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Congratulations to Associate Professor Kym Rae who has been announced as the recipient of the 2021 Mater Research’s Strategic Grant for Outstanding Women which aims to showcase the ingenuity that women bring to research.
Kym is the Principal Research Fellow for Indigenous Health within the Mother and Baby Program and proposes to use her grant over the next two years to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland have an opportunity to voice their health needs, particularly in during the time of pregnancy and early family life.
“The focus of my research across my career has been to better understand health issues which disproportionally impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and to partner with communities to develop policy changes for early detection, education and identification of risk factors,” Kym said.
“Since coming to Mater I have been working closely with the Queensland Family Cohort team. This landmark project will look at the health of 10 000 families across the state. My goal is to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family’s needs are reflected within all research including the Queensland Family Cohort study. Funding from the Strategic Grant for Outstanding Women will ensure that this foundational work with communities of Queensland can be undertaken.
“As my work continues with the Queensland Family Cohort, I hope to recruit a total of 2 500 Indigenous families to the study and build a strong passionate team, with Indigenous team members to undertake analysis of this data.”
Kym is not only passionate about improving health outcomes for Indigenous people but recruiting, training and upskilling Indigenous researchers to be part of work which will shape their communities for generations to come.
“I will be continuing to mentor and support academics early in their career trajectory, with a particular focus on female academics plus I will be supporting a predominantly Indigenous research team, including PhD or other higher degree students,” Kym said.
“As I continue my work, I intend to undertake research projects in consultation with Indigenous community members and lead projects, to address Indigenous health trajectories in the areas of chronic disease, particularly renal disease, diabetes or cardio-vascular disease.
“It is my goal to embed Indigenous research priorities within Mater Research’s core research themes and to increase the representation of Indigenous peoples in staffing, leadership, and students.”
Executive Director of Mater Research Professor Maher Gandhi said although Kym has only been with the team since February of 2020, she has already had an instant impact.
“Kym works in an extremely challenging area, where she is growing an Indigenous longitudinal cohort from pregnancy through to early childhood, in small rural Australian communities however she has already achieved amazing success and she has a strong vision for what she intends to achieve at Mater Research,” Maher said.
This is a strategically important grant which cements Mater’s commitment to women and the support and advancement of their research careers.
For further information contact: Media and Communications Officer, Alyssa Kremmer on 0421 897 853 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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