Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Leadership Research - Romlie Mokak (16 Jul 2015)
Romlie Mokak, CEO of the Lowitja Institute, Australia's national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, spoke about the history of the organisation, its achievements and future program.
Established in January 2010, the Lowitja Institute emerged from a 14 year history of federally funded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health cooperative research centres. Since 1997, the organisation has operated on key principles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander control of the research agenda, a broader understanding of health that incorporates social wellbeing, and the need for the work to have a clear and positive impact. Together with its partners, the Institute has changed the narrative and process of how research priorities are identified, and how research is conducted, in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in Australia.
At present, the Lowitja Institute is working with 21 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations, State and Australian government departments and academic research institutions. The program of work to 2019 will look as aspects of social and cultural determinants of health, the health system, and health workforce development. It will also support a growing cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars; the development of ethics frameworks and impact measurement tools, knowledge exchange and research translation.
Find out more about the Lowitja Institute
Mr Mokak has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Lowitja Institute, Australia's national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, since July 2014. Prior to this appointment, Mr Mokak was the CEO of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) in Canberra, building that organisation into a substantial and critical contributor to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
A Djugun man from Western Australia, Mr Mokak was born in Darwin and has extensive experience in medical education and workforce development. He has also worked at community, state and national levels in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy areas, including disability, ageing, population health, financing and substance use. He holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Special Education. He has also completed the Australian and New Zealand Health Leadership Program