Rob Donovan began in the market research industry as marketing research officer with the Swan Brewery in WA in 1972. He left to start his own market research company in 1974 and became immersed in social policy and public health research and translation into interventions. He is Adjunct Professor in the School of Human Sciences at the University of WA, Founder of the internationally diffusing Act-Belong-Commit mental health promotion campaign, and Chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Social Science Research Committee.
This presentation tells the story of how a ‘mainstream’ mental health promotion campaign (‘Act-Belong-Commit’) was culturally adapted in an Aboriginal community. The story begins with the embedding of an Aboriginal Project Manager in the community, who, with the assistance of a local Aboriginal Cultural Consultant, established trusting relationships and informally explored the community’s understandings of social and emotional wellbeing. These two individuals paved the way for subsequent more formal research methods by non-Aboriginal persons (with experience in Aboriginal communities and research) that probed these understandings in more depth and their congruence or otherwise with the concepts of the mainstream campaign.
The consultative research indicated overall acceptance of the Act-Belong-Commit messages in a cultural context, but it was evident that to build local ownership, the community should be involved in developing a locally relevant cultural adaptation of the Act-Belong-Commit branding. Hence community members were invited to create their own logo and slogan via a ‘Logo and Slogan Competition’. Six ‘finalists’ were selected and an intercept survey of community members was undertaken to select a final logo that conveyed the appropriate understandings and was acceptable to the community at large. This competition process further strengthened the Campaign’s acceptance by the community and enhanced cooperation between organisations. This presentation highlights the sorts of factors that facilitate consultation and research with Aboriginal communities.