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Aremella Arratyenye-ileme – Doing It Right: Research knowledge generation and translation in Central Australia

Doing It Right is a collaboration between the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress) staff from the communications unit, interpreter services and research section, and external researchers who have expertise in knowledge translation and quality improvement. Improving our community’s understanding of research and researchers’ understanding of our community will lead to more meaningful engagement in research. Translating research outcomes into policy and practice is challenging for researchers limited by funding cycles, and for health services whose priority is providing care for their clients. By identifying and trialling a variety of innovative ways to translate knowledge, we hope to provide both Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHOs) and research institutes with the tools to engage in informed research in this sector. This project has grown out of discussions within the Congress research team and members of the Congress Board Research Sub-committee, and has been endorsed by the Congress Board. 

The overall aim of Doing It Right is to improve research knowledge exchange, generation and translation leading to Aboriginal community members, ACCHOs and their Board members having more control over health research, its outcomes and benefits in Central Australia.

The likely benefits of this project include, but are not limited to

  • improved understanding of research by community members and Congress Board members
  • identification of missed opportunities for knowledge translation from past and present research at Congress
  • engagement with lead researchers and Congress staff to develop strategies that make research more useful for health service delivery that benefits communities, and
  • creative, innovative resources to assist the community and Congress staff to understand research processes and findings.  

The research project will be progressed using a community-based Participatory research methodology. The methodology involves a ‘both ways’ approach to generate research knowledge between Aboriginal community members and health researchers. In addition, an integrated quality improvement framework will be utilised and an audit of all Congress Board approved research projects will be undertaken.

Doing It Right also offers substantial capacity-building opportunities at all levels of research between non-Indigenous and Aboriginal researchers, Congress staff, Congress Board members and the community. The majority (75%) of the project team are Aboriginal and there will be both employment and leadership opportunities for Aboriginal researchers at all stages of the project.

The expected outcomes of the project are:

  • improved understanding of how Congress staff and researchers can work together in equitable partnerships, and how to tailor research processes to fit with the context and resources of an ACCHO
  • the development of tools to assist the Congress Board in assessing and monitoring research projects
  • benefits to other ACCHOs as findings will be shared, and
  • long term benefits to Central Australia in the development of research protocols specific to the region, as well as clear guidelines for the negotiated use of research outcomes.
Investigation team
  • Central Australian Aboriginal Congress
    Bronwyn Silver, Roxanne Highfold, Ken Lechleitner, Annette McCarthy, Walbira Murray, Ainseley McKenzie, Kate Buckland, Glen Sharpe, Adele Gibson.
  • Menzies School of Health Research
    Heather D’Antoine, Leisa McCarthy, Louise Clarke
  • The University of Sydney
    Ross Bailie, Veronica Mathews
Created: 06 February 2018 - Updated: 06 February 2018