• Royal Commission into treatment of trans and gender-diverse Australians
    As of 2023, trans and gender-diverse Australians cannot identify on any intake form at any RTO because of the current data set by NCVER / DEWR. The Workplace Gender and Equality ACT excludes the participation of gender-diverse people, It only collects information on cis-gendered men and women. This affects every medium to large business in Australia. Nearly Every data set in Australia excludes gender-diverse people including studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Suicide, and first-year indicators in schools. Orchidectomies are given to cis-gender men in the public health system but denied to trans women who need to get off testosterone blockers and affirming their gender. Mastectomies are given to cis-gendered women in the public health system but denied to trans men who need this so they can stop binding, avoid scoliosis and affirm their gender. Breast Surgery is given in some public hospitals to cis-gendered women after mastectomies because it is important to their mental health, gender and well-being but denied to trans women who also need this for mental health, gender and well-being. To my knowledge, no politician or report has stood up to say we could be doing these gender-affirming surgeries right now. And they could be done right now! If the government provides gender-affirming leave and supports trans and gender-diverse people but then there is no way that they can get medical interventions then they are forced to go overseas and sometimes put their lives at risk for surgeries that are substandard compared to Australia. If they can afford them at all. Medicare has an ongoing review process and according to them, no one has ever put in a submission to ask them to review Medicare based on the needs of trans and gender-diverse people. The Sexual Discrimination ACT was updated in 1984 to say there are legally more than 2 genders and yet the Australian Bureau of Statistics which affects all the other data sets I have mentioned failed for 40 years to update their dataset. Thus forcing every other dataset that relies on it to be discriminatory Still to this day, they will only allow us to identify if their stakeholders ask for it, if an average Australian can fill out the question and if politicians ok it to happen. (How can this be in 2023, surely this is sexual discrimination?) Pathology forms across Australia are still behind in allowing us to identify and there are currently no pathology profiles for trans men and trans women. GP software like Best Practice for doctors cannot pull gender identity onto a pathology form which leads to gender-diverse people being misgendered and at times receiving the wrong reference ranges. The Australian Human Rights Commission has failed to advocate adequately and so there is no one else to hold the Government to account why has this happened? Public Health Systems across Australia still don't have pathways for gender-diverse people and to my knowledge, not one of them provides medical interventions for adults. There is no suitable training for doctors, surgeons medical staff in our training establishments. We suffer many forms of discrimination at Services Australia, Medicare and other departments. Many Public Hospitals systems have only recently started to make attempts at updating their computer systems to include gender and to find ways to reduce misgendering but there is no uniform adherence to the 2020 ABS Dataset for sex and gender. And datasets across the medical sector are not unified. The government's own AIHW website contains no health data on trans and gender-diverse people in Australia because we don't have population data because the ABS has never included us in the census. And finally, the Australian Defence Force has a suicide rate of 8.8% which is twice the national average. They have 85,000 serving members. For that, they get a Royal Commission, and over 50 reports + millions of dollars in funding. Gender-diverse Australians number at least 700,000 (equal in number to Indigenous Australians) with Transgender youth alone having approx a 48% attempted suicide rate and we have never had a royal commission or a federally funded report of any kind that I know of. How is it that the Government can be so apathetic towards a mental health and health crisis for more than 700,000 Australians? It was as recent as 1989 that the last Trans woman was fined for wearing the 'wrong clothing' Before that Trans and gender-diverse people were harassed, locked up, fined and had acts of violence inflicted on them. This has never been apologised for. Psychiatry and Psychology pathologised trans and gender-diverse people for 80 years but then reversed this and there has not been to my knowledge an apology. There is no current federal department for LGBTIQ+ people and no independent organisation to hold media accountable when reporting. We need to stop studying Trans and Gender diverse people and start studying the reasons behind being excluded and ignored and why there is and has been a complete and continuing lack of human rights for this cohort. We must address one of the biggest factors in poor mental health which is a lack of medical intervention and there appears absolutely no initiatives to fix this. That is a complete lack in duty of care. It doesn't take time to make change. It IS time to make change.
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    Created by Cloé Sophia
  • Support for a full-time doctor at Cessnock Hospital Emergency Department
    Over the course of the past three decades, the local GP’s in town visited the hospital, now only twelve GPs visit the hospital and the town's population has tripled, and continues to grow without adequate health infrastructure. Cessnock LGA now has a jail that has two thousand inmates who rely on Cessnock Hospital for all their acute medical needs. Prior to the Covid pandemic, Maitland Hospital was supplying two doctors four days a week to cover the Emergency Department but when the pandemic hit those doctors were taken away and have not been replaced. The GPs have tried to fill those gaps but on many days through the week and after 11 pm at night there is, more often than not, no doctor available in the emergency department. The Area Health Service has tried to plug those gaps with a Telehealth service but this system is slow and cumbersome and can never adequately replace a doctor in person. The lack of full-time medical cover is leading to an unprecedented blowout in wait times, and transfers out of Cessnock and is placing patient safety at risk.
