The Public Health Bush Book was developed to support and strengthen public health practice in community settings. Volume 1, Strategies & Resources, outlines the theory and a range of strategies and resources for practice in the field. Volume 2, Facts & Approaches to Three Key Public Health Issues, looks closely at three key areas of public health concern in the Northern Territory: Alcohol and Other Drugs, Environmental Health and Food and Nutrition.
Megan Smith, the first Project Officer from February 1996 to June 1997, did the initial drafting of the chapters based on her consultations with over 60 managers and key public health professionals in Territory Health Service about overall content and approach. She facilitated workshops and meetings involving over 100 operational staff to discuss specific topic areas and tease out the complexities and realities of doing prevention and health promotion work in remote areas.
An Advisory Group provided guidance on content areas and processes for gathering information. Its members were:
Penny Kenchington, Acting Coordinator, Sexual Health Unit, Alice Springs; Sally Anne King, Assistant Aboriginal Health Worker Manager, Darwin; Sabina Knight, Manager, Remote Health Education Program, Alice Springs; Peter Pangquee, Aboriginal Health Worker Manager, Gove; Melanie van Haaren, Director of Nursing, Remote Area Services, Alice Springs; Gwen Walley, Training Development Coordinator, Aboriginal Living with Alcohol Program, Alice Springs; Tarun Weeramanthri, Community Physician, Darwin; Jo Wright, DMO Darwin.
Allison Adams, project officer from February 1997 to April 1999, continued researching and drafting the 'Environmental Health' chapter. She then took the resource through the next stage of editing, referencing and updating to incorporate new directions and approaches that were developing at the time.
The Program Directors from each of the content areas: Ian Crundall, Alcohol and Other Drugs; Xavier Schobben, Environmental Health; and Vivienne Hobson, Food and Nutrition oversaw the final review of the chapters in Volume 2.
An editorial group, consisting of Nea Harrison, Alison Laycock and Carol Watson, with assistance from Joe Martin-Jard and Annie Villeseche, worked with Gloria Markey (Alcohol and Other Drugs), Chris Clark (Environmental Health), and Vivienne Hobson (Nutrition) to edit and finalise Volume 2.
The Librarians of Territory Health Service Library Services, Anne Alderslade, Sally Bailey and staff, in Darwin and Alice Springs provided reference material and suggested other useful references.
Dot Morrison finalised the bibliographies.
Public Affairs and Social Services provided invaluable specialist publishing advice and support to finalise the publication.
Many people, within Territory Health Services and from other organisations, contributed their ideas at workshops. Many others wrote or told their stories, drafted material, commented on numerous drafts of the various chapters and provided unflagging support for this project. Their names appear in the Acknowledgements.
We thank you one and all.
We hope that The Public Health Bush Book will occupy a special place, as a practical friend, in your 'toolkit' of resources for working in community settings in the Northern Territory.
Public Health Strategy Unit