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Victorian local government priority for Aboriginal health and wellbeing: a mixed-methods study
journal contributionposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Y Aron, K Rounsefell, Jennifer BrowneJennifer Browne, R Walker, C Helson, P Atkinson, C Macdonald, C Palermo
The aim of this study is to identify if Victorian local governments prioritise Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues through policy and explore the key factors influencing policy and program development and implementation. A sequential explanatory mixed-methods study design utilised a survey to quantify commitment to Aboriginal health policy followed by in-depth interviews that explored how and why policy or programs were in place. Data were analysed separately and then interpreted together. Representatives from 39 of Victoria's 79 local governments (49%) responded to the survey and 14 were interviewed. Seventy-four per cent had policy and programs addressing Aboriginal health and wellbeing. The key factors influencing policy and program development were: (i) the process of policy and program development and implementation and the role of other policies (ii) the influence of Aboriginal community characteristics and (iii) advocacy for Aboriginal health and wellbeing. Underpinning these factors was that local government is 'working together (in partnership and through collaboration) towards reconciliation'. Victorian local governments that participated in this study appear to prioritise Aboriginal health and wellbeing, especially where collaboration with the Aboriginal community is strong. The effect of policies and their subsequent programs on the health of Aboriginal peoples warrants further exploration.