Enhancing the quality of life of individuals, communities and societies as a whole is at the heart of the efforts of many non-profit organisations, governments and social marketers. Social marketing seeks to encourage people to voluntarily change their behaviours for their own good and for the collective good and has been used to successfully address issues such as healthy eating, organ donation, binge drinking and more recently, widening the participation of under-represented groups in higher education. Often social marketing interventions and campaigns focus upon or include people from vulnerable groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who comprise Indigenous Australia. In many instances, these groups will gain the most from interventions and campaigns however it is difficult to access and engage with these groups. The implications of which include restricted consultation, the potential development of strategies that do not have adequate provision for self-determination or that include some degree of ‘cultural blindness’. In turn, evaluating the intervention or campaign with hard-to-get groups is constrained, leaving some degree of uncertainty as to the effectiveness of efforts. This seminar will feature the challenges faced and the lessons learned from a completed social marketing study aimed at enhancing the aspirations and awareness of pathways into higher education among Indigenous school students. Furthermore, how these lessons have informed other current social marketing projects that have a similar focus will be shared. There will be opportunities for open discussion in this seminar to encourage the sharing of experiences and lessons learned from participants who have engaged with other hard-to-get groups.
Australasian Evaluation Society (AES) Queensland Seminar, Brisbane, Australia 23 May 2016