2023 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grant recipients

AAG and the AAG Research Trust congratulates the following individuals on their successful applications for the 2023 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grant program.



Dr Alana Gall

Southern Cross University 

Dr Alana Gall is a Pakana woman (Tasmanian Aboriginal) and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Southern Cross University. Alana is passionate about Indigenous peoples' holistic health and wellbeing, believing that the wellbeing and identity of Indigenous peoples are strongly centred around strong connections to Country/land, culture, spirituality and kin/community. Alana has over a decade of experience in research, with a background in Nutritional Medicine. Her Masters, PhD and other research work has focussed primarily on traditional medicines and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, but also Indigenous peoples in Canada, Aotearoa-New Zealand and the United States. Alana's work is grounded in decolonising research approaches, including Indigenist research methods with a strengths-based focus. She is developing a research program that centres around First Nations Australians traditional medicines and healing practices, aiming to protect and preserve these medicines for future generations, and improve accessibility for all First Nations communities across Australia.

Australian First Nations traditional medicine's role in improving utilisation of palliative care for First Nations Elders and our old people

This project will have a direct impact on First Nations Elders and our old people’s lives, by influencing change in the way palliative care is delivered in Australia. Palliative care is an essential part of Australia’s health system and an important part of an individual’s healthcare.6 Knowing that the care provided will be respectful of First Nations peoples ways of knowing, being and doing, by incorporating First Nations traditional medicines that align with the values of First Nations peoples, will put their mind at ease when contemplating their own mortality and when utilising mainstream palliative care. Further, the patient’s family and First Nations communities more broadly, will also benefit through knowing their highly respected Elders and old people will be cared for in a culturally appropriate way. Indeed, ensuring safe and successful passage into the afterlife, especially as the values and beliefs around this important time vary from Nation to Nation, requires a person-centred approach that the inclusion of First Nations traditional medicines provides.

Award: $25,000

Kevin Taylor

University of Western Australia

Kevin Taylor is a proud Yamatji-Noongar man and lecturer at the University of Western Australia. Kevin has been educating students on Aboriginal health and culture for almost seven years and is head of education at the School of Indigenous Studies. He has been an advocate for the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in health and education on committees and boards across the university and in the community. Kevin’s passion for Indigenous health has seen him involved in a number of research projects, creating a path for him to pursue a research masters on educating aged care services on the quality-of-life of Aboriginal Elders.

Co-designing the implementation of the Good Spirit Good Life training package with aged care services

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need, and are entitled to receive, culturally safe aged care assessments that, where possible, are conducted by assessors who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or have been trained in cultural safety. The Good Spirit Good Life (GSGL) tool was co-designed with and for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and is the first validated QoL tool to include domains reflective of cultural values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Yamatji-Noongar man Kevin Taylor from the University of Western Australia is leading research to co-design a training package with aged care services on the use of the GSGL tool. This grant will be used to develop digital learning resources that would enhance training packages developed with aged care services. Digital resources will include video interviews with older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents yarning about the GSGL tool and what it means to have their QoL assessed using a culturally appropriate framework. Other resources will include animated videos explaining what the GSGL tool is and how to use it, and how to use yarning as a communication style with Elders.

Award: $25,000