A National Health and Medical Research Council-funded national network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers has been established that will bring together unique skills across culture, knowledge and health research to address the health priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Announced in the 2021-22 Budget, the NHMRC national network has been established with $10 million funding from the Australian Government, as a major new initiative in NHMRC’s 10-year strategy to improve the health of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population (Road Map 3: A strategic framework for improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health through research).
To be called the National First Nations Research Network, it has 47 chief investigators and 44 associate investigators, with the great majority being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent.
The Network will be led by some of Australia’s most eminent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers, many of whom have pioneered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research over the last two decades: Dr Pat Anderson AO (The Lowitja Institute), Professor Sandra Eades (Curtin University), Professor Gail Garvey (Menzies School of Health Research) and Professor Alex Brown (University of Adelaide/South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute).
“The collective vision of the National First Nations Research Network is the establishment of a culturally secure and inclusive network of First Nations researchers across Australia. It will be guided by self-determination and will nurture culturally safe environments, connect expertise and catalyse research methods, training and development,” they said.
The Network will bring together a workforce of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers, research groups and their support networks, and will build the capacity and capability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers nationally.
NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO said the Network would develop the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research leaders.
“This Network will provide a voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers, empower communities, provide mentoring opportunities for early career researchers, and nurture national and international collaborations,” said Professor Kelso.
The concept for the network was developed in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers through extensive discussions exploring how NHMRC could support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research in Australia.
Indigenous health and education experts from Australia, New Zealand and Canada assessed the final collaborative application to establish the National Network.
NHMRC Media Team
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