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NBPU TIS Update 2:3

24 February 2017

Monthly Message from the National Coordinator, Prof. Tom Calma AO

Hi TIS workers and supporters,
Time has flown since my last message…
The National Tobacco Campaign
The National Tobacco Campaign “Don’t Make Smokes Your Story” team has developed USB stakeholder kits and as TIS grant recipients you will receive one in the post in the coming weeks. These USBs include Quit resources that can be distributed to your networks to help continue tackling Indigenous smoking. Materials on the USB can also be found on the campaign website
Smoking during pregnancy
Associate Professor Renee Bittoun from the University of Sydney recently hosted a smoking cessation webinar on the topic of Smoking in pregnancy: Effects, Treatments and Barriers.  She outlined the medical and developmental consequences for the unborn child and the life-long impacts of a foetus being exposed to tobacco smoke.  She provided practical advice on how we can tackle this critical challenge. I would encourage those of you who missed it to watch the video when it becomes available on the TIS Portal.

Closing the Gap Report and the Redfern Statement
Last week, prior to the Closing the Gap (CTG) Report being presented to Parliament, I was Master of Ceremonies/host of a Redfern Statement breakfast at Parliament House where PM Turnbull stated that he wanted to focus on celebrating successes and not just on the disadvantages and suffering that our people experience (deficit perspective).
Reduction in smoking rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a notable success in the CTG report:

  • The Indigenous current (daily and non-daily) smoking rate (for 15 years and over) has declined from 51% in 2002 to 42% in 2014-15
  • There has also been an 11 % decline in the non-remote current smoking rate (50% in 2002 to 39% in 2014-15), and a 3% decline in the remote current smoking rate (55% in 2002 to 52% in 2014-15).

While we should be proud of contributing to these declines, we have a big job ahead of us, requiring persistence.  The rate of smoking is way too high (the mainstream smoking rate of around 15% smoking rate is considered too high!) and remote communities are lagging behind. 

Further, too many of our mothers, wives, sisters, female relatives and friends continue to smoke while pregnant, or don’t stay quit after having their baby.  We may celebrate a decline in the proportion of Indigenous women who smoked at any time during pregnancy from 54% in 2006 to 46% in 2014, but we must also feel shocked and saddened.

The downward movement in smoking incidence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a very positive story, so please take the time to upload your stories and photos onto the TIS Portal.

Smoke free NRL events
It was great to attend the NRL All-Stars match in Newcastle on 10 February.  As exciting, was observing the 3,500+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who attended the Qld vs. NSW match the day before.  This event was smoke free and alcohol free and there were displays and information outlets sponsored by Awabakal and Deadly Choices.

Mental health and smoking
In my next Monthly Message I may touch on mental health and smoking, OCEANIA 2017 and Quitskills training.
Upcoming events: 
16 March – National Close the Gap Day
11 May – National TIS gathering - Adelaide
27 May – Dreamtime on the G and the Long Walk
27 May to 3 June – National Reconciliation Week
31 May – World No Tobacco Day
14 June – North Qld Jurisdictional Workshop – Cairns
If you have any stories or events to share please circulate by posting on the Portal and don’t forget to invite your local federal member to your events.

Visit to GRAMS

L: GRAMs TIS Region. - R: Darren Armitage, Carmel Narrier, Leroy Comeagain, Jason Voss

On Tuesday 14th February, NBPU TIS Project Officer, Deb Reichelt travelled 400km north of Perth to visit the  Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS) Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) Team in the beautiful township of Geraldton.  Although the TIS Team has the huge area of Midwest and Murchison regions of Western Australia to cover plus being relatively new to the programme, they’re doing extremely well.  Already Darren (TIS Team leader) and his team, Carmel, Leroy and Jason have a regular spot on the local radio programme, Mulga Mail and have contributed to the local Mid-West Times newspapers to talk about the risks of smoking and promote their upcoming events and they’re currently working on a rap song advertisement for television – which we can’t wait to see!!!

The GRAMS TIS Team is highly respected within the community and have a strong presence at local events too and they’ve always had great engagements and partnerships with other organisations in the local area.

The TIS Team is currently down a staff member at the moment and is looking for someone to join their wonderfully dedicated, hardworking crew.  They have some exciting projects on the horizon and would really love to have that new person on board to assist.  For more information about the vacancy, please contact the GRAMS office.

Upcoming National Conferences


The AIATSIS National Indigenous Research Conference 2017 ’Impact, Engagement, Transformation’ will draw together researchers, policymakers, cultural and collecting institutions, the corporate sector and Indigenous organisations and communities. The Conference will examine how we can more effectively target research efforts to achieve better policy outcomes and practice with lasting impact through transformative change.

You are invited to join Desley Thompson, Manager National Best Practice Unit (NBPU) and Assoc. Prof. Penney Upton, University of Canberra/NBPU present their session "Impact through evidence – Indigenous smoking".  Both Desley and Penney will be presenting on the first day, Tuesday, 21 March from 3.30pm - 5.00pm. 

You can read the abstract  “Responding to the Needs of Our Mob”: The Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program here.

The conference will be held at Hotel Realm, Barton ACT from Tuesday 21 - Thursday 23 March 2017.

For further information, please visit our website or email 

Another national conference to mark down in the calendar is the 2017 Oceania Tobacco Control Conference, being held in Hobart Tasmania on the 17-19 October 2017. The NBPU TIS is a proud sponsor of this event. The theme of the conference this year will be “From vision to reality: A tobacco-free Oceania”.

