THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
3 August 2012
Three new Centres of Research Excellence have been funded by the Australian Government to focus on important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues.
“Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is a key Government priority, closing the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders health outcomes and those of the wider Australian population,” Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon said.
“These three centres are another step towards achieving this objective.”
“One of the centres will focus on lung health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and address an area of great need. This can make a real difference to the many children who suffer lifelong detriment because their lungs are in poor shape.”
“I am looking forward to the results of this research and the contribution it will make to ensuring that healthy children can grow into healthy adults in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” he said.
This Centre will be run by Professor Anne Chang from the Menzies School of Health Research, which is located in Darwin.
Another centre focuses on improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer outcomes. Led by Associate Professor Gail Garvey, also at the Menzies School of Health Research, this centre aims to reduce the marked disparities in diagnosis, treatment and survival for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with cancer.
“The centre will develop a coordinated, collaborative, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led research program that builds on and extends recent work and brings together the key researchers in this area” Mr Snowdon said.
“Its research will focus on the pathways and outcomes of care and improving models of care and service delivery.”
“The third centre aims to reduce inequality in heart disease. Professor Simon Stewart, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, will lead this centre. It will develop and apply practical and sustainable health care services that reduce the inequitable burden of risk and disease in vulnerable groups. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are a key target group for this research.
“These three centres will provide strong medical research to address areas of significant health concerns for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians – lung, cancer and heart disease” Mr Snowdon said.
“They have the potential to make a real difference to the health of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.”
This announcement is part of the latest round of Centres of Research Excellence announced yesterday by the Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek.
“Centres of Research Excellence work to achieve real health gains for Australians. They support the transfer of research outcomes into improved knowledge, better health systems and improved treatments for patients” Mr Snowdon said.
“The Centres also have a strong training focus and are intended to develop young researchers into Australia’s future research leaders.”
Under the NHMRC’s funding program, Centres of Research Excellence are funded up to $2.5 million over five years.
For more information, contact the minister’s office on 02 6277 7820
Information on the CRE funding recipients and projects is included below. Background information on the CREs is available on the NHMRC website
NHMRC CRE Funding Recipients and Projects
CRE Clinical Research
Research Institution: Menzies School of Health Research
Title: Centre of Research Excellence in Lung Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children
Researcher: Professor Anne Chang
Funding amount: $2,498,845
Respiratory illness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is very common with long term consequences in Indigenous Australians. Thus prevention and/or early treatment potentially change the child’s life trajectory for lung health. Partnering key researchers in Brisbane, Sydney, New Zealand and USA, the research team will undertake appropriate clinical studies (treatment and preventative) that are most likely to improve lung health outcomes in young Indigenous children. The team will focus on increasing participation of Indigenous people and end-users.
CRE Health Services
Research Institution: Menzies School of Health Research
Title: Centre of Research Excellence in Discovering Indigenous Strategies to improve Cancer Outcomes via Engagement, Research Translation and Training (DISCOVER-TT)
Researcher: Associate Professor Gail Garvey
Funding amount: $2,499,998
The Centre of Research Excellence in Discovering Indigenous Strategies to improve Cancer Outcomes via Engagement, Research Translation and Training (DISCOVER-TT) aims to reduce the marked disparities in diagnosis, treatment and survival for Indigenous Australians with cancer. DISCOVER-TT’s co-ordinated, collaborative, Indigenous-led research program will feature extensive stakeholder engagement to ensure its work is relevant and applicable, and will enhance research capacity by developing early-career researchers.
Research Institution: Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
Title: Centre of Research Excellence to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease
Researcher: Professor Simon Stewart
Funding amount: $2,493,649
There is increasing recognition of a societal responsibility to provide effective and sustainable health care to the entire population and not just too selected parts. Indigenous and regional Australians are most affected by Australia’s biggest killer – heart disease. In response, the CRE to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease is a national collaboration of researchers from a range of health disciplines who will work on developing sustainable and cost-effective health care