Our Hub

About the Torres Strait Islander Research to Policy & Practice Hub

In May 2017, Associate Professor Felecia Watkin Lui convened a Torres Strait Islander Researcher workshop at JCU to provide input into the NH&MRC Roadmap 3 and review of the values and ethics guidelines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. Participants included twelve Torres Strait Islander researchers from Torres Strait, Cairns and Brisbane with expertise across multiple disciplines plus representatives from the NHMRC and the Wuchopperen Health Service. Key issues identified included: (1) limited visibility of an evidence-base to support effective decision making for Torres Strait Islanders; (2) there is research knowledge about what can work; (3) Torres Strait Islander communities do not have access to this knowledge at present; (4) the research agenda is not shaped by community concern/s; and (5) there is a growing pool of early career researchers with the combined expertise to lead research and knowledge translation (KT) for Torres Strait Islander communities.

Photo: Torres Strait Islander Researcher Workshop at JCU in Cairns in May 2017.

(Photo courtesy: S Shibasaki)

Later in December 2017, representatives from the Indigenous Education and Research Centre (JCU) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit (UQ), organised a round table to discuss ‘Research Benefit and Sustainability for the Torres Strait Islanders’. The purpose of the discussion was to:

  • Describe the current context of research involving Torres Strait Islander people,
  • Explore the value of a community-led university partnership for Torres Strait Islander people, and
  • Describe topics of interest for the prosperity and sustainability of Torres Strait Islander people.

The outcomes from the discussion provide the basis for future collaboration between JCU, UQ and community stakeholders and informed the development of an agenda for a Torres Strait Community of Practice. We acknowledge the contributions from the following people that supported this discussion, the late Mrs Romina Fujii, Ms Latoya Nakata, Mr Tommy Pau and Mr Walter Waia.

As such, in 2018, a network of Torres Strait Islander researchers and community representatives that decided to come together because members share a passion for the empowerment of Torres Strait Islander people to shape their own futures. The network, known as Meriba buay - ngalpan wakaythoemamay (We come together to share our thinking), and several stakeholders are the foundation for the Torres Strait Islander Research to Policy & Practice Hub.


To create, connect, and impart research that supports prosperous and sustainable ecosystems in the Torres Strait Island region.

Hub Mudh

The Torres Strait Islander Research to Policy & Practice Hub is based at the JCU Nguma-bada campus in Smithfield, Cairns. The Hub is led by Associate Professor Felecia Watkin Lui and managed by Ms Lynda Ah Mat. Other Hub stakeholders include Dr Sanchia Shibasaki.