indigenist

Advocating for Indigenous Genius, Indigeneity and Wellbeing


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[BLOG POST TO FOLLOW] – Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2014

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2014  The Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report measures the wellbeing of Australia’s Indigenous peoples. The report provides information about outcomes across a range of strategic areas such as early child development, education and training, healthy lives, economic participation, home environment, and safe and supportive communities. The report examines whether policies and programs are achieving positive outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images of deceased people.

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage Key Indicators 

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When oppression is underlying cause of mental health unrest in Indigenous people we need to name it a mental injury, not an illness.

When oppression is underlying cause of mental health unrest in Indigenous people we need to name it a mental injury, not an illness.

It’s not something that was caught or a disease. It’s something that has happened.

Eradicating oppression is the first step to the eradication mental injury and mental health unrest.

Eradicating oppression is suicide prevention.

© Indigenist™ 2014


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Effective strategies to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Effective strategies to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Issues paper no. 12 produced for the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse
Pat Dudgeon, Roz Walker, Clair Scrine, Carrington Shepherd, Tom Calma and Ian Ring November 2014

What doesn’t work

  • Programs that fail to take account of Indigenous values, lifestyles, aspirations, family and differing needs and capacities of Indigenous people in diverse, complex economic and social circumstances.
  • Programs and services developed with inadequate timeframes, funding and program support that fail to address health in a holistic manner and focus on the individual without regard for the family and community context.
  • Provision or adaptation of mainstream programs by mainstream providers for Indigenous people without Indigenous community involvement or consultation.
  • Programs that are short-term, inflexible and designed and delivered without consultation, engagement and partnership with the community and the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service sector.
  • Poor engagement with research evidence by the mainstream sector can lead to systemic racism, lack of cultural understanding and appropriateness, and a reliance on ‘one size fits all’ approaches.
  • Performance indicators and reporting requirements, developed in accordance with the values and principles of the mainstream mental health system, that do not always align with Indigenous cultural ways of working and views of social and emotional wellbeing.

What works

There is evidence that programs that are developed or implemented in accordance with the 9 guiding principles underpinning the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Well Being 2004–2009 (SHRG 2004) are more likely to be effective and have positive outcomes than those that do not.

    • Programs that show promising results for Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing are those that encourage self-determination and community governance, reconnection and community life, and restoration and community resilience.
    • Important program features include:
      – a holistic approach
      – a focus on recovery and healing from stress and trauma
      – a means of empowering people to regain a sense of control and mastery over their lives
      – strategies that are Indigenous-led, family focused, culturally responsive, and context specific
      – interdisciplinary approaches that provide outreach services and transport
      – partnerships with the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services sector and local communities.
    • There is evidence that both mainstream and Indigenous-specific programs and services that adhere to the Closing the Gap service-delivery principles of engagement, access, integration and accountability are more effective than those that do not.
    • ‘Participatory action research’ approaches provide an effective mechanism for involving Indigenous families and communities in developing, implementing and evaluating programs. Programs that adopt participatory action research tend to be more culturally responsive to local contexts and foster a culturally safe environment for program participants.
    • Engaging in cultural activities is an indicator of positive cultural identity that is associated with better mental health among Indigenous Australians.

FULL REPORT HERE :


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Australasian Evaluation Society Conference – Indigenous Speaker notes from Final Plenary Session

Australasian Evaluation Society Conference – Indigenous Speaker notes from Final Plenary Session

Preamble

Introduce that a workshop was held on Monday for Indigenous people only

  • Mix of ages, gender, occupations, experience, nationalities, ethnicities, tribes and clans
  • Even with this diversity, some key common themes arose from our discussions, some of which have already been presented in Steve Larkin’s keynote and no doubt will also be picked up in Peter Mataira’s keynote

Theme 1

Power and control (and the relationship to ethics)

  • Who has the power?
  • Who controls the evaluation?
  • At what point are community brought into the evaluation?
  • And once brought in are they able to truly exercise any control over the information collected about them?

Theme 2 (Related to Theme 1)

Concerns around knowledge and expertise

Whose knowledge is privileged?
Who are the experts?
What happens when knowledge is shared in an evaluation process?
How much is ever returned to community to enable transformation and change?

Theme 3

Lots of discussion around the politics of evaluation and what happens when this is played out in the community.

Theme 4

And the purpose of evaluation:

  • Is evaluation activity simply to ensure continuation of programme funding?
  • Or are there bigger goals – wellbeing of a community for example”

Wrap-up and recommendations

  • In addition to these high level, systems level issues participants also offered a number of directions to AES, from things it could do immediately to support community and Indigenous, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander evaluators
  • An indigenous ethical framework, code of conduct, guidelines for those working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities Greater emphasis on two-way learning
  • Greater contact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, including NACCHO More visibility in the community More training, education and support – from formal courses/workshops through to mentoring (for Indigenous and non-Indigenous)
  • More Indigenous evaluators!
Dr Amohia Boulton
Associate Director
Whakauae Research Services Ltd


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Decolonisation and Neo-Cultural Gender Expression and Identity – Workshop

Decolonisation and Neo-Cultural Gender Expression and Identity

Within Indigenous Australian cultures the discourse on sexuality and gender outside of western constraints is extremely limited. When sexuality is discussed it is more often than not in the registers of pathology that in turn speaks to a heterocentric discourse. This session will use a six stages of decolonisation process, by Dr Lorraine Muller, as a response to the cultural challenges and to identify strengths in Indigenous *LGBT people. LGBQT is presupposed as counterfeit descriptor that misconstrues pre-settler colonial Indigenous gender variance and diverse sexualities. This session will explore the idea of “Neo-Cultural Gender Expression and Identity” as a dynamic part of our cultural evolution.


