Lowitja Institute has delivered a significant positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through research, knowledge translation and by supporting Indigenous health researchers.
That’s the important finding by Deloitte Access Economics which has undertaken a retrospective review to assess the economic and social impact over the past ten years of Lowitja Institute and its earlier iterations as a Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).
Our CEO Dr Janine Mohamed said the results of the review show how important it is to shape Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy decision-making by contributing a strong, evidence-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice to the public discourse on health issues.
Background to Lowitja Institute and the Deloitte report:
Lowitja Institute is Australia’s only independent and community controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research institute. We work across Australia to prioritise Indigenous health research.
We are an independent voice for Indigenous researchers and we prioritise delivering outcomes that benefit Indigenous peoples. We:
- Support knowledge translation of Indigenous research into policy and practice
- Develop Indigenous research capabilities
- Advocate on behalf of Indigenous researchers.
We work with industry partners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the general community to drive outcomes for Indigenous peoples. Lowitja Institute has its origins in the establishment in Darwin of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Aboriginal and Tropical Health (1997-2003), leading to the CRC for Aboriginal Health (2003-2009), CRC for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (2010-2014) and The Lowitja Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research CRC (2014-2019).
In June 2020, Lowitja Institute fulfilled its long-held vision to become an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisation. The independent review employed a multi-method approach to capture the breadth and scale of the impacts, and to develop an in-depth understanding of how the impacts are achieved.
This included a targeted literature review, a review of Lowitja Institute’s online documentations, and in-depth case studies supplemented with informal discussions with nominated researchers.
The resulting framework organised impacts over the past ten years under the following categories:
- Advancing knowledge about health topics related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Building capability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers
- Informing decision-making at a policy-, organisational-, and community-level through empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities’ voice and through developing new frameworks, guidelines and programs
- Contributing to better health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through better prevention and health service provision
- Contributing to better economic, social and environmental outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through increased awareness about the social determinants of health, culturally safe spaces and preservation of the environment.