The Lowitja Institute is Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, named in honour of its Patron, Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue AC CBE DSG. It is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation working for the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples through high impact quality research, knowledge exchange, and by supporting a new generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers.
Established in January 2010, the Lowitja Institute operates on key principles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership, a broader understanding of health that incorporates wellbeing, and the need for the work to have a clear and positive impact.
The Institute hosts the Lowitja Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC (Lowitja Institute CRC) which is funded by the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Programme. The history of the Lowitja Institute CRC dates back to 1997 when the first CRC for Aboriginal and Tropical Health was established.
The Institute and the CRC organisations since 1997 have led a substantial reform agenda in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research by working with communities, researchers and policymakers, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people setting the agenda and driving the outcomes. At present, the Lowitja Institute CRC works in partnership with 23 Participants around Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations; State, Territory and Australian government departments; and academic research institutions.
The Lowitja Institute is the trading name of The National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research Limited (NIATSIHR Ltd), a limited liability company. The NIATSIHR is registered as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and is structured as a public benevolent institution. The Lowitja Institute is independent of government and other centres of health and policy administration.