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About the award

Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare recognises exceptional healthcare delivery through strong partnerships across NSW Health and external agencies.

This may include:

  • valuing and fostering respect for the expertise and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) and their staff
  • collaboration in designing and delivering services
  • sharing of resources
  • strong consultation and communication mechanisms
  • strategic collaboration or partnership in the development of the project
  • responsiveness to the local Aboriginal community's health needs, as identified by the local Aboriginal Health Organisation
  • capacity building and employment of Partnership Agreement or Aboriginal Health LHD Action for Aboriginal people
  • partnership with Aboriginal people and their communities in the design, implementation, evaluation and evidence building.

Winner - St Vincent's Hospital Sydney: Stay'n Deadly & Stay'n In


Transcript - Winner - Stay'n Deadly & Stay'n In

Finalist - Central Coast Local Health District: A cultural birth plan for First Nations women


Transcript - A cultural birth plan for First Nations women

First Nations people believe a child should be born on the lands of his or her ancestors to ensure that child has a spiritual connection to their land, which allows them to thrive. This is known as Birthing on Country.

Research has shown that Birthing on Country can mean significantly improved health outcomes for Aboriginal mothers and babies. A significant proportion of First Nations Women are Birthing off Country in CCLHD Maternity Services.

This project empowers First Nation women and their families to speak to their Birthing Off Country needs for both pregnancy and birth, improves communication between the Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Service and decreases knowledge gaps on cultural birthing practices.

Their needs are identified and documented in Cultural Birth Plans and a Cultural Birth Kit for the traditional welcoming ceremony is available within the Birthing Unit at Gosford Hospital.

The Cultural Birth Plans and Cultural Birthing Kits have been developed in consultation with consumers and key stakeholders.

Finalist - Southern NSW Local Health District: Seeing country recover through the eyes of the Yuin People


Transcript -Seeing country recover through the eyes of the Yuin People

"Seeing Country Recover Through the Eyes of the Yuin People" is the first District project that begins to understand the impact of the 2019-2020 Black Summer fires on Aboriginal people, their lands and how we can walk together in recovery.

The impact of these fires on Bega Valley and Eurobodalla communities has been substantial with Aboriginal people one of the most affected groups. Despite this, there has been limited discussion with Aboriginal people about their fire experience as residents, distinct communities and First Peoples including their role in disaster recovery and planning.

The aim of the project was to assist the healing of the local Yuin people following the fires and foster interagency collaboration.

An innovative and collaborative co-design model was used to engage SNSWLHD services. It was supported by the PHN, NGO sectors and local Aboriginal people. Connections were fostered and recovery messages were extended through print and digital health promotion resources. The project actions are clearly linked to NSW Health State Health Plan Towards 2021 and current research recommendations.

Finalist - St Vincent's Hospital Sydney: Stay'n Deadly & Stay'n In


Transcript - Stay'n Deadly & Stay'n In

The SDSI project, a collaborative endeavour between the Emergency Department and Aboriginal Health Unit, aimed specifically at improving the quality of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

The goals were to decrease the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients who "Did not wait" (DNW) for treatment or, "Left at their own risk" (LAOR). A "flexi-clinic" model introduced has seen a significant reduction in the rate of LAOR and DNW with the average rate falling from 19.5% to 5.2% of presentations, an initiative sustained for over 12 months since the program began.

This project showcases many of the strategic aims of the Aboriginal Healthcare category, including fostering collaborative partnerships and meeting the needs of Aboriginal people. The SDSI project is the epitome of fostering a trusting therapeutic relationship with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to improve their hospital experiences and ultimately improve health outcomes.

The strong consultation this project has had with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community has shown a continued partnership which has helped shape and sustain this practice change. These resources have been shared with other health services to provide possible opportunities for this effective service delivery model to be a blueprint and utilised within available resources.

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