As the nation celebrates NAIDOC Week by taking the time to reflect on the rich histories, cultures, and achievements of Australia’s First Nation Peoples, we take this opportunity to announce and welcome the Aboriginal Leadership Group (ALG) as a Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH) Board Committee.

MACH and our affiliates find footing in Victorian Aboriginal Country. As such, the MACH serves the traditional custodians of these lands and its ancestral peoples. Our strategy identifies precision care as one of its key priorities. Delivery of culturally safe care to Aboriginal peoples is of particular importance. There is a need to work in close partnership with Aboriginal communities served by MACH members to transform community access to, experience of, and outcomes arising from healthcare.

In reflection of this, leading Victorian Aboriginal health experts across the MACH Network have come together to establish the ALG, chaired by A/Prof Luke Burchill, a Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Warrung man and Cardiologist at RMH.

MACH’s Council, Board and Executive Director have enthusiastically endorsed the establishment of the ALG as an advisory Committee of the Board to ensure that cultural safety for Aboriginal researchers and communities are a MACH-wide priority.

The committee ensures that MACH continues its focus on furthering culturally safe healthcare and health research pertaining to the Victorian Aboriginal communities, who are the primary communities represented in the MACH network. The committee understands that research conducted may extend nationally and internationally and may include other Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Communities.

MACH looks forward to being lead by the ALG as we commit to ensuring culturally safe practices across our network, recognising and respectfully drawing upon the vast experience and knowledge held by the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters that our partners serve.

Image credit: 2020 National NAIDOC poster – read more here.