In the spirit of respect, Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit acknowledges this country as belonging to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia.
Australia is the only place in the world where Indigenous Australians belong, and there is no place in Australia where this is not true.
Welcome to Muru Marri
We hope that you find the information contained on this web site useful and interesting.
Guided by local and national community priorities, to contribute to the healing and positive health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through research, teaching, publication, representation on peak national bodies and public advocacy.
Muru Marri is an identifiable academic Unit of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine that is:
Responsible to the local Aboriginal communities in which it resides and all Indigenous communities in which it may work;
A culturally safe and inspiring place for people committed to, and working or training in, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health;
Culturally and professionally supportive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their work as undergraduate or postgraduate students, teachers, researchers, and/or committee and community members; and
Engaging with all staff and students who have a commitment to working with Aboriginal colleagues and communities on health and health related issues.
Dr Josef McDonald graduated as a doctor the 16th December 2011
He is the 3rd graduate of the Shalom Gamarada Scholarship Program. Next year he will be doing his internship in Newcastle with the Hunter New England Health Service, which includes service provision to a sizable Aboriginal population. The program began with 1 student in 2005. In 2011, there were 22 Indigenous students living in Shalom College on the scholarship.
‘Macca’ was the recipient of the Sabina Ross Slater Memorial Medical Scholarship. We congratulate him and his family and thank his generous sponsor. When he completed the 4th year of his studies, he said:
“Receiving the Shalom Gamarada Scholarship has been a life-changing experience for me. Apart from the advantages it offers my studies, another great benefit of the program is that it offers a racism-free environment in which Indigenous students can live and discuss Indigenous issues and what it means to be Indigenous. I basically owe everything to the Shalom Gamarada Scholarship. Without it, it would be impossible for me to study medicine as there is no way my family could afford for me to live in Sydney.”
We gratefully thank all the scholarship providers and the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation for making this program possible.
Lisa receives AM
Lisa Jackson-Pulver, director of Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit, was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division in the Queen's Birthday 2011 Honors List. The citation reads "For service to medical education, particularly through the Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit at the University of New South Wales, and as a supporter of educational opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people"Read more...
2011 Shalom Gamarada Art Fair
This year, the Shalom Gamarada Art Fair promises to be better than ever. We are also very excited to announce the it will include the Inaugural Xstrata Art Centre Award. This year's Art Fair will take place daily from 11am-7pm at 111 Queen Street Woollahra from 17-25 September and will include an official opening by Malcolm Turnbull MP, a health panel, an art forum, a performance by dancers from the renowned NAISDA Indigenous Dance Company. Read more ... News Article...
Shalom Gamarada residential scholarship student, Murray Haar, is this year's winner of the AMA Indigenous Peoples' Medical Scholarship for 2011. Read more ...
Jenna Owen, the second graduate of Shalom College's Indigenous scholarship program, has graduated from optometry, making her the first Aboriginal optometrist from NSW. As if that isn't enough, Jenna passed with a Distinction/Higher Distinction average and was the dux of fourth-year. Read more ...
Redressing data shortcomings for Aboriginal children in urban settings
In February, the Closing the Gap Prime Minister's Report 2011. was released. In and around the significant media attendtion generated, a debate has been building concerning the significant issue of Indigenous health data adequacy. Here is a contribution by Muru Marri and colleagues from CHETRE. Read more ...
Inaugural Elder in Residence joins UNSW Medicine
Muru Marri is extremely proud share news of the appointment of Mrs (Aunty) Ali Golding as UNSW Medicine's Inaugural Elder in Residence.
In the words of Muru Marri's Director, Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver, "This appointment is a culmination of the tireless efforts of others, of the love and the passion that has characterised the 223 years of dialogue between our peoples and the more recent arrivals to our shores. It is big ... huge ... that a University of the stature of UNSW has taken this leap forward". Read more ...
What we do
I. Partnership and Leadership in Indigenous Health Research
Indigenous Health is an identified research strength of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Download Indigenous Health Research Brochure.
In consultation with the community-controlled health sector, Muru Marri aims to auspice research and expand the options for post-graduate training in Indigenous health.
