First Nations Health ConsumersWorking with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health consumers
Between March and June 2021, Health Consumers Queensland engaged 189 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers from right across Queensland on the topic of COVID-19 vaccination. These activities were part of the Amplifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voices Project and included:
- Online Q & A session with the Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young and the Chief Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer and Deputy Director-General of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Division, Ms Haylene Grogan
- Online Q & A session with First Nations professionals: Dr Mark Wenitong, Associate Professor James Ward and Associate Professor Margie Danchin
- Consumer Reference Group (CRG) meeting
- Consumer-hosted yarning circles with First Nations consumers in urban, regional and remote locations
- Solution design workshop with CRG
Throughout the project we captured what engagement has worked and is currently working well across the state and how can this can inform future engagement activities within First Nations communities.
The project is now finalised, Health Consumers Queensland has shared the findings with consumers, Queensland Health and other key stakeholders. The findings from this report will be used in on-going work with health consumers in Queensland’s health system including COVID-19 activities and the development of health equity strategies.
The final report was prepared by First Nations project consultant, Lynda Maybanks and the HCQ First Nations Rapid Response team. The content in this paper was collated from the above engagement activities with First Nations health consumers across Queensland about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. This purpose of this paper is to support and inform Queensland Health with their ongoing COVID-19 vaccination communications, messaging and engagement for First Nations Queenslanders.
Supporting First Nations COVID-19 Vaccination Communications and Engagement
Building on the findings from the completion of the Amplifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices project, Health Consumers Queensland are continuing to support the Aboriginal and Torres Straiit Islander Health Division to improve engagement with First Nations Queenslanders to ensure that they feel informed about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccinations, and First Nations community members have an opportunity to play a role in how this information is shared within their own communities.
Health Consumers Queensland recruited a Consumer Advisory Group to inform this work.
Vaccine information for First Nations consumers
Queensland Health, in partnership with the Queensland Aboriginal Islander Health Council and Institute for Urban Indigenous Health have developed a website for COVID-19 vaccination information specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, or First Nations, people. The page covers topics such as why vaccinate, access, and how to find reliable sources of information.
First Nations health consumers sharing their experiences from the COVID-19 surge in early 2022.
With the surge in COVID cases in early 2022, HCQ held two online sessions for First Nations consumers to share their experiences. Key findings of these sessions were:
- Getting tested should have been easier than it was
- Vax side effects were not talked about enough
- Tailored communication is not just about language
- Investment in community to disseminate information
- Assessing and monitoring misinformation
HCQ First Nations Consultant Lynda Maybanks and First Nations Health Consumer Talei Elu presented an overview of key issues for First Nations consumers to Queensland Health’s First Nations COVID-19 Response Oversight Committee. See their presentation slides.
In the video excerpt above, Lynda and Talei discuss the use of social media to combat misinformation and tailoring communication for community.