The Healthy Ageing Research Team (HART) are an interprofessional group of clinician-based researchers at James Cook University and Cairns Hospital. Our research priorities are driven by community identified priorities and clinical need with particular focus on better ways to deliver health services through integrated care models as well as improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Improve health systems and healthcare delivery to enhance the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Develop better ways to deliver health services to remote communities including developing culturally appropriate assessment tools for older adults within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
Develop models of healthy ageing and address dementia risk in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Develop culturally appropriate assessment tools for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait adults living in Far North Queensland
Develop innovative models of integrated health service delivery for older adults within Far North Queensland.
Major current projects
Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing
Health is a holistic concept within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The connection to Country is central to wellbeing and spiritual, environment, ideological, political, social, economic, mental and physical factors all play an interrelated role in wellbeing (Dudgeon, Bray, D'Costa, & Walker, 2017). When any of these relationships are disrupted, ill-health prevails. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people therefore hold a different worldview where the concept of self is collectivist and inseparable from family and community. The domains of Social and Emotional Wellbeing have been developed into a framework (see Figure 1) and can be assessed using a quality-of-life tool under development by our team (e.g. Good Spirit Good Life tool, APP1108527). Recognising and responding to the different worldview of health within Torres Strait communities is at the core of the proposed study.
There are 18 island and 2 Northern Peninsula Area Torres trait communities located between the tip of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland and Papua New Guinea (See Figure 2). These are divided into five major island clusters. According to the 2011 census, 5,787 people of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent resided in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area, 1232 of those were aged 45 and over (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011).
Consistent with research in Aboriginal populations, Torres Strait Islander people experience disproportionate economic, social and health disadvantage and have more complex health needs, higher rates of chronic disease and lower life expectancy than the general population (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016).
As life expectancy in these communities continues to rise, chronic disease and associated problems of ageing (e.g. falls, incontinence) are becoming an increasing issue within these communities. Generally, age-related conditions affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at a younger age than non-Indigenous Australians. Long-term health conditions affect 9 in 10 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 55, with higher risks of certain conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare., 2017).
Long-term disability affects almost half (45%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Fourteen per cent (14%) of Indigenous people aged 55 and over reported having a profound or severe core activity limitation (requiring help or supervision most, or all of the time with self-care, mobility and/or communication) (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare., 2017). Thus the health needs of older Indigenous Australians differ from non-Indigenous Australians resulting in increased demand on health and community services and residential care at an earlier age. Effective and equitable access to quality health care is the key to optimising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Primary health care is provided through Queensland Health clinics based on each of the populated islands as well as one Community Controlled Organisation in the Northern Peninsula Area on the mainland. A primary health care centre typically has a resident Remote Area Nurse with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker but relies on fly in/fly out GP service and limited allied health coverage from Thursday Island. Specialists such as endocrinologists based elsewhere in the state provide outreach clinics sporadically. The only dedicated Geriatric services visits twice a year supplemented by telehealth services from Cairns. Whilst existing services are unprepared to meet the demand of the ageing Torres Strait population and the complexities of their health, programs embedded in primary care have been shown to be effective.
In summary, whilst concepts of healthy ageing require further clarification and testing in the wider Australian community, very little is known about what it means to “age well” or what healthy ageing means to people living in Torres Strait communities.
Funding: Ian Potter Foundation $375,000
Keywords: Dementia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island, Ageing, Rural and Remote, Mental Health, Validation Tools
The aims of this study is to develop culturally appropriate mental health assessment tools for older adults (e.g. aged 45 and over) living in the Torres Strait.
Hold yarning circles with Torres Strait community members and health care staff, with information used to identify how mental health disorders are expressed in the Torres Strait.
Use a Delphi process to identify appropriate tools for assessing these domains of mental ill health for use in older adults in the Torres Strait.
Develop tools which will be piloted to determine acceptability and validated for use in the Torres Strait.
University of Queensland
Principal Investigator – Associate Professor Sarah Russell
Funding: NHMRC, Boosting Dementia Research Grant $1,515,145
Keywords: Dementia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island, Ageing, Rural and Remote, Dementia Risk Factors,
Dementia can be difficult for people and their family and caregivers. Studies show that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a three to five times higher risk of dementia than non-Indigenous people, occurring at a younger age (45+).
