Creating healthy environments: Development and trial of an integrated model for Aboriginal health promotion and its evaluation

This project was an intensive case study of the development and implementation of evaluation protocols for Aboriginal health promotion that are culturally appropriate and incorporate the social and environmental determinants of Aboriginal health. The key focus was on establishing and evaluating an Aboriginal Health Promotion Alliance network to undertake a range of activities around improving health promotion practices and systems across the Murray-Goulburn regions of Central Victoria.

Key achievements of the project include:

  • better understanding of Aboriginal health promotion and influence on implementation through a substantial database of evidence about the purpose and effectiveness of health promotion strategies, including the development and analysis of the benefits of a community network alliance
  • development of indicators and practitioner uptake of evaluation tools for use by community health programs, which accurately capture the nature and purpose of Aboriginal health promotion for locals and beyond
  • training of community-based researchers in evaluation methods, health promotion and skills towards social network analysis, which has resulted in an increased community capacity to design, evaluate and disseminate information about their organisation’s health programs
  • presentation of project findings in academic journals and at international and national conferences by community-based researchers
  • building strong working relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal researchers, and academic and community-based researchers
  • the work of this project was carried forward with a National Health and Medical Research Council project grant, Creating Healthy Environments: Integrating and Evaluating Aboriginal Health Promotion in the Goulburn-Murray Region
  • the project also informed the Lowitja Institute’s Health Promotion Capacity Building projec.
Related resources:
  • Rowley K., Doyle J., Johnston L., Reilly R., McCarthy L., Marika M., Riley T., Atkinson P., Firebrace B., Calleja J. & Cargo M. 2015, ‘Strengths and limitations of a tool for monitoring and evaluating First Peoples’ health promotion from an ecological perspective’, BMC Public Health, Dec 8, 15:1215. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2550-3
  • Doyle J., with Firebrace F., Reilly R., Crumpen T., Rowley K., 2013, What makes us different? The role of Rumbalara Football & Netball Club in promoting Indigenous wellbeing, Australian Community Psychologist, vol. 25 (2), 7–21.
  • Johnston, L., Doyle, J., Morgan, B., Atkinson-Briggs, S., Firebrace. B., Marika, M., Reilly, R., Cargo, M., Riley, T., Rowley, K., 2013, A review of programs that targeted environmental factors for improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 10(8), 3518-3542
  • Johnston L., Doyle J., Morgan B., Atkinson-Briggs S., Firebrace B., Marika M., Reilly R., Cargo M., Riley T., Rowley K.. 2013, ‘A review and analysis of programs that targeted environmental factors for improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health’, presentation at Australian Health Promotion Association Annual Conference, Sydney, June 2013.

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.