Developing Pictorial Conceptual Metaphors as a means of understanding and changing the Australian Health System for Indigenous People

Authors

  • Bronwyn Fredericks Central Queensland University, Australia
  • Kathleen Clapham Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI), University of Wollongong and NIRAKN.
  • Dawn Bessarab University of Western Australia and is a member of NIRAKN.
  • Patricia Dudgeon University of Western Australia and NIRAKN.
  • Roxanne Bainbridge The Cairns Institute, James Cook University and a member of NIRAKN.
  • Rowena Ball The Australian National University and a member of NIRAKN.
  • Marlene Thompson (Longbottom) The University of Newcastle and is a member of NIRAKN and a member of the NIRAKN Management Committee.
  • Clair Andersen The University of Tasmania and a member of NIRAKN.
  • Mick Adams The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Queensland University of Technology and is a member of NIRAKN.
  • Len Collard University of Western Australia and is a member of NIRAKN.
  • Deb Duthie The Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), QUT and is a member of NIRAKN.
  • Carolyn Daniels Office of Indigenous Engagement, Central Queensland QUniversity.

Keywords:

Action Research, Collaborative Relationships, Indigenous, NIRAKN, Pictorial Conceptual Model, Systemic Action Research, Systems Theory, Pictorial Conceptual Metaphor

Abstract

This paper describes the development of Pictorial Conceptual Metaphors, a pictorial outcome of systemic action research that captures and explains complex systems from the perspectives of the participants involved. The Pictorial Conceptual Metaphors presented in this paper developed from the authors’ work on a literature review for the Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Node of NIRAKN. In this paper, the authors provide an overview of the theories that influenced their development of Pictorial Conceptual Metaphors, including systems theory, soft systems thinking, visual metaphor theory, and the ecosciences approach of pictorial conceptual models. They work from a systemic action research perspective, and argue that Pictorial Conceptual Metaphors provide a powerful way of ‘seeing the system’, understanding a system within its historical context, and developing a catalyst for systemic change. They propose that Pictorial Conceptual Metaphors can be used to enhance understandings and encourage conversations about the change needed in complex systems such as Australia’s health system, in a way that is culturally respectful and appropriate for Indigenous Australians.

Author Biographies

Bronwyn Fredericks, Central Queensland University, Australia

Dr Bronwyn Fredericks is a Murri woman from SE Queensland. She is a Professor and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) and BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Chair in Indigenous Engagement at Central Queensland University. She is a member of the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN), the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the Capricornia Arts Mob (CAM).

Kathleen Clapham, Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI), University of Wollongong and NIRAKN.

Kathleen Clapham is a Murrawarri woman and Professor (Indigenous Health), Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI), University of Wollongong, Wollongong. Kathie is a Node Leader and member of NIRAKN.

Dawn Bessarab, University of Western Australia and is a member of NIRAKN.

Dawn Bessarab is a Bardi/Indjarbardi woman and the Winthrop Professor and Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health (CAMDHI), the University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia. She is a member of NIRAKN.

Patricia Dudgeon, University of Western Australia and NIRAKN.

Patrica Dudgeon is from the Bardi people of the Kimberley in Western Australia. She was the first Aboriginal psychologist to graduate in Australia. She is a Research Professor with The School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia. Pat is a member of NIRAKN.

Roxanne Bainbridge, The Cairns Institute, James Cook University and a member of NIRAKN.

Roxanne Bainbridge is a Gungarri/Kunja woman from South Western Queensland. She is a Senior Research Fellow with The Empowerment Program at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University. Roxanne is a member of NIRAKN.

Rowena Ball, The Australian National University and a member of NIRAKN.

Rowena Ball is a Kairi woman and Associate Professor with the Mathematical Sciences Institute, The Australian National University, Canberra. Assoc Professor Rowena Ball is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and a member of NIRAKN. 

Marlene Thompson (Longbottom), The University of Newcastle and is a member of NIRAKN and a member of the NIRAKN Management Committee.

Marlene Thompson (Longbottom) is a Yuin woman and an Indigenous New Career Academic with the Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle. She is undertaking her PhD through the University of Newcastle. Marlene is a member of NIRAKN and a member of the NIRAKN Management Committee.

Clair Andersen, The University of Tasmania and a member of NIRAKN.

Clair Andersen is a Gangallida/Yanyuwa woman and the Aboriginal Higher Education Advisor with the Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching, University of Tasmania. She is a member of NIRAKN.

Mick Adams, The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Queensland University of Technology and is a member of NIRAKN.

Mick Adams is a Yadhiagana man with traditional family ties and relationships to the people of the Torres Straits, and Grindji, Warlpiri (Yuendumu), and East Arnhem Land (Gurrumaru) communities. He is a Research Fellow with the Health and Wellbeing Research Program at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Canberra. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Mick is a member of NIRAKN.

Len Collard, University of Western Australia and is a member of NIRAKN.

Len Collard is a Whadjuk/Balardong Nyungar and traditional owner of the Perth region and surrounding districts. He is a Professor with the School of Indigenous Studies, the University of Western Australia. Len is a member of NIRAKN.

 

Deb Duthie, The Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), QUT and is a member of NIRAKN.

Deb Duthie is a Waka Waka/Waramungu woman and Lecturer, Oodgeroo Unit, Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She is a member of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), QUT and NIRAKN. 

Carolyn Daniels, Office of Indigenous Engagement, Central Queensland QUniversity.

Carolyn Daniels is an Anglo-Australian woman and working with the Office of Indigenous Engagement, CQUniversity on a number of projects, including a project with the NIRAKN Health Node. She is undertaking her PhD full-time at CQUniversity.

Published

2015-08-24