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Key references

This section provides key references about communicable diseases and Indigenous environmental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health practitioners.

Please select category from the dropdown list below.


The Kirby Institute (2013)

Australian trachoma surveillance report 2012.

Sydney: The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

This report contains trachoma screening and management data for 2012 from the Northern Territory (NT), South Australia (SA), Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (Qld). A total of 195 (96%) of 204 designated at-risk communities were screened for trachoma during 2012, and data were analysed by region.

Children from 0-14 years were assessed for clean faces and active trachoma and adults aged 40 years and older were screened for trichiasis. Health promotion activities were also recorded.

Important findings from this report include:

  • an increase in screening coverage of communities in WA, SA and NT
  • a decrease in the national prevalence of trachoma in the 5-9 year age group, from 7% in 2011 to 4% in 2012
  • no active trachoma was detected in Queensland.

Trachoma surveillance and management has been undertaken since 2006 guided by the Communicable Disease Network of Australia (CDNA) Guidelines for the public management of trachoma in Australia 2006.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Centre for Appropriate Technology (2010)

National Indigenous infrastructure guide.

Alice Springs: Centre for Appropriate Technology

This publication provides a framework to facilitate an understanding of the issues which arise in the provision of infrastructure for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The main focus of the guide is the installation and maintenance of infrastructure which is appropriate and sustainable for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The importance of community in this process is highlighted in the guide.

The National Indigenous infrastructure guide complements the existing National Indigenous Housing Guide and the Environmental Health Handbooks. The guide provides information on:

  • existing research
  • codes and standards
  • resources
  • community infrastructure.

The guide was produced by the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) with funding from the former Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Environmental Health Needs Coordinating Committee (2010)

Environmental health needs of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia: the 2008 survey and its findings.

Perth: Western Australian Department of Health, Public Health Division

The Western Australian Environmental health needs survey was conducted over 2007 and 2008 and is the third survey in a series which surveyed housing, services, utilities, community infrastructure and the immediate living environment in discrete Aboriginal communities in WA. Data collected related to over 15,000 residents from 232 communities. This publication reports the outcomes of this survey and provides a comparison with the outcomes of the 1997 and 2004 surveys.

The survey was conducted by environmental health practitioners who work with and in discrete Aboriginal communities. The practitioners visited the communities to survey existing infrastructure. Information was also collected about levels of community satisfaction and any concerns with the provision of essential, municipal and allied services which influenced and affected environmental health in the communities.

The core environmental health and infrastructure issues covered in the report were:

  • water
  • electricity
  • housing
  • solid waste disposal
  • sanitation
  • dust
  • dog health programs
  • emergency management

The report provides an evidence base which highlights the continued environmental health issues faced by many of the communities who participated in the survey. It is the foundation for the future direction of service plans and delivery in discrete communities.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Nganampa Health Council Inc, South Australian Health Commission, Aboriginal Health Organisation of SA (1987)

Report of the Uwankara Palyanyku Kanyintjaku: an environmental and public health review within the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands.

Adelaide: South Australian Health Commission, Aboriginal Health Organisation

In 1987, the Nganampa Health Council published an environmental health report called the 'UPK Report'. The report reached the conclusion that nine healthy living practices are necessary for improved health in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands. Between 1987 and 1990 UPK became regarded nationally as a yardstick for environmental intervention in Indigenous communities.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Last updated: 24 May 2017
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