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 #117 – August 2023

This issue:

  1. World Hepatitis Day with Dr Kerry Chant at NCIE
  2. Community fanfare for momentous relaunch of the Lismore Liver Clinic during Hepatitis Awareness Week
  3. #HEPCURED 2023 campaign highlights with our NSW Local Health District collaborators
  4. C’ing into the Future
  5. Hep B awareness outreach stall at Westmead Hospital
  6. Employment Opportunity at Hepatitis NSW: Aboriginal Program Officer
  7. Help us improve our site and go in the draw to win $50

World Hepatitis Day with Dr Kerry Chant at NCIE

Hepatitis NSW was pleased to welcome Dr Kerry Chant, NSW Chief Health Officer and Deputy Secretary, Population and Public Health, to our World Hepatitis Day event held at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) on 28th July.

Dr Chant delivered the keynote speech, highlighting the importance of celebrating our achievements while also refocusing our efforts to maintain our connection with communities. “Things will get more difficult before they get easier,” she said.

Dr Chant described how the pandemic created new challenges in delivering health care, but also led to innovations to do things faster and smarter, which helps in other areas, such as supporting those with hepatitis B and C. Challenges include diagnosis and lifelong monitoring of hep B, as well as providing support for other chronic health risks.

Dr Chant officially launched our new booklet Yarnin’ about hep B, which we developed specifically for an Aboriginal audience, drawing on consultation and input from community focus groups and Aboriginal Health Care Workers.

Various community issues were highlighted in speeches by our peer workers, such as stigma, discrimination, adjusting to life and needing support after leaving prison, and difficulty accessing health care in remote communities due to challenges such as transport issues.

Associate Professor Loren Brener from UNSW’s Centre for Social Research in Health presented findings from research with communities affected by hepatitis B, into stigma and discrimination, both of which are often fuelled by misinformation about transmission, leading to social exclusion. Many with hepatitis B experience shame, particularly in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Filipino communities.

Community is at the centre of Hepatitis NSW’s strategies to raise awareness about hepatitis B and C, in order to overcome barriers to people accessing the treatment they need.

Community fanfare for momentous relaunch of the Lismore Liver Clinic during Hepatitis Awareness Week

Lismore NSW, August 2023 – With celebratory fanfare, the newly opened Lismore Liver Clinic – which forms part of the Northern NSW local health district – has been relaunched during Hepatitis Awareness Week. Comedian Mandy Nolan lent a festive tone as MC, alongside a speech from Hepatitis NSW’s CEO, Steven Drew, ahead of the cutting of a festooned ribbon at the clinic’s front door.

“Finally, the Northern NSW Liver Clinic has returned to the CBD after the devastating floods in 2022. The struggles that were overcome to get to this point have been immense – including the Clinic having to move up to six times into temporary sites over the past 16 months,” explained Jen Heslop, Northern NSW HARP Manager, also adding appreciation of the staff. “It is a testament to their dedication.”

The floods of February-March 2022 were the biggest recorded in modern Australian history, inundating Lismore, and devastating the town and the rest of the surrounding Northern Rivers region.

“The analogy provided by [MC] Mandy was that Lismore is like the liver of NSW, since it had regenerated hardcore after the 2022 floods that had devastated the town,” Ms Heslop continued, expressing the emotion of what the relaunch truly means for the local community and staff, “New beginnings!”

The two-day event was joined by local communities and health sector workers: Staff from both Mid North Coast and Northern NSW Local Health District, ACON Northern Rivers, AOD workers, Aboriginal Health workers, homelessness sector workers, and members of the community who worked as part of Lismore’s Recovery Centres.

Mid North Coast HARP staff were there with the ‘big blue’ outreach clinic van to promote hep C information, treatment, and cure – supported by Hepatitis NSW peer workers, who encouraged community members to an on-the-spot hep C RNA point of care test. The community welcomed the engagement and hep C education, information, and health promotion services, and the numerous HEP CURED resources distributed.

