15th World Congress on Public Health

With the theme of Voices, Vision, Action, the 15th World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne, Australia (3-7 April 2017) saw a week of influential speakers come together from around the world with addresses from government representatives and ministers, panel discussions and research presentations, just to name a few.

The congress charged the attendees with taking the next steps to promote health within their own settings and pull from previous charters, such as the Ottawa Charter on Health Promotion 1, to build upon for future directives. Guided by the underlying foundation set out by the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the plenary presenters highlighted targets to improve health, protect the planet, end poverty and ensure equality for all.

Prominent topics from the Congress included climate change, gender and racial equality, Indigenous health and social corporate responsibility. The theme of injury remained as a secondary cause of poor health and was addressed within individual streams of oral research presentations, such as drowning, road trauma, violence against women and children, falls, and communities and environments.

However, it was disappointing to see that injury prevention was not a prominent area of focus for this Congress. Injury accounts for 10% of the global burden of disease2 and is the fourth most common cause of death and hospitalisation in Western Australia3, therefore more action is needed to pull injury to the forefront. Injury prevention is inherently interconnected with the SDGs and is recognised as one of the nine Health Priority Areas by the Australian Government4 , highlighting that communities and governments should continue to work together to mitigate risks associated with  injury.

On my personal reflections on the Congress, from the sustainable development goals, to passionate speakers on climate change, to improving health within Indigenous populations, one key thought kept coming into my mind: Solidarity. As discussed by Dr Bettina Borisch from the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva, solidarity is when ‘people can unite across our differences, not allowing themselves to be divided and conquered’. As health professionals, it is natural to become siloed within our professional focus, but as we all work to create a society where people live healthy and fulfilling lives, solidarity unites us to create a network that collaborates to take action. I found Dr Borisch’s call to solidarity really resonated with me and made me reflect on our current situation and to endeavour to work better in partnerships to promote health.

With the President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations Michael Moore stating ‘now is the time to take action’, take a moment to read, reflect and support The World Federation of Public Health Associations Demand for Action – Melbourne 2017 which can be found here.

Catrina Wold
Evidence and Practice Lead


1 World Health Organization. Ottawa Charter for Public Health [Internet]. World Health Organization; 1986. Available from: http://www.who.int/healthpromotion/conferences/previous/ottawa/en/

2 Haagsma JA, Graetz N, Bolliger I, Naghavi M, Higashi H, Mullany EC, et al. The global burden of injury: incidence, mortality, disability-adjusted life years and time trends from the Global Burden of Disease study 2013. Injury Prevention. 2016 Feb;22(1):3–18.

3 Ballestas T, Xiao J, McEvoy S, Somerford P. The Epidemiology of Injury In Western Australia, 2000 – 2008. Perth: Department of Health WA; 2011.

4 Australian Institute of Health and Wellness. National Health Priority Areas [Internet]. AIHW; 2017. Available from: http://aihw.gov.au/national-health-priority-areas/

The RAP Roadshow heads to Albany

The ICCWA team, with expert guidance and assistance from Ingrid Cumming and the Code Switch team, move from Bunbury to Albany this month as part of our 2017 Reconciliation Action Plan Road Show.

We will be in Albany on Wednesday 22 March at the Albany Surf Life Saving Club and would like to hear from you!

Our RAP planning workshop will be fun, engaging and family friendly and will give you the chance to tell us how we can work with you and have a yarn and a feed at the same time!

Please view or download the attached RAP flyer and share it with your networks! We look forward to seeing you there!

Increasing choice and flexibility in home care and what it means for you

The way in which Home Care is managed in Australia has undergone significant transformation recently and it’s important that older Australians understand what this may mean to them according to ICCWA Chief Executive Sandy Lukjanowski.

Some of this change is a large departure from how Home Care has been delivered in the past, giving older Australians much more choice and flexibility to ensure they can safely remain at home and connected with community.

Consumer Directed Care (CDC) packages have been established to ensure a more individualised, person-centred approach to care.

