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Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation, CheckUP acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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CheckUP works with partner organisations and health providers to create healthier communities and reduce health inequities through a range of initiatives.

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Collaborating to combat Queensland’s silent killer

Located in the heart of Western Queensland, Eulo is little more than a pub and a general store, an outback oasis set on the banks of the Paroo river. Eulo is home to just over 90 residents.

CheckUP engages The Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) to assist in the delivery of the Skin Cancer Early Detection Outreach program. The RFDS travel to the five priority locations across Queensland, operating skin cancer clinics for those that would otherwise have to travel hundreds of kilometres for specialist skin cancer assessment and treatment, improving the health equity of regional, rural and remote Queenslanders.

Recently the CheckUP team joined the Royal Flying Doctor Service on a trip to Eulo to observe the new skin cancer clinic that was opened as a part of CheckUP’s Skin Cancer Early Detection service. During the trip, our team spoke with Eulo residents and the RFDS healthcare team involved in delivering the service. Watch the video below to witness why the SCED program is important to those living in remote areas and how small towns, like Eulo have benefited.

We would like to thank the RFDS for giving the CheckUP team the opportunity to attend the Eulo visit.

Register now for the Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops

Are you a GP working in rural, regional, or remote QLD? Attend one of CheckUP’s FREE Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops in Mount Isa, Roma, Mackay, Rockhampton, or Townsville.

An introduction to practical skin cancer medicine and surgery, workshops will feature a core theory session followed by a hands-on practical session. Covering topics such as:

  • Basics of dermoscopy – diagnosing common skin lesions and sampling lesions effectively.
  • Practicing surgical procedures – including curettes, shave and punch biopsies, elliptical excision planning and closure, suturing: basic interrupted, deep dermal, pulley sutures and haemostatic stitch.
  • Case discussions – participants are welcome to bring their own cases to discuss.

Upon completion attendees will receive a Certificate of Attendance which can be used to claim CPD hours.

Workshops include complimentary lunch, morning tea, and afternoon tea.

Places are limited. Register now to secure your spot.

Register for a workshop near you

Embracing inclusivity: Synergy Health Centre Townsville overcome barriers with Access for All

The team at Synergy Health Centre Townsville share how completing CheckUP’s Access for All online disability awareness course has enhanced their delivery of person-centred care. In addition to their Townsville clinic Synergy Health are also a CheckUP Outreach provider who provide their services to rural and remote communitites.

Detailing the small changes they have made to their centre practices to be more inclusive, from increasing resource development for use in consultation to adjusting the booking process to be more flexible ensuring patients have a comfortable experience.

Complete Access for All online disability awareness training for free until 30 June 2024.

Complete Access for All

Access for All is an online course that aims to improve disability awareness among health providers and increase understanding about the barriers people with disability experience when accessing healthcare.

  • FREE until 30 June 2024 ⁠
  • Suitable for all health professionals
  • Enhances person centred care⁠
  • Fully online training completed in 2/2.5 hours ⁠
  • Earns CPD points for most health professionals
Sign up for Access for All training

Meet our team: Mary-Anne Quilter

Mary-Anne Quilter CheckUp’s Program Manager – Skin Cancer Early Detection, coordinates the Skin Cancer Early Detection (SCED) outreach service. Focusing on regional towns, the service aims to create fairer access to the professional assessment and treatment of skin cancer.

The SCED service not only facilitates skin cancer clinics across the state but is also facilitating 5 free upskilling workshops in 2024 for GPs living in rural, regional and remote Queensland. Covering essential skin cancer detection skills, workshops will be held in Mackay, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Roma and Townsville. For more information or to register for a workshop please click here.

Below Mary-Anne shares a little about herself and the crucial role she plays in the CheckUP team.

Tell us a bit about what exciting projects you are currently working on?

I am currently working on a Skin Cancer Early Detection outreach service, which is being delivered in five Hospital and Health Services (HHS) regions across Queensland. The aim is to provide fairer access to the professional assessment and treatment of skin cancer for those living in rural and remote communities. In partnership with Queensland Health, we are also trying to improve awareness and knowledge of the five sun safe behaviours (slip, slop, slap, slide and seek) and confidence to conduct regular self or partner skin checks.

How long have you worked in the health sector? What were you doing prior to coming to CheckUP?

I have worked in the community services and health sectors for twenty years. This is actually my second time at CheckUP. Previously I managed delivery of the Tucka-Time program in six schools around the state, before moving into health workforce projects including development of the Choose Your Own Health Career website and the Health Gateway to Industry Schools program.

Prior to joining CheckUP, I worked for a mental health support and advocacy organisation, Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland (MIFQ). I have also worked for Anglicare Central Queensland, based in Biloela and the Bathurst Regional Council. In a previous life, I worked in HR for law firms, an investment bank and the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.

