Not just scholars but leaders: learning circles in Indigenous health research

This collaborative, multi-site project – led by the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research – brought together an outstanding team of population health researchers and a team of highly talented Indigenous achievers, including two medical doctors, two researchers who have completed doctorates and seven with Masters degrees. The primary aim of the project was to develop a critical mass of Indigenous researchers undertaking high quality research into population health research priorities determined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to link research findings into policy and practice. The Indigenous researchers – who were being linked with centres of excellence in research elsewhere in Australia and internationally –developed and enhanced their skills in research around four major themes:

1. improving quality of relevant research, increasing Indigenous people's participation in research and identifying optimal ways of providing feedback of research findings;

2. develop a better understanding of the best and most cost-effective ways of providing preventive and acute care for Indigenous Australians;

3. examination of lifestyle, behaviours and susceptibility to disease; and,

4. factors in people's lives that influence health in a positive way – pathways to resilience and wellbeing.

As a result of the project: the number of Indigenous people engaged in population health research was increased substantially; there was a significant increase in population health research undertaken by Indigenous researchers; and improved mechanisms were put in place to ensure that evidence from research is used to inform policy decisions such as funding and appropriate interventions.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location
  • Chief Investigator: Deborah Lehmann,
  • Chief Investigator: Sandra Thompson, Curtin University
  • Chief Investigator: Nick De Klerk,
  • Chief Investigator: Sandra Eades, University of Melbourne
  • Chief Investigator: Marisa Gilles, WA Country Health Service
  • Chief Investigator: Fiona Stanley, Telethon Kids Institute
  • Chief Investigator: Charles Watson, Curtin University

This project aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals and Targets: