Indigenous Youth: Active involvement in their health

Background

Sydney Medical School is currently undertaking a major rural health project, known as the ARCHER Study, to determine how hormonal changes of young people in puberty interact with individual, family, community and environmental factors to influence health and behaviour. The study aims to follow 400 10-12 year olds across Orange and Dubbo, NSW. To date there have been no Aboriginal participants despite a population of up to 20% in the age group in the Dubbo area.

The project

The study leaders wish to include Aboriginal adolescents in this unique study and to build Aboriginal research capacity in the area. They wish to work closely with local Aboriginal communities to enable Aboriginal participants to have an equal opportunity to be part of this study and its potential benefits. Funding is needed for an Aboriginal community health worker.

Benefits

It will be the first study of its kind and will potentially provide information for prevention and early intervention strategies to improve the health and wellbeing of young people. As many Aboriginal children and teenagers often struggle to make the expected developmental milestones placing their health, education and wellbeing at risk, participation in this project offers a unique opportunity to involve them actively in their own health and wellbeing.

Fundraising target: $255,000 (three years)

Project leader: Dr Catherine Hawke, School of Rural Health, Orange, the University of Sydney.