$5 million to achieve equity in cancer screening for First Nations People

The Australian Government is investing in enhanced screening and research of cancer in Indigenous Australians, through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Synergy Grant Schemes.

Senator the Hon Malarndirri McCarthy
Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health

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The Australian Government is investing in enhanced screening and research of cancer in Indigenous Australians, through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Synergy Grant Schemes.

Cancer is a leading cause of death among First Nations Australians and the mortality gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians continues to widen with improvements needed in screening programs.

NHMRC Synergy Grants support outstanding multidisciplinary teams of investigators to work together to answer complex health issues and questions that cannot be answered by a single investigator.

Professor Gail Garvey, a proud Kamilaroi woman, and her team from the University of Queensland will receive $5 million over 5 years to address this disparity and achieve equity in cancer screening for Australia’s First Nations peoples.

Professor Garvey said that programs to improve cancer screening for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are most effective when developed in partnership with Indigenous leadership and communities.

“Our aim is to co-design, co-implement and evaluate strategies to achieve equity in cancer screening for Australia’s First people,” Prof Garvey said.

“To address the disparities in cancer screening rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, we are working to co-design screening programs with First Nations peoples, rather than implementing a one-size-fits-all approach.”

“Access to equitable, safe, and timely models of care to prevent cancer will make health and wellbeing achievable in our communities.”

NHMRC Synergy Grants support highly collaborative research and their teams to help address health issues from discovery right through to translation.

A total of $50 million has been invested across 10 Synergy Grants in this round to find answers and solutions to major challenges and questions in human health and ultimately improve wellbeing for all Australians.

Quotes attributable to Senator McCarthy:

“Cancer screening saves lives. Investigating more effective ways to detect cancer early will go a long way in ensuring treatment and care is provided at critical times.”

“Increasing participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in cancer screening processes that are culturally relevant will help reduce this significant health burden and save lives.”

“The Australian Government is working every day to close the gap and the investment in this project led by a First Nations researcher will help find lasting solutions to health inequities in our community.”

Quotes attributable to NHMRC CEO Professor Steve Wesselingh:

“NHMRC continues to support excellence, creativity and innovation – and I’d like to personally congratulate Professor Garvey and her team on this fascinating research project.”

“NHMRC’s vision is to reduce equity gaps in research, and support consumer and community engagement – which is exactly what this project will achieve.”

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