This paper describes a health promotion program conducted within the Koori community of the Goulburn-Murray region of northern Victoria, Australia.

The state-funded program was community-directed and involved university researchers in a supportive role. The program comprised a number of separate but related activities devised and carried out within a framework derived from community psychology and participatory action research, with the aim of promoting nutrition and physical exercise. Although the activities did not always meet all their intended aims and problems arose with the quantitative evaluation of some activities, results of qualitative and ecological evaluations indicated that they made a valuable and sometimes unexpected contribution to health promotion in the community.

Principles of participation and collaboration were central to the program’s success. Challenges and benefits of working in genuine partnership are discussed.