SAHMRI. Fighting for our lives.



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: 

Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations
13 February
Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations

On 13 February 2008, the Prime Minister of Australia delivered an apology from the Government to the Stolen Generations and their Descendants. 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. While the Apology and its yearly anniversary is a significant milestone, there is still so much more work to be done to contribute to an equitable and inclusive Australia.

National Close the Gap Day
17 March
National Close the Gap Day

National Close the Gap Day is a day of awareness that aims to close the health and life expectancy gap between the indigenous and the non-indigenous communities in Australia. The Closing the Gap health measures exclude many of the health issues prevalent in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities such as alcohol and other drug use, mental health, sexual health and blood borne viruses that all contribute to reduced life expectancy. These gaps must also be addressed to reduce morbidity and increase Aboriginal life expectancy. National Close the Gap Day is a reminder that there is still much work to be done and acknowledges the hard work underway by SAHMRI and under organisations to try and close these gaps.

National Sorry Day / Anniversary of the Bringing Them Home Report
26 May
National Sorry Day / Anniversary of the Bringing Them Home Report

National Sorry Day is an annual event that has been held in Australia on 26 May, since 1998, to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the country's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. During the 20th century, Australian government policies resulted in ‘Stolen Generations’, where Aboriginal children were separated, often forcibly, from their families in the interest of turning them into white Australians.

It was on this date in 1997 that the ‘Bringing Them Home Report’ was tabled in our Federal Parliament - a report of truth-telling, a report of heartache, a report of humanity and the injustices faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

National Reconciliation Week and Mabo Day
27 May – 3 June and 3 June
National Reconciliation Week and Mabo Day

These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey - the anniversary of the successful 1967 referendum which successfully removed from the Constitution clauses that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and the High Court Mabo land rights decision respectively.

National Reconciliation Week 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.

Mabo Day is a commemoration of the Mabo decision in 1992, which set out a legislative regime under which Australia’s Indigenous people could seek recognition of their native title rights.

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 celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - the first Australians and the oldest surviving culture in the world. At the end of the week, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ contribution and achievements are recognised through the annual national NAIDOC Awards ceremony.

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.