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Health literacy among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males in the Northern Territory

Health literacy and gender are increasingly seen as critical social determinants of health impacting on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They are repeatedly mentioned in health-related policies and strategies at state, territory and national levels. Yet, very little is known about how these concepts shape the identities and life aspirations of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males. The aim of this study was to understand the interplay between health literacy, gender and cultural identity among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males living in the Northern Territory.

Objectives included:

The project was a collaborative effort between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous investigators, including

Membership of the expert Indigenous Leadership Group included:

This was primarily a qualitative study. It involved working collaboratively with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males from the Northern Territory aged 14–25 years in partnership with local organisations delivering programs to this cohort. It used surveys, yarning sessions and photo-voice methods to address the aim and objectives listed above. In terms of capacity building within this project, non-Indigenous Chief Investigators supported research capacity building and technical skills development among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of the research team, particularly in relation to health literacy measurement, and contemporary gender and masculinities research. Mr Jason Bonson and Mr David Aanundsen received research mentorship and support from Professor Smith throughout the project, as outlined in relevant organisational MOUs. The research has resulted in a deeper understanding of the interplay between health literacy, masculinities and cultural identity among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males living in the Northern Territory. The following themes emerged throughout the study:

This research has provided a strong foundation for developing practical strategies for improving programs and policies targeting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males in health, sport and recreation, education, justice, employment and community services contexts.

Principal partnerships

Collaborating institutions included:

Supporting institutions included:

 

Project leader

Jason Bonson

Administering institution:

Charles Darwin University