What does a typical day look like for you?

This has varied largely since I started in this role. Initially, there was mapping of potential service locations, engagement with the HHSs and Primary Healthcare Networks (PHNs), and identifying potential service providers to deliver SCED clinics. During the contracting period, a lot of time was spent preparing costings and negotiating service schedules.

Now that we are halfway through the financial year, my focus now is more upon service monitoring and collating data from provider Outcome Reports as well as reporting in to our funding body and Steering and Advisory Committee meetings. Together with our engagement team, I am also organising a series of SCED upskilling workshops for GPs, which will be delivered in Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Mount Isa and Roma in the coming months.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?

Engagement – with both external and internal stakeholders. I like the personal connections you make and ensuring that everyone is kept in the loop and given the opportunity to provide input into what I’m doing. I also enjoy travelling to meet with stakeholders and see programs in action.

What are 3 words you would use to describe CheckUP?

Dynamic, diverse and adaptive.

Are there any major changes in the health sector or work that CheckUP undertakes that you have noticed since you started working with CheckUP?

Definitely diversification into new areas, such as health workforce. As an organisation, I think CheckUP over the last five years has also proactively sought to strengthen partnerships with longstanding supporters and to form new connections with other organisations. There are increasingly more opportunities to work collaboratively with others on new projects and initiatives.

What activities do you enjoy when you’re not working?

Bushwalking, outback road trips with the family, cooking and reading.

Register now for the Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops

Are you a GP working in rural, regional, or remote QLD? Attend one of CheckUP’s FREE Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops in Mount Isa, Roma, Mackay, Rockhampton, or Townsville.

An introduction to practical skin cancer medicine and surgery, workshops will feature a core theory session followed by a hands-on practical session. Covering topics such as:

  • Basics of dermoscopy – diagnosing common skin lesions and sampling lesions effectively.
  • Practicing surgical procedures – including curettes, shave and punch biopsies, elliptical excision planning and closure, suturing: basic interrupted, deep dermal, pulley sutures and haemostatic stitch.
  • Case discussions – participants are welcome to bring their own cases to discuss.

Upon completion attendees will receive a Certificate of Attendance which can be used to claim CPD hours.

Workshops include complimentary lunch, morning tea, and afternoon tea.

Limited places available register now to secure your spot.

Register for a workshop near you

This program is made possible through funding from the Queensland Government.

Collaboration enhances eye care in Cherbourg

Since 2010, CheckUP’s Indigenous Eye Health Program has supported state of the art ophthalmic services in communities through collaboration of services: St John Eye Van, Dr Rowan Porter, Dr Shelley Hopkins (Queensland University of Technology), Cherbourg Regional Aboriginal and Islander Community Health Service (CRAICCHS).

Funding provided by CheckUP, through the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care Outreach programs, supports visiting healthcare teams to work collaboratively to manage and treat eye health issues, and streamline the referral pathway for consumers in their community.

Pivotal to the success of the service is CRAICCHS’ local Allied Health Coordinator, Fabia Murray, whose dedication and hard work ensures consumers are not only aware of these visiting services, but are supported to attend. Fabia also assists in the coordination of the services at the local level. The close partnership between the local coordinator, visiting optometrist Dr Shelley Hopkins, and the St John Eye Van team ensures comprehensive eye health needs are met without extensive and intrusive travel to metropolitan areas. The visiting optometry clinic has expanded to include two optometrists and several Queensland University of Technology (QUT) optometry students who provide 18 clinic days per year. Demand for the service is continuing to grow.

Students have the opportunity to use eye testing equipment including Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) which provides cross-sectional scans of the retina, visual field testing, and retinal photography. More importantly, the service provides a diverse and culturally responsive approach to monitoring eye health in community, preventing vision loss, and establishing referral pathways.

“Seeing the way the optometrists did the vision tests and how they managed different eye problems was very enlightening. I also learnt the trust the optometrists build with the patient, and how they explain to the patient what is occurring in their eyes, is vital for the patients to keep returning to see them. I am grateful that I was able to see the importance of the optometrist to patient relationship and hope to be able to do the same once I am working.”   – QUT optometry student.

In addition to optometry, specialised ophthalmic services are provided by Dr Porter and his team, who deliver their service in the mobile St John Eye Van (previously the Indigenous Diabetes Eyes and Screening (IDEAS) Van). Together, the team manage common eye diseases such as refractive change, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy, offering outpatient care to local patients within their community. Having this comprehensive care delivered locally reduces waitlists, helping to prevent avoidable blindness and vision impairment.

CheckUP is committed to continuing to support the evolving eye health needs of the community, fostering partnerships, and providing comprehensive on-site care for patients like Cyril Albury, pictured below.

