Community engagement: good engagement practices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research

Indigenous health Collaborative research Community development

This is a summary of how the Mayi Kuwayu study works with communities. The Mayi Kuwayu study aims to provide evidence on drivers of health and wellbeing, with a focus on culture. The Mayi Kuwayu study has implemented partnerships with several communities and community organisations to drive recruitment in communities and to strengthen research findings. The partnerships have improved local community awareness of the study, strengthened data collection, and provide and an opportunity to translate research findings to outcomes or outputs with communities. 

Key Findings:

  • Three regional organisations Tangentyere Research Hub, Central Land Council, and Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation are partners in the Mayi Kuwayu study in Central Australia.
  • Mayi Kuwayu partners with Aboriginal organisations as part of its governance. The study also works with local community organisations to implement the study in communities and also aims to contribute to some organisational needs as part of reciprocity (receiving and giving back). In building partnerships at the local level, they are able to contribute to capacity building, facilitate reciprocity and ensure that ethical research practice is being undertaken. 
  • Mayi Kuwayu's community engagement approach is adaptable and flexible because it is important to respect and adhere to community protocols. Organisations were approached to participate in the study recruitment with the emphasis on allowing the organisation to decide how they wanted to work with the Mayi Kuwayu study team.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Srait Islander organisations and researchers are driving the local recruitment in their communities. The study supports partners by enhancing the skills of these researchers to collect survey data. In addition, Mayi Kuwayu developed a training package to support organisational capacity and upskill staff in data literacy and analysis.
  • The study is being promoted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander coomunities through several platforms, including study ambassadors, events, media, and newsletters. 
Publication Details
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