On the 27th and 28th of August, the Public Health Team attended the Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Network 2019 Conference in Kirribilli. The conference aimed to improve the experience and delivery of healthcare for Aboriginal people with chronic conditions in NSW. Themed “Power in Partnerships”, the conference posed the question: How do we work in partnership with Aboriginal organisations and agencies to better the health of Aboriginal people, families and communities?
Dr Kate Armstrong from AH&MRC was part of the opening discussion on partnerships which also included Ashley Brown, Principal Advisor, Partnerships and Strategy from Centre for Aboriginal Health, Dr Jean-Frederic Levesque, Chief Executive from Agency for Clinical Innovation and Andrew Harvey, Chief Executive Officer from Western NSW Primary Health Network. The AH&MRC team had a stall where we provided My Health Record booklets, strength cards and other resources.
Discussions on intergenerational trauma and institutional racism, which had a profound and powerful effect on many attendees, were led by Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson and Dr Chris Bourke. Janine Mohammed spoke about white privilege and how we can dismantle colonist power structures.
Innovative health projects at the conference included improving chronic pain care for children, a program to send paramedics to communities to educate Aboriginal people on diabetes and improving chronic kidney disease through recognising the nuances of the patient/medic relationship. Another new program aims to leverage the intersections between health and the justice system, providing case studies of how the partnerships have assisted local Aboriginal people to find housing and contest illegitimate fines.