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NBPU TIS: Update Vol 2, No.1 

27 January 2017

Monthly Message from the National Coordinator, Prof Tom Calma AO

Hi TIS workers and supporters,
Welcome to 2017 and I trust you had a relaxing and enjoyable break and are back in the saddle for another year.  2017 will be another big year for us as our program consolidates, staffing stabilises, new members are skilling up and the outcomes of the mid-term evaluation are released.  We also have a new Minister for Health, The Hon Greg Hunt MP and a newly created Minister for Indigenous Health that is filled by The Hon Ken Wyatt MP, our first Indigenous minister in the Commonwealth government. 
In my last Message leading up to the Christmas break I mentioned that many of us, including our clients, would be making New Year Pledges and that the global experience is that many will not be able to maintain their pledge for various reasons.  So now is a great time for you to help them achieve their pledge by reinforcing the value of giving up and not taking up smoking.  Be creative and inclusive and use the tools at your and their disposal like Quitline, Quit program, brief interventions, quit support groups, apps and ACCHO health workers.
Another great tool to refer to when working with clients is the $ cost savings made when they drop the habit.  A friend who works in an AMS told me about her wonderful Christmas present:  “3,670 cigarettes not smoked $2,936 saved in 146 days”.  What a great story and what an incentive to start saving for next Christmas by giving up now.  Her lung capacity and general health has also improved in a very short time so spread these good news stories through the Yarning Place on the TIS Portal so colleagues can refer to them with their clients.
Now is also the time for you all to start planning your calendar of events and two big ones are coming up.
National Close the Gap Day, held this year on Thursday 16 March, is a way for all Australians to join together to demand health equality for Australia’s First Peoples.
Take a stand for Indigenous health equality and conduct an event in your service area either by yourself or in partnership with a stakeholder.  Don’t forget to invite your local members of parliament and other key people to celebrate with you and register your event at:
World No Tobacco Day is celebrated on Wednesday 31 May so organise another event and showcase the tremendous work you are doing and feedback to your communities their achievements and encourage more people to jump on-board the QUIT for life challenge and promote “Don’t Make Smokes Your Story”.
Stay strong and stay active, as you are making a big difference.  Rgs  TOM

TIS Reporting Guidance

The Department of Health has recently finalised a new resource, the TIS Performance Report – Good Practice Example, which provides guidance for TIS regional grant recipients on how to fill out their TIS Performance Reports (the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme template). 

It provides examples of activities and data, identifies outputs and outcomes, and presents worked examples for each TIS National Performance Indicator.  The TIS program evaluator, CIRCA provided valuable input to the resource. 

This is a significant tool to assist in your understanding of the new outcomes based approach, improve your reporting skills, and better understand the expectations of the Department.  The NBPU will be distributing this directly to all TIS grant recipients and it has been uploaded to the TIS Portal in a number of locations including at: (under ‘Reporting on your TIS activities: filling out the IAHP performance report’) and (under ‘Department of Health documents’). 

TIS Innovation Grants

An overview of each of the seven TIS Innovation grant projects is now available on the Department of Health’s website.  See:

The TIS Portal has been updated to take on this new information, see:  You may remember that in Tom’s Monthly Message of the 25 November he pointed out that Innovation grant organisations and TIS regional grant recipients should work together to complement and create synergies for tobacco reduction in communities.  We look forward to hearing about the connections you make with Innovation grant organisations that are operating in your regions.

Yarning Place

The HealthInfoNet offices have re-opened from the University shutdown over the festive season, we hope you had a happy and safe holiday.

We’d encourage you to start sharing your knowledge and experiences on the Tackling Indigenous Smoking Yarning Place for the New Year. We’d love to get some more discussion happening on the Yarning Place, so if you have any questions you’d like to ask other GRs, or information to share then please log on and start yarning. If you haven’t yet signed up to the Yarning Places, then you can do so here.

If you have any questions about the Yarning Place please contact the Yarning Place Coordinator, Millie, at

We look forward to continuing to work on a product that meets your needs in the New Year. Best wishes from the team at the HealthInfoNet.

Deadly Choices Workshop

Desley Thompson (NBPU Manager) is currently attending the Deadly Choices Tackling Indigenous Smoking Consortium workshop in Brisbane.  The 40 participants coming from all around the state commenced the three-day gathering on Monday this week and have heard from some great speakers to assist them in their role as TIS workers.  Speakers also included the National Co-ordinator, Professor Tom Calma AO who was also presented with a special Deadly Choices shirt in recognition of his support for the programme and the organisation. 

GR's in action

Carbal Medical Services

We would like to Welcome a new TIS team member Melissa Chalmers a new staff member for Carbal Medical Services in the Warwick Office, Queensland  TIS Team. We Look forward to working with you!

