Project aims

To improve research knowledge exchange, generation and translation leading to Aboriginal community members, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and their Board members having more control over health research, its outcomes and benefits in central Australia. 


  1. Assist Aboriginal community members, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress health service and Board members to improve their understanding of health research processes and outcomes. 
  2. Generate research knowledge by and for Aboriginal community and Congress Board members. 
  3. Empower community members in understanding research and its benefits. 
  4. Implement knowledge translational activities that can improve service delivery. 
  5. Provide employment and leadership opportunities for Aboriginal researchers.
  6. Support Congress Board by providing guidelines to assess, record and monitor knowledge translation activities within Congress. 
  7. Achieve best practice in meaningful partnered research that will benefit community-controlled services and clients and be shared with other ACCHS.  

Project team 

Project Leader: Dr Bronwyn Silver 

Project partners:

  • Menzies School of Health Research 
  • University Centre for Rural Health, Sydney University 

Administering organisation: Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation 

Project timeline: 31 December 2017—30 April 2019


Project progressed using a community-based participatory research method and generated research knowledge to be used by both Congress and the community.

  • Literature review and investigation of Aboriginal community engagement in research to ensure the research project builds on existing evidence and experience. 
  • ‘Both ways’ approach used to generate knowledge between Aboriginal community controlled health services, community members and members and health researchers via a ‘Research Roadshow’/community forum.
  • Translation of NHMRC into local language and development of a ‘Working Together’ guideline that outlines Congress’ expectations of research partners when conducting research. 
  • An Integrated quality improvement framework to audit all Congress Board approved research projects: this included a retrospective audit of the Congress database which has over 70 research projects (20 completed and 50 current), identification of missed opportunities for knowledge translation policy from the research projects on the database and development of three case studies on current research projects near completion.  

Project findings 

The project found that the new knowledge generated empowered the Board members in understanding research, monitoring research, and ownership of project outcomes. While this project is just the beginning of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations taking control of the Aboriginal health research agenda, it is anticipated that there will be long term benefits through the extension of research protocols specific to central Australia that all researchers abide by when engaging communities, implementing research, as well as conducting and negotiating use of research outcomes.   

Project outcomes 



  • Generated research knowledge by and for Aboriginal community and health service board members.  

  • Improved understanding of how Congress staff and health researchers can work together in equitable partnerships.  

  • Provided information to the public about making informed decisions before participating in research and understanding research from the perspective of the community.  



  • An animation was filmed and presented to the public to show the core values of research at Congress.  

  • Project will likely benefit other Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in other regions out of Central Australia as the project findings will be shared.  

  • Developed resources from this project will enable Congress staff and community members to understand research processes and research findings.  



  • Provided an atmosphere for continued equitable partnerships between Congress staff and health researchers.   

  • Improved understanding of how to tailor research processes to fit within the context and resources of an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.   


  • Delivered employment and leadership opportunities for Aboriginal Researchers in central Australia.  


Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land across Australia and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.