Our Research

UQ Poche Centre-Supported Research

UQ Poche leads a research effort to develop a comprehensive approach to urban Indigenous health, with an emphasis on translational research and a focus on prevention and education. In collaboration with our partners in primary health care, UQ Poche research contributes to improved models of health service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in urban areas.

Our Centre is focused on improving urban Indigenous health outcomes across the life course across three core themes:

  • Maternal and child health (Mums and Bubs);
  • Young people and adolescents (Healthy Transition to Adulthood);
  • Adults and older people (Healthy Living, Healthy Ageing).

Additionally, UQ Poche has broad workforce development objectives to both support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in pathways to careers in health, as well as to ensure that all UQ staff, students and graduates are better trained to work in Indigenous health.

The Centre has opportunities for UQ students to gain research experience through the Summer and Winter Research Program.

Current projects

The UQ Poche Centre currently supports a number of research projects, listed below.

Moving beyond the front line: A 20 year retrospective cohort study of career trajectories from the Indigenous Health Program at The University of Queensland

This project examines critical success factors for enabling Indigenous leadership across the health system as demonstrated by alumni of the University of Queensland’s Indigenous Health Program (IHP). The study takes a strengths-based approach which privileges the narrative accounts of Indigenous health professionals who graduated from the IHP between 1994-2005. This multidisciplinary cohort of approximately 70 health professionals include CEOs of medical services, GPs, clinical specialists, senior policy advisors, program managers and senior academics.  Foregrounding their testimony, thought and experience will illuminate our understanding of Indigenous health workforce leadership across the health system.

Funding Body

Lowitja Institute

Research Team

Chelsea Bond, Condy Canuto, Shannon Springer, Tara Lewis, Jon Willis, Deborah Askew, Mark Brough, Nell Angus, Bryan Mukandi

Moving Beyond the Front Line: A 20 year journey from The Lowitja Institute on Vimeo.

Roles and Ritual: The Inala Wangarra Rites of Passage Ball Case Study

Research aims

  1. Describe an existing urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ritual that celebrates the “coming of age” of young Indigenous men and women (Rites of Passage Ball).

  2. Investigate the impact of ritual upon young Indigenous men’s social and emotional wellbeing and their role(s) within their family and community.

  3. Examine the expectations of urban Indigenous young men, exploring the varying ways in which they enact and challenge racialised, cultural and gender expectations. 

Research significance

The evaluation and documentation of Inala Wangarra’s Rites of Passage Ball will elicit a deeper understanding of urban Indigenous gender roles and expectations, highlighting the agency and capabilities of young Indigenous men.

Research methodology

This participatory action research project, conducted in partnership with Inala Wangarra, will use film, in-depth interviews, and photovoice to gather qualitative data from young men participating in the 2018 Rites of Passage program, their partners, families, and stakeholders. This research will draw upon the ‘most significant change’ technique to explore the significance of the program upon the lives of young men.  

Funding body

Lowitja Institute

Research team

Chelsea Bond, Karla Brady, Deborah Askew, Condy Canuto, Jon Willis, Bryan Mukandi


Roles and Ritual: The Inala Wangarra Rite of Passage Ball case study from The Lowitja Institute on Vimeo.

Game-Changing Educators: Teaching Indigenous health in a culturally safe transformative learning environment

Dr Chelsea Bond: ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award - The trouble with culture: Rationalizing Indigenous health inequality

Condy Canuto: UQ Teaching Fellowship - Embedding Indigenous knowledge in the training and development of the health workforce

PhD and MPhil students

UQ Poche Centre offers a generous scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students undertaking research in the area of Indigenous health and wellbeing. The Centre provides support to scholarship holders over the course of their research degree.

Undergraduate Students

The UQ Summer and Winter Research Program is open to undergraduate, honours and masters by coursework students who are interested in gaining paid research experience during the university breaks.


Previous Projects

  • Indigenous Community Health: A scoping study (Poche Seed Funding)
  • Work It Out: Chronic Disease Self Management and Rehabilitation - Evaluation (Poche Seed Funding)
  • Developing a demographic and health services profile (Poche Seed Funding)
  • Closing the Gap in Discharge Against Medical Advice (DAMA) (Poche Seed Funding)
  • Data mining and analysis for specific health programs (Poche Seed Funding)
  • Evaluating outcomes of a therapy program for Indigenous children using Australian Therapy Outcome Measure for Indigenous Clients (Poche Seed Funding)
  • MomenTIM: A community-wide approach to improving the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous young men
  • Deadly Ears: Culturally responsive practice
  • Pain Heroes: Chronic Pain Management in Indigenous Health – Service development and evaluation
  • Student experiences of learning in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education settings
  • Deadly Ears: family-centred coaching