New resoures from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Unit 3 August 2022 The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Unit are proud to support people living with diabetes, as a national priority. The team has been developing resources through continuing guided community co-design and will shortly release a set of new programs and products for Indigenous communities under the banner of Diabetes Yarning. The resources will including a culturally appropriate online program, booklets, and visual tools for community members, and training for Health Workers and Practitioners. Community The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Unit team have been blessed to be able to travel all across Queensland from Torres Strait in the north to the Gold Coast in the south and west to Mt Isa. Their aim is to provide upskilling for Health Workers and Practitioners to enhance diabetes messaging for people in the community every day. The team’s training visits, while they bring great cheer and common goals, do not provide a sustainable and continued advocate at the grass roots level, for people living with diabetes and their families. Their role is to upskill champions in communities they visit and provide them with the best available support to continue to do their good work. The impact of colonisation What the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Unit team are incredibly proud of is being able to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with some of the first resources that highlight the impact of colonisation. In culture, there was a deep disruption to connection with the land, with many removed and placed into missions, causing mass separation from clans, tribal and family bonds, and traditions. With so many taken to different cultural lands with unknown environments, the types of foods that were familiar and hunting and gathering practices were lost along with so many other traditions. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lifestyles that were so finely balanced over thousands of years experienced severe impacts through colonisation. The impacts affected not only social and emotional health, but also physical health and wellbeing. Importantly, it must be recognised that the ongoing effects of the colonisation policies, practices and programs are still being felt today. A holistic view of health lowers diabetes risk One of the most important factors highlighted in all the programs is the belief that Indigenous Australians view health holistically, and the social determinants of health extend beyond that of biomedical definitions. These determinants concentrate on the physical, social, emotional, spiritual and ecological wellbeing for individuals and communities. Research has shown that Indigenous peoples who still follow cultural practices lowered their risk of developing diabetes, indicating the real power of cultural practices for health and wellbeing. Introducing Trent Lyon A proud Yumgambeh man from the Wanggeriburra Trent Lyon, an Exercise Physiologist who is currently completing his Postgraduate in Psychological Science/Diabetes Education has been working hard to implement these complex cultural experiences and social determinants of health into diabetes education across Queensland. Trent has a knack for making complex concepts easy to understand. His drive to reduce the stigma around mental health and chronic illness has allowed many community members to look differently at Indigenous health narratives. Trent continues to strive for a better tomorrow for his people. Lucky, he has such a deadly team around him, who all live with the same passion for Indigenous health. Contact us We are also here to answer any questions you may have about your diabetes. If you are looking for support with your diabetes management you can get in touch with us for a yarn at [email protected] or phone on 1800 637 700.