The AAG Research Trust has a community focus on funding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led initiatives. Through the generosity of donors, over the past three years Indigenous research projects have been awarded and will continue to grow. Key to success was establishing a separate Panel of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers to lead the grant reviews and selection of Indigenous led applications.
Since it started in 2016, the AAG Research Trust has steadily expanded and now has three funding programs offering 10 grants in the space of ageing worth a total of $165,000 each year.
In 2020 the AAG Research Trust’s Hal Kendig Research Development Program funded $20,000 for a project on ‘Supporting psychosocial wellbeing with older Aboriginal Australians: Listening to community members' knowledge about Culture and connection’ by Dr Louise Lavrencic, who is a non-Aboriginal researcher at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA).
In 2021 the AAG Research Trust developed an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led focus to two funding rounds, following consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and non-Indigenous researchers working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities and AAG’s ATSIAAG. An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Review Panel (the Panel) made up of three Indigenous researchers, Dr Ray Mahoney, Dr Karla Canuto and Tamara Butler, led both the review and selection process for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led applications.
In its inaugural year of focus, five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led applications across the two funding rounds were received, which represents 10% of all applications across the two programs.
Biripi woman Lauren Poulos from Neuroscience Research Australia was awarded a 2021 Strategic Innovation Program grant of $30K, which represented 24% of all funding available over the two rounds. Lauren’s project was entitled, ‘Evaluating the culturally responsive elements, effectiveness and transferability of online dementia education and training with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities’.
Following discussions between the AAG Research Trust, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Review Panel, we are building on this in 2022 by having a $7,000 dedicated grant solely for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants under the RM Gibson Program funding, whilst running the Strategic Innovation Program with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led focus as we did earlier this year. Both Programs opened on 27th January and the closed on 22 March 2022.