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NBPU TIS: Update 28

8 December 2016

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

 
 

Hi colleagues,
 
Tackling smoking in the workplace is often put in the ‘too hard basket’.  In 2016 this is no longer excusable.
 
If we want to make significant inroads into tackling our smoking rates, we must have the courage and will to take control of our workplaces and have Board members, CEOs and Managers and staff step up and set an example to their communities.  Our mob have the right to work in a smoke free environment just like everyone else in this country.

On the 30 November this year, the Commonwealth Department of Health celebrated 30 years of being smoke free.    Think of the benefits to all those working in this Department over these three decades.   Health lead the way in the Commonwealth, with all other Departments becoming smoke free by 1988.  Public and private sector offices implemented their own smoke free policies in the mid-1990s.  Why is it that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, corporations and workplaces are either not smoke free, or do not enforce smoke free policies?
 
The Smoke Free Workplace Policy currently operating in the Department bans smoking and use of e-cigarettes/personal vaporisers within 15 metres of all health buildings at all time.  There may be elements of this Policy that you can draw on, including ideas on the assistance available to staff to quit.   So when you work with or interact with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation or group encourage them to develop a smoke free policy and give them some guidance on how to do it.

The TIS Portal includes resources on smoke free spaces: http://www.aodknowledgecentre.net.au/aodkc/aodkc-tobacco/tackling-indigenous-smoking/resources-that-work/tools-and-resources-to-support-activities-that-work.    I encourage you to engage with colleagues on the Yarning Place to share strategies and ideas for smoke free workplace success.

The 30 November was also the fourth anniversary of commencement of Australia’s world-leading tobacco plain packaging measures.  If we can be world leading on tobacco control for all Australians, we can become leaders in Indigenous tobacco control to save our people, our culture and our languages.

As this is my last message for 2016 I would urge you to place at the top of your New Year resolutions list adopting and enforcing smoke free workplace policies in your organisation and encouraging and helping our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to also realise these goals.
 
I want to say some more about New Year Eve resolutions or pledges.  Common among smokers around the world is the pledge they make to give up.  This is great, but the common experience is that within a couple of months the pledge is put on the back burner and old habits re-emerge.  Now is a good time to mount a campaign to talk to your constituents about the “give up the smokes pledge” and encourage them to call Quitline or visit their doctor to talk about developing a strategy and getting support to quit and stay quit.   It would be great for colleagues to get on the Yarning Place and share successful strategies and to post success stories.  We might even want to host a pledge board and to monitor people’s pledges in three and six months’ time.
 
It has been a big year of learning and successes; please stay safe and healthy over the festive period and enjoy quality family time, drink alcohol responsibly and be smoke free of course. J  
 
Regards TOM

Community visits

Kerry attended the three-day Quitskills course in Adelaide this week with a wonderful group of people who made the training a pleasure the facilitators provided interesting and thought provoking information in a comfortable setting, creating a space for learning and sharing.

Kerry found the training informative and it provided her with the knowledge, skills and confidence to support people in relation to their smoking and make some changes if they are interested. 

The course modules included these topics:

  • tobacco in Australia
  • health impacts
  • smoking and quitting
  • approaches to quitting
  • working with clients
  • smoke-free workplaces

NSW Visits
This week Elaine and Desley visited the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence on the 7 December 2017. A special thanks to the team members from Griffith Aboriginal Medical Service and South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation who made the trip down to join us!
 
Whilst in Sydney Elaine and Desley also visited Awabakal and Grand Pacific Health. The purpose of the visit was to discuss their;
  • Action Plan and to find out how they were going with it
  • Portal
  • Evaluation processes

Hannah Davis – Coordinator of the TIS team, she is standing in front of the Talking about Tobacco use (TATU) van that the TIS team use.

TAS Visits

On Wednesday 7 December Deb visited the dynamic team from Flinders Island Aboriginal Association in Launceston. We had a full day covering topics that the team had identified as needing more information. We looked at the portal in depth, exploring the many articles, links and information available. We also learnt how to post on the yarning place using the message stick. Deb and the girls discussed monitoring and evaluation of programs and how to capture data. After a scrumptious lunch, we practiced effective brief intervention strategies based on motivational interviewing principles.
 
A very busy day was had by all. Thankyou FIAAI team for engaging with the NBPU and identifying how we can best help you with workforce development.

TIS portal

Today we’d like to highlight some new content that we’ve added to the Tackling Indigenous Smoking portal.

In the videos section of the portal, there’s been a series of new videos added, which include information on quitting cold turkey, how to avoid tobacco in the festive season and pregnancy and tobacco use.

Some videos that might interest you are the Don’t Make Smokes Your Story resources. A recent evaluation of this campaign found that the videos had generated high awareness and are highly effective at promoting quit messages. You can find out more information about the evaluation here.


 

We’re also trying to source more information for the Events and the Workforce information parts of the portal. If you have any job opportunities, training opportunities, community events, or anything else you’d like to share on the portal then please get in touch with Millie at m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.
Lastly, we’ve heard that some GRs are having issues with using the Yarning Places. If you are having any trouble at all, then please don’t hesitate to contact the Yarning Place Coordinator, Millie, via the email above.

PhD scholarships avilable

There is an exciting opportunity for up to three high-calibre full-time PhD candidates to join the team within the Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research at University of Newcastle, commencing 2017. The research will investigate how to improve the health of Aboriginal pregnant mothers and their babies, under the supervision of Associate Professor Gillian Gould and Professor Billie Bonevski.

For more information visit: The University of Newcastle

Holiday office closures

The NBPU TIS office will be closed from 23 December 2016 to 3 January 2017.
The team will be available before and after these dates for assistance. 

It is a timely reminder that this time of year can be extremely hard for people to get through turning down a cigarette when they are out and about with friends and family for holiday celebrations, so lets keep the support and messages going over this time!

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