The DIABETES across the LIFECOURSE: Northern Australia Partnership
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Menzies’ Diabetes Across the Lifecourse Team have ceased trips to remote communities and paused activities with research participants (i.e. PANDORA study visits, Youth Diabetes workshops). Our number one priority is always the health and safety of participants and researchers.
We are mindful of the COVID-related work load now impacting our clinician, policy and health service partners, thus are minimising contact with these key partners at this time. We remain committed to our relationships with partners, communities and participants, and will continue to work together to support each other in these challenging times.
For more information, please visit our resources page:
The DIABETES across the LIFECOURSE: Northern Australia Partnership commenced initially in the Northern Territory (NT) in 2011. The partnership is between researchers, policy makers and health service providers. It aims to improve systems of care and services for people with diabetes in remote northern Australia. The Partnership includes work to improve the care and outcomes for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander youth with diabetes and women with diabetes in pregnancy and their babies.
After starting in 2011 as the NT DIP Partnership, further funding in 2015 enabled development of an alliance with Far North Queensland (NT & FNQ Diabetes in Pregnancy Partnership) and collaborating with Canadian researchers.
Early 2019 saw the change of the Partnership name to DIABETES across the LIFECOURSE: Northern Australia Partnership. This was to encompass the movement of the program from mothers in pregnancy, to including a focus on: children born to mothers with diabetes in pregnancy, diabetes prevention in children, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth with type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes in pregnancy (DIP) is associated with an increase in short-term and long-term health risks for mothers and their babies. It also provides a unique opportunity to improve the future health outcomes of women and their babies.
All components of the Partnership have current approval from the relevant Human Research Ethics Committee.
Principal Chief Investigator
Professor Louise Maple-Brown MBBS FRACP PhD
Principal Chief Investigator
Louise Maple-Brown is Senior Endocrinologist, Royal Darwin Hospital, (Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia), Senior Principal Research Fellow with Menzies School of Health Research and Chair of NT Diabetes Clinical Network.
Louise leads a clinical research program within the Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Diseases division of Menzies, with a focus on diabetes and related conditions in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. Louise established and leads the Diabetes across the Lifecourse: Northern Australian Partnership. The partnership includes several large NHMRC-funded projects, including the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland Diabetes in Pregnancy Partnership and The PANDORA (Pregnancy And Neonatal Diabetes Outcomes in Remote Australia) Cohort Study.
After completing the majority of her physician and endocrinology training at St Vincents Hospital Sydney, Louise moved to Darwin in 2002 to pursue her passion for improving health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Louise is currently on the Australian Diabetes Society Council and was previously a member of the Council of the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society. Louise has been providing clinical diabetes services to urban and remote NT communities for over 17 years, including via telehealth.
Dr Elizabeth Barr (BPod, GradDipPod, MPH, PhD)
Marie Kirkwood (RN, RM)
PANDORA Wave 2 Coordinator – Top End
PANDORA Follow Up Coordinator
PANDORA Wave 2 Coordinator – Central Australia
A/Prof Federica Barzi (Phd, BSc Hon)
PANDORA Statistician / Senior Research Fellow in Biostatistics
CLINICAL REGISTER / MODELS OF CARE
Tara Dias (Masters Public Health, Master Public Policy)
Kirby Murtha (Bachelor of Science, Postgrade Diploma in Dietetics, Master of Evaluation)
FNQ DIP Coordinator
GDM Research Project Officer
Dr Renae Kirkham (PhD)
Research Officer – Central Australia
Dr Athira Rohit – PhD
Dr Angela Titmuss, PhD Candidate - B Sci (Med) (Hons) MBBS (Hons) MPH FRACP
“The PANDORA Cohort: Assessing the child health impact of maternal diabetes”
