The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), the peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing in Victoria, recently celebrated a landmark moment.
The launch of marra ngarrgoo, marra goorri: The Victorian Aboriginal Health, Medical and Wellbeing Research Accord will give a greater voice to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in how research is conducted across the State.
The state-wide instrument will assist researchers and research organisations improve their ethical standards and implement national ethics guidelines at a local and State level across Victoria.
Monash Partners engaged in the consultation process and is committed to strengthening Indigenous research capacity to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We also engage in the National Indigenous Research(er) Capacity Building Network (IRNet) under the national alliance of accredited Research Translation Centres.
There are well described health inequities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people under-represented in health and medical research, as well as senior management and executive roles across the health sector.
This shortfall in the Indigenous health workforce compounds health disparities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and places pressure on current Indigenous health professionals and researchers. Growing and supporting Indigenous research and researchers is critical to the development, translation and evaluation of health care and research to address these inequities.
We applaud the launch of the Research Accord and look forward to seeing the impact it will have. Read more here.
In other news, Monash Partners is coordinating a project which will pilot implementation of a streamlined co-designed review pathway for low risk research and quality assurance activity. Current challenges here include a lack of agreed definitions and inconsistency in judgement and review. The initial pilot phase will occur in a small number of health services.