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Champion April 2024 banner

Website Launch and World Liver Day event

To mark World Liver Day, Hepatitis NSW launched our refreshed and redesigned website with a special event at NSW Parliament House. The event included guest speakers including our Hepatitis NSW lived experience speaker, Rachel, and Dr Joe Lawler, leading consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist who is also one of our Board members.

The website was officially launched by Dr Kerry Chant AO PSM, the NSW Chief Health Officer. The revamped website has an expanded liver health section, that covers topics including the causes of liver damage and disease, signs and symptoms, the effects of alcohol and diet on overall liver health, and on liver scarring (cirrhosis). The site also has liver resources available for viewing online, downloading or ordering.

Importantly, the website also has a searchable service directory that can assist visitors to find appropriate local services across NSW. Steven Drew, CEO said “The redesigned website is the result of detailed analyses to help identify and define keywords, themes, issues, or blockers and respond to collected feedback. As a result, it offers easier navigation and has a more effective and functional search capability. Most journeys will now take less steps and information will be found more quickly and easily. It has improved legibility based on best practice standards for usability and accessibility, including across a range of devices.”

Hepatitis NSW encourages everyone to visit our new, fresh website at https://www.hep.org.au and the Liver Health pages https://www.hep.org.au/liver-health

Peer Partnership Training

Elle and JD, from our Peer Partnership team, travelled to Coffs Harbour this month for a day of Peer training. Five people from Coffs, and as far afield as Taree and Tweed Heads, joined them for the session. This was the first time we have taken the training to a regional setting (rather than requiring trainees to travel to Sydney) and it worked a treat!

Alex Wade, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Mid North Coast Liver Clinics from the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNC LHD) was a welcome guest at the sessions and spoke with the peer trainees about the collaborative work that our partner organisations and peers do together. The training was a huge success, and the new peers were engaged and excited about the upcoming work planned for their region.

The tireless Alex generously showed JD and Elle around Pete’s Place (a St Vincent de Paul run engagement hub for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness) and the Liver Clinic at Coffs Harbour Hospital. Our team enjoyed great hospitality, lovely weather, the beauty of Coffs and the wonderful company of our newest recruits. The Peer Partnership Program looks forward to doing more local regional training sometime soon!

Mums and Bubs Seminar

Hepatitis NSW continues our outreach into our priority communities alongside partner organisations, aiming to raise awareness of hep B, create better understanding, debunk misinformation and reduce stigma. On 10th April, we hosted a hep B and liver health information session with the mother’s group of Hornsby Uniting Church, in collaboration with Relationships Australia.

The session was conducted by our new staff member, Willis (Hepatitis B and Multicultural Liver Health Project Officer) and Mina (Priority Populations Project Officer), in both Korean and Chinese languages.
Their post-event surveys showed that all participants correctly identified blood tests as the only method of knowing a person’s hep B status and that they had learned the absolute necessity for people living with chronic hep B to have their liver checked every 6 months.

The young mothers were very proactive, approaching our team with questions such as, “what would happen if antibodies were not generated after vaccination?” This is a strong testament to the team’s engaging presentation, as the participant’s health literacy had clearly increased. Willis and Mina were delighted to answer this and many other questions, creating a positive and inclusive afternoon.

‘Being able to connect with the community and show them our passion in raising the awareness of liver health is exciting. Having the opportunity to share our experience, and support those in need, is more than meaningful to me. My wish is to end any discrimination towards hep B.’ Willis

New staff at Hep NSW!

Hepatitis NSW continues to build our capacity and expertise. In the last couple of weeks, we have appointed three dynamic new staff members to community facing positions. Maia joined the Aboriginal Community Engagement program.

Maia will plan and deliver hepatitis B and C health promotion with Aboriginal communities across NSW, building strong relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders to increase access to health services.

Emma joined our Custody to Community Project and will assist people on hepatitis C treatment exiting prison to complete their treatment and cure in community.

Willis joined our Hepatitis B and Multicultural Liver Health team and will network with our partners to develop and evaluate materials and resources that meet the identified needs of our priority Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese communities.

If you would like to collaborate with our new staff, please contact Priority Populations and Settings team manager, Kyle Leadbeatter at [email protected]. (Artwork by Brianna Curtis)

HepBCommunity 2024 Research Showcase

Our friends on the HepBCommunity Forum are encouraging conversations between scientific researchers and communities affected by hep B. The 2024 Research Showcase is now on and the HepBCommunity Forum invites hep B researchers from around the world to share their important research. Anyone from the hep B community can ask researchers questions about their exciting work. The best questions will be picked to win a $100 USD gift card. Forum members will also be able to vote on the most engaging researchers, who will win a $250 USD gift card.

The cut-off for new threads describing research is June 30th, 2024.
Short-lists will be announced July 10th with voting closing on July 19th, 2024.
Winners will be announced on World Hepatitis Day July 28th, 2024.
For more information see https://www.hepbcommunity.org/c/research-showcase-2024/25

Tx! Mag Story Shout Out

Tx! MAG is our easy-read comic which looks at issues related to hepatitis B and hepatitis C. While stories in Tx! MAG are fictional, they are developed through community consultations and are always realistic, factual and down-to-earth. For our next edition we’d like to include real personal stories and are hoping you, or someone you know, can contribute. Are you able to share your story? Reading about your experience could encourage someone to start hep C treatment or get tested and monitored for hepatitis B. We’re looking for short personal stories from people currently living in New South Wales, who have lived experience of hepatitis B or C.
We are looking for personal stories, about one or two specific moments – like finding out you had hep C and how it affected your life, or experiences of stigma or discrimination, that may have come from family, friends or medical staff. You could write about your hep C treatment journey such as trying the old treatment, how the new treatments were for you, and how you feel now you’ve been cured.
It doesn’t matter how well you can write. It’s your story and that’s what’s important!
What we need

If we use your story, we will send you a $200 Coles/Myer gift card.
If you need to know more, please contact: Steven Davis (Tx! MAG Editor): [email protected]
Check out back-issues on our gorgeous new website!

Hepatitis B Mothers and Babies

Hepatitis NSW has a great catalogue of helpful and informative resources including our popular Hepatitis B Mothers and Babies brochure.

This is an easy read brochure for pregnant women diagnosed with hep B during antenatal screening. Hep B diagnosis can be stressful for mums-to-be, and this resource helps to ease their concerns with reassuring info given in a confidential, non-judgmental and friendly format. Hepatitis B Mothers and Babies is written and designed for women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, but can be used by anyone.

The brochure covers a description of hepatitis B, transmission and treatment options, how to protect your baby, and much more!

If you are a midwife, or an OB/GYN, or offer maternity or shared care services, please consider ordering copies for your clients.

To read the Hepatitis B Mothers and Babies brochure online or order FREE copies >>>CLICK HERE

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