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    Created by Jenna Vaughan
  • Make Centrelink a “trauma informed” service.
    There is a tendency to use the word victim as though it is a person's choice. People who find themselves on income support are generally in this unwilling position through various circumstances beyond their control, and in the main would rather be independent as opposed to a burden on society. If you ask yourself what story is really behind the person begging for change at your supermarket, what might come to mind? Do you consider Domestic Violence? Mental Health challenges? Childhood sexual assault? Are they a descendant of Australia's stolen generations? Marginalised due to ethnicity? A refugee? With all that we now understand regarding mental health and trauma, it's time to implement it where it can make the greatest impact. As an educated and privileged nation, we need to take responsibility for those most vulnerable and create genuine compassionate revisions to the services that are here to assist. As an example, NSW Health has available information on their website about Trauma Informed services detailing considerations and responsible processes for dealing with clients who have suffered trauma, along with the principles of Mental Health Human Rights. https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth/psychosocial/principles/Pages/trauma-informed.aspx Services Australia and Centrelink need to take a health based approach in their delivery of human services, to honour and properly reflect the Department of Social Services own Access & Equity policy. We need to remind ourselves we do not exist on a level playing field as far as our life experiences. The rhetoric of equal opportunity doesn't apply to those handicapped by misfortune of their circumstances.
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    Created by Renee Falez
  • Keep 20 Medicare Sessions for Mental Health
    The extra sessions are absolutely essential for people suffering mental health challenges. Sufferers need access to the same practitioner with whom they have a rapport and have built trust. Mental health issues do not go away after 10 sessions. The extra 10 sessions have given patients huge relief knowing they can continue with their therapist throughout the year. This is something that needs to stay. Please do not take it away from the people who need it most. For some people it can literally mean the difference between life or death. For all sufferers it provides much greater peace of mind and a sense that they are being listened to and are cared about and that the support they need is available and affordable.
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    Created by Lindsay Hayman
  • Bent and Broken
    All of us have had some experience with someone experiencing chronic illness. Imagine if it were you, and you have faced a life being told, ‘it’s in your head, oh it’s not that bad, I don’t know what’s wrong!’ This is the common experience of people with rare conditions. The social media groups are filled with horror stories of poor treatment, medical gaslighting and a profound level of medical ignorance. It is appalling that here in Australia we do not have adequate trading of Dr’s in these conditions. I think most of us could recall a time when we have had a bad experience with medical treatment, imagine if that one experience was repeated many times over, over many years. At the same time you just continue to get more unwell. This is what it’s like to have a rare genetic condition. I believe that we can demand better from our decision makers. I believe that this is an opportunity for Australia to lead the world in coordinated treatment and research options for those with these conditions.
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    Created by Tracy Finnegan
  • ACER-GAMSAT must update their COVID and Extenuating Circumstances Policy
    Entry into Med School is a year-long process, starting with the GAMSAT. The COVID Pandemic has been ever-present since March 2020, yet in two years, ACER has not made adequate accomodations to address this issue. Countless Australians also had to deal with additional ongoing crises in the weeks surrounding GAMSAT as Australia experienced record breaking flooding on the East coast. Remote Proctoring has been offered in an incredibly limited capacity, with numerous candidates being informed that their only option is to defer their GAMSAT sitting. As such, countless candidates are being forced to delay their applications for Medical schools for a year. ACER, this is an inadequate response to the COVID Pandemic and also highlights the flaws in your extenuating circumstances policy. Your inability to provide adequate numbers of remote proctors or provide a back-up testing slot for candidates is a failure to the medical industry.
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    Created by Mallory Ledger
  • Casey Wants Julian Assange Home
    The ability of the media to report freely on matters of public interest is a crucial indicator of democracy. However this right to seek and disseminate information through an independent press is increasingly under attack. If Julian Assange, an Australian journalist can be prosecuted and imprisoned for espionage in the United States, then no media professional or citizen journalist anywhere, is safe to report information exposing government crimes. The United Nations Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, has called for Assange’s immediate release, asserting that “In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.” Australia must advocate for one of its own citizens, now. The people of Casey want to see justice for Julian Assange and call on our elected representative to do all that he can to help bring Julian home.
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    Created by Raine Sinclair Picture
  • Renewables not Gas for East Gippsland
    Gas is a dangerous, polluting fossil fuel. It releases greenhouse gasses that contribute to the horrific bushfires and raging floods we’ve seen devastate communities across the country in recent years. And it isn’t just a disaster for our climate. It’s also bad for our health. Public health experts are concerned about the health risks of cooking with gas in our homes, which can have a similar impact on childhood asthma as living with cigarette smoke. And here in Victoria, we burn more gas per person than any other state. But the good news is that some local councils around the country are bowing to community pressure and taking matters into their own hands - promising to end new gas connections, and help people with the cost of switching to electricity and renewables. And with enough pressure from the community, our local council could join this movement today!
