MEDIA RELEASE – 6 July 2020
Lowitja Institute launches the Member Community initiative to strengthen research for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing
The Lowitja Institute today moved into an important new phase in its work as Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research, launching the Lowitja Institute Members Community portal for engaging with stakeholders and communities. Lowitja Institute CEO Dr Janine Mohamed said the Members Community initiative reflects the institute’s new constitution, strategic plan, and funding arrangements.
“We have been overwhelmed by the early interest from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, communities and individuals, and many non-Indigenous partners, wanting to be part of our Members Community,” Dr Mohamed said.
“From the very start, our namesake and patron Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue has urged and inspired us to be a courageous organisation committed to social justice and equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to match words to action, to achieve real, tangible and immediate outcomes.”
“Building on more than 20 years of that work, the Lowitja Institute is now entering an exciting new phase, that will widen and deepen our capacity to follow Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue’s vision through a commitment to self-determination and reciprocity,” Dr Mohamed said.
Chairperson, Ms Pat Anderson AO, said the Member Community will comprise a core group of people and organisations with the drive and ethics to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of First Nations peoples, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander priorities, collective ways of working, strength, agency, and knowledges.
“The Member Community will ensure that we continue to be an authoritative and collective voice for the benefit of Australia’s First Peoples,” she said. The Board of the Lowitja Institute last month adopted a new constitution that establishes the institute as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled organisation, having ceased operating last year as a Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).
This enables the launch of the Members Community, which will comprise of the following groups who work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research:
Full Member Organisations – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations committed to the purpose and values of the Lowitja Institute
Associate Organisations – Non-Indigenous organisations committed to the purpose and values of the Lowitja Institute, including past Lowitja Institute CRC Participants.
Lowitja Institute Scholars – Lowitja Institute Scholarship recipients, past and present Alumni
Associate Researchers – whose work and values closely align with the Lowitja Institute.
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