Health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, and lifestyle factors such as smoking, and obesity increase the risk of dementia. The aim of this study is to work with Aboriginal health services to strengthen healthy ageing and dementia prevention services for their communities
Identify people’s understanding of dementia and the risk factors
Identify what could be done to decrease risk factors
Work with Aboriginal Medical Services to look at these risk factors. Interventions will be put in place that are cost-effective, sustainable, affordable, evidence based and are culturally appropriate.
Menzies School of Health Research, Northern Territory Health, Primary Health Network, Queensland Health, Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence, University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of Western Australia,
Eight Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and Indigenous primary health care centres representative of regional, metropolitan and remote geographic regions in NSW, NT, WA and QLD will participate in the study.
Principal Investigator – Adjunct Professor Edward Strivens
Senior Researcher – Associate Professor Sarah Russell
Senior Researcher – Rachel Quigley
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow & Project Manager – Yvonne Hornby-Turner
Keywords: Ageing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island, Dementia, Rural and Remote,
Studies show that people living in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have poorer health outcomes than the general population. To improve health outcomes, people need to be able to access services that suit their needs. For this to happen, local communities need to be asked what healthy ageing means to them and how older people can be supported to age well and remain living at home as long as possible.
Identify what people’s health priorities are and what healthy ageing means to them
Work with primary health care centres to look at these priorities and then better support older people to age well and live at home for as long as possible
Develop guidelines that the health centres can use for improving the health of older adults living in the region.
Primary health services within the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service will participate in the study. The project will run in partnership with the Post-Acute Rehabilitation and Aged Care program (PARAC) on Thursday Island.
Principal Investigator – Adjunct Professor Edward Strivens
Senior Researcher – Associate Professor Sarah Russell
Funding: NHMRC, Boosting Dementia Research Initiative and Targeted Research Funding
Keywords: Ageing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island, Dementia, Rural and Remote,
CIA: Professor Dina LoGiudice, University of Melbourne
As people get older, they are more likely to have problems with their health, their memory and other issues that might affect well-being. This can be hard for the older person, for their carers and family and for their community – particularly if their health and memory issues are not fully identified or they don’t get access to the help they need.
The Let’s CHAT study works with the staff at health services to improve the detection and management of dementia and cognitive impairment within their service.
More information about this project can be found at https://medicine.unimelb.edu.au/school-structure/medicine-and-radiology/research/lets-chat-dementia
Twelve Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and Indigenous primary health care centres representative of regional, metropolitan and remote geographic regions in NSW, NT, WA and QLD will participate in the study.
Queensland Project team
Principal Investigator – Adjunct Professor Edward Strivens
Associate investigator – Associate Professor Sarah Russell
2021-2025: Ian Potter Foundation. Validation of culturally appropriate mental health tools for the Torres Strait. $375,000
2021-2022: Dementia Australia. Development of culturally appropriate mental health tools for older adults living with dementia the Torres Strait. $75,000
2021-2022: FNQ Hospital foundation. Development and piloting of culturally appropriate mental health tools for the Torres Strait. $25,000
2021-2022: HOT NORTH. Development of culturally appropriate mental health tools for the Torres Strait. $23,000
2017-onwards: OPEN ARCH. Implementation of integrated models of Geriatric care. Funding from QLD Excellence Division (QH) and North QLD Primary Health Network $1.9m?