Also, check out Cabal's website and Facebook page!

Sunrise Health Service

After careful consideration and consultation with community people and Sunrise and Roper Gulf Regional Council staff, Sunrise would like to introduce Davin Hall as our first Ngukurr “champion”

In line with the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program and conducive to one of the programme delivery aims: “Community understands the Health impacts of smoking and the options that can be taken to reduce or cease smoking”, was an activity to Identify and support Local Champions to promote awareness and risk of smoking and to “Live a Healthy Lifestyle”.  

About Davin

Position: Intensive Family Support worker, Sunrise Health

Sporting achievements: Captain Ngukurr AFL team. Team member of the Darwin Southern Districts AFL team.

Davin is a non-smoker (is very conscious of the high rates of indigenous smokers in community) and supportive of displaying no smoking and smoke free car stickers on his personal vehicle.
Davin is a very capable young man and has shown he has the potential to become a mentor and role model within Ngukurr, especially for the younger and more impressionable members of the community identified as high risk. It is hoped that Davin will become an integral link between this targeted group and the Ngukurr CBW’s so the relevant support and information regarding the negatives of tobacco can be provided.

Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporations Barunga Clinic’s Designated Smoking Area completed in conjunction with SHSAC T.I.S program and the Roper Gulf Regional Councils CDP Programme in line with their Action Plans Aim: “SHSAC consistently demonstrates the ‘Gudawe Daga (Eat Well), Jidan Strong Bala (Stay Fit), Numo Smoke (Don’t Smoke)motto and campaign to raise awareness and strengthen the message of leading a healthy lifestyle by making the right choices”  and the Expected Outcome of  “Smoking only takes place in designated smoking areas”. Also the Aim: “To reduce exposure by community members to second hand smoke throughout the SHSAC Region” and the activity “Promote smoke free community areas and events working with schools, CBW’s, Police, Night Patrol, champions and other community providers”.  

Quitskills training


To achieve best practice in the delivery of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) programme a number of strategies have been developed to meet its programme objectives. These include:

  • Regional tobacco control grants
  • National Best Practice Unit (NBPU TIS)
  • National coordinator TIS
  • Innovation grants
  • Quitline enhancements
  • Quitskills training
Quitskills training is a three day competency based training aimed at increasing skills, confidence and knowledge to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in their smoking journey. This free training covers topics including history, legislation, health consequences, quitting methods, counselling, smoke-free policies and the role of the Quitline. As a follow-on from the Quitskills training, a two day course in Motivational Interviewing is also available.

Upcoming confirmed trainings:
  • 7-9 February – Melbourne
  • 21-22 February – Toowoomba (Motivational Interviewing)
  • 21-23 February – Warburton
  • 7-9 March – Alice Springs
  • 21-23 March – Toowoomba
  • 21-22 March – Albany (Motivational Interviewing)
  • 4-6 April – Timber Creek
  • * date to be advised – Perth

If you would like to join one of these trainings, or perhaps hold training at your workplace, please contact the team on

Upcoming webinars

Associate Professor Renee Bittoun from The University of Sydney will be hosting a series of  webinars around smoking cessation.  The first of which will be hosted next Wednesday 1 February, at 12pm Eastern Standard Time. 

The topic for this webinar will be ‘Smoking in pregnancy’ and will look at the medical consequences and focus on what can we do.  Future webinars will be guided by viewers requests on varying smoking related topics and your feedback is welcome.  We will send out further details on Monday on how to log into this webinar and an outline of what will be discussed. 
Assoc. Prof Bittoun will also be providing 3 day “Intensive Interventions” training at various locations throughout the year as listed below.  We will be sending out registrations for this training over the coming week but if you have any further queries please contact Kelly Franklin on or call 08 8211 0405.
Webinar dates:
FEB - Wed 1st:  A/Prof Renee Bittoun webinar  Topic – Smoking in Pregnancy
MAR - Wed 1st:  A /Prof Renee Bittoun webinar
APR - Tue 4–Thu 6th: A/Prof Renee Bittoun Training (Brisbane)
MAY - Wed 3rd: A/Prof Renee Bittoun webinar
JUN -Tue 6 -Thu 8th: A/Prof Renee Bittoun Training (Alice Springs)
JUL - Wed 5th: A/Prof Renee Bittoun webinar
       - Tues 25 -Thu 27th: A/Prof Renee Bittoun Training (Perth)
AUG - Wed 2nd:A/Prof Renee Bittoun webinar
SEP - Tue 5 – Thu 7th: A/Prof Renee Bittoun Training (Canberra)
OCT - Wed 4th: A/Prof Renee Bittoun webinar
         - Tues 10 - Thu 12th: A/Prof Renee Bittoun Training (Melbourne)

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