Kendall, S, Lighton, S, Sherwood, J, Baldry, E & Sullivan, EA 2020, 'Incarcerated aboriginal women's experiences of accessing healthcare and the limitations of the 'equal treatment' principle.', International journal for equity in health, vol. 19, no. 1.View/Download from: Publisher's site
BACKGROUND:Colonization continues in Australia, sustained through institutional and systemic racism. Targeted discrimination and intergenerational trauma have undermined the health and wellbeing of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, leading to significantly poorer health status, social impoverishment and inequity resulting in the over-representation of Aboriginal people in Australian prisons. Despite adoption of the 'equal treatment' principle, on entering prison in Australia entitlements to the national universal healthcare system are revoked and Aboriginal people lose access to health services modelled on Aboriginal concepts of culturally safe healthcare available in the community. Incarcerated Aboriginal women experience poorer health outcomes than incarcerated non-Indigenous women and Aboriginal men, yet little is known about their experiences of accessing healthcare. We report the findings of the largest qualitative study with incarcerated Aboriginal women in New South Wales (NSW) Australia in over 15 years. METHODS:We employed a decolonizing research methodology, 'community collaborative participatory action research', involving consultation with Aboriginal communities prior to the study and establishment of a Project Advisory Group (PAG) of community expert Aboriginal women to guide the project. Forty-three semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2013 with Aboriginal women in urban and regional prisons in NSW. We applied a grounded theory approach for the data analysis with guidance from the PAG. RESULTS:Whilst Aboriginal women reported positive and negative experiences of prison healthcare, the custodial system created numerous barriers to accessing healthcare. Aboriginal women experienced institutional racism and discrimination in the form of not being listened to, stereotyping, and inequitable healthcare compared with non-Indigenous women in prison and the community. CONCLUSIONS:'Equal treatment' is an inappropriate strat...
Kendall, S, Lighton, S, Sherwood, J, Baldry, E & Sullivan, E 2019, 'Holistic Conceptualizations of Health by Incarcerated Aboriginal Women in New South Wales, Australia.', Qualitative health research, vol. 29, no. 11, pp. 1549-1565.View/Download from: Publisher's site
While there has been extensive research on the health and social and emotional well-being (SEWB) of Aboriginal women in prison, there are few qualitative studies where incarcerated Aboriginal women have been directly asked about their health, SEWB, and health care experiences. Using an Indigenous research methodology and SEWB framework, this article presents the findings of 43 interviews with incarcerated Aboriginal women in New South Wales, Australia. Drawing on the interviews, we found that Aboriginal women have holistic conceptualizations of their health and SEWB that intersect with the SEWB of family and community. Women experience clusters of health problems that intersect with intergenerational trauma, perpetuated and compounded by ongoing colonial trauma including removal of children. Women are pro-active about their health but encounter numerous challenges in accessing appropriate health care. These rarely explored perspectives can inform a reframing of health and social support needs of incarcerated Aboriginal women establishing pathways for healing.
Sherwood, J, Lighton, S, Dundas, K, French, T, Link- Gordon, D, Smith, K & Anthony, T 2015, 'WHO ARE THE EXPERTS HERE? Recognition of Aboriginal women and community workers in research and beyond', AlterNative: an international journal of indigenous scholarship, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 177-191.
This paper explores how Indigenous- centred methodologies are crucial to the design and conduct of research projects that seek to have meaningful outcomes for Indigenous women and communities. We draw on experiential observations of an advisory group led by Indigenous experts that was part of the Social and Cultural Resilience and Emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal Mothers in prison (SCREAM) research project. From their experience we identify lessons for how Indigenous expertise can be utilized to promote mutually respectful relationships among Indigenous and non- Indigenous researchers, organizations and agencies. We found that the formation of an Indigenous- led advisory group from a project's inception is a powerful vehicle for informing its purposes, method and dissemination of findings back to Indigenous participants and communities. Our approach has produced a set of data on Indigenous women prisoners that prioritizes, rather than pathologizes, Indigenous standpoints, and recognizes the complex effects of colonization for these women. This paper seeks to convey the research process to inform future research that engages Indigenous participants.
Sherwood, J, Lighton, SL & Watson, N 2013, 'Peer Rupport: Mentoring Responsive and Trusting Relationships' in Craven, RG & Mooney, J (eds), Seeding Success in Indigenous Australian Higher Education, Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley, UK, pp. 187-208.