2019-2025. NHMRC Boosting Dementia Grant. Reducing Dementia Risk in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Communities $1.5m
2019-2025. NHMRC Targeted Call for Research into Healthy Ageing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. A Framework for Healthy Ageing in the Torres Strait $1.1m
2019-2024. NHMRC Targeted call: University of Western Australia: defining and predicting healthy ageing in aboriginal and Torres Strait Island populations (HATS). $931,000
2019-2023: NHMRC Targeted call. University of Melbourne: Let's CHAT (Community Health Approaches To) Dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities $2,032,776
2018-2021. NHMRC Boosting Dementia Grant: University of Melbourne: improving detection and management of dementia in older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders attending primary care [IDEA-PC]) $ 2,172,421
2020: Developing a Culturally Appropriate Diet Tool for the Torres Strait: JCU internal funding $19,250
2015-2019: Dementia Prevalence in the Torres Strait. Funded through NHMRC Project grant $365,000
2016: Validation of the KICA-screen for telehealth. Funded through FNQ Hospital Foundation $3000
2015-2016: Culturally appropriate stroke services for Qld Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
2015-2016: ASPIRE – Qualitative study examining care transitions of older patients. Australian Primary Healthcare research institute $175,000
2014: Pilot dementia prevalence study on Hammond Island. Funded through Mason Foundation $60,000
2013: Dementia Knowledge survey in Cape York. Funded through Dementia Collaborative Research Centres $23,249
Thompson, F., Russell, S. G., Harriss, L. R., Esterman, A., Taylor, S., Quigley, R., ... & McDermott, R. (2022). Using Health Check Data to Understand Risks for Dementia and Cognitive Impairment Among Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Peoples in Northern Queensland—A Data Linkage Study. Frontiers in Public Health, 10.
Quigley, R., Russell, S. G., Larkins, S., Taylor, S., Sagigi, B., Strivens, E., & Redman-MacLaren, M. (2022). Aging Well for Indigenous Peoples: A Scoping Review. Frontiers in Public Health, 10.
Thompson, F.,Harriss, L. R., Russell, S., Taylor, S., Cysique, L. A., Strivens, E., ... & McDermott, R. (2021) Using health check data to investigate cognitive function in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living with diabetes in the Torres Strait, Australia. Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, e00297,doi: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34559471/
Russell, S., Quigley, R., Thompson, F., Sagigi, B., LoGiudice, D., Smith, K., Pachana, N., Miller, G. & Strivens, E. (2021). Prevalence of dementia in the Torres Strait.Australasian Journal on Ageing, 40 (2), e125-e132, doi:10.1111/ajag.12878.
Russell, S., Quigley R, Strivens, E., Miller, G., Norrie, J., Craig, D., Jordan, J., & Muller, R. (2021). Validation of the Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment short form (KICA-screen) for telehealth.Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 27(1), 54-58. doi:10.1177/1357633X19860309.
Bohanna, I., Harriss, L., McDonald, M., Cullen, J., Strivens, E., Bird, K., Blanco, L., Thompson, F., Wapau, H., Wason, A., & Barker, R. (2021). A systematic review of disability, rehabilitation and lifestyle services in rural and remote Australia through the lens of the people-centred health care. Disability and Rehabilitation. 25, 1-12. doi:10.1080/09638288.2021.1962992
Isaac, V., Kuot, A., Hamiduzzaman, M., Strivens, E., & Greenhill, J. (2021). The outcomes of a person-centered, non-pharmacological intervention in reducing agitation in residents with dementia in Australian rural nursing homes. BMC Geriatrics, 21(1):193. doi: 10.1186/s12877-021-02151-8.
Strivens, E. Russell, S,G., Quigley, R., Miller, G., Saggigi, B. Thompson, F., LoGiudice, D. Smith, K. Pachana, N, Flicker, N., Luffman, D., Nona, V. and PARAC Team (2021).Prevalence of Dementia in Torres Strait Islander Communities. Final report. College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University.
Russell, S.G., Quigley, R., Thompson, F., Sagigi, B., Miller, G., LoGiudice, D., Smith, K., Pachana, NA, & Strivens, E. (2021). Factors associated with the increased risk of dementia found in the Torres Strait. Australas Journal on Ageing. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12980.
