Yarn Soon Yarn Often Project

Project Summary

Yarn Soon Yarn Often is a project aimed at producing a written resource for Aboriginal parents and carers to support them to talk with their children about sex, reproduction, sexuality and relationships. This will contribute to improving the sexual health literacy and confidence of Aboriginal parents and carers in Victoria so they are able to talk to their children about sexual health, and promote sexual health within the family and community.

It is a partnership project between Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organization (VACCHO); Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc.; Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University; Bendigo and District Aboriginal Health Cooperative; Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service, the Aboriginal communities in Bendigo and Albury Wodonga and CERSH.

To develop the content of the resource, two forums, one of parents and carers and one for young people, were organised with Bendigo and District Aboriginal Corporation. This was followed by a number of “yarning circles” and smaller meetings with parents and carers in Bendigo and Albury/Wodonga throughout the year.

A Project Advisory Group (PAG) was established, chaired by VACCHO, to oversee the project process. VACCHO included an evaluation of the development, distribution and uptake of the written parent-carer guide in the project design. CERSH was asked to advise the PAG on an appropriate evaluation approach. This resulted in the formation of an evaluation advisory group and the development of a framework of goals, objectives, indicators, information sources and underlying assumptions and risks, that defined measures of project progress, cultural integrity, resource quality and community demand parameters.

Throughout 2014, CERSH contributions to VACCHO’s Yarn Soon Yarn Often project have included the strengthening of the project monitoring and evaluation framework, with a specific focus on developing measures of the cultural integrity of the resource design, development, validation and dissemination processes. A novel approach to dimensioning cultural integrity (the Cultural Integrity Scale) was developed and applied to the design and development phase of the project. This approach was also presented as a proffered paper at the Public Health Association of Australia 2nd National Sexual and Reproductive Health Conference in Melbourne in November 2014. A paper describing the evolution of the Cultural Integrity Scale has been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. The project will ultimately contribute to community efforts toward improving the sexual health literacy and confidence of Aboriginal parents and carers in Victoria so they are able to talk to their children about sex and relationships and promote sexual health within the family and community.

Project Objectives

  1. To contribute to improving the sexual health literacy and confidence of Aboriginal parents and carers in Victoria so they are able to talk to their children about sexual health, and promote sexual health within the family and community by:
    • Producing a written resource for Aboriginal parents and carers to support them to talk with their children about sex, reproduction, sexuality and relationships.
    • Ensuring the content of the resource is informed by best available evidence and practice by utilising the highly successful ‘Talk Soon Talk Often’ resource, produced by the WA Health Department, as the framework for adaption for Aboriginal parents and carers.
    • Designing and implementing processes that provide for Aboriginal ownership and active participation in the development, production and distribution of the resource.

Project Contact

For more information on this project please contact Kylie Stephens – kylies@unimelb.edu.au