Saturday, 24 February 2018

Progress report on thesis and articles

I've received the examiners' reports on my thesis and have to respond to one of them within the next four weeks. Hopefully it will all be finished soon and the thesis can be published.

I'm also drafting articles. The first one I plan is largely describing the work that was being done and helpful factors and challenges. I then hope to publish more analytical articles on frameworks, discourse and the advocacy that is needed to support health promotion on equity and environmental sustainability.

I'm also going to start a new blog. It will relate to many of the ideas explored in this blog and the research project, but be more outspoken. I've felt constrained in some ways in this one as a researcher and academic, so the new one will be specifically about exploring ideas as a global citizen, who happens to be an academic and researcher, but isn't primarily speaking in that role.

It's interesting that I - and I think others - feel constrained about 'speaking truth to power' because we are academics. Indeed it's concerning. I hope the new blog gives an opportunity to do this more, and better. I've certainly tried to speak truth as a researcher here, but there have been some constraints, which I'll explore more on the new blog, I hope.

I will keep adding info here as it seems relevant. One interesting observation - I recently discussed some ideas about equity on Facebook and was heartened by the response of my FB friends. I'll see if I can put some of the discussion here.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Seasons greetings and submission of thesis

Seasons greetings and best wishes for 2018. The photo is a Corranderrk bush at Bollygum Park, in Kinglake.  The beautiful words below are from Wurundjeri Elder, Joy Murphy Wandin:

'Coranderrk is a word from my Granny Jemima’s Pangerang language. This beautiful small stemmed bush grows along the banks of the Murray as it does by the Birrarung in Healesville. It blooms in December with sprays of tiny cream and mauvish coloured bell-shaped flowers; the whiteman call it the prosthanera Lasianthos. When I picture the glistening ripples of the river and the subtle fragrance of this plant, I feel relaxed and peaceful. Perhaps this was what my Granny hoped for, given she, like so many other children, was taken from her family, classed an orphan child and sent to Coranderrk.'
 (Information from AIATSIS at http://aiatsis.gov.au/publications/products/coranderrk-we-will-show-country/paperback)


The plant is also known by the English name of 'Christmas bush'. I have used pictures of the flowers before for seasons greetings, because when I used to live in the hills, their beautiful spicy smell became entwined with Christmas for me.

However, it was not until I read the plaque at Bollygum that I realized that this small tree is also called Corranderk in the Woiwurrung or Wurundjeri language.  I had previously heard that Corranderk was the name for a local tea tree, but it seems it was really the name for this tree. Corranderk was, of course, also the name for the reserve where Woiwurrung and Bunurong people who survived the British invasion went to live, until even that was taken from them.

It is poignantly beautiful, and sad, to think of Joy Murphy's Granny smelling the same beautiful scent, and welcoming the coming of summer, as I did many years later, without knowing this history. Everything in Australia is imbued with this history of invasion and dispossession and until we come to terms with it, there will always be this loss at the heart of our country.

I find it hard to imagine how a people can forgive those who took their land, and directly and indirectly, caused the death of so many of their ancestors. Yet is clear from the words of Elders like Joy Murphy and Boon Wurrung Arweet Carolyn Briggs, that they extend the possibility of forgiveness and reconciliation, again and again. Our white political leaders fail to take it, but one day a treaty and reconciliation must happen, I hope in my lifetime.

I also want to say that I submitted my thesis on 7 December and am awaiting the results of examination.  My acknowledgements to Elders and participants from the thesis are below:


I acknowledge the custodians of this land, particularly the Boon Wurrung, Gunditjamara, Jardwadjali, Dja Dja Wurrung, Wergaia, Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, and Jupagulk peoples, whose ancestors have lived for thousands of years on the country where this research was conducted. I pay my respect to Elders past and present. I give particular thanks to Elders, past and present, who supported or participated in this research.

I acknowledge and thank all the participants in this study, who are my co-researchers and co-authors in this study, even though their real names cannot be given here. I hope this thesis can support the work you are doing and ensure its value and significance is recognised.

I will try to post again soon on the results of the research and the challenges of putting these results into plain language.





Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Ultimately what future do we want for our world?


Ultimately what future do we want for our world?

Research participant, Wimmera PCP, August 2016

I am hoping to submit the thesis tomorrow, finally. For some time I have been meaning to finish the post I started on this theme, and now seems a good time to do it.

I took this photo some weeks ago while waiting for the tram

This is Kings Way, South Melbourne, in peak hour morning traffic. It's in the inner south east of Melbourne, where this project started.

In the words of the research participant above, I asked whether this is the future we want for our world. This is the society which has got us to where we are - basically facing an ecological crisis. As I've discussed on the blog before, it sometimes seems to me as if many policy makers in our society think we can just go on pretty much like this, only with renewable technologies and smart cars. 

Whereas I, and others in this project, have a different vision - a society that is much greener, and fairer and healthier - one where cars would be less dominant, an inclusive and healthy society where everyone could walk or ride in safety, where there were plants, including food plants, and other species could also flourish.

So I tried to envisage this, and I did it in an embodied way - drew it.


