Authors: Caroline Nilson, Paul Morrison, Catherine Fetherston, Gloria Kearing
This article discusses the experiences of Aboriginal yorgas (women) participating in the health yarning component of the Binjareb Yorgas Health Program (BYHP) in regional Western Australia. The community owned project was collaboratively conducted with researchers from September 2012 to September 2013 and used an ethnographic action research approach. The study aimed to explore the ways in which the BYHP facilitated lifestyle changes. The health yarning component aimed to provide a culturally appropriate vehicle for the yorgas to develop health knowledge on topics of relevance to them. A sample of 17 yorgas consented to participate in the BYHP, which comprised of cooking and nutrition classes, group fitness classes, and a community vegetable garden project. The health yarning sessions were conducted when the yorgas came together for these three components, which were facilitated weekly over the school terms for the duration of the study. Data were gathered in the form of participant and direct observation, group and individual yarning sessions, and works of art. Three major themes emerged that included identified elements for ensuring cultural security in communication, and were: a patient way of talking with us, a culturally ‘safe’ way of talking, and listening to become strong in health.
Keywords: Health communication; Aboriginal health yarning; Health literacy; Aboriginal health; Health promotion