Increased suicide numbers unacceptable

March 9, 2016

The highest rate of suicide in ten years is a cause of great concern according to SANE Australia CEO, Jack Heath.

“The increase in suicides in 2014 is simply unacceptable. 2864 deaths by suicide is 2864 too many,” Mr Heath said in a statement released this week.

“We need to redouble our efforts to prevent suicide at a national, state and local level.

“We need to work closely with people who have attempted suicide to better understand what we can do to assist people in their hour of greatest need.

“We also must reduce the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness so that people are encouraged to seek help early on.

“As a country, we’ve been able to drastically cut the number of deaths from heart disease, aids, cancer and motor vehicle accidents. We can, and must, do the same with suicide.

“We need to set a specific goal for reducing suicide.

“SANE Australia supports the National Suicide Prevention Coalition’s call for a 50% reduction in suicide over a ten-year period.

“Recent reforms announced by the government to tackle suicide at a local level are very welcome as is the commitment to deliver major programs at a national level.

“We now need to put in place a specific goal that we can all rally around.

“SANE Australia is committed to playing its part,” Mr Heath concluded.

For crisis or suicide prevention support please call Lifeline 13 11 14

What you should know about TB

December 21, 2015

Did you know a third of the world population has been infected with tuberculosis, a.k.a TB?  You can hear more about it from TB expert, Dr Chris Coulter.

Here he is speaking to Lizzie Orley.

Image courtesy of Stockdevil at

Are your eyes a vision of health?

October 26, 2015

Have you heard the saying “eyes are the window to your soul”?

They could be the window to your general health too.

Lisa Penrose, an optometrist and eye health manager working at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, explains. 


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

Running for health

August 4, 2015

From the Kimberley to the Big Apple and the North Pole, Broome local, Adrian Shaw – Yawuru/Kaytetye/Arrernte –  is one of a growing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have participated in the Indigenous Marathon project.  He took on the challenge of long-distance running to improve his own health and for those around him. Now he’s seeing the benefits flow onto the community.

Listen below as Adrian describes his marathon experience.


Psst….have you heard?

April 16, 2015

Do you use the internet when doing research on health?

You’ve probably come across some bizarre claims right?  In Stayin’ Strong we heard about a website that debunks the myths surrounding cancer.

Lizzie Orley spoke to Katie Clift from Cancer Council Queensland.  Listen below.

Knowledge is Stayin’ Strong

August 19, 2014

Learn about F A S T and what makes a balanced diet in our latest Stayin’ Strong newsletter here.  PLUS listen to our Stayin’ Strong messages raising awareness on health issues ranging from why you need fibre in your diet to the impact of eczema on a person’s daily life.

Latest Move newsletter

August 14, 2014

Our latest newsletter from the Move project focuses on the reasons for our expanding waistlines and what we can do about it PLUS hear some tips on motivation and work outs you can do at home.  Read more here.

Nadine gets physical

May 15, 2014

Are you approaching a significant milestone in your life?  It may be a time to reflect on what you’ve achieved or a time to pause and think about your future.  When busy Murri career woman, Nadine Dowd, turned the big 4-0, she thought it was time to assess her health and wellbeing.  She spoke to Steven Oliver in this interview.

Yamba’s healthy message

November 26, 2013

For the last 18 years Yamba the Honeyant has been dancing and singing on television and on the road bringing healthy lifestyle messages to our jarjums (children) across northern Australia.  In this interview excerpt, Yamba explains to Nathan Talsma the issues they promote and why they use music to get their messages across.

“I’m not a big fulla anymore!”

September 2, 2013

In this final excerpt from our special featured interview with Paul Brant, not being one of the biggest cousins at family gatherings is one of the many self-esteem boosts he’s experienced since dropping from 158kg to 98kg.  Here he is talking to Karen Dorante about his new-found confidence and what he’s learned on his weight loss journey.

Weighing the risks

May 27, 2013

At 158 kilograms, Paul Brant’s sugar levels were off the charts and his risk for heart attack was extremely high.  In this next excerpt from our five-part interview with Paul, Karen Dorante asks how his weight loss affected his diabetes and heart disease risk.


April 17, 2013

So you’ve started a new exercise routine or a new healthy eating plan, but two weeks in, your motivation is dropping.  How do you deal with that?

In our continuing interview with  Koori man, Paul Brant, we find out how social media and other strategies kept him motivated during his weight loss journey.


