Frequently asked questions (FAQ's)

What is Mayi Kuwayu?

Mayi Kuwayu is the National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing. The Study is a longitudinal study. This means that we will follow the same people over time to see if changes occur from the time they first took the survey.

The survey questions were shaped and developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations that best represents Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and wellbeing.

Who is running the Mayi Kuwayu Study?

The Mayi Kuwayu Study is designed and led by Aboriginal researchers and staff at the Australian National University. Our team has worked with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to develop and evolve the study.

For more information, visit our Our Staff page

Who can do the Mayi Kuwayu survey?

Any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person over 16 years of age can complete the survey.

Why should I be part of Mayi Kuwayu?

The study provides a strong source of information for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, for service providers, and for policy makers.

Our aim is to create a much greater understanding of the value of culture, and of the things that improve and influence better Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.

How can I participate?

To take part you will need to complete a survey when it has been sent to you or by contacting and one or more surveys can be sent to you or to your family or friends. The survey should take about 30 minutes.

You also need to sign and date the consent form. Signing the consent form is important, so that your survey responses can be part of the Mayi Kuwayu Study.

Do I have to be part of Mayi Kuwayu?

No. It is your own free choice to be a part of the Mayi Kuwayu Study.

If you agree to participate and then change your mind, you can withdraw at any time by calling 1800 531 600. You can also email if you want to withdraw.

When did the Mayi Kuwayu Study begin?

The Mayi Kuwayu Study was officially launched at the NACCHO Members' Conference on November 1, 2018. We sent out a pilot survey by mail to 20,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around the country. The survey was sent to 180,000 people in February 2019.

The responses we received from the first survey have helped us understand where to send the survey to reach younger and older people and regional and remote areas.

How do I know my information will be private?

No information will be reported in a way that will allow you, your household or your community to be identified. All information collected will be used for this research only.

This study is bound by strict privacy laws and all responses will be treated confidentially. Mayi Kuwayu has a Data Governance Committee and a community and technical panel (Thiitu Tharrmay Committee) that have expertise to ensure your privacy and confidentiality.

The study has been reviewed by Human Research Ethics Committees in each State and Territory who look at how information is kept private and confidential.

How will information from the study be used to help me and others?

Information from the Mayi Kuwayu Study will provide a much better understanding of how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture relates to health and wellbeing.

The data from the study is intended to be used to better inform services, programs and policy. It also provides an important national resource that can be used for projects in strict accordance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ethical values.

The importance of change over time

Seeing how things change over time is an important part of the survey. You will also be asked to agree to complete the same survey every few years, so it is important to provide your correct contact details.

Where can I find out more?

You can email us at if you have any questions.

For more information, please call our helpline on 1800 531 600.

To receive updates on the study you can subscribe to our newsletter.

For your records

You will be asked to have other information about you included in the study if you do the survey.

Other records you can agree to release to the Mayi Kuwayu Study team are:

  • Hospital records
  • Cancer records
  • Medicare Services provided
  • Death records

  • You do not have to provide access to these records. However, they provide us with the ability to understand how your survey information might relate to things such as access to hospitals, Medicare and other services. They are an important part of the study along with your survey answers.

    This information helps us to have a more detailed view of your health and wellbeing.

    You can agree to data being included until the end of the study, or for the duration of your involvement in the study. You can withdraw your consent for this at any time.

    If you have any questions please email us ( or freecall us (1800 531 600).

    If you want to complete a survey online, you can do it here.