Our Story

EON Foundation was established in 2005 in response to the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research’s large-scale investigation into Aboriginal Child Health in WA. This landmark study highlighted the extremely poor health conditions faced by Aboriginal children, particularly those living in remote communities.

It was evident that larger established programs in operation were not making a sufficient impact on the devastating health statistics.

EON’s Founders were inspired to adopt a fresh approach- one that was practical, ‘grass-roots’ and community-based.

Starting with just one pilot garden at Christ the King Catholic School at Djarindjin Lombadina in the West Kimberley of WA, within just a few months of EON’s arrival the local children were eating fresh corn, tomatoes and lettuce harvested from the garden they had helped build.

Since then we have grown exponentially, with the program now having been delivered to 37 communities across Western Australia and the Northern Territory, engaging and educating thousands of children and their families about the vital link between nutrition and health.

Why We Do What We Do

  • 94% of Indigenous children have an inadequate daily intake of fruit and vegetables.1
  • Healthy food baskets cost up to 50% more in remote areas than in major cities.2
  • Hot chips, sugary drinks, high-fat processed meats, salty snacks and white bread are the highest contributors to calorific intake for remote Indigenous children.3
  • Up to 60% of Indigenous children in remote communities are affected by anaemia, associated with nutritional deficiencies.4
  • Poor nutrition contributes to Aboriginal children having the worst ear health of any people in the world, with 3 out of 5 children in remote communities being diagnosed with at least 1 ear condition.5
Many of the principal causes of poor health in remote Indigenous communities, such as:

Heart Disease

Type 2 Diabetes

Kidney Disease

are nutrition related:

Indigenous children are 8 times more likely to have Type 2 diabetes than non-Indigenous children.

Five of the seven leading factors contributing to the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians (obesity, high blood cholesterol, alcohol, high blood pressure, low fruit and vegetable intake) relate to poor diet.6

“We love learning to cook tasty, healthy food - grown by us!”

– Student, Meekatharra District High School

Citations:

(1) https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/health-risk-factors-among-indigenous-australians

(2) Australian HealthInfoNet. (2020) Summary of nutrition among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  Retrieved 02 September 2020 from https://healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/nutrition. P8

(3) Australian HealthInfoNet. (2020) Summary of nutrition among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  Retrieved 02 September 2020 from https://healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/nutrition. P13
(4) (WHO 2004) + Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020. Indigenous hearing health. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 03 September 2020, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/indigenous-hearing-health

(5) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1747-0080.12602

(6) Australian HealthInfoNet. (2019) Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status.  Retrieved 02 September 2020 from https://healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/learn/health-facts/overview-aboriginal-torres-strait-islander-health-status/

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