Listen to your body

March 13, 2013

In part 2 of our interview with Paul Brant, Karen Dorante asks about his weight loss goal and the lifestyle changes he made to achieve that.  To recap Paul, a Koori from New South Wales, began a weight loss journey two years ago when he tipped the scales at 158 kilograms.  He’s had family, friends, work colleagues and even a former Biggest Loser contestant provide support and help during his weight loss.  BIMA Projects is sharing Paul’s journey in five installments on the website and on 98.9FM through Move and Stayin’ Strong radio messages.

I made a contract with myself to lose weight

February 5, 2013

Have you ever reached a point in your life where you felt you needed to make a change? For Paul Brant it was tipping the scales at 158 kilograms (pictured).

When Koori man, Paul Brant, stepped on a scale more than two years ago, he knew the time had come to address his expanding waistline.

Having carved out a successful career in human resources, Paul applied his work ethic to achieve his weight loss goal.

Over the coming months we follow Paul’s weight loss journey – the challenges and the benefits. He spoke to Karen Dorante.

Move Healthy Community event @ 98.9fm

August 21, 2012

Brisbane Indigenous Media Association recently hosted its first Healthy Community event at 98.9FM, as part of its Move project promoting physical activity and chronic disease prevention.   Members of Brisbane’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community were able to check out local health services and organisations that provided health screenings, physical exercise activities and health promotion information.  Visitors were also treated to free healthy tucker and free entertainment from Indigenous comics Sean Choolburra, Steven Oliver and Sam Conway.  Media personalities, Jamie Dunn and Agro also made an appearance.

To listen to some of the people interviewed on the day click on their names.

Tiga Bayles, CEO of Brisbane Indigenous Media Association talks about the Move project and event.

Cameron Johnston, from  ATSICHS, encouraged people to get regular health checks.

Peter Stoddardt and George Freeman talked about the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and what they’re doing in chronic disease prevention.

Karen Bucholz from Diabetes Queensland promoted the Swap It, Don’t Stop It campaign.

Don’t forget to tune into 98.9FM for regular messages from our Move project.


Spotlight on Jarred

June 27, 2012

Jarred Fogarty is a a young Aboriginal media trainee in Brisbane with a strong connection to his culture.

A member of the Mununjali people of Beaudesert, Jarred joined local radio station 98.9fm at the beginning of 2012 to gain experience in broadcasting and journalism..

Outside of work, Jarred is also a performer with the Mununjali Dance Troupe and regularly MCs at community events around south-east Queensland.

Since joining the station, Jarred’s become more conscious of his health due to the health promotion resources Brisbane Indigenous Media Association develops for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners (like Move).

Now he’s participating in a 6-week smoking cessation program for the workplace – called Murri Places, Smoke-free Spaces – run by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.

Daniel Hutton spoke to Jarred about his dancing.

Managing kidney disease, Maurice style

May 11, 2012

Kidney disease is a serious condition that affects our mob. It can be caused by a a number of lifestyle factors, such as diabetes and obesity.

As a teen Maurice Serico  developed a severe form of kidney disease.  Over time, his kidneys began to fail, and in his 40s he was forced to go on a dialysis machine just to live.

He spoke to Move about his illness.

Sex and healthy relationships

March 8, 2012

The rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remain unacceptably high especially amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.  STIs are spread by sexual contact with an infected person.  Infections include gonorrhoea, genital herpes, genital warts and syphilis.

Nathan Talsma spoke to Rachel Hanrich, a health promotion and education officer with Family Planning Queensland.

Image: vichie81/

BP – Why it’s important to monitor!

February 1, 2012

BP Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries as it is pumped around the body by the heart delivering oxygen and nutrients to our cells.  As the heart pumps, blood rises and falls in waves.

An unhealthy lifestyle or too much stress can lead to high blood pressure.

The pressure peaks when the heart pumps.  This is called the systole.  Diastole refers to when the pressure drops as the heart relaxes.

Normal blood pressure, measured on a sphygmometer (the apparatus that’s wrapped around your arm) should be somewhere around 130 (systole) over 85 (diastole).  Readings of 140 over 90  to 180 over 110 are cause for concern because the risk of heart attack or stroke is greater.

If heart attacks, strokes and hypertension (complications with high blood pressure) run in the family you should seek medical advice from your health worker, nurse or doctor to help you prevent or reduce your risk of high blood pressure.

It’s also a good idea to try and reduce stress, cigarettes or alcohol use which can increase your BP.

