IAHA December 2014 Newsletter

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Message From the Chair – Faye McMillan


Welcome to the final IAHA Communique for 2014.

After a whirlwind couple of weeks, with the IAHA 2014 National Forum and IAHA 2014 Annual General Meeting held in Canberra last week, we are certainly ending the year with a bang!

Following the recent election at the IAHA 2014 AGM, I am pleased to welcome Trevor Ritchie and Steve Stanton to the Board of Directors, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise to their new leadership roles. I am also grateful to my fellow Board Directors to have been re-elected for another term as Chairperson of the IAHA Board of Directors.

This year has seen a strengthening of IAHA’s position as the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health peak body, with significant increases in membership and increased involvement with stakeholders at a national level.

We look forward to continuing to work with our members, partners and stakeholders in 2015 to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Faye McMillan
IAHA Chairperson

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2014 IAHA National Forum

IAHA Continues to provide national networking opportunities for members and stakeholders through IAHA events such as the recent IAHA National Forum held in Canberra from 23-26 November 2014. The theme for 2014 was ‘Valuing Diversity in Allied Health’ within the context of improving the health and wellbeing and access to services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We had over 100 registrations over the four days from members and many stakeholders such as university representatives, professional associations, partner Indigenous organisations and state and territory government representatives.

IAHA 2014 HealthFusion Team Challenge

IAHA 2014 HealthFusion Team Challenge
The IAHA 2014 HealthFusion Team Challenge (HFTC), sponsored by ACT Government and the only Indigenous-specific HFTC in the country, was a huge success again with 25 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students representing 13 allied health disciplines from 10 universities across NT, NSW, WA, QLD, VIC, SA and ACT participating.

Congratulations to Team G-Mack and well done to runners – up The Avengers. Honourable mentions go to the other three incredible teams: Stabilo Bosses, Black Pink Power Rangers and 5 Nations.

Click here for more information and to see photos of the teams in action.

Professional Development Workshops

Professional Development Workshops
Eight thought provoking professional development workshops were held as part of the IAHA 2014 National Forum including Emotional Intelligence in Leadership; Diversity Mentoring; Embedding an Holistic Approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing; Indigenous Research and Practice; Critical Thinking for Success; Media Skills and Awareness; A Strength Based Approach to Racism; and Cultural Responsiveness in Action. Workshops were extremely well attended and preliminary analysis of evaluation forms shows that the overwhelming majority (over 96% across all 8 workshops) of participants found them beneficial to both their professional and personal development.

IAHA 2014 National Indigenous Allied Health Awards

IAHA 2014 National Indigenous Allied Health Awards
Hosted by the hilarious Sean Choolburra and attended by Minister Nash, Dr Tom Calma, Mick Gooda, IAHA members and other special guests, the second annual IAHA National Indigenous Allied Health Awards were held at a gala dinner at the 2014 IAHA National Forum held last week at the Hyatt Hotel, Canberra.
Six awards were presented to six IAHA members who have shown outstanding contributions to their community, university, studies and/or workplaces. A big congratulation to all our incredible winners:

  • Student Academic Achievement of the Year – Nathan Canuto, third year student studying Bachelor of Behavioral Science (psychology) at Charles Darwin University
  • Future Leader Award – Stevie Raymond, a recent graduate in Dietetics at the University of Wollongong
  • Commitment to Indigenous Health Award – John Egan, an Aboriginal Health Worker and Social and Emotional Unit Manager at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Science for his long term commitment to Indigenous health and his community
  • Allied Health Inspiration Award – Danielle Dries, a Physiotherapist and medical student from the ACT for her outstanding advocacy and leadership in health
  • Indigenous Allied Health Professional of the Year – Rani Lawler, a Podiatrist from Melbourne who has shown leadership within her profession and outstanding commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • IAHA Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr Tom Calma for his long and influential career in Indigenous health, education and social justice as a social worker.

For more information and photos, please click here.

