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Meet our Elder Co-Researchers

Aboriginal Elders Honorary research appointment is a historic moment for Telethon Kids Institute

Congratulations to our nine Elder Co-Researchers who have been appointed Honorary Research Associates of the Telethon Kids Institute.

​​​​​Executive Director Jonathan Carapetis said he was honoured to be able to work with the Elders in creating a bridge between the Institute's research and the lives of Aboriginal children and families.

"All nine Elders share a passion for working together with our researchers to see improvements in health and wellbeing of children and families, and a vision for delivering the best outcomes for the community," Jonathan said.

"This is an historic moment for the Telethon Kids Institute.  By bestowing this title, we are recognising these Elder Co-Researchers as formal members of the Telethon Kids' academic family."

Since 2016, the Elder Co-Researchers have been part of the Ngulluk Koolunga Ngulluk Koort (Our Children Our heart) Project, which brings together the Aboriginal community of Perth with service providers and policymakers to improve outcomes for young Aboriginal children and their families in the Perth Metropolitan area. 

The Project reports annually to a larger group of over 100 Elders located on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodjar on progress made to address the three priority areas identified through the Project - the impact of child removal, the importance of education across the early years (early childhood education and care and early schooling), and the lack of housing security for many Aboriginal families.

Head of Aboriginal Health Glenn Pearson and Researcher Dr Brad Farrant said the project would not exist without the Elders as they are the Burdiyars (the Bosses). 

"The Elder Co-Researchers are actively involved in directing the project, lead the community engagement activities, the analysis of the data and help communicate and disseminate research to the wider community," Brad said.  

"They provide their wisdom, unique insight and knowledge through lived experiences to facilitate better outcomes for children, families and communities."