New resource – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and injury

Know Injury has recently released a new resource regarding the incidence of injury among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The resource outlines a number of statistics including that in WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are hospitalised due to injury 2.5 times more than non-Aboriginal people, with 10,165 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples hospitalised due to injury from July 2013 to June 2015.

Click here to access the new resource.

2018-2019 Federal Budget – Injury

The 2018-19 Federal Budget was released on 8 May 2018, which revealed a $12.4 billion increase in the Health Budget, to $99.1 billion for health, aged care and sport.

Key injury prevention funding allocations outlined in the Budget include an:

  • Increase in mental health funding by $338.1 million to focus on suicide prevention, research, older Australians and advancing the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
  • $1.0 million of funding to reduce the number of preventable childhood injuries through the SeeMore Safety Program.
  • $0.9 million allocation to develop a new National Injury Prevention Strategy aimed at reducing childhood injuries by investing in infant and maternal health.
  • Support for Surf Life Saving Australia, Royal Life Saving Australia, AUSTSWIM and Laurie Lawrence Swimming Enterprises to deliver the Water and Snow Safety Program.

Other injury prevention related activities include investments regarding; aged care, improving access to health care facilities, Indigenous health services, alcohol and drug abuse and activities encouraging physical activity.

For the full 2018/19 Federal Budget click here.

National Road Safety Week 2018 comes to a close

Perth was chosen to be this year’s host city for the 2018 National Road Safety Week, which began five years ago and is an initiative of Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) founder and president Peter Frazer.

Peter lost his daughter Sarah in an horrific road crash in 2012 just as she was on her way to begin her university studies at a neighbouring university and to start a new chapter in her life at the age of 23.

Sarah had experienced car trouble on the way to her first day of university and had been forced to pull over to the emergency lane and to call and wait for a tow truck to provide assistance. Sadly both Sarah and the tow truck driver were killed instantly when a truck, which failed to see and avoid them, ploughed into them both killing them instantly.

Peter later discovered that the emergency lane on that stretch of road did not meet national safety guidelines and has become a tireless campaigner for road safety, marking the start of a journey neither he nor his wife had ever wanted to take.

The campaign launch was held at Perth’s newly opened Yagan Square on Sunday April 29 and was officially marked by WA Road Safety Minister Hon. Michelle Roberts and acting Road Safety Commissioner Iain Cameron, leading road safety figures from across WA, community members and the Road Trauma Support WA team.

The week highlighted the safety needs of different road users and groups throughout the week, focusing on first responders, roadside assistance workers, vulnerable road users, those on regional roads as well as cyclists and motorcyclists.

It also incorporated a research forum which brought together those involved in enforcement, legislation, protection, research and support, looking at the latest trends and evidence around road safety and mapping out ways to work together moving forward.

Although the profile and impact of National Road Safety Week continues to grow each year and to resonate with communities across Australia, the reality is that despite education, advocacy, legislation and enforcement, the number of those killed and injured on our roads continues to grow. And with that the number of families and community members who are left devastated in its wake.

Governments across the world continue to call for tougher penalties for those who break the law on our roads, and although the vast majority abide by those laws, there are still those who don’t – putting themselves and others at risk.

Road Safety experts also referred to those who aren’t drinking and driving, who aren’t speeding and who are routinely wearing their seatbelts, but who make momentary mistakes that will impact them and those around them for the rest of their lives.

The Road Trauma Support WA team would like to thank Peter Frazer and the SARAH group for all of their hard work, the WA Road Safety Commission team who coordinated the event nationally from Perth, WA Road Safety Minister Hon. Michelle Roberts and all those across Australia who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the events of the past week happen.

As we reflect on the events of the past week, which have successfully put road safety in the national spotlight, lets pause to remember all of those who are struggling in the wake of road trauma.

If you, a friend, family member or colleague has been impacted by road trauma would like further information or support it is available at www.rtswa.org.au

Closing the Gap 2018

Last week, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull presented the annual Closing the Gap report. This marks 10 years that the framework has been in place and shows how the nation and individual states are progressing against seven targets. The latest data indicates that three of the seven targets are on track to be met. In Western Australia the targets of early childhood education and year 12 or equivalent attainment are on track.

National progress against targets:

  • Halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade (by 2018) – On Track.
  • 95 per cent of all Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education (by 2025) – On Track.
  • Close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous school attendance within five years (by 2018) – Not On Track.
  • Halve the gap for Indigenous children in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade (by 2018) – Not on Track.
  • Halve the gap for Indigenous Australians aged 20-24 in Year 12 attainment or equivalent attainment rates (by 2020) – On Track.
  • Halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade (by 2018) – Not on Track.
  • Close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation (by 2031) – Not on Track.

Improving the social determinants of health, such as education and employment will empower communities and improve injury outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. So progress across all targets is critical for improving the incidence and impact of injury among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  communities. Of particular interest to readers though may be the domain of health.