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Farewell Kylie Stothers

Kylie StothersIt was with great sadness that we farewelled former IAHA Deputy Chairperson Kylie Stothers from the IAHA Board of Directors at our recent AGM, although she remains a strong and committed member. Kylie has been with IAHA since its inception in 2009 when it comprised a small but committed network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health professionals. She has been a member and then Board Director from 2010 to 2014, playing an integral role as it flourished into the company it is today with over 600 members. Kylie’s wisdom, strength and passion will be greatly missed but we wish her well as she enjoys more time with her precious family.

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IAHA 2014 Annual General Meeting

Over 40 members attended the IAHA 2014 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Members’ Forum held in Canberra on Thursday 27 November 2014.

Elections were held at the AGM to fill the five Board Director positions (four Graduate and one Student) that were open and the IAHA Board now comprises Chairperson – Ms Faye McMillan; Deputy Chairperson – Ms Rebecca Allnutt; Graduate Directors – Ms Kelleigh Ryan, Mr Thomas Brideson, Ms Jane Havelka, Ms Nicole Turner, Mr Trevor Ritchie, Mr Steven Stanton; Student Director – Di Bakon.

Congratulations to Faye, Jane and Di for being re-elected and to new Board Directors Trevor Ritchie and Steve Stanton. Rebecca, Tom, Kelleigh and Nicole continue their terms until the 2015 AGM.

Please click here to read more about our Board Directors.

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IAHA 2014 Members’ Forum

The IAHA 2014 Members’ Forum provided members with an opportunity to have input into the strategic and operational priorities for IAHA over the coming year. Robust discussions were held about IAHA Strategic Direction; what it means to be a member of IAHA; roles, responsibilities and expectations of IAHA membership; and IAHA policy priorities for 2015. Discussions were solutions focussed and strengths based and we look forward to working collaboratively with members in 2015.

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IAHA 2013-14 Annual Report

For a comprehensive wrap up of 2013/14, please click here to access the 2014 IAHA Annual Report.

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Human Rights Day – 10 December 2014

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

2014 Theme: Human Rights 365
This year’s slogan, Human Rights 365, encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day. It celebrates the fundamental proposition in the Universal Declaration that each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights, that human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values.

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AnchorConstitutional Recognition

As a supporter of constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, we believe that a clear process and timeframe should be set out by the government as a matter of urgency. We encourage you to sign the petition of Close the Gap Campaign, partner ANTaR here.

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Released – Important Publications

Social Justice and Native Title Report 2014

The Report examines the enjoyment and exercise of human rights by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014.

The Report provides an overview of the year with respect to Social Justice and Native Title issues. It reports on discussions arising in the context of s18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), which protects against racial vilification, or ‘racial hatred’, as it is more commonly referred to, and the need to balance the rights of people to be free from racial discrimination with their rights to freedom of speech.

The Report outlines developments in justice reinvestment in Australia, including ground breaking community initiatives in Bourke and Cowra. It also looks at the challenges for implementing justice reinvestment based on the Australian context and international experience.

The Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda, included a chapter on ‘Nation building’. In his view, Nation building that is guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) will lead to the realisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, stronger communities and more meaningful engagement. He also reflects on a series of Declaration dialogues that have been held by the Australian Human Rights Commission and the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country over the past year.

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2014

This report provides information about outcomes across a range of strategic areas such as early child development, education and training, healthy lives, economic participation, home environment, and safe and supportive communities. The report examines whether policies and programs are achieving positive outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

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Upcoming Events

Human Rights Day, 10 December, 2014 – Click here to read more… 

IAHA Office Closure, 24 December 2014 – 2 January 2015 

Prime Minister delivers Close The Gap Report to Parliament, 11 February 2015 

IAHA Indigenous Leadership Workshop: 17-19 February, 2015 

SAVE THE DATE: IAHA 2015 National Conference in Cairns: 30 Nov – 5 Dec, 2015

We are excited to confirm the dates of our 2015 National Conference. Stay tuned for more details, and make sure you SAVE THE DATE!