This means that older Australians are encouraged to work with an approved care provider, to map out personal goals in areas such as independence, health and mobility.

Home Care Standards have been streamlined, which will see the bar rise in terms of the standard of services delivered by approved providers. As with any competitive marketplace this ensures better “deals” and offerings for consumers within that market.

“As with all purchases, we would encourage everyone to review the care they or a loved one is receiving to ensure it best meets the needs of the individual,” Ms Lukjanowski says.

Looking at all items, from quality of care, equipment charges, costs per hour and administration fees and charges as well as the range of services offered by the provider to ensure they meet the needs of the individual.

“The new changes mean that you now have the flexibility to move to a different provider at any stage. So it’s a good idea to compare service providers and shop around.”

You can visit www.myagedcare.gov.au, which provides a wealth of information for consumers and their families or contact them by phone on 1800 200 422.

“It’s a good idea to review and discuss your needs with your Home Care Provider as your needs change and to remember that this funding is yours to be used in the way you feel best meets your needs to maintain your independence at Home,” she says.

Treat this funding as you would money coming directly from your own bank account and ensure that you agree with the way in which all funds that are spent.

Make sure you check your monthly statement closely – this will quickly highlight to you where the bulk of your funds are being spent so you can assess if that is the best use of this money to achieve your goal of remaining at home independently.

Like the old saying goes, prevention is often better than cure! Look at incorporating some measures that are an investment in your future and will allow you to stay at home longer.

In WA in 2012 falls ranked as the most common injury accounting for 32.5% of fatal injuries and 32.5% of non-fatal hospitalisations at a cost of $2.2 billion to the health system.1

In 2012, more than twice as many Western Australians died as a result of a fall than of transport related injuries.1

Stay On Your Feet ®  is WA’s leading falls prevention program for older adults living in the community and has proudly been delivered by ICCWA in partnership with Department of Heath WA for over 16 years. The Stay On Your Feet® program aims to reduce falls and fall related injuries to encourage confidence in independent living.

Visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au to test your falls risk, to find out what to do if you have a fall, to access brochures and booklets to help prevent slips, trips and falls and much more!

Incidence and costs of injury in Western Australia 2012. Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate Department of Health WA. Hendrie D, Miller TR, Randall S, Brameld K, Moorin RE

WA Department of Health to launch new Incidence and Cost of Injury Report

The Western Australian Department of Health will hold a stakeholder briefing on the new Incidence and Cost of Injury in Western Australia 2012 report at Grace Vaughan House in Shenton Park on Tuesday March 28th from 8:30am to 10am. Director Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate Denise Sullivan, Winthrop Professor Fiona Wood and Curtin University Senior Lecturer Dr Delia Hendrie will analyse injury rates across WA and its impact on the WA health system. The briefing will look at the report from a research, policy and practice perspective and speak about how the data can be understood and applied for advocacy and program development.

The RAP Roadshow moves to Bunbury!

The ICCWA team, with expert guidance and assistance from Ingrid Cumming and the Code Switch team move from Merredin to Bunbury as part of our 2017 Reconciliation Action Plan Road Show.

We will be in Bunbury on Tuesday March 7 and would like to hear from you!

Our RAP planning workshop will be fun, engaging and family friendly and will give you the chance to tell us how we can work with you and have a yarn and a feed at the same time!

Please view or download the attached RAP flyer and share it with your networks! We look forward to seeing you there!

The ICCWA RAP Roadshow is heading to Merredin

The ICCWA team, with expert guidance and assistance from Ingrid Cumming and the Code Switch team will soon hit the highway for our 2017 Reconciliation Action Plan Road Show.

Destination Merredin! We will head to Merredin on Wednesday March 1 and would like to hear from you!

Our RAP planning workshop will be fun, engaging and family friendly and will give you the chance to tell us how we can work with you and have a yarn and a feed at the same time!

Please view or download the attached RAP flyer and share it with your networks! We look forward to seeing you there!

