THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
24 February 2011
Today the Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, opened a two day forum that is a first step in establishing a network of experienced and emerging Indigenous researchers.
Mr Snowdon met with some of the 17 up-and-coming Indigenous health researchers in Canberra at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) forum.
The NHMRC is the Australian Government’s peak funding body for health and medical research, and has recognised Indigenous health and wellbeing as a major health issue in its 2010 – 2012 Strategic Plan.
In 2010, the Australian Government provided $42.1m to support 176 of Indigenous Health Research Projects through the NHMRC, an increase of $5.9m on 2009. Projects include:
Investigating the best treatment for Indigenous children’s bronchiolitis (chest infections)
Determine ways to reduce smoking in Indigenous pregnant women, and
Looking at the causes and interventions to improve chronic diseases
Mr Snowdon said the two day scientific forum would develop ways to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and their work in universities and research institutions across the country.
“Emerging researchers will have the opportunity to spend time with some of Australia’s most experienced and skilled academics in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
“They will be able to share knowledge, while the emerging researchers can benefit from mentoring and support.
“The forum recognises the unique insights and awareness Indigenous researchers bring to their work, while also providing role models in their communities.
“The forum is a direct outcome of the NHMRC’s Road Map II: A strategic framework for improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people though research.”
The forum will be led by Professor Cindy Shannon, Chair of NHMRC’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Advisory Committee, Director of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and Director of the Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Queensland.
Researchers at the conference work in areas as diverse as psychology, nursing, exercise and sports science, cancer, inter-racial bullying and child rearing practises. Many of the researchers already have established clinical careers.
Alice Plate: 0400 045 999
Carolyn Norrie, NHMRC 0422 008 512