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Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Network 2018 conference


8 August 2018, 08:30am to 8 August 2018, 04:30pm

Rydges, World Square – Sydney
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This year's theme is: Walk a mile in my shoes…do we ever factor in social determinants into how we deliver health care?


How do we incorporate the social determinants of health into the clinical setting and who are our key partners to help us do this?


There are significant health disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. At least 34.4 per cent of the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples is linked to social determinants, which rises to 53.2 per cent when combined with behavioural risk factors, such as tobacco use, alcohol use, dietary factors and physical inactivity.

Consideration of the cultural determinants of health is just as important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as a strong connection to culture is strongly correlated with good health, through strengthened identity, resilience and wellbeing.

A social determinants approach considers a holistic whole of life lens through the broad social, political, economic, cultural and environmental context in which people live and the impact these contexts have on health and wellbeing. The health sector itself is a good place to start building supports and structures that encourage action on the social determinants of health and health equity.

Call for Abstracts

We are seeking abstracts from a range of stakeholders involved with policy, research or service delivery that include a social determinants of health approach in driving change and innovation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities throughout NSW and aboard.

We recognise that a social determinants approach will span across a range of categories. As such you are welcomed to select multiple categories as you see fit and that aligned to your innovations.

We encourage submissions from a range of perspectives from varied providers and welcome input from Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

For further information please contact Kiel Hennessey:

Authors must submit abstracts using attached template before the 14th June 2018; via email to An email acknowledgement will be sent to the presenting author once your abstract is successfully submitted. Please note that only electronic submissions will be accepted. Abstracts received after the deadline will NOT be accepted.

Abstract Categories

Foundations for a Healthy Life

For Aboriginal peoples, social and emotional wellbeing is a holistic concept which encompasses health and mental wellbeing, but furthermore acknowledges the central significance of connection to culture, family, community and land.

Continuing efforts to support perinatal and early childhood health is fundamental to bringing about the sustained improvements needed to improved health outcomes.

Building on these efforts, investment must consider opportunities to embed an integrated service framework, ensuring a holistic approach to supporting and strengthening families, with a focus on supporting children to develop the foundations for a happy, healthy life.

Healthy development during gestation and early in life has long-lasting consequences. These early days are a crucial window of opportunity to set children up for a healthy, prosperous life.

We invite abstracts that have a focus on foundations for a healthy life and provide the opportunity to share learnings and best evidence practises.

Unemployment – Success & Wellbeing

Employment and working conditions are significant social determinants of heath. In broader populations, unemployment has been linked with poor health outcomes, particularly psychosocial stress which has a direct negative impact on physical, mental health and wellbeing.

The causal pathways between employment, income and health outcomes for Aboriginal peoples are complex. However, enabling Aboriginal people to participate in paid work leads to higher incomes which in turn, provide resources which are positive for health and wellbeing.

Through the assurance of fair employment and decent working conditions, government, employers, and workers can help eradicate poverty, alleviate social inequities, reduce exposure to physical and psychosocial hazards, and enhance opportunities for health and well-being. And, of course, a healthy workforce is good for productivity.

We invite abstracts that have a focus on unemployment and provide the opportunity to share learnings and best evidence practises.

Education – Health Literacy & Opportunity

Education epitomises the role of social determinants and cultural determinants of health. People with low educational attainment tend to have poorer health, fewer opportunities, lower incomes and reduced employment prospects.

Addressing health literacy is critical to effective partnerships with consumers. Improving health literacy contributes to a greater sense of empowerment, better quality of care and can lead to improved outcomes for people and their families.

Multi-faceted strategies addressing access to education, family and community engagement, home learning environments, mentors, culturally inclusive support strategies and pathways to employment are needed to improve education outcomes.

We invite abstracts that have a focus on education and provide the opportunity to share learnings and best evidence practises.

Housing – Environmental Health

Social determinants influence both the exposure to and impact of environmental risks that lead to infection, disease and poor health.

