Weaving Together

By Brett Scholz

Nankeri nanggi / good day

During border closures in 2020, I remember feeling both more acutely unable to get anywhere I might want or need to be, and more in touch with where I was (very privileged to be on the largely COVID-free Ngunnawal and Ngambri country with lots of open space to get out and make the most of its beautiful surrounds). I was exhausted working to ensure that health care consumers could be the architects of the ICU triage process for the Australian Capital Territory during the pandemic. Something that gave me energy to get through this, and that helped me feel more connected to family and home beyond Ngunnawal and Ngambri country was trying to learn and engage more with Aboriginal languages. I have always been interested in language, and disappointed that I didn’t have any knowledge about Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri language despite having close ties to that part of the country. When I would email colleagues, friends, or family on Kaurna or Ngarrindjeri country, using local greetings and sign offs it helped me to feel like I was a little closer to them. When emailing others, I used Ngunnawal language greetings to locate myself to others.

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“These Things”: An example of using creative methods in critical health research

by David Carless and Kitrina Douglas

abstract aspens“These Things” was written following an ethnographic research project, commissioned by the Addiction Recovery Agency and St Monica Trust, that sought to understand the experiences of residents and support staff of an urban local authority “elderly preferred” housing scheme. The scheme contained twenty-five self-contained flats, grouped under one roof, sharing an entrance, corridors, washing and communal room. The residents, aged 50 and over, comprised a diverse range of nationalities who had come to the housing scheme through varied and often complex life events. The support staff, a small group of female carers and mobile wardens, were charged with the responsibility of meeting residents care and support needs and maintaining the building. The research took place in the wake of a major recession and unprecedented cuts to services with the future of the housing scheme – along with the homes of the residents and livelihoods of the support staff – hanging in the balance.

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