Quigley, R., Russell, S.G.,Sagigi, B.R., Miller, G., & Strivens E. (2021) Community involvement to maximise research success in Torres Strait Islander populations: more than just ticking the boxes. Rural and Remote Health, 21: 5957, https://doi.org/10.22605/RRH5957
Mann, J., Thompson, F., McDermott, R., Esterman, A., & Strivens, E. (2021) Impact of an integrated community-based model of care for older people with complex conditions on hospital emergency presentations and admissions: a step-wedged cluster randomized trial. BMC Health Service Research,https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-06668-x
Quigley, R., Foster, M., Harvey, D. & Ehrlich, C. (2021) Entering into a caring system of care: A qualitative study of carers of older community-dwelling Australians. Health and Social Care in the Community, http://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.13405
Quigley, R., Russell, S., Harvey, D., & Mann, J. (2021). OPEN ARCH integrated care model: experiences of older Australians and their carers. Aust J Prim Health. doi:10.1071/PY20203
Mann, J., Thompson, F., Quigley, R., McDermott, R., Devine, S., & Strivens, E. (2021). Beyond multimorbidity: primary care and the older person with complex needs. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 27(3), 194-201, doi:https://doi.org/10.1071/PY20125.
Peel, N. M., Hornby-Turner, Y. C., Osborne, S. R., Henderson, A., Hubbard, R. E., & Gray, L. C. (2021) Implementation and Evaluation of a Standardized Nurse-Administered Assessment of Functional and Psychosocial Issues for Patients in Acute Care. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, n/a(n/a). doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/wvn.12490
Strivens, E. (2020). Time for a new approach to funding residential aged care. The Medical Journal of Australia, 213 (8), 355-356. doi:https://doi.org/10.5694/mja2.50799
Mann, J., Quigley, R., Harvey, D., Tait, M., & Strivens, E. (2020). OPEN ARCH: integrated care at the primary–secondary interface for the community-dwelling older person with complex needs. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 26. doi:10.1071/PY19184
Strivens, E.,Russell, S., Quigley, R., Sagigi, B., & Miller, G. (2020). Dementia prevalence in Torres Strait communities: Epidemiology / Prevalence, incidence, and outcomes of MCI and dementia. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 16. doi:10.1002/alz.039634
Russell, S. G., Quigley, R., Thompson, F., Sagigi, B., LoGiudice, D., Smith, K., Pachana, N., Miller, G., & Strivens, E. (2020). Prevalence of dementia in the Torres Strait. Australas J Ageing, 00, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajag.12878. doi:10.1111/ajag.12878
Bradley, K., Smith, R., Hughson, J. A., Atkinson, D., Bessarab, D., Flicker, L., Radford, K., Smith, K., Strivens, E., Thompson, S., Blackberry, I., & LoGiudice, D. (2020). Let's CHAT (community health approaches to) dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities: protocol for a stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial. BMC Health Serv Res, 20(1), 208. doi:10.1186/s12913-020-4985-1
Buikstra, E., Strivens, E., & Clay-Williams, R. (2020). Understanding variability in discharge planning processes for the older person. Safety Science, 121, 137-146. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2019.08.026
Hamiduzzaman, M., Kuot, A., Greenhill, J., Strivens, E., & Isaac, V. (2020). Towards personalized care: Factors associated with the quality of life of residents with dementia in Australian rural aged care homes. PLoS ONE, 15(5), e0233450. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0233450
Quigley, R., Russell, S., Sagigi, B., Miller, G., & Strivens, E. (2020). A framework of healthy ageing for the Torres Strait: A grassroots approach to dementia risk reduction: Prevention (nonpharmacological) / Multidomain. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 16. doi:10.1002/alz.039641
Russell, S., Quigley, R., Sagigi, B., Miller, G., & Strivens, E. (2020). Collaborating with Australian Indigenous communities: A protocol to address the high rates of dementia found in aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: Prevention (nonpharmacological) / Multidomain. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 16. doi:10.1002/alz.037895
