Gudaga goes to School

The oldest of the Gudaga children have now turned five, and in 2011 and 2012 all of the children will start school. We plan to extend the Gudaga Study and follow the cohort children until they are nine years of age. This research provides a rare opportunity to identify the child and family antecedents of child health and development moving through the early years of formal schooling and into middle childhood.

There are three branches of research as part of the extension of the Gudaga Study:

  1. The first involves the ongoing collection of comprehensive health and development data to continue to provide an evidence base that informs the development of policy and programs for urban Aboriginal children.
  2. The second branch of the research involves a detailed audit of the local service context so that we can explore how the availability and cultural competency of local children’s services impacts on service use to support children’s health, development and learning.
  3. The third branch will be conducted in collaboration with key education researchers and will explore the education experiences and outcomes for this cohort of urban Aboriginal children. This research will gather the perspectives of children, parents, educators and leaders within the local Aboriginal community to understand school transition, engagement, performance and expectations.

The Gudaga goes to school research was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery grant in November 2011. This will enable research to continue from 2012-2014.

Project title: An Ecological Study of school transition and the early years of school for Aboriginal children in an urban environment

Lead Investigator: A/Professor Lynn Kemp, UNSW Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity

Research team: A/Professor Lynn Kemp, Professor Susan Dockett, Dr Rebekah Grace, Professor Robert Perry, A/Professor Elizabeth Comino, Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver, A/Prof Melissa Haswell-Elkins