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    Created by Shane Elmore
  • COVID testing support needed for the severely immunocompromised
    The severely immunocompromised are vulnerable to severe disease when infected with COVID19. Right now, COVID testing programs are insufficient to protect the immunosuppresed. Effective testing is difficult to access and costly to individuals. Supported COVID testing is needed. Severely immunocompromised people need to test those close to them regularly. They need to know when to shield themselves from others. Many severely immunocompromised people are unwell and not mobile and rely on support workers. Many live, study or work closely with others, and risk exposure to COVID, despite their best efforts to shield. Some, like the parents of children, are carers and find themselves in the impossible position of needing those in their charge tested, but can't because they simply can't risk sharing a car with a person with symptoms. It is simply not safe for the severely immunocompromised to line up for a PCR test. Time is of the essence for a severely immunocompromised person with COVID. This is because there are treatments available that can prevent severe disease, but these must be started early. They need ready and safe access to testing. Every day counts.
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    Created by Hutch Lu
  • Pandemic pay for South Australia's frontline nurses
    Dear Premier Malinauskas, As predicted, the pandemic has cost your frontline. We have lost mentally and physically exhausted colleagues to other roles, burnt out from the multi-faceted challenges that we've faced throughout COVID. On the back of the pandemic, hospitals are bursting. As we’ve all seen on the news, ambulances are still ramping; anxious and unwell patients are enduring long wait times in emergency departments, if they can wait at all. We still care for COVID patients every shift, but we are busier than ever and those of us left are burnt out. Simply hiring more fresh nurses is not the answer - it's great, sure, but who is going to guide them, lead them and train them? How long will they stay, once they know what it’s really like for us? Our workforce is critically junior, becoming more so with each experienced nurse that runs out of reasons to ‘stick it out’. Australia might be transitioning to a ‘COVID-normal’, but this problem isn’t going away. One of your very first actions as Premier was to visit Adelaide's hospitals, introducing yourself to and thanking staff. Last week, you spent time in our ambulances, seeing the reality of what our paramedics go through shift to shift, ramping with whoever they can, reshuffling rosters and working overtime to try to help whoever they can’t. Your party arguably won many votes for your promise to change our health system, and you have been very public in your moral support of South Australia's frontline. Now, we need you to invest in retaining the nurses that we have left and motivating burnt out colleagues to come back to the front line. Earlier this week, our colleagues in NSW were awarded a bonus payment in recognition of their commitment throughout the last two years, and Victorian frontliners were granted what was aptly called a ‘retention bonus’. This is in addition to their nurses receiving a ‘pandemic loading’ for each shift worked since last year - a bit of motivation to keep turning up and doing their best. This is what we need - some incentive to retain nurses and prevent the skill mix at work from becoming any more dangerous. Hospitals should be a safe place for everyone. Right now, our job is harder than it has ever been. Mr Malinauskas, Mr Picton, please hear us when your predecessors would not. Us - not only frontline nurses, but the clinical and non-clinical colleagues who support us, the >12,000 South Australians who supported our call for help this year, and the patients we serve every day. Sincerely, Viv (An Emergency nurse, on behalf of all tired nurses)
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    Created by Vivienne O Picture
  • Remove sugar filled toxic “foods” from Palm Beach tuck shop and bring back allergy friendly options
    Our children’s developing minds and bodies are something to be nourished and nurtured. By riddling their bodies with sugar, additives, preservatives and colourings is EXTREMELY detrimental to their ability to learn and concentrate. This is backed by years of scientific literature showing the behavioural developmental delays and outbursts that these additives do to our children. Sugar is more addictive then illicit drugs and causes immense destruction to growing bodies and brains. A treat every now and then is a wonderful part of life but it’s wildly concerning for a learning environment to offer and suggest these “foods” as appropriate for consumption every single day to children as young as 4 years old. Our school is our main community and something we should be so proud of and always were. This new change is extremely disappointing and terribly concerning. The consent to our children consuming these junk items daily causing behavioural and physical issues in or children is not something we give! We are asking for the removal of these known detrimental junk items from the school menu and to include more allergy friendly and wholesome food - just like the previous menu options provided.
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    Created by Paris Lucas
  • Mental Health Long Weekends during online schooling
    I am sure so many children doing online school right now would agree a 3 day weekend would be good all year round but I think it is possible whilst doing online school. On the 2nd of August, there was the highest number of calls made to the lifeline support in 58 years of 3 345 calls. Especially through these rough times, people deserve a break and maybe even adults would need a 3 day weekend during these times too.
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    Created by Chelsea Wright