Indigenous Children’s Hygiene Initiative
The foundations Indigenous Children’s Hygiene Initiative is a joint initiative with NAIDOC Elder of the Year and co -founder Auntie Carol Petterson. Through our children joining with other children globally they will have one united voice that will be heard around the world. One of the first initiatives of our children will be to influence health within their communities through encouraging all to wash their hands and faces.
Our children will influence governments through You Tube campaigns and engaging with the media as they are the face and the voice of the foundation.
As adults, parents and guardians we need to support and encourage them to be part of this global initiative through having their heros in sport, song, dance, theatre and television send in to the foundation mobile video phone messages of encouragement. These messages will go out to all children through the website.
If you wish to send a message just record it on video on your phone and send it to the foundation via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Messages should say something along the lines of:-
The hygiene program, which will be run by our children, is available to every individual indigenous group or community who wish to join with Auntie Carol and undertake the program. The communities will own and drive the initiative themselves. It will be the same concept as with the GrimeStoppers with the children becoming the hygiene guardians for their family and the community. (See GrimeStoppers)
They will take this storyline of the GrimeStoppers give it to a local indigenous story writer who will rewrite it to speak of how the GrimeStoppers may have come about in the culture of the community.
It is then narrated by an elder who has authority to be a story teller on radio. The story will go on for several months until the production of the APP developed by the community with guidance from the foundation is released into the community. Wherever possible local indigenous people will be engaged to work with the foundation. Hopefully through the story’s over the radio the children will want to become GrimeStoppers or an equivalent indigenous name.
We will work with all communities in this way that want to use the initiative to improve hygiene in their community. Each community will make application to the government to fund the app and the initiative. We will be having sporting and other stars that the children look up to to give them encouragement and support to protect their families and their communities through radio and television appearances and announcements.
Trachoma and Otitis Media
Australia has been leapfrogged by developing countries when it comes to eliminating blinding trachoma, a study finds.
Despite being the only developed country in the world where trachoma still exists, Australia’s pace in tackling the disease has been “glacial”, according to experts who analysed national progress since the turn of the century.
In outback communities, about 60% of Indigenous children have endemic trachoma, according to the latest estimates.
Nine per cent of blindness in all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults is caused by trachoma.
Less developed countries, by contrast, have made rapid changes over the past 5-10 years, with Morocco, Oman, Iran, Ghana and Vietnam all eliminating trachoma.
“Even Nepal is making great progress.
With a program introduced by the community whereby we can have the children wash their faces regularly will go a long way to reducing the instance of both Trachoma and Otitis Media.
Auntie Carol Pettersen is a champion of all aboriginal people when it comes to community hygiene. A Noongar/Ngadu woman from the south-east coast of Western Australia. She has lived and worked in Albany for most of her life, and is well-known throughout the Noongar nation as a tireless worker for her people. She has been very active in Indigenous affairs for over 40 years.
Auntie Carol was a principal adviser to the Premier of Western Australia on women´s issues, and has been appointed to many state and Commonwealth committees and boards covering issues such as Indigenous health, welfare, education and training.
Auntie Carol was a councillor with the local Shire Council of Albany, and such, is the respect she gained during her term, a chamber room in the Council was named after her.
Although officially retired, she is still very involved as a cultural spokesperson working alongside mining companies such as BHP Billiton, advising on long-term economic development and sustainability for traditional owners.
She is very passionate about Aboriginal education and has been chair of the South West Aboriginal Education Committee for over five years. Auntie Carol is involved in local primary schools doing cross-cultural workshops and liaising with teachers, parents and students to access the best possible opportunities for Noongar youth.
At Mt Lockyer Primary School, which has a high proportion of Noongar students, Auntie Carol has helped to establish an outdoor learning centre encouraging and supporting young people to embrace and be proud of their Aboriginality.
Family has always been an important focus for Carol. She is the third of 18 children and one of 10 girls. Carol says she helped raise her younger siblings from the age of eight and learnt from that early start to become a leader to make do with meagre resources.
Auntie Carol has five grown children, 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren – “all absolutely adorable” she says, and all imbued with the same family-based values that have guided her life.
A wonderfully gracious lady, Carol is an inspirational leader and role model in the Noongar community and indeed the wider community. She has touched – and continues to touch – many people´s lives.
As one observer commented, if there´s one thing in life Auntie Carol has failed at, it´s retirement.