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Researching the safety of Indigenous children and youth: an urban perspective

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Abstract


  • Injury is one of the leading causes of Indigenous mortality in Australia

    and safety in Indigenous communities has become increasingly prominent in

    commentary on Indigenous communities. However, our knowledge of urban

    Indigenous people and their experiences has been largely ignored in these debates;

    most of the discussions to date have focused on remote areas, despite the fact that

    around one-third of Indigenous Australians live in urban settings. This paper

    reports on the Safe Koori Kids study, which addressed the safety of Indigenous

    children, carried out in Sydney’s outer metropolitan area of Campbelltown between

    2006 and 2009 (Clapham et al. 2006a, 2006b). The study aimed to increase

    our understanding of the broad range of factors involved in injury in Indigenous

    communities and to create a culturally acceptable and effective intervention program

    by addressing child and youth resilience. The program, delivered to Indigenous and

    non-Indigenous primary-aged children across 11 primary schools and evaluated

    in five of these schools, drew on local knowledge and resources to address safety

    issues. The program was underpinned by recognising that a multitude of factors

    affect the safety of children and families. Additionally, the program embedded positive messages to reinforce the cultural identity of Indigenous people living in

    urban areas. The theme of connections and reconnections embedded in our study

    emerged as children responded positively to the way urban Indigenous identity

    was represented in the program. Researchers recorded an increase in self-efficacy

    in questionnaire responses among the primary-aged children after the program

    was delivered over one school term in five schools. Qualitative data collected from

    teachers also revealed that Indigenous children responded to the program with an

    increased sense of achievement and pride in Aboriginal heritage. Improving the

    safety of Indigenous children in urban areas is complex and currently not well

    understood. Intervention programs need to incorporate a much better comprehension

    of the factors that increase the vulnerability of urban Indigenous children. Safety

    programs must recognise the social and cultural context in which children live, draw

    on local resources and reinforce a sense of pride in Indigenous identity to build

    resilience among vulnerable children.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • K. F. Clapham, F. A. Khavarpour, R. J. Bolt, M. Stevenson & S. Su, "Researching the safety of Indigenous children and youth: an urban perspective", in Urban Health: Strengthening our voice, culture and partnerships (eds B. Mccoy, N. Poroch & P. Stewart), (AIATSIS Research Publications, Canberra, 2012) 47-58.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1183&context=ahsri

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/ahsri/179

Book Title


  • Urban Health: Strengthening our voice, culture and partnerships

Start Page


  • 47

End Page


  • 58

Abstract


  • Injury is one of the leading causes of Indigenous mortality in Australia

    and safety in Indigenous communities has become increasingly prominent in

    commentary on Indigenous communities. However, our knowledge of urban

    Indigenous people and their experiences has been largely ignored in these debates;

    most of the discussions to date have focused on remote areas, despite the fact that

    around one-third of Indigenous Australians live in urban settings. This paper

    reports on the Safe Koori Kids study, which addressed the safety of Indigenous

    children, carried out in Sydney’s outer metropolitan area of Campbelltown between

    2006 and 2009 (Clapham et al. 2006a, 2006b). The study aimed to increase

    our understanding of the broad range of factors involved in injury in Indigenous

    communities and to create a culturally acceptable and effective intervention program

    by addressing child and youth resilience. The program, delivered to Indigenous and

    non-Indigenous primary-aged children across 11 primary schools and evaluated

    in five of these schools, drew on local knowledge and resources to address safety

    issues. The program was underpinned by recognising that a multitude of factors

    affect the safety of children and families. Additionally, the program embedded positive messages to reinforce the cultural identity of Indigenous people living in

    urban areas. The theme of connections and reconnections embedded in our study

    emerged as children responded positively to the way urban Indigenous identity

    was represented in the program. Researchers recorded an increase in self-efficacy

    in questionnaire responses among the primary-aged children after the program

    was delivered over one school term in five schools. Qualitative data collected from

    teachers also revealed that Indigenous children responded to the program with an

    increased sense of achievement and pride in Aboriginal heritage. Improving the

    safety of Indigenous children in urban areas is complex and currently not well

    understood. Intervention programs need to incorporate a much better comprehension

    of the factors that increase the vulnerability of urban Indigenous children. Safety

    programs must recognise the social and cultural context in which children live, draw

    on local resources and reinforce a sense of pride in Indigenous identity to build

    resilience among vulnerable children.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • K. F. Clapham, F. A. Khavarpour, R. J. Bolt, M. Stevenson & S. Su, "Researching the safety of Indigenous children and youth: an urban perspective", in Urban Health: Strengthening our voice, culture and partnerships (eds B. Mccoy, N. Poroch & P. Stewart), (AIATSIS Research Publications, Canberra, 2012) 47-58.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1183&context=ahsri

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/ahsri/179

Book Title


  • Urban Health: Strengthening our voice, culture and partnerships

Start Page


  • 47

End Page


  • 58