  • Between the periods 2005-2007 and 2010-2012, there was a small reduction in the life expectancy gap of 0.8 years for males and 0.1 years for females.
  • Over the longer term, Indigenous mortality rates have declined significantly by 14 per cent since 1998. However, there has been no improvement since the 2006 baseline and the target is not on track to be met.

To read the full Closing the Gap report click here. To learn more about the social determinants of injury visit Know Injury.

 

Gaining a little more understanding of one of the world’s oldest cultures

The Injury Matters team headed to Kings Park earlier this month for a specially designed Cultural Awareness presentation by WA-based organisation Aboriginal Awareness Production and Events.

The organisation is led by respected Aboriginal elder, Dr Richard Walley OAM and his family, and promotes an understanding of Aboriginal culture and how its heritage, beliefs and traditions can be applied to enhance personal and organisational growth.

As an organisation which interacts with health professionals and different sectors of the community – both in metropolitan and regional WA – to promote injury prevention programs and activities, we place significant importance on understanding and embracing Aboriginal culture in the work we do.

We are currently in the final stages of completing our first ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which has very much been a learning journey for all of the staff who have been involved in pulling it together, and our session with AAP&E was an important part of that process.

Although some staff have participated in cultural awareness programs in the past, for many it was very much an opportunity to find out more about Aboriginal culture, its heritage and traditions and to gain a deeper understanding of some of the practices and traditions we may have heard about but not necessarily understood the meaning behind.

The morning’s session was conducted by Richard’s four children – John, Olman, Alton and Rickeeta all of whom are an integral part of the AAP&E team – each of whom brought a different perspective and dimension to the morning’s activities.

It was very much an interactive process with plenty of opportunity for our staff to ask questions and engage in debate and discussion and for all of those present to be given an opportunity to ask questions, voice their opinions and engage in an open and non-judgemental session.

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the morning was our fascinating guided tour through Kings Park – including a stroll across the treetop walk – while Olman identified the different flora and fauna that has been an integral part of Aboriginal culture for tens of thousands of years.

“It was a real revelation to see Kings Park through the stories of the ancestors of our guides, to listen to some of Perth’s history from an Aboriginal perspective and to learn the many different ways Aboriginal people utilise the natural environment as part of their daily diet, health care and shelter,” said one team member.

“We now know what to do if we are caught in the bush without a band aid, rope or toilet paper!”

Thanks to all of the team at Aboriginal Awareness Productions and Events for a wonderful morning and we highly recommend it to any organisation wanting a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture and heritage or who may be contemplating undertaking their own Reconciliation Action Plan journey.

Injury Matters Sustainable Health Review Submission

In June 2017, the Government of Western Australia announced the Sustainable Health Review to prioritise the delivery of patient-centred, high quality and financially sustainable healthcare across the State.

The review involved consultation with a variety of stakeholders including patients and carers, clinicians, community members, non-government organisations, peak bodies and private industry.

Injury Matters submission focused on the significant impact of injury on the health system in Western Australia, affirming the importance of investment in injury prevention and proposing recommendations in the areas of patient first systems, value for money, partnerships, healthy lifestyles and technology and innovation.

To view Injury Matters Sustainable Health Review submission click here.

Injury prevention programs showcased at awards ceremony

The 2017 Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Awards have been announced with this year’s winners delivering programs that have helped prevent and raise awareness of injury prevention in WA.

The awards ceremony was held yesterday at the Parmelia Hilton in Perth.
This year’s winners were the Royal Life Saving Society WA, Curtin University School of Public Health, City of Bunbury and Shire of Dardanup in partnership with South West and Peel Local Governments, Northam Roadwise Committee and the School Drug Education Road Aware (SDERA).

The Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools Program (RASP) managed by the Royal Life Saving Society WA, won their award for their program to reduce drowning and aquatic injury and other health related issues in Aboriginal communities.

Curtin University’s entry, a new study conducted by the School of Public Health estimates the incidence and cost of injury in Western Australia and will inform government and non-government programs, policies and services in the future.

The M8 the call can W8 campaign by the City of Bunbury and the Shire of Dardanup developed in 2014 aimed to educate and remind drivers that the use of mobile phones while driving was a major distraction.

The Northam Roadwise Committee developed an Easter campaign in response to the high rates of hospitalisation and deaths from road trauma in the Wheatbelt.

Working with over 120 schools across WA, SDERA’s Changing Health Acting Together (CHAT) provided education and intervention resources that aim to reduce harm from drug use and road-related injuries in young people.

Highly commended nominations were presented to Holyoake, Kidsafe WA, the Public Transport Authority and Royal Perth Hospital.

Injury Matters CEO Sandy Lukjanowski said the acknowledgement of these programs showcased the amazing work being performed by both large organisations and small community outreach groups.

“This year’s awards has attracted a high calibre of nominations, showing us the diverse range of injury prevention work taking place in the state,” she said.

“With the total cost of injury events costing our national economy nearly $10 billion a year, these programs and initiatives are highlighting a much needed area in WA health.”

The biennial awards ceremony, hosted by Injury Matters, started in 2002 to celebrate injury prevention and safety promotion in WA and recognise the action and excellence of those working to prevent injury and promote safety in Western Australia.