The Revitalizing Health for All – Learning through Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC) Experiences study was conceived in 2005 at a meeting of the Peoples’ Health Assembly held in Ecuador. Its purpose was to document the importance of CPHC as an appropriate and essential system response to improving the health of the world’s Indigenous and marginalised peoples.
The study brought together an international group of community health practitioners, researchers and activists, under the broad umbrella of the People’s Health Movement and the International People’s Health University. The Indigenous sites were funded by Canada’s Teasdale Corti Foundation and involved separate research projects in Canada, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Australia.
The aim of the research teams in each project location was to build and strengthen a global CPHC network, and to increase the understanding of and support for CPHC as a basis for health system renewal among researchers, practitioners, policy makers and civil society organisations.
The CRC for Aboriginal Health (CRCAH) and now the Lowitja Institute supported the Australian leg of the study, which commenced in 2008–09 at locations in
- Alice Springs (Ingkintja – Learning From Comprehensive Primary Health Care Experiences, managed by CAAC);
- Utopia in Central Australia (through the Urapuntja Health Service); and
- Melbourne (with the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service).
A map (shown above) highlights where the sites were in Australia.
All three projects have now finished. A regional commentary report detailing the outcomes and findings from the three projects has been produced to :
- contextualise the findings of the three case studies in relation to the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs in Australia, particularly in health, and the history of comprehensive primary health care in Australia
- generalise on the basis of the three case studies, having regard to the wider context, towards more widely applicable (but still tentative) insights into causes, principles and strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health development and for comprehensive primary health care.
Bronwyn Fredericks & David Legge, 2011, Revitalizing Health for All: International Indigenous Representative Group. Learning from the Experience of Comprehensive Primary Health Care in Aboriginal Australia—A Commentary on Three Projects, The Lowitja Institute, Melbourne
Ottawa Meeting – June 2011
The final meeting of participants in a landmark international study on the role of comprehensive primary health care took place in Ottawa, Canada on 13–17 June 2011, with all the global projects presenting their findings. Attending the meeting from the Lowitja Institute were:
- Pat Anderson: Chair
- Stephanie Bell: Board Member
- Vanessa Harris: Program 2 Manager, and
- Representatives from two of the Australian project teams.
The University of Queensland’s Dr Bronwyn Fredericks, the researcher and mentor on the Melbourne project and and co-author of the regional commentary report, attended the meeting. She said the gathering of researchers had been ‘inspirational’.
‘As participants we had the opportunity to hear about the range of projects, tease out specific elements and question and challenge each other on process and praxis,’ Dr Fredericks said. ‘What I found interesting was the similarities in the day-to- day issues our communities are struggling with, such as poverty, food security, education, housing, conflict, representation and local and governmental politics. There were also differences such as the experiences of colonisation, civil war, resource and land exploitation and the impacts of globalisation on primary producers in third world countries.’
‘Other participants were extremely interested in the three Australian projects and in the Aboriginal community controlled health organisation (ACCHO) model. I think some were surprised by the level of control and say that Aboriginal people have within Aboriginal community controlled health organisations.’
The Regional Commentary Poster and individual presentations at the Ottawa meeting summarised the key findings of the three Australian projects. Presentations are available from Global Health Equity.
Posters and Presentations from the Ottawa meeting:
- Learning from the experience of comprehensive primary health care in Aboriginal Australia A poster commentary on three project reports, by Bronwyn Fredericks and David Legge, June 2011.
- The Indigenous Revitalizing Primary Health Care projects in Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand and Canada, PowerPoint presentation, 6 June 2011.
- Victorian Aboriginal Health Service: Revitalizing Health for All project, poster presentation by Bronwyn Fredericks, Joanne Luke and Alan Brown, June 2011.
- Ingkintja: Learning from comprehensive primary health care experiences, poster by Clive Rosewarne, Gai Wilson, John Liddle, Steve Lake and Korey Summers, June 2011.
- Map of three Australian sites
Further details on the three Australian projects (as listed below) can be found on the CRCAH projects page:
- Ingkintja – Learning From Comprehensive Primary Health Care Experiences (Central Austrlian Aboriginal Congress, Alice Springs)
- Revitalising Comprehensive Primary Health Care at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (Melbourne)
- Urapuntja Health Service and Utopia community (Central Australia)