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EOFY

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Our objectives

  1. To improve the quality of life of Aboriginal people through inclusion, equity and respect.
  2. To Indigenise leadership and practice.
  3. To lead Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health education and research through co-design.
  4. To plan, coordinate and implement an Aboriginal health research and education strategy.
  5. To grow networks with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and other organisations and build partnerships that are mutually beneficial.
  6. To advise on matters related to research and teaching with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  7. To promote, model and communicate the values, process and work of the Djurali Centre.

Our impact

We turn research into tangible and sustainable change in community, in healthcare, and in public policy.

Watch the video below of Aunty Mary Waites sharing her story on how research saved her husband’s life.

Mangrove tree explained

For thousands of years, mangroves have been an important natural resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Many materials were gathered from mangroves and continue to have high cultural significance, and many Indigenous foods are still obtained from mangrove environments, including fish, boring bivalves and mud crabs. Certain mangrove plants are also used as food and medicines. Mangrove timber has been used to construct canoes, paddles, spears and boomerangs.

Dju­rali is a Dharug word gift­ed to our team by the elders, and it means to grow and learn.

By growing and learning, we have turned research into impactful, tangible and sustainable results for communities, where we’ve been able to change healthcare practice and influence public policy.

Our working foundation is grounded in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander values and cultures – the muddy soil, innately enshrined in how we work with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, whose voices are privileged.

The water has many meanings. The many shades of blue represents the meeting and mixing of the fresh waters from the land with the sea water from the ocean. The water represents the meeting and mixing of knowledge systems that must not dominate each other, to create innovations - cultural infusion©.

Many of our collaborators – the base of the roots, are drawn from other research Institutions and universities, the public and private sectors, civil society and philanthropy. Importantly, our primary partners are Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people from community-controlled services throughout Australia who live in urban, rural, and remote settings.

Our collaborations are our strength, where diverse skills and expertise are brought together as we strive towards closing the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.

Our team values inclusiveness, respect, openness, and transparency – the roots. Belonging to a supportive and cohesive team with common aspirations and expectations is important to us. Feeling safe in an environment that is culturally safe is paramount as is listening to learn and understand where our titles and egos are left at the front door. Everyone in the team is responsible for fostering a positive and fun environment where we have each other’s backs. Most importantly, be kind and courageous when we must tell someone their behaviours do not fit the team values and expectations we foster.

When we work, we use a proven co-design practice known as the Rambaldini model (Rm) – the gathering circle at base of trunk. The Rm is a systematic co-design tool that is used for dealing with complex and entrenched problems, involving measured and structured engagement processes, the sharing of power and resources, and the application of a consensus-building and collective approach.

Our Djurali protocol v1, the trunk, guides us in how we want to undertake our research and is complemented by our guiding principles.

The first three lower branches are Djurali Priorities, which are self-explanatory and include:

  1. Developing a local, sustainable workforce within communities
  2. Tackling the biggest health killers within communities
  3. Creating innovations in service practice and influencing policy and program design.

Guiding principles

  • Cultural leadership and safety: Aboriginal people lead the process right from the beginning to the end; Chairing/Leadership is shared between members
  • Sustainability: Activity is embedded and not one-off or short term. It is ongoing.
  • Reciprocity: Benefits, resources and outcomes are shared with all stakeholders especially when giving back to the community
  • Alignment with existing initiatives and plans: Our Work is aligned to national plans, policies and strategies and organisations working in this space, especially those of community- designed and led research priorities; working to close the gap between Aboriginal people and broader society, complementing the research work of others
  • Holistic and inclusive: We align activity (and services) with existing work or a broader and sustained work program. We practice
    reflective, deep listening and include others that share our values and purpose
  • Accountability: To each other, our partners, and the communities in which we work.

Our objectives

We also have a set of objectives – the branches – which are covered above. Our objectives are what we want to do.

The leaves are the results of our collaborative efforts and involve the:

  • Expansion of our partners and collaborators
  • An increase in our resources to support the work that we do, including:
    - In-kind support
    - Access to physical resources like equipment or buildings
    - Securing of monetary benefits from a range of avenues
  • A growth in our:
    - Scholars who will advance to other courses of interest, including undergraduate degrees
    - Affiliates throughout the community-controlled sector and with other universities
    - Higher degree and post-doc researchers who will contribute to the work we do
    - Friends of Djurali networks and using their talents to support our work.