The HEP CURED Mobile Mural – Hepatitis NSW’s large travelling billboard on the back of a truck – was also there in downtown Lismore to bring colour to Molesworth Avenue. The Mural’s campaign message hails the effective cure of hep C treatment, and the truck would then continue its tour in the ensuing days onward to Tweed and Grafton – to accompany hep C testing outreach activities in the NSW region.

Speaking at the event, Hepatitis NSW CEO Steven Drew welcomed the relaunch of the Liver Clinic and the opportunity to be back in Lismore to support the vital work of the North Coast NSW and Mid North Coast NSW Local Health Districts.

“Being able to celebrate the relaunch, reconnect with our HARP colleagues and LHD teams is a reminder of the importance of partnerships and of the incredible shared passion for the work we do together. Everyone and every team is as vital as the other – bringing valuable skills and expertise to support people dealing with their hepatitis and liver health. Hepatitis NSW is thrilled to support and be a part of this service.”

#HEPCURED 2023 campaign highlights with our NSW Local Health District collaborators

Hepatitis Awareness Week 2023 (extended) – We’ve wrapped up a hive of activity promoting HEP CURED – our campaign that raises hep C treatment awareness on the road – held in conjunction with our NSW Local Health District collaborators, whose testing and treatment activities were supported by hep C peer workers being the bridge between community to clinical outreach and referral services.

The campaign promotes game-changing treatments that cure hep C for 98% of people.

View our slideshow album to see some campaign highlights >>>CLICK HERE

Also check out the HEP CURED Mobile Mural winners of our social media competition! >>>CLICK HERE

C’ing into the Future

In July, the Sydney Local Health District hosted a showcase presentation titled C’ing into the Future: Hepatitis C Elimination in NSW is Possible.

This formed part of their Sydney Innovation & Research Symposium – a flagship event that aims to spark new ideas and foster collaboration.

The presentation featured a multi-disciplinary panel of guests who all provided perspectives on the successes of working collaboratively with multi-disciplinary hep C testing teams, comprising health workers (such as hepatology nurses and health promotion staff), community health staff, and peer workers with lived experience with hepatitis C.

On this panel, Justine Doidge (also known as JD), who works at Hepatitis NSW as a Peer Project Officer, elaborated on how peer work is fundamental.

“People who experience marginalisation, who still may experience stigma and discrimination within health settings, need to feel supported and safe. Peer workers are essential to outreach services where hep C testing and health promotion are being offered.”

“Peer workers can help bridge trust for a person who is hesitant to engage with healthcare – whether that is in an Opioid Treatment Program site, correctional centre or other community hub setting. If that person has a positive experience towards being tested and/or treated, it is more likely they will re-engage with healthcare.”

To read more about the presentation >>>CLICK HERE

Hep B Awareness Outreach Stall at Westmead Hospital

As part of our outreach during Hepatitis Awareness Week, we teamed up with the Western Sydney LHD to set up a hepatitis B awareness stall.

The stall featured resources with information about hepatitis B in English, Chinese and Korean, as well as promotional gifts that passers-by could take away. The Liver Clinic “Jade Fans” and pins quickly disappeared, even after a refill!

The booklets “Hepatitis B: Mothers and babies” and “The hepatitis B story” were especially popular, which means more people will be informed about hepatitis B, helping to reduce stigma, and encourage them to get tested for hepatitis B.

Employment Opportunity at Hepatitis NSW: Aboriginal Program Officer

Hepatitis NSW is delighted to be advertising for the role of Program Officer – Aboriginal Community Engagement at Hepatitis NSW. This is a full-time, 35 hour per week role.

This role is a fantastic opportunity to drive meaningful engagement and genuine health improvement for and with Aboriginal people and communities across NSW. The main drawcards of this role include:

Full details and application portal can be found on the job advertisement on Ethical Jobs here.

Applications close 5:00pm Wednesday the 6th of September.

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