by Pamela Nathan
The Lowitja Institute’s new report, 2030: A Vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Report highlights the importance of working closely with local communities and also considering all of the factors that contribute to the health of a community.
Ms Lyn Brodie, CEO of the Lowitja Institute, was quoted as saying, “The report tells us that doing research is not enough, that health research and health practice need to come together at the regional and local levels”.
She continued that, “these kinds of theory/practice partnerships will not just be around health but also include all contributing factors e.g. education and justice, as a change in one of these areas could bring flow on change in another”.
The need for community involvement and partnerships was one of the areas identified as being important by participants in workshops that informed the report.
“As health researchers we have a responsibility to stay ahead of the game and to involve our peoples in research if we are to generate improvements in health and wellbeing in the future,” said Ms Brodie.
The findings of this report are congruent with CASSE’s approach, that it is vital to research with communities in order to empower communities. Change must be driven from within a community. CASSE provides a framework for community change, but understands that only the people within a community can provide real insight into the unique circumstances, problems and strengths of that community.