PAHA Newsletter

PAHA-Strat-Plan-2024

Exciting collaboration in Newman!
 On Feb 21, 2024, 39 Representatives from various organisations convened to strategise ways to enhance Aboriginal health outcomes in the Pilbara. Together, they’re committed to achieving impactful results aligned with the Pilbara Aboriginal Medical Services Priority Areas, Close the Gap and Yule River agreements. Stay tuned for updates on this vital initiative from the Pilbara Aboriginal Health Planning Forum!

Issue #05   |  March 2024

Chair Report

Ashley Councillor

Welcome to the 5th edition of our PAHA Newsletter, it is my honour to provide the welcome as the new Chairperson. I acknowledge the extraordinary work that Richard Ansey undertook whilst in the chairperson role previously, it is a privilege to work alongside a great Board that has community interests and Aboriginal health for our beautiful Pilbara region at the forefront of their minds.

Within the last few months, we have held discussions with stakeholders, community and government representatives to advance discussions that address our regions need and aspirations to improve the health outcomes for our Pilbara Aboriginal people. Such discussions included but were not limited to; strategic planning for the Pilbara Aboriginal Health Planning Forum (PAHPF), event planning for the PAHPF Men’s Health subcommittee for the Western Desert region, renal dialysis needs in Tom Price, celebrating Puntukurnu AMS 30 years of operations and the list goes on.

Whilst I have only been in this position for a few months, I look forward to working alongside our amazing staff to continue the journey of Our Story Our Way project and other great initiatives that continue to keep the Pilbara region and Aboriginal Health on the radar of all contributors that can make a difference for the better.

Ashley Councillor
Ashley Councillor

Chair Report

Ashley Councillor

Welcome to the 5th edition of our PAHA Newsletter, it is my honour to provide the welcome as the new Chairperson. I acknowledge the extraordinary work that Richard Ansey undertook whilst in the chairperson role previously, it is a privilege to work alongside a great Board that has community interests and Aboriginal health for our beautiful Pilbara region at the forefront of their minds.

Within the last few months, we have held discussions with stakeholders, community and government representatives to advance discussions that address our regions need and aspirations to improve the health outcomes for our Pilbara Aboriginal people. Such discussions included but were not limited to; strategic planning for the Pilbara Aboriginal Health Planning Forum (PAHPF), event planning for the PAHPF Men’s Health subcommittee for the Western Desert region, renal dialysis needs in Tom Price, celebrating Puntukurnu AMS 30 years of operations and the list goes on.

Whilst I have only been in this position for a few months, I look forward to working alongside our amazing staff to continue the journey of Our Story Our Way project and other great initiatives that continue to keep the Pilbara region and Aboriginal Health on the radar of all contributors that can make a difference for the better.

Chris-Pickett

CEO Report

Chris Pickett

Wayiba and welcome to our first newsletter for 2024.

We had very exciting news over the Christmas break that Tom Price has been selected as one of only 3 sites across Australia to apply, on an exclusive basis, for funding under the second round of the Commonwealth’s Better Renal Services in Remote Communities Program. The funding will enable a 4 Chair dialysis unit to be in Tom Price. We have been consulting with Community members and stakeholders in the Shire of Ashburton and have identified land where this important facility can be built and we are now working on our formal submission with Purple House our partner on the project.

On the 21st February PAHA organised a meeting of the Pilbara Aboriginal Health Planning Forum in Newman which was attended by close to 40 representatives from the Aboriginal Health Sector, Government and service providers to plan our way forward over the next five years. The guiding documents we are using in our planning are the Yule River Call to Action and the Closing the Gap priorities. There was lots of discussion and great ideas on how best to move forward and we now need to bring this all together over the next few months and finalise the Strategic Plan. We are hoping to have this project completed by mid year.

On a final note I have attended a number of workshops over the past twelve months discussing ways we can meet workforce demands in the coming years. Most of those discussions have been about more doctors, nurses, Aboriginal Health Workers etc to meet increasing demand for health services. I have to say I am frustrated that these workshops keep focussing on meeting demand by putting in more resources rather than reducing demand through upstream preventative health projects. As an elder said to me recently. “Chris we don’t need more medical people, we need to have the tools to look after our families in our communities.”

We know the old strategies have not worked and that we need to empower communities to look after themselves. We need Governments to stand up, listen, be visionary and take a long term view of what will really make a difference in health outcomes.

Good News

PAHPF Strategic Planning Day

PAHPF Strategic Plan

On February 21, 2024, in Newman, 40 stakeholder representatives convened for the Pilbara Aboriginal Health Planning Forum to plan their course for 2024 – 2027.

The primary objective was to enhance health outcomes for Pilbara communities by aligning priorities of the Pilbara Aboriginal Medical Services, 2023 Yule River Call to Action plan, and Closing the Gap Targets and Reforms.

The workshop aimed to harmonise strategies, ensuring a cohesive approach towards improving healthcare in the Pilbara region.

The day yielded a wealth of valuable insights and commitments to achieving substantial results in health improvements.

Regular updates on this crucial initiative from the Pilbara Aboriginal Health Planning Forum can be found on their Facebook page.

Member Highlights

Member Highlights

June-Councillor

June Councillor

Board Member

June Councillor is a proud Banjima woman born in Port Hedland and raised in Marble Bar. She is deeply connected to her Aboriginal heritage and community. June has worked extensively in the areas of community development, social justice, primary health care and women’s health. She is a relentless champion for Aboriginal self-determination and genuine community control.

June is currently CEO of Wirraka Maya Aboriginal Health Service in Hedland.  She is a founding Director of the Pilbara Aboriginal Health Alliance (PAHA), an organisation committed to strategic approaches to Aboriginal community-controlled primary health care and population health improvement. She is also a Board Director with the Aboriginal community-controlled peak body in Western Australia, namely the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA) and the newly formed Council for Aboriginal Services in Western Australia (CASWA) which will strengthen and increase the capacity of WA Aboriginal community-controlled organisation fulfilling diverse service delivery functions to Aboriginal people in WA across priority sectors identified under the National Agreement. June is a member of one of only three independent Aboriginal ethics committees in Australia, namely the Western Australia Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (WAAHEC).  June is also Chief Investigator for “Our Story Our Way” (OSOW). Through four innovative workstreams led by a team of Aboriginal

experts  with similar passion for the advancement of their communities, OSOW will create an Aboriginal community-controlled data ecosystem across the Pilbara including an accessible data warehouse into which Pilbara health and social data can be captured, organised, analysed and curated in order to inform health services planning, service improvement, funding applications, research and knowledge translation led by Aboriginal people.

June holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) with Honours from Curtin University having focussed on Aboriginal Community Management and Development. She was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award in both First and Second Semesters 2000 for outstanding achievement.  In 2009, June was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Churchill Fellowship to travel to Canada and the USA to undertake her study: “Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and the impact on parenting affected children especially in Aboriginal communities”. June was the founding member and current Chair of the Pilbara Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) Network in South Hedland and the WA FASD Network in Perth. She contributed to WA Health Network Working Group for FASD Models of Care. She is a current member of the National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome & Alcohol Related Disorders (NOFASARD) and a highly sought FASD Trainer and Educator. Ever attentive to the needs of practitioners on the ground, June negotiated the development of a national FASD Resource manual to deliver FASD training to service providers.  June also initiated the development of a FASD trainers data base to allocate trainers to conduct workshops as requested by agencies and community-controlled organisations.  In 2022, June further her education by obtaining a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). 

June has devoted much of her life to the health of Aboriginal people and she is committed to setting an example of a strong, independent woman who inspires others to be their best.  

June is genuinely a trailblazer who sees many following in her footsteps as she has followed in the footsteps of her own ancestors and Elders.

Ashley Councillor

Ashley Councillor MAICD

Chair

Ashley Councillor MAICD identifies as a Banjima descendant through the apical ancestor Yidjiyangu (Daisy Swan). With family connections to the Nyiyaparli, Ngarluma, Yindjibarndi, Naaguja, and Bibbulmun peoples, Ashley’s commitment to Aboriginal empowerment in the Pilbara region is deeply rooted.

