Past Events

#CroakeyLIVE  – Tackling oral healthcare inequities with Tan Nguyen

Co-sponsored by DHE, PHAA Oral Health Special Interest Group and the La Trobe’s Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research, the #CroakeyLIVE event held in April 2024 illuminated the longstanding issues facing First Nations Australians. In particular, panel members including Tan Nguyen, called out on the urgent need for substantial oral health funding reform and necessary steps towards cultural safety. 

Being solutions focused, panel members agreed essential oral healthcare should be embedded within Australia’s universal public healthcare system under Medicare. Whilst many participants supported the idea of a National Chief Oral Health Officer and Dental Officer, there were some reservations the role may be limited in capacity for strong advocacy efforts. 

There is no doubt significant investment is needed by the Australian federal government for essential oral healthcare. However, in the absence of strong national leadership for oral health, which extends beyond service delivery, it is hard to reconcile how this can be achieved under ‘status quo’. As signposted, the Department of Health and Aged Care is soon to table a response to the Senate Select Committee on Access and Provision of Dental Services in Australia. 

The release of the Federal Budget 2024-25 has again proved disappointing. There is nothing new on increases to funding for public dental services, nor any strategies or initiatives to progress much needed oral health policy and funding reform. Advocacy efforts would be necessary to make oral health a federal election issue for 2025. 

Auslan saved my life! Deaf Mental Health Conference, 12 April 2024

Ramas McRae recently organised the successful Deaf Mental Health Conference which aimed to raise awareness, discuss evidence-based best practice and share lived experience of the challenges in accessing mental health services. 

The critical importance of mental health within the Deaf community is undeniable, and I am determined to be part of the solution. My intention is to contribute to the well-being and quality of life of deaf and hard of hearing individuals by improving mental health outcomes. 

I organised a one-day conference: AUSLAN SAVED MY LIFE! – the importance of embedding culture and language in mental health service provision for the Deaf community in Melbourne on 12 April 2024. This was partly sponsored by the Institute for Health Transformation and held at Deakin Downtown. 

The one-day event which included the Deaf community, health professionals and researchers, explored mental health and the need to improve communication access across the life course and mental health service provision for Deaf Australians.  

100 people from the Deaf community, First Nations people, and professionals attended in person. Additionally, over 100 tickets were sold for the online component of the conference. The event provided a platform for meaningful discussions and networking opportunities among attendees. It emphasised the critical role of language, particularly Auslan, in the lives of Deaf individuals and highlighted the need for culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services. 

Overall, the conference was a testament to the resilience and strength of the Deaf community and served as a catalyst for continued advocacy and action to improve mental health outcomes for Deaf individuals.

Read more 

International Day of the Midwife – Deakin Midwifery Students Art Show celebration

Report: Dr Heather Wallace, Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery  

On Monday 29 April, midwifery students, staff and midwifery artists gathered to celebrate International Day of the Midwife, which is an opportunity for midwives globally to pause and reflect, and acknowledge, recognise and celebrate the lifesaving, nation building and unique work of midwives.  

Midwifery is a profession that combines, blends and weaves together both science and art. And so our celebration this year was an Art Show, with midwifery students and staff submitting various pieces of artwork inspired by the theme ‘What midwifery means to me’. 

  • ‘Partnership’, a sculpture depicting clasped hands by Natalie Andrewartha 
  • ‘No woman is one’ by Ella Brennan, whose drawings represent each birth Ella has accouchered as a student midwife 
  • ‘We’re all in this together’ by Rosie Rose, who created a set of material people including a pregnant woman, support person and Deakin Midwifery student complete with scrubs 
  • ‘Supporting women wherever they are’ by Heather Wallace 
  • And an edible entry with a placenta cake and colostrum cup cakes by Ella Nicholson and Mikayla Zahra. 

As well as the art, we had three presentations from midwives who are also artists: 

  • Veronica McDonald, who was local midwife for over 50 years and now exhibits her artwork in multiple galleries across Victoria 
  • Kath Brundell, who is a Deakin Midwifery PhD student, who performed a song for us that she has written as part of her PhD – a rallying cry to give a voice to the women of regional Victoria 
  • And Jen D’Arcy, who along with being one of the Midwifery Clinical Facilitators at Barwon Health, is a regular entrant for the Archibald prize and is about to undertake an artist residency at the University of New York. 

Our guest speakers generously shared some of their stories of weaving together art and midwifery. In doing so, they reminded us of the links between midwifery and art, and the importance of including artistic components such as sensitivity, empathy, connection, high standards and reflection into our midwifery practice, so that women and their babies receive the highest quality of care.  Happy International Day of the Midwife. 

IHT Morning Tea at Waterfront, Thursday 2 May

It was great to see so many people connecting at the second IHT morning tea of the year at Waterfront on Thursday 2 May.  

IHT EMCR lunchtime seminar: Turning a good CV into narrative

Thank you to Catherine Bennett and Ann Livingstone for providing this EMCR Session on 14th May 2024: Turning a good CV into a Narrative.

In supporting staff through promotion or mentoring early career and even senior academics, the EMCR Committee organised this seminar to help our EMCRs tell their own career stories.

Click here to link to the recording in our Members Portal
Passcode: Tr8=GH^k 

IHT Cultural Diversity Day Lunch, Tuesday 21 May at Burwood

To celebrate culturally diversity within IHT, and to learn more about our colleagues’ cultural backgrounds, we encouraged members to each bring a dish from their culture to share with members. Thank you to everyone who participated and shared their cultural background.  

Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Governance Workshop for ACHIEVE

The Murnong Health Research Mob organised Dr Jacob Prehn, a Worimi who is an executive member of Maiam nayri Wingara, the Australian Indigenous Data Sovereignty (IDSov) collective and Associate Dean- Indigenous at  the University of Tasmania to deliver a 3 hour workshop on embedding Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Governance principles into research projects. The workshop was held on 21st May at the Koorie Heritage Trust and was attended by 20 staff from across the Institute and our partner organisation, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO).

Go back to the June 2024 Newsletter