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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin


This section provides recent references compiled from our bibliographic database about food safety relating to Indigenous environmental health. This information is of particular relevance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health practitioners. References include journal articles, reports, theses and other literature. To access our complete database please use our bibliography.


Draper A (2016)

Enteric disease in the Northern Territory in 2015.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 23(1): 17-25

Western Australian Department of Public Health (2016)

Aboriginal environmental health newsletter - Campfire.

Retrieved 2016 from

Campfire is an electronic newsletter produced by the Environmental Health Directorate of Western Australia (WA).

It showcases showcase the achievements and activities of Aboriginal environmental health practitioners and their colleagues in WA. Newsletter topics from previous editions include:

  • water management
  • trachoma education and training 
  • dog health training
  • community programs
  • training opportunities.

The Directorate invites submissions of articles for Campfire via the contacts below.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Russell S, Sullivan CA, Reichelt-Brushett AJ (2015)

Aboriginal consumption of estuarine food resources and potential implications for health through trace metal exposure; a study in Gumbaynggirr country, Australia.

PLOS ONE; 10(6): e0130689

Retrieved 22 June 2015 from


KPMG Australia (2013)

Evaluation of the Thriving Communities program in six Kimberley communities: final report.

Perth, WA: EON Foundation

The Evaluation of the Thriving Communities Program in six Kimberley communities: final report aims to provide an assessment of the process and outcomes of the four EON Foundation programs ran in the communities of Djarindjin/Lombadian, Ardyaloon, Beagle Bay, Yungngora, Looma and Kadjina. The report aims to demonstrate the benefits of the program to the EON board and future funders, and reflect on lessons learnt.

The Thriving Communities Program consists of four components that are designed to reduce the risk of chronic disease:

  • EON Edible Gardens
  • EON Healthy Eating
  • EON Training and Education
  • EON Healthy Homes.

The findings of the evaluation conclude that whilst program outcomes are hard to measure, a community development approach that values long term engagement is the method most likely to be effective in tackling chronic disease.

Abstract adapted from Edge of Nowhere (EON) Foundation

National Health and Medical Research Council (2013)

Australian Dietary Guidelines: providing the scientific evidence for healthier Australian diets.

Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council

The Australian Dietary Guidelines: providing the scientific evidence for healthier Australian diets summarises the evidence underlying food, diet and health relationships that improve public health outcomes.

These guidelines update the 2003 edition, and build upon their evidence and science base.

The guidelines provide guidance on foods, food groups and dietary patterns that protect against chronic disease and provide the nutrients required for optimal health and wellbeing.

The target audience for the guidelines comprises health professionals (including dietitians, nutritionists, general practitioners, nurses and lactation consultants) educators, government policy makers, the food industry and other interest parties.

The guideline is split into five sections:

  • achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods
  • limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol
  • encourage, support and promote breastfeeding
  • food safety.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Eat for Health: Australian dietary guidelines summary (2013)

National Health and Medical Research Council

This booklet is a summary of the Eat for health Australian dietary guidelines from the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) Eat for health program published in 2012.

The Australian dietary guidelines are aimed at health workers to assist them in providing consistent advice to the general public about choosing healthy foods from the five food groups.

This summary document is a general guide to appropriate practice, to be followed subject to the clinician's judgement in each individual case.

The Eat for health Australian dietary guidelines summary was informed by the Food modelling system and Australian dietary guidelines and is designed for healthy Australians, including those with common health risks such as being overweight.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Let's Dig: a school garden resource (2013)

Northern Territory Department of Health

The Let's dig: a school garden resource offers ideas and fun activities to encourage and support interest in healthy eating, food production and cooking in the school setting. Let's dig! has four components suitable for children from transition to year 6. Teachers can expand the activities to suit the learning needs of their students by utilising the extension activities in each component.

The four components are:

      1. nutrition - contains a range of ideas for teachers to start nutrition education with extension activities included to cover a wide range of student ages. The activities in this section are based on the National Heart Foundation's Eat smart play smart resource
      2. gardening - contains activities designed to encourage students to learn about the garden before, during and after the growing process. Activities are done in the class room as well as in the school garden and can be adapted to suit class needs
      3. food safety - contains activities covering safe food storage and handling, handwashing, hygiene and unsafe food
      4. cooking - contains a range of cooking activities to reinforce the food safety principles learnt from the food safety section.

There are additional resources available to support teachers in the delivery of the activities.

This resource was produced to support the Top End remote school garden project, which was collaboration between the Northern Territory's Departments of Education and Children's Services, Primary Industry and Fisheries and Health and the Menzies School of Health Research.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Tietz C (2013)

Health hardware design : a design research journey towards a healthier Australian Indigenous living environment.

Blackheath, NSW: Designlab Oceania


enHealth Working Group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (2011)

8th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health Conference Darwin, NT.

Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

This conference monograph was produced by the enHealth Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (WGATSIEH), and details the proceedings of the 8th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health Conference held in Darwin at the Darwin Convention Centre, 27-30 September 2011.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Landrigan T, Pollard C (2011)

Food Access and Cost Survey (FACS) Western Australia, 2010.

Perth, WA: Department of Health, Western Australia


Australian National Audit Office (2010)

Indigenous housing initiatives: the Fixing Houses for Better Health program.

Canberra: Australian National Audit Office

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 Indigenous 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

Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services (2010)

Overview of national partnerships in relation to the national Indigenous reform agenda.

Canberra: Australian Government

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

Indigenous Expenditure Report Steering Committee (2010)

2010 Indigenous expenditure report.

Canberra: Productivity Commission

This report provides thorough information on expenditure on both Indigenous specific services and the estimated Indigenous share of mainstream services by the Australian, state and territory governments. The report highlights the difficulties in providing this information and sets out ways that this information can be better collected and analysed by jurisdictions.

The report is arranged around the seven Closing the gap building blocks: early childhood; schooling; health; economic participation; healthy homes; safe communities; and governance and leadership. Total Indigenous expenditure in 2008-09 was estimated to be $21.9 billion or 5.3 per cent of total general government expenditure. Estimated expenditure per head of population was $40,228 for Indigenous Australians, compared with $18,351 for non-Indigenous Australians.

Expenditure on services related to Indigenous Australians is thought to be greater than for non-Indigenous Australians because of differences in levels of disadvantage, more intensive use of services by Indigenous Australians, and the greater cost of providing these services (because of factors such as more Indigenous Australians living in remote areas).

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Western Australian Department of Health (2010)

Food Unit communiqué: food access and cost survey.

Perth, WA: Department of Health, Western Australia

Last updated: 10 October 2016
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