On Tuesday 10 July, UNSW Medicine and the Kirby Institute and held a special NAIDOC seminar to celebrate Indigenous women in health and justice research. The event, inspired by the theme “Because of her, we can!”, brought together strong female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders in health and justice research for Indigenous populations.
The event commenced with a Land Clearing Dance performed by UNSW student Ashleigh Wright and an Acknowledgment of Country by Aunty Rita.
Ms Walbira Murray, from the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, spoke about the “Aremella Arratyenye-ileme – Doing it Right” project, which brings together the Congress’s community staff with external researchers to improve knowledge exchange. Her talk highlighted knowledge translation as a two way learning process, with partners working together to make the research process more equitable.
Dr Jill Guthrie, from the Australian National University, presented on “Justice Reinvestment”, a strategy to reinvest incarceration spending into health and social interventions to ultimately reduce offending in populations over-represented in the justice system.
Dr Jocelyn Jones, from the University of Western Australia, spoke about “Beyond Violence”, a research study that aims to measure the effectiveness of interventions to reduce recidivism among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women with current or historical violent offences.
Dr Anne-Marie Eades, from the UNSW Sydney, shared her insights about the significance of the roles and responsibilities Aboriginal women have within their families and community and how they impact on management of their chronic disease. “Strong women make strong communities," said Dr Eades. “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women can all relate to caring: for families, children, and Country.”
Lastly, Dr Kalinda Griffiths, from UNSW Sydney, shared stories of her Nanna’s resilience as an Aboriginal woman, and how she inspired Kalinda in all aspects of her life, including pursuing higher education and a career in epidemiology. "It's a challenge to marry Western and Aboriginal understandings of research. We aim to ensure past wrongdoings are addressed. Data is critical in this process. Together we are strongest," said Dr Griffiths.
The Kirby Institute and UNSW Medicine would like to thank the wonderful speakers and guests for making the event a success. We would also like to thank Shared Knowledge for providing the wonderful bush tucker catering and to Bec Lewis from BL Imaging for capturing the event.
Highlights from the event below. You can find the full album here.
Aunty Rita giving the Acknowledgement of Country.
UNSW student Ashleigh Wright performing a Land Clearing Dance.
Ms Walbira Murray from the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress.
Dr Jill Guthrie from the Australian National University.
Dr Jocelyn Jones from the University of Western Australia.
Dr Anne-Marie Eades from UNSW Sydney.
Dr Kalinda Griffiths from UNSW Sydney.
Audience question to the panel.
The panel, from left to right: Dr Jocelyn Jones, Dr Anne-Marie Eades, Dr Kalinda Griffiths, Dr Jill Guthrie and Ms Walbira Murray.
Cutting the cake.