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Privileging Indigenous Voices

Contact: Lyn Goldberg

Privileging the voices of Indigenous peoples in online health education

Documented health disparities exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, reflecting the effects of colonisation, dispossession, and historical trauma over generations. Inequities in housing, education, employment, and healthcare are the root causes of a greater burden of chronic disease, including dementia, for Indigenous peoples. Twelve evidence-based factors have been identified that promote health and wellbeing across the lifespan and reduce dementia risk. These 12 factors are carefully considered in the free Preventing Dementia Massive Open Online Course (PD MOOC), offered by the Wicking Centre, and this highly rated course has now reached over 68,000 participants worldwide. However, the factors are presented from a Western perspective. A lack of trust in Western epistemologies, health systems, terminology used, and a focus on deficit or disease, rather than strengths-based approaches may limit the impact of the PD MOOC in Indigenous communities. The online nature of the course presents a further limitation when access to the internet is inconsistent or unavailable. Facilitating Indigenous peoples’ access to online health education and integrating their knowledge and experiences will enable globally available courses, such as the PD MOOC, to present a more holistic worldview of education to promote health and wellbeing. Documenting understanding of the ways in which Indigenous peoples define, build knowledge, advocate, and undertake actions that contribute to living a good life with a reduced dementia risk will translate into economic, social, and cultural benefits, nationally and internationally. Cultural tailoring of online courses will enable access to and dissemination of rigorous evidence-based educational programs in resource-poor, underserved environments with ready adaptation to other populations with diverse vulnerabilities and needs, and rapid translation of the research to the public.


  • Identify barriers and facilitators to the delivery of online health education experienced by Indigenous peoples
  • Determine culturally appropriate ways in which the knowledges, practices, images, and voices of Indigenous peoples can be integrated into online health education
  • Assess the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of this approach using the experiences of six Indigenous communities in two countries with the free and globally available Preventing Dementia Massive Open Online Course (PD MOOC) as a case study.

Research Team:


  • D LoGiudice (Melbourne)
  • K Radford (Sydney)
  • C Willging (Albuquerque New Mexico, USA)
  • J Lewis (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)


An application for an ARC Discovery grant is under review.


Goldberg LR, & Baldock D. (2020). The Preventing Dementia Massive Open Online Course (PD MOOC): Contribution to Indigenous health and wellbeing. Innovation in Aging, 4(Supp 1), 11.

Goldberg LR, Baldock D, & Vickers J. (2019). Invited presentation. The Preventing Dementia Massive Open Online Course (PD MOOC): Contribution to Indigenous health and wellbeing. The Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference, Darwin, Northern Territory, June 18-20.

Goldberg LR, Baldock D, & Vickers J. (2019). The Preventing Dementia Massive Open Online Course (PD MOOC): Contribution to Indigenous health and wellbeing. Australian Dementia Forum, Hobart, Tasmania, June 13-14.

Cox T, Hoang H, Goldberg LR, & Baldock D. (2019). Aboriginal community understandings of dementia and responses to dementia care. Public Health, 172, 15-21.

Goldberg LR, Cox T, Hoang H, & Baldock D. (2019). Addressing dementia with Indigenous peoples: A contributing initiative from the Circular Head Aboriginal community. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12798.

Goldberg LR, Kent K, & Baldock, D. Cultural obligations of care: Building Aboriginal community capacity to address dementia. College of Health and Medicine Research Enhancement Program ($14,016, 2018).