Measuring outcomes of cultural transmission and the role of cultural authority in strengthening health, wellbeing and native title rights

Wednesday, 6 June 2018
Mr Joe Brown
Wayne Barker
Annie Milgin
Wes Morris
David Palmer
Scott Herring

The Closing The Gap Refresh (2018) and the My Life My Lead - Opportunities for strengthening approaches to the social determinants and cultural determinants of Indigenous health Report (2017) - highlight the value of culturally-based strategies for responding to the growing distance (gap) between the life opportunities and circumstances of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The challenge, in this regard, is translating the ‘measures’ of success accepted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups into ‘data’ that is acceptable to policy leaders and those investing in cultural solutions. Determined native title rights are also maintained and underpinned by ongoing cultural transmission that upholds the cultural authority of Traditional Owners.

This paper will outline the work of the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre working in collaboration with Murdoch University and The Telethon Kids Institute, to develop and implement culturally, locally-based and relevant ‘measures’ of the impact of these activities for individuals, communities and Traditional Owner groups. The paper will examine how the impact of investment in culture can be measured in ways that are framed by Traditional Owner cultural priorities, and rights - while meeting the needs of governments to evaluate impacts in terms of health and social and emotional wellbeing.