Research to improve Indigenous health 

Dr Gary Robinson with the Let's Start program

Researchers from Charles Darwin University’s School for Social and Policy Research will tomorrow speak at a Parliamentary showcase of Aboriginal health research.

The showcase, presented by the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health, will be opened by the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon on Thursday, 13 March in the Main Committee Room of Federal Parliament at 10:30am.

Associate Professor Gary Robinson, Yomei Jones, Carmen Cubillo and Roger Tipungwuti, all of whom are involved in the School’s  family friendly Indigenous intervention program operating in 40 sites across the Top End, Let’s Start, will present different findings coming from the applied research program.

Dr Robinson, who has over 20 years experience working with Indigenous communities, says there is a pressing need to improve Indigenous health in a long term context.

“Research into interventions that improve Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing is needed to ensure there are positive outcomes for families and children from the recent Emergency Response,” he said.

“We work in urban fringe settings, mainstream settings and remote communities to help provide families and children with assistance.

“Each setting presents its own challenges in terms of language, culture and need, and its own possibilities for success.”

Program leader Yomei Jones will present the results of Indigenous familial training, with Carmen Cubillo set to discuss community cohesion and parental responsiveness.

Dr Robinson will continue with his address in relation to the challenge of developing an evidence-base for early intervention to support Indigenous children. Finally, Roger Tipungwuti will add the perspective of a Tiwi person who has been working with the program for over five years.

Let’s Start aims to help parents support their children as they negotiate their way through preschool into primary school. It highlights children’s early years as being pivotal for social and emotional learning. Children who participate in the program get support as they develop positive ways to interact with other children and adults, essential skills to avoid problems in later years.

Dr Gary Robinson is available for comment on 0417 890 944