Real Ways of Working Together: co-creating meaningful Aboriginal community consultations to advance kidney care

Samantha Bateman, Melissa Arnold-Chamney, Shilpanjali Jesudason, Rhanee Lester, Stephen McDonald, Kim O'Donnell, Kelli Owen, Odette Pearson, Nari Sinclair, Tahlee Stevenson, Inawinytji Williamson, Janet Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: To describe a process of meaningful Aboriginal community engagement that repositioned and valued community members’ knowledge(s) and lived experiences while strengthening relationships, research processes and outcomes.

Background: Aboriginal Australians have the oldest continuous culture in the world, yet due to effects of colonisation, experience some of the world's poorest health outcomes. The AKction [Aboriginal Kidney Care Together – Improving Outcomes Now] project brought together Aboriginal people with lived experience of kidney disease, clinicians and researchers to improve kidney care. 

Methodology: Using Aboriginal methodologies of Ganma and Dadirri within community-based participatory action research (cb-PAR), a core advisory group of Aboriginal people with lived experiences of kidney disease worked closely with clinicians and researchers. 

Results: Three community consultation workshops that deeply valued Aboriginal knowledge(s) were co-created. Community members formed a reference group, established partnerships and influenced health research, policy and service provision. Non-Indigenous researchers engaged in critical self-reflection and levelling of Western-Aboriginal and clinician-consumer power imbalances. 

Conclusions: Deeply respectful community engagement is possible through co-creation and cb-PAR. It results in multiple positive impacts and beneficial relationships between community members, clinicians and academics. 

Implications for public health: Meaningful consultation with Aboriginal communities guides culturally safe research processes, health policy and service delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-621
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
Early online date7 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • co-creation
  • community engagement


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