Addressing the social determinants of injury

by The George Institute for Global Health



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and adolescent injury prevention program in Australia focusing on the social determinants of health.

Project implemented: 2010 - current

Project goal

Reduce the burden of injury in resource poor settings in Australia; build capacity in local communities; inform upscale of effective programs.

delivering on

why is this project important?

Addressing the inequalities and inequities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in Australia is a national priority.

Key steps to make it happen

1Community owned programs

Partnering with Aboriginal communities & organisations on large scale trials of driver licensing & child car seat programs.

2Engaging with clinicians

Working with Indigenous people and clinicians to develop a culturally safe model of care that privileges an Indigenous voice.

3Engaging policy makers

Create effective communication pathways & steering committees connecting stakeholders to plan, deliver & upscale programs

4Building capacity

Developing a program that creates training and mentoring opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

impact to date

Key outputs include: (i) Road safety program - 1000 clients had participated in driver licensing programs, 267 clients completed 3300 hours of driving practice, 193 clients obtained a learner licence and 224 clients obtained a provisional (independent) licence. Child car seat program - 42 early childhood services representing more than 1000 families participated in the child car seat program, which saw 469 child car seats distributed, 35 Aboriginal people complete certified child car seat training, more than 400 families directly received information about child car seats and 89 local early childhood educators participated in a professional development program that focused on incorporating safe car travel into their educational program.
(i) Road safety programs: Aboriginal focused programs were implemented in 12 communities and evaluated. Project outcomes included increased licensing, and appropriate child car seat use.

(i) Road safety program – Interviews with participants of the driver licensing program reported their involvement in the program led to increased employment opportunities. Both programs have informed state wide program funding from Government across several jurisdictions. (ii) Burn care and access to care – Research data from multiple interviews with families and clinicians have informed development of a new model of care that facilitates better outcomes and supports provision of culturally safe burn care. (iii) Hosting Think Tanks for policy makers and key practitioners on topics such as provision of culturally safe health care and road safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Injury is a leading cause of death and  disability in children and young people both in Australia and globally, and disproportionately impacts the poor and marginalized, and First Nations peoples. Across the health sector there’s increasing focus on addressing the social determinants of health and identifying sustainable, affordable solutions to the biggest health priorities, particularly to reduce health inequalities. Avoiding transport disadvantage is one such determinant of health.  The George Institute for Global Health leads a program of work addressing the burden of child injury in Australia and the social determinants that influence it. This program focuses on engaging Government and other stakeholders across the health system as participants in the research process, as well as implementing partners. It involves large-scale implementation of prevention programs addressing the major causes of unintentional injury in children: (i) road injury, (ii) burns, and (iii) improving access to care.

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