With smoking rates still significantly high in a number of regions within Oceania, we must not lose sight and focus on the large number of negative health, social and economic impacts on individuals and communities related to tobacco smoking. In Oceania we truly believe that our vision is not aspirational but must be an achievable reality.

For further information, please visit 

Yarning place

This is a quick reminder about how to use the TIS Yarning Place to share information. We’re hoping to get more of you on there to yarn and discuss where you’re up to with your TIS activities.

There are five key features of the TIS Yarning Place:

  • Mob member list – see who else is a part of the Yarning Place
  • Yarning board – a forum for you to post a topic, answer a question or share some information you think other GRs might like to know
  • Message stick – send out a message to all of the TIS GRs who are currently signed up to the Yarning Place
  • Yarn now – chat to one another in real time, or to a group of people, in the dedicated TIS chat room
  • Events – share an event on the TIS Yarning Place that you think other GRs might be interested in attending or sharing.

If you’re not currently a member of the TIS Yarning Place, and you’d like some further information, please check out the guide to using the Yarning Places here.

You can also use this guide to refresh on any features you’ve forgotten how to use. If there’s anyone in your organisation yet to sign up, then encourage them to do so – if there are more people on the Yarning Place, the better the conversations will be. Only grant recipients have access to the Yarning Place, and conversations are not externally monitored. If you have any issues using the Yarning Place, please don’t hesitate to contact the Yarning Place Coordinator, Millie, at


Next Wednesday will be the second webinar hosted by Prof. Renee Bittoun on smoking cessation.  Unfortunately we will not have the link to join this conference until the day before so please keep an eye out for a group email to all TIS Team Leaders on Tuesday 28th Feb. 

If you are not a grant recipient Team Leader but would like to join this webinar, please email so it can be added to our list. We will also post any details on our Facebook page, so please follow us if you don’t already do so!
Date: Wednesday 1st March
Time – 1 hour
Western Australia – 9 am
Northern Territory – 10.30am
Queensland – 11am
South Australia – 11.30am
New South Wales, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania – 12pm
Topic: Carbon Monoxide Monitoring

2017 Jurisdictional workshops

Placeholders have gone out for all the jurisdictional and national workshops to all team leaders.  The jurisdictional workshops will be held on the following dates:
Victoria and Tasmania – 29 March
South Australia – 9 May
Queensland – 14th June
New South Wales and ACT– 21st June
Western Australia – 30th August
Northern Territory – 24th October
These workshops are designed for TIS teams and the aims of TIS workshops will include:

  • Reviewing grant recipient priorities and the appropriate support that the NBPU needs to provide
  • Sharing evidence and best practice and strategies for adaption at local and regional levels
  • Resolving implementation challenges
  • Enhancing support, collaboration, network building and communication
  • Providing training and tools to assist in programme delivery

A working group with one representative from each grant recipient organisation  will be formed over the coming weeks to discuss venue and possible programme items.
The National workshop will be held in Adelaide on the 11th  May.  This workshop is designed for CEO’s of TIS grant recipient organisations and Program Managers/TIS Team Leaders.
Please ensure your jurisdictional and national date is in your diary.
We are looking forward to seeing you all soon!

No Smokes training is on the horizon!  Dates are yet to be fully confirmed but we have 4 tentative locations for training in 2017.  These will be held at Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns and Brisbane.  Please contact Kelly at if you wish to register your interest in attending.   We also have No Smokes flipcharts on hand if you need any of these valuable resources. 

Is your organisation on social media??  Make sure you ‘like’ our No Smokes page.  We are active on Website,  Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Watch this space for confirmed training dates in the coming weeks!

Meet Keeden from Galambila

Each month the NBPU TIS will profile a TIS team member. We hope that you enjoy people sharing their story. 

This week we meet with Keeden Archibald. Keeden is from Port Macquarie and is the Outreach Worker with the Galambila team at Coffs Harbour. Keeden has been in the role for the last 8 months. 

Keeden tells us what he most likes about the position, "I like engaging with community at local events. I really enjoy trying to implement change about attitudes towards smoking and making people aware of the health effects of smoking".

He says one of the main challenges he faces in the role is, "influencing the historical thoughts people have about smoking e.g my father smoked and he's alright.." A challenge that would be familiar to TIS teams. 

It is great to share your story Keeden, keep up the great work!



Keep an eye out for these great videos which can be found as part of the #DontMakeSmokesYourStory campaign.

An animated video was promoted this week, Quitting smoking is worth it! Watch how smoking can impact you, your family and your mob here.  

There is also a number of short video stories that can assist you with your activities. For example, meet Kerry, her grandchildren told her they didn’t want her to die from smoking. She’s proud she gave up smoking. Watch her story here.

World No Tobacco Day Fun Run


Registrations have now opened for our celebration of World NO Tobacco Day with a 5km Fun Run/Walk starting at Gunns Road Reserve in Hallam and around Frog Hollow Wetlands in Endeavour Hills.
To register just go to our Kick the Butt website and go into the “What’s New” section where you will see the link (as you can see in the attached .jpeg image) and just fill out your details whether it’s an individual registration, or if it is a Team please give yourselves a name and go into the draw to win the “BIG” trophy for the most amount of people in one team.
Other prizes and giveaways to be announced closer to the date of the run so stay tuned!
NBPU TIS would love to promote your World No Tobacco Day events! Please drop a line to your Project Officer, Deb, Elaine or Kerry with the details.

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