Indigenous Health Equity Unit

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;

  • Building the Evidence Base of First 1000 Days Australia: An evaluation of implementation outcomes of First 1000 Days Australia regional implementation sites.
  • Evaluation of an early childhood integrated services in New South Wales and Queensland, in collaboration with SNAICC.
  • More than a Landlord, a pilot project for a household-level survey developed in partnership with Aboriginal Housing Victoria (AHV) for clients living in Aboriginal housing in an urban community in Victoria.
  • Family empowerment and non-communicable disease prevention from early infancy in Indigenous populations in Australia and Indonesia: a collaboration which includes researchers from Universitas Indonesia, Institut Pertanian Bogor, the University of Melbourne and Monash University.
  • Evaluation and impacts of a peer researcher training course in Victoria.


A/Prof Richard Chenhall (Acting Unit Head)

Alister Thorpe


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.