Monday, 29 June 2015

Important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s health program receives Ian Potter Foundation grant

SPHPM’s Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) undertakes a plethora of important public health work. The Centre’s Dr Jacqueline Boyle is leading the Building Partnerships in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Health Research to Achieve Better Outcomes project which recently received a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that seeks to encourage excellence and support Australians who dedicate themselves to bettering our communities for the benefit of all.

A key part of MCHRI’s Indigenous women’s health program has been the ongoing growth and development of the National Partnership for Indigenous Women's Health Research Translation and Implementation. Critical issues identified by a national workshop hosted by the Steering Committee for the National Partnership included: Building whole of life approaches to health literacy; Capacity building and leadership for girls and women; Health systems, supportive policy and practice; and Whole of life approach.

Funds received by the Foundation will focus and build on the second priority area of ‘Capacity building and leadership for girls and women’, providing the basis for linkages, strengthening networks and capacity building in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s health.

“The grant will assist with the establishment of a national network for those working in Indigenous women's health with the Yarning Places section on the HealthInfoNet website. The website encourages and supports information-sharing among practitioners, policy-makers and others working to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s health,” Dr Boyle said.

The Yarning Places section on the website allows people with common interests and purposes to share information, knowledge and experience even when they live in different parts of the country, come from different sectors and work for different organisations.

“A yarning place dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s health would enable and encourage the sharing of knowledge of anyone involved in women’s wellbeing in a fast and effective manner, regardless of geography. It will be a means of communication in its own right as well as assist us in disseminating information about workshops and research,” Dr Boyle said. 

The Ian Potter Foundation Grant will also help to map existing educational and mentoring opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in health research, and help to provide opportunities for engagement and training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, researchers and community members in health care and policy.  

It is envisaged that these immediate project aims will strengthen the National Partnership for Indigenous Women’s Health in Research, with the aim of developing an Indigenous led project grants scheme.

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