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Natasha Beyersdorf

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BABIES WELCOMED INTO AWABAKAL COMMUNITY

An Aboriginal tradition, steeped in history, is being revived in Newcastle in a bid to strengthen cultural and social ties. Babies were today welcomed into the Awabakal community, presented to elders and joining a smoking ceremony. “It’s part of our Awabakal mums and bubs programme, this is the second year we’ve welcomed babies into our community and its about connecting them into our services, our medical services, pre-school and day care,” said Awabakal CEO Raylene Gordon. 30 babies were involved in the event, which coincides with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s day. (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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HMRI SPECIAL: NEW APPROACH FOR ASTHMA SUFFERERS

Asthma is an all-too common ailment, affecting around 10 per cent of Australians and alarmingly, deaths are on the rise. Hunter medical researchers have hit on a new approach – a vaccine that could change the way a form of the chronic disease is managed. In our final story for medical research week, we also examine other work that’s having a big impact for people with lung disease.

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CALLS TO BETTER FUND HEALTH STAFF

Hospital workers launched a statewide campaign in Newcastle today, calling on the state government to better fund health staff. “While doctors and nurses are very important, 55% of people who work in health are not doctors or nurses, said HSU NSW Secretary Gerard Hayes. The Health Services Union says there are staff shortages in key areas including security, cleaning, catering and allied health. “We’re seeing chokages right the way through, safety in hospitals is a real concern and we need to see more attention by the government.” (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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