The 6th annual National Health and Medical Research Council symposium on research translation was co-hosted by the Lowitja Institute and focused on how to translate knowledge into action for positive change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
In this latest post from Croakey’s ongoing coverage from the recent two-day event in Brisbane, you can watch this compilation of interviews with keynote speakers, presenters, delegates and organisers by Croakey contributing editor Summer May Finlay.
Dr Carrie Bourassa
Dr Carrie Bourassa, who is Métis and belongs to the Riel Métis Council of Regina Inc, is the Scientific Director of the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, one of 13 organisations that make up the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
She talks with Finlay about two of the strong messages to come from her keynote address: for researchers to work properly with Indigenous communities and not just “stack your CVs”; and the role of racism as a determinant of health. “It’s killing Indigenous people,” she said.
Read Croakey’s story about her presentation.
Sir Mason Durie
Sir Mason Durie, one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most highly respected health leaders, talks about Māori experience in translating health research into health gains, including the critical importance for researchers to operate at the interface of Indigenous and Western biomedical knowledges.
Read Croakey’s story from his presentation.
Finlay talks to leading researchers, Dr Chelsea Bond, Dr Ray Lovett and Professor Alex Brown about the difficult conversations that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers often need to have with and within their institutions, with other researchers and, at times, their own communities.
Donna Ah Chee and John Paterson
Keynote presenters Donna Ah Chee, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress CEO, and John Paterson, Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) executive director, discuss why health researchers need to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the need for ongoing funding for the Lowitja Institute, and how the findings of the Northern Territory Royal Commission into the abuse of children in detention must not just gather dust on the bookshelves, like so many before it.
See also the Croakey story.
Dr Anne Kelso
National Health & Medical Research Council CEO Dr Anne Kelso says the most important message to emerge for her from the symposium is the “centrality of community engagement”.
Dr Kelvin Kong
Dr Kelvin Kong, who hails from the Worimi people of Port Stephens, north of Newcastle, qualified as the first Aboriginal Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), specialising in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery.
He talks about the need for more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and how better translation of Indigenous health research will deliver benefit for the broader community.
Emma Walke, Lecturer from the University of Sydney’s Centre for Rural Health in Lismore, discusses how her personal stories bring authenticity to Aboriginal health studies and how every health subject should ask as a standard question: how does it affect Indigenous health?
Marlene Longbottom is a Yuin Bhulung woman who is undertaking a PhD at the University of Newcastle on Aboriginal women’s experiences of interpersonal violence and support mechanisms available in the Shoalhaven region of NSW.
She talks here about the need to recognise existing capacity to put knowledge into action in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and to work to enhance it. Her message to non-Indigenous researchers and to research institutions is: “It has to be led by us and if you’re uncomfortable doing that, don’t do that research. If they’re not at the table with you from the start, you’re already assuming a power base and that you know more than the community.”
Dr Tamara Mackean
Dr Tamara Mackean is a Senior Research Fellow in Indigenous Health at Flinders University and the George Institute for Global Health and was co-chair of the Indigenous-led scientific committee for the symposium. See this preview story.
In this interview she talks about the role of research and policy to ensure health equity.
Māori researcher Haze White talks about about working at the interface between Western scientific and Indigenous knowledges and finding better ways to report back to communities.
Professor Juli Coffin
Professor Juli Coffin talks to Marie McInerney about the Missing Voices study into communication difficulties for Aboriginal people after stroke and traumatic brain injury.