The University of Western Australia's Kalgoorlie-based Rural Clinical School, in partnership with the Wongutha Birni Aboriginal Corporation, has been awarded two major grants to support an exciting and innovative arts health project to combat diabetes and kidney disease in the Western Desert and the Goldfields.
Indigenous communities in this region have among the highest rates of the diseases in Australia and Kalgoorlie has been identified as one of WA's unhealthiest towns.
The funding, from the Federal Government's Australia Council for the Arts and the State Government's Department of Culture and the Arts, totals $750,000 and will support an arts intervention for the Western Desert Kidney Health Project
The project's Chief Investigator, Dr Christine Jeffries-Stokes, said Aboriginal health arts workers would team up with national and international artists to develop health promotion and health education strategies.
"They will engage community members through performance, music, dance, painting, singing, drumming and festivals," Dr Jeffries-Stokes said.
The Western Desert Kidney Health Project is also a finalist in the WA Healthway Public Health Awards.
The Rural Clinical School, which also hosts medical students from The University of Notre Dame Australia, hopes to attract more funding for the $7 million project, partly to support the purchase of clinic trucks, to be used as mobile clinics, and the medical team.