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QIMR Indigenous researcher wins prestigious award

The head of the Indigenous Research Program at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Associate Professor Gail Garvey has won an award for her work promoting science careers for Indigenous women.

Associate Professor Garvey won the Our Women, Our State Award for Promoting Indigenous Women. These awards recognise the achievements of women who work towards enabling other women to enter into careers in science, engineering and technology.

Gail is delighted to receive such a prestigious award. “It is an honour to have your work recognised with an award like this. I just hope that my efforts will help Indigenous people nationwide achieve improved health outcomes and better access to career options,” said Gail.

QIMR’s Spotlighting Careers in Indigenous Health and Science Program has been running for eight years. This program gives high school students a chance to experience real research and learn about science by working alongside world-class researchers.

Students are selected from regional and remote high schools around Queensland; 80% are female and over 85% are Indigenous. The program encourages the students to study Indigenous health and continue in a career in science or health.

The first Spotlight on Science was held in 2002. To date, the successful program has hosted 69 secondary students and 12 teachers.

Gail has also set up the Cadetships in Science Program at QIMR, which provides undergraduate laboratory positions specifically to Indigenous students, with the first cadet graduating from a Bachelor of Applied Science in Medical Research at QUT last year. This student is now enrolled in a Masters of Applied Epidemiology and is based in the Indigenous Health Research Program at QIMR.

“These programs open up doors to Indigenous students who want to pursue a career in the science field. I am proud to give them guidance and mentorship so that they can strive to achieve their goals,” said Gail.

The State Minister for Women, the Hon. Karen Struthers presented the Awards across eight categories during a ceremony in Brisbane on 10 November.

For more information about QIMR’s Indigenous Research Program, visit