The ‘Strong Culture: A Road to Good Health’ resource is an educational package intended to assist teachers, health workers and other community workers in engaging young Aboriginal people in diabetes prevention messages. This program is unique in that local knowledge, traditional ways and practices are drawn upon to captivate and motivate the students, with local Aboriginal elders or community members leading the program.
Small Grants Scheme
Diabetes WA offers small grants of between $500 and $3000 for Western Australian schools, youth centres and community groups/organisations to implement innovative diabetes prevention programs.
Eligible organisation can apply to run programs that draw on the knowledge of local Aboriginal community members and elders, as well as health professionals, to engage students in diabetes prevention and the promotion of healthy eating and physical acitivity.
The Strong Culture: A Road to Good Health resource manual supports schools to implement diabetes prevention programs through the small grants scheme. Schools can use a small grant to run all or some of the modules outlined in the manual, or simply use some of the suggested activities in their own projects.
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Strong culture resource manual
This package has been designed for use by a variety of community workers including:
— Teachers and Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers. Links to the West Australian school curriculum outcomes have been included within each module. Depending on the activities undertaken links to other parts of the curriculum will also be possible (i.e. art, science).
— Aboriginal Health Workers
— Health Promotion Officers and Community Development Officers
— Other community leaders with a desire to engage young Aboriginal people in diabetes prevention.
This program was originally developed for implementation with children aged between 10 and 12 years old; however, the project activities can be altered to suit children of different ages.
You can download the Strong Culture Manual from our Resources page.
This program was originally developed and trialed in the Northam community of Western Australia. Within this community two local Aboriginal Grandmothers expressed a desire to transmit their Aboriginal knowledge and practices, with an emphasis on bush tucker, to the younger generation and to use this as a foundation for discussing healthy eating in contemporary times. As the younger generations learnt from older generations by participation, observation and listening, the elders demonstrated and expressed their cultural experiences, providing an opportunity for the students to make informed decisions about their health. The program also aimed to instill the students with the confidence and skills required to make healthy choices. By promoting the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviours, and encouraging traditional activities for the prevention of chronic conditions such as diabetes, the students came to realise the decisions that they make today can influence their future. During this program both, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people came together contributing their knowledge, skills and experience.
The ‘Strong Culture: A Road to Good Health’ resource package, which includes a DVD showing the process that was undertaken in Northam, was designed to provide other communities with ideas and suggestions for running a similar program. However, this program is unique in that it is designed to meet the needs of the students by drawing on local community members and local resources. Therefore it is anticipated that each community will modify the activities and resources to reflect local traditions and practices and to enable available resources to be used. Additionally, it is the inclusion of the extended community that makes this program authentic and motivating for those involved.