A myriad of diseases are directly linked to poor environmental health, including respiratory infections, gastroenteritis, trachoma, skin disease and middle ear infection.

These diseases have the potential to cause long-term health problems and disabilities that adversely affect a person’s ability to learn and engage fully in education and employment.

Housing is an important mediating factor for health and wellbeing. Functional housing encompasses basic services/facilities, infrastructure and habitability. Improved access to functional housing is associated with better health outcomes.

We invite abstracts that have a focus on housing and provide the opportunity to share learnings and best evidence practises.

Racism – Culture at the Centre of Change

Racism has a negative effect on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples. Racism operates through a number of pathways to affect health and wellbeing negatively.

Historical and current context of invasion and the related issues such as dispossession, removal from land and separation from family and community are overarching drivers of social, economic and health inequities experienced by Aboriginal peoples.

The impacts of invasion have cascading effects which flow through to economic, material, social and cultural disadvantage.

We invite abstracts that have a focus on racism and provide the opportunity to share learnings and best evidence practises.


Drug and other substance use is a contributing factor to illness and disease, accident and injury, violence and crime, family and social disruption and workplace problems.

Alcohol and substance use services provide a variety of interventions and support that seek to address harmful alcohol and other drug use, and restore the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of clients and their families.

For communities, there is increased potential for social disruption, such as that caused by family violence, crime and assaults. Research has identified relationships with loss of control and abusive behaviour, ranging from physical to emotional violence.

We invite abstracts that have a focus on addiction and provide the opportunity to share learnings and best evidence practises.

Transport – Health Service Access

Transport is a key enabler for access to health care, goods and services.  There are various barriers to accessing appropriate health care including logistics, cost and reliability of transport options.

These challenges have a broader impact on social and economic circumstances of both health-service users who need to travel significant distances while unwell, along with carers who support attendance at services for antenatal care, young children, people with a disability, or people suffering from chronic health conditions, mental health or substance use issues.

We invite abstracts that have a focus on transport and provide the opportunity to share learnings and best evidence practises.

Family Violence – Strong Communities

Family violence impacts on Aboriginal people at vastly disproportionate rates and has devastating effects across Aboriginal communities.

Family violence is complex and has a number of contributing factors, including intergenerational trauma, removal of children, discrimination, poverty, mental health issues, family violence, homelessness, disability, lower levels of literacy and numeracy, as well as a range of other cultural, legal and non-legal issues.

Family violence is not part of Aboriginal culture. However, the disadvantage, dispossession and attempted destruction of Aboriginal cultures since invasion have meant that family violence has proliferated in Aboriginal communities.

We invite abstracts that have a focus on family violence and provide the opportunity to share learnings and best evidence practises.

Please note that a clinical focus will be applied as part of the criteria in selecting successful abstracts across all categories.

Abstract Format

  1. Word Limit. Abstracts cannot exceed 500 words (excluding names of authors and bios). Font must be Arial. Font Size of the Main Text must be 12-points. Single line spacing.
  2. Title. First heading must be chosen from the 8 Categories above followed by the abstract title which must be in Title Case, e.g. 1. Foundations for a healthy life “Community Led Programs” The title should be brief and clearly indicate the content of the abstract. Avoid using abbreviations in the title.
  3. Author Information. Author and co-author names, institutions, cities and States are to be included. Please include title, family name and initials of author(s) followed by a short biography of the author(s) of no more than 500 words.
  4. Content. Each abstract must contain sufficient details for review by the panel. Make the abstract as informative as possible. Clearly indicate the aims and conclusions supported by data if applicable. Results stated in the abstracts must be complete (though concise) and final. Organise the body of the abstract as follows: (a) background, (b) Objective, (c) methods, (d) outcomes, (e) conclusions.




180 people to attend in person. Live streaming will be available.

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Event Contact

Kiel Hennessey, Manager, Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Network

9464 4686