Evaluation of the Child Health Check Initiative and the Expanding Health Service Delivery Initiative - Final Report

D - Timeline of the CHCI end EHSDI

Evaluation of the Child Health Check Initiative and the Expanding Health Service Delivery Initiative - Final Report

Page last updated: 17 April 2012

Timeline of the CHCI and EHSDI

1989Dr Judy Atkinson produces a report for the National Inquiry on Violence alleging that sexual abuse within remote Indigenous communities is widespread.
1991A similar report is written by Dr Atkinson for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
1999Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department commissions Dr Paul Memmott of Queensland University to review the nature and extent of Indigenous violence in Australia. The report is completed in August 1999 but is not released by the government until early 2001.
1999Aboriginal academic Boni Robertson chairs an inquiry into violence and abuse in remote Indigenous communities in Queensland.1
30 January 2001 Memmott report2 on violence in Indigenous communities is released by the Howard government. The report identifies significant prevalence of violence in remote communities, including sexual abuse of children.
23 July 2003 Prime Minister John Howard holds a summit on domestic violence in Aboriginal communities.
5 August 2003 Dr Lara Wieland, a doctor based in the Aboriginal community of Cape York, writes a letter to John Howard and Queensland Premier Peter Beattie outlining her concerns regarding the sexual abuse of children in the community. The letter receives significant media attention.
25 June 2004 COAG agrees to the National Framework on Indigenous Family Violence and Child Protection.
15 May 2006ABC television show Lateline reports on a leaked dossier compiled by central Australia Crown Prosecutor Nanette Rogers. The report alleges endemic and entrenched sexual abuse of Aboriginal children in the NT.
16 May 2006Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough appears on Lateline alleging that paedophile rings are operating in Indigenous communities.
21 June 2006Lateline airs a segment reporting claims that predatory men were trading alcohol and drugs for sex with young girls in the Indigenous community of Mutitjulu.
22 June 2006NT Government announces an inquiry into child sexual abuse in Indigenous communities.
26 June 2006Intergovernmental summit on violence and child abuse in Indigenous communities held in Canberra.
8 August 2006Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse formally appointed by NT Chief Minister Clare Martin. The board is co-chaired by Rex Wild QC and Patricia Anderson.
11 October 2006NT Government announces the reform of local government. This included new shire boundaries, the establishment of shire offices in major centres, the appointment of shire chief executive officers and the installation of unified business systems.
30 April 2007The Board of Inquiry’s report, Little Children are Sacred, is released to the NT Government.
15 June 2007Little Children are Sacred is publicly released by NT Government Chief Minister.
15 June 2007Media release from Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough states that ‘child protection is absolutely a state and territory responsibility’ and condemns lack of action from the NT Government.
17 June 2007 AMSANT media release calls on the Australian Government to immediately address the recommendations in the Little Children are Sacred report.
21 June 2007NTER is announced by Prime Minister John Howard, who declares the situation a ‘national emergency’. The package includes compulsory health checks for all Aboriginal children under the age of 16 to identify and treat any effects of abuse.
22 June 2007AMA media release expresses support for the government’s measures, stating that the AMA ‘welcomes the Federal Government’s measures to address Indigenous child abuse’ and ‘accepts the invitation to play a key role in addressing this “national emergency”’.
22 June 2007AMSANT media release condemns the plan to introduce compulsory sexual health checks, labelling it ‘racist, divisive and illegal’.
22 June 2007AIDA media release cautions that the response is ‘rushed’ and lacking in consultation. Compulsory sexual health checks are described as ‘short sighted’.
25 June 2007NTER taskforce is established to oversee the response.
26 June 2007AIDA media release urges measured approach to implementing the NTER and cautions against compulsory health checks.
28 June 2007NT Government Chief Minister Claire Martin meets with Prime Minister John Howard to discuss the measures.
28 June 2007Australian Government Health Minister Tony Abbott states that child health checks will not be compulsory.
30 June 2007First meeting of the taskforce—attended by CEO of the NT Government Department of the Chief Minister.
5 July 2007Tony Abbott makes official announcement that health checks will be voluntary, with consent from parents or carers, and states that forensic examinations for sexual abuse will not be part of the standard health check.
10 July 2007First child health check team deployed.
17 August 2007Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007 passed by the Australian parliament.
24 November 2007Federal election is won by the Labor Party under the leadership of Kevin Rudd.
February 2008Australian Government announces funding of $99.7 million over two years for the EHSDI.
10 May 2008Advertisement placed in national media for an organisation to establish and operate the RAHC. The preferred applicant was Aspen Medical.
26 May 2008AIHW releases first progress report on the CHCI (AIHW and DoHA 2008a).
June 2008NTER taskforce report released. It emphasises that the child health checks should be accessible by all children on an annual basis and that this requires adequate resourcing of the PHC system.
6 June 2008Rudd government commissions a review of the first 12 months of the NTER.
14 June 2008Final child health check team directly deployed by the Commonwealth finishes conducting health checks.
22 June 2008Former Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough appears on Lateline expressing regret that he had been prevented from proceeding with the compulsory sexual checks of children and identifies it as one of the measures he would like to have completed.
1 July 2008The EHSDI commences.
July 2008Funding for CHCI follow-up service delivery, including for PHC follow-up services, is integrated with EHSDI. The Australian Government provides $13.6 million for the delivery of follow-up dental, hearing and ENT services.
13 October 2008NTER Review Board report released.
23 October 2008Government announces interim response to the NTER Review Board report which confirms the continuation of the NTER, commits to greater consultation and engagement with Indigenous people and promises the reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.
17 October 2008Funding agreement for the RAHC signed with Aspen Medical.
4 December 2008AIHW releases second progress report on the CHCI (AIHW and DoHA 2008b).
December 2008First RAHC nurse deployed.
January 2009First doctor and first allied health practitioner deployed for RAHC.
March 2009RAHC target of 40 placements in first year to 30 June 2009 reached.
April 2009RAHC agreement extended to include dental practitioners.
21 May 2009Australian Government announces its final response to the review of the NTER.3
1 July 2009Closing the Gap in the NT National Partnership Agreement is implemented. This includes provision of funding for extension of the EHSDI.
August 09First RAHC dental practitioner deployed.
October 2009RAHC target of 90 placements in second year to 30 June 2010 reached.
4 December 2009AIHW releases third progress report for the CHCI (AIHW and DoHA 2009).
30 June 2010Funding for ENT follow-up services and for RAHC is due to end but is extended.
31 December 2010Funding for ENT follow-up services ends.
18 March 2011AIHW releases progress report on dental health of Indigenous children in the NT (AIHW 2011).
30 June 2011RAHC funding agreement due to end.
30 June 2012Follow-up dental services and hearing services (including audiology) due to end. EHSDI funding ceases.
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