Aboriginal health focus at forum

May 25, 2017

From left to right, Professors Fiona Stanley, Rhonda Marriott and Eeva Leinonen

From left to right, Professors Fiona Stanley, Rhonda Marriott and Eeva Leinonen

Research into improving the health and welfare of Indigenous Australians is being shared and discussed at the inaugural Aboriginal Health Research Forum.

Murdoch University is hosting the forum on 25 and 26 May in collaboration with the Fiona Stanley Hospital, located next to our Perth Campus, and the Nursing and Midwifery Office.

The forum will see presentations from nationally and internationally-recognised researchers and practitioners, who are discussing topics such as supporting parents, building youth resilience and ensuring a mentally healthy start to life for Aboriginal infants.

Forum organiser and internationally-renowned Aboriginal health researcher Professor Rhonda Marriott, said she was delighted so many key Indigenous researchers are attending and sharing their work.

“The forum will give clinicians and researchers the opportunity to forge collaborations and share information to help them tackle key issues,” she said.

“Local, national and international presenters will also reflect on changes in knowledge, evidence and practice in the last 50 years, making the forum a timely gathering.

“It occurs on the eves of two significant anniversaries for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: the 20th anniversary of the tabling of the Bringing them Home report to Parliament (26 May); and the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum (27 May).”

The Vice Chancellor of Murdoch University, Professor Eeva Leinonen, opened the forum.

She said: “Understanding and identifying strength-based solutions resonates with the social responsibility that Murdoch promotes in our teaching and research.”

Professor Fiona Stanley, AC, FAA, FASSA, Patron of the Telethon Kids Institute and a Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Western Australia, is among the presenters.

She said: “It is critical for us all to be well informed of the contemporary issues faced by Aboriginal children, youth, parents and families.

“In particular, the issues of the not so hidden impact of the burden of disease and socio-economic factors; the failures identified in the ninth COAG (Council of Australian Governments) Report Card; the impact of cumulative risk and intergenerational trauma on Aboriginal families’ health and social and emotional wellbeing.”

The forum is taking place at the auditorium at Fiona Stanley Hospital on 25 May, from 8.15am until 4.40pm.

On 26 May, the forum will be located at the Health Department Theatrette, in East Perth.

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