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Waste Management and Health in Aboriginal Communities

Waste and Health in Communities

Compared with waste management in well populated and well-serviced areas of Australia’s urban, peri-urban and coastal cities; waste management that meets the health, wellbeing and lifestyle contexts of rural, remote and often small Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities is far less understood.

Waste is acknowledged to be a complex phenomenon in rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community functions and wellbeing.  The added social, health and innovation challenges, include significant climatic variation -extending from desert extremes in temperature to monsoonal humidity –, affect public health and the socio-technical design innovations necessary for maintaining viable local user-managed solutions.

This relationship between context and waste categories offers a basis for recommending strategic public health priorities across Australia’s diverse range of remote and rural communities.

To move towards feasible outcomes for these rural and remote ATSI localities, there is a need to first establish innovative knowledge, which will point to the appropriate socio-technical and healthy waste management systems in these communities 

This research is partially financed through $23,000 crowdfunded by Waste Aid.

The distinct Aboriginal, board-managed councils in the semi-arid to desert-arid zones.


Lead Chief Investigator : A/Prof. Kurt Seemann

Co-Chief Investigator : Prof. Andrew Gunston, Swinburne 

Research Assistant: Paul Fiocco (Aboriginal Policy)

Research Assistant: Sarah McLean  (Environmental Health)

Industry Partner: Waste Aid

Article by Annika Sutter


Dr. Kurt Seemann

Associate Professor, Founding Director – CDI School Director of ResearchCDI Core Program Director: Humanitarian Habitat and...

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Professor Andrew Gunstone

Professor of Indigenous StudiesPrincipal Coordinating Supervisor for Masters and Doctoral studentsProfessor Andrew Gunstone is the inaugural...

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Dr. Sarah McLean

Lecturer in Public and Environmental HealthSupervisor of Ph.D. candidate and honours studentsSarah's research interests include environmental health,...

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Paul Fiocco

PhD Candidate  Paul's research interests include design, philosophy, and policy.

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Waste Aid

Waste Aid works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island (ATSI) communities to create long-term sustainable solutions to address inadequate waste...

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Annika Sutter

Annika Sutter is a highly motivated, final year, communications student. Her current role involves coordinating the professional...

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