Strengthening Aboriginal community wellbeing
Since 2008 the NSW Government has been investigating the concept of ‘wellbeing’ as it relates to Aboriginal communities. Adopting a focus on wellbeing has meant delving into questions about what makes communities strong, and what factors are unique to creating strong Aboriginal communities, as well as considering the government’s role (if any) in supporting Aboriginal community wellbeing. This paper seeks to convey the essence of the journey into wellbeing to date. It details the positions and assumptions that this work started with, and analyses why this has shifted over time. It examines what worked and was feasible, and what didn’t. In particular, the paper overviews the creation of the Strengthening Aboriginal Community Wellbeing Framework (the policy context), and the development of a resource in the form of a user friendly software program for communities wishing to holistically assess their wellbeing – the ‘toolkit’ (the practical outcome of the work to date).
Aboriginal communities; wellbeing; Appreciative Inquiry; strength-based community planning; toolkit