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Targeted Call for Research - public call for research priorities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

ID: 
17
This submission reflects the views of
Organisation Name: 
Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisatio
Personal Details
Specific Questions
1. What is the research priority (a significant research knowledge gap or unmet need) you are nominating? How would a TCR in this area greatly advance our understanding of this issue? (200 word maximum): 
The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) is the peak body for Aboriginal health body representing 27 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) in Victoria. VACCHO’s vision is that Aboriginal Victoria’s will have high quality health and wellbeing, enabling individuals and communities to reach their full potential in life. VACCHO values high quality, strengths based research that is evidence based and grounded in and driven by Aboriginal leaders and Communities. The significant research knowledge gap and unmet need is effective Community driven interventions that reduce diet-related diseases amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The higher-rates of diet-related ill health amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is well documented. There are long standing calls to identify nutrition interventions that are effective for reducing diet-related disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. , Five of the seven leading contributors to the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians are related to diet: obesity, high blood cholesterol, alcohol, high blood pressure and low fruit and vegetable intake. VACCHO asserts that research must more beyond problem description to finding solutions, with Aboriginal Community led research being key to success.
2. What are the relevant Australian Government Priorities, and/or Ministerially-agreed State and Territory health research priorities linked to your nominated priority? (200 word maximum): 
It is relevant for the Australian Government’s Science and Research Priorities: 1) Food – Practical Challenge 2: knowledge of the social, economic and other barriers to achieving access to healthy Australian foods; 2) Health – Building healthy and resilient communities – Practical Challenge 3: Better health outcomes for Indigenous people, with strategies for both urban and regional communities. This TCR would contribute to NHMRC Road Map II action areas: • Close the Gap: promote research knowledge transfer, promote understanding of the gap and the factors that cause higher morbidity and mortality; • Evaluation research for chronic illness, and ‘evaluations of major causes and risk factors’, and ‘meta-analyses of local studies that can be used at the national level’.
3. How would a TCR in this area contribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and improve health outcomes for the individual and/or community? (200 word maximum): 
VACCHO supports the TCR for its ability to contribute to the evidence of ‘what’ and ‘how’ interventions work in diet-related disease amongst our Communities. The TCR has the ability to empower research capacity of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations through true coproduction between research institutes and Aboriginal Organisations.
4. How will the TCR reduce the burden of disease on the health system and Australian economy? (200 word maximum): 
Poor Diet is a leading contributor to burden of disease for all Australians and particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Five of the seven leading causes of burden of disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are related to diet: obesity, high blood cholesterol, alcohol, high blood pressure and low fruit and vegetable intake.4 Identifying interventions that reduce diet-related diseases among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will help to reduce the burden of these diseases on the health system, the economy and, most importantly, on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
5. Are there any reports or findings that support your nomination for the suggested topic? (200 word maximum): 
AIHW (2012) Australia’s Food and Nutrition states that ‘Diet-related chronic diseases are the major cause of death and disability in Australia and their prevalence is increasing’. NHMRC (2010) The NHMRC Road Map II: A strategic framework for improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through research: ‘Statistics on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people show that trans-generational chronic illnesses related to poverty, inadequate nutrition and diabetes have increased.’ NHMRC (2000) Nutrition in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples - An Information Paper noted the lack of well-evaluated nutrition programs from which to provide evidence-informed decisions about nutrition projects. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan: Priority for Whole of Life: low fruit and vegetable intake is one of the top seven risk factors contributing to the health gap; improved access to nutritious foods; Maternal Health and Parenting: improve maternal nutrition; Childhood Health and Development: good nutrition in the early years; and food and nutrition affordability and availability. Implementation Plan: ‘The nutrition framework gap analysis should address issues such as oral health, increasing knowledge and awareness, health literacy of parents, affordability, access, storage capability, the development of a ‘nutritional risk’ scheme and food security.’ Please note all references are available on request

Page reviewed: 30 August, 2018