2023 October – News and updates

2023 August – News and updates
August 1, 2023
2023 December – News and updates
January 17, 2024

2023 October – News and updates

Giving back to communities – the Yarrabah Counts project

The Mayi Kuwayu Study team has been working alongside the Yarrabah Leaders Forum (YLF) since 2021 and, more recently, through the Yarrabah Counts project, developing indicators to inform the YLF’s community development agenda through a household census. The primary purpose of this project was to define community development indicators that will assist the community of Yarrabah govern their affairs.

Far North Queensland Community Researcher Nadine Hunt has been working in Yarrabah for the past 12 months with the on-the-ground recruitment/data collection alongside local Aboriginal researchers, providing an opportunity and space for community members to have their say.

The Yarrabah Counts project (census) and Mayi Kuwayu Study survey hope to help the community get the correct information about who lives in Yarrabah and provide information to assist with planning for the future and make sure what the YLF is doing works for all of the community. We believe that communities should be at the forefront of managing data and this project paves a new way for programs to be run and managed locally.

If this project sounds like a program that would benefit your community, then we may be able to help you. Reach out to us at mkstudy@anu.edu.au to have a yarn about how we can help your community.


Creating Data Warriors – Data literacy and analysis workshop

Mayi Kuwayu Study Director Ray Lovett recently facilitated a two-day Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Data Literacy and Practice course in Cairns for partnering organisations from the Yarrabah community.

The data analysis and literacy course was designed and is led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for partnering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to instil confidence in analysing their data, being the custodians of their data, and telling their own stories using statistics.

It was a wonderful two days that kept the participants, now data warriors, engaged and motivated to apply the knowledge gained in their workplaces and ask and challenge how data in their community is analysed and presented back. To be at the forefront of that process to provide the content to tell the data story.


Link between language usage and wellbeing

Our team has recently started work on a new project commissioned by First Languages Australia, which is analysing Mayi Kuwayu data to explore the links between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language use and wellbeing.

As part of this, one of the team travelled up to Larrakia Country to participate in the PULiiMA Indigenous Languages and Technologies Conference and speak with language centre managers about the Mayi Kuwayu Study.

We are looking forward to sharing the results of this analysis with you, hopefully by the end of the year. In the meantime, you can see some amazing performances from the launch of Australia’s International Decade of Indigenous Languages, which also happened at the PULiiMa Conference, here.


Upcoming project – belonging and identity in the ACT

Dr Sarah Bourke will soon be sending out an invitation to co-design a project currently titled Where we belong: Connecting Indigenous identity and well-being in the city to Mayi Kuwayu participants living in the ACT region.

What it means to belong is a complex but vital issue yet to be addressed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities following the impact of colonisation and widespread disconnection from identity, Country, and culture we have experienced. This proposed three-year project aims to grow and diversify our understanding of belonging from an Indigenous standpoint through an in-depth exploration of what it means to belong and be well for Indigenous peoples in the urban environment.

The project will show that those with a greater sense of belonging to the place and communities they live and/or are ancestrally connected to experience better health and wellbeing outcomes and are more empowered to lead a ‘good life’, however they define it.

Sarah has also received generous funding from Australian Research Council’s Discovery Indigenous scheme for this project. She is one of nine people across Australia to have been successful in their grant application. Congratulations, Sarah, on this outstanding achievement.

Read about Sarah’s grant here.


Mayi Kuwayu in the news

In a recent episode of the BLA.C.K Medicine podcast, hosted by Dr Mikayala Couch, our very own Kirsty Nichols spoke about the impact of everyday racism on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s wellbeing.

Listen to the podcast here.