Hosted and managed by the Lowitja Institute, the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (CRCATSIH) is a virtual organisation that brings together the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, government health agencies and research institutions to ensure that research conducted into Aboriginal health is controlled by and benefits Aboriginal people. CRCATSIH has its own Advisory Board made up of representatives from its 14 Essential Participants, of which AIATSIS is one.
CRCATSIH oversees three research programs. The programs are:
- Program 1: Healthy Start, Healthy Life – research focused on reducing the chronic illness risk across the life-course, and improving early intervention and chronic illness management.
- Program 2: Healthy Communities and Settings – research focused on the capacity of local communities and organisations to develop interventions that address the determinants of health across a range of local sectors and settings.
- Program 3: Enabling Policy and Systems – research enabling the reform of policy and programs, and workforce development in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
In addition to being an Essential Participant in CRCATSIH, AIATSIS is also represented on the Lowitja Institute Board of Directors: AIATSIS Principal, Mr Russell Taylor, was appointed to the Board in December 2013. The Board has a majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander membership and comprises highly skilled and experienced health sector professionals.
Through this strategic partnership AIATSIS:
- provides advice on research directions and projects for the Lowitja Institute
- develops partnerships with key stakeholders working on improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes and
- conducts specific research projects with Lowitja funding (see AIATSIS administered projects funded by Lowitja Institute).
As an Essential Participant of this collaborative research centre, AIATSIS engages with all participants through a number of forums, such as the Advisory Board and Link Committees.
The 14 Essential Participants of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (CRCATSIH) are:
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
- Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing
- Central Australian Aboriginal Congress
- Charles Darwin University
- Danila Dilba Health Service
- Northern Territory Department of Health
- Menzies School of Health Research
- Queensland Institute of Medical Research
- The University of Queensland
- Flinders University
- La Trobe University
- The University of Melbourne
- The University of New South Wales
- Edith Cowan University
AIATSIS administered projects funded by Lowitja Institute
- Evaluation of NHMRC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research Ethics
- Administering the Aboriginal community controlled health sector for public value and robust accountability
- Funding, accountability and results for Aboriginal health services – Closing the policy implementation gap? (FAR project)
- Culture mediation approach in Aboriginal primary health care: Impacts on screening and treatment for risky alcohol consumption
- AIATSIS Health Research Fellow, Dr Ray Lovett received the Lowitja award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student of the year (2012)
- In 2013 AIATSIS partnered with the Lowitja Institute to evaluate the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) ethics documents relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research
- In December 2013, AIATSIS Principal, Mr Russell Taylor, was appointed as a Board Member for the Lowitja Institute
- In 2013 Dr Ray Lovett received a CRCATSIH Small Scheme Grant ‘Culture mediation approach in Aboriginal primary health care: Impacts on screening and treatment for risky alcohol consumption’