Use of participatory research and photo-voice to support urban Aboriginal healthy eating Academic Article uri icon


  • The aim of this research was to work collaboratively with an urban Aboriginal community to understand meanings of food and food insecurity and strengthen responses to this issue. The project took place at the Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative in Geelong, South Eastern Australia in 2009-2010. Photo-voice research methods were used to explore meanings of food and food insecurity. This identified that food selections were influenced by family harmony, collectivism and satiation of hunger with cheap high carbohydrate and fat foods. People were also proud of their hunter-gatherer heritage and saw the Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative as leaders in healthy food provision. Action research cycles were used to develop responses including plates depicting healthy food portions, social cooking opportunities, development of a cooking television series and a specialised cook-book. The partnership required researchers to listen carefully to respond to needs of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative, and this meant adapting research plans to suit the local environment and community partner needs. There is potential for Aboriginal organisations to provide further leadership for healthy eating and food security through workplace food policies and partnerships with food security agencies. Use of Aboriginal nutrition knowledge to provide nutrition education may be useful in health promotion approaches.


  • Adams, K
  • Burns, C
  • Liebzeit, A
  • Ryschka, J
  • Thorpe, S
  • Browne, J

publication date

  • 2012