ARC: Indigenous Discovery Grant 2018 – A place based model for Aboriginal community-led solutions to complex health and social issues

Our Aboriginal health research Interdisciplinary team at AHSRI led by Professor Kathleen Clapham have been successful in obtaining an Australian Research council grant Indigenous discovery grant. In particular this grant will enable us to further build on our body of work with Aboriginal community controlled organisations in south eastern NSW.

Our aim is to co-design an evidenced-based explanatory model for the contribution of Aboriginal community controlled organisations to Aboriginal health and well-being. This will be achieved through the following objectives:

1. Describe the policy environment in which ACCOs in south eastern NSW operate by identifying key policy stakeholders, documenting funding relationships and investigating barriers and enablers to service provision.

2. Use regional case studies to understand and contextualise Aboriginal community controlled approaches to service delivery, including models, programs, networks and partnerships.

3. Co-design a strategy to support the ACCO model and identify the enablers and barriers to renegotiating relationships between ACCOS and key policy and service delivery stakeholders.

4. Translate the leanings from the south-eastern NSW to other locations within Australia.

The Aboriginal led research team includes senior, mid-career and early career researchers who have demonstrated track record in Aboriginal health research and genuine community engagement. They are:

CI Clapham is an Aboriginal research-only academic with extensive experience in Aboriginal health services, child health and safety, and large-scale community intervention research and capacity building. Based at the Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI) at the UOW, Kathleen will lead the research and oversee the research design, governance, ethics and capacity building. She has the time and capacity to commit a substantial amount of time to this project, as a number of current projects will conclude at the end of 2018.

CI Bessarab Winthrop Professor at the Centre for Aboriginal Medical & Dental Health (UWA) is an Aboriginal woman of Bardi (West Kimberley) and Indjarbandi (Pilbara) descent. Drawing on her extensive experience in providing support services for Aboriginal and other Australians across WA, Dawn brings expertise in Indigenous research methodology. She will contribute to the research capacity building workshops, and lead the Translating the Learnings workshops in WA.

CI Fredericks is a Murri woman from south-east Queensland with a history of leadership at regional, state and national levels. She is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) at UQ and a leading researcher in Indigenous issues with a focus on socio-psychological aspects of chronic disease, public health interventions and Indigenous women’s health issues, training and education. Recently appointed as part-time Commissioner, to Queensland Productivity Commission’s inquiry into service delivery in the State’s Indigenous Communities, Bronwyn is uniquely placed to advise lead the Translating the Learnings workshops in QLD.

CI Senior is a medical anthropologist in the Faculty of Social Science (UOW) with extensive ethnographic experience. Kate will be part of the Management team. She will advise on ethnographic data collection and analysis, lead the field research training of the two Aboriginal Community Researchers. Her recently completed ARC Future Fellowship centered on young Indigenous people’s lived experience of the social determinants of health.

CI Harwood is a sociologist of education, Sydney School of Education and Social Work (USyd). Valerie has expertise in the educational disadvantage, place based research and impacts on health and well-being. She has ethnographic skills and will contribute to the design of qualitative components of the study. Her Future Fellowship investigated adaptations of social marketing with communities experiencing educational disadvantage.

CI Kelly is a Clinical Psychologist (UOW) with research experience in mental health and substance abuse treatment, prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. His research is focused on working with community based,NGOs where he works collaboratively with mainstream and Aboriginal community- based organisations. Peter will lead the collection and analysis of quantitative (pre-post) evaluations data.

CI Hasan is a UOW academic in the discipline of Information Systems specialising in qualitative methods. She has extensive experience leading multi-disciplinary research teams and digital dissemination of results. Helen will mentor and co-supervise HDR students. Helen will co-facilitate the Co-Design Round-tables.

CI Longbottom is an Aboriginal Research Fellow (submitted PhD late 2018) with a research focus on Aboriginal women’s experience of violence. Marlene will contribute by developing and sustaining community partnerships and implementing research capacity building activities. The project provides research career development opportunities for Marlene as an early career researcher, including co-supervision of research students.

Click the Illawarra Mercury article for more info:

Evaluation of the The Coomaditchie Ngaramura project – ‘See the Way’

We’re proud to announce Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation (CUAC) have invited our researchers at the University of Wollongong to evaluate a pilot project addressing the educational needs of disengaged Aboriginal youth in the Illawarra. In collaboration with CUAC and the project Steering Committee, the UOW Research Team aims to conduct a rigorous evaluation which focuses on the delivery of the Ngaramura (Supportive Pathways for Indigenous children in Schooling and Employment) project which will be delivered at Coomaditchie, over a 12 month period.

A great media article released by ABC Illawarra here provides a great insight into a local Aboriginal community controlled organisation


SKAMP: Cultural mentoring with Indigenous male students (years 5-8) in Dapto & Shellharbour areas

Project lead | Professor Kathleen Clapham

UOW partners | Layne Brown

Community partners | Greg Potts Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group

Our Interdisciplinary team will be working with the Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group (IKMSG) to develop & deliver a culturally safe program for Aboriginal students Years 5-8 in the transition from primary to secondary school. School Kids Aboriginal Mentoring Program is uniquely designed for Aboriginal boys and young men that builds upon the considerable expertise of the IKSMG.

In our previous work the IKMSG demonstrated their innovative capacity to deliver effective culturally safe programs with Aboriginal communities and under-served population, particularly vulnerable groups such as Aboriginal youth.  This program will provide innovative solutions to led by local Indigenous people. By working with the IKMSG we anticipate a number of outcomes; culturally appropriate service delivery, organisational capacity building for project planning, report writing & evaluation and contributing to the research body of work on Aboriginal men’s groups.

In 2017 with their input and guidance we completed the Research & Community ‘Caring for Community’ reports (found here) providing great insights into the daily operations of a well-respected Aboriginal organisation in the Illawarra.

Earlier in 2018 it was identified that the UOW Community Engagement Grant Scheme was an opportunity to further build on this partnership. In meeting with the IKMSG they indicated a need to revisit their youth program. They were interested in re-developing and adapting an existing program, that due to a lack of funding was absorbed into their current programs. Both parties sat down further to capture details on service delivery, sustainability, budgets, roles & responsibilities. Our research team then co-wrote an application for SKAMP based off of the information they gave us and were successful in attaining the grant. The CEGS grant was officially presented to us on the 3rd November & we look forward to updating you all as this project rolls out over the next 12 months.

Below pictured: John Pagett, Brad Anderson, Layne Brown, Helen Hassan, Kathleen Clapham, Gerald Brown, Brian Green, Glenn Pagett, Rick Pagett

For more details on CEGS and the types of projects they support watch the following video: