Remote school gardens: Exploring a cost-effective and novel way to engage Australian Indigenous students in nutrition and health

Andrew Hume, Alexander Wetten, Camilla Feeney, Sally Taylor, Kerin O'Dea, Julie Brimblecombe

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This pilot study aimed to determine the feasibility of a novel, low-cost program to get remote schools started in gardening and nutrition activities, for a lower cost than existing models, and without on-the-ground horticultural support. Methods: A multi-site, mixed methods case study was undertaken, in which four remote schools were shipped gardening materials and a nutrition and cooking resource, and provided with horticultural support by phone and email. A support register and teacher surveys were used for four months of evaluation. Results: The study demonstrated that the program is feasible, and may be associated with an increase from baseline in student's time spent cooking, gardening and on related classroom activities. Conclusions: The program was delivered economically without the need for on-the-ground staff, in a manner that was acceptable to teachers. Implications: This model may have application in remote schools throughout Australia, where there is a need to alter health impacting behaviours in high-risk populations. Lengthier program evaluation times and further resource development may be worth investigating in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Aboriginal
  • education
  • horticulture
  • nutrition

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