Dr Anna McLean, PhD Candidate - MBBS, FRACP
” Improving outcomes for women with diabetes in pregnancy in Far North Queensland”
Dr Diana MacKay, PhD Candidate - BA, MBBS, MPH, FRACP
“Supporting a more inclusive model of care: Incorporating the voices of women and their families in care during and after a pregnancy complicated by diabetes”
Dr Matthew Hare, PhD Candidate - MBBS(Hons), BMedSc(Hons), FRACP
“Intergenerational metabolic health in Aboriginal and non-Indigenous Australians: understanding trends, determinants and outcomes”
Dr Mary Wicks, PhD Candidate - BTh (Philosophy), BHSc, MPHC (Indig Health), MBBS(Hon 1), GradCert Clin Ultrasound, FRACP
PANDORA Wave 2, Diabetes and Pancreatitis in central Australia (DAPINCA) & Diabetes Phenotypes
Dr Emily Papadimos, PhD Candidate - MBBS
“The influence of in-utero diabetes exposure on growth outcomes and cardio-metabolic risk in early childhood: follow-up of the PANDORA cohort”
Prof Alex Brown, SAHMRI
Dr Anna McLean, Cairns Hospital
Prof Ashim Sinha, Cairns Diabetes Centre
Ms Bronwyn Davis, University of Melbourne
Dr Christine Connors, NT Department of Health
Prof David McIntyre, Mater Research
Ms Heather D’Antoine, Menzies School of Health Research
Dr Jacki Mein, Apunipima Cape York Health Council
A/Prof Jacqui Boyle, Monash University
Prof Jeremy Oats, University of Melbourne
Prof Jonathan Shaw, Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute
Prof Kerin O’Dea, University of South Australia
Prof Liz Davis, Telethon Kids Institute
Dr Leisa McCarthy, Menzies School of Health Research
Dr Liz Moore, AMSANT
Ms Margie Cotter, AMSANT
Dr Mark Wenitong, Apunipima Cape York Health Council
Prof Paul Zimmet, Monash University
A/Prof Rae-Chi Huang, Telethon Kids Institute
Prof Richard Saffery, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Prof Robyn McDermott, James Cook University
Ms Sumaria Corpus, Danila Dilba
Prof Maggie Jamieson, NT Department of Health
Prof Tony Hanley, University of Toronto, Canada
Prof Stewart Harris, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Prof Brandy Wicklow, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, Canada
Prof Dana Dabelea, University of Colorado, Denver USA
Dr Patrick Catalano, Tufts University of Medicine, Boston USA
Thank you to National Health and Medical Research Council, the Global Alliance of Chronic Diseases, Diabetes Australia Research Program, Channel 7 Children Research Foundation, Australian Government Department of Health, Central Australia Academic Health Science Network and Donations from Ian Albrey and Edwina Menzies.
The Partnership have 2 groups that meet throughout the year.These groups are the Clinical Reference Group and the Indigenous Reference Group.
Clinical Reference Group
The Clinical Reference group was established in 2012 by Cherie Whitbread, with the main aim of providing advice to the management group regarding integration with clinical services and project issues of clinical relevance.
The group meets annually and membership includes members from primary and hospital sectors, both government and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, across all NT.
Indigenous Reference Group
Indigenous Reference Group (IRG)
First setup by Sian Graham in 2017, the IRG has been successfully engaging Aboriginal members of the community to help guide our research and pave the way for positive, respectful, mutually fulfilling engagement.
IRG meetings are held three times a year, and every year one meeting is scheduled to combine with the Partnerships symposium. The symposium offers IRG members, some of whom are not from the health sector, an opportunity to hear the latest diabetes research, engage with researchers and get a sense of how far reaching our research is. Several members attended and contributed to a discussion panel in both the 2018 & 2019 Symposium and advised on strategies to commence youth engagement and health coaches’ program. Importantly the Symposiums have provided IRG members the opportunity to talk with researchers directly and this facilitated knowledge exchange.
Future aims of the IRG include improving engagement with community members, feeding back study results, developing resources to help the community learn more about diabetes and preventing diabetes and obesity in children and strengthening our Aboriginal workforce.
Stay up to date
For program updates, newsletters and upcoming events in each area, please visit the Menzies website.