NAIDOC Week Public Seminar

July 10, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
NAIDOC Week Public Seminar

To celebrate NAIDOC Week 2019, HMRI will present a public seminar focusing on engagement and empowerment in Indigenous health and medical research. Please join us as our presenters share the story of their journey into health and medical research – and how researchers and their teams are working with communities to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the nation.


Dr Michelle Bovill

Dr Michelle Bovill is a Wiradjuri woman from Mudgee, who has grown up on Worimi country. Dr Bovill is working to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to quit smoking during pregnancy, to support the health of our future elders. Dr Bovill is passionate about the design and implementation of ethical research in partnership with Aboriginal communities, particularly Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. Dr Bovill completed her PhD in Aboriginal Health earlier this year, and was recently awarded the Lowitja Institute Student Award for her research.

Dr Bovill was awarded an NHMRC ECR Fellowship 2019-2023 to continue her research into the field of non-pharmacological support for smoking cessation during pregnancy, building on the experiences and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

At this seminar, Michelle will share her journey to research and will speak to the importance of “Voice”, specifically the need to incorporate Indigenous voices in health and medical research. Dr Bovill brings 14 years experience working with Aboriginal communities and Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing to the health research space to deliver health research that is appropriate, engaging and meaningful for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Dr John Towney

Dr John Towney is a Wiradjuri man, from Wellington in the Central West region of NSW, who is dedicated to improving Indigenous Health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Dr Towney has a Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery from the University of Newcastle, and is a Lecturer in the Indigenous Health Unit within the School of Medicine and Public Health at UON.

With a focus on engaging with Health Services, from student engagement and recruitment, through to cultural competency and workforce capability, Dr Towney is dedicated to examining and promoting awareness of existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services within the Hunter New England Health Local Health District, and building on existing relationships.

“We are all researchers – thinking about our communities and what we can learn from those communities,” says Dr Towney.

Dr Towney will share some of his story, and discuss how his experiences have inspired his choice of a career in Health, Medicine, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program development.

Register your Attendance

This event is being recorded and will be live streamed on Facebook. The recorded material may also be edited and used in other forms including social media, radio, television, newspaper, magazine, internet or other means.

By attending and participating in this event you authorise your likeness and voice, and any activity undertaken in relation to this event to be used by Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Health and acknowledge that you assign all rights, title and interest including copyright to HMRI in perpetuity. 

Caves Theatre
Level 4, HMRI Building
Lot 1 Kookaburra Circuit, New Lambton Heights NSW 2305