Eye Health Promotion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) plans to develop additional culturally appropriate eye health promotion resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The main causes of vision loss for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples include refractive error (the need for glasses), cataract and diabetic retinopathy. Trichiasis, as a result of trachoma infections, can lead to blindness and remains a significant issue in remote communities.
Regular eye checks, early detection and treatment help to prevent this unnecessary vision loss and blindness.
The new health promotion resources will assist primary health care providers, including Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners, to promote regular eye checks and awareness of refractive error and cataract.
These resources will build on IEH’s existing health promotion resources and tools that support the improvements in eye health system reform activities in regional collaborations across Australia.
IEH’s Existing Health Promotion
IEH has previously responded to the need for eye health promotion resources for trachoma and diabetes eye care.
In 2010, IEH facilitated the development of the ‘Clean Faces, Strong Eyes’ Trachoma Story kit and, in 2015, the ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ suite of print and multimedia resources to promote diabetes eye care.
The uptake and local adaptation of these resources has been very successful in all states and territories in Australia. These free resources can be ordered as hard copies or downloaded from IEH website.
In 2022, IEH will support the following activities:
- Participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from across Australia in a series of online creative workshops to co-design the resources through sharing of their knowledge, expertise and lived experience
- Develop culturally appropriate health promotion resources including print and digital materials for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and primary care health providers
- Undertake national rollout of the new resources alongside existing resources to support ‘Roadmap’ health system reform activities through regional collaborations across Australia
If you would like to have your voice heard, to be involved, or would like to know more, please visit Indigenous Eye Health website or contact the IEH Project Leads: Digby Mercer firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Wynne email@example.com
Guidance and Consultation
The development of the eye health promotion resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples will include:
who will collaborate with the Project Leads to co-design all aspects of the resources, including its objectives, key messages, look and feel, and execution.
The following Guiding Principles have been developed by the Project Steering Group to ensure that the health promotion resources are developed in a culturally appropriate way:
- We ensure that our connection and interactions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities comes a genuine and culturally safe space, that embraces the principle ‘with mob, not for mob’
- We recognise and respect the richness of and diversity of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples whilst ensuring mob’s world views, languages, lifestyles, and laws are respected in all settings. Furthermore, we acknowledge the impacts of social, environmental, and cultural determinants of health and healthcare
- We prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples voices in the consultation and development of health promotion resources. Our focus is consultation in a culturally safe and consensual way, ‘the right way’ when listening to and representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, families, communities, and their stories
Project Steering Group
The following members are part of the Project Steering Group:
L-R top row: Kerry Woods, Digby Mercer, Carol Wynne. L-R bottom row: Kylie Clarke, Nick Wilson and Vanessa Murdoch.
|Kerry Woods||Kerry Woods (Everett) is a Palawa woman from the Plangermairreenner community of the Ben Lomond people, a clan of the Cape Portland nation in North-East coast Tasmania. Kerry has been living and working in Noongar country for the past 22 years and Yawuru county in the Kimberley for 2 of those years. Kerry has been working in Aboriginal health for the last 30 years in various roles - from working in the field, in various management roles and now in her current role as Aboriginal Eye Health Coordinator for Lions Outback Vision. Kerry has expertise in community engagement, health promotion, and developed resources and strategies to promote improved health outcomes across WA.|
|Kylie Clarke||Kylie Clarke is a proud Gunditjmara, Wotjobaluk, Ngarrindjeri and Buandig womxn. She was born on Wadawurrung Country, where she currently lives. Kylie’s contribution to the Steering Group draws from her leadership in community engagement programs and advocacy - in education, the arts and in health careers. She continues to live by Weenthunga Health Network’s values in her interactions: ‘Respect’, ‘Relationships’, ‘Reciprocity’ and ‘Responsibility’, by Aunty Steph Armstrong. As an aspiring optometrist, Kylie feels a responsibility to hold space for mob in the journey towards creating meaningful eye health promotion; to further ‘close the gap for vision’.|
|Digby Mercer||Digby Mercer is a proud Gadigal man of the Eora Nation from Northern NSW who lives and works on Wurundjeri Country. Digby an Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer for IEH and is co-lead on this project where he hopes to contribute by fusing his experience and interests in the creative arts industry to develop engaging and empowering resources to encourage better eye care for First Nations Australians.|
|Vanessa Murdoch||Vanessa Murdoch is a proud and strong Kullilli and Wakka Wakka woman from Queensland who lives and works on Woi Wurrung Country in Victoria. Vanessa is an Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer in the Ngarrang Gulinj-al Boordup Team at EACH (Community & Social Health) since 2014. Vanessa represents EACH on the Eastern Metropolitan Melbourne Aboriginal Eye Health Regional Stakeholder Group and is actively involved in both promoting the importance of eye health and supporting access to eyecare services through the Bunjils Mirring Nganga-djak project.|
|Nick Wilson||Nick is a proud Ngarrindjeri man and is originally from South Australia. Nick studied graphic design at university and has a keen interest in all things creative. From his time working as Marketing and Communications Officer with IEH he has been involved in the ongoing implementation of the trachoma ‘Clean Faces, Strong Eyes’ and diabetes ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ health promotion campaigns. Nick is excited to contribute to the development of the new eye health promotion resources and is particularly interested in how they can be utilised in the digital and social media space.|
|Carol Wynne||Carol was born in Ireland and has been working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in the Northern Territory and Victoria since she arrived in Australia almost 15 years ago. Carol joined IEH in 2014 as Translation Research Scholar - Health Promotion and in 2015 she facilitated the development of the ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ diabetes eye care resources. As co-lead on this project she is excited to contribute her skills and knowledge of grassroots community development, health promotion and health system reform. She is looking forward to learning from and being further enriched by the knowledge and diversity of those involved in this exciting work.|
Online Creative Workshop Series - EOI
Share a journey of connections and creativity in a series of online creative workshops to develop the ‘look, feel and messaging’ of eye health promotion resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
IEH and the Project Steering Group are reaching out to connect 12- 15 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples with an interest in, knowledge of, or lived experience in eye health (e.g. cataract) to inform key messages, themes, branding through a fun and creative journey.
Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) is reaching out to: Aboriginal Health Leaders and Workers, Eye Health Coordinators/Supporters, Aboriginal Health Promotion Officers, Community Members, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples with diverse knowledges and skills.
A series of four online creative workshops via Zoom between April – June 2022
26 April 2022 |1pm-3pm (AEST)
Connections and Yarns: Overview of the purpose and creative workshops
3 May 2022 |1pm-3pm (AEST)
Yarns: Key messages, themes, slogans and ‘look and feel’ of the eye health promotion resources
17 May 2022 |1pm-3pm (AEST)
Yarns: Branding and imagery
14 June 2022 |1pm-3pm (AEST)
Yarns: Video scripting and storyboarding
Your participation in the creative workshops will create space for:
- Connections: Meet and have a yarn with other Aboriginal and Torres Islander Peoples passionate about health promotion, eye health and wellbeing
- Your voice: Share your interest in, knowledge of, or lived experience in eye health (e.g. cataract) to inform key messages, themes, branding through a fun and creative journey
- Creativity: Gain insights into video storyboarding and scripting (print and digital resource materials)
- An impact: Have input into developing the ‘look, feel and messaging’ of culturally appropriate health promotion resources will reach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and primary health care providers/health professionals
Express your Interest
Please complete the online form below by Thursday, 14 April 2022 if you would like to express your interest (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples only