Undergraduate student programs

The long running Gomeroi gaaynggal program includes ongoing research studies to understand the early origins of kidney disease in Aboriginal communities include funding from NHRMC, HMRI, UoN Ongoing community health promotion and education programs include the Artshealth program.

These studies all occur whilst students are on placement in Tamworth at the Department of Rural Health and within the Gomeroi gaaynggal Centre in Tamworth. This Centre has a staff of six (four of whom are Aboriginal), and a large number of undergraduate and increasing numbers of post-graduate students to support

Undergradate students attend the Gomeroi gaaynggal Centre for a number of reasons. Almost all of the allied health students that are on placement in Tamworth visit the Centre to increase the understanding of issues of cultural importance for Aboriginal people. The students attend the Centre whilst the ArtsHealth program is underway and spend time creating their own artworks under guidance of Aunty Pearl Slater. In addition we have had a number of students who are on placement in Tamworth who have undertaken specific community projects at the Centre.

Recent Undergraduate Projects

Coming Together: Mums & Bubs Cookbook

In 2013 a group of 4th year Nutrition and Dietetics students from the University of Newcastle developed a beautiful cookbook ('Coming Together: Mums & Bubs') in collaboration with mothers attending the Gomeroi gaaynggal ArtsHealth centre. The cookbook features tips on food safety and food hygiene, and easy to follow, illustrated, step-by-step recipes. These form the basis of our weekly ArtsHealth lunches. The backdrop to all the recipes is artwork created by the centre, making this much-loved cookbook very personal to the Gomeroi gaaynggal women.

Assessing the need for dietetic support for Gomeroi mothers attending an ArtsHealth program

In September 2013, we were lucky enough to have three 2nd year Nutrition and Dietetics students develop a needs assessment report as part of their community nutrition placement. The students ran a focus group with women attending the Gomeroi gaaynggal ArtsHealth program to find out what the women would like to gain from having a dietitian and future nutrition and dietetics students at the centre. The women recommended nutrition education sessions that would cover topics such as meal planning, creating a food budget, and combatting fussy eaters. They requested that these sessions be interactive, practical, and hands-on. The results of this needs assessment were used to develop the 'Good Grub for Gomeroi gaaynggal' program described below.

Good Grub for Gomeroi gaaynggal: a mothers guide to family nutrition

Leading on from the results of the needs assessment, in March 2014 three 4th year Nutrition and Dietetics students developed an interactive nutrition education program: 'Good Grub for Gomeroi gaaynggal'. During three sessions run on consecutive weeks, the students discussed meal planning, food budgeting, and strategies for coping with fussy eaters in an interactive learning format. Resources and evaluation tools were also developed. At each session the students sat down with women and had a yarn about the topics, followed by hands on activities like planning meals and shopping lists, and a fast food race which had everyone on their feet and cooking healthy versions of takeaways against the clock.

Kids Cooking Club

Gomeroi gaaynggal nutrition project

The Kids Cooking Club was created and piloted by Amy and Loretta in 2013 to inspire kids to embrace healthy eating at a young age. Kids have a short lesson on what healthy eating means, and the importance of eating a wide variety of nutritious foods from the core food groups. The kids are taught some basic cooking skills and make some yummy food to share.  We are hoping to run the kids cooking club in 2014 with the help of volunteer final year nutrition and dietetics students.

Developmental Milestones Project

Developmental Milestones Two physiotherapy students recently completed a five week community placement block. A major part of their project was to take existing handouts used to teach parents about child development and caring for their child and to update them to make them more engaging for the Indigenous community. The student undertook extensive community consultation on the content and structure of the resource. The result was a booklet which incorporated Indigenous artwork from the Gomeroi gaaynggal arts program and simple positive message about how children develop and ways parents can facilitate healthy developmental milestones. The student reported receiving an invaluable deep cultural learning experience that they will be able to take forward and use in their clinical practice.