'Smart and Deadly' Evaluation
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In 2011 and 2012, Aboriginal communities in the Albury-Wodonga area jointly organised a year-long sexual health promotion program together with local partner agencies in health and education. This was called the Smart and Deadly Aboriginal Sexual Health Promotion Community Collaboration. Over 120 Aboriginal families and community members participated in this program over the year, in a number of activities and event. These included a family and carer day out, a range of young peoples’ events and community launches of the program. The young people’s events included creative workshops in drama, hip-hop, multi-media and art, organised by teams of the young people and supported by artists, film makers and actors. A DVD was also produced supporting culturally safe and inclusive practice.
To try to understand why Smart and Deadly was so successful, CERSH requested the agreement of community to seek the opinions of as many people as possible who participated in the program at any level. The community working party gave its approval and so, throughout 2014, CERSH spoke to around thirty-five people, including Elders, community leaders, health and education workers, young people and agency staff. Participants were asked about their experiences of Smart and Deadly, how it felt to them, what they thought were strengths and weaknesses, what could have been done better. From these conversations, the Smart and Deadly partnership felt to people in the community like:
- it was controlled by the community
- it was safe for Aboriginal young people and their families
- it was built on respectful and supportive relationships with Aboriginal people
- it honoured Aboriginal people’s values, stories and knowledge
- it was coordinated in a culturally sensitive and appropriate way
- it resulted in greater parent and carer confidence to have conversations with their young people about sex and relationships
Smart and Deadly DVDs have been distributed nationally and internationally to others interested in this innovative approach to sexual promotion with Aboriginal young people and their communities.
Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service, Gateway Health, Mungabareen Aboriginal Corporation, VACCHO Inc.
Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health (2012) Smart and Deadly. Sexual Health Promotion for Aboriginal Young People (DVD) Copyright: The University of Melbourne.
For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.