Lecture to highlight Indigenous health gap

05-May-2017

Renowned kidney specialist Professor Alan Cass will deliver the first Charles Darwin University Professorial Lecture for 2017

Renowned kidney specialist Professor Alan Cass will deliver the first Charles Darwin University Professorial Lecture for 2017


A renowned kidney specialist who has been working to close the gap in Indigenous health in the Northern Territory for more than 30 years will deliver the first Charles Darwin University Professorial Lecture for 2017.

The Director of Menzies School of Health Research, Professor Alan Cass, will discuss how rigorous research that explores patterns in health and disease – in collaboration with Indigenous communities – is key to improving health.

“In November 2000 at the Art Gallery of NSW, Sotheby’s auctioned four collaborative paintings created by senior Pintupi Luritja men and women from the communities of Kintore, Mt Liebig and Kiwirrkurra to raise funds to set up a dialysis service in Kintore,” Professor Cass said.

“I wanted to know why these Aboriginal communities of the Western Desert give such a high priority to dialysis treatment for kidney disease.”

Professor Cass said that in the Indigenous Australian community the kidney disease burden was heaviest among the young and middle-aged. 

“Throughout life, from the intra-uterine environment, to childhood and as we grow and age, there are the key points at which evidence suggests intervention will make a difference,” he said.

“Without rigorous research exploring patterns of health and disease and teasing out causative factors, we will fail to improve health and fail to support the wishes so clearly expressed by the Pintupi Luritja.” 

In his research career, Professor Cass has focused on prevention and management of chronic disease and Indigenous health. He has published more than 280 peer-reviewed papers and seminal reports for governments and NGOs. He is immediate past-President of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Nephrology and a Board Member for Top End Health and Hospital Services, the NT Heart Foundation and Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. 

The Professorial Lecture entitled “A dialysis machine in every remote community: Evidence of failure, or an essential step towards closing the gap?” will be held on Tuesday, May 9 from 5:30pm to 7pm in the Charles Darwin Theatre at Casuarina campus. All welcome, but bookings are essential: RSVP to E: cduevents@cdu.edu.au or T: 08 8946 6554.