Hughson, J., Flicker, L., Bradley, K., Belfrage, M., Strivens, E., Bessarab, D., Atkinson, D., Radford, K., Russell, S., Quigley, R., Allan, W., Malay, R., Sullivan, K., Ducker, B., & Logiudice, D. (2020). Let’s CHAT – Dementia: Primary care model of care to optimise detection and management of dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older people: Determination of the risk factor profile in this population: Epidemiology / Risk and protective factors in MCI and dementia. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 16. doi:10.1002/alz.041319
Russell, S., Quigley, R., Strivens, E.,Miller, G., Norrie, J., Craig, D., Jordan, J., & Muller, R. (2019). Validation of the Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment short form (KICA-screen) for telehealth. J Telemed Telecare, 1357633X19860309. doi:10.1177/1357633X19860309
Quigley, R., Mann, J., Robertson, J., & Bonython-Ericson, S. (2019). Are we there yet? Exploring the journey to quality stroke care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in rural and remote Queensland. Rural Remote Health, 19(3), 4850. doi:10.22605/RRH4850
Strivens, E., & Stirling, C. (2019). It’s time to move from researching problems to providing solutions. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 38(2), 78-79. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/ajag.12682
Mann, J., Devine, S., & McDermott, R. (2019). Integrated care for community dwelling older Australians. Journal of Integrated Care, 27(2), 173-187. doi:10.1108/JICA-10-2018-0063
Peel, N. M., Hornby-Turner, Y. C., Henderson, A., Hubbard, R. E., & Gray, L. C. (2019). Prevalence and Impact of Functional and Psychosocial Problems in Hospitalized Adults: A Prospective Cohort Study. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 20(10), 1294-1299.e1291. doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2019.03.012
Johnston, K., Preston, R., Strivens, E., Qaloewai, S., & Larkins, S. (2019). Understandings of dementia in low and middle income countries and amongst indigenous peoples: a systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis. Aging & Mental Health, 24, 1-13. doi:10.1080/13607863.2019.1606891
Johnston, K., Russell, S., Sen, S., Qaloewai, S., & Strivens, E. (2018). Cultural aspects of dementia: Australian and Fijian perspectives. Fiji Journal of Public Health, 7, 41-42.
Kinchin, I., Jacups, S., Mann, J., Quigley, R., Harvey, D., Doran, C., & Strivens, E. (2018a). Efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a community-based model of care for older patients with complex needs: A study protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial using a stepped wedge cluster design. Trials, 19. doi:10.1186/s13063-018-3038-0
Kinchin, I., Jacups, S., Mann, J., Quigley, R., Harvey, D., Doran, C., & Strivens, E. (2018b). Supplementary Material.
Cham, G., Davis, N., Strivens, E., Traves, A., Manypeney, G., & Gunnarsson, R. (2018). Factors correlating to the propensity of general practitioners to substitute borderline vitamin B12 deficiency. Scand J Prim Health Care, 36(3), 242-248. doi:10.1080/02813432.2018.1487522
Gray, L. C., Beattie, E., Boscart, V. M., Henderson, A., Hornby-Turner, Y. C., Hubbard, R. E., Wood, S., & Peel, N. M. (2018). Development and Testing of the interRAI Acute Care: A Standardized Assessment Administered by Nurses for Patients Admitted to Acute Care. Health services insights, 11, 1178632918818836-1178632918818836. doi:10.1177/1178632918818836
Harvey, D., Foster, M., Quigley, R., & Strivens, E. (2018). Care transition types across acute, sub-acute and primary care: Case studies of older people with complex conditions and their carers. Journal of Integrated Care, 26(3), 188-189. doi:10.1108/JICA-12-2017-0047
Lowthian, J. A., Arendts, G., & Strivens, E. (2018). Australian recommendations for the integration of emergency care for older people: Consensus Statement. Australas J Ageing, 37(3), 224-226. doi:10.1111/ajag.12535
Hornby-Turner, Y. C., Peel, N. M., & Hubbard, R. E. (2017). Health assets in older age: a systematic review. BMJ Open, 7(5), e013226-e013226. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013226
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This short video was filmed on Moa Island in Torres Strait. The HART team collaborated with The University of Queensland’s DREAMT team to write and develop the film. Dr Eddy Strivens is the Geriatrician in the film, enacting a life-like consultation for a person with dementia and their family. Close consultation occurred with the people from the Torres community and the video was co-written and directed by Samson Tamwoy, a local Torres Strait Islander Health Worker.
