Representatives of South Australia’s Aboriginal, research and health communities came together today to sign an historic accord to ensure the future of Aboriginal Health Research.
The health accord is the first of its kind in Australia, and mirrors similar frameworks that have been established relating to First Nation communities around the world, including in Canada, USA, New Zealand and other Pacific nations.
“All signatories today have signed on the dotted line to say ‘this is the way that we want to see negotiated outcomes for the future of research in South Australia,’” said Professor Alex Brown, Aboriginal medical doctor/researcher and leader of the Aboriginal Research Unit at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).
“This offers a ground-up approach to the terms of engagement for our communities, and an opportunity to negotiate the national guidelines on health research from a South Australian Aboriginal community perspective,” he said.
Janice Rigney, Chair of the Council of Aboriginal Elders South Australia is a signatory and spoke of the importance of the document in setting up new pathways for communication between indigenous and research communities that have not been available in the past.
“This document will allow our community to understand what they can expect when researchers want to work with us,” she explained. “This document will also give us a voice if we feel the principles are not being followed.”
Other signatories on the Accord include: Professor Mike Brooks, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and President (Research), the University of Adelaide; Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor and President, University of South Australia; Professor David Day, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Flinders University; Shane Mohor, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia; and
The accord includes nine key principles to ensure that Aboriginal health research is responsive to the priorities of the community and respect and involve the community.
The signing of the accord forms part of a two-day South Australian Aboriginal Health Research Showcase being hosted at SAHMRI in Adelaide.
The showcase was officially launched by Member for Florey, Ms Frances Bedford, representing South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill , Health Minister Jack Snelling and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ian Hunter.
“Aboriginal health research is in the cradle of a vibrant area in South Australia and indeed the world,” she said.
“This government is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal communities in South Australia.”