3rd International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference

The Melbourne Poche team attended the Lowitja Institute’s 3rd International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference last week on the lands Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji and Yirrganydji peoples in Cairns, Queensland.

The conference opened with a mighty display of Indigenous women’s fearless leadership - truth was brandished with intellect and candour by Aunty Pat Anderson, Professor Marcia Langton and Chairperson Karen Diver. Three dedicated and fiercely intellectual women driving systemic change and igniting a fire in all of us there.

MDHS PhD scholars Joanne Luke, Kristy Gardner, Abby-Rose Cox and Tileah Drahm-Butler presented their research during the concurrent sessions. Poche team member Amba-Rose Atkinson presented her PhD research; Country, Climate and First Nations Health.

Poche Director Shawana Andrews and Senior Research Fellow Odette Mazel presented important research undertaken with Dr David Gallant; Shifting the terrain, enriching the academy: Indigenous PhD students’ impact on higher education institutions.

Poche Leadership Fellows Stephen Harfield and Bobby Maher presented research they are undertaking. Board member, Professor Papaarangi Reid delivered keynotes, inspiring us to move into discomfort and continue to disrupt colonial structures.

Friends of Poche, Professor Janet Smylie reminded us the answers lie in our communities during her keynote, and Dr Hinekura Smith presented her research; Growing community research capacity and confidence through a Māori centric research mentorship.

Over three days, the conference presented many opportunities to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Relationality is a core theme in our work to establish a rightful place for Indigenous intellect and scholarship in the academy.

Conferences such as this are an important part of building local, national and international networks to support Indigenous health leadership, and we are grateful to the Lowitja Institute for hosting us.

Keynote speakers

L-R Distinguished Professor Marcia Langton AO, UoM, Aunty Pat  Anderson AO, Lowitja Institute Co-Patron, Chairperson Karen Diver, University of Minnesota, and Professor Janet Smylie, University of Toronto

Research excellence

L-R: Abby-Rose Cox, MDHS PhD scholar, Dr Hinekura Smith, Ngā Wai A Te Tūi Māori and Indigenous Research Centre, Tileah Drahm-Butler, MDHS PhD scholar, Odette Mazel and A/Prof Shawana Andrews, Melbourne Poche Centre, Kristy Gardner, MDHS PhD scholar and Amba-Rose Atkinson, UQ PhD scholar and Melbourne Poche Centre.

The team