School of Population Health

Keynote presentations from the PHAA conference in September are now available on the PHAA website. These are well worth checking out, particularly the Basil Hetzel Oration by Dr David Jernigan, Director – Centre on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Baltimore, USA), and Law enforcement and public health by Dr Karl O’Callaghan APM, Commissioner of Police, Western Australia.

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This week I was able to attend the signing and launch of the new South Australian Aboriginal Health Research Accord.  With the support of the Elders Council of SA, the Aboriginal Health Council of SA, SAHMRI and the three SA universities, this Accord marks the beginning of a new era for the conduct of Aboriginal Health Research in South Australia.

The South Australian Aborginal Health Research Accord
Companion Document to the SA Aboriginal Health Research Accord

Prof Annette Braunack-Mayer
Head of the School of Population Health

The following speech was given by Prof Rick Russell, the University of Adelaide’s signatory at the signing and launch. (Tuesday 2nd September, 2014)

Improving Aboriginal health and wellbeing is the greatest challenge that Australia faces. Although the health of Aboriginal South Australians is improving, with improvements in total mortality, infant mortality, and increases in Indigenous primary health care and allied health care services, we still have a long way to go. Aboriginal South Australians are still more likely to be hospitalised (particularly for assault, suicide and transport accidents), have less access to antenatal care in the first trimester, and experience ongoing barriers to culturally appropriate health care services for women.

Research can make a difference to the health of Aboriginal South Australians. At the University of Adelaide we know this; we have a long tradition of research and scholarship in Aboriginal health, carried out with the intent of improving the health and well-being of Aboriginal communities.

But, we also know that we have not always done Aboriginal health research the right way. We have not always aligned our research topics with Aboriginal community priorities; we have not always involved Aboriginal people in research design and conduct; we have not routinely demonstrated the respect that Aboriginal ways of knowing deserve or communicated in culturally acceptable ways.

In signing this accord, we commit to doing research in a different way. We have begun to take little steps in the right direction. For example, we have had an Indigenous Health Unit, Yaitya Purruna, since 2000. More recently, through the leadership of our Dean of Indigenous Education, Professor Iribinna Rigney, the Tarrkarri Tirrka (our new Integrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy) includes an array of targets to develop and enhance Aboriginal research across the University and increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers. We have embarked on an exciting Centre for Research Excellence in prevention of chronic diseases, led by Prof Alex Brown, and in partnership with the Schools of Population Health and Translational Health Science.

However, we also know that we have a long way to go.  This document will be immensely helpful to our researchers as we learn to do things differently.  We have a wonderful opportunity, through this Accord, to learn from our Aboriginal colleagues and to build research partnerships and activities which are respectful and productive for all of us.  We congratulate Wardliparingga on leading the development of this Accord and look forward to a new era of working together.

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On the 4th September Dr Scott Hanson-Easey‘s research will be featured on US Radio Academic Minute. Scott’s  reasearch attends to how Sudanese refugees were discussed on talkback radio soon after the stabbing death of a young Sudanese person in Adelaide’s CBD in 2008. His analysis shows how speakers on talkback radio attributed Sudanese refugees with inherent and long-lasting (essentialised) ‘tribal’ and cultural properties, which predispose them to violence, and makes their integration into the Australian community difficult. This kind of reasoning is commonly called ‘psychological essentialism’, and is sometimes associated with racist language.

About The Academic Minute

The Academic Minute features researchers from colleges and universities around the world, keeping listeners abreast of what’s new and exciting in the academy.  Hosted by Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, President of Mount Holyoke College, The Academic Minute features a different professor each day, drawing experts from top research institutions. You’ll enjoy topics ranging from updates on groundbreaking scientific research to an explanation of the accidental discovery of chocolate and an analysis of how social media is transforming the workplace.


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The Young Investigator Award (YIA) recognises and promotes the outstanding research undertaken by young investigators in the area of women’s and children’s health. It also enables young researchers to present their research in a way that is easily understood by the general population. Now in its 15th year, this highly prized award is an ideal [...]

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Tuesday 29th July, 2014 Venue –Room 515, Level 5, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health Building, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053. See Map The HSRAANZ will be holding an Early Career Research (ECR) Workshop in Melbourne on 29 July for HSR students, early career researchers and their supervisors. The all-day event will kick [...]

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We congratulate Dr Hossein Afzali who has been awarded the Alan Williams Fellowship, a prestigious fellowship that provides financial support for one Visiting Fellow (£5,000) to the ‘home of health economics’ – the Centre for Health Economics, the University of York (UK).  During his visit (April-June 2015), Hossein will work with international leaders in health economics to improve the [...]

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New research from the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies shows that while childhood lead exposure in the South Australian city of Port Pirie has been a significant factor in their cognitive and mental health development, the family environment also has played a critical role. This research has reviewed 30 years of work [...]

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Congratulations to Dr Arthur Saniotis, who has been invited to join an International Academy of Astronautics study group on medical support for a human expedition to Mars. Dr Saniotis is one of only a handful of international experts recruited to join the group. The group will work to define and agree on the medical support [...]

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The Discipline of General Practice, School of Population Health has been successful in being selected as one of several research studies nationally to be awarded funding by the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute “Integrated Primary Health Care Centres” stream. Professor Nigel Stocks leads a collaborative team of investigators that includes Professor Esther May, University [...]

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Prof Sandy McFarlane, CTSS – NHMRC Partnership Grant: Improving the resilience, health and wellbeing of Australian firefighters: an epidemiological study of the Metropolitan Fire Services of South Australia, $351,665 Mr Paul Rothmore, Public Health – SafeWorkSA WHS Commissioned Research Grant: Taking the next step: Operationalising a behaviour-based approach for musculoskeletal injury prevention initiatives, $32,406 Dr [...]

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