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July 2010 & 2011, Melbourne
The Lowitja Institute facilitated two roundtables on genetic research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The roundtables explored the mechanisms that need to be in place to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are empowered to make informed decisions about participating in genetic research.
The first roundtable, in July 2010, was attended by 24 Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants, including experts in genetics, Indigenous health research, Indigenous research ethics, genetic ethics and genetic literacy. This discussion was especially significant because it was the first national discussion of genetics and Indigenous health to have taken place in Australia. Presentations and discussions covered:
The second roundtable, in July 2011, brought more than 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers, ethics committee members and community representatives together with non-Indigenous researchers, genetic literacy experts and bioethicists to talk through the wide- ranging issues that genetics raises for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Major stakeholder organisations the NHMRC and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) were also represented. Discussions covered issues of: