Anton Breinl Research Centre Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Building on the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to improve health and wellbeing outcomes is a priority issue and this stream spans the domains of health research in collaborative research to “close the gap”.


Program leader: Associate Professor Catrina Felton-Busch


NHMRC Project Grant (GNT1146013 2018-2022 $1.8 million)

Co-Lead Investigators Associate Professor Catrina Felton-Busch & Professor Sarah Larkins

This project aims to test the effectiveness of community women’s groups to improve the quality of maternal and child health care and outcomes.  The project is a partnership between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care services, community women's groups, and experienced researchers. Together we will use the best evidence about community participation in co-design of health services.

WOMB logo

Learn more about the WOMB project.

This NHMRC funded research aims to better remote and regional Indigenous primary health care services, through examination of case studies at six "high improving" primary health care services within the ABCD national research partnership.

Chief Investigators: Prof Sarah Larkins, Sandra Thompson, Christine Connors, A/Prof Jacinta Elston, Prof Komla Tsey.

Associate Researchers: 

  • Menzies School of Health Research: Prof Ross Bailie, Ms Tania Patrao, Dr Veronica Matthews, Moana Tane, Maxwell Mitropoulos.
  • Queensland Health: Chris Henaway, Ms Ru Kwezda.
  • James Cook University: Annette Panzera, Dr Cindy Woods
  • University of Western Australia: Mrs Jacki Ward
  • Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory: Kerry Copley

Site Representatives:

  • Wurli Wulinjang: Dr Bruce Hocking, Rebecca Bond
  • KWHB-Yarralin: Rebecca Gooley, Brian Pedwell, Sinon Cooney
  • Darnley and Yorke Islands: Robyn Taylor, Robyn White, Angela Mills
  • Batchelor: Margaret Brice
  • Fitzroy Crossing: Maureen Clarke

Learn more about Lessons from the Best.

Felton- Busch CKnight S, Elston J et al. Training Aboriginal Health Workers and facilitating registration 2013-2015, HWA Consultancy. $900 000.

NHMRC Targeted Call for Research into Healthy Ageing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. $1100540 over 5 years 2020-2024.  

Investigators: Professor Edward Strivens, Dr Sarah Russell, Ms Rachel Quigley, Professor Robyn McDermott, Dr Sean Taylor, Professor Sarah Larkins and others.

NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Grant. $1,515,145 over 5 years, 2020-2024

Investigators: Prof Edward Strivens, Dr Sarah Russell, Ms Rachel Quigley, Prof Sarah Larkins Dr Veronica Matthews, Prof Robyn McDermott et al.

NHMRC CRE $2.5 million over 5 years

Investigators: Dr Veronica Matthews, Prof Sarah Larkins, A/Prof Catrina Felton-Busch, Prof Yvonne Cadet-James and others (administered through Uni Sydney).

Murray R. Grant M. (CIA) Asbestos related disease in Indigenous communities. NHMRC project grant.

Elston J, Speare R, Murray R et al.  Successfully developing a cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers. NHMRC - Building Indigenous Research Capacity (BIRC) grant. 2.5 million over 4 years.

Sarnyai Z, Larkins S, Elston J.  Biomedical research will focus on biological understanding of priority diseases, potentially leading to outcomes focused genomics research with potential for large health gains (performed with respectful engagement with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities).  Initial projects include correlating salivary cortisol with self-reported stress and observing diurnal variation over time. Faculty grant 2013. $20 000.

Devlin S, Corbin P, Massey P, Judd J. Tuberculosis in Northern NSW- a PAR project with North Coast Health and Aboriginal Medical Services building Indigenous research capacity.

Evaluating Indigenous Health Programs [Judd J. (JCU); Boulton A. (Whakauae Research Services Ltd, Wanganui NZ); Cargo M. (SAMRI, UniSa); Warner L (UniSA); and other partners in NZ]