Loading... Updating...
Your cart is empty
Checkout View Cart
View all resources
Loading... Updating...
Your cart is empty
Checkout View Cart
View all resources
Cart & Checkout (0)
Loading... Updating...
Your cart is empty
Checkout View Cart
View all resources

The Champion #103 – February 2022

This issue:

  1. New online hep B training launched
  2. New video – Hep C Cures, Better by a Country Mile!
  3. 2021 Audrey Lamb Community Forum video
  4. Farewell Paul Harvey
  5. Closing the Gap at YABUN 2022

Champion eNews | February 2022 | 103

New online hep B training launched

New Hep B training course

Hepatitis NSW has launched a new online learning module! Our Hepatitis B Module has everything you need to know to get up-to-speed on this virus – transmission, testing and monitoring, treatment, and its social impacts – in an interactive, modern, and simple format. Best of all, it takes about 45-60 minutes to complete.

Hepatitis B can be a tricky subject, but this course helps make it more accessible and easy to understand. If you’ve got new staff starting in the sector, this is a great introduction to the topic and will give them a solid starting point. Similarly, if it’s been a few years since you updated your knowledge on hep B then this is the perfect opportunity to refresh. Best of all, there’s a certificate of completion at the end to hang proudly on your wall!

This new module was designed specifically to give a non-medical, non-clinical introduction and overview of hepatitis B. The information is general in nature and aims to give those who work in and around hep B a basic introduction to the topic.

Course overview

  1. Introduction to hep B
  2. How is hep B transmitted and who is at risk?
  3. Testing and vaccinations
  4. Hep B check-ups & treatment
  5. Living well with hep B
  6. Stigma, discrimination, myths, and culture
  7. Take home messages

Currently, available information on hep B can often be quite complex or hard to find in a straightforward format. The virus is also is very different to hep C, and knowledge of one doesn’t always apply to the other. We expect this detailed introduction to the virus will give you a good foundation of understanding. While this information is available and open to all, the intended audience is those who work in the community sector including in homelessness services, alcohol and other drug services, youth services, and migrant community services. The content is not for clinical practice and is not to be considered medical advice.

There are questions and activities throughout to test your knowledge and reflect your learnings. Once completed, you have the option to return to the Hepatitis NSW website and complete further modules, or proceed to some additional resources.

We’ve got a slate of new releases planned over the coming months with hep C, and smaller supplementary modules – covering COVID and viral hep, hepatitis A, and stigma and discrimination. – to follow. Stay tuned for more online learning modules.

HNSW Annual Report 2020-2021

New video – Hep C Cures, Better by a Country Mile!

Better by a Country Mile video

Attitudes around hep C, and access to treatments and cure, in regional and rural NSW can often be a different experience from the big cities, and this is the theme of our latest video – Better by a Country Mile.

While many people joke about the “good old days of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” they can still find it hard to talk about hep C because of stigma associated with past injecting drug use. That level of difficulty can be even greater talking with the family doctor, who might be the town’s only GP. For health practitioners, their levels of knowledge around testing, treatment and cure can vary significantly across the state, as can their ability or willingness to talk, stigma free, about hep C and injecting drug use.

For this video, we spoke with Katherine McQuillan, a Community Hepatology Nurse Practitioner for the Western NSW Local Health District in Bathurst. She told us it can be good to shop around. “Talk to a community nurse – they know all the ins and outs. You can ask a nurse about booking a telehealth consultation with a GP – who knows about hep C – from outside your region. You can book a consult with a local hepatitis outreach nurse – treating hep C is their specialty and can be less confronting.”

Katherine says a difficult conversation about hep C now, will likely avoid more pain down the track. Curing hep C as soon as possible will help you avoid the risk of liver failure or liver cancer.

We were also fortunate to be given permission by Cold Chisel/Universal Music to use their song Khe Sanh with the video – which helped us tune it in with our main audience: country people – now in their 50s and 60s – who might have been part of the rock ‘n’ roll party scene in the 1980s.

2021 Audrey Lamb Community Forum video

Assoc Prof Simone Strasser - Audrey Lamb Community Forum 2021

The Audrey Lamb Community Forum (ALCF) is a yearly keynote address that precedes the Hepatitis NSW Annual General Meeting. The Forum itself is named after Audrey Lamb, OAM, who was a co-founder of the Hepatitis C Council of NSW (now Hepatitis NSW). Sadly, she passed away in 2008 following a short and very intense battle with cancer. We honour Audrey through this Community Forum and the delivery of an annual keynote address by a leading community member.

The address for 2021 featured Assoc. Prof. Simone Strasser (pictured), in conversation with Hepatitis NSW CEO, Steven Drew. Simone, is a well-known and highly regarded hepatologist and gastroenterologist with many years of experience. The theme of the discussion was whether the recent COVID pandemic had potentially derailed State and Commonwealth viral hepatitis elimination goals.

NSW has set an elimination date of 2028 for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and Steven asked Simone to give her us take on how achievable this might be given there are now only seven years remaining. Simone’s keynote was engaging, and she covered a wide range of related issues including what it has been like on the front line, dealing not only with COVID, but with the scaling back of liver services to enable the redirection of services and resources. She also spoke about the impact of COVID on diagnosis, management, treatment, and care of people with viral hepatitis and liver disease.

If you missed the 2021 ALCF, or want to watch it again, you can now catch the video on our YouTube channel.

