The Australian Indigenous EarInfoNet Project was developed to ensure that all research and resources on the prevention and management of ear disease and hearing loss are available and easily accessible. The project commenced in 2005 when people working in the area of Indigenous ear health and hearing reported that they frequently feel they are working in isolation, and that they need to ‘re-invent the wheel’ regularly when developing projects and resources for the management of ear disease and hearing loss.

An informal national network, now known as the EarInfoNetwork,was established with members from various fields (including lndigenous health workers, audiologists and audiometrists, teachers, medical officers, nurses, and more). The EarInfoNetwork aims to collectively address the complex issues of ear health and hearing through improving communication and the sharing of information and resources between stakeholders.

Online resources have been developed to support the network at the Australian Indigenous EarInfoNet website: This website provides quality up-to-date information and a yarning place (electronic network) that enables people to share information, knowledge and experiences. The website is a ‘one stop info-shop’ for people working, studying or interested in the area of Indigenous ear health and hearing.

A Project Manager is employed two days a week to engage communities and site users, to promote the website, to moderate yarning place messages, to develop resources and to answer enquiries.

Summary of outcomes

  • The EarInfoNetwork and web resources were established and continue to be developed and evaluated.
  • Publications, workshops and presentations are developed and presented on an ongoing basis.
  • The project sought and secured additional funding over a three-year period from the Pratt Foundation.
  • An evaluation survey undertaken in 2007 produced extremely positive feedback about the site. Users reported very good access to information and support through the EarInfoNet.

The evaluation survey reported the following involvement in the EarInfonet.

Number of members: 224

Proportion of Indigenous members:

  • Aboriginal – 47 (21%)
  • Torres Strait Islander – 2 (0.9%)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander – 4 (1.8%)
  • Non-Indigenous – 141 (63%)

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land across Australia and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.