Prestigious education award for Menzies 


The Menzies School of Health Research has been recognised as a leader in health and education research as they were presented with the prestigious ‘Gold Harold Award for Education’ by Life Education Australia at a recent ceremony.

Menzies, Australia’s leaders in Indigenous health research, were presented with the award in recognition for their outstanding contribution towards the healthy development of Indigenous children through their ground-breaking ‘Early Childhood Development’ research program.

Accepting the award on behalf of Menzies, leading early childhood researcher Ms Georgie Nutton said that Menzies were leading the way with their innovative and holistic approach to getting Indigenous kids healthy and ready for the education journey that lies ahead.

“In remote Aboriginal communities of the NT, four out of every five children cannot meet the most basic acceptable standards of literacy or numeracy – standards that we would expect 95 percent or more of Australian children to meet,” she said.

“It is widely acknowledged that there are proven links between poor education and poor health and that a good education may be the single most effective health intervention to improve the health of the next generation of Indigenous Australians.”

Menzies’ ground-breaking research program is examining the relationships between health and education from pregnancy, through infancy and early childhood as this is the time of maximum brain development and acquisition of skills.

Ms Nutton went on to say that there is a growing body of evidence linking early brain development and later life outcomes including cardiovascular disease risk, obesity diabetes, and behavioural and mental health problems which are over represented Indigenous Australians.

“These diseases are over represented in the Indigenous population and one of the principal contributors to the ‘gap’ in Indigenous life expectancy in Australia,” she said.

“Only by understanding how we can physically and mentally prepare Indigenous kids for a lifetime of learning and education can we then attempt to develop programs that really work and make a difference to both the health end educational outcomes for the next generation of Indigenous Australians.”