School of Public Health and Community Medicine

image - Indigenous Health 1

Indigenous Health

Improving the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the lifespan ...

Muru Marri is a dedicated Indigenous health research Unit, which resides within the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Indigenous health is identified as a research strength of the School.

Launched in 2004, Muru Marri is a visible, active contributor to the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through research and intervention projects – particularly for urban-dwelling populations – as well as in the area of teaching, community service, publication, representation on peak bodies, and advocacy.

Alongside Muru Marri are a range of UNSW partners, including colleagues in Nura Gili Centre for Indigenous Programs, Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation, Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, the Rural Clinical School, the Indigenous Law Centre, the Indigenous Policy and Dialogue Research Unit, Neuroscience Research Australia, and Shalom College. Significant growth has also occurred in our collaborations with critical friends beyond UNSW and partners within the community.

To Aboriginal people, health is defined as a positive concept, much more than just the absence of disease. Ill-health can be a manifestation of many things, including spiritual and emotional alienation from Land and Country, family and culture. Land and Country are central to Aboriginal people’s identity and spiritual beliefs, as is connection to family and community. Much of what we see today in the health and social inequalities now widely referred to as "the Gap" can be attributed to a lack of healing from the profound alienation experienced by Australia's First Peoples through and since colonisation.

This concept of health and well-being forms the core of Muru Marri’s work.

Well-being was also significantly highlighted by the inaugural Parliamentary Welcome to Country that took place on February 12, 2008, which took place the day before the National Apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – particularly the Stolen Generations – the first order of business for the 42nd Parliament of Australia. Both events heralded far-reaching changes in national Indigenous policy towards achieving equality in health and well-being, and in the approach towards achieving this we will take as a nation. They also make way for a transformation in belonging for all Australians, and of the many way obligations and responsibilities that draw from this.

Muru Marri contributes to the healing and the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through:

Research
Teaching
Service and committees
Advocacy