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VACCHO Launches Research Accord after 30 Years of research called

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Jim O’Shea is the Chief Operating Officer at VACCHO. Jim is a proud Gumbaynggirr man, he moved to Melbourne four years ago from Sydney. Jim brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his role, he has over 38 years’ experience as a financial and business manager across private sector companies and not-for-profit organisations both nationally and internationally.

VACCHO are honoured to be hosting the launch of The Victorian Aboriginal Health, Medical and Wellbeing Research Accord at the Melbourne Museum this afternoon kicking off at 2pm. This is an incredible moment for Community – and we think this will be the beginning of big things for Community in the research space.

VACCHO engaged and consulted with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation to develop an appropriate and meaningful language name for the Victorian Aboriginal Health, Medical, and Wellbeing Research Accord.

This collaboration eventuated in the choice of the language phrase marra ngarrgoo, marra goorri to represent the vision for the Accord.

Marra Ngarrgoo, Marra Goorri

literally translates to:

Community knowledge, Community health.

What is the ACCORD –

Marra ngarrgoo, marra goorri / The VACCHO Research ACCORD is a state-wide instrument that aims to assist researchers and research organisations to improve their ethical standards and to implement the national ethics guidelines at a local and State level across Victoria.

The ACCORD aims to increase self-determination in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research by empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have a greater voice in how research is conducted across the State.

The ACCORD is the result of over thirty years of research and Aboriginal Community-driven advocacy, to achieve ethical practices in health and wellbeing research.

It reflects our communities’ aspirations for what research that impacts us, ought to look like in Victoria, so that we are comfortable and safe with that research, and we ensure we benefit from that research.

The truth is that, to this day, despite having one of the most productive health and medical research sectors in Australia, Victoria is the only State in the country that does not have any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific processes to promote and ensure a high standard of ethics when conducting research that impacts the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community in Victoria.

Now is the time to reverse this and implement sustainable and ethical pathways to safe health and wellbeing research for our people.

The main message we have heard from Community is that research about us, has to be by us.

Times of being the subjects of research rather than the drivers of it, must be brought to an end.

The ACCORD is designed to promote a high level of ethical research standards when conducting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research.

The ACCORD is about having Aboriginal people in the driver’s seat and championing ancient Aboriginal culture and knowledge to support thriving healthy communities.

Marra Ngarrgoo, Marra Goorri


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