DIABETES across the LIFECOURSE – Northern Australia Partnership

Improving systems of care and services for people with diabetes and their families in rural and remote Australia (NT, FNQ & Kimberley)

Who We Are

Partnership Structure

The Partnership is led by Professor Louise-Maple Brown from Menzies, with expertise provided by a range of Chief Investigators and Associate Investigators according to each project within the Partnership. The Steering Committee meets once a quarter to provide oversight on the direction of the Partnership’s program of work and research activities. The Steering Committee includes academics, investigators and representatives of key partners in each region including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and the Northern Territory peak body, Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT).

The Diabetes across the Lifecourse: Northern Australia Partnership’s – Indigenous Reference Group (IRG) was established in 2017 to provide an independent Indigenous perspective on the management and conduct of the Partnership. Currently the IRG is NT based but we hope to work with partner organisations to broaden representation across Northern Australia. The IRG plays an important advisory role between individuals and communities participating in the various projects within the Partnership and the Partnerships’ Lead Investigator, Steering Committee and higher degree research students.

Regions also have Clinical Reference Groups and Working Groups made up of key stakeholders from partner organisations and communities who provide input and guidance on the key elements of each project.

Principal Chief Investigator

Professor Louise Maple-Brown MBBS FRACP PhD

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.

Norlisha Bartlett

Norlisha Bartlett

Executive Assistant

Research Staff

PANDORA

Dr Elizabeth Barr (BPod, GradDipPod, MPH, PhD)

Dr Elizabeth Barr (BPod, GradDipPod, MPH, PhD)

Research Fellow

Alison Simmonds

Alison Simmonds

PANDORA Follow Up Coordinator

Jo Kelaart

Jo Kelaart

PANDORA Wave 2 Coordinator – Central Australia

A/Prof Federica Barzi (Phd, BSc Hon)

A/Prof Federica Barzi (Phd, BSc Hon)

PANDORA Statistician / Senior Research Fellow in Biostatistics 

CLINICAL REGISTER / MODELS OF CARE

 

Vanya Hampton

Vanya Hampton

Research Assistant

Tara Dias (Masters Public Health, Master Public Policy)

Tara Dias (Masters Public Health, Master Public Policy)

Research Assistant

Kirby Murtha (Bachelor of Science, Postgrade Diploma in Dietetics, Master of Evaluation)

Kirby Murtha (Bachelor of Science, Postgrade Diploma in Dietetics, Master of Evaluation)

FNQ DIP Coordinator

Chenoa Wapau

Chenoa Wapau

GDM Research Project Officer

YOUTH DIABETES

Dr Renae Kirkham (PhD)

Dr Renae Kirkham (PhD)

Research Fellow

Anthony Gunther

Anthony Gunther

Project Manager 

Natasha Freeman

Natasha Freeman

Evaluator

Shiree Mack

Shiree Mack

Research Officer – Central Australia

Dr Athira Rohit – PhD

Dr Athira Rohit – PhD

Research Officer

Students

Students

Students

Dr Angela Titmuss, PhD Candidate - B Sci (Med) (Hons) MBBS (Hons) MPH FRACP

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

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

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

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

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

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”


Investigators

Investigators

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

Ethics

All components of the Partnership have current approval from the relevant Human Research Ethics Committee.

You can contact the Human Research Ethics Committee regarding any complaints or concerns about any of the Partnership projects:

Central Australia – Ph (08) 8951 4700 or cahrec@flinders.edu.au

Top End – Ph (08) 8946 8687 or ethics@menzies.edu.au

Funding

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.

Reference Groups

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

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

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.