Indigenous Health Equity

Research Overview

The Indigenous Health Equity Unit is committed to research and teaching that is underpinned by principles of Indigenous community development and that will lead to long-term improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The Unit works in partnership with the Koori Community and appreciates the support of Community Elders.  The Unit's academic program is based on Indigenous values and principles, but also respects the contribution and cultural background of all those that work with the Unit. The Unit's work draws on a variety of academic disciplines including health sciences, social sciences, history, political science, education, health promotion, public health and child health.

Current projects include;

  • a data linkage project to examine Victorian Aboriginal child mortality;
  • a review of the requirements for effective   implementation   of health   promotion   activities   in the Indigenous community setting;
  • a heart health project examining cardiovascular and renal outcomes in relation to baseline risk factor status in central Australia.

The Unit will include a focus on Indigenous Eye Health to  'close the gap for vision' through research, policy formation, advocacy and implementation, in response to the known inequity of eye health between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples  and non Indigenous  Australians.  Work to date has established the state of Indigenous eye health in Australia   and   current   service   availability, explored   barriers   and enablers to access eye health services, and developed a comprehensive   policy framework that is supported by the Indigenous and mainstream health sectors and government.

Staff

Professor Kerry Arabena (Unit Head)

Mitchell Anjou

Jasmin Boys

Judith Carrigan

Rachael Ferguson

Associate Professor Jane Freemantle

Madelyne Hudson-Buhagiar

Uma Jatkar

Fiona Lange

Elizabeth McLachlan

Jessie Motlik

Emily Munro-Harrison

Emily O'Kearney

Rebecca Ritte

Nicholas Schubert

Emma Stanford

Professor Hugh Taylor

Alister Thorpe

Carol Wynne

Collaborators

Each of our units is involved in research collaborations at local, national and international levels. These range from government departments seeking our input for policy development, to Indigenous communities advising our researchers on how best to deliver trachoma programs within their communities.

Powerful resources and productive relationships sustain our work. Our partnerships include governments and health departments in Australia and internationally, the World Health Organization, universities and many other institutes and organisations in other countries, the Cochrane Public Health Group, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (Vic Health).

The efforts of our researchers and staff have been recognised in many ways, including numerous awards, NHMRC and ARC Grants and Fellowships and ARC Linkage Grants, invitations to address prestigious international assemblies, and international prizes for their research.