Long Grass Research Project Research by Verity Slee Presented by Tess Presswell
Background <ul><li>Response to identified concerns and challenges in accessing and supporting PLWH and HCV in the long gra...
Rationale <ul><li>Need for Indigenous appropriate services </li></ul><ul><li>NT has the highest rates of STIs in Australia...
Long grass <ul><li>Indigenous Australians in Australia overrepresented in homeless population (10% of homeless population ...
Long grass & health <ul><li>Experience greater burden of illness and disease experience many barriers to accessing health ...
Long grass & health cont <ul><li>“ leads to their [long grass] exclusion from mainstream and  specialised  social, communi...
Creating healthful environments <ul><li>Healthy Engagement & Assistance in the Long grass (HEAL) </li></ul><ul><li>The HEA...
Arts in the Grass <ul><li>Arts in the Grass-  art and wellbeing project delivered in the long grass.  </li></ul><ul><li>Ai...
Methodology <ul><li>Observational & participatory. Attending weekly outreach & programs such as Arts in the Grass </li></u...
Findings so far… <ul><li>Have not been able to separate sexual health & BBV from day to day existence </li></ul><ul><li>Im...
Challenges <ul><li>How to create behaviour change when not  necessarily  a health priority & when access to information is...
The report will be completed in July 2010. Please contact Verity if you have any comments or questions regarding this topi...
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Long Grass Research Project

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This presentation was given by Tess Preswell, NTAHC, at the AFAO HIV Educators Conference, May 2010.

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Long Grass Research Project

  1. 1. Long Grass Research Project Research by Verity Slee Presented by Tess Presswell
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Response to identified concerns and challenges in accessing and supporting PLWH and HCV in the long grass by NTAHC ATSI Program </li></ul><ul><li>Long grass- regions around Darwin where people camp. Also referred to as itinerants, homeless, long grassers. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Rationale <ul><li>Need for Indigenous appropriate services </li></ul><ul><li>NT has the highest rates of STIs in Australia </li></ul><ul><li>Similar population rates of HIV for Indigenous & non-Indigenous Australians however main mode of transmission is heterosexual sex & IDU. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited services & access to testing in long grass </li></ul><ul><li>Various lifestyle issues make access to testing and treatment challenging </li></ul>
  4. 4. Long grass <ul><li>Indigenous Australians in Australia overrepresented in homeless population (10% of homeless population but 2.5% of population) ABS 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Since NTER Larrakia Nation state approx 2000 people a night are living ‘rough’- 75% Indigenous </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons; fear of violence in community, leaving community because disrespect and abuse to elders by young people, to access grog, to see family, grief & death, escaping disputes, seasonal, medical appointments & escorting and enjoying the freedom </li></ul>
  5. 5. Long grass & health <ul><li>Experience greater burden of illness and disease experience many barriers to accessing health services. </li></ul><ul><li>Many chronic and acute illness such as diabetes, cardio-pulmonary illness, alcohol related illness, injuries left untreated, infections & nutritional status </li></ul><ul><li>Limited medical outreach. No specific sexual health & BBV service provision </li></ul><ul><li>Violence- Payback. Sexual & domestic violence </li></ul>
  6. 6. Long grass & health cont <ul><li>“ leads to their [long grass] exclusion from mainstream and specialised social, community and health services, exacerbating poor life conditions and community tensions around anti-social behaviour. The evidence tells us that homelessness and/or houselessness for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians living in the Long Grass is a situation unlikely to go away. Given this, housing cannot be a pre-requisite for action when it comes to improving the health and life quality of this population.” Larrakia Nation 2010 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Creating healthful environments <ul><li>Healthy Engagement & Assistance in the Long grass (HEAL) </li></ul><ul><li>The HEAL program is a program of the Larrakia Nation and is funded by the NTG’s Department of Health and Families, Community Health.  </li></ul><ul><li>HEAL provides support and assistance, advocacy, and education to service providers. </li></ul><ul><li>HEAL staff build good rapport and aim to work within the life view and experiences of the long grass </li></ul>
  8. 8. Arts in the Grass <ul><li>Arts in the Grass- art and wellbeing project delivered in the long grass. </li></ul><ul><li>Aims to provide a healthful and culturally safe environment for participants to express themselves through painting and drawing, stimulating their creative practices; and to support and promote social inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Held weekly it provides a good opportunity for service delivery and health promotion within culturally appropriate environment </li></ul><ul><li>Essential relationship building </li></ul>
  9. 9. Methodology <ul><li>Observational & participatory. Attending weekly outreach & programs such as Arts in the Grass </li></ul><ul><li>Providing condoms and lubrication in hygiene packs and talking to some of the women about the packs </li></ul><ul><li>Discussing/interviewing staff and volunteers about their understandings & attitudes towards sexual health & BBV in the long grass </li></ul><ul><li>Researching appropriate health promotion opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Initiating the development of women’s space </li></ul>
  10. 10. Findings so far… <ul><li>Have not been able to separate sexual health & BBV from day to day existence </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of outreach such as HEAL which has developed rapport with many long grass groups because working within culturally safe framework </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging environment to work in- stigma individual & institutional </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of research, funding and resources </li></ul>
  11. 11. Challenges <ul><li>How to create behaviour change when not necessarily a health priority & when access to information is so limited. </li></ul><ul><li>How to engage with such marginalised communities in relation to stigmatised illness such as HIV/AIDS & when other pressing health & lifestyle issues </li></ul><ul><li>Providing free access to simple hygiene items such as tooth brush and razors without providing the knowledge and care of blood safety </li></ul><ul><li>High staff turn over- knowledge loss </li></ul><ul><li>Political environment of long grass- traditional land </li></ul>
  12. 12. The report will be completed in July 2010. Please contact Verity if you have any comments or questions regarding this topic, NTAHC or the HEAL program. Thank you 46 Woods Street Darwin NT 0800 GPO BOX 2826 Darwin NT 0801 Ph: 08 8944 7777 F: 08 8944 7700 Mobile: 0488 553 232 Verity Slee Coordinator- Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Program Northern Territory AIDS & Hepatitis Council Inc

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