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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Key references



Northern Territory Department of Health (2007)

Public health bush book volume 2: facts and approaches to three key public health issues.

Darwin: Northern Territory Department of Health

The Public health bush book is designed to support health care providers in remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. It outlines preventive methods, strategies and resources available to work in a health promoting way and focuses on three issues that have a direct impact on ill health:

  • alcohol and other drugs
  • environmental health and
  • food and nutrition.

Written in plain English and supported by case studies, diagrams and illustrations, the Bush book contains step by step guides, checklists and worksheets which make it a very practical resource.

A versatile document that can be used by all providers across the health care spectrum, the Bush book aims to engage staff in ways of working that strengthen the capacity of individuals and communities to increase control over their own health.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council (2003)

National strategic framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health: framework for action by governments.

Canberra: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council

The National strategic framework builds on the National Aboriginal health strategy (1989) (view Framework and Strategy documents). It draws together nationally agreed strategies to address specific health problems, state and territory policies and plans and the national collaborative policy and planning frameworks within which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health programs are managed.

The report details nine principles on which the National Strategic Framework is based and describes three central desired outcomes:

  • towards a more effective and responsive health system
  • influencing the health impacts of the non-health sector
  • providing the infrastructure to improve health status.

The conclusion describes the implementation and evaluation plans and identifies the responsible organisations.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council, Effective Health Care Australia University of Sydney, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine James Cook University (2002)

Guidelines for the development, implementation and evaluation of national public health strategies in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: approaches and recommendations.

Melbourne: National Public Health Partnership


Spark RL (1999)

Developing health promotion methods in remote Aboriginal communities.

Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Curtin University of Technology: Perth, Western Australia

This thesis investigates the development and implementation of health promotion strategies and methods in remote Aboriginal communities via the Kimberley Aboriginal Health Promotion Project (KAHPP), a project funded under a grant from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services and conducted by the School of Public Health at Curtin University of Technology. The aim of the project was to investigate the effectiveness of health promotion strategies and methods in remote Aboriginal communities and to develop structures for implementing effective Aboriginal health promotion programs.
There were three main research components in this study: an assessment of health indicators; an assessment of the intervention impact; and an assessment of the media component of the intervention. The research methodology included the development of a culturally appropriate survey instrument and the conduct of cross-sectional surveys of three remote Aboriginal communities with differing historical circumstances in the Kimberley region.
The questionnaire and field study methods were piloted in 1990 and the main study conducted in 1991. A health promotion intervention was conducted based on an approach originally developed in the Northern Territory. The intervention employed community development and mass media strategies. Community members nominated health issues that they wished to address, from which ‘storyboards' were created for health promotion advertisements to appear on remote television on a paid schedule. Representative random samples of adult males and females from three remote Aboriginal communities were surveyed according to a range of attitudinal and behavioural health indicators. A post-test survey assessed media reach and impact and pre-post surveys assessed relevant changes in the communities. The cross-sectional survey of health indicators found differences between communities in terms of self-assessed health and risk behaviours. These are discussed in terms of the historical differences between communities and with respect to each community's current situation.
Respondents from all communities rated environmental factors as important in their contribution to health, and generally more so than individual lifestyle behaviours.The study demonstrated that television has the potential to reach the vast majority of Aboriginal people in remote communities in the Kimberley. There was some indication that participation in the development of advertisements was associated with higher recognition and more positive assessments of that advertisement. No significant differences in selected indicators of community ‘empowerment' were detected following the intervention.
The thesis methodology has contributed to the development of a set of guidelines for the conduct of survey research in remote Aboriginal communities, and has guided the formation of Aboriginal health promotion units in Western Australia and elsewhere.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


National Health and Medical Research Council (1997)

Promoting the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities: case studies and principles of good practice.

Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council

Last updated: 2 February 2016
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