The Aboriginal Health Promotion Conference 2005 introduces the Western Australian Indigenous Health Promotion Network

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Published in the HealthBulletin Journal
Posted on:
6 December, 2005
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The Aboriginal Health Promotion Conference: Taking Control: Our Health, Our Future, held in Fremantle, Western Australia from November 2-4, was organised by the WA Department of Health’s Office of Aboriginal Health and the Department of Health and Ageing.

The 2005 conference sub-themes were:

  • What works?
    Local and national programs which create healthy communities
  • Working together
    How to work together to sustain healthy communities
  • Working for the future
    Building resiliency and social capital for the future.

The opening address was by Dr Neale Fong, A/Director General of Health, Department of Health (WA). Keynote addresses were presented by:

  • Shane Hearne, Director of the Australian Centre for Health Promotion – Health promotion: a map for improved health for Aboriginal people
  • Professor Joan Winch, Founder of Marr Mooditj Foundation – Taking the reins

Dr Brian Mcoy, the keynote speaker, presented Holding the man: a cultural understanding of health.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet staff, Ellie Kirov, Kim Hansen and Jane Burns ran a HealthInternet café at the conference. Professor Neil Thomson, Director of the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet gave a presentation, ‘Using the Internet to empower Indigenous peoples in the area of health’.

Professor Neil Thomson also introduced the Western Australian Indigenous Health Promotion Network website The Network includes Indigenous and non-Indigenous people involved in Indigenous health promotion. The website is designed to support the Network in its aim to facilitate the sharing of relevant information and knowledge, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of Indigenous Western Australians.

The idea of establishing a formal Western Australian Indigenous Health Promotion Network (WAIHPN) emerged from discussions at a workshop that preceded the Aboriginal Health 2004 Conference held in Perth. It was thought initially that the production and distribution of regular newsletters would be an effective way of sharing information and knowledge of relevance to Indigenous health promotion. After some consideration, it was decided that the development and maintenance of a small dedicated website would be a much more effective way of supporting the Network. The website has been created and designed according to a ‘community of practice’ (CoP) model, combining web-based information resources with additional electronic information services to encourage people to share information, knowledge and experience – even when they live in different locations and work for different organisations. Membership of the Network and use of the web-based information resources and services is free and people working or studying in the area of Indigenous health promotion are encouraged to visit the website and join up.

For further information regarding the Western Australian Indigenous Health Promotion Network:
View website:

For further information regarding the conference contact:
Office of Aboriginal Health, Department of Health Western Australia, 189 Royal Street, East Perth, 6004, ph: 9222 4024, website:

We’d like to thank the conference participants who provided written permission for us to display their photos here.