That's Kings Way as it might be, in the future I want. It's not the greatest drawing, but it was interesting to draw it, to use the body as well as the mind, after writing all the thousands of words in the thesis.

Others might envisage it differently - sing it, write in imaginative poetry or prose, act it out in (in the street maybe) - but it is an interesting exercise.

I encourage everyone to imagine what the future might be.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Update - project formally closed, writing up almost finished.

This is to note formally that the research project 'Promoting equity, environmental sustainability and health' is closed. Ethics approval for research with participants finished on 12 September last year, and the project is now formally closed, although we have not yet lodged the formal final report with the Ethics Committee (that should be completed soon).

I am still writing up the thesis and will continue to put updates here from time to time.

I have removed the statement on the comments section about comments being used as evidence, and won't quote any comments after 12 September 2016. Everyone is still free to comment and I will still consider comments background information, but they won't be used as formal evidence.

I have been granted another extension on my thesis so it is now due at the end of October.

I read back through this blog as part of my final reflections, and it mortifies me somewhat to see that everything has taken much longer than I thought it would. I take my hat off to PhD students who complete everything within their allotted three years!

The thesis will be finished soon ...

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Projects addressing equity and environmental sustainability

Below is the table of projects addressing equity and environmental sustainability in this research project, as it is in the almost complete thesis draft


No.
Brief description of project
Potential benefits for environmental sustainability (ES) and equity (EQ)
PCP area
1
Council audit of community facilities for environmental sustainability, including potential development of community gardens at facilities (led by council staff)

ES: increase environmental sustainability of community centres/facilities; care for natural environment; increase environmental sustainability of food system.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups (key users of community facilities) – increase contact with nature, increase access to local fresh food/healthy eating/food security. (Reducing the cost of running the facilities could potentially also give Council more money to spend on facilities or services for low income groups.)
ISEPICH

2
Council policy development supporting community gardens and ensuring they are socially inclusive (led by council staff)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of food system; care for natural environment.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups – increase access to local fresh food/healthy eating/food security, and contact with nature; social inclusion/build community.
ISEPICH


3
Community garden at housing estate, led by partnership of agencies and community members (CoPP ND)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of food system; care for natural environment.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - increase access to local fresh food/healthy eating /food security, and contact with nature; social inclusion/build community in the estate, including Indigenous participation.
ISEPICH

4
Wominjeka BBQ - Regular Indigenous barbeque/ get together at community garden, follows sustainability principles of garden. Led by partnership of agencies and Elders, service providers may attend and provide information (ISCH 2017)
ES: care for natural environment.
EQ: Indigenous participation, community building/health; benefits for low income/vulnerable groups (Indigenous people) – increased Indigenous cultural awareness/cultural safety in mainstream health and community services, increased access to services; social inclusion/build community.
ISEPICH

5
Indigenous cultural garden at recreation centre, led by partnership of agencies and Elders
ES: care for natural environment; Indigenous knowledge of country.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - increased awareness of Indigenous culture/cultural safety, increase contact with nature; Indigenous participation (also involved bringing generations together and involving young people); social inclusion/build community.
ISEPICH

6
Equity principles in environmental community group (GEEG 2015)
ES: overall aim of group is to increase environmental sustainability.
EQ: through equity policy group aims to increase social inclusion.
ISEPICH

7
Environmental community group advocacy to council on environmental and equity issues
ES: through advocacy to council the group aims to promote environmental sustainability and care for natural environment, including protection of biodiversity and open space
EQ: social inclusion/build community; benefits for low income/vulnerable groups – contact with nature.
ISEPICH

8
Proposed advocacy by ethnic senior citizens’ community group to council to increase access to community gardens for members
ES: care for natural environment; increase environmental sustainability of food system.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - increase access to local fresh food/healthy eating/food security, and contact with nature; social inclusion/build community.
ISEPICH

9
Ethnic senior citizens’ community group plan to invite Council environmental officer to address group re reducing household energy use.
ES: increase environmental sustainability of housing.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups – reduce living costs for energy and improve housing comfort.
ISEPICH

10
Community centre developing and implementing sustainability policy and kitchen garden associated with social meal
ES: increase environmental sustainability of community centres/facilities; increase environmental sustainability of food system, including using food from the kitchen garden and from Second Bite (2017) food rescue and redistribution service; care for natural environment.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - increase access to local fresh food/healthy eating/food security, contact with nature; social inclusion/build community. (Potentially reducing the running costs of the centre also allows more money to be spent on programs for low income/vulnerable groups).
ISEPICH

11
Creating healthy environment on public housing estate eg not smoking in lifts, recycling, reducing litter, led by residents’ committee
ES: Increase environmental sustainability through recycling; care for natural environment.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups – contact with nature; social inclusion/build community
ISEPICH

12
Community Kitchen on public housing estate, led by partnership of agency, volunteers, residents
ES: increase environmental sustainability of food system through reduced food waste, including using food from Second Bite food rescue and redistribution service, and reduction of energy costs associated with food preparation (communal kitchen);
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - increase access to fresh food/healthy eating/food security; social inclusion/build community.
ISEPICH

