Inside-out approaches to promoting Australian Aboriginal wellbeing: evidence from a decade of community-based participatory research

Bainbridge, Roxanne, McCalman, Janya, Tsey, Komla, and Brown, Cath (2011) Inside-out approaches to promoting Australian Aboriginal wellbeing: evidence from a decade of community-based participatory research. The International Journal of Health, Wellness & Society, 1 (2). pp. 13-28.

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Abstract

Much documentation exists regarding the causes and contemporary circumstances of Australian Aboriginal health and wellbeing; measurements of compromised health and wellbeing are abundant and long-standing. However, there is little published evidence-based research that captures the intricacies of the processes involved in promoting initiatives to enhance Aboriginal health and wellbeing. Advocacy by international development and aid communities over recent decades has supported ecological bottom-up solutions, including participatory and empowerment strategies to promote sustainable social development and change. In reality, the approach represents a major challenge to implement. This presentation illustrates the approach taken by a multi-disciplinary research team in Far North Queensland led by Professor Komla Tsey. Over the past decade, the research team has operationalised an Aboriginal-developed empowerment education program at the personal/family, group/organisational and community/structural levels to reveal what capacity the program holds in contributing toward improving the social determinants of health and wellbeing for Aboriginal people. The presentation shows how perceptions of control and choice in life play an important influential role in achieving health and wellbeing. It relates some important reflections from the field and communicates the importance of strengths-based approaches to working with Indigenous people. Discussed in particular is how researchers' expertise can be relevant to Indigenous community priorities; how to make social research relevant to people's daily lives, needs and aspirations; and how to develop models of research capacity building and partnerships.

Item ID: 17488
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Aboriginal Australians, wellbeing, participatory action research, Indigenous, Australian, community-based, health promotion, empowerment, strengths based, capacity strengthening, Indigenous partnership
ISSN: 2156-8960
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2011 04:20
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 100%
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