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The National longitudinal study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing (Mayi Kuwayu) will be the first comprehensive study to look at how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture relates to health and wellbeing. This includes how connection to country, cultural practices, ritual, spirituality and language use impact health and wellbeing outcomes over time.
The study will be led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and institutions. Study partners include The Lowitja Institute and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). The study is supported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health peak organisations across the country.
In terms of expected outcomes, we will have, for the first time, national level data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural factors (e.g. language use, connection to country) and their relationship to health and wellbeing. It is anticipated these data would be used to influence and guide policy and program formulation, implementation and evaluation. Another outcome is the creation of an Aboriginal-controlled collaborative research resource, available for approved projects in strict accordance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ethical community standards and values.
The project aims to survey between 16,000-40,000 people. Surveys will be mailed out from a national database to a random sample of eligible people. Additional location based surveys may be undertaken. Participants will be asked to provide consent to have the survey data linked to other existing data including Medicare data such as MBS and PBS and hospital data.
Dr Raymond Lovett
Australian National University