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The Champion #75 – Professional

This issue:

  1. Launching 2019 NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week and World Hepatitis Day
  2. Our first Reconciliation Action Plan now available
  3. Positions available at Hepatitis NSW
  4. National Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project goes online
  5. Website news, views, and a whole new liver section!
  6. Hepatitis NSW video, radio, media and conference news
  7. Steep declines in hep C among people who inject drugs

The Champion #75 August 2019

Launching 2019 NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week and World Hepatitis Day

NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week was launched on 22 July with a successful event held by Hepatitis NSW at Surry Hills. With over 60 people attending from across the community sector, government agencies, and research and clinical fields, it was a great opportunity to hear the latest on viral hepatitis elimination and other related issues.

The event commenced with a Welcome to Country by Mr Allen Madden from the Metropolitan Land Council.

Dr Kerry Chant – the NSW Chief Health Officer, NSW Ministry of Health – then delivered the keynote address, speaking of achievements in progress to eliminate hepatitis C and hepatitis B as a public health concern, and of the challenges still ahead. NSW has set 2028 as the target for hepatitis C elimination, and while there are tens of thousands of people still to be cured she was optimistic this would be achieved as so many Local Health Districts are doing great work to initiate treatment among people in their communities.

Other speakers included:

Significantly, there were also two speakers from the community:

NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week is an opportunity to focus on and highlight the great work in hepatitis C and hepatitis B being undertaken by so many people, organisations, and agencies across the state. Those efforts, of course, are not confined to just one week of the year and we are always working hard to ensure the same level of awareness remains year long.

Hepatitis Awareness Week ended with World Hepatitis Day on July 28.

Our first Reconciliation Action Plan now available

Reconciliation Action Plan

Hepatitis NSW launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) during the wonderful NAIDOC event held at 414 Elizabeth Street. Our vision for reconciliation is of a culture that embraces unity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. We seek to build genuine, mutually respectful partnerships between organisations working to end viral hepatitis in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In this way communities will be empowered and fully involved in improving their health and reducing the impact of viral hepatitis on their lives. 

Nationally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are over-represented in viral hepatitis diagnoses, including in NSW. Our RAP adds an extra layer of direct accountability to the work Hepatitis NSW does with these communities. Hepatitis NSW has committed to helping Close the Gap on health and, in particular on viral hepatitis in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health. The implementation of this RAP ensures additional quality standards for our work with the people of these communities.

Our perception that we are “doing well” is not enough, so we have embedded minimum standards for our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and have accountability through performance measurement and reporting. These additional standards are set at an achievable level, and add to the work with NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that are already in our service delivery programs (education and community support, information and communication) and through our advocacy, policy, media and representation work.

To read our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)>>> CLICK HERE

Positions at Hepatitis NSW

Position Vacancies

Chief Executive Officer
As many readers may know, towards the end this year, Mr Stuart Loveday will be retiring from his role as the CEO of Hepatitis NSW after serving 25 years in the position.

Hepatitis NSW is now advertising for the key position of Chief Executive Officer.

Full details and a job pack>>> CLICK HERE

Applicants wishing to speak about the position are welcome to contact Hepatitis NSW President Dr Denise Jarratt by emailing our Office Manager at [email protected] leaving their contact details including their phone number, and Denise will call to discuss.

Closing date: 5 pm Monday 12 August 2019
Interviews: 19 August 2019

Project Officer Health Promotion (p/t 21hpw)
We are also seeking a highly motivated person to join our Health Promotion and Community Support team. Reporting to the Programs Manager, you will have the responsibility of supporting the Coordinator, Health Promotion, to support the delivery of education, workforce development and capacity building activities.

Full details and a job pack>>> CLICK HERE

Closing date: 16 August, 2019
Interviews: 21 August 2019

Further information:

Sandy Davidson, Programs Manager
phone: 02 8217 7703

National Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project goes online

National Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project now online

A new website – the Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project Online Portal – provides a highly interactive tool for exploring the geographic diversity of viral hepatitis in Australia. The project is a joint initiative of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis Epidemiology, The Doherty Institute and ASHM, and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

The portal presents the most recently available data on chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C by Primary Health Network (PHN) across Australia, making it possible to explore comparisons between regions and to focus in on areas of interest.

Some of the ways to use the Online Portal:

Localised priority-setting is a key objective of recent healthcare reform in Australia, and enhancing access to treatment and care is a priority action in both the National Hepatitis B Strategy 2018-22 and the National Hepatitis C Strategy 2018-22. Identifying areas where prevalence is high and/or care or treatment uptake is low provides the opportunity to engage with affected communities, prioritise interventions and improve local service delivery in areas of greatest need.

To visit the portal>>>CLICK HERE

More info:

Courtney Smith
email: [email protected]

Website news, views, and a whole new liver section!

No doubt, most of us would prefer not to think too much about what goes on in the mysterious sounding ‘back-end’ of website function. Web work and Search Engine Optimisation (to improve web search results in Google) is usually done behind the scenes but, in this issue of The Champion, we have an update on what we’ve been doing to improve the inner workings and reach of our website hep.org.au.

Hepatitis NSW video, radio, media and conference news

“Hep C Can Be Cured” video series
As part of a project with our Community Media Speakers we have launched two new short videos. Please check them out, and if you could share/thumbs up/comment on them too it would be greatly appreciated:

ABC Radio Sydney interview
Hepatitis NSW CEO Stuart Loveday spoke with Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck at ABC Radio Sydney during NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week. To listen>>> CLICK HERE

Being cured of hepatitis C a “huge relief”
Based on a media release we co-authored with NSW Health, this article features quotes from Jase, another of our community media speakers. When it was shared on Facebook during Hepatitis Awareness Week it went mini-viral with over 750 people seeing it. To read>>>CLICK HERE

Hepatitis NSW at AVHEC
The Australasian Viral Hepatitis Elimination Conference (AVHEC) is in Sydney from 5-6 August. Hepatitis NSW will be there and we hope to see you too. In particular:

  • Exhibitor booth: we’re sharing a booth with Hepatitis Australia. Please drop by and say hello, grab some of our resources, and make a wish and get a pic taken for our #MyHepatitisHope social media splash!

Steep declines in hep C among people who inject drugs


According to a new report released by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney, the prevalence of hepatitis C has declined by 60% among people who inject drugs since 2016, when new hepatitis C cures were made available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

The report was published in the lead-up to World Hepatitis Day in July, and analyses data from people who inject drugs who attend Australia’s Needle Syringe Programs (NSPs). Among this population, the proportion of people living with hep C in 2018 was one in five, this is down from one in two in 2015 before the treatments were made available.

Researchers from the Kirby Institute believe that these unprecedented reductions are due to a high uptake of new hepatitis C treatments and are an early indicator for reductions in transmission of hepatitis C Australia-wide.

People who inject drugs are the major population at risk of hepatitis C in Australia, and the report shows that since the direct acting anti-viral treatments were added to the PBS the number of people attending NSPs who have been treated for hepatitis C has increased from 11% to 55%.

As part of this report researchers have also monitored the impact of the new treatments on prevalence of hepatitis C. Results show that there are significantly fewer people living with hepatitis C, but also, that the risk of transmitting hepatitis C has more than halved since the introduction of the new treatments.

Read the report>>> CLICK HERE

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