Passionate about community advancement, Ashley advocates tirelessly for Aboriginal people’s welfare. His expertise spans community engagement, development, project management, and corporate governance.

Currently serving as the Pilbara Aboriginal Health Alliance Board Chair and Acting Chief Operations Officer for Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, Ashley plays pivotal roles in shaping indigenous healthcare and corporate strategy.

Actively participating in the Yule River Call to Action under the guidance of the Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, Ashley contributes his governance acumen and cultural insights to drive positive change.

Events

CCC_Hedland-Phase-2

Culture Care Connect

The integration of suicide prevention planning, and quality aftercare services enables a coordinated approach to reduce the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behaviours to reduce the impact of suicide on individuals, families, and communities. The Culture Care Connect Program’s aim is to develop holistic, supportive, and preventive initiatives to empower and support communities to be suicide safer.

Throughout 2023 extensive consultation and co-design was undertaken to develop the Pilbara Network Suicide Prevention Plan and the Pilbara Aftercare Model of care. This work was undertaken with support from the Pilbara Suicide Peer Network. The Pilbara Suicide Peer Network is made up of all Regional roles across the sector; the PAMS Community Liaison Officer, WACHS Suicide Prevention Coordinator, StandBy Pilbara Postvention Coordinator. The formation of a collaborative partnership to support the region to holistically prevent suicide was paramount to support positive outcomes, advocate for filling of identified service gaps, creation, implementation, and monitoring of a regional suicide prevention plan inclusive of all existing initiatives and to increase mental health literacy and suicide awareness working to create a suicide safer Pilbara region.

When planning the consultation process, it was important to allow for true co-design. Learning from past lessons learned within the region, it was evident we would require multiple sessions across a variety of locations to allow for all voices to be heard, valued, and input to the process. When planning the consultation process, it was important to allow for true co-design. Learning from past lessons learned within the region, it was evident we would require multiple sessions across a variety of locations to allow for all voices to be heard, valued and input to the process.

It was important that community had a chance to view and provide feedback on every element of the service. This is their model of care, it was developed using their stories, their voice needed shine through each component. To ensure community voice was heard we facilitated 12 open forums across Hedland, Newman, Roebourne, and Onslow. Individual surveying was also supported by our ACCHO partners to ensure that those that were not able to, or comfortable to attend the forums had input into the co-design process. Feedback received across the consultation process was positive and heartfelt. Hearing things like “I love this model of care, it’s culturally safe, evidence-based and presented beautifully” hearing that we have helped by listening, that we have inspired others made this process truly wonderful.

Thank you to everyone who supported the development of the Culture Care Connect service for the Pilbara. The Pilbara Network Suicide Prevention Plan and the Pilbara Aftercare Model of care are accessible via the PAHA website.

AFPP Progress in the Pilbara

We’re excited to share the latest developments with the Australian Family Partnership Program (AFPP) in the Pilbara region. PAMS, leading the charge as the first site to initiate the implementation process, has recently advertised AFPP Nurse Home Visitor roles for Newman and Jigalong. This is an important first step in setting up the program service.

In a bid to enhance knowledge and expertise, the PAHA Nurse Coordinator and PAMS Midwife participated in the AFPP Nurse Supervisor Community of Practice held in

AFPP-Progress-in-the-Pilbara

Adelaide. This invaluable opportunity allowed them to glean insights from experienced Nurse supervisors nationwide and engage with the National Support Service Education team as well as the International Program Clinical Lead on future directions for the program.

In line with our commitment to proactive healthcare, the PAHA Nurse Coordinator collaborated with PAMS, Mawarnkarra and Ending Trachoma Environmental Health team to co-present Clinical EH Referral educational in-services. This initiative aims to ensure comprehensive healthcare delivery to Pilbara mothers and infants, embodying dedication to holistic well-being within the community.

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    PAHA acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners of this land and pays respect to Elders past, present and future emerging leaders.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed.

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