II. Scholarship and Teaching in Indigenous Health
In 2012 Muru Marri launched a new Master of Public Health in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing as part of a suite of specialisations (plans) offered by the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Contact Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver or Associate Professor Melissa Haswell for more information.
For post-graduate students of medicine, forensic mental health and the health sciences, Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit delivers two 6UOC courses PHCM9630 "Public Health Perspectives of Indigenous Health" and PHCM9632 "Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Across the Lifespan". In 2012, this will be complemented by a further 6UOC elective, PHCM9634 "Case Studies in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health".
Since 2009, Muru Marri has collaborated with Lois Meyer from the SPHCM postgraduate team to deliver an innovative teaching method involving scenario planning. Part of this work included the production of a short documentary 'Ending Indigenous Health Inequality within our Lifetimes' video [Streamed and Podcast] (recently presented at the 2009 LIME Connection III). The DVD is inspired by the Close the Gap campaign for Indigenous health equality.
This short documentary presents the perspectives of a number of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community leaders and health experts from urban and remote Australia on how to approach the currrent health disadvantage faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and is designed to be used as a scenario building tool in either face-to-face and via online workshop delivery. It's implementation in group assignment work within the elective PHCM9630 "Public Health Perspectives in Indigenous Health" is currently being evaluated. The DVD resource was funded through a Learning and Teaching Grant won by Lois Meyer and Sophie di Corpo and is part of a larger project they are undertaking in developing scenario based learning strategies within the SPHCM postgraduate programs. For more information please email Lois Meyer. In 2010, Lois Meyer, Lisa Jackson Pulver and Sally Fitzpatrick received the Faculty of Medicine's Innovation in Learning and Teaching Award for this work.
Muru Marri continues to support the delivery of the Indigenous component of the NSW Health's Public Health Officer Training Program (PHOTP), as part of the academic partnership with NSW Health and the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW.
Muru Marri assists and advises a special entry program into Medicine. This program is conducted by Nura Gili Indigenous Programs and the Rural Clinical School and is designed to enable more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to study Medicine.
III. Contribute Service to Support Better Policy and Practice
Muru Marri is a key player in the creation and maintainance of scholarships to augment the Indigenous health workforce, including the Shalom Gamarada Residential Scholarship program for Indigenous Medical students. In 2010, we celebrated the first graduation from medicine by a Shalom Gamarada recipient! This important work recently featured on SBS and the 7.30 Report and is regularly reported in the MJA. 'We walk together as friends', an early report of Muru Marri's work with Shalom College, is also described in Success Stories in Indigenous Health produced in 2007 by Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR).
Muru Marri's Director and staff contribute as Board Members to the Indigenous dental program, 'Filling the Gap', a program where volunteer dentists provide services to patients of Wuchopperen Health Service in Cairns, Far North Queensland. An evaluation of this project is currently in press. Find out how to get involved.
Another wonderful Aboriginal Doctor was graduated on 14 December - with an Honours, Dr Rosie Ross. Rosie has always been a friend to Muru Marri, as well as the Shalom Gamarada Residential Scholarship program. She has been a great support to many of the younger students, and was accompanied to her graduation today by her two grown up daughters.
Rosie is also the recipient of this year's Muru Marri Aboriginal Undergraduate Merit Award. Muru Marri is delighted to be seeing this, and in sharing this news far and wide.
Muru Marri Director appointed to Lowitja Institute board
Muru Marri is very proud to share the news of Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver's appointment as a permanent board member of the Lowitja Institute, Australia's premier Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led heath research body. As Professor Jackson Pulver described in her statement to the media, the appointment as an "absolute honour".
As a public health epidemiologist, as a Koori woman, as a researcher who is dedicated to a whole-of-life approach to Aboriginal health, I’m delighted to be able to participate and bring my skills set to such an esteemed group.
Featuring Marion Norrie
The December edition of the School of Public Health's Globe Newsletter has a featuring on conjoint lecturer Marion Norrie. Marion is the linchpin of the 'Filling the Gap' Indigenous Dental Program with which Muru Marri has been working for over four years. More ...
UNSW Conjoint First Aboriginal person to be elected to the House of Representatives
Muru Marri is very proud to honour and congratulate Professor Ken Wyatt MP, the Federal Member for Hasluck, on his election to the House of Representatives on 21 August 2010; the first Aboriginal person to be elected to the Lower House. Professor Wyatt has been a long time friend and supporter of Muru Marri's work and was the first conjoint sponsored by this Unit.
A transcript and podcast of Professor Wyatt's maiden speech can be found here. In his speech Professor Wyatt formally to formally thank former Prime Minister Rudd for his Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples:
I felt a sense of relief that the pain of the past had been acknowledged and that the healing could begin. At that point, the standing orders prevented an Indigenous response. On behalf of my mother, her siblings and all Indigenous Australians, I, as an Aboriginal voice in this chamber, say thank you for the apology delivered in the federal parliament and I thank the Hon. Kevin Rudd for honouring his commitment to the Stolen Generation.
From across the campus ... Muru Marri welcomes Professor Martin Nakata to the position of Director of Nura Gili, UNSW.
Rachelle Arkles, PhD Candidate, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW, October 2010:
'I was exceptionally fortunate to receive a generous travel scholarship under the Postgraduate Research Support Scheme (PRSS) from the University of New South Wales to attend the 8th Biennial International Qualitative Research Conference held at Bournemouth University (BU) in the UK from the 6-8th September 2010 and hosted by the Centre for Qualitative Research at BU. This Centre is a leader in approaches to humanising health and social care as well as in performative social science and has particular expertise in phenomenological approaches to research and engagement. The Conference provided three exciting days of presentations, performances, exhibitions and installations from countries around the globe across a number of themed areas including, ‘Performative Social Science’; ‘Humanising Health and Social Care through Qualitative Research’; ‘Qualitative Research and Contemporary Culture’; ‘Philosophical, Methodological and Ethical Perspectives’ and ‘Reflections and Developments from Diverse Disciplines’.
My own paper entitled, “The Experience and Meaning of Dementia: Aboriginal Elders in Urban Australia”, posed the question: how is ‘dementia’ configured and imagined and where are we, study participants and myself, in this process? It was such a treat to immerse oneself in interpretive scholarship, to meet and connect with a diverse range of researchers and practitioners, and to see scholarship extend into artistic expression. There were a number of standout plenary sessions, ranging from Professor Monica Prendergast’s formidable and evocative ‘poetics of qualitative inquiry’ to the more elusive but compelling exploration by Professor Nigel Rapport of ‘voice and imagination in history as a way of doing justice to individual lives’.
The Conference program can be viewed on the following link: http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/qrc/pdf/qualitative-research-complete-programme.pdf
Muru Marri supports the national Close the Gap Campaign for Indigenous Health Equality.
National Close the Gap Day will take place on 22 March 2012. Everyone is welcome to register and event and take part. Find out more about the Close the Gap Campaign for Indigenous Health Equality and the Campaign's annual Shadow Report.
Muru Marri has participated in a broad range of on- and off-campus activities to bring attention to this important campaign, including a public forum on National Close the Gap Day 2007 hosted by Prof Peter Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. Speakers included Elizabeth Harris, Senior Lecturer & Director of the Centre for Health Equity Training Research & Evaluation (CHETRE) at UNSW’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine and Professor Ian Ring, Professorial Fellow at the University of Wollongong’s Centre for Health Service Development and a critical friend of Muru Marri. The event was facilitated by Muru Marri's Director, Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver.
In 2008, Muru Marri and friends celebrated the historic Motion offering an Apology to the Stolen Generations, delivered by the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 13 February. View UNSW Nura Gili staff and students talking about what the National Apology means to them here.
On the preceding day, an historic Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country was performed to open the 42nd Parliament of Australia.
What has the Apology and the Parliamentary Welcome to Country got to do with Indigenous health and wellbeing? See the Apology - Viewpoint by Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver and Sally Fitzpatrick in the Medical Journal of Australia. Also interesting is ABC Radio's News in Science here.
Date for your diaries ... National Sorry Day is commemorated each year. For more information contact the National Sorry Day Committee.