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University engagement with communities

  • The role of universities today

  • Developing an ethical relationship with the community

  • Addressing data sovereignty and data sharing in Indigenous health research

  • How to embed community-based research in universities (methods, strategies; research projects, students education)

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leadership, workforce sector development, e-health, tools/applications and resources.

  • Community Based Research and changes in higher education

The 2023 International First Nations Public Health Research Conference is scheduled to be held in Newcastle, New South Wales. This conference is an opportunity for professionals and students to present research findings and for researchers to stay connected to peers in the field and hear about ground-breaking ideas, discoveries and theories on a subject, which one would unlikely find in an existing publication. Moreover, the conference is a summit for discussion and collaboration among researchers, Indigenous practitioners, and community members who focus on the health and well-being of First Nations populations that aims to promote and advance research in the field of Indigenous epidemiology, to provide a space for exchanging ideas and best practices for conducting research in culturally respectful and ethical ways. The conference includes presentations, workshops, and panel discussions on a range of topics related to Indigenous health and well-being, as well as opportunities for networking and building partnerships.


This year's conference highlights the critical role of epidemiology and Indigenous-led research in addressing health disparities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Through a culturally safe and inclusive approach to research, we can gain a deeper understanding of the unique health challenges faced by our mob in First Nations communities across Australia and develop evidence-based solutions to close the gap in health outcomes. By investing in Indigenous-led research and collaborating with Indigenous communities, we can work towards a future where all First Nations Australians have equitable access to health care and the opportunity to live healthy, fulfilling lives.


Similarly, the conference will highlight many of the achievements gained against the four major chronic diseases namely cancer, diabetes, kidney and heart failure issues and the battle to stem the ongoing diseases within First Nations communities. The three days event will present a unique opportunity to share experiences, challenges and successes in this battle. In many cases, we do not need to re-invent the wheel when the answers to our challenges are maybe in the next town, state, nationally and even internationally.

The event is based upon the principal belief that Indigenous health must be approached from a holistic view, which encompasses body, mind and spirit; thus, leading to the fundamental rights of self-determination. The conference recognizes that treating our health must be done by treating the whole person, through mind, body, soul and culture. No matter what your culture is if you are a First Nations person, statistics show that health, education and the justice system is monstrously weighted against First Nations People.  


In Australia, the most successful initiatives in First Nations Health are the Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) and now the partnerships between government and communities. The first Aboriginal community-controlled health service was established in New South Wales and has been operational for the past forty (40) years.  Today, there are over 120 AMS and countless numbers of Primary Health Care Posts in First Nations communities in Australia. 























The conference is not politically based. Rather, it should be seen as an opportunity to access information that is not readily available. Today the world has become smaller with the invention of the internet and jet travel.  As such, we are of the belief that there is nothing more empowering and more effective than people having an opportunity to network and collaborate. The conference vision for this event is to embrace the philosophy of First Nations community controlled and mainstream service providers through promoting an informative forum of research, health education and training of staff for the betterment of Indigenous health.


This event guarantees the opportunity to enlarge your network and information base, thus empowering all delegates to make greater informed decisions within their professional and extended communities. Furthermore, it has been proven time and time again that events such as this empower and reinvigorate workers with new ideas and enthusiasm, with a greater feeling of support and new contacts that may be utilised for the betterment of their own local community. Whether you are an allied health professional, Indigenous health worker, medical professional or in an administrative clerical role within the organisation, this conference will provide excellent opportunities to gain and share information that will be of use to you and your organisation back in your community.  The opportunities that this Conference provides to people involved in First Nations Health is the sharing of knowledge and development of long-term friendships/partnerships.  This conference is designed from an Indigenous perspective, in which we all lend support to each other regardless of our employers. With all this in mind, we invite you to actively participate in the upcoming event.



The most powerful mechanism that First Nations people have is the strength to overcome adversity through the power of sharing knowledge and therefore the conference will attempt to foster all of the issues set out in this conference. 

  • This conference aims to provide an opportunity for professionals and students to present research findings to gain experience in the field, receive invaluable input from colleagues about how to strengthen their work, and disseminate their findings from their field of study

  • Responsible partnerships combined with strong community leadership and advocacy will optimise access, quality and sustainability of culturally safe and appropriate health services to address chronic conditions.

  • Facilitate and engage with First Nations with respect to the sharing of information

  • Contribute to identify community health needs and develop and implement local responses and services

  • Provide an open and frank platform for discussion

  • Support First Nations communities health professionals and peak bodies through further networking

  • Highlight the positives of work being achieved at all levels with respect to the many different chronic disease programs and issues

  • To paint a positive approach to the management of chronic diseases

  • Provide a stimulus for networking in co-operation/partnerships from individuals, community level through to government authorities.

  • Portraying the different various lifestyles from inner-city to isolated communities

  • Sharing of information in regards to agencies, individuals and programs that may assist in overcoming chronic disease issues

  • Bringing together both government and non-government agencies who are working in the field of Indigenous chronic diseases, focusing on Closing the Gap and strengthening the life expectancy of First Nations peoples to equal that of non-indigenous people.

  • Highlight unique issues that relate specifically to First Nations communities in relation to their environment and socio-economic status.

Indigenous Research Frameworks 

  • What is an Indigenous Research Framework

  • Incorporating Indigenous values and beliefs

  • Involvement of our Elders because of traditional knowledge

  • Indigenous Research Methods respectful of and includes Indigenous protocols, values and beliefs.

  • Building culturally safe research practices in Indigenous communities

  • The role of traditional knowledge in epidemiological research

  • The ethics of conducting research with First Nations communities

First Nations Health & Wellbeing

  • The intersection of epidemiology and Indigenous health

  • Disparities in health outcomes for First Nations population

  • The impact of colonization and systemic inequalities on Indigenous health

  • Examining the social determinants of Indigenous health

  • Strengthening partnerships and collaboration between epidemiologists and Indigenous communities

  • Developing culturally appropriate public health interventions for First Nations populations

  • Contemporary health initiatives, health policy, researchers, model of care

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CLOSING THE GAP Indigenous Conference Services
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