13
Reduce energy and water use on public housing estate, led by residents’ committee, assisted by local environmental group.
ES: increase environmental sustainability of housing, care for natural environment (save water).
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - reduce living costs associated with energy use and water use and increase housing comfort.
ISEPICH

14
‘Ibutton’ pilot housing sustainability/climate change adaptation project in small town (SGGPCP, Rance et al. 2013, p. 5, Brown and Rowe ND)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of housing;
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups – reduce living costs for energy and increase housing comfort; social inclusion/build community.
SGGPCP

15
‘Pass the Parcel’ –  housing sustainability/climate change adaptation project, focus on low income, vulnerable groups (Brown 2013, SGGPCP, Rance et al. 2013, pp. 5-6)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of housing.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - reduce living costs for energy and increase housing comfort; social inclusion/build community.
SGGPCP

16
Implementing climate change adaptation project
ES: education and awareness raising on climate change and potential responses.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - build capacity; social inclusion/build community.
SGGPCP

17
Healthy communities projects -  aim to increase physical activity, also have environmental aspect by increasing active transport (Glenelg Shire 2014)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of transport;
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - increase active transport/physical activity, reduce transport costs.

SGGPCP

18
Community kitchen and community orchard (De Rose, Roberts et al. 2011)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of food system; care for natural environment.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - increase access to local fresh food/healthy eating/food security, and contact with nature; social inclusion/build community.
SGGPCP

19
Transport connections project -  shared transport for isolated rural residents with limited access to shops and petrol (SGGPCP 2013)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of transport
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - reduce living costs for transport, increase access to shopping/services; social inclusion/build community.
SGGPCP

20
Telehealth development and research projects  (SGGPCP 2013, p. 6)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of transport (ie by reducing motorised transport) for access to healthcare;
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - reduce living costs for transport, increase access to healthcare; social inclusion/build community.
SGGPCP

21
Glenelg SAVES - energy efficiency training for Home and Community Care workers, and clients, and community workshops (Lynch, Tuck et al. 2016)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of housing.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - reduce living costs for energy, increase housing comfort.
SGGPCP

22
Filling the Gaps (housing) workshops with local hardware store, through community house
ES: increase environmental sustainability of housing.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - reduce living costs for energy, increase housing comfort
SGGPCP

23
Promoting other forms of transport than cars, such as public transport and car pooling
ES: increase environmental sustainability of transport.
EQ: potential benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - increase physical activity/active transport and reduce living costs for transport.
SGGPCP

24
Point of contact for distribution of energy efficient globes, draft stoppers and similar, to public housing tenants
ES: increase environmental sustainability of housing.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - reduce living costs for energy, increase housing comfort.
SGGPCP

25
Retrofits to homes for older people via Victorian Government’s Energy and Water Taskforce (Brown and Rowe ND, p. 5)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of housing; care for natural environment (save water).
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - reduce living costs for energy and water, increase housing comfort.
SGGPCP

26
Communal gardens for older people in residential units
ES: care for natural environment.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - increase contact with nature; social inclusion/build community.
SGGPCP
27
Bicycle recycle – repairing bikes for community, in partnership with organisations including Aboriginal community controlled organisation
ES: increase environmental sustainability of transport.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - reduce living costs for transport, increase active transport/physical activity; Indigenous participation; social inclusion/build community.
SGGPCP
28
Food swap and food production – sharing knowledge, skills re local conditions, through community house
ES: increase environmental sustainability of food system; care for natural environment.
EQ: increase access to local fresh food/healthy eating/food security (with potential benefits for low income groups).
SGGPCP

29
PCP involved in climate resilient communities project (Victorian Government 2013, WDA 2017)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of food system and other agriculture through more effective and sustainable farming practice.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - build capacity; social inclusion/build community.
Wimmera PCP
30
‘Good Tucker, Good Health’ nutrition and gardening project in school - includes focus on Indigenous  plants and involvement of Indigenous families (Phelan and Williams 2014)
ES: care for natural environment, including through indigenous plant use; Indigenous knowledge of country; increase environmental sustainability of food system.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - increase access to local fresh food/healthy eating/food security, contact with nature; Indigenous participation and cultural awareness/safety; social inclusion/build community.

Wimmera PCP
31
Heatwave response protocols (Victorian Government 2009, p. 7)
ES: education and awareness raising on climate change.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - build capacity through identifying groups vulnerable to climate change (heatwaves); social inclusion/build community.
Wimmera PCP
32
PCP advising agencies re Home Energy Saver Scheme (HESS) at forum (program defunded by federal LNP government in 2014) (Macklin 2013, Australian Government 2017)
ES: increase environmental sustainability of housing.
EQ: benefits for low income/vulnerable groups - reduce living costs for energy, increase housing comfort.

Wimmera PCP


(References not linked here but details available on request)

I posted some earlier information about these projects in  2013 and 2014, as:

Project update - projects addressing environmental sustainability and equity/social inclusion

38 people, 33 projects, 9 action areas and more

I also wrote a case study in 2013

Local community action case study - Christ Church Community Centre

There's also been a number of references in other blogposts and presentations.