2017 Families Australia Oration


Professor Ngiare Brown

Professorial Fellow, University of Wollongong, Deputy Chair, Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council and Founding Director, Ngaoara Ltd Child and Adolescent Wellbeing

Professor Ngiare Brown is a Yuin nation woman from the south coast of NSW. She is a senior Aboriginal medical practitioner with qualifications in medicine, public health and primary care, and has studied bioethics, medical law and human rights. She was the first identified Aboriginal medical graduate from NSW, and is one of the first Aboriginal doctors in Australia. Over the past two decades she has developed extensive national and international networks in Indigenous health and social justice, including engagement with the UN system.

Ngiare is a founding member and was Foundation CEO of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA); is a founding member of the Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors’ Congress (PRIDoC); and is Chair of the Health, Rights and Sovereignty committee of PRIDoC. She is a Board Member for the Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY, effective February 2017). Professor Brown is currently the deputy Chair of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council. She has been a member of numerous national committees, including contributions to the NHMRC.

Professor Brown has an academic appointment across multiple Faculties at the University of Wollongong (medicine and health sciences, education and social science) and a research appointment at SAHMRI. Ngiare’s Top 5 publications in the last 5 years include:

  1. Smith, Blinkhorn, Moir, Brown, Blinkhorn. An assessment of dental caries among young Aboriginal children in New South Wales, Australia: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 2015 29;15(1):1314.
  2. Slegers, Zion, Glass, Kelsall, Fritschi, Brown, Loff. Why do people participate in epidemiological research? J Bioeth Inq 2015 Jun 12;12(2):227-37.
  3. Glover, Kira, Johnston, Walker, Thomas, Chang, Bullen, Segan, Brown. A systematic review of barriers and facilitators to participation in randomized controlled trials by Indigenous people from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States. Glob Health Promot 2015 Mar 19;22(1):21-31.
  4. Leach, Mulholland, Santosham, Torzillo, Brown, McIntyre, Smith-Vaughan, Skull, Balloch, Andrews, Carapetis, McDonnell, Krause, Morris. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines PREVenar13 and SynflorIX in sequence or alone in high-risk Indigenous infants (PREVIX_COMBO): protocol of a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open 2015; 5:e007247 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007247.
  5. Chang, Brown, Toombs, Marsh, Redding. (2014). Lung disease in indigenous children. Paediatric Respiratory Reviews, 15 (4), 325-332.

Ngiare has made extensive contributions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, research process, bioethics, policy, translation and practice. She has been engaged as the Indigenous Health Advisor to the federal AMA (1997-2000); was team investigator on an Indigenous Capacity Building Grant with TICHR for legal and doctoral studies addressing Aboriginal child protection; Assistant Director, Indigenous Health Menzies School of Health Research; and Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Child Health Division MSHR. She is also an inaugural member and Deputy Chair of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council.

Professor Brown is a CI on more than $10m worth of NHMRC funded grants, an AI on several others and a named investigator on several non-competitive projects addressing priority issues in Aboriginal health and Indigenous affairs internationally including:

  • NHMRC CRE in Aboriginal Chronic Disease Knowledge Translation and Exchange
  • (CREATE) $2.5m (CID)
  • NHMRC CRE – Respiratory Health for Aboriginal Children $2.5m (CIB)
  • NHMRC Project – PREV-IX BOOST $2.2m (CI)
  • Health Research Council of New Zealand -‘Informing Cultural Guidelines on Biobanking and Genomic Research’ $NZ1.3 million (CI)
  • NHMRC -A Phase Two Clinical Trial of a Program delivered by Aboriginal Health Workers to Prevent Early Childhood Caries in Aboriginal Children. $530,359.00 Walker et al
  • (CI) NHMRC Project: Evaluating the genetic contribution to rheumatic heart disease pathogenesis in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. $1.5m

Ngiare is passionate about (i) the elimination of violence against children; (ii) culturally relevant approaches to child and adolescent safety and wellbeing; (iii) the translation of trauma informed best practice evidence in to policy and service delivery; and (iv) modelling public health prevention approaches to address the impacts of adverse childhood experiences.

Professor Brown has worked as a clinician and researcher in Aboriginal community controlled health services, remote primary care practices and tertiary centres nationally.

She is privileged to have been able to develop networks and long term relationships with Aboriginal communities in most states and territories, and her work has been acknowledged by professional and community awards – e.g. the AMA Woman in Medicine; an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Award for Contributions to Indigenous Health (The Deadlys).

Professor Brown has recently established Ngaoara Ltd Child and Adolescent Wellbeing, a not-for-profit providing specialist outreach and integrated care to children affected by trauma and with complex comorbidities; and supporting communities to develop initiatives focused on breaking intergenerational cycles of trauma and disparity.

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