Australian Project to Increase Livability of Remote Indigenous Communities: Warburton

An Australian-first project to improve the liveability of Aboriginal communities is underway in the remote town of Warburton in Western Australia, led by AECOM, the University of Western Australia and the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.

The Sustainable Warburton Project is a research, design and planning project to create new and improved urban spaces with the aim of transforming how Indigenous people live, that could be applied to Indigenous communities across Australia and around the world.

It brings Aboriginal residents of the town, 920km north east of Kalgoorlie, together with a team of AECOM specialists in urban design, ecology, landscape architecture and architecture, and academics and students from the University of Western Australia (UWA).

Projects designed include an award-winning community college and an urban agriculture scheme where orange trees irrigated with treated wastewater are planted throughout the town to provide shade, food, protection from dust and improved health.

Townspeople and community representatives have gathered over the past few months to discuss their needs in formal and informal settings with students and the project team to help identify community-enhancing projects.

Masters and honours students are now finalising design projects as part of their academic requirements which will become the basis for funding application and development. Designs will be presented to the Shire Council in February, when the winner of an AECOM prize for the most outstanding design will also be announced.

AECOM Project Director, Jon Shinkfield, who established the project’s framework with UWA, said it was a ground-breaking model to improve Aboriginal communities.

“This is the first tri-partisan relationship between an Australian Indigenous community, academia and industry to build a research and knowledge bank over a longer term with the focus on settlement planning and implementation,” Shinkfield said.

“The Sustainable Warburton Project will not only affect the future of the Warburton community but potentially inform the broader agenda of Indigenous settlement.

“We’re committed to a program focused on research, practice and realisation of a new spatial order for the town and it is hoped this will lead to major changes in the way Indigenous people can live.”

As projects are funded, students will become part of the development team to project-manage and deliver the initiatives for Warburton’s 600 residents. Projects focus on sustainability, community, urban planning, water and energy management and agriculture to improve health, education and social engagement, and include:

  • Community College – an award-winning design offering spatial opportunities for women’s meetings, a library and reading and other informal and formal gatherings.
  • Urban Agriculture – planting orange trees irrigated with treated wastewater throughout the town to provide shade, food, protection from dust and improved community health.
  • Housing Family Groups – a project looking at accommodation arrangements and clusters that work more harmoniously with how Indigenous families gather.
  • Warburton Arts Precinct – a project devoted to Warburton’s internationally exhibited art.
  • Community Services Facilities – making provision for the specific needs of community.
  • Town Spaces – incorporating productive landscapes into the town’s spatial structure.
  • Dean of the UWA’s Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts, Winthrop Professor Simon Anderson, has commended AECOM and the Shire Council of Ngaanyatjarraku on the project.

    “This is a most important community-based planning and design initiative in partnership with our faculty,” Professor Anderson said.

    Another Australian first

    Work is also underway on a separate AECOM project to expand Warburton’s Early Learning Centre and Learning Landscape. In an Australian-first, it features a playgroup for Indigenous women and children with structured activities to help school become a more acceptable option for the future.

    AECOM is also advising on alternative energy options to help find solutions to the community’s reliance on costly diesel fuel to drive the town’s generators.

    AECOM plans an ongoing involvement in Warburton to ensure the proposed projects are delivered to the community as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility commitment.

    “AECOM and UWA look forward to coming back to Warburton annually to build the knowledge base, see further projects conceived and help develop and implement them,” Shinkfield said.

    many thanks to Reed publications for allowing me to repost this article from their website.

    Evaluation of a model for the provision of pharmacy services to remote Aboriginal Health Services

    Evaluation of the provision of a pharmacy service to remote areas

    I started work with a very remote health service in 2005 as a project to have (and evaluate) a pharmacist working as part of the primary healthcare team out bush. Funding was provided by the Rural and Remote Pharmacy Workforce Development Program (Department of Health and Ageing).

    Over six years later I am still here with a second pharmacist working with me.

    The original project evaluation can be downloaded here from the Centre for Remote Health.

    If anyone wants to do some research I’d love to have a further review of what we do.

    Interactive Indigenous Language Map

    ABC Indigenous has a terrific online interactive resource. The map is based on language data from a number of respected sources and tries to contain all the language or tribal groups in Australia.

    Clicking though various language groups will allow you in some cases to hear the language spoken, and possibly hear the story being told in English. There may also be links to other online resources.

    You can cheat a bit and hear Ngaanyatjarra and the English version of a story spoken by Lizzie Ellis of a man who drank a lake a day and finally died from drinking trying to empty a lake that would not empty. It’s a bed time story to remind kids to regularly drink small amounts of water through the day. A pretty important message if you live in a desert.

    Click on the image to go to the map.

    Interactive Indigenous Language Map

    I have written previously on the Indigenous Australia Language map (paper) and other resources and also on the Australian Indigenous Languages Database (Austlang).

    Ngaanyatjarra Health Service Jobs as of Dec 3rd 2010

    Cook – Aged Care

    Personal Care Assistant

    Gardener / Maintenance

    Enrolled Nurse – (Medications Endorsed) Aged Care

    Kungkarrangkalpa is a 18-bed Aged Care facility located in Wanarn, a small Indigenous Community, in the central desert region of Western Australia. It is highly desirable to have the following:

    - Recent Aged Care experience
    - Experience in working with Indigenous Clients
    - Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment
    - A food handling certificate or related qualification
    - Ability to prepare, cook and serve meals and prepare special meals as required.

    Remote Area Nurse

    We are seeking a Registered Nurse with remote nursing experience to work with our team of professional Remote Area Nurses, Aboriginal Health Workers, Doctors and other health staff. It is highly desirable to have the following:

    · Recent acute experience
    · Primary health care experience
    · Recent remote nursing experience

    This position may require regular remote travel.

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