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Centre for Remote Health
In April, Professor Tim Carey, Director, Centre for Remote Health, attended a round table meeting organised my Melissa Sweet from Croakey. Melissa’s recently completed PhD, supervised by Professor Pat Dudgeon was an investigation of the medical incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

In particular, Melissa’s research focussed on the sites of Fantome Island near Palm Island in QLD which had both a Lock Hospital and a Leprosarium, and the Lock Hospitals on Bernier and Dorre Islands via Carnarvon in WA.

At the meeting, Joe Eggmolesse told his story of being sent to the Leprosarium on Fantome Island when he was 7 years old. He was living with his family in Nambour until then. He stayed at the hospital until he was 17 or 18 years old.

Another woman told the story of her mother and her aunty who were taken away when they were children and held on Fantome Island. Their mother (this woman’s grandmother) could get a permit once a year to leave the station where she was working near Hughenden to travel to the island to wave to her daughters.

Professor Carey was invited to the roundtable due to his role in developing and delivering an apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians from the Australian Psychological Society. The roundtable was an amazing meeting and a privilege to be in the company of people such as Professor Pat Dudgeon, Richard Weston (the Healing Foundation), Janine Mohammed Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM), Donna Murray (IAHA), and Karl Briscoe (NATSIHWA), along with elders and community members from Carnarvon and Fantome Island.

A number of recommendations were discussed at the end of the roundtable meeting and the most effective ways of progressing these recommendations.
Professor Tim Carey, Director, Centre for Remote HealthIn March, Centre for Remote Health Director, Professor Tim Carey was Guest Speaker at the National Empowerment Project (NEP) workshop. Established in 2012, the NEP is a nationally funded project to improve the cultural, social, and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The workshop was conducted in 11 different sites around Australia and used a participatory action research model to monitor and improve the project work as it was being conducted as well as community empowerment activities.

Some of the sites will continue their work with funding from the Primary Health Networks in the jurisdictions within which they are located and other sites are investigating other funding potentials.

An important feature of the project was a focus on principles rather than practices and a recognition that the programs would necessarily be different in different communities even though the important principles would be applied consistently.

Despite the success of the participatory action research approach, Professor Carey was invited to address the people involved in the project to discuss other research and evaluation options so that they could think creatively and flexibly about different ways of assessing the effectiveness of their strategies.

The NEP has been an important initiative in enhancing the cultural, social, and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and it’s exciting for Flinders NT to be contributing to this pioneering work.
In March, for the first time, a national committee of psychologists chose to meet outside its Melbourne base, with Alice Springs being the chosen location. 
 
The Centre for Remote Health was pleased to host the National Committee of the Clinical College of the Australian Psychological Society, providing a first visit to Alice Springs for many of the 20-member committee.

The productive two-day meeting included discussions on many topics facing the profession of psychology with a particular emphasis on the issues relevant to clinical psychology. A suggestion of establishing a placement pipeline for Masters and Doctoral Clinical Psychology students was enthusiastically endorsed.

On Sunday, the Centre for Remote Health’s Kath Martin, presented a session on cultural considerations in delivering effective health care. Committee members found this session particularly helpful, and included ideas that would be incorporated into their clinical practice for more effective communication with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

A visit to nearby Jessie, Emily and Simpsons Gaps, significant cultural sites for Arrernte people and part of the beautiful Central Australian landscape, was also included.
Professor Tim Carey, Director Centre for Remote HealthClinical Psychologist and Director of the Centre for Remote Health, Professor Tim Carey will spend 4 month’s studying in the United States after being awarded the 2017-18 Fulbright Northern Territory Senior Scholarship.

The Fulbright Scholarship was motivated by Professor Carey’s discovery of the lack of routine evaluation that occurs by health professionals and other service providers in remote communities. “By embedding regular and ongoing monitoring and evaluation there will be the opportunity to ensure that programs in remote communities are driven by community identified priorities and are producing tangible and important benefits for the residents of those communities.”

Professor Carey will spend time learning from his colleagues at the Center for Behavioral Health Innovation (BHI), at Antioch University in New Hampshire and, together with his own expertise will develop a framework of training and mentoring that will be provided to remote communities in Australia.

The Fulbright Program was established by Senator J William Fulbright and is the United States’ flagship foreign exchange program aimed at promoting mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchange.
Lucille Clements, Poche Centre NT, Kath Martin, Jenny Longland and Annie Farthing, Centre for Remote Health at the Close the Gap Day in Alice SpringsFlinders NT including the Centre for Remote Health and Poche Centre NT were well represented at the National Close the Gap Day in Alice Springs on March 16th.

Many organisations gathered to show their support, spread the word, and explain their role in ‘closing the health and life expectancy gap’ between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians. 

The Flinders NT booth had a steady stream of visitors providing great opportunities for networking, community engagement and raising the profile of Flinders in the Northern Territory.
Heather Jensen assessing a client using the Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (KICA) toolDementia is three to five times more prevalent in Indigenous Australians than in non-Indigenous Australians and is acknowledged to be a significant issue for those in remote communities.
 
