Our people doing great things

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Deadlys Nominees 2011: Outstanding Achievement in Heatlh

The Western Desert Kidney Health Project – WA

Launched in October 2010 in Kalgoorlie, the Western Desert Kidney Health Project is an exciting and unique health and arts project, designed and implemented by the Aboriginal people of the Goldfields and Western Desert in WA with Wongutha Birni Aboriginal Corporation, the Rural Clinical School of WA, Bega Garnbirringu Health Service, the GP network and all the GPs, Clinics and health service providers. This multi-disciplinary team of Aboriginal health, medical and community development workers and artists is aiming to reduce disease and diabetes by 20 per cent over three years in 10 Aboriginal communities, representing six language groups. A key component of the project is a roadshow that visits communities to screen for kidney disease and diabetes and educate on prevention. This project is an example of what can be accomplished through community-driven health initiatives.

NPY Women’s Council – “No Safe Amount – The Effects of Alcohol in Pregnancy” – NT

The Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council is an Aboriginal, community-controlled organisation dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of approximately 6000 Anangu men, women, and children living in the Central Australian region. Its land covers 350,000 square kilometres of the remote tri-state area of WA, SA and the NT. “No safe amount – The Effects of Alcohol in Pregnancy” is an early intervention and prevention campaign designed to raise awareness of the deleterious and permanent effects on the unborn child of using alcohol during pregnancy, particularly awareness of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), through an educational/advertising campaign and DVD resource using a combination of media including animation and live action.

Yamba Roadshow, Imparja Roadshow – Alice Springs NT

Yamba’s Roadshow travels to remote NT Communities and comprises a half-hour musical performance about healthy living that targets pre-school children and covers topics such as eating healthy, cleaning teeth, blowing noses, getting plenty of sleep, and eye health. The roadshow is supported by the ‘Yamba the Honeyant’ Healthy Living series on Imparja Television, a concept that is also being used in work with the Trachoma team, based in Melbourne, to teach pre-school children about washing hands and faces to prevent trachoma. Healthy Living posters of Yamba the Honeyant are also distributed to remote health clinics. The Yamba Roadshow and the Yamba the Honeyant concept is an innovative and proven way to teach children about ear, nose and eye health.

Aboriginal Research Health Promotion Strategy (ARHPS) – Groote Eylandt NT

The ARHPS is a partnership between Groote Eylandt Health Clinics; Dr Kylie Lee (University of Sydney); David Hansen (The Perfect World); and Anindilyakwa Land Council. This collaboration works to improve health literacy and outcomes for the Anindilyakwa people of Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island (Arnhem Land, NT). Nine films have been made so far under the ARHPS, about a range of health issues, including sickness from tobacco, how to use quit smoking medicines, cannabis and mental health, how to cope with stress and grief, and problem drinking. Each production is based on ideas suggested by health workers and community members and is more than just a translation of a health message into Anindilyakwa language.

Maari Ma Health Worker Trainee Program – Western NSW

The Maari Ma Health Worker Trainee Program contributes to primary care in Aboriginal communities through training at the grassroots level in many diverse areas of health. Maari Ma’s 2010/11 Aboriginal Health Worker Trainee cohort is made up of 10 people from the communities of Wilcannia, Menindee, Ivanhoe and Broken Hill. All 10 trainees enrolled in and completed the Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (Practice), and have now flagged their next step towards improving the health of their local communities: midwifery, nursing, nutrition, diabetes education, mental health and palliative care. The Maari Ma Health Worker Trainee Program recognises that qualified and professional Aboriginal health workers are a significant step along a path towards true community control for Aboriginal people.

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