Indigenous Palliative Care

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) and Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet launched the new Palliative Care and End-of-Life Resource portal for the workforce who support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today at Parliament House in Canberra.  The palliative care and end-of-life portal is designed to assist health professionals who provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and communities.


Director of the HealthInfoNet, Professor Neil Drew, said the portal will support both clinicians and policy-makers to access research and projects on palliative and end-of-life care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


"This collaboration between the HealthInfoNet and Palliative Care Australia will locate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander palliative and end-of-life care resources and make them available all together in the one place for health professionals.

"This will make the relevant information available to the workforce through a state of the art online portal to support decision-making and best-practice care.

"A yarning place will be established in early 2019 to facilitate information sharing and support among clinicians," said Professor Drew.


Dedicated sections of the site deal with Grief & Bereavement, Planning Ahead and Culturally Appropriate End -of-life Care. The site is underpinned by a large selection of publications, resources, policy information, organisation and program details  Media Release












National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report: youth survey 2017 (Mission Australlia) National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report: youth survey 2017 (Mission Australlia)


Key findings:

  • 42% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people planned to go to university compared to 72% non-Indigenous young people.
  • Over 50% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people indicated that getting a job was highly important to them and they were more likely to be looking for employment compared to non-Indigenous young people.
  • 27% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people reported that they had spent time away from home because they felt they couldn't go back. 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were more likely than non-Indigenous young people to be extremely/very concerned about drugs, bullying/emotional abuse, personal safety, discrimination and alcohol.
  • The majority of young people indicated feeling positive overall about their lives, however, just under 1 in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people indicated their happiness with life as a whole was a '0' out of 10 (compared to 1 in 50 non-Indigenous young people).
  • The vast majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (75%) rated family relationships as extremely or very important to them. Almost twice the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people rated their family's ability to get along as poor (13% compared with 7% of non-Indigenous young people).

Key policy recommendations:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people should be at the centre of policy and practice with solutions designed, developed and led by the young people and their representative community organisations. In order that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are supported to thrive and reach their full potential there needs to be a focus on:
  • Supporting educational engagement and addressing challenges to further study in culturally appropriate ways.
  • Providing employment and training programs that are Indigenous-led, flexible and responsive.
  • Identifying the deeper, structural causes of mental health difficulties and building on a strong sense of social, cultural and emotional wellbeing.
  • Reducing the high rates of homelessness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people as a national priority.
  • Designing services that take into consideration the cultural connections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and communities.
  • Taking a holistic approach to service design that works across the domains of education, employment, health, housing and social inclusion and combats intergenerational disadvantage National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report: youth survey 2017 (Mission Australlia)




Health in Australia: a quick guide (Parliamentary LIbrary)

Health in Australia: a quick guide, produced by the Australian Parliamentary Library, provides a wealth of links to information on the Australian system and who does what within it. Also included are links regarding private health insurance, health expenditure, International comparisons, the health workforce and useful data sources. There is a wealth of information here for anyone trying to find their way around the Australian health system.

Qualitative research in healthcare: modern methods, clear translation - a white paper

This White Paper from the Australian Institute of Health Innovation aims to shine a light on how qualitative methods are being used in health services and medical research contexts, and how they might be used more effectively. It aims to fire the reader's imagination by revealing the scope of qualitative methods across a range of studies, and the impact of qualitative methods on research outcomes and healthcare practices.

In this monograph you will learn about current methods in use, and how they are making a difference to healthcare practice. These include some lesser-known biographical and photographic methods. You will also learn about the way in which research results are being implemented to improve patient safety and the quality of care.

Qualitative research in healthcare: modern methods, clear translation - a white paper.

Reducing harms related to alcohol use in pregnancy: policy and practice recommendations (Deeble Institute)

With the NHMRC Guidelines currently under review and the National Alcohol Strategy and FASD Strategic Action Plan in development, it is timely to consider how health sector policy and practice can be effectively used to address antenatal alcohol use in Australia.