Farewell Paul Harvey

Farewell Paul Harvey

After nearly 30 years working with Hepatitis NSW, Paul Harvey – our Information and Communications Manager – retired late January. Paul started as a volunteer with the organisation in the 1990s during our formative days and has been with it every step of the way since. He was the editor of the Hep Review magazine (from back when it was initially the Hepatitis C Support Group Newsletter, then The Hep C Review). He has contributed greatly to many resources and campaigns – both large and small – all in the name of keeping the community informed about testing. treatments, lifestyle management, and their rights in the face of stigma and discrimination.

At the request of Hepatitis Australia, Paul wrote the following to reflect on his time with Hepatitis NSW and his service to the community – and it is our pleasure to reprint it here:

“Way back in the early ’90s, I surprised myself by getting involved in a community group. I’d been living a bohemian and rather aimless life – lots of immediate pleasures but not a lot of commitment or direction – and I quickly realised that I enjoyed the feeling of anchoring from the Hepatitis C Support Group. We were a disparate group of people here in Sydney, initially around a dozen, and we leaned on each other’s skill sets. I discovered personal skills which included creating documents – “how to” guides for volunteer phone workers and producing newsletters. Other people worked with interstate collaboration, fundraising, media and volunteer recruitment and management. Our community group was a fertile petri-dish and we quickly grew and expanded our activities. It all seemed very exciting to me.

“Our early milestone events seem very clear: we gained funding from NSW Health, a seeding grant; we secured our first office, a temporary room in a commercial terrace building in Surry Hills; we employed our first CEO, Stuart Loveday, a move that set us up for decades to come. Other milestones were less obvious. I remember Don Baxter the ACON CEO reminding us that we had a greater influence than we realised. Although not a milestone, per se, Don’s comments stuck in my memory, probably coming at a time when things weren’t going as well as we wanted. In effect, he was commenting on the growing success of Hepatitis NSW’s networking and relationship building. Whether it was individual medical specialists or professional bodies, local health districts, Sydney City, South Sydney or other Local Government Area councils, other States and Territories, nursing, AOD and NSP networks, we would work with almost everyone who shared our path or had mutual goals.

“My work as a person with lived experience, and as a speaker, was always tinged with feelings of vulnerability and fears around stigma. It was about a mixture of low self-esteem and fear of scrutiny or criticism; traits that played some role in my contracting hep C back in the 1980s. With Hepatitis NSW I didn’t see myself as a confident or clever public speaker, but others – effective and engaging speakers – did exist and they played valuable roles while I tended to avoid the limelight. Perhaps our most effective speakers were the team assembled and supported by David Pieper and Alastair Lawrie – our Community Mobilisation Volunteers. These stars were recruited in the lead up to 2016 and they worked hard building community action in their local regions across NSW always with an eye on their local politicians and media.

“Looking back on 28 years of work in this sector, there is much that I am proud of. There is our sheer volume of output. I remember working closely with Stuart Loveday, putting in long days, often working overnighters to meet many deadlines. On the specific side of things, in addition to the now finished Hep Review magazine (see below), I am very proud of the recent Get Tested, Get Cured video, and the current Hep C Cures – Better By A Country Mile video. These are projects that were hugely enjoyable in a creative sense and I’ll remember them fondly. But there is an oft forgotten project: the HepCAustralasia Online Support Forum, which up until 2016, was an integral part of our online presence. It is hard to over-emphasise the impact that the forum had on the Australian and New Zealand hep C landscape. Over a decade, it supported thousands of individuals through the difficult pre-DAA years of hepatitis C. “Newbies” became members; some became moderators; some became conference speakers. It was a pleasure and honour to work with the dedicated team of people, all volunteers, who built and maintained an incredibly vibrant healing and supportive environment.”

Many thanks and congrats, Paul. Enjoy retirement!

Hep Review Archive: 24 years of hepatitis news

Hep Review covers

Hep Review was our magazine from 1992-2016 and all 91 editions are now archived online for you to access and read.

Growing from a four-page photocopied newsletter to a 68-page, full colour glossy magazine, Hep Review chronicled hepatitis C and hepatitis B challenges and accomplishments in NSW and Australia, and around the world… with articles, information, news, interviews, and much more.

It is a significant part of our history, and the history of affected communities. Please check it out!

Access Hep Review Archive >>>CLICK HERE

Closing the Gap at YABUN 2022

Hepatitis NSW at YABUN 2022

YABUN is a one of a kind event that honours the survival of the world’s oldest living culture. It’s held annually in recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in Australia on 26 January, upon the traditional lands of the Gadigal people in Sydney, at Camperdown’s Victoria Park. Last year, due to COVID, the event was held online and broadcast on Koori Radio – but was back again this year with COVID safety measures in place.

Hepatitis NSW, along with other 414 Close the Gap partners – NUAA, SWOP and ACON – shared a stall at YABUN 2022.

The Festival features live music, a bustling stalls market, panel discussions and community forums on Aboriginal issues, children’s activities, and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural performances. The stalls market includes a wide range of food and merchandise, as well as stalls operated by community organisations promoting services and information.

The event gave us the chance to meet, talk and share information about hepatitis C and hepatitis B with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people at YABUN. Hepatitis NSW staff and volunteers were able to connect with other community organisations and health stall holders, allowing for promotion of Hepatitis NSW resources and health promotion services.

Subscribe to The Champion
Did you find this helpful? Share with someone else.