$76,000 funding for AMRRIC to print ‘Dog Health Programs in Indigenous Communities- an Environmental Health Practitioners Guide’

AMRRIC PRESS RELEASE- 16 Dec 2009

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Minister Hon Jenny Macklin announces $76,000 funding for AMRRIC to print ‘Dog Health Programs in Indigenous Communities- an Environmental Health Practitioners Guide’ and to roll out regional Training ProgramMinister Macklin has approved funding for AMRRIC (Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities) from the Aboriginal Benefits Fund to print ‘ The Guide and workshops will give all people engaged in animal management and welfare – and particularly those based in remote communities – greater practical knowledge, improve their skills and equip them better for the complex task of managing companion animals in remote communities. It will broaden the skill base of Aboriginal Environmental Health Workers and other Aboriginal people already employed by Shire Councils in their own communities.

Ms Hardaker stated ‘ At a time when dangerous dogs, attacks and a sad death are making prominent headlines, this is a sign that help is on its way to improve these unacceptable standards for safety in communities. ‘

Dog Health programs in Indigenous Communities- An Environmental Health Practitioner Guide’- written by Dr Samantha Phelan. The planned workshops will equip remote Shire/local councils to respond to increasing pressure to take up responsibility for developing and implementing effective and sustainable animal management strategies, in line with urban local government. The ‘Guide’ fills a large gap in the resource base available to environmental health and animal management staff on the ground. The writing of the Guide was funded by Environmental Health WGATSIEH. ‘we believe that animal health is an indicator of human health and wellbeing. It is also a critical and often overlooked element in the ‘Closing the Gap’ strategies’. The project as a whole presents an opportunity to lay the foundations for improving overall community health and contribute to the success of ‘Closing the Gap’. ‘the guide and the workshops will give remote communities the capacity to take control of and manage sustainable and effective animal health strategies’. The Guide responds to Aboriginal cultural needs and helps to develop the skill base in remote communities and will create openings for jobs. ‘Some people in my community have dogs that have been given to them by a special ceremony. There are ceremony ways of keeping dogs. I sing about dogs. I dance dogs. I hear dogs getting killed. Dogs are related to us. Dogs are family, but people in my community don’t know they carry disease.’ AMRRIC believes this project will go a long way in helping communities to deal with these issues in an appropriate way. We trust that this funding and project will promote collaborative development of animal management plans and complement and extend existing and successful networks developed by AMRRIC to build sustainable animal management plans’. Everyone likes to have healthy and safe communities to live in’ Ms Hardaker ‘and this funding will help contribute to that goal’ she said in Darwin today.

AMRRIC EO, Julia Hardaker, can be contacted on 08 89418813

juliah@amrric.org http://www.amrric.org P.O.Box 1296, DARWIN, NT, 0801

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