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Government to invest almost $35 million in Indigenous health projects including Indigenous blindness, deafness and chronic kidney disease

A joint media release with The Hon. Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians about $35 million in Indigenous health projects, including Indigenous blindness, deafness and chronic kidney disease.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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The Morrison Government will invest almost $35 million in 42 key research projects in areas such as ending avoidable indigenous deafness, ending avoidable indigenous blindness, and helping to eradicate chronic kidney disease.

As part of this funding, the Government is investing $14.44 million from the first grant round of the Indigenous Health Research Fund (the Fund).

This funding supports research into several key Indigenous health issues including improving adolescent mental health, ending avoidable deafness and blindness, and improving outcomes for those living with chronic kidney disease.

The projects, to be run by the nine successful grant recipients, will identify what will contribute to successful healthcare delivery in Indigenous populations and what barriers exist.

They will also involve developing and implementing a targeted and culturally appropriate support package including guidelines, toolkits and training programs, as well as conducting trials of potentially ground-breaking and life-saving new treatments.

Backed by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), the Fund will invest $160 million over ten years (2019-20 to 2028-29) in health and medical research that can make a difference to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffering debilitating diseases.

The Fund will mobilise health and medical research for the prevention of disease and promotion of health and social equity.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led research, designed to deliver community benefit, will inform and transform the way the health system responds to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The nine projects under the Medical Research Future Fund will run for three years from 2019-20, and include:

Recipient Project Funding

Macquarie University

Improving care pathways for Otitis Media in Aboriginal children (0-12 years)


University of Sydney

Co-designing and embedding an integrated ear-health support system to improve the ear health outcomes of urban Aboriginal children


Monash University

Reducing the burden of chronic kidney disease in the Indigenous population


South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

Strengthening primary mental health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal) adolescents


University of New South Wales

Improving the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescents living in remote Far North Queensland communities


The University of Queensland

Co-designed sleep health program to achieve better sleep and improved mental health symptoms in Indigenous adolescents


The University of Queensland

IMHIP-Youth: A multi-disciplinary collaboration to embed and evaluate a model of social and emotionalwellbeing care for Indigenous adolescents who experience detention


Menzies School of Health Research

What Matters to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adolescents’ Wellbeing: Developing a wellbeing measure for adolescents (WM2A Project)


Flinders University

Improving health treatments for diabetic retinopathy as a leading cause of blindness among Aboriginal Australians


The second of the investments involves $19.785 million from 2019-20 to 2021-22, for 33 grants under Round One of the Indigenous Australians Health Programme Emerging Priorities grant opportunity.

This grant opportunity provides funding for one-off, innovative projects that target improved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Successful projects span activities to address chronic disease prevention, early intervention and the treatment and management of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, renal disease and mental health.

Grants were also provided for projects to address early childhood development and to assist with workforce development and continuous quality improvement of primary care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

The majority of the funding offered will support projects developed by the Aboriginal community controlled health sector, with some funding also to be provided for projects being undertaken by universities and other primary care organisations.

The 33 projects offered funding are listed at the conclusion of this media release.

A further Emerging Priorities grant opportunity will be opened later in 2020.

The two grant rounds build on the Morrison Government’s $35 million, three-year investment in the Telethon Kids Institute, to lead a national consortium to accelerate one of four existing Strep A vaccine candidates into a clinical trial, working with researchers around Australia and the world.

In Australia, diseases caused by Strep A disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 94 per cent of new cases of acute rheumatic fever – the precursor to rheumatic heart disease – occur among Indigenous Australians. When left untreated, rheumatic heart disease can lead to permanent disability and premature death.

Additionally, in the 2019-20 Budget, mental health funding was boosted nationally by $740.6 million, with $509 million going to initiatives aimed at addressing youth and Indigenous mental health and suicide prevention.

Our Government is dedicated to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and maintains a long-standing and important commitment to achieving health equity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The 33 projects offered funding under Round One of the Indigenous Australians Health Programme Emerging Priorities grant opportunity are:


State / Territory



Katherine West Health Board Aboriginal Corporation


Aboriginal Health Coaching Curriculum Co-design


The University of Queensland


Implementation and Evaluation of a Telementoring Dementia Care Service: DementiaECHO


University of Southern Queensland


Improving Wound Care in Regional and Remote Aboriginal cmmunities


Carbal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services Ltd


Timely Allied Health for Mob


Marathon Health Limited


Winya Marang (Live Good) Intergenerational Diabetes Support Program


Nganampa Health Council Incorporated


Obesity and Diabetes Type 2 in Aboriginal Children– A Collaborative Approach


Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation


Does Size Matter? Evaluation of the Continuity of Care Model in Congress Town-based Clinics


Gurriny Yealamucka (Good Healing) Health Serice Aboriginal Corporation


Yarrabah Counts - Local Data Informing Local Solutions


Wurli Wurlinjang Aboriginal Corporation


Binjari Health Clinic PIRS Transition from PCIS to Communicare


Yerin Aboriginal Health Services


ACE Implementation - Screening and Support for Adverse Childhood Experiences in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation


Hunter Primary Care Limited


Power and Control for Indigenous Youth


Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Services Inc


Healthcare Data Analyst


Dragon Claw Charity Ltd


Muscular Skeletal Medication Adherence Project (MSMAP)


Apunipima Cape Yourk Health Council Limited


High Priority Reproduction, STI Prevention and Parenting Skills Training for Remote Communities


Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation


Strengthening RAN/AHP Workforce Across Multiple Aboriginal Communities


Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation


Improving Access to Primary Health Care for Aboriginal Men in Remote Ccommunities


The University of Newcastle


Partners And Paternal Aboriginal Smokers’ (PAPAS) Program to Prevent Exposure to
Tobacco Smoking for Children’s Health


South Coast Women's Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation


Waminda’s Cancer Care Project


Apunipima Cape York Health Council Limited


Addressing anaemia in pregnancy and early childhood in remote Cape York communities


Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation ICN 4170


IT Systems Effectiveness


The Australian Kidney Foundation


Kidney Health Australia – Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Kidney Disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People


Flinders University


Living Well, Keeping Strong Program


Adelaide Northern Division of General practice Ltd.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s Health Assessment Uptake Project


MJD Foundation Limited


Development of primary health resources and education for Indigenous Australians living with Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 7


The George Institute for Global Health


Discharge Planning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children Following Burn Injury: A Quality Improvement Approach


Werin Aboriginal Corporation


Systems Update


Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc.


Aboriginal Health Clinic Medical Social Workers


South West Aboriginal Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation (SWAMSAC)


Implementation of New Systems to Transform SWAMS Clinical and Administrative Business Functions


Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory


Supporting Medicines Management in Northern Territory Aboriginal Community
Controlled Health Services


Centre For Rural and Regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Limited


Tucka-Time Program


Paupiyala Tjarutja Aboriginal Corporation


Spinifex Health Service - Quality Systems and Administration Project


Danila Dilba Biluru Butji Binnilutlum Health Service Aboriginal Corporation


Active Mob


Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation)


IT Upgrade and Data Collection


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