Background: The workshop was held at the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative in Shepparton, Victoria on 24 November 1999. About 40 people attended. Rumbalara was a great place to have the workshop. This was a day for Koori researchers to present and discuss their work and/or involvement in research activities and for others to voice their concerns about research itself. Both Community Elders and young Community members spoke of their experiences and offered opinions.
Goals of the Workshop: Look at and listen to the Koori Community’s concerns about research; Look at the barriers to Community control in health research; Look at things that would facilitate Community control in health research; Look at strategies that would strengthen Community participation in and control of health research.
As Ian Anderson said in explaining the purpose of the workshop: Today was an outcome of some discussions that we at the VicHealth Koori Health Research and Community Development Unit in Melbourne have been having with the Department of Rural Health, up here in Shepparton. We have been talking about involving the Koori Community in research, and about assisting the Community to take control of research in the area of health. One of the things that we thought would be very important to do was to start to listen to some of the stories of people who have had experience over the last five to ten years in research and evaluation initiatives. We thought it would be valuable to talk about some of the benefits of Koori involvement in research, as well as some of the risks and dangers. In line with this emphasis on listening to the stories of others and sharing ideas about how to increase Koori involvement in and control of research, the workshop was designed to be both informative and productive. The day’s activities thus included individual presentations, question and answer sessions, group activities and a panel discussion, with ‘time out’ for more informal discussion over tea, lunch and an end of day BBQ. This mixture of seminars,group activities and socialising worked well – although it proved to be a long day!