Community adaptation of national health promotion materials for diabetes eye care promotes local ownership and awareness
In 2015 Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) took an iterative, engaging, community-driven process to develop eye health promotion branding, messages and resources focusing on promoting awareness on diabetes eye care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Community consultations were undertaken in selected regions, partly because of their progress in implementing the Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision (‘Roadmap’) where eye care service improvements were being implemented.
‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ diabetes eye care resources were developed with three regions across Australia. This 'behind the scenes' video helps to capture the creative process used in the three regions involved in the development of the powerful 'by community, for community' strengths-based approach.
When developing the ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ branding, the design was considered to allow local and regional adaptations. IEH encourages the widespread use of, and local community adaptations of the ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ resources, messages and related illustrations to raise awareness on diabetes eye care.
For example the ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ ‘sightline’ and ‘eye-con’ logo can be applied to t-shirts, wristbands, newsletters, posters, and other promotional resources to promote diabetes eye care at community events and activities.
A range of creative community adaptations of the messages and images have been developed since 2015.
During 2018 and 2019 IEH supported a number of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in regions in Victoria working under the guidance of their regional eye stakeholder groups to locally adapt the ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ posters with their community heroes to promote YEARLY eye checks for people with diabetes. Funding was provided by the Victorian Department of Health to cover printing costs of the locally adapted versions of health promotional materials.
Photos of community heroes from the regions were replaced within the poster templates with a personal quote to support the diabetes eye care message.
The power of local control and ownership is important and known to have a positive impact on behavioural change.
Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation worked with one of their local diabetes clients, Shane Smith, to be the community hero in the East Gippsland region of Victoria.
They also printed a number of smaller flyers to use as their handouts for clients to promote awareness around diabetes eye care.
Keeping on top of my health checks and eye checks means I can keep my sight and my job. Deborah Leon, Sale, Victoria
Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Corporation (GEGAC) ran a diabetes health day at their clinic and invited community members to a session that included eye examinations.
At the community event, GEGAC worked with one of their local clients with diabetes and Aboriginal Health Worker, Joshua Tuiono, in developing their locally adapted posters for their clinic based in East Gippsland in Victoria.
Joshua also presented this work at the Close the Gap for Vision by 2020: Strengthen and Sustain National Conference held in Alice Springs in March 2019.
I never thought it would happen to me. Control your diabetes and have regular eye checks. Joshua Tuiono, Gippsland, Victoria
Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative worked with some of their diabetes clients from Shepparton to develop their posters and pull up banners, including elders June Murray and David Atkinson.
Rumbalara launched their locally adapted resources at a community event in Shepparton, Victoria for National Close the Gap Day.
Without it I couldn't drive or work. David Atkinson, Shepparton, Victoria
Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative held a Diabetes Day to conduct retinal screening and work with their local diabetes clients and staff to develop their posters for the Geelong region in Victoria.
The new locally adapted posters were launched via their social media platforms during National Diabetes Week.
Get your deadly yearly eye check for Balert Meer. Jasmine-Skye Marions, Wathaurong, Victoria
Community support from different regions has been overwhelmingly positive to incorporate local champions to help deliver relevant and culturally appropriate messages at a local level, despite a national focus for the initial roll-out of the ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ resources.
The ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ branding is one of the most recognised health promotion resources for diabetes eye care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia. It’s important that we continue to look for opportunities to share and embed these diabetes eye care messages, resources and branding across a range of channels, such as social media, health events, awareness days, and existing diabetes education programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
If you have any questions relating to this ‘story’ please contact Carol Wynne, Translation Research Scholar at Indigenous Eye Health via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone (03) 83443984.
This 'Share your Story' article was published 30 Jan 2020.