Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project

Preventing diabetes in rural Aboriginal kids

The Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project is an initiative of Durri Aboriginal Corporate Medical Service in Kempsey NSW in response to high rates of diabetes in Aboriginal communities.

Research shows that the rate of diabetes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is three times that of non-Indigenous Australians.

This Aboriginal Community Governed program of research and health promotion is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Biripi ACMS in Taree and Durri ACMS in Kempsey. The project aims to reduce the rates of obesity and prevalence of type 2 diabetes in rural NSW Aboriginal communities. The project implements strategies at school, community and individual levels to improve access to and consumption of healthy foods, and to increase participation in physical activity as well as providing education about type 2 diabetes for all children, particularly Aboriginal children between ten and fourteen years.

Established in 2001 by the University’s Dr Josephine Gwynn, the Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project has high community participation and is co-managed by local indigenous personnel. Over this time Dr Gwynn’s productive research partnership between the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) sector and the University of Newcastle has evolved a governance structure that is widely respected and regarded as innovative in the tools that it uses to ensure Aboriginal Community Control of the research process.

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