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Anwernekenhe – the Journey


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Michael Costello (ANA) describes how an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community response to HIV has been built and sustained over the past 18 years.

This presentation was given at AFAO's Positive Services Forum 2012.

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Anwernekenhe – the Journey

  1. 1. Acknowledgement I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the of the Kulin Nation as the custodians of this land. I also pay my respects to the Elders past and present
  2. 2. WHO IS THE ANA ANA is the abbreviation for Anwernekenhe Anwernekenhe translates as ‘Us Mob Meeting in this Place’ Anwernekenhe terminology as given by the Elders to participants of the first gathering in 1994 (Gay & Sistergirl HIV/Sexual Health Conference) Anwernekenhe gatherings – 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2011 Conferences broadened to ‘whole of community’ in 2006 Incorporated in 2008 Commenced as an organisation in late 2011 Board of 11/ Staff of 1
  3. 3. HOW DOES THE ANA WORK Anwernekenhe Conferences ANA A&TSI Secretariat Community Collaborating ANA Strategic Partners & Work plans
  4. 4. CURRENT ANA PRIORITIES Establishing our Secretariat Securing Funding Building on our partnership with AFAO and its membership Building a working partnership with NACCHO and its members Implementing our Strategic Plan 2011 – 2015
  5. 5. PRIORITIES FOR OUR COMMUNITY Anwernekenhe 5 - Key Themes  Good HIV-related care and support is available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, especially those living with HIV or who are marginalised because of sexuality, transgender status, because they are engaged in sex work or inject drugs  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have problems with drugs and alcohol have access to culturally appropriate prevention, care and support services Culturally appropriate and relevant research is conducted so that our constituents’ needs are understood and inform service planning  HIV risks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are not made worse by incarceration
  6. 6. PRIORITIES FOR OUR COMMUNITY Anwernekenhe 5 - Key Themes  Agencies collaborate effectively to build a stronger health sector capable of meeting the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by HIV  There is continued focus on the stigma and discrimination experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by HIV  There are culturally appropriate sexual health education programs and resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities affected by HIV
  7. 7. BARRIERS TO AN EFFECTIVE RESPONSECommonwealth government funding People resources Denial in some communities of some issues (IDU, Gay & Sistergirl) Higher population of younger people ( 15- 30) High rates of STI’s Mobile & Transient communities Northern Territory Intervention
  8. 8. WHAT HAS BEN ACHIEVED A collaborative consistent response for over 18 years lower rates of HIV in Indigenous communities compared to othercountries Culturally appropriate HIV prevention support and programs Early identification of sexual abuse within our communities Early identification of increasing rates of IDU - 1998/2002 Moving to a ‘whole of community’ response 4/5 yearly national gatherings The establishment of our own organisation
  9. 9. THANKYOU