NeuRA to undertake critical dementia research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Monday, 23 April 2018: $14 million in Australian Government funding will be allocated to five research projects all seeking to improve prevention, treatment and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with dementia. Research is aimed at improving dementia detection and treatment, as well as prevention initiatives through clinical trials, analysis and community health approaches. 

Among the five recipients is Dr Kylie Radford from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), who will lead the project ‘Our MOB (Our Mind Our Brain): Dementia prevention across the life course with Aboriginal Australians.’

Commenting on the project announcement, Dr Radford said she is excited to see the recognition and support for ground-breaking research into Dementia in Australian Indigenous peoples. The combination of projects is set to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with dementia and their communities.

Dementia is one of the biggest health issues facing Australians and research in recent years, including NeuRA’s Koori Growing Old Well Study, has shown that Indigenous Australians are disproportionately affected, with dementia prevalence three to five times higher than non-Indigenous Australians across remote, regional and urban communities.

Dr Radford will lead her team on this $3 million grant from NHMRC, administered through the University of New South Wales.

Our project will focus primarily on understanding the major causes and risk factors contributing to higher rates of dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in order to develop effective prevention strategies across the life course,” said Dr Radford.

“The key goals of the project are to build on the decade-long collaborations between researchers, health services, and Aboriginal communities that we’ve developed through long-term projects with older Aboriginal people in urban and regional areas.

“This project will provide fresh insight into a range of social and biomedical factors that could impact lifelong brain health and dementia onset, as well as ways to reduce the burden of cognitive decline.”

Benefits to the community will include enhanced awareness and skills around dementia and healthy brain ageing, accessible active ageing support, and a stronger evidence base to guide health policy and practice for an ageing Indigenous population.

Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP said the need for targeted research is clear, and the Government has made dementia funding a priority.

“The Turnbull Government is committed to better health outcomes for all Australians, including ways to delay the onset of dementia, understand risk factors and care for those in the grips of the disease,” Minister Wyatt said

“The $14 million in NHMRC funding for these five projects has been allocated through theBoosting Dementia Research Initiative. 

“The Federal Government has made dementia funding a priority with the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative which is a $200 million initiative to help address this growing health challenge,” Minister Wyatt said.



List of grant recipients

Grant recipient Administering Institution of
grant recipient
Application title Grant amount ($)
CIA – Doctor Kylie Radford


University of New South Wales/NeuRA


Our MOB (Mind Our Brain): Dementia prevention across the life course with Aboriginal Australians 3,020,383.20


CIA –  Associate Professor Dina LoGiudice


University of Melbourne Let’s CHAT: Community Health Approaches to Dementia in Indigenous Communities 2,661,502.00
CIA – Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher University of Newcastle Addressing health and care needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with dementia and their communities: A cluster randomised controlled trial 3,046,293.90
CIA –  Doctor Kate Smith University of Western Australia Dementia Prevention and Risk Management Program for Aboriginal Australians (DAMPAA) 2,543,423.30
CIA – Professor Sandra Eades Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Multifactorial, multidisciplinary nurse-led aboriginal dementia prevention through cardio-metabolic risk reduction, behaviour change and other strategies: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial 2,811,179.80