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Food and Nutrition Policy for First Nations peoples- translating evidence into action
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Food and Nutrition Policy for First Nations peoples- translating evidence into action

Dr Jennifer Browne, Institution: Deakin University

2020 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2021-2022


Nutrition is a key driver of the gap in heart health between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. This fellowship builds on two years of innovative research to improve food and nutrition through population-wide policies in collaboration with urban Aboriginal people and is the natural extension of my existing VicHealth-funded research partnership (on which I am CIA) with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO).

I led foundational research to this application that identified minimal Aboriginal input into population-wide food and nutrition policy processes in Australia. Without an understanding of the priorities and concerns of Aboriginal people, we have no way of developing policies which will be effective and acceptable for this population. The collaborative approach proposed for this fellowship addresses this gap and meets the requirement of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous People, which states that Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in all decisions that affect them.

The Fellowship will directly engage with Victorian Aboriginal communities and aims to:
  1. Synthesise evidence on the priorities, concerns and recommendations of Aboriginal peoples regarding population-level food and nutrition policies.
  2. Understand the acceptability and perceived effectiveness of existing, and newly co-designed, population-level food policies for improving nutrition among Aboriginal Victorians.
  3. Understand barriers and enablers to implementing community-wide nutrition interventions based on the recommendations of local Victorian Aboriginal people.
In collaboration with Aboriginal Australians, the Fellowship will result in new methods for effective policy development; more effective policy positions; and a large research program (e.g. NHMRC) to systematically and rigorously evaluate local-level food policy interventions for their impacts on Aboriginal health and wellbeing.

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