Collaborators

  • Armajun Aboriginal Health Service
  • AF Screen International collaboration and Indigenous Working Group
  • Legal Aid NSW
  • Brewarrina Aboriginal Health Service
  • Colgate
  • Bulgar Ngaru Aboriginal Health Service
  • NSW TAFE
  • Alliance for a Cavity Free Future
  • Pius X Aboriginal Corporation
  • Wallaga Lake Community
  • The Matilda Centre, University of Sydney
  • Katungul Aboriginal Health Service
  • Healthy Environments and Lives Network
  • Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney
  • Walgett Aboriginal Health Service
  • University of Sydney Policy Lab
  • CSIRO
  • Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation
  • Karuah Traditional Owners
  • Asthma Australia
  • Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC)
  • Matrix / BioBeat
  • Global Alliance for Chronic Disease and Indigenous Populations Working Group
  • Human Service Skills Organisation (HSSO)
  • Macquarie Law School, Macquarie University
  • Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle
  • Durri Aboriginal Health Service
  • Think Change Resolve
  • National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)
  • Murama Healing Space
  • University of Newcastle
  • Brewarrina Health Service
  • Western NSW Local Health District
  • Love Your Sister
  • Centre for Global Indigenous Futures, Macquarie University
  • NSW Rural Doctors Network
  • NSW UNIT of OCHRE

In the media

  • Uncle Boe Rambaldini, Heart of the matter: Missed opportunity costs Aboriginal lives, The Canberra Times, 15 February 2024. View pdf.
  • Uncle Boe Rambaldini, 2WEB Outback Radio, 20 February 2024. Listen.
  • Aunty Mary Waites talks to ABC Western Plains about participating in the Djurali Centre screening trial for AF, 20 February 2024. Listen.
  • Saving lives with simple tests, The Western Herald, 21 February 2024. Read.
  • In a heartbeat: Smart watches helping to close the gap, Australian Associated Press, 23 February 2024. Syndicated across 88 outlets. Read.

Selected publications

Meharg, D P, Naanyu, V, Rambaldini, B, Clarke, M J, Lacey, C, Jebasingh, F, Lopez-Jaramillo, P, Gould, G S, Aceves, B, Alison, J A, Chaiton, M, Chen, J, Gonzalez-Salazar, F, Goodyear-Smith, F, Gwynne, K G, Lee, K S, MacKay, D, Maple-Brown, L, Mishara, B L, ... Anderson, M. The Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases researchers’ statement on non-communicable disease research with Indigenous peoples. Full statement

Parter C, Rambaldini B, Wilson S, Gwynn J, Skinner J, and Calma T. Heal country, Heal our nation: Talking up racism Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anzjph.2023.100037

Henson C, Chapman F, Shepherd G, et al. Mature aged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are using digital health technologies (original research). DIGITAL HEALTH. 2022;8. doi:10.1177/20552076221145846

Christie V, Green D, Skinner J et al. “Everyone needs a Deb”: what Australian Indigenous women say about breast cancer screening and treatment services, BMC Health Serv Res 23, 672 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-023-09633-y

Gwynne K, Jiang S, Venema R, Christie V, Boughtwood T, Ritha M, Skinne J, Ali N, Calma T. Genomics and inclusion of Indigenous peoples in high income countries. Human Genetics Journal (2023); https://doi.org/10.1007/s00439-023-02587-5

Christie V, Riley L, Green D, Snook K, Henningham M, Rambaldini B, Amin J, Pyke C, Varlow M, Goss S, Skinner J, O’Shea R, McCowen D, Gwynne K. Does breast cancer policy in Australia meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women? A review. Int J Equity Health 22, 129 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-023-01941-3

Henson C, Chapman F, Shepherd G,Carlson B, Rambaldini B, Gwynne K . Amplifying Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Perspectives to Promote Digital Health Equity: Co-Designed Qualitative Study J Med Internet Res 2023;25:e50584 

Gwynne K, Rambaldini B, Christie V, Meharg D, Gwynn JD, Dimitropoulos Y et al. Applying collective impact in Aboriginal health services and research: three case studies tell an important story. Public Health Research and Practice. 2022 Jun 15;32(2):1-8. e3222215. https://doi.org/10.17061/phrp3222215

Meharg, D P, Naanyu, V, Rambaldini, B, Clarke, M J, Lacey, C, Jebasingh, F, Lopez-Jaramillo, P, Gould, G S, Aceves, B, Alison, J A, Chaiton, M, Chen, J, Gonzalez-Salazar, F, Goodyear-Smith, F, Gwynne, K G, Lee, K S, MacKay, D, Maple-Brown, L, Mishara, B L, ... Anderson, M. (2023). The Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases researchers’ statement on non-communicable disease research with Indigenous peoples. The Lancet Global Health, 11(3), e324-e326. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(23)00039-6

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