Terry Donovan

RESEARCHER PROFILE

Knowledge Translation Facilitator


Terry identifies as a Gumbayngirr / Biripai man. His father was a Gumbayngirr man and his mother a Biripai woman. Terry has had a diverse career, from military service, working in local government and non-for –profit community services to providing education to health professionals on Aboriginal Cultural awareness. Additionally, Terry worked with the National Parks & Wildlife Service of NSW as one of 3 Aboriginal Sites Officers. As an Aboriginal sites officer, he travelled to all Aboriginal communities in NSW and collected information about Aboriginal Sacred sites, Aboriginal occupational sites and Aboriginal history & Culture. This process was to instigate registration and preservation as a sacred site. He has also worked;

– As a lecturer in TAFE;

– As an Aboriginal Case Worker – Youth Support Worker;

– As an Aboriginal Housing Corporation Coordinator;

– As a team Leader and labourer on Nambucca Shire Council; and

– As an outreach worker, with the North Coast Primary Health Network.

Terry is a much valued member of the Koori Growing Old Well Study team on the Mid North Coast and is employed as a Knowledge Translation Officer.

Projects Terry Donovan is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

Koori Growing Old Well Study

The primary aim of a proposed longitudinal study is to find the reasons for the high dementia rates (three times non-Indigenous rates) in urban/regional Aboriginal people.

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Koori Growing Old Well Study

Koori Dementia Care Project

The Koori Dementia Care Project (KDCP) aims to inform, educate and build capacity in urban and regional NSW Aboriginal communities, and with associated service providers, about the effects of dementia on older Aboriginal people and their families.

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Koori Dementia Care Project

Sharing the Wisdom of our Elders

The project, Sharing the Wisdom of Our Elders, comes in response to research highlighting the limited awareness of ageing and dementia across Aboriginal communities and requests from partnering communities (as part of the Koori Growing Old Well Study) for a strengths-focused and Aboriginal specific teaching resource to increase community knowledge of dementia prevention. This project acknowledges the central role that Elders have in the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal Communities, and the role that art has in representing their stories and traditions.

This project is funded by The Lowitja Institute (2018-2019), and focuses on the theme of Strong Elders and responds to the question: “what is good and healthy ageing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?” In the Koori Growing Old Well Study, participants were asked to described what they have learnt, throughout their lifetime and diverse experiences, is important for growing old well. This project will represent the responses of Elders in artwork and stories.

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Sharing the Wisdom of our Elders

Caring for Spirit

The Caring for Spirit project is focused on providing a centralised online source of evidence-based resources and information that are culturally appropriate and appealing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The team is translating the results of current research into culturally relevant and accessible information, education and training for people living with dementia, their families and carers, as well as for Aboriginal Health Workers.

We have engaged the services of Aboriginal staff, consultants, and graphic and website designers to achieve the appropriate look and feel. Community engagement and approval is essential and we are working with our Aboriginal community partners across NSW, as well as through our diverse networks to ensure national impact. Advice and feedback from these partners will be used to refine the resources. Growing old well is something we all want for our communities, but we also know that many things happen in our lives that could influence this process. A diagnosis of dementia can have an influence on our mind, body and spirit. This project is focused on translating the results of current research to keep our mind, body and spirit well, through education and training. This is important for people living with dementia, their families and carers, as well as for Aboriginal Health Workers. It is anticipated that these resources will contribute to enhancing the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their carers who are living with dementia, and contribute to alleviating the high burden of dementia in this population.

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Caring for Spirit

RESEARCH TEAM