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SAHMRI. Inspired research, better health.
Aboriginal Health Equity
28 July, 2020

Beach Energy helping Indigenous researchers shape their future

Aboriginal Health Equity

Keera Laccos-Barrett has spent almost a decade working as a nurse in regional and remote South Australia and the Northern Territory. Now she’s looking for a new challenge.

“That’s why I want to be involved in research,” she said. “It’s a platform I can use to advocate and leave a positive legacy for my families, communities and Indigenous peoples."

Keera is a Ngarrindjeri woman from South Australia with connections to the Narrunga and Kaurna nations. She is studying for her Masters of Nursing (Research) and is interested in exploring the cultural capabilities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health education.

Her study is being supported by SAHMRI’s inaugural Beach Energy Aboriginal Health Postgraduate Scholarship.

“I’m passionate about Indigenous feminism, social justice and equity for Indigenous peoples,” she said.

“I’m so grateful to Beach Energy for making this scholarship possible and to have this connection with SAHMRI, with Australia’s largest dedicated Aboriginal Health Equity unit, where I can contribute to positive change that can benefit generations, not just individuals.”

Dr Karla Canuto is the leader of the Capacity Development Platform with Wardliparingga – SAHMRI’s Aboriginal Health Equity Theme. She oversaw the application process for the Beach Energy Aboriginal Health Postgraduate Scholarship.

“Keera is an inspiring young woman and I know she’ll make a great researcher,” Karla said.

“We enlisted external reviewers to judge the applicants. The calibre of the candidates was outstanding – I’m glad I didn’t have to decide! It was just disappointing we can’t fund them all.”

The scholarship brings $15,000 to help with education costs plus an additional $2500 stipend. It represents SAHMRI and Beach Energy’s shared commitment to developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers as leaders in their fields.

“This scholarship will help me with time,” Keera said.

“It will allow me time to do my postgraduate work and meet the high expectations required to enter a PhD program after my Masters.”

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SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people.

The SAHMRI community acknowledges and pays respect to the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region. We also acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and the relationship of the Kaurna people to their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna peoples' ancestors and the living Kaurna people today.