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 emerged from a history of Cooperative Research Centres first established in 1997, funded by the Australian Government CRC Programme. It incorporates the current iteration of the CRC, known as The Lowitja Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC (Lowitja Institute CRC).
The Institute and its predecessor CRC organisations 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 twenty-two Participants around Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations; State, Territory and Australian government departments; and academic research institutions.
The Institute hosted the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (CRCATSIH) until June 2014. After securing $25million funding over five years, it will host the Lowitja Institute CRC until June 2019.
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.