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1304.5 - Stats Talk WA (Newsletter), Dec 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/12/2006   
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Strengthening the Capacity of Aboriginal Children, Families and Communities
Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey

The fourth volume of results from the Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey (WAACHS) - Strengthening the Capacity of Aboriginal Children, Families and Communities has just been released.

In 1993 the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (the Institute) conducted the Western Australian Child Health Survey (WACHS), from which three volumes of findings were produced documenting the health, wellbeing and education of 4-16 year old Western Australian children.

Following on from that survey, the Institute met with Aboriginal leaders and representatives from across the state and received their endorsement to conduct a survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. This survey, involving 5,289 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0-17 years living in 1,999 families across Western Australia, has been the first in Australia to gather comprehensive health, wellbeing, developmental and educational information on a population based sample of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

The WAACHS was undertaken by the Kulunga Research Network in conjunction with the Institute and the Centre for Developmental Health at Curtin University of Technology.

This latest report sets out 23 recommended actions which are based upon findings from the WAACHS and are aimed at improving the capabilities of families and communities with Aboriginal children to achieve better outcomes. In order to successfully implement these recommendations, leaders, policy makers and service providers should also recognise the following five principles:

  • Consult and include Aboriginal people in the leadership, direction, accountability, development and implementation of strategies to improve indigenous outcomes;
  • Adjust programme content and delivery to take proper account of the capability profile of the Aboriginal population;
  • Develop programmes and funding that reflect the Aboriginal population distribution in Western Australia;
  • Adjust programmes for the regional and cultural diversity of the Aboriginal population; and
  • Test strategy and programme content for its capacity to improve the developmental opportunities to build the capabilities of children and families.

WAACHS publications can be obtained by contacting the Telethon Institute ( 9489 7777 or visiting the Web site www.ichr.uwa.edu.au/waachs

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