"No More Bandaid Solution": Yaba Bimbie Indigenous Men’s Support Group Evaluation Report: January 2004-June 2005

McCalman, Janya, Tsey, Komla, Wenitong, Mark, Patterson, David, Baird, Bradley, Warta, Dennis, and Wilson, Andrew (2005) "No More Bandaid Solution": Yaba Bimbie Indigenous Men’s Support Group Evaluation Report: January 2004-June 2005. Report. James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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This report describes the collaboration between James Cook University (JCU) and the University of Queensland (UQ) with the Yarrabah Yaba Bimbie Men’s Group using a participatory action research approach. The aim of the collaboration is to support Yarrabah men take greater control and responsibility for the factors influencing their health and wellbeing.

Across Australia, Indigenous men have had a vision of taking greater responsibility themselves to improve the status of men’s health and play their rightful role as leaders, fathers, uncles, husbands and grandfathers. They see the empowerment of Indigenous males as crucial to the raising of self-esteem, quality of life, health status and spiritual wellbeing (Spry 1999). This “Indigenous men’s movement” is arising in response to health statistics which are probably the worst for any group in Australia. Indigenous males’ life expectancy is only 59 years (18 years less than the Australian average) and there is a particularly devastating death rate of young and middle aged males, which has severe consequences for culture, families and the community (SCRGSP 2005). Health risk factors include low socioeconomic status; poor living conditions; poor nutrition; the highest rate of tobacco use across all age groups of the Australian population; the harmful use of substances; and violence (Working Party of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health & Well Being Reference Committee 2003).

The work of the Yaba Bimbie (which translates as father son) Men’s Group started in February 1998 as a voluntary support group in response to a spate of suicides and suicide attempts in Yarrabah, a coastal Aboriginal community about 50km south of Cairns, north Queensland. The Men’s group, auspiced by Yarrabah’s community controlled health service, Gurriny Yealamucka, was funded by the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for two years from August 2001, and for a further three years by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) from January 2004. The group aims to assist “Men take their rightful role in the community, encompassing the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspects of life”.

The JCU/UQ partnership with Yaba Bimbie Men’s Group was formed in 2001 and will continue at least until the end of 2006. This report describes the strategies, challenges and outcomes of the group resulting from the first 18 months of the three-year NHMRC-funded research project between January 2004 and June 2005. It has been written to assist the Men’s group, Gurriny management, and JCU researchers work through challenges facing the Group and to progress steps towards achieving the vision that men have set for themselves within Yarrabah’s existing health reform agenda.

Item ID: 10656
Item Type: Report (Report)
ISBN: 0 86443 756 10
Keywords: Indigenous men's groups; Yarrabah Yaba Bimbie Men’s Group; participatory action research; health and wellbeing; empowerment
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2010 06:30
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 @ 70%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920505 Mens Health @ 30%
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