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MAYA prides itself for being an Australian charity founded by people of colour. We recognise that we are privileged to live, create and perform on Aboriginal Land. Colonialism has severely disrupted Aboriginal communities, and the impacts of this are still present today. Using our platform, we want to work towards productive ways of supporting Indigenous people.
We are centring our efforts locally and partnering with the Bridging the Gap Foundation (BTGF). Our fundraising campaign helps BTGF address one of Australia’s most urgent issues: the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians' health and education opportunities and outcomes.
Bridging the Gap Foundation’s key project HealthLAB aims to reach rural Indigenous communities with personalised, health based education. HealthLab utilises a large pool of volunteers in remote communities as well as Indigenous services and other health professionals. For $5000 per HealthLAB, BTGF is helping to close the health gap.
HealthLAB is an educational and interactive pop-up laboratory initiative by Menzies School of Health Research and the Bridging the Gap Foundation. It provides participants with an enriched understanding of their own health and the impact that their lifestyle decisions have on them. HealthLAB shows participants how to use modern technology, which is usually used ‘on them’ rather than ‘by them’. They engage in health-themed stations to learn about their health in an interactive and self-determinative manner. The concept is “Own Your Health” allowing participants to take their own health measures, understand what they mean, and learn how to avoid chronic disease through lifestyle changes.
HealthLAB has successfully been offered in urban, regional and remote Northern Territory communities over the past 6 years. As awareness of this initiative has grown, schools and communities are increasingly requesting visits and repeat visits.
In addition, the project assists in growing the next generation of the rural and remote health workforce by providing trainee opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. These trainees have played an important role in delivering HealthLAB initiatives in remote communities, and will continue toplay this role as they develop their skills and move into other areas of health. Trainees have also delivered HealthLab programs in local language and assisted in the creation of education materials for children.
Each HealthLAB visit costs $5000 to run, this includes traveling and equipment costs.
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