QIMR Berghofer is acknowledging the significant health disparity between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians, by conducting research in priority areas with the aim of reducing the burden of illness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
37 % of QIMR Berghofer research is dedicated to diseases that have a higher incidence in Indigenous Australians.
QIMR Berghofer’s Indigenous health research program is focused on ensuring that research activities with implications for Indigenous health are sustainable, consultative, and translational. Overall, the aim is to deliver research outcomes that translate to improvement in the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.
Strategies to success
The program aims to demonstrate leadership and collaboration in the area of Indigenous health research through activities that:
- Innovate: Raise the profile of Indigenous health research within QIMR Berghofer and the community
- Assure: Cultural competence of QIMR Berghofer with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research
- Support: Maintain an active presence on matters relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
- Mentor: Train Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students of QIMR Berghofer
- Network: Maintain strong connections with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research community
- Deliver: Collaborate to stimulate research for the betterment of the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians
QIMR Berghofer recognises that community consultation is integral to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to overcome disparity in their health.
We are committed to demonstrating integrity and supporting the development of culturally competent personnel and processes that reflect an appreciation of the importance of culture and community.
The QIMR Berghofer Indigenous Health Research Program has established two committees to advise (internally and externally) the Indigenous research at the Institute:
- Indigenous Health Research Committee, comprised of members of the QIMR Berghofer research faculty.
External Advisory Group, comprised of members with noted expertise in the areas of service provision, policy development and research.
Greg Pratt, Manager of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research
Greg is an Aboriginal man and descendant of the Brown family of the Noonucal tribe of the Quandamooka people of Stradbroke Island. He is a family man, a husband and father to four (three boys and one girl). He spent much of his childhood years with the Ghughuyalanghi people of Cape York, growing up in the township of Laura. With the support of his community and his family, Greg undertook study at the University of Southern Queensland, where he later graduated with a degree in psychology.
With an interest in people, mental health and social and emotional wellbeing, Greg spent his post graduate years working in rural New South Wales as an Indigenous mental health practitioner.
Since then, Greg has worked in both community and government sectors, in policy development, service delivery and project management. Before commencing with the QIMR Berghofer in December 2012, Greg was with the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health in Cairns and the Health Quality and Complaints Commission in Brisbane. Greg is passionate about community empowerment, emphasising strength based approaches to change motivation and the ability of Indigenous Australia to lead the way with respect to better health and wellbeing.
Catherine Brown, Project Officer, Indigenous Health Research Program
Cath is an Aboriginal woman and descendant of the Noonucal group of the Quandamooka people of Minjerribah [North Stradbroke Island].
After growing up on Minjerribah, Cath spent much of her working years in far north Queensland. Her last eleven years working with the Empowerment Research Program at James Cook University [JCU]. Cath has completed a graduate diploma in Indigenous health promotion at Sydney University; a masters of public health at JCU and is currently completing a research masters with Queensland University of Technology.
With a passionate interest in Aboriginal empowerment and social and emotional wellbeing, Cath has facilitated the Aboriginal developed program of Family Wellbeing for the last decade.
Dr Sid Kaladharan, Project Officer, Indigenous Health Research Program
Sid comes from a clinical background with a Bachelors in Medicine and Surgery and holds an Advanced Masters in Health Services Management with years’ of experience working in public and private health sector programs and projects focusing on chronic diseases management.
Sid coordinates the GenetiQs project which aims at developing guidelines to assist researchers when undertaking genomic research in collaboration with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
Sid is the current Vice President for the Queensland branch of Public Health Association of Australia and also works as a health faculty at the University of Queensland, undertaking his research in chronic infection management to improve access to treatment and services for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in Queensland.
Sid has a strong passion for preventive medicine and strives to bring about adequate public health response to chronic infections and communicable diseases with increased screening, services and treatment for the whole community, thus working towards a healthy future posterity.
Corey Jones, Communication Projects Officer, Indigenous Health Research Program
Corey has a background in Public Health and Health Promotion and holds an undergraduate degree in Applied Public Health. As a part of his studies, he completed a student placement with Greg Pratt and the Indigenous Health Research Program at QIMR Berghofer where he worked on the Regional High School Lecture Series.
He has a passion for health promotion, community development, social support and program planning and also works part time with vulnerable/at risk populations in the alcohol and other drug health services sector.
Corey returned to work with QIMR Berghofer in an official capacity in early 2018, where he now serves as the Communication Projects Officer for the Indigenous Health Research Program. He has come full circle from his studies; reprising his connection with the Regional High School Lecture Series where he now serves as Project Coordinator.
QIMR Berghofer engages in research that benefits rural, remote and urban Queensland and supports initiatives of national importance to the health of Indigenous Australians. We are currently conducting research into 38 diseases significant for Indigenous Australians.
QIMR Berghofer is engaging in research that will directly involve Indigenous communities across Queensland in the field of genomics. The Indigenous health research team is developing a comprehensive guideline for researchers undertaking genomic and genetic research involving Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
‘This genomics project will encompass a series of seven community forums in five regions across Queensland to build capacity, improve awareness and communicate the health benefits associated with embracing genomics and precision medicine for this valued community,’ Sid Kaladharan said.
The Indigenous Genomics Health Literacy Project (IG-HeLP) is a partnership between QIMR Berghofer and Queensland Genomics (QG), which aims to develop health literacy resources on genomics, genetic testing and precision medicine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers and health workers.
The RHSLS is an outreach program for the benefit of both Indigenous and non-indigenous students and involves several of the Institute’s top scientists visiting a number of regional and remote Queensland locations that have a higher proportion of Indigenous students.
As part of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research Program, QIMR Berghofer offers an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander undergraduate student; a paid 12-month work experience placement.