Partnerships are central to almost every endeavour in relation to Indigenous health – be it research, teaching and learning or community engagement. They have underpinned and supported our teaching and research in a range of ways. The University's residential colleges, for example, are important enablers to Indigenous development, as they can provide Indigenous students with a supportive environment on campus in which to both learn and live.
Our Chair of Indigenous Health and Director of Onemda, Professor Kerry Arabena, has a strong commitment to partnering with community organisations, for example, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO). Such an approach leads to a greater acceptance by Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander people that working in an equal partnership with researchers can lead to improvements in health outcomes for their community.
We have a diverse range of funding partners, some of whom – like the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation – have provided us with the long-term support and funding needed to institute real change in Indigenous health. However, it is our community partners, often enabled by our funders, who ground our work in community needs. A good example of this sort of partnership is the Indigenous Eye Health Unit's teaming up with the Melbourne Football Club.
"Partnerships are opportunities to extend development processes and joint learning."
Kerry Arabena, Chair of Indigenious Health