NACCHO #OCHREDay 2019: Lomas Amini and Ernie Dingo will present on their program ‘Camping on Country’ – The importance of remote men’s health and culture camp: Register HERE

 ” Camping on Country is a remote men’s movement designed to create powerful advocacy around closing the gap on remote men’s health.

 Our network of men is growing as we camp on country and link men’s groups around remote Australia.” 

Ernie Dingo

At the NACCHO OCHRE day Conference in Melbourne, Lomas Amini ( pictured below ) and Ernie Dingo will present Camping on Country – The importance of remote men’s health and culture camp 

 More info NACCHO OCHRE DAY and register HERE

 Here is what Lomas Amini and Ernie Dingo have to say about their program

What do they do: Each month we visit a remote community and run men’s health  and culture camps which include local Leadership and Lore men for that country.

The following is an extract from their Camping on Country Website

At the camps we provide a space for local leaders to discuss what health issues they face in their community, what programs are working or not working and we work with the men to articulate their ideas for health programs targeted at their own men.

We run a second bigger camp where the men from neighbouring language groups all come together to showcase their culture and well being programs. The men learn from each other and show pride in their culture and programs.

Local health stakeholders and community organisations are engaged and activated and finally we assist the men in identifying and applying for a specific health program grant developed by them for local men in their community.

We partner with health service providers to ensure our camps are safe, healthy and inspiring. Men get access to on-country culturally safe health checks, counselling and mental health first aid. Culture, Language and Lore play a significant role in our camps.

Culture and local leaders are also embedded in our longitudinal research and evaluation project which is conducted in partnership with the The George Institute. We collect and collate our camp data so we can track our impact and progress.

We employ local men to assist with our camps and our research. As an Aboriginal company we are committed to creating employment for our local men.

Why do they do it ? The Camping on Country Program enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to be leaders in their own health and wellbeing and upholds values of respecting culture and traditions, responsibility as leaders and men, teachers of young males, holders of lore, providers and protectors of families and communities.

Evidence shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men have higher rates of alcohol misuse, mental health and social and emotional wellbeing issues and preventable chronic diseases than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men[1].

While we know of the complex issues born of dispossession and colonisation we also know that by addressing social, emotional and cultural issues we can prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from developing further serious health complications[2].

The My Life My Lead report clearly shows that culture and Country play a significant role in the development of successful Aboriginal health programs[3]. We also know from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework that there is a clear gap in robust evidence on effective programs and interventions[4].

We need to be able to demonstrate this so Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men can show they are the experts of their health and to support their aspirations for strong, safe communities and happy vibrant families.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan highlights the importance of putting culture at the centre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s right to live a healthy, safe and empowered life with a strong connection to culture and country[5]. Culture and community as both protectors and enablers of health and wellbeing are central to the Camping on Country program.

Together we want build the evidence needed to demonstrate that working with Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander men as the experts in their own health and community is the best way to Close the Gap.

[1] National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023
[2] National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023
[3] My Life My Lead – Opportunities for strengthening approaches to the social determinants and cultural determinants of Indigenous health: Report on the national consultations, December 2017
[4] The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework, 2017
[5] National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023

 

 

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