing and continued professionalism during the uncertain time prior to this announcement.

Using the strengths based approach that IAHA embraces it was pleasing to note when the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services (the Review) was released in mid-April 2015 that the review acknowledged the importance of being culturally responsive, as well as the need to build, support and sustain an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workforce.  IAHA was pleased to be able to contribute a submission to this review that has seen a positive outcome for IAHA, its members and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people more broadly.

As you will recall from our previous newsletter, IAHA will be sharing the stage with our fellow national Indigenous organisations  â€“ the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA), the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) on an interactive workshop ‘Cultural responsiveness: an action based approach to cultural safety’ at the upcoming National Rural Health Conference to be held on the 24 May at the Darwin Convention Centre. It would be wonderful to see as many of our members and stakeholders there as possible. Click here for more information and to register.

This is also a timely reminder that the call for abstracts to the 2015 IAHA National Conference to be held in Cairns is now open, so please visit the IAHA conference website for more details on how to become a part of this exciting opportunity to share and learn from each other – let’s all Step into Action.

Jane Havelka 
IAHA Board member

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Building Student Leadership Capability

IAHA is committed to strengthening leadership capability within the future health workforce. IAHA has been invited to conduct Leadership workshops at Australian National University and Charles Sturt University over the last two months. This is part of our leadership development initiative, building Indigenous leadership and culturally responsive graduates in order to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.

If you are an individual who is embarking on your own leadership journey, please consider linking in to our online mentoring program here.

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Out and About with Larry

This month Larry visited the University of Wollongong and the University of New South Wales to meet with allied health students. It’s so important that we get out to visit as many Unis as we can so that our members (and future members) feel supported and know that we are there for them along their journey.

Larry also visited a local high school this month to get students pumped about careers in allied health. He was joined by our partner organisations CATSINaM and NATSIHWA and the students had a great time and learned a lot about their many options in the future.

If you would like Larry to visit your Uni, school, community event or career expo - please contact us here.

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IAHA 2015 National Conference Updates – Get Ready for Action!

IAHA will hold its 3rd IAHA national conference Allied Health – Stepping into Action in Cairns, 1-2 December 2015. In addition to the conference, IAHA will be holding a HealthFusion Team Challenge, National Indigenous Allied Health Awards and AGM.

Click here to visit the IAHA 2015 National Conference website.

Call for Abstracts  - Open Now!

The Abstracts are rolling in but we're eager for more!!! We are looking for interesting and thought-provoking 20 minute concurrent presentations that capture the diverse interdisciplinary action that occurs within the allied health sector, and how sustained holistic, strengths based approaches to health and wellbeing can achieve Indigenous health equality.

Click here to read the abstract submission guidelines and to submit an abstract.

If you would like any guidance or just to have a chat about your Abstract ideas, please don't hesitate to call Anna on 02 6285 1010 or email  policy@iaha.com.au

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Opening 1 June 2015: Registrations 
Registrations for Australia’s premier professional development event will open 1 June 2015.
As a not-for-profit Indigenous organisation, IAHA aims to keep our fees as low as possible to ensure maximum participation by members and stakeholders who want to make a difference in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  Full Registration 1 day Registration
Full Member (student/graduate) $550 $330
Associate/Corporate Member $660 $440
Non Member (student) $550 $330
Non Member (general) $770 $550
Speakers $550 $330

IAHA Professional Development Scholarships
IAHA will grant a limited number of professional development scholarships to full and associate IAHA members. Scholarship recipients will receive up to a maximum of $2,500 for travel, accommodation, and registration assistance based on the eligibility and assessment criteria. Scholarship applications will open 1 June 2015 and close 31 July 2015. Successful applicants will be notified by 21 August 2015.

2015 National Indigenous Allied Health Award Nominations 
Nominations for the 2015 IAHA National Indigenous Allied Health Awards open 1 June 2015 and close Friday 19 September 2015.

The 2015 Indigenous Allied Health Awards will be held on Tuesday 1 December 2015 at the Pullman Cairns International, Cairns during the IAHA 2015 National Conference, where winners will be announced at a gala dinner. The Indigenous Allied Health Awards showcase the outstanding achievements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health and provides identifiable allied health role models to inspire all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to consider and pursue a career in allied health. Click here to check out last year’s winners or contact Anna on 02 6285 1010 or email policy@iaha.com.au for more information.

IAHA 2015 HealthFusion Team Challenge- Applications
The 3rd Indigenous Allied Health Australia HealthFusion Team Challenge (IAHA HFTC), will be held 28 – 29 November 2015, at the Pullman Cairns International in Cairns, Queensland. The HFTC is a learning experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health students designed to educate the nation’s next generation of health care professionals in collaborative client care. Registrations are open 1 June 2015 and students will be allocated into interprofessional teams.

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Policy Update

As mentioned in the Board Update, this month IAHA welcomed the long awaited release of the National Mental Health Commission’s National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services (the Review) on 16 April 2015. All four volumes of the Review, along with a summary document and fact sheets, can be found on the National Mental Health Commission website here.

IAHA is very pleased to note that the five areas of action suggested in the Review to improve the mental health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples include the acknowledgement of the importance of a culturally responsive and accountable health system and a sustainable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workforce. These areas are:
  • Make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health a national priority supported by an additional specific CoAG Closing the Gap target for mental health. This work would support a dedicated national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health plan which would assist in developing culturally appropriate policy, services and programmes.
  • Integrated ‘Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) Teams’. Establish Mental Health and SEWB teams in all government-funded Indigenous Primary Health Care Organisations (IPHCOs) including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS), as part of renewed service agreements.
  • Invigorate culturally responsive and accountable mainstream mental health services. Provide incentives and place accountability on services to improve their contribution to delivering better mental health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Sharpen the role of dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services. Additional effort is needed to facilitate the journey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into and through the specialist mental health service system, and in particular from primary mental health care into specialist mental health services and programmes.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workforce development. Develop a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workforce strategy to support the changes in service delivery proposed and enable all services (specialist and mainstream) to be more culturally responsive and better able to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
IAHA strongly agrees that mental health must be made a national priority in order to transform mental health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional wellbeing should be the first priority for reinvestment of any efficiencies and savings made through a whole-of-government approach to mental health system reform.
IAHA will continue to provide national allied health leadership as we move forward with our members, partner organisations, the allied health sector and governments to build and strengthen the mental health workforce to provide culturally safe and responsive care and increase access to health care that is available, affordable, acceptable and appropriate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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Journey into Optometry- Shannon Peckham

My name is Shannon Peckham, I’m from the Tubba-gah people, Wiradjuri nation, Dubbo NSW and I am an Optometrist. I always knew I wanted to go to university because I wanted to have choices in my career. I decided on Optometry by chance when my friend suggested it to me.
A Bachelor of Optometry is required to be an optometrist and this is a university course ranging from 3-7 years in length depending on where you study. You need to have a strong academic record from high school to qualify for entry because there are limited places available.  I went straight from school to university. My parents were very supportive and from a young age they instilled in me the importance of gaining a good education and the freedoms it could bring in life.
I studied my Bachelor of Optometry in Melbourne and all my family was in North Queensland. I had never been to Melbourne and this was a big move to make.  I received support from the Centre for Indigenous Education and from the University of Melbourne when I was applying for university and throughout my course. This made a huge difference to my university experience.
My family is proud of what I have achieved within my work place and that I use my professional skills to give back to communities. I volunteer for Onesight, a charity that provides free eyecare and eyewear to remote Indigenous communities. I have been lucky enough to travel to Doomadgee, Mornington Island, Mount Isa and Palm Island to provide eye care to the local people.
Sight is a basic human right and if I can help people to see better this greatly improves their quality of life.  Plus I get to meet people from all different walks of life and listen to their stories.
Optometry is a job for someone who is always thinking, able to continually solve problems and is happy to help and educate people regarding eyes and eyesight. Most optometrists are in shopping centres so this means working shopping centre hours (late nights & public holidays). Presently there are many vacancies for optometrists all around Australia providing plenty of opportunities to travel and work. 
I am currently the practice's Optometry Manager, consulting full-time and in 5 years I would like to be in a regional managerial role helping other optometrists to reach their full potential.
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Cultural responsiveness: an action based approach to cultural safety

13th National Rural Health Conference  
Pre-Conference Workshop brought to you by AIDA, IAHA, NACCHO, NATSIHWA
24 May 2015, 10am - 3pm, Darwin Convention Centre

This interactive workshop, delivered collaboratively by Indigenous Allied Health Australia, Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association, will build participants' ability to be culturally responsive to the unique needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Click here to read more or to register now...

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Other Health News

Invitation to Contribute - Improving safety and quality of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is working on a project about improving care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

The Commission invites your participation in a short survey about this project. Click here to access the survey which will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. 

Your views will provide valuable information on health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and shape decisions about safety and quality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The link will remain open until 10 May 2015.

Allied Health Continuing Professional Development Scholarship - 2nd Round Closes 6 May, 2015!
Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH), the Scholarship administrator is pleased to announce the opening date of the Nursing and Allied Health scholarship and Support Scheme; Allied Health Continuing Professional Development Scholarship for CPD activities that take place from 01 July to 31 December 2015 . The applications are open NOW and will close on 6 May 2015. Please visit the Continuing Professional Development Scholarship Home Page for information on eligible professions, selection criteria, and the application process and scholarship guidelines.

Call for Submissions now open - 11th National Allied Health Conference, 9 – 11 November 2015. 
The deadline for abstract submissions is midnight Sunday 28 June 2015, AEST. Please click here for further details on the abstract submission process.

Abstract Submissions Close 10th May 2015 for CRANAplus 33rd Annual Conference - "Telling Tales - The Power of the Narrative",  at the Alice Springs Convention Centre, 15 - 17 October 2015. Click here to submit an abstract. 

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Upcoming Events

Cultural responsiveness: an action based approach to cultural safety
24 May 2015, 10am - 3pm, Darwin Convention Centre 

National Rural Health Alliance 2015 Conference:
24 - 27 May 2015, Darwin NT

ADS and the ADEA Annual Scientific Meeting
26 - 28 August 2015, Adelaide SA

CRANAplus 33rd Annual Conference "Telling Tales - The Power of the Narrative", 
15 - 17 October 2015 at the Alice Springs Convention Centre, 

11th National Allied Health Conference
9 - 11 Nov 2015, Melbourne, Australia.  

Global Gathering for Healing Our Spirit Worldwide
16 – 19 Nov 2015, New Zealand

IAHA HealthFusion Team Challenge
28 - 29 Nov 2015

2015 IAHA National Conference: Allied Health - Stepping into Action.
1 - 2 Dec, 2015

Student Bursaries

We are now accepting applications for our 2015 IAHA Student Bursaries. Click here to find out more details and to apply.


All proceeds from the sale of these items are quarantined for an IAHA Member Support
Fund which provides professional development scholarships and student bursaries.
Copyright © 2015 Indigenous Allied Health Australia, All rights reserved.

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