Projects

Healing Country
Led by Warumungu (Tennant Creek NT), Noongar (Perth WA) and Bundjalung (Northern Rivers NSW) communities, this Healing Country project aims to weave together...
Clean Energy for Healthy Enviroments and Lives (CE4HEAL)
We will work with rural and remote communities in Central Australia and South India to identify barriers and promote the use of solar energy…
Healthy-Air
This project aims to synthesise, translate and disseminate the best available scientific evidence on the effectiveness of reduction measures on exposure to air pollution and…

Healing Country

Aim
Led by Warumungu (Tennant Creek NT), Noongar (Perth WA) and Bundjalung (Northern Rivers NSW) communities, this Healing Country project aims to weave together local Knowledges and environmental and health information into interactive, digital story-data maps. These maps will show the past, present, and likely future climate challenges, and will help communities lead decision-making around climate challenges with relevant agencies and services.
People from the local community will be employed to make these maps, they will get training in digital mapping technology, research, and evaluation skills to lead the story gathering under the guidance of Elders. Local health and environmental information will be woven into the stories to give a full picture of past and future climate changes and to help to understand the environmental, health and social issues impacting Country. The story-data maps will be put online and outline the evidence for community driven climate action plans that we will take to all levels of government.

Background
Aboriginal people have close relationships to Country, passing on knowledge about changes that have happened over thousands and thousands of years. Aboriginal Knowledge is about living in balance with Country - it is why Aboriginal culture is the longest surviving on Earth. But human actions over the last 100 years are upsetting this connection, making the earth hotter, bringing more floods, worse droughts and rising sea-levels. Communities are already seeing changes to their bush foods, availability of freshwater and are already feeling the stress from extreme weather, the loss of healthy land and from this, the loss of culture.
Climate change is again taking Country from Aboriginal people adding to past injustices that have already led to poor health outcomes. So far, national talks and planning on climate change hasn’t included Aboriginal voices, despite their important Knowledge about caring for Country.

Impact
The Healing Country project provides Aboriginal communities new skills and resources to enhance their local Knowledges in the design of their own Community Climate Action Plans, working with local service agencies such as health and housing. The project will employ and train up locals and support communities putting these plans in place. We aim to take action on the climate risks that are already impacting their community, culture and Country.
Project Team
A/Prof
Veronica Matthews
University Centre for Rural Health, University of Sydney

Prof
Kerrie Mengersen
Queensland University of Technology

A/Prof
Brad Farrant
Telethon Kids Institute

Prof
Sotiris Vardoulakis
University of Canberra

Dr
Ivan Hanigan
Curtin University

Dr
Supriya Matthew
Menzies School of Health Research

A/Prof
Michelle Dickson
The University of Sydney

Ross Bailie
The University of Sydney

Dr
Jo Longman
University Centre for Rural Health, University of Sydney

Dr
Shanthi Ramanathan
Hunter Medical Research Institute

Kris Vine
University Centre for Rural Health, University of Sydney

Partner organisations
Funder
Australian Research Council Grant #IN220100084

Clean Energy for Healthy Enviroments and Lives (CE4HEAL)

Aim
We will work with rural and remote communities in Central Australia and South India to identify barriers and promote the use of solar energy. We will yarn with communities to collect and communicate examples of clean energy projects already operating in rural and remote communities; identify barriers and enablers for increased adoption of clean domestic energy solutions; co-design in ways to communicate their health, environmental, and economic benefits in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities; and enhance collaboration on clean energy solutions between these communities in Australia and India.
Background
Australia and India are similar in our huge potential to generate affordable clean electricity from solar energy systems. While the economic, environmental and health benefits from a transition to renewable energy are known, the technology is not easily available to all communities in these countries. Most rural households in India use solid fuels, while many remote and Aboriginal communities in Australia have little choice but to rely on polluting and expensive diesel for energy generation.
Impact
This project will increase access and adoption of domestic solar systems and reduce polluting fuel use in rural and remote Australia and India, contributing to cleaner air, affordable and improved energy security, and better health outcomes for rural, remote and Indigenous communities in both countries.

The project will run over two years. In that time, consultation with communities and businesses about their knowledge of clean energy and co-design ways of promotion, such as through local artwork and school competitions. The project team will also promote knowledge exchange and communication between communities, businesses, health practitioners, non-governmental organisations, researchers and other local stakeholders to promote business opportunities, and strengthen research and development and cooperation in the clean energy sector.

Project Team
Prof
Sotiris Vardoulakis
University of Canberra

Doctor
Nigel Goodman
University of Canberra

Prof
Shiva Nagendra
Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Prof
Krishna Vasudevan
Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Prof
Linda Payi Ford
Charles Darwin University

A/Prof
Veronica Matthews
University Centre for Rural Health, University of Sydney

Dr
Supriya Matthew
Menzies School of Health Research

Dr
Kerstin Zander
Charles Darwin University

Amelia Joshy
Australian National University

Catherine Anne Joyce
Charles Darwin University

Kris Vine
University Centre for Rural Health, University of Sydney

Shoumick Mitra
Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Gopika Indu
Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Pratika Chawla
Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Prerna Sharma
Clean Air Asia

Partner organisations
Funder
International Climate Change Engagement Program of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Healthy-Air

Aim
This project aims to synthesise, translate and disseminate the best available scientific evidence on the effectiveness of reduction measures on exposure to air pollution and health protection advice for people with asthma, with a particular focus on those socio-economically marginalised or disproportionally affected by the condition. The project incorporates extensive consumer engagement in the form of focus groups, roundtable discussions and interviews to understand the needs of people with asthma, including people from Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, health professional and policy makers.
Background
Air pollution from bushfires, cars and wood heaters can trigger symptoms and distress in people with asthma. As highlighted by the 2019/20 bushfires, there remains a critical lack of accessible tools, resources and advice empowering people with asthma to effectively reduce their air pollution exposure.
Impact
This project will translate findings from available evidence and consumer engagement into accessible advice with practical steps for reducing air pollution exposure. The advice will be presented in a variety of formats to ensure people of Aboriginal and Arabic backgrounds; health professionals; and policy makers understand the effects of air pollution and to stimulate policy action for clean air. We will jointly create and disseminate factsheets, infographics, podcasts, mobile app, policy briefing, media articles, and an online course on air pollution and lung health. These resources will be culturally and/or linguistically adapted for Aboriginal and Arabic communities in bushfire prone regions to empower people with asthma to reduce their exposure.
Project Team
Prof
Sotiris Vardoulakis
University of Canberra

Prof
Fay Johnston
University of Tasmania

A/Prof
Veronica Matthews
University Centre for Rural Health, University of Sydney

Prof
Karima Laachir
Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, ANU

Prof
Bandana Saini
School of Pharmacy, University of Sydney

Dr
Penelope Jones
Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania

Dr
Ginny Sargent
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU

Nicolás Borchers Arriagada
Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania

Dr
Sharon Campbell
Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania

Dr
Erin Walsh
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU

Partner organisations
Funder
We acknowledge the HEAL (Healthy Environments And Lives) National Research Network, which receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council Special Initiative in Human Health and Environmental Change (Grant No. 2008937).
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram