In a week that marks the 15th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, the column links readers into stories from people with lived experience of these traumatic policies.
As well as wide-ranging news, we also bring some health-promoting Valentines, and the details of upcoming events and opportunities. Make sure to scroll to the end for an important invitation.
Publications of note
Dr Raglan Maddox from the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at ANU and colleagues have published a special communication, calling for the Tobacco Control and BMJ journals to incorporate Indigenous-specific research ethics practices into publication policies.
The authors include a reporting guide for meaningful Indigenous engagement, to apply all research and evaluation, especially in Indigenous contexts regardless of who is leading the research or whether it involves primary or secondary data.
It includes questions such as: Did Indigenous people(s) inform the research question; How did the research have Indigenous leadership? How will the researchers translate the findings into tangible changes in policy and/or practice? How were the findings returned to the respective communities?
The authors state that they “humbly acknowledge, respect and value that Indigenous peoples are diverse and constitute many nations, cultures, protocols, practices and language groups. This guide is not intended to be a checklist, but aims to support critical reflection in undertaking and publishing ethical research with the respective language, terminology, protocols and practices ultimately reflecting the local context(s) of the respective research”.
Read the article, ‘Valuing Indigenous wisdom: invited comment’, by Professor Papaarangi Reid, The University of Auckland
The rapid uptake of ChatGPT indicates that social media is entering a new transformative era, and that AI will rapidly accelerate the continued digital evolution, according to this editorial, ‘The continued importance of mental health nurses engaging with social media and related emerging technologies’. The discipline of mental health nursing should position itself to be ready to take advantage of the benefits on offer, and to address any limitations that may arise as a consequence, say the authors.
See the Wider Determinants of Health tool.
On 14 February each year, the #HealthPolicyValentines thread on Twitter is a source of amusement, insight and dubious rhyming. While the focus tends towards United States health matters, many of the issues raised resonate more widely. And don’t miss the Valentine for Victorians.
Read the article in The Guardian.Listen to the podcast
Closing the Gap implementation
On 13 February, the Federal Government released its second Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, alongside the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (Coalition of Peaks) annual Implementation Plan.
The Australian Government’s Implementation Plan invests $424 million in additional funding to Closing the Gap. New measures in the 2023 Implementation Plan include:
- $150 million over four years to support First Nations water infrastructure and provide safe and reliable water for remote and regional Indigenous communities through the National Water Grid Fund. This will be targeted at communities that currently do not have access to clean drinking water.
- $111.7 million Commonwealth contribution to a new one-year partnership with the Northern Territory Government to accelerate building of new remote housing, targeted at addressing the worst over-crowding.
- $11.8 million over two years for the National Strategy for Food Security in remote First Nations communities. This is about making essential food more affordable and accessible in remote communities.
- Continued funding of $68.6 million over two years for Family Violence and Prevention Legal Service providers to deliver legal and non-legal support to women and children experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence.
- $21.9 million over five years to Support Families impacted by family violence and at risk of engaging in the child protection system, through delivery of seven place-based, trauma-aware and culturally responsive healing programs aimed at early intervention and recovery, and keeping families together.
- $38.4 million over four years to boost On-Country Education for remote First Nations students. This includes greater access to junior rangers and more choice for families of culturally appropriate distance learning.
- $21.6 million to support quality boarding for rural and remote students for an additional year.
Read the article on ultra-processed foods. Read the article on avian flu.
See the report on women in media
Upcoming events and opportunities