$6 million for health research that listens to Indigenous communities

Department of Health

The Albanese Government is working to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through six research projects that have all involved First Nations people.

The Government is providing nearly $6 million for researchers to find new ways to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Indigenous communities.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in northern Australia have the highest rate of type 2 diabetes in the world, while remote communities in East Arnhem have the highest rate of avoidable deaths in Australia, mainly due to cardiovascular disease.

This new funding is specifically aimed at tackling these stark inequities. Previous approaches haven’t been enough to improve health outcomes for First Nations people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The projects have attracted a further $2.2 million in co-contributions from the funded organisations and their partners – injecting a total of $8.19 million to tackle some of the leading causes of death and disability for First Nations people and communities.

The funding is under the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator program, a Medical Research Future Fund initiative delivered by MTPConnect, an independent organisation that drives innovation in Australia’s medical technology and pharmaceutical sectors.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“Just as a good doctor listens to their patients in order to make the right diagnosis, these research projects involve listening to Indigenous communities in order to get better outcomes.

“These research projects will provide a boost to the health and wellbeing of First Nations people and help to address the unmet health and medical needs of communities in cities, towns and the bush.

“This funding is just one of the ways that the Albanese Government is listening to Indigenous Australians to better close the gap in health outcomes.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister McCarthy:

“The Australian Government is working every day to create stronger, healthier communities to close the gap for First Nations people and turn the tide on First Nations health outcomes.

“This significant Australian Government investment research will go a long way towards ensuring First Nations Australians can live longer, healthier and happier lives.

“These projects will provide culturally safe solutions that are tailored to the needs of communities to help improve health outcomes.”

Research projects




Reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular complications in pregnancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in SA – drawing on their personal and professional knowledge to improve management and support, and design a care model to be built into existing services and systems.

Australian National University, ACT


The Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service in Whyalla will implement an innovative, community-led, culturally appropriate model to prevent type 2 diabetes, comprising increased screening, a dedicated mobile clinic van, and telementoring for Aboriginal health practitioners and workers, and to be rolled out nationally.

Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service, SA


‘Doing it together’ – innovative face-to-face and remote peer-support and peer-led education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth living with type 2 diabetes in the NT’s Big Rivers region.

Menzies School of Health Research, NT


‘Walking together’ to reduce blood sugar and other cardiometabolic risk in remote Indigenous communities, embedding a co-designed, innovative, community-led, culturally safe outreach program in the local health service to provide novel point-of-care health monitoring at home, discuss health results in local language, and share culturally appropriate information with families to promote healthier lifestyles.

The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, VIC


The Diabetes – Using Our Strengths Service – an existing evidence-based chronic disease service model adapted and piloted in a northern NSW community, and using technology to improve services to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with type 2 diabetes.

The University of Queensland, School of Public Health, QLD


A strength-based prevention approach based on creating, strengthening or restoring connections to culture, kinship, community and country to improve health and wellbeing, and incorporating Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing into health promotion and primary prevention. Initially piloted regionally, the model will be implemented in four Victorian areas serving primarily urban Aboriginal populations.

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc, VIC


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