Approaches to dog health education programs in Australian rural and remote Indigenous communities: four case studies
Dog health in rural and remote Australian Indigenous communities is below urban averages in numerous respects. Many Indigenous communities have called for knowledge sharing in this area. However, dog health education programs are in their infancy, and lack data on effective practices. Without this core knowledge, health promotion efforts cannot progress effectively. This paper discusses a strategy that draws from successful approaches in human health and indigenous education, such as dadirri, and culturally respectful community engagement and development. Negotiating an appropriate education program is explored in its practical application through four case studies. Though each case was unique, the comparison of the four illustrated the importance of listening (community consultation), developing and maintaining relationships, community involvement and employment. The most successful case studies were those that could fully implement all four areas. Outcomes included improved local dog health capacity, local employment and engagement with the program and significantly improved dog health.