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Aboriginal Health
Closing the health gap for Aboriginal people

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Aboriginal Health

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Western Sydney is home to many Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, with about 4% of the population identifying as Aboriginal.

We acknowledge the Darug and Gundungurra people as the traditional custodians of the land covered by Western Sydney Local Health District.

Aboriginal people continue to experience poorer health than the general population. We work with the local community and partners to help improve the health of Aboriginal people.

The Centre for Population Health works in partnership to deliver and support culturally appropriate services and programs that encourage Aboriginal communities to make healthier lifestyle choices.

1. Immunisation

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Western Sydney Public Health Unit employs an Aboriginal Immunisation Healthcare Worker (AIHW) to assist parents and carers of Aboriginal children in keeping their children vaccinated on time and protected against vaccine preventable diseases. Up to date vaccination records are needed for enrolment of all children into childcare and to receive the government Family Tax Benefits. The AIHW provides direct support to families who might be due or overdue for vaccination.

Your local AHIW may get in touch with you when you have a newborn to offer immunisation information and assistance.

The AIHW also has links to other Aboriginal Health services and can help you with accessing their services, including Department Human Services/Medicare (Indigenous Services Officer) The AIHW can offer assistance with updating immunisation information on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

Your local AIHW has access to Community Health programs with Aboriginal Health workers, Vulnerable Families team, Family and Community Services Aboriginal casework teams, Department of Education and various other Aboriginal specific support services.

For more information, you can contact the AIHW on 02 9840 3603 during business hours for assistance with finding an immunisation provider, catching up of delayed vaccination or to get information.

2. Help to quit smoking

Aboriginal people in western Sydney smoke at higher rates than the overall population and smoking is a major contributor to the gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal Australians and other Australians. Reducing smoking among WSLHD’s Aboriginal community is a high priority for us. The great news is that smoking rates in the Aboriginal community are declining – more Aboriginal people are quitting and fewer young Aboriginal people are taking up smoking.

The WSLHD Tobacco Control team works with our Aboriginal Health colleagues to support their smoking cessation interventions and to promote the positive quit smoking efforts that are occurring in our community.

Examples of how we work with Aboriginal health service providers in western Sydney include:

  • We convene and co-ordinate meetings of the Aboriginal Smoking Cessation Action Group each month at Mt Druitt Community Health Centre. Members of this action group include our Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Service and New Directions programs, Marrin Weejali Aboriginal Corporation, Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service, WentWest Primary Health Network and Community Health Chronic Care service
  • We support Aboriginal health workers to undertake nicotine addiction and smoking cessation training courses
  • inline-image_quit4newlife.jpgWe co-ordinate targeted Ministry of Health smoking cessation programs, such as Quit for New Life for women having an Aboriginal baby
  • We sponsor World No Tobacco Day events at Aboriginal health services
  • We promote smoking cessation at Aboriginal health events, such as during NAIDOC week and Koori Knockout
  • We generate positive media stories about Aboriginal people who are making quit smoking attempts
  • We provide advice, short training, resources and mentoring to organisations and health workers to deliver smoking cessation services

If your organisation would like support to improve your smoking cessation services for Aboriginal people, please contact the Centre for Population Health on 02 98403603

3. Healthy Eating Active Living

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Aboriginal Go4Fun

A 10 week healthy lifestyle program for Aboriginal children and their families. A parent of a carer is required to attend each session.

 

To register free call 1800 780 900.

Get Healthy Coaching and Information service

A free and confidential phone based service. Culturally appropriate coaching and materials for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander participants.

Stepping On

A falls prevention program for Aboriginal seniors (45 Yrs +).

Balance and Strength Fridge Magnet for Elders

The following sessions are offered to groups with more than 15 participants who are older adults living independently in the community:

Healthy and Active presentations:

This Session is to encourage our local seniors, to stay well & independent, keep active and to improve balance and strength.

Fit and Strong Challenge

This Challenge is for 4 weeks to complete at home and covers 4 activities:

  • Be active for 30 minutes a day, 
  • Do strength & balance exercises,
  • Get Vitamin D (sunlight before 10am or after 3pm) and
  • Adequate calcium intake

Contact Healthy Older People Team on

(02) 9840 3708 or
(02) 9840 3603

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If you would like to discuss an opportunity to work together to achieve better health outcomes for people in Western Sydney please contact us below.

Population Health Services

 

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Gungurra, Building 68, Cumberland Hospital Campus Fleet Street, North Parramatta New South Wales

 
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T: (02) 9840 3603
F: (02) 9840 3608

 
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Locked Bag 7118,  Parramatta BC 2124

 
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WSLHD-CentreForPopulation
Health@health.nsw.gov.au

 

Hours of Service: Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5pm