Stephenson, Peter (2003) Environmental Health Planning and Action: A Handbook for Indigenous Practitioners. Batchelor Press, Batchelor. ISBN 1 74131 016 4
PDF (Handbook: Environmental Health Action Plan)
Indigenous communities, like all Australian communities, require long-term, secure access to clean air, clean water, safe food and living space, and surrounding land and seas that are free of contamination. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have the right to set their own goals and to be involved in the processes necessary to make this happen.
Community-based Environmental Health Workers are in a good position to improve,and then monitor and manage, the kinds of environmental conditions in communities that might impact on the health of their people. To do this well, they need continuous support and real cooperation from others in and out of their community –individuals and families living in community; other health practitioners working in community; staff and elected members of the Community Council; community managers; visiting environmental health officers; regional and state organisation representatives, to name just a few. All community members have a stake in
the future and all are potential partners in action on environment and health issues. For this reason Community-based Environmental Health Action Plans (CEHAPs) must b
built from the ground up.
Environmental Health Planning and Action: A Handbook for Indigenous Practitioners uses simple language to stress the importance of planning for action. It also includes illustrations, provides useful examples and includes worksheets and forms ready for use or adapting by you, the reader. The text is written to suit readers of broad backgrounds and literacy levels. The format and binding allow the Handbook to be as much used in the field as it is in the community office or in the teaching classroom.
This Handbook draws heavily on two earlier documents. The first document relates to planning and action in environmental health in the broader Australian population. The text, called Common Ground and Common Sense: Community-based Environmental Health Planning, includes useful information and resources to help communities and government work together on local environmental health problems.
The second document is strong on community-based planning in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities. This book, Community-based Planning: Principles and Practices (2nd Edition), was produced by ATSIC in 1994 but is no longer in print.
The Handbook has been prepared specifically for community-based Indigenous environmental health practitioners. Every attempt has been made to make it appropriate to the needs and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities throughout the country. But we recognise that Indigenous communities are rich and diverse and the challenges facing each of them vary as greatly as the resources available and individual interests and skills. We invite you therefore to use and adapt the Handbook to fit your community and to let us know what worked well and what didn’t.
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