Telethon grant to fund vital research project in remote Aboriginal communities

Our researchers have been awarded a research grant from the Channel 7 Telethon Trust to advance ear and hearing services in the Pilbara.

Indigenous children in the Pilbara region carry one of the highest burdens of ear disease in the world.v The goal of this research project is to analyse and interpret 10 years’ worth of data from five very remote Aboriginal communities in the East Pilbara; Newman, Jigalong, Punmu, Parnngurr and Kunawarritji. Commenting on the project, Project Lead Adj Professor Rob Eikelboom said,

Telethon’s support will be instrumental in determining how we plan, operate and implement hearing services in the future.

Findings will be translated into a report with recommendations for immediate changes to service delivery to improve the ear and hearing health of the children.

Dr Anton Hinton-Bayre, ENT specialist, who regularly works in the Pilbara commented,

With this new knowledge we are better able to know where we are going in reducing the incidence of ear disease, and the likelihood of a child experiencing long-term hearing loss.

Our project team will be working closely with the Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service who directly plan, operate and implement these services. The team will also be working closely with community members to ensure that the project and its learnings are meaningful to the community.

Insights from this project will be shared through peer-reviewed publications and presentations to inform and improve approaches in Indigenous ear health for children nationally and internationally.  The project aligns with the tertiary services that we currently deliver, as well as our other research programs on developing new treatments of otitis media that combat biofilms.

community health, indigenous health, ear health awareness, and regional healthcare initiatives, earbus, east pilbara, ear science institute australia

Shamese (2nd from right) and family at the Newman “Healthy Ears – Kunjunyu Kurlka” event. Newman sits on the traditional lands of the Nyiyarparli people.