NACCHO:Real stories of real people: Kevin Manantan is Talking About The Smokes (TATS) to his community



NACCHO:Real stories of real people who are working to deliver better health outcomes for Aboriginal people

“Meet Kevin Manantan,  he is a Taepithiggi man from west of the Mapoon Peninsula,

 He was the first research assistant in the Talking About the Smokes project to undertake research work in his community at Mapoon.

Kevin first got involved in the TATS project when Apunipima Cape York Health Council and Lousie “Aunty Lou” Akenson, who is the Coordinator: Primary Health at Mapoon, asked if he’d be willing to speak with his community about their smoking stories,

“I am always keen to help my people,” Kevin told Tav (Project Coordinator for Talking About the Smokes) during one of their daily phone conversations.

His hard work during April and May of 2012 gathering important information in his local community resulted in the Mapoon health centre obtaining valuable results about people’s thoughts, feeling and attitudes towards smoking in Mapoon.

Kevin Mapoon1

 Kevin has now continued on supporting his community and his people in his new role as Tobacco Action Worker with Apunipima Cape York Health Council and last December spoke at the Tackling smoking and healthy lifestyles conference in Canberra about his experiences and how the results from wave 1 of the TATS project has benefited his local community.

 As wave 2 of the TATS project is quickly approaching for Mapoon, Kevin is once again keen to support his people and get on with collecting evidence about what actually works in tobacco control for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

So it just goes to show, anyone,anywhere can work in research if they want to, and it could even lead into a career as it did for Kevin.

Our next good news story will be about Chanel Webb from Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Medical Service in Canberra.

If you’d like to find out more information about the Talking About the Smokes project, please contact Josie May at or by calling 02 6246 9300”

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