Perspectives of sporting opportunities for remote indigenous Cape York communities

Meldrum, Kathryn and Dinan Thompson, Maree 2012, Perspectives of sporting opportunities for remote indigenous Cape York communities, Aboriginal and Islander health worker journal, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 24-27.

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Title Perspectives of sporting opportunities for remote indigenous Cape York communities
Author(s) Meldrum, Kathryn
Dinan Thompson, Maree
Journal name Aboriginal and Islander health worker journal
Volume number 36
Issue number 2
Start page 24
End page 27
Total pages 4
Publisher Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal
Place of publication Matraville, N. S. W.
Publication date 2012-06-29
ISSN 1037-3403
Keyword(s) physical activity
indigenous communities
Summary The health outcomes for Indigenous peoples are well publicised as being poorer than that of the rest of the Australian population. The importance of physical activity as part of a balanced approach to health and wellbeing are well documented. Physical inactivity is a significant risk factor for many preventable diseases that many non-Indigenous, but specifically more Indigenous peoples die from. A recent report on Indigenous health indicated that only 23% of adults living in remote and very remote areas, such as Cape York, participated in regular physical activity. Physical activity initiatives in remote Indigenous communities on Cape York are commonly delivered by external agencies that ‘fly in and fly out’. While members of Indigenous communities may engage with the initiatives while they are being provided once the external agencies leave some of the benefits made may be quickly lost. There is no current published literature on the variety, prevalence and outcomes of ‘fly-in fly-out’ physical activity programs, or on the agencies that provide them. An understanding of these factors would facilitate a better understanding of the opportunities available to Indigenous communities on Cape York and provide important foregrounding to an investigation of community capacity for physical activity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the range of physical activity programs being offered by external agencies to Indigenous Cape York communities.

Methods: Five physical activity agencies that routinely engaged with Indigenous communities on Cape York were interviewed. The semi-structured interviews focussed on what activities were being conducted; by whom; when; and their concomitant outcomes. Interviews were recorded and professionally transcribed. Transcriptions were then analysed using content analysis to identify themes.

Results: Each physical activity agency had a variety of ways of engaging with community. The key initial focus point for each provider was the local school. Contacts within the school and opportunities to provide workshop opportunities for the students then facilitated wider community engagement.

Discussion: There were limited opportunities for these agencies to build community capacity to maintain their physical activities due to a variety of reasons that included: resources (both human and material); transient populations and an entrenched culture of ‘having things done to’ rather than with Indigenous people. In order to improve the physical activity outcomes of Indigenous people on Cape York community’s strategies that engage and empower the local population to take control of their needs should be employed.
Language eng
Indigenous content on
Field of Research 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
Socio Economic Objective 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2012
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Created: Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 11:21:56 EST by Kathryn Meldrum

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