Lowitja Institute Research Agenda themes are developed through a collective process of bringing together a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders from the research, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community control and health sectors, who are grounded in current and priority needs.

2024–26 Research Agenda Themes


This theme seeks to uphold historical, contemporary and future truth-telling as a fundamental process for the decolonising of health and wellbeing policy and practice. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the right to regain control to lead research and decision-making processes to contribute to social transformation throughout generations.


This theme seeks to acknowledge the political and intellectual sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It upholds sovereignty in the political discourse including determining the agenda, the creation, governance, control, and protection of knowledge.

Cultural determinants

This theme seeks to recognise the importance and relatedness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural determinants which includes our knowledge systems as integral part to strong health and wellbeing.


This theme recognises the ongoing legacy of colonisation and the impacts on health, and healthcare delivery and access. It seeks to uphold Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights to culturally safe systems free of racism through privileging community-led solutions to policy development and implementation to health service management and delivery, research, education and training, to improve health system quality and safety.

The 2020–23 Research Agenda focused on the following four key themes:

1. Empowerment 2. Sovereignty 3. Connectedness 4. Cultural safety and respectful systems

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