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Welcome to the latest edition of the Mayi Kuwayu News

Our people and communities have been saying for a long time that strong culture is important to our health and wellbeing.

Mayi Kuwayu is the National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing. 

This project is a major longitudinal study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults that examines the connection between culture, health and wellbeing.

We appreciate your interest in the Mayi Kuwayu Study and welcome all new subscribers. All our newsletters can be found on our website

Mayi Kuwayu means to follow Aboriginal people over a long time in Ngiyampaa language.


Have your say

The Mayi Kuwayu Study is about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture links to health and wellbeing. It’s about how culture makes us strong.

Sharing your story, and adding it to other people’s stories, means we can show how to make services, programs and policy better for the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We will share our findings with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities around Australia so they can use the results in ways that help them.

As a longitudinal study, we are interested in looking at how your culture and wellbeing has changed over time. We identify patterns of change and seek to understand trends as they emerge. We are currently in the second wave of surveys, look out for your survey arriving in your mailbox. Alternatively, you can also click the link below and do your survey online now. If you are having trouble doing the survey, then call us and we will help you. Call 1800 531 600 (free).

We hope you will share your stories with us. 

Do the survey now
Safeguarding your data
We have always been cognisant about data privacy. To this end, we now process the Mayi Kuwayu surveys in-house at our own facility. We have a team of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that receive the surveys, scan them and verify them. This way we are able to ensure total security with all the returned surveys.

The Mayi Kuwayu team is committed to using the survey data to make as many positive changes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing as possible. Our process of sharing data is comprehensive and is guided by the Maiam nayri Wingara Indigenous Data Sovereignty Principles and strict privacy laws. 
Wiradjuri Elder Uncle Dick throwing a boomerang at the Kulay Kalingka Study launch. 
Kulay Kalingka study launch 
The Kulay Kalingka Study is a national cohort study that is designed to understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about cancer including cancer screening, and experiences with cancer care and treatment. The study name, ‘Kulay Kalingka’ translates to ‘net bag in the water’ in Ngiyampaa (Wongaibon) language. 

This ground breaking national study is asking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about cancer beliefs and attitudes, experiences, engagement with cancer screening programs, cancer treatment, cancer diagnosis, and caring responsibilities.

On Tuesday 11 July 2023, the study team, along with College of Health and Medicine Dean Professor Russell Gruen and NCEPH Director Professor Hilary Bambrick, and colleagues from the ANU National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing Research travelled to Condobolin to launch the Study. The launch was held in Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation, a key community partner to the Kulay Kalingka Study.

Kulay Kalingka project lead Shavaun Wells spoke on the importance of the survey and the need to fill the knowledge and data gap in cancer research. Tom Calma AO, National Coordinator of Tackling Indigenous Smoking and Chancellor of University of Canberra spoke about the history of cancer diagnosis in his own family. Associate Professor Lisa Whop, incoming Chair of Cancer Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group on Cancer Control, reminded the audience of the importance of preventative measures. 

The Kulay Kalingka Study launch marks the beginning of survey collection. To find out more about the study, visit
Professor Tom Calma AO speaking at the Kulay Kalingka Study launch. 
Shades of Resilience: Unveiling Kulay Kalingka is an emotive and inspiring documentary that takes viewers on a transformative journey from Cairns to Condobolin, and into the heart of the Kulay Kalingka Study.
The Kulay Kalingka survey is now available. Please take the time to pass this link onto your contacts. More people who share their stories, the stronger the information will be and the bigger difference we will be able to create for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Mayi Kuwayu findings presented at ISA Conference
In June 2023, Wiradjuri PhD student and research assistant Makayla-May Brinckley attended the XX ISA World Congress of Sociology in Melbourne. Makayla presented at this conference on a chapter titled “Race, racism and wellbeing impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia”

This recently published chapter was written by Makayla and Ray Lovett. The chapter and the conference presentation are part of our broader program of work to show how racism affects the health and wellbeing of our mob. Understanding the impacts of racism on health and wellbeing is necessary to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Read the chapter
Community partner spotlight - Ebenezer Aboriginal Corporation 
The success and the outcome of the Mayi Kuwayu Study relies on gathering a broad range of data. The more people who fill out the survey, the more people we connect with, the better the scope for producing holistic data that can positively influence health and wellbeing for our communities. Community partner organisations play an important role in helping us reach remote and regional communities. 

The Ebenezer Aboriginal Corporation is one such partner organisation. Initially envisioned to be a support organisation for homeless youth, the Corporation now provides parenting services, support to incarcerated people, family and counselling services and employment support.

They have helped our team in reaching a large amount of respondents. Martin Smith, the CEO of Ebenezer has been a tremendous advocate for helping mob get ahead. He works tirelessly to this end and is always ready to help and assist us at Mayi Kuwayu and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Perth, W.A.

Like the Ebenezer Aboriginal Corporation, our study often partners with community organisations. 
Please get in touch if you would like your organisation to be involved in the study -
Kirsty Nichols 
Each year, as graduation season approaches, we are left in awe of our Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology (MAE) students. Kirsty joined us as a scholar in 2021 and brought along a wealth of skills, knowledge and networks, from her background in health service policy, public health and system planning. Having successfully completing her oral viva, Kirsty is now continuing to work with us at Mayi Kuwayu. Congratulations Kirsty, on successfully finishing your degree and we are very happy to have you working with us. 
Meet our new team members - Kiara and Laura
We are excited to have Kiara Barker (left) and Laura Wallace (right) join our team. They have both joined our team as Administration Assistants. Kiara Barker is a proud Murawarri/Ngunnawal woman and has been in administrative roles for over three years. She was a finalist for 2021 ACT training awards for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Student of the year. Laura is a professional staff member and has previously worked administration within disability and aged care, and retail. 
We are very excited to have them on board with us! 

Lastly, our team member Dr Katie Thurber is on maternity leave and awaiting the arrival of her baby. We would like to wish Katie and her family a hearty congratulations! 
Work with us 
We are looking for multiple people to join our team as Research Officer across various projects. The Research Officer(s) will contribute to cutting-edge innovative and multidisciplinary research in areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing.

Their responsibilities may include fieldwork and community engagement, research design, and administrative duties. 
Apply here
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