SAHMRI. Inspired research, better health.



Our vision for Reconciliation

SAHMRI acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first peoples of Australia and the longest continuous living culture in the world. We recognise the injustices of the past, and that Aboriginal people do not experience the same equality of rights and life expectancy, as other Australians. We respect the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the face of adversity.

On our pathway to Reconciliation our research will be directed by the historic and contemporary knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We are committed to working in equal partnership with Aboriginal organisations, communities and individuals, building trust and respect, deepening our understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures.

SAHMRI will create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in health and medical research. We will build a culturally responsive workforce across SAHMRI, and include ways of working which unite the physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing of all people.

Together we will improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities within South Australia and nationally. We will use the learnings from research focussed on Aboriginal populations to improve the health of all Australians.

SAHMRI will use the principles of the South Australian Aboriginal Health Research Accord as a foundation for reconciliation in everything we do and will monitor the progress and impact of our plan and revise our strategies accordingly.

SAHMRI is committed to achieving a combined vision of a reconciled Australia through working with SAHMRI partners.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

On the 13 February 2018, the 10th Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generation and their Descendants, SAHMRI launched its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for February 2018 – February 2020, which has received endorsement from Reconciliation Australia.

What is a RAP, and why is it important to SAHMRI?

RAPs are practical plans of action to help advance reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians in workplaces and beyond, and they help build understanding, promote meaningful engagement, increase equality, create sustainable employment opportunities and other positive outcomes in these environments.

Since its inception, one of SAHMRI’s priorities has been to incorporate Aboriginal health research across all of its research and as a key platform of SAHMRI business – Aboriginal health is something that is at the heart of everything the team at SAHMRI does.

As a new and developing health and medical research institute, SAHMRI has the opportunity to develop a platform for Reconciliation that can have a far-reaching impact on staff, research projects and in turn the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and broader community.

A RAP will influence the work of the Institute, as well as the interactions and potential outcomes of key research partners both here in South Australia and across Australia.

Meet our RAP Project Officer - Renee Andrew (nee Coulthard)

I am a proud Adnyamathanha/Kuyani woman from the Flinders Ranges and mother of six beautiful children. I was born and have always lived in SA, often visiting and connecting with my homelands.

Growing up I looked up to my father, an strong Aboriginal man, who became the first Aboriginal Correctional Officer in Australia. I wanted to be a role model just like my father and when I completed high school I started my journey to work alongside and support my community. I have worked within numerous Aboriginal specific roles over the last 15 years across roles as an Aboriginal Education Worker, Youth Worker, Aboriginal Liaison Officer in Domestic Violence, Family Support Worker, Case Manager and Educator. In each of these roles, a focus on education, health and decreasing the risk of homelessness has been paramount.

Over the years I have been involved in the development of many RAP plans. I look forward to bringing all of this experience to my current role as RAP Project Officer. I am excited to be able to work closely with you all and members of the Collective and the RAP committee.”

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback you'd like to contribute to reconciliation at SAHMRI please contact Renee: E renee.andrew@sahmri.com P 08 8128 4036

Dates of Significance

Below are dates of historical and cultural significance: 

Survival Day (Australia Day)
26 January
Survival Day (Australia Day)

January 26 is not a day of celebration for all Australians. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people it marks the beginning of the invasion, the dispossession of their land, violence, massacres and genocide. That is why the day is often called ‘Invasion Day’, ‘Day of Mourning’, ‘Survival Day’ or ‘Aboriginal Sovereignty Day’.

National Apology Day
13 February
National Apology Day

The National Apology to the Stolen Generations came about as a recommendation from The National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal Children from their Families. It highlighted the suffering of Indigenous families under the Commonwealth, state and territory Aboriginal protection and welfare laws and policies.

The National Inquiry then led to the ‘Bringing Them Home’ report which was tabled in Parliament on 26 May 1997. It contained 54 Recommendations on how to redress the wrongs done to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by the race-based laws and policies of successive governments throughout Australia.

Recommendations 5a and 5b suggested that all Australian Parliaments and State and Territory

1. Officially acknowledge the responsibility of their predecessors for the laws, policies and practices of forcible removal,

 2. Police forces acknowledge responsibility for past laws, policies and practices of forcible removal and that on behalf of their predecessors officially apologies to Indigenous individuals, families and communities.


National Museum of Australia - National Apology  

AIATSIS - National Apology  

National Close the Gap Day
Third Thursday of March
National Close the Gap Day

National Close the Gap Day aims to raise awareness and to promote the campaign to close the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians. The main goal is to close the gap in health and life expectancy outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

The Close the Gap Campaign, launched in 2006, is an independent coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and mainstream peak health and advocacy organisations, advocating for health equality by 2030. The Government’s ‘Closing the Gap’ strategy, launched in 2008, refers to a series of government policies and programs, including specific health targets, which are aimed at reducing disadvantage amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across six key areas, including health, education, employment and early childhood.


Reconciliation Australia - Close the Gap Day 

Australian Human Rights Commission 

Oxfam Australia 

National Sorry Day
26 May
National Sorry Day

National Sorry Day marks the anniversary of the tabling in Federal Parliament of the Bringing Them Home Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, on 26 May 1997.


Reconcilation Australia 

Australian Human Rights Commission

National Reconciliation Week
27 May - 3 June
National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.


Reconciliation Australia 

Mabo Day
3 June
Mabo Day

On 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia handed down its decision in the case known as Mabo (No. 2), recognising traditional land rights (Native Title) on Mer (Murray Island). The case was led by Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo. The decision recognised that Indigenous peoples in Australia had prior rights to land. The Court held that these rights, where they exist today, will have the protection of the Australian law until those rights are legally extinguished.


AIATSIS - Mabo Case 

The Importance of Mabo Day - PDF

NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week
Second Sunday in July to the following Sunday
NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week

NAIDOC Week is a celebration of history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Each year there is a different theme to NAIDOC week.



NAIDOC History

Reconcilation Australia - Fast Facts

International Day of the World's Indigenous People
9 August
International Day of the World's Indigenous People

By resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples shall be observed on 9 August every year. The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.


United Nations 

You can't miss us

North Terrace
Adelaide 5000
South Australia

Postal address

PO Box 11060
Adelaide 5001
South Australia


Key partners

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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.