Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research officially launched

Published:11 August 2017

TOP: L-R Mayor of Yarrabah Ross Andrews, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) Professor Bronwyn Fredericks, CIHER Director Associate Professor Roxanne Bainbridge, Minister Curtis Pitt, and Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman. MID: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Grant Stanley addresses the launch. BELOW: Minister Curtis Pitt.

The CQUniversity Cairns campus this week officially launched its newest research centre focused on Indigenous health equity.

More than 50 representatives from community, business and government attended the event, including Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Curtis Pitt.

The Centre is a flagship for Indigenous health research excellence in Northern Australia and is the first of its kind for North Queensland.

Officially known as the Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research (CIHER), it sets a pioneering agenda for change in Indigenous health research by nurturing high-impact applied research. It focuses on interdisciplinary and cross-cultural aspects of health and determinants of health to maximise health outcomes through five streams: Public Health Research, Research Impact Assessment, Research Education and Training, Policy, Advocacy and International Relations, and Economic Assessment.

The CIHER Director, Associate Professor Roxanne Bainbridge says CQUniversity established the Centre to drive and coordinate change in the way we do research business with Indigenous communities.

“It’s time to take note that despite all of the research conducted with Indigenous communities over decades, there has not been corresponding improvements in health status for Indigenous people,” Associate Professor Bainbridge says.

“The establishment of such a centre is an important step for us as a regional university. The additional support means we can engage and collaborate with the Indigenous communities and industry like never before,” she says.

“We have been able to leverage our collective strengths to bring about positive impacts in the partnerships with the communities we serve, and beyond.”

Associate Professor Bainbridge also explained that the Centre has a unique capacity to give back to regional communities because the research is responsive to regional priorities. Importantly, Indigenous engagement, leadership and priority-setting underpins the Centre’s management and implementation.

“The Centre team partners directly with communities and industry to drive a strong research culture that connects communities with the University.”

The Centre is primarily based in Cairns but has a regional focus and extends to national and international networks with research groups, communities, services, government and industry, to collaboratively meet the priority health needs and aspirations of local and international Indigenous communities.