The Librarian's Christmas Tree
A Merry Christmas and a happy 2019 to all our readers

Check out :
* Christmas in Australia

* 12 Days of Christmas in ER

* The most amazing Christmas links page from Aussie Educator.
Everything about Christmas you could possibly want : history, carols, games, quizzes, recipes and even card and gift making!!

 Christmas trivia

* 12 people sustained burns in 2007 when trying on a new sweater with a cigarette in their mouth.

* 5 People suffered 3rd degree burns in 2007 when trying to flame torch their Christmas pudding.

* Over 200 people are admitted to hospital each year after not removing all the pins from new shirts.

* In 2008, two people died eating Christmas decorations they thought were chocolates.

* Forget leaving beer and biscuits out for Santa this year, reindeer like to eat bananas.

* Statistics show you are more likely to be killed by a flying champagne cork than by a poisonous spider.

The ABS doesn't record official reindeer numbers, but we can report there were 79,696 farmed deer in Australia on June 30, 2007.

What did Santa say to Mrs Claus when he looked out the window?"It looks like rain, dear"

FINALLY, for those who find the festive season all too much, the Better Health Channel brings you Christmas - tips to reduce the stress

How physical activity in Australian schools can help prevent depression in young people

Adolescence is a critical time for the development of mental health problems. In fact, depression is most likely to occur during adolescence and young adulthood. It’s the leading cause of disability in young people worldwide.

At least one‐quarter of young people will experience an episode of depression before 19 years of age. By year 9, students who have experienced a mental disorder are on average two years behind in academic achievement compared to those without a mental disorder.

See more at:

How much of eating disorders is in our DNA — and can we predict and prevent them?

Eating disorders are the third most common chronic illness in young women.
In recent years, researchers have made advances in detecting the genetic links, raising hopes for treatment and prevention.

Professor Tracey Wade is Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor at Flinders University and associate investigator of the Australian Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI).
Elise Thompson spent six years living with anorexia.

Click on link for audio at:

Flying blind 2: Australian researchers and digital health

Australia has a wealth of health data resources, many of which are originally collected for other purposes such as administration or compliance. With appropriate access to these data and through data linkage, health researchers can generate new insights, uncover new trends and deepen our understanding of health and disease. In FB2, the aim is to understand how well these national data assets are used for research and where barriers may exist to more effective use.

This is the second of 3 reports by the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre on digital health in Australia.

Flying blind Vol. 2: Australian researchers and digital health

Flying blind Vol. 1: Australian consumers and digital health

The Obesity Epidemic in Australia

The Senate Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia was established on 16 May 2018. The committee is composed of 7 Senators and was tasked with inquiring into and reporting on the following terms of reference:

  • The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children in Australia and changes in these rates over time;
  • The causes of the rise in overweight and obesity in Australia;
  • The short and long-term harm to health associated with obesity, particularly in children in Australia;
  • The short and long-term economic burden of obesity, particularly related to obesity in children in Australia;
  • The effectiveness of existing policies and programs introduced by Australian governments to improve diets and prevent childhood obesity;
  • Evidence-based measures and interventions to prevent and reverse childhood obesity, including experiences from overseas jurisdictions;
  • The role of the food industry in contributing to poor diets and childhood obesity in Australia; and
  • any other related matters.

This report is comprised of 10 chapters:

  • Chapter 1 provides some background information around the prevalence of obesity, and defines some key terms;
  • Chapter 2 discusses the importance of language and the high degree of stigma attached to the term 'obesity';
  • Chapter 3 examines strategic policy directions which could help tackling obesity;
  • Chapter 4 discusses the issue of food labelling;
  • Chapter 5 focuses on the critical role of reformulation to improve the availability of healthier products;
  • Chapter 6 examines the benefits of introducing a tax on sugary drinks;
  • Chapter 7 focuses on the issues associated with the marketing and advertising of discretionary foods;
  • Chapter 8 discusses the importance of education campaigns;
  • Chapter 9 looks at the benefits of health care interventions; and
  • Chapter 10 discusses promising multi-strategy prevention programs

The Obesity epidemic in Australia (Final Report)

Two new Australian hospital statistics reports: elective surgery and emergency department care [AIHW]

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released 2 new reports:

1. Elective surgery waiting times 2017-18: Australian hospital statistics Elective surgery waiting times 2017–18: Australian hospital statistics focuses on information about public hospital elective surgery waiting lists between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018. It presents information on overall activity, what elective surgery was provided and how long people waited for elective surgery.

2. Emergency department care 2017-18: Australian hospital statistics
Emergency department care 2017–18: Australian hospital statistics presents information on care provided in public hospital emergency departments between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018. It includes information on overall activity, nationally agreed performance indicators on waiting times for care, time spent in the ED, and other waiting times statistics. It also includes comparative information for the previous 4 reporting periods.

Media release: Waiting times for emergency department and elective surgery on the rise.

Vaccine-preventable diseases [AIHW]

Worldwide, vaccination is a very successful and cost-effective population health intervention. The Australian Government provides funded vaccines against 17 diseases to eligible people through the National Immunisation Program.

This series of fact sheets provides information about these diseases and their impact in Australia, including the number of cases reported, hospitalisations and deaths.

Vaccine-preventable diseases [Fact sheets]

National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care: results for 2017

This 5th national report on the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPIs) data collection is based on data from 231 primary health care organisations that receive funding from the Australian Government Department of Health to provide services primarily to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Information is presented for December 2017, for 24 ‘process-of-care’ and ‘health outcome’ indicators, focusing on maternal and child health, preventative health, and chronic disease management. The report shows improvements for the majority of indicators between June and December 2017.

National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care: results for 2017.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations aged 50 and over

In 2014–15 there were an estimated 13,800 surviving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 and over who had been removed from their families and communities as a result of past government policies.