The full telehealth consultation with Dr Eddy Strivens can be seen here
Dr Eddy Strivens is a practising clinician and national leader in geriatric medicine and dementia, working in Far North Queensland for over 20 years. He has held an academic appointment with James Cook University since the commencement of the Clinical School in Cairns and is currently an Adjunct Professor. His research interests are in Culturally Appropriate Assessment, Healthy Ageing, Integrated Care and Models of Service Delivery. He has worked extensively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities in Far North Queensland and has validated the use of culturally appropriate cognitive assessment tools in this population. He is practised in linking research with clinical outcomes in these communities.
Dr Sarah Russell is an associate professor with the College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University and is a founding member of the Healthy Ageing Research Team (HART). Her research focuses on healthy ageing, with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in FNQ. Sarah has been instrumental in attracting 8 continuous years of NHMRC grant funding to the total of just under $3 million. She holds a Masters and PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology and works as a Clinical Neuropsychologist at the Cairns Hospital and in private practice. Sarah also provides research supervision to postgraduate students and clinical supervision to psychologists and neuropsychologists.
Rachel Quigley is a physiotherapist working in the field gerontology for over 20 years. She has worked in the UK, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Australia. She holds a clinical role in Cairns Hospital, as the Older Persons Liaison Advanced Clinician and has completed a MPhil through Griffith University focusing on the experiences of carers of older adults as they navigate aged care and health care systems. Rachel also holds a senior research position with the Health Ageing Research Team (HART) at James Cook University, Queensland, Australia. This research role focuses on projects involved with dementia and ageing within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations in Far North Queensland as well as models of integrated care. She is undertaking a PhD through JCU, developing a framework of healthy ageing for the Torres Strait.
Jennifer co-developed and is the current program manager for the Older Persons Integrated Health Service in Cairns that provides comprehensive care for frail older persons and those with complex needs in the ED, community and residential care settings. Jennifer is an occupational therapist by profession and holds a Master of Public Health. She is a PhD candidate at James Cook University through which she is exploring the effectiveness of the OPEN ARCH service - an integrated model of care for older persons with complex needs. Jennifer is passionate about integrated care solutions – she attended the International Summer School on Integrated Care at Oxford University in 2019 and is an active member of the International Foundation of Integrated Care.
Gavin studied Medicine as University of Newcastle and is a Senior Medical Officer in Geriatric Medicine with Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service. He is an Investigator on the Reducing risk in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities and A Framework for Healthy Ageing in the Torres Strait, with HART.
Diane is a member of the Gugu Badhun nation of the Valley of Lagoons in north Queensland. Her lived experience as an Aboriginal person in conjunction with qualifications and experience working in the Indigenous sector informs her approach to working to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She has a background in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, supporting students to reach their full potential and families to navigate the system. Her other interests lie in research, working with groups and communities to ensure appropriate research protocols are in place and assisting researchers to engage respectfully and ethically with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the research process. Currently she is part of the Healthy Ageing Research Team undertaking a project to better understand what healthy ageing means for Torres Strait Islanders.
Betty Sagigi, JP (Mag CT.)
Betty Sagigi is a Torres Strait Islander Indigenous Health Worker. She is the Aged Care Assessment Team Coordinator and Assessor for the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area, working as part of Thursday Island’s Primary Health Post-Acute Rehab and Aged Care Program within Torres and Cape Hospital & Health Services for the last 10 years. Prior to this role, she managed Commonwealth Funding Agreements for the Primary Health Care Indigenous Health Programs and managed initiatives under Queensland State Government Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy. Betty has been an integral part of the Healthy Ageing Research Team and has worked on the Dementia Prevalence study from design, data collection and through to knowledge translation. She has ensured the screening tools for dementia are culturally appropriate, facilitated maximum community participation and ensured that community consultation and engagement is conducted in a culturally safe and appropriate way.
Yvonne is an Early Career Research Fellow on the NHMRC funded project - Dementia Risk Reduction in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. She is a medical anthropologist by training, with a research interest in lifestyle-related risk factors for chronic disease, including dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Yvonne is based in Brisbane and has worked in primary and secondary health services research since moving from the UK, to Australia in 2014. She has collaborated with HART, conducting ageing related research with remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Far North Queensland, including the Torres Strait since 2015. Her previous research has centred on quantitative and qualitative investigations into lifestyle related factors for chronic disease in ethnic minority children.