Join us and help shape our Reconciliation Action Plan!

Planning for ICCWA’s Reconciliation Action Plan, with guidance and assistance from Ingrid Cumming and the Code Switch team is now well underway! We have secured venues and dates for consultation meetings with stakeholders in Perth, Merredin and Bunbury and would love you to join us for a chat and to hear what you would like from us to help shape our RAP.

The workshops will be fun, engaging and family friendly and will give stakeholders the chance to tell us how we can work with you and have a yarn and a feed at the same time!

Please view or download the attached RAP flyer and share it with your networks! We look forward to seeing you at the Perth RAP workshop on February 21.

Reconciliation Action Plan Consultation Plan

Injury Matters is proud to be embarking on its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan journey under the watchful eye of Ingrid Cumming and the Code Switch team.

Planning commenced in the latter stages of 2017 with a workshop for all staff to have a look at what reconciliation means to us both as individuals and as an organisation and what we would like to see achieved during the RAP process.

After several consultations it was decided, that rather than put the onus of those outside the metropolitan area to come to us with their input and feedback, the process would be better served if we go to them.

A plan was soon mapped out which identified significant areas we would like to target and so the ICCWA RAP Roadshow was conceived. Further information, dates, destinations and times can be found below.

A Not-for-Profits’ RAP Journey

About ICCWA

To start with, I think I should make it clear that before we embarked on this process we felt we didn’t know what we were doing or where to start when it came to developing a RAP – or Reconciliation Action Plan.

What we do know is, that as an organisation and as individuals, we think it’s an important part of the reconciliation process.

I also thought that if we, as an organisation don’t know how to go about this process, then perhaps other agencies may not either. So we decided to share our organisation’s journey down the path of developing our Reflect Reconciliation Plan from the beginning in the hope that it may shed some light on the process or perhaps inspire others to start their own journeys.

I’d also like to add that I am not a blogger! So if f you came here looking for a literary masterpiece, unfortunately you won’t find it here! Instead this blog will be an open and honest account of our journey as a not-for-profit agency as we work towards developing an organizational Reconciliation Action Plan – something that we have talked about for a long time and are finally commencing now.

A Guiding Hand

I think to begin it’s important to let you know that we are not embarking on this journey alone. We are very fortunate to be working with the very lovely and patient Ingrid Cummings from CodeSwitch who is helping us along our path. Ingrid is an extremely knowledgeable and passionate woman dedicated to achieving reconciliation in Australia and will be guiding ICCWA on its own path towards creating our very own RAP. A small step for mankind perhaps but if we were all doing it…

Ingrid has facilitated cultural understanding sessions to our team in the past and as a result we have seen a positive professional relationship blossom over time.

This relationship has been an integral part of the RAP development process and Ingrid has made us feel comfortable and safe in discussing issues of a potentially sensitive nature (or simply ask questions may have been too scared to ask elsewhere). Fortunately, with Ingrid, there is no such thing as a stupid question (well almost no such thing), and indeed all questions were encouraged during our discussions.

The Start

We began the process of developing a RAP with a kick-off meeting between a small group of ICCWA staff and Ingrid, to discuss where we as an organization are coming from and where we would like to be in the future. We identified what strengths and weaknesses the organisation could both harness and be mindful of during the development and implementation of our RAP, which opportunities we could utilize and also the threats we could tactfully avoid along the way.

During that initial meeting it also became apparent that we needed to bring together a core group of staff who would champion the RAP internally and make sure we stayed on track to achieve our goals in a timely manner. We also decided to hold an internal workshop, inviting all staff to learn more about the process of developing a Reconciliation Action Plan and to begin brainstorming where opportunities for reconciliation action may lie for ICCWA.

One of our next steps was to pencil in an external workshop to consult with members of the Aboriginal community and other stakeholders on what was important to consider in the development of our first RAP.

So with some important decisions made, we are off on our journey. Now to find my RAP champions!

Stay tuned to find out more about the next step in our RAP journey.