NACCHO Aboriginal health research: Smarter research at Lowitja will lead the way to Aboriginal healthy futures

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“The Lowitja Institute is aware of our peoples’ reluctance and suspicion of research. This largely has been because research was often undertaken without proper involvement or consultation or did not lead to any benefit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“As health researchers we have a responsibility to stay ahead of the game and to involve our peoples in research if we are to generate improvements in health and wellbeing in the future,”

Lowitja Institute CEO, Ms Lyn Brodie

A new report from the Lowitja Institute says it is critical that future health research integrates with health services and policy makers.

The 2030: A Vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Report anticipates what Aboriginal health needs might be in 2030 and how research could help make that future happen.

“The report tells us that doing research is not enough, that  health research and health practice need to come together at the regional and local levels,” said Lowitja Institute CEO, Ms Lyn Brodie.

“These kinds of theory/practice partnerships will not just be around health but also include all contributing factors e.g. education and justice, as a change in one of these areas could bring flow on change in another.

“A healthy and secure early childhood remains vital for our peoples’ future as we will continue to be a young population with a high birth rate.

“Participants in the workshops that informed the report also stressed the need for better accountability, community involvement and partnerships, and being responsive to changing technologies.

“The Lowitja Institute is aware of our peoples’ reluctance and suspicion of research. This largely has been because research was often undertaken without proper involvement or consultation or did not lead to any benefit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“As health researchers we have a responsibility to stay ahead of the game and to involve our peoples in research if we are to generate improvements in health and wellbeing in the future,” said Ms Brodie.

A better system of research as identified by workshop participants in the 2030: A Vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Report would be:

  • One that is holistic and actively integrates health services, policy and research
  • One that is adaptable to emerging issues
  • One that is actively aware of the social determinants of health and collaborates with those sectors
  • One that focuses on the early years of childhood to bring long-term improvements
  • One that makes effective and efficient use of resources
  • One that creates and nurtures local partnerships and networks
  • One that creates structures to bring together the best minds and innovation leaders.

You can hear more about Aboriginal health research at the NACCHO SUMMIT

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The importance of our NACCHO member Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) is not fully recognised by governments.

The economic benefits of ACCHS has not been recognised at all.

We provide employment, income and a range of broader community benefits that mainstream health services and mainstream labour markets do not. ACCHS need more financial support from government, to provide not only quality health and wellbeing services to communities, but jobs, income and broader community economic benefits.

A good way of demonstrating how economically valuable ACCHS are is to showcase our success at a national summit.

SUMMIT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO

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