A two day workshop Recognising and Responding to Dementia in Indigenous Communities designed for primary health care and related workers who work in remote and Indigenous communities, will be held at the Centre for Remote Health in Alice Springs on April 5 - 6th 2017.
 
In this inter-professional workshop, facilitated by Allied Health academics, Annie Farthing and Heather Jensen, participants will develop a clear understanding of dementia and develop other skills and strategies to assess people including the Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (KICA) tool.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more details.
Associate Professor Sue LenthallAssociate Professor Sue Lenthall, the current academic leader at the Centre for Remote Health, has accepted the position of Director, Flinders NT Katherine Campus, commencing on March 6, 2017.

Sue was the first employee of the Centre for Remote Health (CRH) in 1999 and the inaugural course coordinator of the Remote Health Practice Program.

Sue's extensive experience in medical education, clinical practice and research will be missed at CRH and a tremendous asset to Flinders NT, Katherine.
Flinders NT are delighted to welcome 3 new Student Placement Support Officers, who are here to support Allied Health and Nursing student placements Territory Wide.

Covering the Top end is Heather Kirk.  Heather has significant experience within health and education, having worked previously with the Department of Health and the Centre for Remote Health in Alice Springs as a Student Support Officer.   Heather has a great working knowledge of the NT, having worked in Alice Springs, Yuendumu and Katherine.  She is looking forward to working with the students and supporting their placements.

In Alice Springs, Sheree Zadow has recently returned to employment at the Centre for Remote Health after an absence of over 12 months. In the interim Sheree lived in a remote community west of Alice Springs where she managed two Commonwealth Government contracts - the Remote School Attendance Strategy Program (RSAS) and the School Nutrition Program (SNP).
Having lived in central Australia for over 40 years, Sheree’s employment background has predominantly been in Indigenous education working in a variety of roles. These roles include: literacy tutoring, remote campus delivery, a rural skills and petrol sniffer preventative program oversight, project coordination, sports carnivals, professional development, marketing and promotion activities.
Sheree is enjoying settling into her position as Student Placement Support Officer in Alice Springs.

In Tennant Creek, Pene Curtis has recently commenced.  Pene grew up in Darwin and has lived in Katherine and Jabiru before moving to Tennant Creek in 1988 which is her husband’s, David, home town. She is a mother of 4 adult children and 10 grandchildren.
Her background in work is Community Development and Education, working throughout the Barkly Region in remote communities.
Outside of work she enjoys camping, travelling, walking, swimming and knitting beanies She is also involved in the Rotary EClub of Outback Australia and CWA Tenant Creek.

Professor Tim CareyDespite how rewarding and fulfilling their work can be, remote health professionals often work in geographical, professional, and social isolation as well as in cross-cultural contexts. Stress and burnout can be serious problems that impact on the recruitment and retention of a stable, competent and confident workforce.

The Centre for Remote Health’s short course Looking after #1: Resilient Self-Care for Remote Health Professionals addresses unique challenges faced by RHPs working in remote settings. The half day workshop, developed and facilitated by clinical psychologist, Professor Tim Carey provides participants with opportunities to learn about and develop a plan for robust and sustainable self-care.

What participants say about this workshop
Very relevant, interactive and thought provoking
Delivered in an interesting and instructive way
Made me feel motivated to have better self-care

Find out more about this course
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Flinders-Student-and-PreceptorStudents on placements in the NT and their supervisors are receiving increased support from Flinders NT through an expansion in Commonwealth funding. The aim of this workforce support is to enable an increase in rural and remote placements in the Northern Territory. Research has shown that positive placement experiences increase the likelihood of later recruitment to remote and rural areas. Key to the experience for students is quality supervision and preceptorship, as well as safe and affordable accommodation and good lines of communication.
 
The support includes managing logistics for students, universities, and supervisors to ensure excellent experiences; supervisor training and support; subsidised accommodation, use of Flinders computer facilities, study and socialising spaces, cultural awareness training and orientation activities. In addition, allied health and nursing students enrolled in Flinders and CDU programs are eligible for a stipend to assist with placement expenses.

New innovations in Central Australia at the Centre for Remote Health in Alice Springs include student networking sessions and the development of new nursing placement opportunities in Tennant Creek. Activity in the Top End, including Katherine and Nhulunbuy includes consultations and discussions with key stakeholders including CDU, Top End Health Service, the Department of Health and supervisors of existing student placements.
 
The Flinders NT Student Placement Team

Top End  
Dr Narelle Campbell Assoc Prof, Academic lead, Community and Social Accountability
Heather Kirk Student Support Officer, Darwin
Amanda Read Student Support Officer, Katherine
Gemma Porteous Student Support Officer, Nhulunbuy
Top End Enquiries This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Central Australia  
Annie Farthing Lecturer in Remote Allied Health
Jessie Anderson Nursing Lecturer
Sheree Zadow Student Support Officer, Alice Springs
Pene Curtis Student Support Officer, Tennant Creek
Central Australia Enquiries This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   
  Find out more about student placements in Central Australia
  

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