Endeavour fellow developing effective family health programs for Aboriginal Australians

12 July 2018

Through her postdoctoral research program, Dr Catherine Chamberlain aimed to improve Indigenous health inequality by developing family-focused strategies in pregnancy, birth and early childhood.

Dr Chamberlain, a descendant of the Trawlwoolway people in Tasmania, completed her Endeavour Research Fellowship for Indigenous Australians in 2017. She explains some of the highlights of her study program. 

“I completed the Endeavour Research Fellowship at the Evidence for Policy and Practice Coordinating Centre, University College London.

My study program involved working on complex systematic reviews of evidence. I also did some courses I couldn’t do in Australia, such as a network meta-analysis course in Bristol (a relatively new statistical method), pulling together qualitative research of people’s views in Italy, and hands-on learning to set up a software program in London to help find and sort through lots of studies. I had an action-packed trip visiting experts in tobacco control, pregnancy and breastfeeding programs.

Personally, the experience of living in the UK really helped me to build relationships with colleagues with similar interests overseas.

The day after I returned from the Endeavour Fellowship I received exciting news that I had been successful with two large research grants to start a project called ‘Healing the past by nurturing the future – perinatal support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents who have experienced complex childhood trauma’.

So I have been incredibly busy getting this community based co-design project started in three states, employing an amazing research team and building our relationships in this important area. But its good busy and I am feeling very inspired by all the amazing work being done by incredibly committed people within our communities.”

Scope Global manages the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships Program on behalf of the Australian Department of Education and Training.