Poster Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

Indigenous and non-Indigenous truly working together (co-creating) to facilitate adaptation and health/wellbeing: Barriers and enablers (#214)

Petra T. Buergelt 1 , Lawurrpa Maypilama 1 , Julia McPhee 2 , Galathi Durrkay 1 , Shirley Nirrpuranydji 1 , Sylvia Manyturrpuy 1 , Marrayurra Wunungmurra 1 , Anne Lowell 1 , Simon Moss 1
  1. Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT, Australia
  2. Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Over the last three years, a $12.4 million three-year Commonwealth-funded consortium project designed and trailed energy and water efficiency initiatives in six remote Indigenous East Arnhem Land communities. This project employed more than 90 local Yolŋu across six communities to educate their fellow community members using their Indigenous local languages. After these Yolŋu Energy Efficiency Workers (YEEWs) were trained by Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators in their language, they visited houses in their communities to educate them. The YEEWs led the education in their communities; the non-Indigenous team members supported. The YEEWs worked part-time and in teams. The project also included a research and evaluation component which was designed by experienced Yolŋu researchers and non-Indigenous researchers. They identified and trained 16 local Yolŋu co-researchers across the six participating communities to interview their fellow community members in their local Indigenous languages at the start of the project and towards the end of the project. Together the true, full and deep stories collected provide rare insights into how Yolŋu experienced and perceived fire/power and water in the old days, during missionary times, and during government days. The stories identify barriers to and enablers of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working together designing and conducting projects, and researching and evaluating projects. The stories capture how Yolŋu households and YEEWs experienced and interpreted the project (what worked, what was challenging, what did not work), and what they believe is needed for future projects to work better. In this presentation we share the essence of these stories to draw out the barriers and enablers of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working truly together to faciliate adaptation and health/wellbeingin remote Indigenous communities. We will explore how psychological and contextual (historical, natural, build, cultural, spiritual, economic, political) factors on both sides interacted to hinder collaboration. We will offer psychological and contextual aspects that emerged? that would enable and facilitate Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working genuinely together.