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A $20,000 grant enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives to pursue postgraduate research that drives improvements to the health and wellbeing of their communities has been launched.

The Australian-first grant, offered through the University of South Australia (UniSA) Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre (AO) and funded by the Rosemary Bryant Foundation from 2020, will allow Aboriginal nurses and midwives to undertake a Masters of Research focusing on healthcare issues facing their communities.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives to contribute to solutions to the healthcare issues and challenges facing their communities,” Dr Rosemary Bryant AO said.

“The [grant] will build the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives so they can lead research that will make a real difference in their communities.”

Professor Marion Eckert, Director of the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre, said the grant could help build and improve research looking at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare.

The grant awardee will be supported to undertake the Masters of Research as an external student via distance learning so it does not require people to leave their communities in order to undertake the degree.

“In research, collaboration is everything,” Professor Eckert said.

“Sharing and exploring ideas with others in your field helps to accelerate findings much quicker than working in isolation. It provides an opportunity to learn from one another no matter what community you are from.

“It also means the people who understand the healthcare issues affecting their community can inform the research that drives better healthcare and influence health and wellbeing outcomes.”

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