CEO Primary Matters – 29 June 2022

2022 NAIDOC Week

The 2022 NAIDOC Week starts this Sunday, 3 July and will run for one-week until Sunday, 10 July, to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The theme this year is Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920s, which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

You can search for NAIDOC Events that are close to you by visiting the NAIDOC Week Events page. I am encouraging our staff to leave their workstations during this week and attend an event happening in our region.

Western Victoria is home to many thousands of First Nations People. At Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN), we strive to support First Nations health by working with primary health care professionals to improve access to and the quality of health services for First Nations People in our community.

WVPHN works closely with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOS) to improve support for First Nation’s People, particularly those with mental health issues and chronic conditions.

Winter Vaccine Campaign

I am pleased to report the Australian Government has launched an $11 million six-week campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated for both COVID-19 and influenza this winter and underlined the availability of antivirals for those most vulnerable to severe effects of COVID-19.

GPs and pharmacists should be aware the Government has noted two oral antiviral treatments – Lagevrio and Paxlovid – are available from local pharmacies for those most vulnerable to severe effects of COVID-19. People have been encouraged to talk to their GP about the right treatment for their health needs.

Read the full media release here.

Free Suicide First Aid Training for Ballarat and Great South Coast Residents

WVPHN currently has two initiatives underway in our region to proactively develop coordinated and collaborative strategies for reducing the rate of death by suicide.

As part of the Ballarat Suicide Prevention Place Based Trial and Great South Coast Suicide Prevention Place Based Trial, free suicide first aid training is now available to all local residents aged 15 and over. I encourage health professionals in the Ballarat and Great South Coast regions to engage in this training to learn the signs and find the words to have a conversation.

Access the Ballarat training here

Access the Great South Coast training here


Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer

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