The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008

The latest survey of the health of Australia's Indigenous population has been released today by ABS. Subjects covered include demography, education, housing, disability, health status and risk factors, mortality and use of health and community services.

The challenge of 'closing the gaps' in Indigenous socioeconomic outcomes

This briefing paper, prepared by Jon Altman, Nicholas Biddle and Boyd Hunter of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research for the Australia 2020 Summit, examines trends and predictions for key Indigenous socioeconomic indicators using census data from 1971 to 2006, and projects current trends forward to 2041.

Country matters: social atlas of rural and regional Australia 2008 : Bureau of Rural Sciences

This report, the third in a five-yearly series, describes the pattern of social and economic change throughout rural and regional Australia, particularly associated with the prolonged drought that has occurred in Australia over much of the past decade. The 2008 Atlas is based on recently released Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 Population Census data.

Effective regional, rural and remote family and relationships service delivery

Louise Roufeil and Kristine Battye / Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse. This paper briefly reviews recent demographic, social and economic trends in rural, regional and remote Australia in order to provide the contextual background to service delivery in the region. A number of enablers and limiting factors for effective rural service delivery are outlined. These factors are based on a review of the limited evidence base on family and relationships service delivery and the broader literature on service delivery to rural settings. Considerable emphasis is given to workforce issues as a way of addressing service sustainability.

Population characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 (ABS)

This report presents information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians based on information from the 2006 Census. Topics covered include: the demographic and geographic distribution of the population and its growth in recent years; living arrangements; language, religion and disability; education and IT use; work; income; and housing and transport. Also includes information on how to interpret census data on Indigenous peoples.

National Mental Health Standards

National mental health standards would give us peace of mind

National Mental Health Report 2007

Improving mental health services
The Australian Government has announced funding to improve the mental
health workforce, by providing training to around 24,000 mental health
professionals and encouraging mental health nurses to stay in the
workforce. The announcement followed the Government’s release of the
National Mental Health Report 2007, which underlined the need to do more
in mental health.
To view the full media release, click on the link below:

To view the "National mental Health Report, 2007" click on the following link :

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing (Auseinet mental health resource)

Auseinet's new resource 'Mental health promotion and illness prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people' is now available, free to download, at
Also available is a new "Mental health in schools" package

Community Capacity Building - A Review of the Literature

Fiona Verity, Senior Lecturer, School of Social Administration and Social Work at Flinders University was commissioned by the South Australian Government to prepare a report, which both captured the capacity of communities to shape, lead and contribute to their own well being and provided a critical overview of the conceptual thinking informing community capacity building with exploration of the implications for practice.

This report has been written primarily for people working with communities, from the health and community sectors and non government organisations. However it will also be of interest to students, academics, teachers and other professional staff who would like to learn more about the conceptual thinking informing community capacity building.

Auseinetter : mental health promotion,illness prevention and early intervention

The latest edition of the Auseinetter is now available online and contains the following feature articles:

- Tackling Tough Times: Drought mental health initiative
- 'Challenging the Unchallengeable': The role of peers within the mental health workforce
- headspace: National Youth Mental Health Foundation
- So what is Positive Psychology?
- Mental Health Promotion and Illness Prevention - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This issue also contains information about the 'Great Idea Planning Tool' developed by Hunter New England Health, as well as news about conferences, research and events.

Australian Immunisation Handbook - 9th Edition 2008 (NHMRC)

The 9th edition of the Australian Immunisation Handbook was launched on 8 April. The latest information on immunisation and vaccination.

The costs of tobacco, alcohol & illicit drug abuse to Australian society in 2004/5 (Report)

The social costs of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug abuse to Australian society have risen to $56.1 billion in 2004-05, according to a report commissioned by the Australian Government.

Further information: Copies of the full report (127 pages) and a summary document (20 pages) can be found at:

To view the full media release, click on the link below:

IRCST Rural Researcher Capacity Building Program. Call for Applications.

The NSW Institute of Rural Clinical Services and Teaching invites staff from rural locations (employed by Area Health Services in NSW, Justice Health or NSW Ambulance) to apply to be part of the Rural Research Capacity Building Program in 2008.

Candidates will be awarded a place in the program based on their readiness to undertake a research project, the relevance of the research to advancing rural health, and support from their health service. A maximum of 30 candidates will be considered in the 2008 intake. This Program is for experienced health workers who have not undertaken research before but want to research something important to the community or health service.

The Program aims to increase the number of rural and remote health workers with knowledge and skills in evaluation and research methods. It also aims to contribute to the literature on both innovation and evidence-based practice around rural and remote health care.

For information about the 2008 intake and how to apply check out the website on and follow the links to the Rural Research Capacity Building Program. The closing date will be June 27, 2008.

The impact of home maintenance and modification services on health, community care and housing outcomes in later life

Andrew Jones, Desleigh de Jonge and Rhonda Phillips / Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Positioning Paper.

The aim of this research project is to provide an analytical framework and research foundation for understanding the impact of home maintenance and modification (HMM) services on health, community care and housing outcomes in later life, and for developing more effective public policies relating to provision of these services. The Positioning Paper also includes a review of the Australian ageing policy context.

Diabetes: Australian facts 2008

'Diabetes: Australian facts 2008' is a concise summary of the latest data and trends relating to diabetes in Australia. It is the second report by the National Centre for Monitoring Diabetes to present available data across the spectrum of the disease: its levels in the population, the factors that contribute to it, its major complications and its impact.

Lessons learnt about strengthening Indigenous families and communities

This report by John Scougall discusses what has been learned from the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy 2000-04 about how to strengthen Indigenous families and communities. . The report provides insights into critical factors that explain the success of some projects and some of the frustrations experienced by others.

Statement of Intent : Indigenous Health Equality Summit

The full text of the Federal Government's Statement of Intent on Indigenous health, 20 March 2008

Guidance on community involvement in health decisions

The UK's NHS National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has released
' Community engagement : an assessment of community engagement and community development approaches including the collaborative methodology
and community champions ' 61 pages, downloadable for free at

This guidance aims to support health staff who have a direct or indirect role and responsibility for community engagement .

Child Mental Health

Prevention of early childhood behavioural problems

A study from Melbourne investigated whether a parenting program, offered universally in primary care, can prevent behavioural problems in children and also improve parenting and maternal mental health.

Signs of Childhood Depression May Surprise