Initiatives to target Queensland skin cancer rates

Queensland has the highest rate of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers in the world. 

Last week the Queensland Government announced new initiatives to target skin cancer rates in Queensland, including a three-month campaign titled ‘Sunshine: You do the 5. You survive’. The campaign urges Queenslanders to embrace the five sun-safe behaviours – slip, slop, slap, seek, slide – through a mock horror movie called Sunshine. 

In addition to the campaign, there is continued support for the Skin Cancer Early Detection (SCED) program coordinated by CheckUP. The Skin Cancer Early Detection Service has a focus on regional towns and aims to create fairer access to professional assessment and treatment of skin cancer for people who have a skin cancer risk. Following extensive mapping and consultation with key stakeholders the SCED outreach services have been funded for five priority Hospital and Health Service regions that include Central Queensland, North West, South West, Mackay and Townsville.  

CheckUP joins the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service on SCED Outreach visit

David Millichap, CheckUP’s General Manager – Engagement and Business Development, travelled to Eulo last week with the team from the Royal Flying Doctor Service to observe the new skin cancer clinic as part of CheckUP’s SCED program.

David spoke with several patients in Eulo who expressed sincere gratitude for the visiting clinic, which saved them a long trip to Toowoomba or Brisbane to have their skin checked by a specially trained GP.

Register now for the Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops

Are you a GP working in rural, regional, or remote QLD? Attend one of CheckUP’s FREE Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops in Mount Isa, Roma, Mackay, Rockhampton, or Townsville.

An introduction to practical skin cancer medicine and surgery, workshops will feature a core theory session followed by a hands-on practical session. Covering topics such as:

  • Basics of dermoscopy – diagnosing common skin lesions and sampling lesions effectively.
  • Practicing surgical procedures – including curettes, shave and punch biopsies, elliptical excision planning and closure, suturing: basic interrupted, deep dermal, pulley sutures and haemostatic stitch.
  • Case discussions – participants are welcome to bring their own cases to discuss.

Upon completion attendees will receive a Certificate of Attendance which can be used to claim CPD hours.

Workshops include complimentary lunch, morning tea, and afternoon tea.

Limited places available register now to secure your spot.

Register for a workshop near you

This program is made possible through funding from the Queensland Government.

Supporting First Nations Gift Guide

Struggling for Christmas gift ideas? Support First Nations small businesses this festive season. The CheckUP team have put together this gift guide to help inspire you, from art prints to skateboards, there is something for everyone.

 

  1. Miimi and Jiinda Waarra Gumburr Art Print

Miimi and Jiinda make and custom frame their artwork on Gumbaynggirr Country in NSW.

  1. Chaboo Round Bowl “Family Yarns”

Chaboo is 100% Indigenous Australian owned and operated by Roy Fisher & Casey Coolwell. CHABOO was created for everyone, encouraging all people, of all walks of life, to appreciate Indigenous art, stories and culture.

  1. Amber Days Baby Totems and Bush Tucker Romper

Amber Days is an Aboriginal owned ethical children’s wear label that is inspired by the Australian bush, desert and sea. Amber Days is made for mindful, adventurous, free spirited little ones, who are the next generation of change makers.

  1. Clothing the Gap “Always Was, Always Will be” Tee

Clothing The Gap creates merchandise with messages that spark conversations. Making clothes that influence social change by uniting people (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) through fashion and a cause.

  1. Bunya Designs Country in Colour (Pink) Print on Paper

Painting both traditional and contemporary art using storytelling in every art piece, Leah Cummins wants to educate and teach everyone about their culture.

  1. KYKOE Dancing for Pippis Scrunchie

KYKOE is a 100% Aboriginal and Zenadth Kes business, sharing culture through accessories and contemporary art.

  1. House of DarwinJUNGLES JUNGLES X House of Darwin Tee

Existing to inspire, educate and cultivate change within the two worlds of Australia. House of Darwin is a social enterprise, reinvesting profits back into social programs in remote indigenous communities.

  1. Haus of Dizzy Always Was, Always Will Be Earrings

Haus of Dizzy creates bold, playful, statement-making jewellery that celebrates and honours Indigenous culture—imbuing a sense of empowerment and joy within everybody who wears it.

  1. Sobah Finger Lime Cerveza Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer

Premium non-alcoholic craft beer. Sobah are breaking down the stigma of socialising sober. Sobah exists to raise positive awareness and promote First Nations’ culture, art, language, and history.

  1. Spinifex Skateboards Shantara Conway Board

Ltyentye Apurte is home to the first indoor skatepark of its kind to exist in a remote community in the Northern Territory. Nicky Hayes a proud Arrernte man and Traditional Owner for Ltyentye Apurte founded Spinifex Skateboards, a way of giving back to community, building something to support kids and young people who decide to take on something new.