Fintan Thompson has qualifications in epidemiology and clinical neuropsychology. He works as a Data Analyst at James Cook University and a Clinical Neuropsychologist Registrar at the Cairns Hospital. He has previously worked in epidemiology for governments, academia and humanitarian organisations. As a clinical neuropsychologist, Fintan has worked in rehabilitation, geriatrics, psychiatry and paediatrics. This combination of epidemiology and clinical experience provides Fintan with an understanding of how injury and disease at the population level impacts people at the individual level. He is from Far North Queensland and has an interest Indigenous health, including how midlife risk and protective factors influence cognitive functioning in later life.
Ellaina is a Clinical neuropsychology registrar and senior psychologist in Cairns Hospital and holds a research position with the Healthy Ageing Research Team (James Cook University). She holds a Bachelor of Medical Science, Graduate Diploma in Infection and Immunology, a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and a Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology. As a clinical neuropsychologist, Ellaina works with populations across the lifespan, predominantly in rural and remote Australian communities including in Alice Springs, Central Queensland and Far North Queensland. As a researcher, she has worked in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health for over five years. Working as the coordinating researcher for two NHMRC funded projects (Jandu Yani U and Darin Meme ɳa Bari Bari) delivering interventions for developmental disabilities in very remote Aboriginal communities. She is also a founding member of the Kimberley Brain and Mind Foundation Inc, a charitable organisation that has provided over $180,000 in grant funding for projects that focus on ameliorate the effects of brain and mind disorders in vulnerable populations.
Melissa is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian with a background studying IT. She works as a Dietitian at the Cairns Hospital and Cairns Diabetes Centre. As a Clinical Dietitian, Melissa has worked in geriatrics, rehabilitation, medical, diabetes, and community health; as well as a period with the CHHHS Digital Hospital Team involved with maintaining and training for the hospital's electronic medical record (ieMR). This combination of technology and clinical experience has fostered an interest in whole systems approaches and an understanding of how both upstream and downstream factors impact health outcomes. Melissa grew up in Far North Queensland and has an interest Indigenous health, including how systems design can impact different levels of health for individuals and community in Far North Queensland.
Ms Chenoa Wapau is a Torres Strait Islander Indigenous Research Assistant. She is a health worker by background and is currently a first year Nursing student. She was previously and remains involved in the Diabetes in Pregnancy Partnership with Menzies School of Health Research. Chenoa remains open and keen to gain further experiences, in aiming to focus on the implementation of upstream interventions and preventing non-communicable diseases from passing on to newer generations within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
My name is Samson Tamwoy, I am a proud grassroots man from Badu Island. I grew up in WA and moved back to Badu when I was 15 years old. My cousin George Morseu encouraged me to apply for a traineeship position with Queensland Health as a male Health Worker back in 1996. I completed my Cert III in ATSI Primary Health Care with Batchelor College in NT and have been with QH as a casual Health Worker from 2001 through to now. I have worked in various jobs through out the Torres Strait (TI, Saibai, Yam, St Pauls, Kubin, Mabuiag and Horn) and NPA. I love being outdoors and enjoy fishing, hunting, camping and learning my history through my elders especially when I'm on Country.
Kathryn Meldrum is an exercise physiologist by discipline. She has over twenty years of research experience mainly focussed on health and physical activity. Kathryn also has a background in program evaluation. As a Senior Research Fellow with the Healthy Ageing Research Team, Kathryn is managing the “Developing culturally appropriate tools for screening for common mental health disorders in older adults living in the Torres Strait” project.
Torres Webb, a proud Australian far north Queenslander, and Indigenous man from the Torres Strait (Erub, Darnley Island). Torres is a passionate community engagement advocate supporting the improvement, achievement, wellbeing, and life chances of Torres Strait Islanders by focusing on “what’s strong rather than what’s wrong”. He is recognised internationally and nationally and for his community engagement and leadership skills. Torres has used these skills in his work with: The Center for Relational Learning (USA); Youth Challenge Vanuatu; Australian Council of State School Organisations; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance; Wuchopperen Health Service; Parent & Citizens (P&C) Queensland; and Education Queensland.