Menzies seminar series 


Mundallullu Koops and Karen Burke present ‘Cord blood donation - Implications for Aboriginal culture’, on Monday 31 March from 12pm to 1pm.

Currently Aboriginal people are not well represented on the national register and, while international registries provide possible matching solutions for some Australian ethnic minorities such as Asians, this option is not readily available to Aboriginal children.

The Indigenous Cord Blood Program at Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) is part of an Australia-wide effort to collect 22 000 Cord Blood Units (CBUs) including 2 000 CBUs from Aboriginal women.

The program aims to increase Aboriginal knowledge and awareness of the benefits of cord blood donation and, through this, to increase the number of CBUs collected from Aboriginal mothers.

Mundallullu Koops is an Indigenous ceremony and spiritual woman and is Queen of the Ngalakan Tribe, which was handed down from her grandmother. Mundallullu comes from Ngukurr, a community on the banks of the Roper River approximately 300 km south east of Darwin.

Mundallullu is an Aboriginal health worker who has maintained a passion for improving the health of her people. She is currently the Aboriginal Cord Blood Educator for the Indigenous Cord Blood program at RDH. Through her work in the cord blood program Mundallullu hopes to bring new hope and new beginnings to Indigenous people.

Karen Burke began her career as a nurse in Goulburn, NSW, moving to the Territory in 1989 for fun and adventure. Her main area of work has been throughout the many remote Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land where she developed an appreciation for Aboriginal culture.

While in Darwin, Karen furthered her skills and completed her midwifery training.

Karen is currently the Cord Blood Coordinator at RDH, where her past experience has been invaluable in establishing the program for the successful collection of cord blood.

This seminar takes place in the Menzies Seminar Room, John Mathews Building, Royal Darwin Hospital Campus.