Indigenous students’ research projects making a difference

Participants in the Kungullanji Indigenous Summer Research Symposium - Jordyn Godfrey, Estin Hunter, Leah Henderson, Breanna Johnston, Trishiko King, Penelope Henain, Eden Little, Jamie Penny, Summer Coffison, Dhayne thomas, and Julia-Rose Satre.
Participants in the Kungullanji Indigenous Summer Research Symposium - Jordyn Godfrey, Estin Hunter, Leah Henderson, Breanna Johnston, Trishiko King, Penelope Henain, Eden Little, Jamie Penny, Summer Coffison, Dhayne thomas, and Julia-Rose Satre.

Curing chronic neck pain through virtual reality perception; exploring the link between urban Aboriginal male identity and health and evaluating plant management programs on the Gold Coast.

These are just some of the research projects undertaken by 13 Indigenous students as part of the Kungullanji Indigenous Summer Research Symposium.

The Symposium, in its second year, offers the opportunity for undergraduate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to participate in research projects across areas in Griffith Sciences and Griffith Health programs.

Estin Hunter's project aims to change the perception of body in space through virtual reality.
Estin Hunter’s project aims to change the perception of body in space through virtual reality.

Bachelor of Exercise Science student Estin Hunter was part of a project that aims to cure chronic neck pain by altering perception of body in space through virtual reality goggles.

“My main focus was to work out a way to maximise the illusion of changing a person’s body perception, so that it can then be applied to treat people suffering from chronic neck pain,” he said.

“The theory is to train the brain to move the neck to a spot that previously caused pain and over time the brain will recognise that this is no longer painful.

“This research is amazing because we can eventually move away from drugs and medication to treat pain by altering the brains activity.”

Estin said if it wasn’t for the Symposium he never would have had the opportunity to work on such a quality research project, which was supervised by Dr Daniel Harvie from the School of Allied Health Science’s RECOVER Injury Research Centre.

Jamie Penny's project explores the link between urban Aboriginal male identity and health.
Jamie Penny’s project explores the link between urban Aboriginal male identity and health.

Bachelor of Public Health student Jamie Penny’s project explored the link between urban Aboriginal male identity and health.

He believes that negative discourses and stereotypes surrounding Aboriginal identity are contributing to a number of serious health consequences for the Indigenous urban population.

“Considering the embarrassingly poor state of Aboriginal men’s health, this is a disturbing lack of research exploring discourses of Aboriginal identity for men in the urban environment,” he said.

“I hope my research will further address these negative discourses by focusing on self-perceptions of identity of Aboriginal men’s group participants with a focus on ‘what and how we are’ rather than ‘who we are’.”

Indigenous Research Unit Professor Adrian Miller said the Kungullanji Indigenous Summer Research Symposium was created by Program coordinator Jennifer-Leigh Campbell to develop pathways for undergraduate students to progress through to PhD research.

Professor Miller said he was amazed by the quality of research projects delivered by this year’s participants.

“This is absolutely exciting to see this calibre of work presented by undergraduate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students,” he said.

“If these students are our future then it’s looking bright.”

Prof Adrian Miller, Jennifer Campbell, Jordyn Godfrey, Estin Hunter, Leah Henderson, Breanna Johnston, Trishiko King, Penelope Henain, Eden Little, Jamie Penny, Summer Coffison, Dhayne thomas, and Julia-Rose Satre.
Prof Adrian Miller, Jennifer Campbell, Jordyn Godfrey, Estin Hunter, Leah Henderson, Breanna Johnston, Trishiko King, Penelope Henain, Eden Little, Jamie Penny, Summer Coffison, Dhayne thomas, and Julia-Rose Satre.

Participants

  • Penelope Henain, Bachelor of Nursing – Is your life safer in the hands of an RN who is capable of academic writing?
  • Leah Henderson, Bachelor of Psychological Science – Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
  • Jordyn Godfrey, Bachelor of Psychological Science / Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice – Headaches and migraines in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • Tishiko King, Bachelor of Science – Evaluating the relative importance of local natural resources to food security of Torres Strait Islander communities
  • Summer Coffison, Bachelor of Environmental Science (Ecology and Conservation Biology) – Evaluating Plant Management Programs on the Gold Coast
  • Breanna Johnston, Bachelor of Marine Science – Do artificial reefs become more like natural reefs?
  • Eden Little, Bachelor of Science: Wildlife Biology and Marine Biology – Bioacoustic monitoring of river biota
  • Jamie Penny, Bachelor of Public Health – Exploring the link between urban Aboriginal male identity and health
  • Julia-Rose Satre, Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Sciences – A quantitated approach investigating the role of COUP-TF-II in steroid hormone synthesis of bovine ovarian follicles
  • Estin Hunter, Bachelor of Exercise Science – Altering perception of body in space through bogus visual feedback
  • Dhayne Thomas, Bachelor of Social Work – Factors that influence Indigenous social determinants of health
  • Ashleigh Bolt, Bachelor of Nursing – Evaluation Framework for Indigenous Health Courses.