Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017

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Parliamentary Record 5


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




pp 1623 to 1686


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Tuesday 9 May 2017 1652 Territorys social and economic prosperity. We witnessed the benefits of a good education and the positive role models that provides for our children. As stated by my colleagues, the Territory has some of the best educators in the world and our education system has developed exceptional students. On this side of the House, a number of us who were born in the Territory completed our schooling in the Territory, and we are very proud of that. We acknowledge that education does not begin at school, nor does it finish at grade 10 or 12. We recognise that learning is a lifelong exercise commencing at birth and continuing throughout our education, from the primary years, through the middle years and into the later years. Learning is about culture, family, relationships, health and community. I take a moment to update the Chamber on what our government is doing to improve the education and wellbeing of Territorians, particularly in my portfolios of Health and Justicethe vital role we are playing in ensuring the social and economic prosperity of the Territory. We have already heard from the Minister for Education about our governments commitment to improving the education of all Territorians. The Department of Health is doing its part in providing programs and initiatives to educate healthcare professionals about better healthcare practices so we can continuously improve the health of Territorians across the NT. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises the importance of health and states that no child should be deprived of their right to access health services. The convention also outlines that it is essential that children are provided with the necessary healthcare, with an emphasis on the development of primary healthcare, preventative health and guidance for parents, family planning and education. The evidence is clear that many of the health and wellbeing problems in adultssuch as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, mental health problems, involvement in the criminal justice system, family violence, poor literacy, unemployment, and welfare dependencyhave their origins in pathways that usually begin in early childhood and are often the result of poor education. The number of adverse childhood experiences has a strong relationship to health behaviours as well as outcomes during childhood and adolescence, such as starting smoking at an early age, alcohol consumption, sexual activity, illicit drug use, adolescent pregnancy and, sadly, suicide attempts. NT Health works closely in partnership with other departments, such as Territory Families and Education, along with non-government service providers to give children and their families a continuation of educative healthcare services. I will take a moment to outline some of the program services and initiatives we deliver. The Healthy Under 5 Kids Programin remote parts of the Territory the NT Government primary healthcare centres screen all children aged zero to five years old. This program facilitates the prevention, early detection, intervention and treatment of common conditions that cause illness. Child health checks create the opportunity for early referral and management of more serious developmental or chronic conditions. This program provides education about child health services across community, helping to ensure the development of healthy remote communities across the Northern Territory. The Healthy Under 5 Kids partnering with families pilot program has been developed to provide a universal standardised approach in the delivery of routine child health programs for all children from birth to five years through NT Government health services. The program is being piloted in seven Top End and Central Australian remote government primary healthcare centres. Phase one has commenced in Jabiru, Milikapiti, Robinson River, Elliott, Ti Tree, Angurugu and Hermannsburg. Phase two will commence in the coming month or so. We will start to crossover in to urban primary healthcare centres. This program introduces a consistent approach to child health visits where every child has access to the same platform of care, support and information. The implementation of the program is complimented by eLearning packages for staff, a redeveloped child health record and the Healthy Under 5 partnering with families parent app for phones. And evaluation of the Healthy Under 5 Kids partnering with families pilot program, prior to the full implementation across the Northern Territory, will be undertaken later this year and early next year. Northern Territory Health is implementing the child and family health partnering families program, which provides a universal child health service for families with children ages zero to five years. This program is