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#SuicidePrevention My meeting with @GerryGeorgatos as he spent time across the Kimberely to engage and to preliminarily listen to what people had to say.

An excerpt from “Kimberley suicide rate, one of the world’s highest – Yiriman is the way to go” by Gerry Georgatos

LGBTI

I met with Broome-based LGBTI advocate, Dameyon Bonson. Mr Bonson is a well-respected researcher and consultant in the field of LGBTI. LGBTI First Peoples face various pressures that can only be relieved by public discussions. Mr Bonson said that in general, 3 to 4 per cent of any population identifies as LGBTI, and therefore it is likely that 3 to 4 per cent of First Peoples identify as LGBTI.

Determining the size of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population is difficult. However, recent studies by Gates and Newport (2012) in the United States estimated the percentage of Americans who identify as LGBTI at approximately 3.4 per cent.

According to the ABS, “Within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population there were an estimated 294,000 children and young people, representing 4.2 per cent of the total Australian population aged 0 to 24 years.” Mr Bonson said that in using the American figure of 3.4 per cent, there are approximately 10,000 First Peoples who are LGTBI “and whose needs are yet to be identified.”

“They cannot be forgotten.”

Mr Bonson suggested that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are LGTBI “are at four times the risk of suicide than Indigenous Australians whom are not LGTBI, whose suicide risk is already higher than the general Australian population.”

“LGBTI people have the highest rates of suicidality of any population in Australia (LGBTI Health 2013), and my placing this overall data in the context of suicide makes a compelling argument that a response is required. Conversely, for Indigenous Australians the rate of suicide is ‘more than 4.2 per cent, or one in every 24 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders (The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy 2013).”

“Health promotional programs for Indigenous, particularly those that are Government – State or Federal – have no actual Indigenous evaluation tools or methodology,” said Mr Bonson.

“Recently, at the Australasian Evaluation Society Conference in Darwin, I participated with 30 other Indigenous Australians to workshop what Indigenous evaluations should look like for Indigenous evaluators.”

“Therefore, current Government Indigenous programs are not meeting standards that we need to develop.”

“Mr Bonson is promoting the development of a Black Rainbow organisation, with more to be announced at a later time. However such a concentrated organisation should be able to generate educative discussions.”


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Indigenous evaluation, as the ontological and epistemological expression of the lived reality of Indigenous peoples, as theory and as practice, is however, increasingly being recognised as a legitimate discipline in its own right.

Just an FYI there is no Indigenous Evaluation Standard that is recognised. So how did programs get assessed to be cut and by what measure.

How do I know this? I was at the Australasian Evaluation Society Pre-Conference “Evaluation by us, for us” Workshop in Darwin (Sept14) work shopping how one would look.

“Health promotional programs for Indigenous, particularly those that are Government – State or Federal – have no actual Indigenous evaluation tools or methodology,” said Mr Bonson.

“Recently, at the Australasian Evaluation Society Conference in Darwin, I participated with 30 other Indigenous Australians to workshop what Indigenous evaluations should look like for Indigenous evaluators.”

“Therefore, current Government Indigenous programs are not meeting standards that we need to develop.” The Stringer October 2014

So unless a program has an Indigenous evidenced based built in evaluation that is specifically for Indigenous improvements in school attendance, Indigenous retention rates and NAPLAN (literacy and numeracy) or to decrease Indigenous incarceration rates, recidivism, police call-outs and crime or increase the % of Indigenous adults employed in a real job (what is a real job anyway – truck driving in a mine ?). You have no basis to judge the outcome of such programs that is relevant to Indigenous people. You can’t measure the length of a road with by the gallon. So you can not measure the success of an Indigenous program based on non-Indigenous evaluations – that’s why the data doesn’t show the gap closing during the operation of the program.

“Evaluation by us, for us” : What is required of AES to strengthen, advance and support Indigenous Evaluation? – A workshop for Indigenous participants was presented by Amohia Boulton; Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development; New Zealand.

Amohia Boulton; Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development; New Zealand – The AES Constitution currently makes no mention of the unique place Indigenous peoples have in the make-up of societies in and around the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand. Indigenous evaluation, as the ontological and epistemological expression of the lived reality of Indigenous peoples, as theory and as practice, is however, increasingly being recognised as a legitimate discipline in its own right. Furthermore, Indigenous evaluation – evaluation undertaken by Indigenous peoples for Indigenous peoples – is being demanded by Indigenous communities who are often in receipt of services and programmes developed without their input or consultation. Indigenous evaluation is regarded by these communities therefore, as an emancipatory and transformative force.

Despite the constitutional “silence” on the issue of Indigenous peoples, the AES Board is keen to advance and support the field of Indigenous evaluation as appropriate, and seeks guidance on how to do this from Indigenous participants at the 2014 conference. In this facilitated workshop for Indigenous participants only, workshop attendees will be asked to identify the key issues in Indigenous Evaluation in our wider Pacific region; how the AES can best support the growth and advancement of Indigenous Evaluation in our region; and how the AES can best support the growth and development of Indigenous members of the Society.

The Australasian Evaluation Society