The National Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chairperson John Singer, closed the Hobart Ochre Day Conference – Men’s Health, Our Way. Let’s Own It! – last week.
Ochre Day is an important Aboriginal male health initiative to help draw attention to Aboriginal male health in a holistic way. The delegates fully embraced the conference theme, many spoke about their own journeys in the male health sector and all enjoyed participation in conference sessions, activities and workshops.
More than 200 delegates attended and heard from an impressive line-up of speakers and this year was no exception. Delegates responded positively to The Hon. Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health funding of an Aboriginal Television network. Mr John Paterson CEO of AMSANT spoke about the importance of women as partners in men’s health and Mr Rod Little from National Congress delivered a brief history on the progress of a Treaty in Australia as a keynote address for the Jaydon Adams Oration Memorial Dinner. The winner of the Jaydon Adams award 2018 was Mr Aaron Everett.
A comprehensive quality program involving presentations from clinicians, researches, academics, medical experts and Aboriginal Health Practitioners were delivered. Delegates listened to passionate speakers like Dr Mick Adams, Dr Mark Wenitong, Patrick Johnson, Joe Williams, Deon Bird, Kim Mulholland and Karl Briscoe. Topics included those on suicide, Deadly Choices, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases as well as family violence impacting Aboriginal Communities. Initiatives to address these problems were explored in workshops that were held to discuss how to make men’s health a priority and how to support the reaffirmation of cultural identity.
Speeches by Ross Williams, Stan Stokes and Charlie Adams addressed the establishment of Men’s Clinics within the Anyinginiyi Aboriginal Health Service and Wuchopperen Aboriginal Health Service, which demonstrated the positive impact that these facilities have had on men’s health and their emotional wellbeing. These reports as well as the experiences related by delegates highlighted the urgent need for more Aboriginal Men’s Health Clinics to be established especially in regional, rural and remote areas.
As a result of interaction with a broad cross section of delegates the NACCHO Chairman Mr John Singer was able to put forward a range of priorities that he believed would go some way to addressing some of the concerns raised. These priorities were the acquisition of funds to enable the:
- Establishment of 80 Men’s Health Clinics in urban, rural and remote locations and
- The employment of both a Male Youth Health Policy Officer and Male (Adult) Health Policy Officer by NACCHO in Canberra.
Delegates also welcomed the funding of $3.4 million for the Aboriginal Health Television network provided that the programs were culturally appropriate and supported a strength-based approach to Men’s Health.
The Nipaluna (Hobart) Ochre day statement: that our timeless culture still endures can be read at https://nacchocommunique.com/category/aboriginal-malemens-health/.
NACCHO Chairperson John Singer is available for comment about the outcomes from the Conference and the Nipaluna Statement.
Wendy Brookman (02) 6246 9393 or mobile 0438 812 505
For more information about Ochre Day please refer to the NACCHO website.
NACCHO Ochre Day videos are available online at the NACCHO YouTube Channel.