Building trust and sharing power for co-creation in Aboriginal health research

Historically, Aboriginal health research in Australia has been problematic and has often been exploitative, invasive and little regard given for the diversity of Aboriginal cultures, knowledges, values, kinship and spiritualty. This non-participatory approach has often led to the misrepresentation of Aboriginal communities in research and produced few measurable outcomes.

The Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH) has built a sustainable co-creation partnership across Aboriginal community, policy, research and clinical sectors, which has resulted in positive outcomes for the partner Aboriginal communities.

In this video, originally part of the Cochrane Learning Live and International PPI Network series, the presenters describe the critical success factors behind SEARCH, focusing on how it was established and how it continues to build trusting co-creative relationships. They also explore some challenges and considerations on how the partnership might be strengthened. The video is suited to anyone interested in learning about co-creation in Aboriginal health research.

The webinar was delivered in January 2020 and below you will find the video from the webinar, together with accompanying slides to download [PDF].

Presenter Bios

Simone Sherriff is a Wotjobaluk woman, and project officer on the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH), based at the Sax Institute, where she has worked for the past 8 ½ years. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Sydney looking at healthy weight status and protective factors against child obesity among urban Aboriginal children, and barriers to food security in urban Aboriginal communities in NSW.

Hilary Miller is a public health researcher at ReachOut Australia, an online youth mental health organisation. ReachOut is based on participatory principles and young people from diverse backgrounds are involved in the co-creation of all information, support, and tools. As Research and Evaluation Manager, Hilary manages projects related to research and evaluation, helps build the evidence base for digital mental health and explores how to best support young people from all backgrounds to be happy and well. Hilary previously worked on the SEARCH project where she examined the impact of social determinants on child development and health outcomes. She continues to be involved in the partnership.

Additional materials

Download the slides from the webinar [PDF]