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17 October 2019

Institute news

Knowledge sharing and capacity building in Aboriginal health

Melbourne-based cardiovascular researcher, Dr Xiaowei Wang, has been successful in securing Institute sponsorship to attend chronic disease meetings in Central Australia to learn more about our work in Aboriginal health.

This sponsorship is an initiative of the Institute’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which has provided funding for a researcher to attend the Baker Institute Educational Symposium and Chronic Diseases Network joint conference in Mparntwe-Alice Springs later this month.

Dr Xiaowei Wang
Dr Xiaowei Wang in front of 'No. 4' painted and generously donated to the Institute by Dr Alex Brown.

Initiatives like this help researchers to gain a broader understanding of the Institute’s work, including the challenges and opportunities of undertaking health research and delivering evidence-based clinical care in remote and rural communities.

Dr Wang is developing new approaches using heart imaging to detect high-risk blockages in our arteries to prevent heart attacks and strokes. This is critical research for all Australians including high-risk groups like Indigenous Australians, who are hospitalised for heart disease and die from heart disease at almost twice the rate of non-Indigenous Australians.

For more than 12 years, the Institute has been working closely with communities to build knowledge and capacity to tackle Aboriginal Health issues together, with a dedicated research facility opening in Mparntwe-Alice Springs in 2007.

Providing opportunities for staff to learn more about our critical work in Aboriginal health, and to reflect on and pay respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continuing contributions to research are key objectives of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The conference organisers this year provided support for Indigenous students and researchers to attend. This was complemented by the Institute’s sponsorship initiative.

In the future, the RAP committee plans to sponsor an Indigenous researcher to attend the Baker Institute symposium to provide opportunities for self-determination and advocacy for Aboriginal-focused and led research.

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