Abstract: This paper analyses a government health department's attempt to implement a community development strategy in a remote Aboriginal Australian community after identifying deficiencies in one of its health programmes. The reluctance of non-Aboriginal departmental clinic staff to share control of health decisions with Aboriginal participants, together with the deeply embedded power inequalities, undermined the development process and the achievement of project objectives. After lengthy critical reflection and supported by the project team and other community agencies, a group of community members addressed the priority issue they identified with a community-owned strategy in opposition to health professionals. This study raises questions about the capacity of government departments to practise community development, particularly given the unequal power relations, and their reluctance to share power between such departments and marginalized, disadvantaged communities.
Campbell, Danielle, Wunungmurra, Paul, Nyomba, Helen , 2007, Starting where the people are: Lessons on community development from a remote Aboriginal Australian setting, Volume:42, Journal Article, viewed 09 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=2995.