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Aboriginal Family Holiday Program: Promoting Health and Wellbeing

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Title: Aboriginal Family Holiday Program: Promoting Health and Wellbeing


1
Aboriginal Family Holiday Program Promoting
Health and Wellbeing
Cindy Mathers, Alyce Rees and Angela
Greenall Community Health, West Gippsland
Healthcare Group
Introduction
Results
Aboriginal people view health holistically. To
them it includes social, emotional, physical,
mental, spiritual, cultural, community,
relationship aspects and connection to
country1-2. This program was developed in
consultation with the local Aboriginal Elders,
the Aboriginal health service and Aboriginal
families. It was designed to nurture health
and wellbeing and provided an opportunity to
build rapport between community members and our
health service. Reconnection to culture,
community and country in turn increased
resilience, self esteem and awareness of healthy
lifestyles.
  • This program was popular with both children and
    adults this was demonstrated by increasing daily
    attendance as the program progressed.
  • The fishing day was most popular in January. The
    overnight trip to East Gippsland was the most
    enjoyable activity in April.
  • A significant improvement in health related
    behaviours was recorded. This included enjoyment
    of healthy food provided and trying new foods.
  • 83 of the participants developed of new skills
    such as fishing, drumming, talking to new people
    and playing new sports.
  • 86 of the participants learnt more about their
    culture. Everyone who visited Lake Tyers Trust
    felt more connected to their traditional culture
    and ancestors.
  • 86 people felt more connected to their local
    community by spending time in the program and
    doing activities with other community members.
  • A flexible program design allowed our team to
    respond to the needs of the community during the
    program delivery.
  • The time me and my children spent with my
    extended family has been so special. I feel so
    much more connected to my culture than what I
    have felt in a long time thanks so much.
    Drouin Community Member
  •  
  •  

Aim
  • The aims of this program were to
  • design and deliver a program that met the needs
    of the community and was culturally appropriate.
  • to demonstrate healthy eating, physical activity
    and healthy lifestyles.
  • create supportive environments that build
    resilience, confidence, self esteem and social
    connectedness within the community.

Method
  • A 12 day program was conducted over the January
    and April 2012 school holidays and included the
    following highlights
  • Visits to local culturally significant sites
  • Sports Day featuring Indigenous games
  • Family Swimming Day
  • Art and Craft Activities
  • Bush tucker walk with native food taste testing
  • Fishing
  • Overnight cultural tour to Lake Tyers Trust an
    old mission
  • All events had an underlying focus of healthy
    eating and physical activity.
  • Evaluation of the program included
  • Qualitative and quantitative assessments Post
    questionnaires/group discussions
  • Multimedia data collection Photos and video
    interviews
  •  

Local Aboriginal families enjoy Indigenous games,
collecting eggs and cultural activities during
the school holiday program
Conclusion
  • Our program provided an enjoyable opportunity for
    Aboriginal families to reconnect to country,
    culture and community.
  • Rapport was established between the local
    Aboriginal community and health service
    providers.
  • Significant changes in health related behaviours
    were recorded.
  • Program design was culturally appropriate and met
    the needs of the community.

Captions to be added here
Acknowledgments
This project was undertaken with funding
provided by the Victorian Department of Health.
West Gippsland Healthcare Group would also like
to thank our partners.
Holiday program participants enjoyed activities
such as an overnight trip, fishing, drumming and
swimming.
Resources 1.Australian Government (2012)
Australian Indigenous Health Infonet retrieved
June 29, 2012 from http//www.healthinfonet.ecu.ed
u.au/health-facts/overviews/the-context-of-indigen
ous-health 2.Purdie N, Dudgeon P, Walker R, eds.
(2010) Working together Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing
principles and practice Canberra Department of
Health and Ageing
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