This group of people, referred to in this report as the ‘Stolen Generations aged 50 and over’, represent around 14%—or 1 in 7—of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 and over (estimated in 2014–15), and two-thirds of the total 20,900 estimated population of all survivors of the Stolen Generations.

This report focuses on the characteristics of, and outcomes for, the Stolen Generations aged 50 and over, given their expected special needs for health, disability and housing services.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations aged 50 and over

Mesothelioma in Australia 2017 [AIHW]

Mesothelioma in Australia 2017 presents the latest available information on the incidence of mesothelioma in Australia, along with mortality and information on previous asbestos exposure, using data from the Australian Mesothelioma Registry (AMR), the National Mortality Database (NMD) and the Australian Cancer Database (ACD). On average, two people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in Australia each day.

Two new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed every day in Australia, with one of the poorest survival rate of any cancer (Media release)

Medical Specialist Access Framework – a guide to equitable access to Specialist Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has developed the Medical Specialist Access Framework – a guide to equitable access to Specialist Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people' (the Framework). The Framework is the RACP's principal contribution to Strategy 1B of the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

The Framework was developed by the RACP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee. It aims to increase access by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People across Australia to medical specialists. The Framework consist of principles, enablers of specialist access, tools and resources, as well as case studies showcasing successful models that are enabling greater access by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to medical specialists. The RACP welcomes the opportunity to discuss this further with interested stakeholders.

The Framework and associated documents can be found online at:

Additional rural and urban case studies at :

Defining the Indefinable: Descriptors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Cultures and their Links to Health and Wellbeing

This report was funded by the Lowitja Institute and is part of the development of Mayi Kuwayu: The National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing; a national longitudinal study exploring the relationship between Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander wellbeing and culture. This review was conducted to explore what cultural factors are important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and gain an understanding of how these factors relate to health and wellbeing.

We examined the Australian literature as well as publications from countries that have experienced similar colonisation events; primarily Aotearoa (New Zealand), Canada and the United States. Our main findings from this synthesis determined 6 main domains used to describe culture for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These domains were: Connection to Country; Cultural Beliefs and Knowledge; Language; Family, Kinship and Community; Expression and Cultural Continuity; and Self-determination and Leadership.

Defining the Indefinable: Descriptors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' Cultures and their Links to Health and Wellbeing

Chronic conditions and disability 2015 [AIHW]

Chronic conditions and disability 2015

This report explores the association between 8 selected chronic conditions and disability in Australia: coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and related disorders, back pain and problems, osteoporosis, asthma and emphysema. These conditions are generally long term and persistent, and can lead to gradual deterioration of health, and disability. This report examines disability prevalence and severity; and the types of impairments, limitations and restrictions experienced by those with the selected conditions.

Australian Loneliness Report (Australian Psychological Society)

Loneliness is a growing concern globally, because of its reported impact on health and wellbeing.

The Australian Psychological Society and Swinburne University have produced the Australian Loneliness Report, based on a national survey of adults. This examines the prevalence of loneliness and how it affects the physical and mental health of Australians. It is the most comprehensive study of loneliness completed in Australia.

Survey highlights:

• One in four Australian adults are lonely.

• One in two (50.5%) Australians feel lonely for at least one day in a week, while one in four (27.6%) feel lonely for three or more days.

#8226; One in four Australians experience high levels of social interaction anxiety

• Lonely Australians have significantly worse health status (both physical and mental) than connected Australians.

• Lonely Australians are 15.2% more likely to be depressed and 13.1% more likely to be anxious about social interactions than those not lonely.

• Australians over 65 years are least lonely; other age groups experience similar levels of loneliness.

• Australians over 65 years also report better physical and mental health, lower levels of social interaction anxiety, fewer depression symptoms and greater social interaction than younger Australians.

• Younger adults report significantly more social interaction anxiety than older Australians.

Opioid harm in Australia: and comparisons between Australia and Canada [AIHW]

Opioid use and its associated harms is an issue of great public health interest, both within Australia and internationally. This report shows that opioid harms are an issue in both Australia and Canada. Rates of opioid deaths and opioid poisoning hospitalisations in Australia increased in the last 10 years. In 2016, pharmaceutical opioids were involved in more opioid deaths and opioid poisoning hospitalisations than heroin.

Opioid harm in Australia: and comparisons between Australia and Canada

Media release: Report sheds new light on opioid harm in Australia and draws global comparisons.

Nutrition across the life stages [AIHW]

The purpose of this report is to investigate the adequacy of the Australian diet across various life stages to help inform the evidence-base in relation to nutrition-related health determinants for chronic conditions. It brings together the latest available data from a variety of sources, including some previously published results, and also includes new analysis, such as reporting by socioeconomic status and remoteness.

Media release: New report looks at Australians’ diets across different stages of life—and the results aren’t good

Nutrition across the life stages.

Children's Headline Indicators [AIHW]

The Children's Headline Indicators CHI) are a set of 19 indicators endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers' Conference, Community and Disability Services Ministers' Conference and the Australian Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs Senior Officials Committee in 2008 (first reported in 2009).

They are high level, measureable indicators that identify the immediate environments as particularly important to children’s health, development and wellbeing. The CHI are presented from 2006 to 2016 and are grouped into 3 broad topic areas—Health, Early learning and care and Family and community.

NSW drought: Lifeline's toolkit for drought-affected farmers

The impacts of the drought go far beyond just stock, feed and dry paddocks and Lifeline chief executive officer Stephanie Robinson says a holistic toolkit is needed to help people cope.Currently, all of NSW has been declared in drought and with no significant rain in sight many farmers are doing it tough on the land and in the surrounding communities.

Download the Drought Tool- Kit.