Co-designing health service evaluation tools that foreground first nation worldviews for better mental health and wellbeing outcomes

Michael Wright, Aunty Doris Getta, Aunty Oriel Green, Uncle Charles Kickett, Aunty Helen Kickett, Aunty Irene McNamara, Uncle Albert McNamara, Aunty Moya Newman, Aunty Charmaine Pell, Aunty Millie Penny, Uncle Peter Wilkes, Aunty Sandra Wilkes, Tiana Culbong, Kathrine Taylor, Alex Brown, Pat Dudgeon, Glenn Pearson, Steve Allsop, Ashleigh Lin, Geoff SmithBrad Farrant, Leanne Mirabella, Margaret O’connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


It is critical that health service evaluation frameworks include Aboriginal people and their cultural worldviews from design to implementation. During a large participatory action research study, Elders, service leaders and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal researchers co-designed evaluation tools to test the efficacy of a previously co-designed engagement framework. Through a series of co-design workshops, tools were built using innovative collaborative processes that foregrounded Aboriginal worldviews. The workshops resulted in the development of a three-way survey that records the service experiences related to cultural safety from the perspective of Aboriginal clients, their carer/s, and the service staff with whom they work. The surveys centralise the role of relationships in client-service interactions, which strongly reflect their design from an Aboriginal worldview. This paper provides new insights into the reciprocal benefits of engaging community Elders and service leaders to work together to develop new and more meaningful ways of servicing Aboriginal families. Foregrounding relationships in service evaluations reinstates the value of human connection and people-centred engagement in service delivery which are central to rebuilding historically fractured relationships between mainstream services and Aboriginal communities. This benefits not only Aboriginal communities, but also other marginalised populations expanding the remit of mainstream services to be accessed by many.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8555
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


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