Festive season blues

December 14, 2011

Not everyone in your community may be enjoying the holiday/festive season.  For some people, especially those with a mental illness, this can be a time of loneliness and social isolation.  Samuel Watson from BIMA Projects spoke to Murri psychologist, Dr Leda Barnett.

Media Release: Sane Australia

December 12, 2011

 Stigma hurtful and common for people with mental illness  

The distress and discrimination many people with a mental illness experience because of stigma associated with their illness is just as widespread as it was five years ago, according to new research by SANE Australia.

Three quarters (73%) of the 400+ people recently surveyed by the national mental health charity said they had experienced stigma or discrimination in the last 12 months because of their mental illness. A survey by SANE in 2006 found that 74% of respondents said they had personal experience of stigma.

‘Damaging stereotypes associated with mental illness cause enormous distress and it is really unacceptable that as we approach 2012 so many people still have to combat stigma and discrimination which stops them from living full and satisfying lives,’ says the Executive Director of SANE Australia, Barbara Hocking.

Encouragingly, says Ms Hocking, more than three in four (77%) people described media coverage of depression in the last two years as ‘good’ or ‘fair’.

However, the majority of respondents described coverage of less common mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder during the same period, as ‘poor’.

‘The more responsible media reporting of depression has encouraged people to start talking about it, to seek help and to feel less excluded,’ Ms Hocking explains.

‘Most people get their information about mental illness from the media and so the way the media portrays these complex issues is important in shaping community understanding and acceptance of people affected,‘ explains the Executive Director.

Stigma is hurtful and harmful – it stops people with a mental illness from seeking help. It can lead to discrimination when people with a mental illness seek housing, education and even work. It can also lead to feelings of hopelessness and suicide.

‘Many people report that the stigma they experience is as distressing as the symptoms of their illness,’ says Ms Hocking.

‘We must increase our efforts to educate Australians about illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and support and encourage the media to report responsibly. We also need to hear personal stories directly from people who are affected.

‘Mental illness is common. With one in five of us affected every year, reducing stigma is an important issue for everyone,’ Ms Hocking adds.

SANE Australia offers a wide range of resources to assist people diagnosed with mental illness and their families.  Call the SANE Helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263) or visit for more information.

Syndrome X

December 8, 2011

Have you heard the term metabolic syndrome or syndrome X?  If you or someone you know has high blood pressure, high blood glucose, high cholesterol or overweight, this may be of interest to you.

Lizzie Orley asked dietian, Annalie Houston from the Inala Indigenous Health Service about metabolic syndrome.  Listen to the interview below.

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn /

What you need to know about cholesterol

November 24, 2011

BIMA Projects has regular chats with the Heart Foundation to inform our listeners about the issues related to heart disease.  In this interview, Sara Spindler speaks to Deanne Wooden, the nutrition manager at the Queensland branch about cholesterol.

Image:  Suat Eman/

Gilly talks healthy living

November 21, 2011

Gilbert McAdama image

Aussie Rules legend, Gilbert McAdam, is the newest member of 98.9fm joining Jamie Dunn and Ian Calder for Breakfast.  Samuel Watson interviewed “Gilly” to find out about his sporting career, his thoughts on today’s game and his lifestyle post-retirement.

Snakes in the burbs

November 18, 2011

The services of snake catchers like Matt Harley are in high demand around south-east Queensland at the moment.  Matt runs his own business and has been catching and relocating an average of three venomous snakes per day.  Because of this he urges locals to call an experienced snake catcher when they encounter reptiles at home.  Listen to the full interview with Samuel Watson below.

Elder champions healthy living after brush with death

November 15, 2011

Uncle Clarence Bowen, a Cooktown elder has taken to promoting healthy lifestyles after a recent brush with death.  He spoke to Samuel Watson about his ordeal.

New report – weight loss surgery patients experience nutritional deficiencies

November 11, 2011

A new report has found obese people experience nutritional deficiencies after weight loss surgery.  The author and spokesperson for Dietitians Association of Australia, Melody McGrice,  says deficiences in nutrients like protein, iron, folate and calcium are more common in people who have had gastric banding, than those who haven’t had surgery to lose weight.   She says while obesity surgery is  a safe and effective tool to help with weight loss in morbidly obese people it doesn’t teach them how to eat well to stay healthy.

The report has prompted the Dietitians Association of Australia to urge Medicare to include dietary management of obesity as a rebate.

Melody McGrice spoke to Lizzie Orley about the study.


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