6th Annual Ngar-wu Wanyarra Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Conference

The Department of Rural Health, The University of Melbourne recently held its 6th Annual Ngar-wu Wanyarra Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Conference.

Conference Overview

We had a record number of conference delegates with 275 registrations.  We received presentations from Aboriginal &/or Torres Strait Islander people who provided their presentations addressing key findings and current health issues facing the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community.

The conference keynote presenter was multi-award winning broadcaster and journalist Mr. Stan Grant who shared the difficulties he faced growing up and an insight into the many challenges the Aboriginal community face.  The conference MC was Ms. Gwenda Freeman who is a Yorta Yorta woman and lecturer in Aboriginal Health Education at the Department of Rural Health. Gwenda said that the health sector needs more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to be working as doctors, nurses, health workers, administrators, and counsellors – to at least reflect the population percentages in each location. “Health research and services need to involve and be owned by Aboriginal people,” Ms Freeman said. “Our participation is of direct value to the community.”

The conference has become an annual event and offers an opportunity for sharing information and connecting people who are committed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practice and research.

Check out the below collage with photos from participants of the lunch time craft session. Grass coil weaving and clay turtle kits were supplied by Kaeila Arts for conference attendees to complete at home during the conference lunch break.

rural health

You can download the conference brochure HERE and also view the presentation recordings from the day.

Conference Recordings

Introduction - Welcome and Keynote Address:
Conference Acknowledgement to Country and Keynote Address
Kaiela Arts Shepparton - Gallery Tour:
Check out the new Kaiela Arts Shepparton Gallery in this video tour
Concurrent Morning Session 1 - Community initiatives to improve health and wellbeing

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth workers as Sleep Coaches: Co-designed training and upskilling program

Creating a future

Sisters for Change

COVID-19 prevention challenges in remote indigenous communities

Concurrent Morning Session 2 - Cardiovascular Health

Health map for HealthGap: Defining a geographical catchment to examine cardiovascular risk in Victoria

Understanding the characteristics of Victorian Aboriginal cardiovascular disease hospitalisations and care using linked health service data

Understanding Indigenous identification using linked health services data

Guideline-based cardiovascular disease risk assessment among Indigenous Australians in a general practice setting

Concurrent Morning Session 3 - Evidence based approaches to health care

The ASQ-STEPS for measuring Aboriginal child development (ASQ-STEPS) - A developmental outcome measure for Aboriginal children

National best practice unit tackling Indigenous smoking: Improving health outcomes through population health promotion

Take Blaktion: Using comedy to engage Aboriginal young people with sexual health promotion

Integrating testing for sexually transmissible infections and blood-borne viruses into routine care for Aboriginal people in NSW: A secondary analysis of qualitative stakeholder interviews

Concurrent Afternoon Session 1 - Student education improving health in the community

A rural pathway to university studies in Aboriginal health

ASHE - Student support services: A different approach to caring for students

Specialist certificate in empowering health in Aboriginal communities

Advancing Indigenous-led initiatives in the academy: Evaluating the activities of the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health

Concurrent Afternoon Session 2 - New approaches to research

Culturally adaptive governance – Building a new framework for equity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research

From inter-personal trust, to trust in health services: Challenges to cultural brokerage for Aboriginal health workers and Aboriginal health practitioners in Northern Australia

Can a digital, geospatially enhanced data ecosystem incorporate Indigenous defined protocols, principles and approaches to achieve data democracy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s?

Concurrent Afternoon Session 3 - New services for our communities

Trauma aware, healing informed approaches

The WellMob website – A digital tool for our wellbeing

The power of partnership - A new model of rural and regional denture service provision in Aboriginal communities in New South Wales

Transforming research stories through Indigenous storywork: A methodological approach

More Information

Di Doyle - DRH Events Coordinator


03 5823 4512