Major barriers to the prevention of PAE and FASD include a lack of public awareness of the Alcohol Guidelines and the risks associated with PAE, as well as limitations in antenatal alcohol screening and data collection. With the NHMRC Guidelines currently under review and the National Alcohol Strategy and FASD Strategic Action Plan in development, it is timely to consider how health sector policy and practice can be effectively used to address antenatal alcohol use in Australia.

Major recommendations include:

  • The provision of clear, coherent and targeted messaging through policy, practice guidelines, position statements, and mainstream media that there is no established safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
  • The consistent implementation of universal alcohol screening practices prior to pregnancy and throughout the antenatal period.
  • Ongoing capacity building within the health workforce to support clinicians to effectively screen for, advise about and provide appropriate intervention for PAE.
  • The introduction of systematic reporting of alcohol in pregnancy data, to the Perinatal National Data Collection, to support the development of evidence-based policy and prevention approaches.

    Deeble Institute Report

  • Lifeline Drought Toolkit

    Lifeline has seen a rise in crisis phone calls from regional communities due to the drought. To help people cope with the drought, Lifeline has prepared the Lifeline Drought Tool Kit, a hands-on guide with practical advice.

    The 8-page guide features 10 main points including how to access financial counselling, deal with isolation and has advice on stress management and family and mental health.

    Stephanie Robinson, CEO, Lifeline Central West, said a prevailing concern was how to start the conversation:

    "The drought affects everyone differently, it might be the impact it has on your business which causes financial strain, it might be that your marriage breaks down, we hear these stories every day".

    "This is a really practical resource that will help people know where to go for help, that there is support out there."

    "But what it really does is, it talks about in rural communities we are so connected."

    "We need to look out for one another and support one another."

    Website and downloadable version.

    Media Release.

    Trends in injury deaths 1999–00 to 2014–15 [AIHW]

    Trends in injury deaths 1999–00 to 2014–15 focuses on trends in deaths due to injury and poisoning that occurred over the period 1999–00 to 2014–15.

    The age-standardised rate of injury deaths decreased from 55.4 to 47.2 deaths per 100,000 between 1999–00 and 2004–05 and changed little after that. Rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were generally at least twice as high as rates for non-Indigenous Australians over the period from 2001–02 to 2014–15.

    Glove Box Guide to Mental Health 2018.

    The Land and the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH) have launched the 7th edition of the Glove Box Guide to Mental Health this morning, encouraging rural communities to work together and support each other during tough times.

    This year the theme is Let's Work Together and the centre is inviting members of the Orange community to participate in a joint activity showcasing how they work together with their communities to build good mental wellbeing.

    RAMHP program manager Tessa Caton said that one of the key aims of the launch is to demonstrate collaboration and lift the community spirit during tough times.

    "Community members will have the chance to share their ideas on a large banner about how they work together with their community to build good mental wellbeing," she said. "Following on from the launch, the banner will be displayed in the Orange City Library during Mental Health Month as a reminder to the community about the good things people are doing to support each other and how they intend to support each other in the future."

    This year's Guide provides practical information and education including online therapies and information on mental well-being tools and apps, as well as tips and strategies on how to stay mentally healthy. Readers can also find relevant stories and information on topics relating to youth, workplaces and communities.Personal stories throughout the Guide touch on what it feels like to struggle with a mental illness and why seeking help is so important.

    Glove-Box guide to Mental Health launches today (The Land)

    Launch Press Release

    Online version of the 2018 Glovebox Guide to mental health

    Health expenditure Australia 2016–17 [AIHW]

    Health expenditure Australia 2016–17 reveals that Australia spent $180.7 billion on health in 2016–17—more than $7,400 per person. Real growth in spending of 4.7% in 2016–17 was 1.6 percentage points higher than the average over the past five years (3.1%). Non-government sources recorded the lowest growth rate in health spending in the decade to 2016–17—0.2% compared with the decade average of 4.8%.

    Media release: Growth in health spending at 5 year high, driven by government spending.

    Royal Commission into Aged Care: Nurse has her say

    SHE has been subject to inappropriate touching, assault and been pushed up against a wall and threatened - welcome to the aged care sector.
    While much of the focus since Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has been on mistreatment of the elderly, one nurse says just as much focus should be given to abuse of staff.
    This nurse in the NSW Central West, who asked not to be named for fear of losing her job, says if she worked in any other industry that the abuse would not be tolerated – action would be swift and offender/s would be targeted with police action.
    The first thing this nurse wanted to make clear was that she loves her job, every day brings something new and she loves the opportunity of being able to assist those most vulnerable in society.
    But, in her eight years in the industry she has also been left frightened, assaulted, scratched and scarred and claims that nothing is done my management when the abuse is reported.

    See more at :

    Recovering ice addicts treated with ADHD medication in Australian trials

    A drug prescribed to treat an attention deficit disorder is being used to help methamphetamine users kick their addictions in trials across New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.

    The drug lisdexamfetamine, also known as lisdex, is often used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but researchers believe it could help people reduce their dependence to the drug ice.

    Trials are already underway in New South Wales and South Australia, and soon Victoria will join them with a trial of 25 people, after funding was provided by the Andrews Government.

    See more at:

    New funding for innovation in suicide prevention

    Australian researchers are invited to submit an Expression of Interest to apply for up to $100,000 each in Australian Government funding to develop new knowledge and approaches to suicide prevention.

    Part of the Government’s $12 million Suicide Prevention Research Fund (SPRF) administered by Suicide Prevention Australia, the Innovation Grants aim to invest up to $300,000 in total in new Australian research over one to two years.

    “We’re looking for Australian researchers with bold ideas about how we can better protect people from suicide, and intervene to prevent suicide,” said Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray.

    Read more at:

    'Not a day goes by': Mental health is the number one reason people are going to the GP

    GPs are treating mental health issues more than any other condition, according to a new report released this week. A survey of 1,500 frontline GPs by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners found that two in three were reporting psychological problems as one of the most common ailments they now treated.
    As a result, GPs are struggling to keep up — many forced to cram often complex cases into six-minute consultations, charge their patients for more time, or wear the out-of-pocket cost. With aged care now in the spotlight, GPs are also signalling that providing adequate care in nursing homes is becoming a major problem.

    Read more at:

    Plan to improve mental health support for Australian university students

    Many students struggle with stress and other issues of mental health and are unsure how to access help. AMSA and Orygen have designed a framework to address the problem on a national level.

    AMSA President Alex Farrell believes student mental health has been ‘underfunded and under-talked-about for a long time’. I don’t know where to go, and I’m ashamed to be struggling at uni.’

    These are the words of a student from a recent report produced by Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, to investigate the mental health of Australian university students.

    Read more at:

    New knowledge exchange products on alcohol use among Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people

    The Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre have added a suite of online resources which are now available on the website. Based on the Review of harmful alcohol use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, there are 3 new resources available

  • an animated infographic
  • a HealthInfoByte
  • an eBook

    The animated infographic provides an audio visual snapshot of key information found in the review, in an engaging format, while the eBook is an interactive, online version of the review with additional, enhanced features such as embedded videos and illustrations. The HealthInfoByte is part of a series which promotes HealthInfoNet reviews and provides short, 'byte' sized information.

  • Mental Health Nursing Practice and Indigenous Australians: A Multi-Sited Ethnography

    Camping under the stars might just be the way to helping to rebuild happiness

    Camping is being lauded as way to help you feel better about yourself, get closer to your loved ones and create a sense of reconnection to the world.
    In a world where the fear of missing out (FOMO) is contributing to anxiety, camping may have a special place in improving mental health by its ability to cut people off from technology.
    Alistair Mitchell is one person who says drawing on his early childhood experiences of camping and getting back to nature helped his long road to recovery from mental illness.

    For more details see:

    Latest review shows many cancers are preventable among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet at Edith Cowan University has published a new Review of cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew, said 'The review shows that cultural safety in service provision, increased participation in breast, bowel and cervical screening and reduction in risk factors will improve outcomes for cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, followed by breast cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer. Tobacco smoking is still seen as the greatest risk factor for cancer.'


    Links page