Community-driven health research in the Torres Strait

Wapau, Hylda, Kris, Ella, Roeder, Luisa, and McDonald, Malcolm (2022) Community-driven health research in the Torres Strait. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 28 (4). pp. 289-295.

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Background: In July 2018, participants at a Waiben (Thursday Island) conference declared that it was time for a locally driven research agenda for the Torres Strait and Queensland Northern Peninsula Area. For decades, they felt exploited by outside researchers. They identified a lack of respect and consultation, with few benefits for their people.

Methods: In response, the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (Waiben Campus‐Ngulaigau Mudh) invited a consultative group of elders and senior health providers to develop a research program based on local cultural and health needs. The aim was to promote research skills through a learn-by-doing approach. Four workshops were conducted over 2019. Key financial and in-kind support was provided by the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, Hot North, and Queensland Health’s Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service.

Results: The first workshop attracted 24 people; none had previous research experience. The workshop format evolved over 2019, mainly guided by the participants. Overall, feedback was positive, and participant research proposals remain in various stages of development.

Conclusions: Although suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a long-term investment in community-driven research that seeks to translate health benefits to the people. This model may apply to other communities, especially in rural and remote Australia.

Warning: This article contains the names and/or images of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Item ID: 75619
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1836-7399
Keywords: capacity-strengthening, community driven, Indigenous research, primary healthcare, Torres Strait, workshop
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing on behalf of La Trobe University. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2022 08:14
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4504 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing > 450422 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theory of change models for health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 21 INDIGENOUS > 2103 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health > 210303 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health system performance @ 100%
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