In 2019, the theme for NAIDOC Week is Voice. Treaty. Truth. These were three key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and represent the unified position of First Nations Australians. We invite you to attend this Symposium to hear four presentations as we share our knowledge through our voice.
A One Health approach to animal health and management in a remote Northern Territory community - Tamara Riley
Tamara is a Wiradjuri woman from Western NSW, undertaking a Masters of Applied Epidemiology within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health. Tamara is a Veterinarian with experience in public health, animal biosecurity and policy. Tamara completed a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, and has since completed the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Graduate Program, a Professional Certificate of Indigenous Research, and a Graduate Diploma of Government. Research interests include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing, One Health, animal health, and Indigenous data sovereignty.
Dogs and cats play an integral role in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Dogs and cats can be of cultural significance and hold meaning for individuals and families. However, implementing effective and sustainable animal health and management programs in these settings can be complex due to factors including remoteness, and limited access to supplies and veterinary care. The One Health concept recognizes that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the broader environment. Community-driven, One Health approaches have the potential to make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of animals and people in remote communities.
This presentation will describe a community driven animal health and management program implemented in a remote Northern Territory community that is adopting a One Health approach. It will also discuss the evaluation underway to assess the program’s impacts on health within the community.
The Mayi Kuwayu National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing - Jan Chapman
Jan Chapman is a Taungurung woman. Her people are from Victoria where she has lived for most of her life. Jan has worked in various Indigenous health sectors. She has worked in the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (OATSIH) in the Department of Health, followed by time working at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). Jan is currently the Study Manager of the Mayi Kuwayu National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing and has been involved with the Study for the past five years.
This presentation will discuss how the Mayi Kuwayu research team has worked with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities over the last few years to develop questions that best represent Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultures and wellbeing. These questions now form the basis of the Mayi Kuwayu Study. This included: connection to country, beliefs and knowledge, language use, family, kinship and community, cultural expression and continuity, self-determination and leadership.
The Mayi Kuwayu Study aims to provide the first large-scale evidence on cultural factors and their links to health and wellbeing. It will do this by inviting over 200,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults to participate. Participants will be invited to complete follow-up surveys every two / three years.
Data from the Mayi Kuwayu Study will be an Indigenous-controlled collaborative resource for research, conducted in strict accordance with ethical, community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research standards.
The Family and Community Safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (FaCtS) Study - Shavaun Wells
Shavaun Wells is a Taungurung woman. She has previously worked in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector, more recently, at Winnunga Aboriginal Medical and Community Services based in Canberra for 7 years.
Shavaun’s passion for research started when she was an Aboriginal Health Worker. Her role included working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients on smoking cessation programs and research in Otitis Media in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Shavaun is currently the Senior Fieldwork Officer at ANU on the Family and Community Safety (FaCts) Study for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
This innovative Family and Community Safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (FaCtS) Study has partnered with 18 community organisations to better understand family and community violence and what can be done to reduce it.
The objectives of the study are to find:
(1) What services and supports are available to people and families affected by violence, and how these services and supports are experienced by people in the community.
(2) What communities think is needed to improve safety in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
(3) How violence affects relationships, health, wellbeing, education and employment.
(4) How much Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities are affected by violence.
The study will provide national data on the extent and impacts of family violence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the appropriateness and effectiveness of existing services and supports, and identification of resources required to reduce exposure to, and the effects of, violence.
Food Security and Nutrition in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander - Amanda Wingett
Amanda Wingett is a descendant of the Yandruwandha and Yawarrawarrka people of the Cooper Basin region in South Australia. Over the past 15 years she has held various roles in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Amanda has a Masters of Public Health (Nutrition), from the University of Queensland, with a research focus on recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students into tertiary nutrition and dietetics education. In recent years she has had more of a focus on Indigenous health policy and planning. Amanda is currently employed as an Associate Lecturer – Indigenous Health with the ANU School of Medicine.
Optimal nutrition is essential for life. To achieve optimal nutrition we need secure access to an adequate, affordable and nutrition food supply. Conversely, food insecurity is associated with poor health, and poor health outcomes, including increased morbidity and mortality. Almost 4 per cent of the Australian non-Indigenous population reported household food insecurity in 2011-12 (ABS, 2015). For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people this figure was significantly higher. We are half way through the Closing the Gap strategy and mortality rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are not significantly declining. Overweight and obesity contributes to 7 per cent of the total burden of disease (AIHW, 2018), however this doesn’t account for the impact of undernutrition and malnutrition on health. When food policy, nutrition and food related conversations have never been more common in our society, why are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still experiencing unacceptable levels of food insecurity?