Poche Winter Research Scholarship Program

The UQ Poche Centre facilitates a range of research opportunities for undergraduate, honours and masters by coursework students through the upcoming Winter Research Program in June-July 2019.

The Centre brings together Indigenous and health expertise across the University, and works collaboratively with Indigenous community organisations and health providers. A core objective of the Centre is the development of a skilled, culturally responsive health workforce.

In conjunction with the UQ Student Employability Centre, the Poche Centre has a number of projects available for students interested in research. 

The UQ Winter Research Program provides you with an opportunity to gain research experience working alongside some of the university’s leading academics and researchers. All Winter Research scholars are eligible to apply for a scholarship for the duration of their research.

Broad requirements for the Poche Centre Winter Research Scholarships

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are especially encouraged to apply
  • Students must be currently enrolled at UQ at the time of application. Students can be in their first year of study
  • Students should have a high level of academic achievement (GPA above 4.0)

Further information for applicants is available on the UQ Student Employability Centre website.

Applications for Winter 2019 have now closed.

It is expected that scholars will work a minimum of 20 hours per week for at least four weeks. Please note that some positions require scholars to work on a full-time basis (up to 36 hours per week), and the expected workload is set by each supervisor. The scholar and the supervisor are able to negotiate the duration of the project and the workload requirements. 

Racism in the Health Justice System

Project title: 

Racism in the Health Justice System

Project duration:

4 weeks

Description:

The Australian Government’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan, the 10-year plan for the direction of Indigenous health policy from 2013 to 2023, imagines an ‘Australian health system free of racism and inequality’.[1] Implicit in this vision is the recognition that racism inhibits Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ from receiving equitable care and, consequently, undermines Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s well-being. That is, racism has real and profound consequences for the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples. As Dennis McDermott observes, ‘racism is not only an everyday occurrence for many Indigenous Australians, but also one that gets under the skin, and “makes us sick”’[2]

Despite this high-level commitment and the recognition that racism has a negative impact upon Indigenous peoples’ health, much of the work done to date examines how racism creates barriers to accessing health care or compromises the quality of care provided. Few have considered the ways in which, for Indigenous peoples, racism may not only impact access to and quality of care but render Indigenous bodies as beyond care.[3] Critical race and settler colonial scholarship suggests that the pervasive myth of the ‘dying race’ continues to be read onto Indigenous bodies.[4] This approach suggests that state actors such as medical staff and police officers may pathologize Indigenous patients in ways that render them ‘already dead’ through assumptions about alcohol and drug use and mental health status.

The recent coronial inquest into the death of Ms Dhu, a 22-year-old Yamatji woman who died in police custody after suffering from lack of adequate medical care, evidences the ways the coronial process is ‘a mode of conquest, a trauma-inducing theatre of power, and in which displays of Ms Dhu’s suffering on police and hospital CCTV footage played a central and unresolved role’.[5] Through this footage, police officers and medical staff are seen to dismiss her as a ‘fucking junkie,’ labelling her a ‘difficult patient to assess’ with ‘behavioural issues’.[6] Not only does the criminal justice system disregard her pain and treat her as underserving of care, but the health system perpetuates this violence by regarding her as one of ‘those people’ who are inherently sick, unruly and underserving.[7]

The aim of this project is to conduct a quantitative survey of the findings of coronial inquiries across Australian state and territory jurisdictions from 2000-2018, to identify cases involving Indigenous deaths relating to the health system. This will include Indigenous deaths in custody where Indigenous peoples have accessed health services.

 

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Applicants involved in this project can expect to gain a better understanding of the health justice system. The applicant will gain skills in data collection and creating and organising a database. A key outcome of the project is to collate the coronial cases relating to Indigenous deaths in the health system to create a searchable database for further research.

Suitable for:

This project is open to applications from students with a background in social sciences, political science, law, health sciences, 3-4 year students, UQ enrolled students only.

Primary Supervisor:

 

Associate Professor Chelsea Bond and Ms Helena Kajlich

Further info:

For any information, please contact Helena Kajlich

 


[1] Department of Health, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023, http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/B92E980680486C3BCA257BF0001BAF01/$File/health-plan.pdf, 8.

[2] Dennis McDermott, “Can we educate out of racism,” Perspectives 197, no. 1 (2012): 15.

[3] Sherene H. Razack, Dying for Improvement: Inquests and inquiries into indigenous deaths in custody. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016), 9.

[4] Madi Gray, “Pathologizing Indigenous Suicide: Examining the Inquest into the Deaths of C.J. and C.B. at the Manitoba Youth Centre,” Studies in Social Justice 10, no. 1 (2016): 81-82.

[5] Ethan Blue, “Seeing Ms. Dhu: inquest, conquest, and (in)visibility in black women’s deaths in custody,” Settler Colonial Studies 7, no. 3 (2017): 301.

[6] Coroner’s Court of Western Australia, Inquest into the Death of Ms DHU, 16 December 2016, http://www.coronerscourt.wa.gov.au/I/inquest_into_the_death_of_ms_dhu.aspx?uid=1644-2151-2753-9965.

[7] Ethan Blue, “Seeing Ms. Dhu: inquest, conquest, and (in)visibility in black women’s deaths in custody,” 306. 

Evaluation of ATOMIC for Social Health

Project title: 

Evaluation of ATOMIC for Social Health

Project duration:

4 weeks

Description:

The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) Ltd is a not-for-profit, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organization which leads the planning, development and delivery of comprehensive primary health care to Indigenous communities of the South East Queensland (SEQ) Region. The IUIH and its Members serve Australia’s second largest but fastest growing Indigenous population. IUIH’s mission is to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in SEQ have access to comprehensive, high quality and timely primary health care services, integrated within the broader health and human services system.

The Australian Therapy Outcome Measure for Indigenous Clients (ATOMIC) has been utilized at IUIH to develop goals for therapy sessions and review the impact of therapy on the progress of individuals in both Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology.

This project aims to roll-out the ATOMIC for use with our social health team, and to explore its utility and validity in measuring outcomes for urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The project will involve some data collection (interviews) and analysis of existing data.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

The student will gain skills in data collection and data analysis and may have the opportunity to contribute to a publication from their research.

The successful student/s will be required to complete an induction with the student placement coordinator at IUIH’s Windsor head office before commencing their placement. Additionally, all project students will be asked to present their projects to the team in a research forum, and to provide a project report, once they have completed the project.

Suitable for:

The student needs to be able to work independently and proactively and follow directives effectively. Students will be given some cultural awareness training and will get the most out of their placement if they come with an ability and willingness to be flexible, reflect on their own values and culture, and humility to learn.

This project is open to applications from UQ enrolled students with a background in social health (i.e. psychology, social work, counselling) or similar fields.

Primary Supervisor:

 

Dr Paul Harnett and Dr Kate Odgers-Jewell

Further info:

Contact Dr Kate Odgers-Jewell for more information.

Sport, Stories and Identity: Rugby League in Cherbourg’s Past and Present

Project title: 

Sport, Stories and Identity: Rugby League in Cherbourg’s Past and Present

Project duration:

4 weeks (24 June to 19 July 2019). 20 hrs/week

Description:

Background: The Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement was established in 1904 approximately 250 kilometres north-west of Brisbane, and is recognised as one of Queensland’s most famous (and infamous) Indigenous settlements. Sport has played an incredibly important role from the inception of Cherbourg until contemporary times and the Winter Program will make a significant contribution to examining the cultural, social, and political complexities of sport at Cherbourg via a study of rugby league in the community and possibly in other Queensland centres. As a team sport, rugby league played a pivotal role in creating a Cherbourg identity amongst people from many tribal, language and cultural groups who had been forcibly removed to the settlement. This analysis of Cherbourg’s rugby league history will inform us about a little-known period when Indigenous people were essentially excluded from mainstream Australia and when Aboriginal people gradually and incrementally engaged in sport to create a collective identity, to test themselves in Anglo-Australian competitions, and as a barometer of twentieth-century race relations.

Aims: This project, via a focus on the sport of rugby league, aims to:

  • Collaboratively work with the research team to ensure that Cherbourg sporting stories are recorded/preserved
  • Research and collate written records to share with the community
  • Explore and share personal memories and meanings
  • Individually, contribute to the process of healing through history making

Collectively, contribute to reconciliation efforts through collective memory making and recording these memories

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

The student intern will develop skills in historical research and benefit from participating in the project through exposure to the larger research context in which this project sits. More broadly, the student intern will gain an understanding of Aboriginal Australian culture, develop skills in engaging with Aboriginal sport history, and gain additional preparation for future interactions with Indigenous people during their professional lives after graduation.

Key tasks are to:

  • Conduct literature searches where appropriate
  • Assist with archival and library research
  • Contribute to database development
  • Organise oral history interviews with individuals, if appropriate, to share and record personal memories and meanings
  • Liaise with Aboriginal groups and memory institutions to make appropriate documents and materials available

Suitable for:

UQ-enrolled students only. Ideally, but not necessarily, applicants should have taken at least one of the HMNS sociocultural courses (e.g., sport history, sport sociology) and be motivated to work with and learn alongside Indigenous cultures.

Primary Supervisor:

 

Professor Murray Phillips & Associate Professor Gary Osmond

Further info:

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact:

Professor Murray Phillips  & Associate Professor Gary Osmond

School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences

g.osmond@uq.edu.au; m.phillips@uq.edu.au

Indigenous Birthing in an Urban Setting (IBUS) Study

 

Project title:

Indigenous Birthing in an Urban Setting (IBUS) Study

Project duration:

4 weeks, with a minimum of 20 hours per week

Preferred commencement date:

24 June 2019

Background:

The IBUS Study is evaluating best practice maternity care to improve maternal and infant health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in South East Queensland. We are interested in understanding how Birthing on Country principles can best be implemented into maternity services in an urban setting. This study is done in partnership between the Mater Mothers Hospital, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service. We conduct surveys at 4 time points with women having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies at the Mater Mothers Hospital and also at the Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospitals. So far we have over 200 women in the study, with almost 500 surveys completed. We also have several IBUS substudies ranging from workforce cultural competence, smoking cessation and health record information sharing.


The successful applicant will be trained in research methods to undertake research related tasks such as assisting with literature reviews, data collection and/or analysis, and stakeholder engagement.

Expected outcomes & deliverables: 

The student may gain skills on how to conduct a literature review, data collection and analysis, as well as liaising with staff from different models of maternity care, Aboriginal Medical Services, and community based programs. They will gain experience working in a multidisciplinary multiagency partnership, through a study that uses collaborative action-based research to make positive change in service delivery and planning.

The scholar may be invited to present their findings and/or experiences at the conclusion of their project.

Suitable for:

This would suit students with backgrounds including but not limited to Midwifery, Nursing, Social Work, Community Services, Medicine, Public Health, Social Science and Indigenous Studies.

Primary supervisor:

Dr Sophie Hickey

Further information:

Prospective scholars may wish to contact Dr Sophie Hickey for further details.