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Research Roundtable: shaping the future - Indigenous people and cancer

A Research Roundtable focussed on shaping the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer.

Where we started…

Early in 2010, Cancer Australia commissioned a review to provide a comprehensive summary of evidence regarding cancer and Indigenous people. This review included 31 recommendations for improving Indigenous cancer control, including service delivery, data infrastructure, prevention and programs. Later that year a National Roundtable on Priorities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Research, funded by Lowitja Institute, was held. This Roundtable brought together leading cancer experts, Indigenous cancer survivors and Indigenous community representatives, with an aim to identify national research priorities to achieve better outcomes for Indigenous people with cancer, their families and communities.

The success of this Roundtable culminated in 2013, when Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) launched Australia’s first Indigenous Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in cancer, funded by the NHMRC with additional funding from Cancer Council NSW and Cancer Council WA. Importantly, this work was a nationally coordinated, collaborative, priority driven, Indigenous-led research program overseen by an Indigenous-majority Advisory Board.

Since 2013, a number of key outcomes have been achieved through this CRE, such as: the creation of the National Indigenous Cancer Network (NICaN), including Indigenous Cancer Ambassadors; the development of the first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Framework, on behalf of and in conjunction with Cancer Australia; hosting the inaugural World Indigenous Cancer Conference in 2016, in partnership with the International Agency for Research on Cancer; and the development and implementation a culturally appropriate tool into clinical practice to identify and address the unmet supportive care needs of Indigenous cancer patients.

The landscape in Indigenous cancer control has changed substantially since the landmark review in 2010, and it is now time to reassess the research agenda.

Where we are heading…and what is Futures Planning?

We will use Futures Planning to consider the issues and trends visible in the current landscape, and how these might influence the future of Indigenous people affected by cancer. For example, we will discuss emerging trends such as e-health, the health of the planet, immunisation (e.g., HPV), globalisation, ageing population, social media, constitutional reform, and loss of language – just to name a few.

Considering these influences and trends, we will envisage and build a future that best supports Indigenous people affected by cancer. A key outcome of this Roundtable will be the development of a plan with actions needed to create and shape this imagined future. These actions will encompass innovative research opportunities, that may have implications for future practice and policy. We will also identify what is required of research to achieve this future vision, including what research capabilities are needed.  

In order to consider the emerging trends relevant to cancer outcomes for Indigenous people in Australia and how to create a strong future, it is imperative that we involve Indigenous people affected by cancer and the key people working in research, policy and practice. We invite you to take part in this Roundtable to help us shape the future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cancer.

The Roundtable is an invitation only event.

Earlier Event: August 24