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Improving Indigenous Women’s Wellness Through Action Research

Melissa Walker, Bronwyn Fredericks, Debra Anderson

Abstract


This paper describes an action research project undertaken with Indigenous women in the highly urbanised area of north Brisbane. The project was a collaborative effort to move beyond the alarming statistics of Indigenous women’s poor health status. It aimed to build a community-based, empowering forum for celebrating and encouraging wellness in a way that was culturally appropriate for Indigenous women. Using a Feminist Participatory Action Research perspective, the authors incorporated the traditional Indigenous method of yarning to work with local Indigenous women Elders and organised two highly successful Women’s Wellness Summits. This paper provides evidence that Feminist Participatory Action Research is an appropriate way of working with urban Indigenous women. It allows Indigenous worldviews to be considered, and fosters a cyclical and conversational approach to research practice. This paper also demonstrates that the emerging method of yarning is highly successful in Indigenous research.

Keywords


Women, Indigenous, wellness, health, action research, urban, Australia

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