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Resources for health professionals

Resources for health professionals

We have collaborated with an expert group to gather, review and share educational material that is culturally sensitive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our focus was to review resources promoting healthy lifestyle and cardiovascular disease risk reduction, but with a kidney focus. The materials approved by our expert group were judged as being quality resources, and many are free and downloadable. More Indigenous focused resources are available on our Your Kidneys - Support section of our website here.

Most resources listed below use graphics to tell simple stories. They may also be appropriate for patients who speak English as a second language. 

Please be advised that some of these resources may contain images and voices of people who have died.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health education images

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health education images
The Centre for Chronic Disease at the University of Queensland has produced a series of simple, culturally sensitive images to represent healthy lifestyle choices.

The slides use easy-to-read words and allow images to tell the story. They are designed to be used in education sessions led by a health professional.

You can find out more by emailing Professor Wendy Hoy, Director of the Centre for Chronic Disease at [email protected]

Balanda Life Stories'

‘Balanda Life Stories’
This series of books is produced with an appealing combination of photography and graphics to tell stories about anatomy and physiology as educational tools. Designed to be used as dialogue starters, the text has been kept to a minimum.

The topics are:

  • ‘About your circulation’, which can be downloaded here.
  • ‘How our kidneys work’, which can be downloaded here.

Note the files are very large and open slowly

Hard copies can be ordered by emailing [email protected]

Permission to reprint Balanda Life Stories can be requested from Barbara Beacham, Program Manager, Primary Health Care, Health Systems Workforce, Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health by phoning 08 8132 6312 or emailing [email protected]

Chronic kidney disease education module for health care workers

Kidney Health Australia offer an extensive education programme for any health care professional working in the community who provides screening or manages people with chronic kidney disease.

This primary care education programme includes an educational module specifically designed for health care workers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This is designed to be delivered by a local health professional in a free two hour interactive workshop.

For more information contact Primary Care Education Team:

Breonny Robson, National Primary Care Education Manager, Kidney Health Australia
Claire Sheeky, National Primary Care Education Coordinator, Kidney Health Australia

[email protected]
Ph: 08 8334 7512

The development of this module was kindly funded by an Impact Perpetual Grant. Thank you to Rochelle Pitt and many others who supported the development and review of this module.

Hypertension resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Hypertension resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
The Heart Foundation, in partnership with the National Prescribing Service (NPS), National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, has developed a high-quality package of patient education resources about hypertension.

The resources, developed to help Aboriginal Health Workers and health professionals, deliver patient education, also support the Good Medicine Better Health hypertension module.

The resources include a flip chart, patient brochure and five flyers for the patient and their families to take home.

Hard copies of these and other resources available, can ordered from the NPS by completing their order form online here ,or by using the NPS manual order form  here.

Keep culture, life & family strong know early about diabetes'

‘Keep culture, life and family strong – know early about diabetes’
This resource package, produced by Healthy Living NT in conjunction with Diabetes Australia, is designed for providing information to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about healthy living practices and managing diabetes, a major risk factor for chronic kidney disease.

The package includes:

  • Good food for diabetes – Flipchart
  • Good food for diabetes – Booklet
  • How do you feel? – Symptoms
  • What is it? – About diabetes
  • What do I do? – Management
  • What do I take for medicine? – Medications
  • Why me? – Risk factors
  • Diabetes in pregnancy
  • How do you feel? – A2 full colour poster
  • Keep your feet healthy – A4 flip chart
  • Keep families strong one tucker, one family – A3 and A4 flip charts

See more about this resource here.

Kidney Health Discovery: The Kidneys'

‘Kidney Health Discovery: The Kidneys'
We have produced this series of flipcharts in partnership with Amgen for patient education.

They contain detailed information presented in a simple and engaging way. The flipcharts allow translation by an interpreter in the patient’s language as the story unfolds.

The series can be downloaded free here.

For a hard copy or further information, you can phone our Kidney Health Information Service on freecall 1800 454 363.

'My Kidney Journey'

During the national community consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to inform the development of specific clinical guidelines for Indigenous kidney disease.  One patient, Inawinytji Williamson, who is a Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Woman, a kidney patient, and member of the Aboriginal Reference Group in SA, painted a depiction of her kidney journey.

'My Kidney Journey' by Inawinytji Williamson

"The white circles in the center represent all Aboriginal kidney patients coming together to have a yarn about kidney health with doctors and nurses, talking about the plans for the future and sharing what they want to see happening to improve kidney health for their people.

The outside circles represent patients on dialysis to help cleaning their body to keep healthy.

There are two footpaths that represent the journey of Aboriginal kidney patients. Wildflowers and grass are represented by purple, white, black, orange and green dots." - Inawinytji Williamson. 

To find out more about the consultations, click here

Kimberley Renal Support Services

Kimberley Renal Support Services, part of the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council, provides educational resources including posters and publications and other useful information.

You can see a list of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources.

They have compiled a list of Kimberley regional dialysis centres, which you can see.

For further information, phone the Kimberley Renal Support Services manager, Jenny Cutter, on 08 9194 3200 or 0411 759 921 or email [email protected]

You can see more about the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council here.

Kidney Stories' toolkit

The ‘Kidney Stories’ Toolkit
This high-quality series of flipcharts features culturally sensitive drawings that tell simple stories about the kidneys, and when kidneys get sick. They also tell stories about transplantation and palliative care.

The topics in the series are:

Also available is a series of posters:

The ’Kidney Stories’ materials are produced by NT Renal Services. For more information phone Susan Poppe on 08 8999 2406 or email [email protected].

The flipcharts and posters are designed to aid in answering patients’ questions and explaining more where needed. DVDs are also available.

This toolkit is available from Darwin University Print Shop. Phone Scott Chamberlain on 08 8946 6300, email [email protected] or visit www.cdu.edu.au

Media resources

Media education resources for health professionals
There are a range of education resources developed to improve awareness and knowledge about kidney disease and the impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and communities.

All the resources listed have been reviewed and recommended for educating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about kidney health.

Please not: some videos may contain images and voices of people who have died and content of a sensitive nature.

‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’

The cultural and emotional impact of kidney disease is devastating on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The spirit shown in these stories does not date.

In the documentary ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, three videos follow three women – Essie Coffey of Muruwari clan, Mariah Swan of Kamilaroi clan and Glenda Kerinaiau of Tiwi clan – to tell how they are affected by kidney disease. The strength and resilience they display makes a very moving film.

A 26-minute documentary, directed by Darrin Ballangarry, produced by Ronin Films as part of the National Indigenous Documentary Fund Series 5. See more here.

‘Diabetes Story’

A film about living a healthy and long life with well-controlled diabetes – is an effective educational resource for all health professionals working with Aboriginal people in central Australia.

The film is written and animated as a story in English and Aboriginal languages: Pitjantjatjara, Warlpiri and Arrernte. It is useful for presenting to people with low medical literacy and understanding of written material or whose second language is English.

The film contains five sections:

  • How do you feel?What is diabetes?
  • Why have I got diabetes?
  • What could happen to me?
  • If you have diabetes or think you might have diabetes.

More on this resource here.

To order, call Central Australian Aboriginal Congress on 08 8951 4425 or email [email protected]

‘Transplant Story: A Personal Journey’

This is the real-life story of an Aboriginal family living with kidney disease. The 52-minute film closely follows a young man, Ronno, who had a living donor transplant when he was a child, which lasted 24 years. When his transplanted kidney began to fail he had to relocate for haemodialysis. Now on peritoneal dialysis waiting for a transplant, he is back with his family. 

Film produced by Menzies School of Health Research - find out more here.

For further details phone Menzies School of Health Research on 08 8922 8196 or email [email protected] or find details of other Menzies resources.

‘Kidney Stories’ toolkit

This high-quality series of flipcharts sets out in a simple way the story of kidney disease: how kidneys work, the stages of sick kidneys, how to eat and be stronger with sick kidneys, how dialysis works, and the types of dialysis and treatment available. It also sensitively presents the story of palliative and supportive care.

The flipcharts are designed for health professionals, to enable them to answer patients’ questions and explain more where needed. DVDs are also available.

The ’Kidney Stories’ toolkit is produced by NT Renal Services. Find out more by contacting Susan Poppe on 08 8999 2406 or email [email protected]               

The toolkit is also available from Darwin University Print Shop. Phone Scott Chamberlain on 08 8946 6300, email [email protected] or visit www.cdu.edu.au

The ‘Kidney Stories’ toolkit is now part of the education project: Sharing the Full and True Stories about Chronic Disease. Find out more about this project here.

'A yarn that could save a life' radio series

A series of six radio plays which address barriers that may prevent Indigenous Australians discussing and making decisions about organ and tissue donation.

Associated resources include a simple illustrated flipchart ‘What is organ and tissue donation?’ by the Kulunga Research Network - click to download the Nyangumarta version or the English version.

Produced by Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media, listen to the series here.

Find supporting brochures from DonateLife here.

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