Board Communique December 2020
Lowitja Institute held its latest quarterly Board meeting on Thursday, 3 December 2020 via Zoom videoconference. The meeting was chaired by chairperson Pat Anderson AO.
Appointments and congratulations
The Board congratulates Professor Peter Buckskin on his reappointment as a Director. Peter is a Narungga man from the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia and currently the Dean: Aboriginal Engagement and Strategic Projects at the University of South Australia.
Board members also welcomed Deb Butler as our newest Director. Deb is a Jawoyn woman, born and raised in Katherine in the Northern Territory and is currently the Director, Aboriginal Health Policy within the NT Department of Health.
We also congratulated chairperson Pat Anderson on winning the 2021 ACT Senior Australian of the Year award, in honour of her powerful advocacy for the health of Australia’s First Peoples nationally and internationally.
Annual General Meeting
Our Lowitja Institute AGM marked a milestone this year, our first annual general meeting as a fully Aboriginal Community Controlled national research institute. This has been a long-held vision of Lowitja Institute and will allow us to stay true to our core purpose of supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led research in ways which work for our people and our health and wellbeing.
Indigenous Wellbeing Index
As part of the meeting, the Board received a presentation on a proof of concept to develop an Indigenous Wellbeing Data Index and Platform. This work would provide important digital infrastructure for local, community driven health research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Lowitja Institute is proud to have selected the recipients of the Project Grants 2020-2023 round, and the Board was pleased to receive an update on this process. We look forward to announcing the grants when contract details are finalised in the new year. All grants align to Lowitja Institute’s Research Agenda themes: Empowerment, Sovereignty, Connectedness, and Cultural safety and respectful systems in the health sector.
Chairperson Pat Anderson commended the publication of Continent Aflame, which she edited with Sally Gardner, Paul James & Paul Komesaroff, to Board members and meeting participants. The book bears witness, from multiple perspectives, to the bushfire crisis of 2019-2020, which had a devastating impact on many Aboriginal communities, and the lessons we need to learn as a nation.