The purpose of the Lowitja Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC is to value the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples. As members of a global Indigenous family, we extend that purpose to our brothers and sisters across the world.
With that in mind, two 2016 activities were key achievements: a collaboration with The Lancet – published in April by the prestigious medical journal under the title ‘Indigenous and Tribal peoples’ health (The Lancet–Lowitja Institute Global Collaboration): a population study’ – and our first international Indigenous health and wellbeing conference.
The collaboration established a clear picture of Indigenous and
Tribal health relative to benchmark populations. It included data on 28 Indigenous populations from 23 countries covering approximately half the world’s 300 million Indigenous people.
What was critical – and unique to this study – was the participation of 65 contributors who were able to identify, at country level, the best-quality data available. Contributors came from all the major global regions: Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Pacific and Arctic Circle.
These regions of the world were also represented in our November conference when, underpinned by a strong cultural and scientific framework, more than 700 delegates met to celebrate, share and strengthen Indigenous knowledges.
Over three days, the program included keynote addresses by national and international experts, sessions arranged around the themes of identity, knowledge and strength, and a conference statement asserting that Indigenous peoples across the world have the right to self-determination, which, in turn underpins the right to health.
Through this work, the Lowitja Institute CRC supports networks of knowledge and collaboration, engages with the 2030 Sustainability Goals to which Australia is a signatory, and connects us to the
wider international community.