Embedding Aboriginal cultural governance, capacity, perspectives and leadership into a local Public Health Unit Incident Command System during COVID-19 in New South Wales, Australia

Kristy Crooks, Charlee Law, Kylie Taylor, Katie Brett, Peter Murray, Julie Kohlhagen, Kirsty Hope, David N. Durrheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This case study describes the development and implementation of a governance structure that prioritised First Nations peoples in a local public health Incident Command System activated for the COVID-19 pandemic response in New South Wales, Australia. Using lessons learnt from past pandemics and planning exercises, public health leaders embedded an approach whereby First Nations peoples determined and led community and culturally informed pandemic control strategies and actions. In March 2020, First Nations governance was embedded into the local public health emergency response to COVID-19 in the Hunter New England region of New South Wales, Australia, enabling First Nations staff and community members to actively participate in strategic and operational decision-making with the objective of minimising COVID-19-related risks to First Nations peoples and communities. The model provided cultural insight and oversight to the local COVID-19 response; strengthened and advanced First Nations leadership; increased the First Nations public health workforce; led the development of First Nations disease surveillance strategies; and supported working groups to appropriately respond to local needs and priorities. This model demonstrates the feasibility of reframing a standard Incident Command System to embed and value First Nations principles of self-determination and empowerment to appropriately plan and respond to public health emergencies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012709
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Global Health
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2023

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Embedding Aboriginal cultural governance, capacity, perspectives and leadership into a local Public Health Unit Incident Command System during COVID-19 in New South Wales, Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this