Evaluating a model for engaging multicultural communities in dialogue about community improvement

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Totikidis, Vicky (2005) Evaluating a model for engaging multicultural communities in dialogue about community improvement. The Australasian journal of university community engagement, 1 (1). pp. 87-105. ISSN 1833-4482

Abstract

In 2001, researchers from the Wellness Promotion Unit at Victoria University in partnership with the community welfare organization Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service received an Australian Research Council grant to explore community wellness in a disadvantaged multicultural suburb in the Western region of Melbourne (St Albans). As part of this broader project, the present author conducted qualitative research with culturally diverse community members. The research included interviews and focus groups with Maltese, Vietnamese, Italian and Anglo Australians and utilised a holistic model of well being designed to explore the personal, relational and collective aspects of well being/wellness. The purpose of the current paper is to present some of the main findings of the research and to evaluate the utility of the model for engaging multicultural communities in dialogue about community improvement. In summary, the research: 1.) Produced valuable information about the community’s perceptions of personal, relational and collective wellbeing; 2.) Highlighted some of the positive strengths of the community; 3.) Helped us to identify community needs and barriers to wellness and 4.) Pointed to ways to improve well being in the community. The current paper focuses mainly on the first and fourth outcomes. The paper also presents quantitative data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics relating to the region as a contrast to the qualitative information gathered from the community members. The paper will be a resource to anyone wanting to embark on research and community development work in culturally diverse communities.

Additional Information

Spring issue

Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/1885
Official URL http://aucea.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/vol...
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 370000 Studies in Human Society
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for International Corporate Governance Research
Current > FOR Classification > 2002 Cultural Studies
Keywords multicultural communities, community wellness, community development, community involvement, participation, community engagement, Western region of Melbourne, engaged university
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