Collaborative research projects

Food and Water for Life: co-creation and evaluation of sustainable innovations to strengthen food and water security

  • National Health and Medical Research Council Ideas Grant (2021-2026). 
  • Investigators: Webster J, Leslie G, Corby C, Shanthosh J, Baldry E, McCausland R, Bennett-Brook K, Coombes J.

Food and Water for Life aims to improve the nutrition and health outcomes of the Aboriginal community in Walgett. It is using community-led processes that take account of Indigenous rights and knowledge to implement and evaluate sustainable community solutions.

In 2022, with colleagues from the George Institute for Global Health and UNSW, YN surveyed 251 Walgett community members about their experiences of food and water security. They found that:

  • Almost half (46%) reported experiencing food insecurity, which is much higher than previous national surveys
  • Almost half (44%) of the Walgett Aboriginal community surveyed reported experiencing water insecurity, which is more severe than experienced by some communities in Bangladesh and Lebanon
  • Some were spending $30-50 per week on bottled water, making it challenging to afford healthy foods.

Community led solutions to prevent Aboriginal child injury

  • Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (2019-2022). 
  • Investigators: Ivers R, Andersen M, Hunter K, Spencer W, Corby C, McCausland R, MacGillivray P, Erskine C, Cullen C, Clapham K, Pollard-Wharton N.

The Community-led Child Injury Prevention Partnership (CHIPP) project focused on Aboriginal families that attended Goonimoo Playgroup at the Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service (WAMS) during 2020-2022. 

Over the 18 months of the project - which was disrupted by COVID, floods and a mice plague - the CHIPP project team developed a play-based, culturally appropriate, evidence-based program on Water Safety, Road and Pedestrian Safety and Home Safety in partnership with Goonimoo playgroup educators and families.

The evaluation of the program found that the program was feasible, accessible and acceptable to the Walgett community.  It also highlighted the importance of a co-design approach to collaboratively develop a program to prevent unintentional injuries among Aboriginal children. 

Supporting Aboriginal People to Age Well in Remote Settings

  • UNSW Ageing Futures Institute (2019-2021). 
  • Investigators: Andersen M, Ivers R, Lovell N, McCausland R, MacGillivray P, Lewis E, Poulos R, Macniven R, Pollard-Wharton N, Poulos C, Eades A, Spencer W.

This project aimed to:

  1. Describe what ageing well means to Aboriginal people in Walgett and their priorities for aged care, including for members of the Stolen Generations 
  2. Examine barriers and enablers of ageing well in Walgett, including: existing health and social services; informal social support; housing and the built environment; telehealth; and the DEG. 
  3. Determine the acceptability and feasibility of proposed research methods for a larger study involving the co-design of aged care services and infrastructure in Walgett. For example, if housing audits would be acceptable to assess the suitability of existing housing stock to support ageing in place in Walgett.