In March, Centre for Remote Health Director, Professor Tim Carey was Guest Speaker at the National Empowerment Project (NEP) workshop. Established in 2012, the NEP is a nationally funded project to improve the cultural, social, and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
The workshop was conducted in 11 different sites around Australia and used a participatory action research model to monitor and improve the project work as it was being conducted as well as community empowerment activities.
Some of the sites will continue their work with funding from the Primary Health Networks in the jurisdictions within which they are located and other sites are investigating other funding potentials.
An important feature of the project was a focus on principles rather than practices and a recognition that the programs would necessarily be different in different communities even though the important principles would be applied consistently.
Despite the success of the participatory action research approach, Professor Carey was invited to address the people involved in the project to discuss other research and evaluation options so that they could think creatively and flexibly about different ways of assessing the effectiveness of their strategies.
The NEP has been an important initiative in enhancing the cultural, social, and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and it’s exciting for Flinders NT to be contributing to this pioneering work.