Successful projects are tasked with helping to find innovative ways to improve the health of Indigenous Australians.
Just days after The Voice to Parliament referendum’s landslide defeat, the federal government has announced more than $30 million in funding has been allocated to Indigenous-led health research projects.
The 26 research projects will share in $30.8 million in funding to help find innovative ways to reduce chronic disease, improve mental health, help people quit smoking, improve child and maternal outcomes and increase resilience in kids.
The grants include almost $1 million to enable the successful Koori Quit Pack study to expand its culturally safe and tailored support to help First Nations people give up smoking.
Nearly $980,000 will help fund a cultural dance project to build self-esteem, social and emotional wellbeing, physical fitness, and cultural identity and connection in First Nations children to reduce preventable diseases.
More than $550,000 will go to a bush foods program to facilitate cultural connections and nutrition knowledge for Aboriginal young people.
Another $970,000 will enable the successful Too Deadly for Diabetes program to test whether adding a wearable continuous glucose monitor further improves diabetes self-management.
Nearly $1.9 million will help establish community pharmacies as mental health safe spaces for First Nations people, and almost $3 million will test new ways of delivering screening and surveillance for liver disease and hepatocellular cancer to remote communities.
And almost $1 million will go towards the development of the Aboriginal Solid Families Program, which will produce the first model of long-term family intervention to support Aboriginal mothers and children in Aboriginal Medical Services and reduce alcohol and other drug-exposed births.
More details about all of the projects are available here.
Funding is provided through the Indigenous Health Research Fund – an 11-year, $160 million investment from the Medical Research Future Fund that supports First Nations-led research to tackle health issues facing First Nations people and help close the health and mortality gap.
The next grant opportunity is currently open for applications until 6 March 2024.
Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said working in a “true partnership with First Nations people” was a priority to tackle health inequities and close the gap.
“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,” he said.
“These grants will provide a major boost to First Nations health research, enabling us to find solutions that make a meaningful difference because they are tailored to the needs of First Nations communities – in cities, towns and the bush.”
Assistant Health and Indigenous Australians Minister Malarindirri McCarthy said the government was working to create stronger communities 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,” she said.
“These First Nations led and designed projects will provide culturally safe solutions that are tailored to the needs of communities to help improve health outcomes.”
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