22 November 2023

Research into improving First Nations health and wellbeing by achieving equity across cancer screenings is one of ten projects sharing in over $50 million in NHMRC Synergy Grant funding.

Synergy Grants are designed to support multidisciplinary teams of expert investigators in working collaboratively together to address health issues from discovery through to translation.

Cancer is a leading cause of death among Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The cancer mortality gap between First Nations and non-Indigenous Australians continues to widen as national cancer screening programs fail to meet the needs of First Nations people.

Professor Gail Garvey, a proud Kamilaroi woman, NHMRC Research Leadership Fellow and Professor of Indigenous Health Research in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Queensland, will receive $5 million in funding to address this disparity and achieve equity in cancer screening for Australia’s First Nations people.

Professor Garvey said that programs to improve cancer screening for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are most effective when developed in partnership with Indigenous leadership and communities.

We are working to co-design screening programs with First Nations peoples, rather than implementing a one-size-fits-all approach,

Access to equitable, safe, and timely models of care to prevent cancer will make health and wellbeing achievable in our communities, said Professor Garvey.

Quotes attributable to NHMRC CEO, Professor Steve Wesselingh:

  • 'NHMRC continues to support excellence, creativity and innovation – and I’d like to personally congratulate Professor Garvey and her team on this fascinating research project.'
  • 'NHMRC’s vision is to reduce equity gaps in research, and support consumer and community engagement – which is exactly what this project will achieve.'

Disclaimer: We acknowledge the enthusiasm and engagement of the health and medical research sector, as well as their interest in the 2023 Synergy Grant funding outcomes. The full list of funded projects under the scheme will be announced in due course, and therefore all other Synergy Grants remain under strict embargo.