Kalinda named NT Young Australian of the Year 

CDU graduate Kalinda Griffiths is the 2011 Northern Territory Young Australian of the Year.

Charles Darwin University graduate, Kalinda Griffiths has been named the 2011 Northern Territory Young Australian of the Year.

The 29-year-old Indigenous health researcher was recognised for her critical work into improving Indigenous health and cancer survival rates.

An Indigenous woman born in Darwin of Yawuru heritage, Kalinda graduated from CDU in 2009 with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science. Her interest in Indigenous health was sparked when she witnessed the preventable illness and disease suffered by her immediate and extended family.

Beginning her career in Indigenous health research with a CRCAH laboratory traineeship, Kalinda gained valuable experience as a research technician, predominantly on the Diabetes and Related conditions in the Urban Indigenous Darwin (DRUID) study, the largest and most comprehensive dataset on diabetes-related conditions in urban Indigenous populations.

Her research now focuses on improving the evidence base for Indigenous health and social policy, which will ultimately help reduce the health disadvantage faced by Indigenous people.

Until now there have been no statistics on cancer in Indigenous people and Kalinda’s research is analysing large sets of data to determine the difference in rates of cancer survival between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Kalinda has also become a strong voice for Indigenous women, particularly in the area of health and was selected to attend the Oxfam Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Strait Talk Summit 2009.