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Curtin University
National Drug Research Institute

Preventing Harmful Drug Use In Australia

Media Release


Date: Wednesday, November 21, 2012

National award for 'empowering' young Aboriginal researcher

A young Aboriginal researcher's commitment to helping Indigenous Australians address alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems in their own communities was recognised with a national award last night.

Annalee Stearne, a Nyungar woman from WA, received the First People's Award in the annual Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) Awards.

The Awards for Excellence in Science and Research acknowledge outstanding contributions to reducing harm associated with AOD use. They also aim to recognise and support young scientists with exceptional potential, and provide role models for future generations.

The First People's Award recognises a substantial and practical contribution to the advancement of the health of Indigenous people.

Annalee has been part of the National Drug Research Institute's (NDRI) Indigenous Australian Research Team since 2001, including spending three years in Alice Springs seconded to the Tangentyere Council's Research Hub.

Her research focuses on improving the health and social inequities that face Indigenous people by empowering them with the knowledge to address AOD issues in their own communities.

Annalee has also evaluated community-based AOD intervention projects, and has presented findings from her research across Australia and internationally in Brazil, the US and New Zealand.

"Annalee is a young Indigenous woman who has played a major part in developing, designing and implementing Indigenous research programs that have helped to shape the delivery of AOD programs in communities," the award nomination said.

"As part of her research work in Indigenous communities Annalee transfers her skills and knowledge to the local Indigenous community wherever her research is taking place. This has, in turn, empowered communities to begin to shape program development within an evidence-based approach to address issues of concern."

Annalee was also recognised with an Unsung Hero award as part of Curtin University's 2010 NAIDOC Week celebrations, and was part of the Indigenous Australian Research Team that in 2006 won a national Drug and Alcohol Award for Excellence in Research and Curtin University Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence.

NDRI is based at Curtin University's Health Research Campus in Perth and is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Substance Misuse Prevention and Service Improvement Grants Fund.

Further Information:

Vic Rechichi
Communications Officer, National Drug Research Institute
Curtin University
Mobile: 0414 682 055