Since 2000, the Aboriginal Educator program has been training indigenous men to become sexual health educators, enabling them to provide medical care and advice to others in the community.
The program’s senior educator, Alice Iaveta, said the training went some way to overcome specific challenges faced by men in discussing their sexual health.
‘We know that men in general are less likely than women to participate in looking after their health, in particular their sexual health, and this is increased for Aboriginal men,’ she said.
AEP graduate Gerard Lockyer said that sexual health was a taboo subject for many Aboriginal men, and giving them the opportunity to talk to another male from their own culture meant they feel more relaxed and able to talk about issues more easily.
‘Having more Aboriginal men and women working in the area of sexual health will help breakdown some of the barriers around Aboriginal people accessing education and support,’ he said.