Case Study: Indigenous Environmental Health Worker Training

Client: Beverage Industry Environment Council

Following on from the success of the RARE program, the Beverage Industry Environment Council requested that terra cordis tailor a specific training program for the Indigenous Environmental Health Workers in the Northern Territory.

Indigenous Environmental Health Workers (IEHWs) contribute to a range of important health and environmental services within indigenous communities throughout the Northern Territory. Each indigenous community has a unique set of cultural values and traditions, as well as a unique set of environmental health issues and so it's important that, as well as understanding environmental health issues, the IEHWs have a flexible approach to addressing issues.

The terra cordis commitment to learning about our clients, thinking creatively and making sure the program works ensured the success of our training sessions for the IEHWs. We consulted with key stakeholders including: the Human Services Training Advisory Council; Ariginisle; Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education - as well as Indigenous Environmental Health Workers.

The training sessions include an integration of different communication tools for different learning styles, real case study scenarios and involvement of participants in metaphorical activities. We also considered appropriate venue and training environment. The success of this training has been realised by the valuable tools that the participants have since used to communicate within their own communities.

The Indigenous Environmental Health Worker Training is now in its 3rd year of operation, and will be extended to Queensland and New South Wales in 2004 / 2005.

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"It is highly unusual for presenters to create such a great rapport with their group in such a short space of time. A credit to your ability."

John Maher
Senior Lecturer
School of Health Studies
Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education